Saturday, February 23, the Young Ambassadors Council hosted its inaugural junior gala, A WINNter Affair, benefiting The Children’s Inn. The event was held at the House of Sweden, an amazing space at the Swedish Embassy right on the Georgetown waterfront. With live music by The Morrison Brothers, a dance floor, a slider and dessert bar, everyone was ready to party for a great cause.
The Children’s Inn is located on the campus of the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md. The NIH is the world’s leading biomedical research center, and one of the best places for sick children to receive groundbreaking treatment. The Children’s Inn aims to offer a “place like home” to the children and their families for the duration of their stay at the NIH.
Beth Maloney, who is on the board of directors for The Children’s Inn and the president of the Young Ambassadors Council, said raising awareness and funds for the Inn is so important to her because, as a mother, she has had to take her children to hospitals, but has been fortunate enough that it has always been in the city she lived in. Realizing that other families often have to travel from other cities, states and even countries to receive treatment, she understood “just how important it was to have a place for children and parents when they are out of their comfort zone.” The Children’s Inn is based on the idea that they can take care of a child’s emotional needs, while the NIH tends to their medical ones.
The Young Ambassadors Council has been extremely successful in championing the cause of The Children’s Inn. This event alone raised more than $30,000, which translates into more than 200 nights for families at the Inn. To become a Young Ambassador, you can donate annual support of at least $25. Becoming a Young Ambassador offers an opportunity to apply to serve on YAC sub-committees as well as a chance to network with other professionals with similar interests. As well as priority for signing up for YAC-sponsored volunteer projects.
A donation of $25 provides the families with a calling card to use for the duration of their stay at The Children’s Inn, allowing them to keep in contactwith their loved ones back home. A $50 donation will provide a family with a grocery card that will cover them for one week, and a donation of $154 gives an entire family one night of housing at the Inn. A great, but little known fact is that many companies have a matching gift program where they will match a donation of one of their employees. A simple way to provide even more support to the families at The Children’s Inn.
A WINNter Affair was held at the House of Sweden, because Beth Maloney said they had “always been extremely social and happy to help a good cause.” It was the perfect locale for a group of young professionals looking to have a great Saturday night, while supporting their charity. The large dance floor let people have fun dancing to The Morrison Brothers’ original and cover songs. Truman Morrison of the eponymous band, said the group had played at the House of Sweden before and were happy to do so again because “the venue always has great events, and the fact that it was for a great cause made it even better.”
The event was sophisticated while maintaining a youthful flair. There were three open bars and servers made rounds throughout the evening making sure everyone had a full glass. A lavish spread of hors d’oeuvres included three different types of sliders, pizza and vegetable skewers followed by an entire bar of different desserts. There were several raffle and door prizes, including a trip to La Grange Vineyard and gift certificates to local restaurants. Overall the event was fun, well organized and it is hard to think of a more deserving cause than the families and children staying at The Children’s Inn.