As D.C. dug out of the 2010 Snowpocalypse, young professionals in the area came out of hibernation to enjoy an evening of drinks and dancing for the SOME Junior Gala.
Founded in 1970 by Father Horace McKenna and a group of interfaith leaders and lay members of the community, SOME (So Others Might Eat) was formed to feed the hungry in D.C. Through the years, the soup kitchen in the basement of a North Capitol Street church has turned into an extensive program that seeks to restore hope to D.C.’s homeless and hungry. As 2010 marks its 40th year in operation, SOME remains one of the most active charities in the community. With a focus on short term help to encourage long term growth, SOME implements community programs in order for the city’s impoverished to develop life skills that will hopefully help them to restore and most importantly, sustain, their lives.
The SOME Junior Gala provides an opportunity for D.C.’s young professionals to gather for an evening of food, cocktails and dancing in one of the city’s most beautiful galleries, the Corcoran Gallery of Art. The gala has developed a substantial following in the past few years, and this evening was no exception. Despite the insane traffic problems and city streets that resembled trails on the Iditarod, D.C.’s young blue blood professionals turned out in droves for the event. Open bars with white wine, liquor and beer were scattered throughout the event, and professional bartenders kept the lines running smoothly. A spread of tea sandwiches, egg rolls, empanadas and other finger foods deviated from the standard “cheese and fruit trays” but didn’t go overboard with complexity. The Corcoran provided a stunning backdrop for the event, as the expansive space boasts large columns and a grand entry staircase, adding to an ambiance of elegance. High ceilings and multi-level event space left the party feeling full but not crowded and claustrophobic. The event’s music began with elegant strings, but later the local cover band, Sick Feed, began to play to liven the crowd. Playing top 40 fan favorites, they dipped between 80’s rock ballads and MGMT, causing even the most rhythmically challenged of partygoers to head out to the dance floor.
As a rule, I am generally wary of events that involve a hefty price tag, lots of people and an open bar. Let’s be honest – with many people currently in tight financial situations, (especially the young professionals the event was targeted at) even knowing your money is going to a fantastic cause sometimes isn’t enough to convince you to shell out $85 for a night. And as we witnessed at the 2010 New Year’s Eve National Building Museum debacle, when you attend an event of that magnitude, you essentially put your evening in the hands of event planners. Poor event planning can cause the night to become a crowded obnoxious mess in which you only end up drinking about $10 worth of watered down rail liquor drinks. I was genuinely impressed with the operations of this event. With hundreds of people in attendance the evening could have been messy, but everything from the check in to the coat check to the multiple bars and multiple hors d’oeuvres stations, were operated smoothly.
One of the best things about the SOME Junior Gala is knowing that the money you contribute stays right here in D.C. With umpteenth charity galas on the social calendar in the District, it can be difficult to make any distinction between them. But with a substantial variation in socioeconomic status in D.C. it is extremely apparent that organizations like SOME are a true asset to our city. While global and national charities are obviously also incredibly worthy of support, there is something nice about knowing your contribution helps to further the community you live in. If you were going to spend the money to go to one charity event and are under 30, the SOME Junior Gala would be the one to bank on. When supporting an incredible local cause by having a hassle-free fun evening with friends, you truly cannot lose.