Speakers Table

Jeff Daniels and Madeleine Stowe Headline ADL’s Concert Against Hate At Kennedy Center

October 17, 2012

Four modern-day heroes in the fight against hate were recognized and honored at the 18th annual Anti-Defamation League (ADL) In Concert Against Hate, chaired by Dr. Tina Alster andAmbassador Paul Frazer, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on October 15. Each honoree was presented with the ADL Ina and Shelley Kay Award for extraordinary acts of courage in confronting intolerance, injustice, extremism and terrorism.

The concert produced by Bonnie Nelson Schwartz featured inspiring music and testimonials about extraordinary acts of courage in confronting intolerance. A dramatic reading of each hero’s story was given by actors Jeff Daniels (HBO’s The Newsroom) and Madeleine Stowe (ABC’s “Revenge) at the concert that featured the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), conducted by Emil Du Cou. Before an audience of about 2,300, the honorees who received recognition included Irene Fogel Weiss, a Holocaust victim and Auschwitz survivor; Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, a former Freedom Rider and civil rights icon; Police Officer Moira Ann Smith (posthumously), who saved hundreds of people at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001; and Amardeep Singh Kaleka, the son of a victim of the Wisconsin Sikh Temple shooting on August 5, 2012. During the awards presentation, Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the ADL, dedicated the evening’s events to Malala Yousafzaithe Pakistani teenager who is recovering from a gunshot to the head that she received at the hands of the Taliban for her defiance in support of female education.

ADL Honorees Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, Amardeep Singh Kaleka, Irene Fogel Weiss, James Smith and Patricia Mary Smith, family of Moira Ann Smith (Photo by: Khamp Sykhammountry) ADL Honorees Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, Amardeep Singh Kaleka, Irene Fogel Weiss, James Smith and Patricia Mary Smith, family of Moira Ann Smith

“Malala Yousafzai was courageous in her determination to stand up to the forces of evil and extremism and to speak clearly for her conviction that women deserve better from a society and a system that has failed them in Pakistan,” Mr. Foxman told the audience. “We hope and pray that next year, or the year after, we will be able to honor her at a future ‘Concert Against Hate.’ ” The honorees included Holocaust survivor Irene Fogel Weiss who had been deported to Auschwitz when she was 13 years old. Decades later she learned that her arrival at Auschwitz was captured in an iconic photograph taken by the Nazis. Honoree Joan Trumpauer Mulholland was a former Freedom Fighter who spent her college student years working and advocating for equal rights. She participated in the infamous sit-in at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Jackson, Miss. in May 1963. Police officer Moira Ann Smith received her award posthumously. She is credited with saving hundreds of lives at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. For his bravery and leadership in leading the congregation of his temple and serving as the spokesperson and healer after the horrific attack by a white supremacist that took the life of his father and temple founder, Satwant Singh Kaleka, Amardeep Singh Kaleka was also recognized.

Ambassador Paul Frazer, Dr. Tina Alster, Jeff Daniels, Madeleine Stowe (Photo by: Khamp Sykhammountry) Ambassador Paul Frazer, Dr. Tina Alster, Jeff Daniels, Madeleine Stowe

Daniels and Stowe narrated the awards portion of the concert. Both were clearly moved by the stories they told their audience. Stowe relayed the harrowing history of Irene Fogel Weiss who had survived eight months in Auschwitz as a 13-year-old girl. She had been forcibly separated from her mother, sister and father, whom she later discovered all met their deaths at the crematorium. Stowe vividly described how Irene asked herself over and over again in the confines of the concentration camp barrack, “Why are you not crying?” Stowe’s eyes glistened and her voice cracked as she described the dramatic acts of bravery by Police Officer Moira Ann Smith during the melt down of the World Trade Center Towers on September 11. Her widower and daughter,James Smith andPatricia Mary Smith, accepted the posthumous award. Officer Smith had entered and exited the incinerating South Tower several times leading out hundreds of survivors before meeting her own fate. Her badge was uncovered intact months later in the rubble of the South.

Stowe and Daniels on Kennedy Center stage (Photo by: Khamp Sykhammountry) Stowe and Daniels on Kennedy Center stage

Daniels’ voice rose with strength and emotion as he described how Jean Trumpauer Mulholland, the former Freedom Fighter, had spent months in a Mississippi jail where she “detached in order to deal with the fear” and subsequently became the first white student at Tugaloo University. While there, she worked with her colleagues to arrange the momentous sit-in at the Woolworth lunch counter in Jackson, Miss. that is represented in the iconic photograph of the civil rights movement. Daniels also relayed the terrible moment Amardeep Singh Kaleka was thrust into the lime-light as the spokesperson for his temple and its congregation when his father, the temple founder, was mercilessly gunned down  after wrestling with the terrorizing white supremacist. His actions saved other temple members from the same fate. Daniels recalled the chilling words received by Amardeep when a stranger answered his father’s cell phone as Amardeep tried to reach him after learning about the siege, “I am answering your father’s phone, because he is at my feet bleeding.” The honorees received standing applause from the packed audience as the NSO began to play, the Richard Rodgers’ song, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” rose in the background. The strength and resilience of the human spirit glowed throughout the auditorium as the final strains of music faded into the evening.

Written by Jackie Fishman for Ask Miss A

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Take Me Out to the Ball Game

October 9, 2012

Take me out to the ball game. Take me out to the crowd ... but, if you don’t have access to the hottest tickets in town- don’t worry, you can watch the Washington Nationals Playoff series against St.Louis and enjoy the waterfront while taking advantage of half-priced beer and appetizers and $2 hot dogs during the game.

You can catch all the playoff action at Tony and Joe’s and Nick’s Riverside Grille any day that Washington Nats are in the playoffs and when the game’s over, stay for dinner and watch the sunset in one of the most beautiful settings in town. Game time on Wednesday, October 10 is 1:00 pm, on Thursday, October 11 is 4:07 pm.

“The Washington Nationals management asked the Downtown D.C. BID to partner with them in showing citywide support for the Nationals post season,” says Victoria Michael, PR consultant to the Nats, and of course Tony and Joe’s and Nick’s Riverside Grille jumped at the chance to be involved with all things Nationals!”

And you never know who might stop in during the game- last Sunday, Teddy himself came by to run a victory lap around the Waterfront fountain as the most recent winner of the Nationals’ Presidential Races.

So much is happening now down at Washington Harbour with the long awaited opening of the Ice Rink in the beginning of December and the restoration of the restaurants on the waterfront with new interior design and a new chef. Arguably it looks like the Washington Harbour is going to be THE place to be in Washington.

Written by Janice Ockershausen, owner of Best Bark Media

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Theatres des Vampires Halloween Party

October 7, 2012

Vampires, ghosts, and goblins came out in full force for the Theatres des Vampires Halloween Party on Friday, October 5, 2012.  Tricks and treats were abundant and for a good cause raising money for Mission Results, a 501c3 that operates Mission Results Community Center in Haiti that provides education, employment at the Center in exchange for English, Math and Computer classes; job placement; and community improvement such as home building and water wells. 

DJ KCB spinning party tunes (Photo by: Janine Schoonover) DJ KCB spinning party tunes

In the shadow of the Capitol, Don Patron opened his historic home and garden on the Hill to host the party, along with Doug Jeffries and Janine Schoonover.  An artist and philanthropist, Don created an oppulant, haunted Halloween extravaganza with decorations from the sidewalk to the ceiling and everything in between.  Casting a spell over the guests from the moment they stepped into the haunted alley with Dracula and his bride, the party raised over $5,000.   Greek gods danced to DJ KCB; witches drank brew; and monsters nibbled on fried chicken and biscuits.  Don quoted Gatsby by saying, “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in the world haven’t had the same advantages that you’ve had.”  He went on to say that his parties for a cause serve as a loving reminder to his guests to open their hearts, appreciate what they have, and lend a helping hand.

Don Patron (Photo by: Janine Schoonover) Don Patron

Doug Jeffries, owner of Stroga and Results Gym, founded Mission Relief in 2005, which became an official 501c3 in April 2011.  After the Tsunami hit in 2005, he organized a group of volunteers from the gym to go build houses in Sri Lanka.  Shortly after that, Hurricaine Katrina hit Louisiana and Mississippi, and folks at the gym looked to him to once again organize a relief effort.  This turned into 12 trips to Biloxi, Mississippi.  Then the earthquake in Haiti hit and he once again spearheaded what was to be one trip and turned into 26 monthly trips.  Doug takes volunteers regularly to Haiti providing accommodations in the volunteer guest house that provides a comfortable, clean getaway from the challenges of the day.  Volunteers may build homes; teach the children; work in the orphanage; help prepare meals; and provide recreational activities. 125 volunteers with over 26 trips have provided more than $100,000 in donation to orphanages around Port-au-Prince, including medical supplies, uniforms, school supplies, clothes, beds, mattresses, sheets, and toiletries.  Doug firmly states, “Every volunteer returns from Haiti with a far more appreciative perspective of their world.”  To donate or volunteer, please go to Mission Results

Kate McAuliff and Marian Hardt (Photo by: Janine Schoonover) Kate McAuliff and Marian Hardt

Current items needed for donation include: clothing; trucks; motorcycles; laptops; cell phones; electronics; and children’s DVD movies with French subtitle option.

(Photo by: Janine Schoonover)

Written by Janine Schoonover, CEO of JSW Group

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