Hollywood on the Potomac

Les Poupées!

April 23, 2017

It’s not every day that you go to a party and find a bunch of dolls passed out on the lawn along side of empty bottles of  Champagne; but such was the case at the residence of The Ambassador of France Gérard Araud who hosted a brilliant evening in honor of Montreal-based Coton Mouton. There were installations everywhere from the pool to the terrace to the garden and most importantly the staircase which is becoming a Washington landmark.  In December, artist-photographer Pascal Blondeau lined it with Penguins to tell a story about climate change and the Polar Vortex. “The first victims of our beautiful planet are Bears & Penguins,” he told us at the time. This week it was lined with poupées, as they say in French.  The Coton Mouton movement is sweeping the doll industry, generated by the enthusiasm of owner and founder Aude Le Dubé.


Guests weren’t reticent about getting selfies on the staircase or removing the stanchions to get a joint photo, including former Lt. Governor of Maryland Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Ambassador of Ireland Anne Anderson as well as former DC council member at large Carol Schwartz, Izette Folger and Susan Toffler.

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April 18, 2017

On this day in history – April 15th, 1947 – Jackie Robinson became the first African-American player in Major League Baseball breaking the color barrier. Exactly 50 years later – April 15, 1997 – Robinson’s groundbreaking career was honored and his uniform number “42” was retired from Major League Baseball by Commissioner Bud Selig in a ceremony attended by over 50,000 fans at New York City’s Shea Stadium. Robinson’s was the first-ever number retired by all teams in the league.


“I swear this book is about Jack Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers,” said author Ed Henry, “but it’s also something deeper. It stirs a passion in people who love the Brooklyn Dodgers for example. I got a letter a couple of days ago from someone who said he remembered me in an Ebbets Field quote, ‘My dad treated me to my first to vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet in a wax paper cup with a wooden spoon. My life changed that day.’ I wanted to share something deeper with this book, something about faith and how I believe it was nothing short of divine intervention when Branch Rickey, the general manager of the Dodgers, decided to sign Jackie Robinson for his first contract and it broke the color barrier and opened all kinds of things in America.”


“I told President Obama, when he was still in office, I was working on the book and I was about to go interview Rachel Robinson, who’s still alive, Jackie’s widow. And he said ‘I want you to tell her something for me.’ And I was surprised because Presidents don’t usually send messages through other people. He says, ‘I want you to tell her that I believe that there is a straight line from what Jackie did in 1947 to me being here in the White House.’ And that really was very profound to me,” Henry added.

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Kevin McCarthy Honored

April 13, 2017

Written by guest contributor Lisa Berry


“When you get cancer, you get closer as a family,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “It didn’t end the way we wanted it to end, but he has never left us.” McCarthy was honored with the 2017 Cancer Champion Award for his work in encouraging the spirit of bipartisan unity around medical research, funding for the 21st Century Cures Act and the Cancer Moonshot Initiative. Leader McCarthy accepted the award on behalf of his father, who passed away from a rare form of cancer.


The Prevent Cancer Foundation® hosted its 23rd annual spring gala at the National Building Museum. This annual event is routinely recognized as one of the top DC-area events. The evening paid homage to the beauty and splendor of Florence and Rome with the theme “Italy: Icon of Innovation,” under the honorary patronage of His Excellency, the Ambassador of Italy, Armando Varricchio and Mrs. Varricchio. The evening kicked off with a silent auction that featured 65 items. Popular items included a five-day trip to Italy, a custom men’s suit by Ermenegildo Zegna and tickets to the Billboard Music Awards. The auction portion of the evening alone raised close to $90,000.

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