Runaway Spoon

Fighting Abuse Wherever It Happens

May 24, 2018

As CARE’s Global Leaders Network gave its Humanitarian Award to Canadian Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, speaker after speaker underscored the importance of continuing to save lives and assist the underserved around the world -- with a special emphasis on assisting women in all walks of life.

Sally Yates at CARE National Conference (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) Sally Yates at CARE National Conference

Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, traveled from Canada to accept the award from CARE CEO Michelle Nunn and CARE board member Michele Flournoy.  Bibeau has been in the forefront for many years seeking betterment of young women everywhere.

“Minister Bibeau … has been a staunch advocate of the fact that inequality and the denial of human rights are an assault on all humanity – no matter where they occur,” said Gillian Barth, president and CEO of CARE Canada.

The reception at the Canadian embassy -- with 150 guests -- was part of the philanthropic organization’s 2018 CARE National Conference that stressed CARE’s focus on the education, health and safety of young women and forming an allegiance with the worldwide anti-sexual abuse movements.

Canadian Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau (right) receives Global Leaders Network Humanitarian Award from Michele Flournoy (Photo by: Neshan H. Naltchayan) Canadian Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau (right) receives Global Leaders Network Humanitarian Award from Michele Flournoy

On Monday, former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, a guest speaker at the CARE conference, appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and praised the “Me Too” advancements. She said women are more attuned to speaking up about sexual harassment/abuse they suffered in the workplace and domestically.   “…women are not going to take this anymore…,” she said in support of recent movements to stop the awful practice. 

CARE, too,is putting a fine supportive point on the movement.

“For more than 70 years, the United States has led efforts to promote peace, prosperity, and share values to foster global stability,” said Michelle Nunn. “But recently that legacy has been under threat.

Sam Nunn (left) chatting with Adm. Gary Roughead (Photo by: Neshan H. Naltchayan) Sam Nunn (left) chatting with Adm. Gary Roughead

“CARE’s work in 94 countries -- helping refugees, victims of famine and the poorest – saves lives, reduces the factors that lead to extremism and helps the most vulnerable recover and rebuild after disaster.”

Through personal visits to Capitol Hill and networking, CARE is actively fighting to stop cuts in federal funds to global humanitarian causes.

Among the guests was Alicia, a native of Ecuador and now an adult, who as a child was mistreated at the hands of her South American employers. Through its dignified work initiative, CARE supports women’s groups…throughout Ecuador, aiming to give voice to women domestic workers “whose employers have so long silenced them.”

CARE supporter Dr. Mary Jan Bancroft, founder of Make Way for Books, told of working with hundreds of educators, preschools and child-care centers, especially in low-income communities.

Michelle Nunn at CARE reception (Photo by: Neshan H. Naltchayan) Michelle Nunn at CARE reception

Tony Blinken, who was Deputy Secretary of State in the Obama Administration and is co-founder of WestExec Advisors with Michèle Flournoy, said young people he has spoken with in his travels to 40 nations are impressed with the high degree of voluntarism in the USA, which could be interpreted, to some extent, as “people trying to do something larger than themselves.”

Joe Ruiz, director of humanitarian programming at the UPS Foundation, announced that UPS is raising its financial commitment to CARE by several hundred thousand dollars to $850,000.  The foundation has supported CARE for more than two decades. Over the past year, he said, UPS has been involved in great programs to provide life-saving blood to women after experiencing difficult births.

Admiral Gary Roughhead, former U.S. chief of naval operations, said that “generations from now, the work that CARE is doing now will be remembered….stay the course.”

Gillian Barth (l), Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau & CARE's Chairman of the Board Martha Brooks (Photo by: Neshan H. Naltchayan) Gillian Barth (l), Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau & CARE's Chairman of the Board Martha Brooks


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Karen Pence & Midwestern Loyalty at First Lady's Lunch

May 15, 2018

Patti Coons, an Indiana constituent, & Karen Pence with Pence family rabbit Marlon Bundo (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) Patti Coons, an Indiana constituent, & Karen Pence with Pence family rabbit Marlon Bundo

“Be Best" is now a Melania Trump-inspired song with lyrics “have the biggest heart” written by country singer Billy Dean and sung at the Congressional Club’s First Lady’s Luncheon Tuesday (May 15) in Mrs. Trump’s absence.

Dean said he composed the song in his hotel room on Monday night after he heard the news that the First Lady was recovering from successful surgery in Walter Reed  National Military Medical Center but would not be able to make the lunch in her honor.

Mrs. Trump underwent surgery Monday for a benign kidney condition. She attended the event in 2017, the first year of the Trump presidency.

Second Lady Karen Pence who substituted for Mrs. Trump praised the First Lady as a “remarkable woman with a big heart….and who is dedicated to helping young people, and to the cause of fighting the opioid epidemic.

Mary Beth Bos (left), Sandy Hagemen & Patti Coons at Trump Hotel (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) Mary Beth Bos (left), Sandy Hagemen & Patti Coons at Trump Hotel

Earlier this month, Mrs. Trump launched BE BEST – a campaign focused on the well-being of children.

Country music icon Lee Greenwood sang “God Bless the USA” to help jump start the 106th Congressional Club reception.

Spotted at luncheon were:  arts patron/businesswoman Metta Krach (Georgetown University law school board member) from San Francisco, Patti Coons, Republican political activist from Indiana and an active Trump/Pence supporter; Wrenzie Rice (who was suppose to be among those escorting Mrs. Trump but didn‘t have the chance, she is wife Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C. ); and Sandy Hageman and Mary Beth Bos, Indiana businesswomen.

Vice President Mike Pence takes his turn snapping Indiana group at Mansion (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) Vice President Mike Pence takes his turn snapping Indiana group at Mansion

A group of 29 or so Indiana women got a guided tour of  the Vice President’s Mansion earlier in the morning with Karen and Mike Pence. They also got to be photographed with Pence family pet rabbit, Marlon Bundo, whose name is on a children's book.  

Furthermore, in the evening, the loyal Indiana contingent (Mike is the state’s former governor) dined at the Trump Hotel.

The First Lady’s luncheon planning committee was chaired by Pat O’Halleran and co-chaired by Jennifer Messer who is president of the bipartisan Congressional Club.  The chairs, in their talks, wished Mrs. Trump well and a speedy recovery.  Also remembered was former First Lady Barbara Bush who recently passed away.

The lunch benefits charitable and educational causes.

Key sponsors included Aflac, KIA Motors, The Heritage Foundation. Mrs. April McClain Delaney, Hageman and Bos.

 

 

 


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And The Music Flowed

May 13, 2018

Mesmerizing Japanese violinist Mayuko Kamio held the audience at the Japanese ambassador’s residence in the palm (well, actually the fingers) of her hands as she performed at the gala for Young Concert Artists of Washington Thursday.

Didi Cutler (left), Mayuko Kamkio, Aniko Gaal Schott & Ambassador Shinsuke J. Sugiyama (Photo by: Michelle Belliveau) Didi Cutler (left), Mayuko Kamkio, Aniko Gaal Schott & Ambassador Shinsuke J. Sugiyama

“Magnificant!” was the byword uttered by many.

Her incredible fingers guiding the bow created artistry that the audience of some 250 wouldn’t let end without two encores and a standing ovation. 

Kamio’s Carmen Fantasy with pianist Noreen Polera was innovative, spirited and charming.

The concert was held under the glittering crystal chandeliers in the cherry-blossom decorated ballroom, where the new Ambassador of Japan, Shinsuke J. Sugiyama, and his wife welcomed the gathering.

Susan Wadsworth chats with John Jeppson (Photo by: Michelle Belliveau) Susan Wadsworth chats with John Jeppson

Co-chairs were Aniko Gaal Schott and Isabel “Didi” Cutler.

Among those attending were Susan Wadsworth, director of Young Concert Artists of Washington; The Hon. Mary Mochary (vice president of the Washington Board); Hungarian Ambassador to the U.S. Laszio Szabo; Kevin Chaffee and Virginia Coyne of Washington Life magazine; Ambassador Lloyd Hand and Ann Hand; Wendy Benchley and John Jeppson; The Hon. and Mrs. William Webster, Olga and Bob Ryan; Don and Rhona Wolfe Friedman; and diplomatic writer Roland Flamini and Diane Flamini.

Goli Kashani (left) & Gilan Corn (chairman of the Young Concert Artists board of director (Photo by: Michelle Belliveau) Goli Kashani (left) & Gilan Corn (chairman of the Young Concert Artists board of director

Patrons included the cosmetic/fragrance company L’Occitane as well as Mozarteum Brasileiro, the renowned theater and cultural center in Brazil.  Sachiko Kuno Foundation was the underwriter patron.

Kamio, now 31, was first prize winner of the 2000 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and gold medalist of the 2007 International Tchaikovsky Competition. She made her concerto debut in Tokyo at the age of 10 under the baton of Charles Dutoit.

 

Hungarian Amb. Laszio Szabo, Judy Esfandiary, Dr. Ivonn Szevereny & Barbara Kapusto (Photo by: Michelle Belliveau) Hungarian Amb. Laszio Szabo, Judy Esfandiary, Dr. Ivonn Szevereny & Barbara Kapusto

She is internationally praised for her silken tone, long expressive phrasing and virtuoso technique. She has appeared as soloist with the Boston Pops conducted by Keith Lockhart, the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich with Mstislav Rostropovich, and the Israel Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta. 

The New York Timescalled Kamio an "exciting young musician" and "a radiant talent."

Young Concert Artists is a non-profit organization, founded in 1961.  It is supported by individuals, foundations, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


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