Photo by Oliver Devine
VP Joe Biden and Page Evans
VP Joe Biden and Page Evans

Hosts Stephane and Brooke Carnot (Photo by: Oliver Devine) Hosts Stephane and Brooke Carnot

The Dougal House on R street has hosted some high profile guests in the past, especially during the reign of celebrated hostess "Oatsie" Charles, but the Secret Service men pacing the sidewalk in front of Brooke and Stephane Carnot's house Thursday night provided a hint that this party held some surprises.  The Carnots were hosting the Georgetown Ministry Center's 2013 Spirit of Georgetown Benefit honoring Georgetown resident Page Evans and excitement was in the air. 

 Carrington Tarr, Beth Hague, Amy Porter Stroh, Colman Riddell- (Photo by: Oliver Devine) Carrington Tarr, Beth Hague, Amy Porter Stroh, Colman Riddell-

The moon was full and the fragrance of sweet olive scented the summer-like air as Page and event co-chairs Elizabeth Hague, Colman Riddell, Amy Porter Stroh and Carrington Tarr hurriedly made last minute touches to the decor under the tent provided by Sperry Tents (and courtesy of Washington Fine Properties), the same company that provided the tent for the Carnots' own wedding in Nantucket.

Bobby Schwartz, Tom Evans, Page and VP (Photo by: Oliver Devine) Bobby Schwartz, Tom Evans, Page and VP

"We invited the Bidens, but didn't know until tonight that they were coming," Page confided, and no doubt the government shutdown played a role in that uncertainty.  "It's such an honor to have them here," Brooke Carnot added. But with government employees safely back to work, the focus was on the Ministry Center and the important work it does helping those less fortunate in our community and Page's efforts in particular as a long-time volunteer, former event chair and enthusiastic supporter. Dr. Jill Biden arrived first, graciously greeting guests and posing for pictures with Page and the co-chairs.  

Tent (Photo by: Oliver Devine) Tent

As the tent began to fill, Vice President Joseph Biden arrived and the cameras commenced to snapping in earnest as he praised Page and her parents, his long-time friends from Delaware, Tom and Mary Page Evans, indicating that the acorn had not fallen far from the tree in the Evans family in terms of community service.

Jocelyn Dyer (Pres. of GMC Board), Gunther Stern (Director of GMC), Page and VP (Photo by: Oliver Devine) Jocelyn Dyer (Pres. of GMC Board), Gunther Stern (Director of GMC), Page and VP

Gunther Stern, GMC Executive Director presented Page with the "Freddie" Georgetown Ministry Humanitarian Award, named to memorialize a homeless man that froze to death downtown in the 1980's,  inspiring caring individuals to found the center. "What do you see when you look down on a homeless person?" asked Stern. "What I have learned about Page is that she sees a person in need," adding, "Page has embraced Georgetown Ministry Center and the work that we do and for that we are grateful and proud to honor her tonight with the Freddie."

Page and The Veep (Photo by: Oliver Devine) Page and The Veep

Accepting the award, Evans deflected praise, insisting that the people who work at GMC are "the ones who deserve an award for the work they do every day to help the homeless. They are an inspiration to us all." She also thanked her parents, "for showing in word and deed that you treat everyone with respect and dignity--whether it's the Vice President or a homeless person sleeping on a bench in Montrose Park."

Jack Evans, Page Evans and Joe Biden (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) Jack Evans, Page Evans and Joe Biden

Afterward, honorary gifts were presented to the co-chairs and hosts including porcelain bowls generously donated by Georgetown's own Middle Kingdom.  Among the record number of guests were DC councilman Jack Evans, Dan and Shannon Pryor, GMC board president Jocelyn Dyer and Michael Flanagan, David and Sarah Steinberg, Pamela and Richard Hines, Dr. Maral Skelsey, Jack Davies and Kay Kendall, Betsy and Charlie Rackley, Julia Farr, David and Margaret Dunning, Elizabeth and Jeff Powell and Avery Miller.

After the Bidens departed for what was probably a long awaited return to their home in Delaware for the weekend, Page expressed her gratitude: "I was so touched and honored that they came. It was quite a surprise. Regardless of your politics, Joe Biden is such a kind and decent human being; he really cares. And I'm happy they now know about the Georgetown Ministry Center and the homeless people it serves."