“It’s my first night on the town,” said Washington’s new Irish ambassador, Anne Anderson, at Saturday night’s Wolf Trap Ball.
In a strapless maroon gown, she danced to James Brown with Franklin Lowe, an American medical doctor she calls her “partner.”
“What else am I supposed to call him at my age?” asked Ireland’s first woman ambassador, 61, who just presented her credentials to President Barack Obama last week in a green outfit she said was made by an Irish designer.
This isn’t her first time blazing trails for women: she said she made women’s issues a top priority during her post as Ireland’s envoy to the United Nations.
She and others ventured out on a rainy night to Vienna, Virginia, for the annual gala, the outdoor performing-arts center’s largest fundraiser, and a favorite among diplomats.
The French Embassy was this year’s patron, and the Wolf Trap stage, where guests dined, was turned into the Palais Garnier opera house complete with Degas scenes, giant fleur-de-lis, and a sparkling Eiffel Tower.
Wolf Trap Opera Company Young Artist Mireille Asselin dazzled with her aria from Gounod’s “Romeo et Juliette.”
French Ambassador Francois Delattre and his wife, Sophie, dined on sea scallops, beef Rossini and caramel souffle with Sean O’Keefe, the chairman and chief executive of EADS North America.
Congressman Jim Moran, Virginia Democrat, sported a new beard. He said he was holding on to it, despite collegial ribbing.
Nancy Goodman Brinker, the founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, told the crowd at Friday night’s Honoring the Promise gala that four different types of breast cancer had recently been identified. Her organization was investing $24 million in research into this new discovery.
The $1.5 million raised at the gala at the Kennedy Center will help with this endeavor. David Rubenstein, the gala’s founding chairman, challenged the audience to raise a further $500,000. He pledged $250,000 if everyone else would help Komen reach its $2 million goal by month’s end.
Victoria Reggie Kennedy accepted the Betty Ford Lifetime Achievement Award from Susan Ford Bales, Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont and his wife, Marcelle. Kennedy’s late husband, Senator Edward Kennedy, died of cancer in 2009.
Caterpillar’s Kathryn Dickey Karol, a vice president of global government and corporate affairs, was presented with the Global Leadership Distinction Award for the Caterpillar Foundation’s $2 million grant to Komen to fund screening programs in Latin America.
Actress and health advocate Fran Drescher joked about her own brush with uterine cancer.
“I’ve been in the stirrups more than Roy Rogers,” she said.
Kool & the Gang closed out the program with “Ladies Night” as pink confetti exploded from the stage.
Across town at The Hamilton, Revolution LLC Co-Founder Steve Case and Motion Picture Association of America Chairman Chris Dodd were helping long-time bachelor Mark Ein, 48 and the founder of Venturehouse Group, celebrate his Saturday nuptials to Sally Steibel, 28 and a policy analyst.
It wasn’t a bachelor party, but a boozy coed dance club atmosphere. Prince hits pulsated while childhood photos of bride and groom shone on the wall.
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