Photos by SNPhotography
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t was a balmy and mild summer evening in Shaw when more than 100 people gathered at Cambria rooftop to socialize, celebrate and fundraise for Special Love.
Special Love is a charity organization that provides cancer families a network of support. Special Love’s hallmark program, Camp Fantastic, is a one-week adventure for 7-17 year olds held at the Northern Virginia 4-H Center in Front Royal, VA. Special Love impacts over 1000 people annually.
Having just wrapped up a magical week at Camp Fantastic working with hundreds of kids and volunteers, it was time to say ‘Hi’ to one another, and ‘Nice to Meet you’ to many more who may not have heard much about this amazing organization.
And it was a nice mix of after work networkers who came to enjoy the complimentary food and to raise a toast with friends while admiring the dazzling view.
Meanwhile Fran Scuderi strummed some tunes rocking to hymns ranging from Reggae to Country. The hotel staff outdid themselves with delectable finger food and Evan and Ben poured the perfect high-end drinks to complement the joyful atmosphere.
Eddie J DSouza, who was diagnosed with cancer at age 10, is extremely thankful to Special Love and Dave Smith, his first counselor at Camp Fantastic. Eddie is now giving back and we all enjoyed hearing his story
People were friendly and generous. Nearly $850 were raised in this Special Love fundraiser in DC. The grand prize was the auction for a one-night stay at Cambria which was won by Lora Snyder of Oceana.
“What a great outcome for the evening – the amount we raised will more than cover the expenses for a camper at one of our week-long adventures, or a family at our upcoming Octoberfest Family Weekend. Those experiences will help normalize the cancer struggle for these kids and families, allowing them to forget about their burden or at least share it with others who can truly empathize,” said Dave Smith, CEO of Special Love.
“It was the best of times,” said Special Love event organizer Caroline Goon. Special Love brings together cancer patients, survivors, supporters. When you meet other kids who’ve survived this, it gives you hope and a reason to want to do better.”
“It was a delight to host Special Love,” said Evan Walton, director of Food & Beverage at Cambria. “I’ve lost many of my close ones to cancer – It’s tough to cope with, so I’m honored that Cambria can be of help and host this Special Love Fundraiser in DC.”
“This is a great example of how folks from so many diverse backgrounds can come together for a fun evening of socializing and make a profound impact on the life of a child battling cancer,” said Dave Smith.
Thanks for reading and supporting this great cause. The next big event is the Fall in Love 10K Run / Walk at the Anacostia Park on Oct 9. Please volunteer or register – Thanks!
Photos by Sam Phoeuk of SNPhotography