Last night, Blue Star Families celebrated its 5th Anniversary with an event at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The event recognized Mark Johnson, 2015 Blue Star Neighbor of the Year, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s Joining Forces nationwide initiative, and The Creative Coalition.
Sheila Casey, Chairman BSF Board of Directors and Chief Operating Officer of The Hill, and Connie Milstein, Founding BSF Board Member and Principal and Co-founder of Ogden CAP Properties, LLC were the event co-chairs. Bob Woodruff, ABC News anchor and reporter and author of In an Instant, emceed the presentations.
“What started as a passionate discussion across Facebook and Skype between military family members has grown into a vibrant and meaningful mission for Blue Star Families and our members,” explains Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO. “Our goal is to strengthen military families and our nation by connecting communities and fostering leadership. Thanks to our extraordinary partnerships, such as those with First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s Joining Forces Initiative and The Creative Coalition, we are mobilizing hundreds of thousands of military family members to engage with programs and resources that improve their lives, enhancing careers for those married to a service member, producing nationally-recognized research, and connecting America to the military.”
Blue Star Families serves 1.5 million military family members annually through its programs and resources with 50 chapters at home and overseas. Each of its programs, including Blue Star Museums, Operation Honor Corps, Caregivers Empowering Caregivers, Blue Star Careers, and Military Family Lifestyle Survey depends on the partnership of caring civilian organizations, institutions, and individuals.
Prominent Georgetown institution, Cafe Milano, hosted an Oscar night watch party and champagne buffet, the proceeds of which benefited Dog Tag Bakery, an education and training program for wounded veterans transitioning into the civilian workforce. The crowd also cheered on Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper, who became part of the Cafe Milano family when he attended Georgetown University.
Cafe Milano owner Franco Nuschese said, “Bradley Cooper is a dear friend and we are so proud of his success and his support of the military. Tonight, we honor the service of all members of the military and the good work Dog Tag Bakery is doing to help veterans transition to the workforce.” Nuschese also thinks American Sniper is Cooper’s best performance ever.
Dog Tag Bakery co-founders Constance Milstein and Father Richard Curry said, “We are so thrilled with the continued support of our fellow Georgetown business leaders. It only makes sense to cheer on former Georgetowner Bradley Cooper at Café Milano and to make tonight about helping our servicemen and women.”
Dog Tag Bakery realizes the passions of Milstein (Connie’s Baking Co.) and Curry (“Secrets of Jesuit Bread Making”) to serve a delicious variety of baked goods, with proceeds from sales supporting the entrepreneurship of vets and their families through experience and a high-quality business education.
Cafe Milano is celebrated for 22 years as the premier restaurant and meeting place in Georgetown. Owner Franco Nuschese is a patron of Dog Tag Bakery. He is member of the board of directors of the Global Virus Network and of the Atlantic Council of the United States. Nuschese is Minister-Counselor of the Order of Malta.
On Thursday, May 15, 2014, an event was held to celebrate the publication of Arianna Huffington’s book, “Thrive” at The Jefferson in Washington, DC. The event was hosted by Constance Milstein, Gail MacKinnon, and Rachel Pearson, and featured guest speaker, U.S. Senator Al Franken.
California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom felt right at home at Washington’s Jefferson Hotel on February 16th to discuss his new book, “Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government.” While WHCInsider provided live coverage of the program C-SPAN’s Book TV covered all the action from the Gallatin Room for an upcoming segment (scheduled for next weekend or so). Newsom mingled among the select crowd of reporters and government officials keen to hear how Farmville can become legitimate models for politicos. Among the crowd were Newsom’s old friend Hilda Solis, the former Secretary of Labor, and former California Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, who paid tribute to Newsom as a strong leader for California and in technology. The book party was co-hosted by Constance Milstein and JC de la Haye St. Hilarie, Tammy Haddad and Ellen Tauscher. Top Obamaites Evan Ryan and her husband Tony Blinken, Jeremy and Robyn Bash, Ambassador Elizabeth Bagley, Jane Oates, joined journalists Kate Boulduan Jim Fallows, who recently moved back to Washington, Jane Mayer, from the New Yorker,Michael Falcone from ABC News, David Chalian and Jonathan Martin from Politico, Betsy Fischer Martin of Meet the Press and Rob Saliterman from Google. Eve O’Toole, whom Newsom called his “best friend and trusted adviser” and her husband Peter O’Toole, joined Holly Page, Mandy Grunwald, Martha Slagle , Jonathan Capehart, Judy Kurtz, Heather Podesta, Melissa Moss, and “get excited” chairman Marc Adelman.
After Newsom signed copies of his new book and gave a few brief interviews, the crowd retreated for a closed door dinner and more than a few verses from some popular songs. While that remains a secret, check out some photos from the event to see what you missed when gaming change comes to Washington:
CURE Epilepsy’s 2012 Key to the Cure event announced a new Slash The Stache campaign: CNN pundit and Purple Strategies’ own Alex Castellanos has volunteered to give up his moustache if he can bring in 500 more donors. At the event, co-hosted by Connie Milstein and JC de La Haye Saint Hilarie, Tammy Haddad and Susan & David Axelrod, David Axelrod started off remarks with a rhetorical question: “So what’s a mustache,” said Axelrod. “What’s a mustache mean? We got $1.1 million to remove it.”
Held at a private residence in Washington, D.C., Susan and David Axelrod, fresh from their Morning Joe appearance where he lost his iconic mustache, informed the assembled crowd about the DC campaign. “Alex called me and said ‘I’d be willing to join you in this Slash the Stache’ movement if that would be helpful. Tonight we announced on CNN if we can add another 500 donors to the 26 donors we added this month, he will shave his mustache off on CNN. Which, as Alex pointed out, for a Cuban is even harder than it is for me.”
Axelrod closed out his announcement by making way for a surprise guest: Vice President Joe Biden.
“He has great empathy for people who struggle,” said Axelrod in his introduction. “He came out and spoke at our dinner last year in Chicago. Everyone in that room felt like there was a family member there talking to them because he understood their struggles.”
“I came tonight,” said Vice President Biden, “because I think it’s appropriate to nominate Susan for the Nobel peace prize. Because it’s great to be at a bi-partisan event in Washington where everyone knows what to cut and who should pay for it.”
The Vice President went on to address the effects of epilepsy, including the fifteen million effected throughout the world by the disease along with 65,000 that perish from the disease. Referencing his own sister-in-law’s son, Vice President Biden described it as “not only a lightning storm in the brain, but a knife in the heart.”
“All you have to do is look in my sister-in-law’s eyes,” said Biden, “Look at this magnificent child and know there’s not a damn thing you can do to stop the seizure.”
Biden singled out the great scientific work of three top NIH doctors, Dr. Frances Collins, Dr. Story Landis and Dr. Tony Fauci. He also praised the “bi-partisan” efforts of Alex Castellanos in joining the DC Campaign. Washington veteran Heather Podesta is Castellanos co-chair of the new campaign.
Guests included Obama top aides Alan Krueger, Fred Hochberg, Alyssa Mastromonaco, Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Favreau, Ben Rhodes, Bruce Reed, Evan Ryan, Tony Blanken and Cody Keenan. Tech was well represented by Fred and Kim Humphries of Microsoft and Walt Mossberg of “All Things Digital.”The Defense Department’s Jeremy Bash and former Defense Department official Doug Wilson attended along with Dr Mark Dybul, the new head of the Global Fund for AIDs, Tuberculosis and Malaria. GOP Hill top aides Doug Heye (Cantor) and Michael (Boehner) and MK Steel were there to support the cause and Alex Castellanos. Media favorites Jonathan & Betsy Fischer Martin, Ed Henry, Bill Plante,Kimberly Dozier, Luke Russert, Gretel Truong, Kelley McCormick and Patricia Harrison, President of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Washington newcomer, New York Times Congressional reporter Jeremy Peters and partner, Dr. Brendan Camp were greeted by new Washington colleagues. Purple was well represented by Steve McMahon and Rob Collins.
You can watch the full video of the event including the Vice President’s remarks below:
Friends and sponsors included Jim McGreevey, American Beverage Association, Dan Whyte, from Brookfield Renewable, Erik Smith from Blue Engine Message & Media, Microsoft, Walmart and American Airlines. Greta Van Susteren and husband John Coale were thanked for their support, friendship and co-sponsoring the event.
David Greenberg was the lucky 11 year old boy along with babysitter Lauren Campbell who were given a ride home by the Vice President in his motorcade!
The Embassy of Canada was ground zero for spooks, State Department officials and some of the best actors in Hollywood, Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston and even Jennifer Garner. Time Warner’s Carol Melton along with the Canadian Ambassador welcomed the star-studded crowd that included Robert Anders, a consular officer at the U.S. embassy 33 years ago, who along with 5 American Embassy colleagues hid at the Canadian Ambassador’s Tehran residence until they could be slipped out of Tehran after the Embassy was overtaken.
Tony Mendez, the CIA agent who created an almost laughable but effective path to sneak the six Americans out of the country, received a big welcome from Ben Affleck. Mr. Affleck spoke with pride about the joy of bringing this almost unknown great chapter in American Canadian cooperation to life. He introduced CIA Director General David Petraeus and his wife Holly, saying he was “honored to be in the room with him.”
Actor Bryan Cranston was overheard taping a video greeting to the Petraeus’s daughter who could not attend the event.
Guests included the State Department’s Huma Abedin and husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner who pointed out Huma got a screen credit in the film. CIA General Counsel Stephen Preston, NYT’s Maureen Dowd, PBS’s Gwen Ifill and Lisa Davis, Investigative reporter Mark Hosenball and AP’s Kimberly Dozier were part of the packed house. Media favorites Men’s Health’s Marc Adelman, the Washington Post’s Amy Argetsinger, RNC flack Sean Spicer, Senator Boxer’s Laura Schiller, CNN’s Joe Johns and Sam Feist sipped water and ate up the popcorn and the story of a successful American CIA mission. Part of the film was shot at the State Department and the actors visited CIA headquarters.