Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 22, 2014

Posts in "Charity Case"

June 24, 2014

DC Toques Mix Things Up for Charity

Local tastemakers are scheduled to take a crack at custom cocktail creation Thursday during a “Chefs Behind Bars” fundraiser benefitting Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

The debut competition is expected to take over the Liaison Capitol Hill’s rooftop deck (415 New Jersey Ave. NW) from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets to the glitzy evening — admission is $40 per person, and includes featured cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres — may be purchased via NoKidHungry.org/Events.

Chefs tasked with whipping up crowd-pleasing tipples include:

  • Alba Osteria’s Amy Brandwein (anticipated contribution: “Peaches & Herbs,” blending together peaches, infused whiskey and herbs)
  • Art and Soul’s Wes Morton
  • Bar Pilar’s Jesse Miller
  • Bibiana’s Nick Stefanelli
  • Cave Mezze’s Dmitri Moshovitis (anticipated contribution: “Melåni,” muddling together Grey Goose vodka, harissa syrup, St-Germain liqueur, lemon, mint and squid ink syrup)
  • Liberty Tavern/Lyon Hall/Northside Social’s Matt Hill
  • Pabu’s Jonah Kim
  • Sunnyside Restaurant Group founder Spike Mendelsohn (anticipated contribution: “Diamond Brady,” a gin-oyster shot spiked with chili-infused bourbon, sherry vinegar and brined egg yolk)

The chefs will be competing for both critical approval (seasoned drinks slingers Derek Brown, Gina Chersevani and Duane Sylvester will join a handful of restaurant writers in passing judgment) as well as general love (people’s choice award). Full story

June 9, 2014

Members Rally Behind Home Runs for Horton’s Kids

Dozens of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are expected to pour into Nationals Park on Tuesday to participate in the fun-for-all-ages Home Runs for Horton’s Kids event.

Members Rally Behind Home Runs for Horton’s Kids

(Courtesy Horton’s Kids)

The invite-only fundraiser, scheduled to take place from 5-9 p.m., benefits the kid-friendly nonprofit former Hill staffer Karin Walser founded some 25 years ago. Per staff, the goal is to gather resources (preferably, upwards of $400,000) to support the meal programs, medical care, college- and career-related counseling and summer enrichment programs the organization provides at-risk local youth.

This year’s host committee is being headed up by Sens. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Cory Booker, D-N.J., as well as House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md.

Other lawmakers who have signed on for a night out at the ballpark include: Reps. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; Bradley Byrne, R-Ala.; Doug Collins, R-Ga.; Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.; Jack Kingston, R-Ga.; Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M.; Jim Matheson, D-Utah; Jerry McNerney, D-Calif.; Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C.; Grace F. Napolitano, D-Calif.; Kristi Noem, R-S.D.; Dennis A. Ross, R-Fla.; Scott Tipton, R-Colo.; and Jackie Walorski, R-Ind.

June 2, 2014

Adam Schiff Embraces Rigors of AIDS/LifeCycle Ride

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., appears to be reveling in the week-long cycling challenge he started on June 1, sharing highlights from the rolling landscapes he’s furiously pedaling across with his web flock.

The seasoned marathoner swapped his well-worn kicks for unfamiliar wheels (Bang-up job, FedEx!) in order to take part in the 545-mile AIDS/LifeCycle trek, an annual fundraiser benefiting the LA Gay and Lesbian Center. Schiff has completed a handful of running challenges over the past four years, but previously alerted HOH that, prior to Sunday, the furthest his limbs had ever carried him was 65-miles at a time.

Per his Instragram feed, Schiff blasted right through that benchmark on day one of the LifeCycle adventure, spinning some 80-odd miles during the first leg of the trip.

“Over to the coast and down the Pacific Highway, through Half Moon Bay and on to Santa Cruz in some of the most beautiful countryside anywhere. Rolling hills over rugged coastline, just gorgeous,” Schiff shared online.  The budding century rider shrugged off the pre-dawn start (“Up at 3:30 a.m.,” he nonchalantly mentioned) and was oddly excited about pushing himself 33 percent harder Monday (scheduled distance: 108 miles) than he’d ever attempted.

The jaw-dropping scenery unspooling before him must be quite the motivator.

Though it sounds like Schiff’s also soaring high on a combination of stress-busting endorphins and life-changing camaraderie.

“The best part of the ride, in addition to the great views, are the great riders and roadies,” he asserts on social media. “Very entertaining crowd, let me tell you.”

May 30, 2014

Adam Schiff Mounts Most Grueling Endurance Challenge Yet

Adam Schiff Mounts Most Grueling Endurance Challenge Yet

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Marathon enthusiast and Rep. Adam B. Schiff is switching sports this weekend to help support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. He’s scheduled to hop into the saddle Sunday for the AIDS/LifeCycle ride — a weeklong trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

“That is gonna be a long ride,” he said of the 545-mile trek he’s hoping to power through from June 1-7.

The California Democrat is no slouch. He’s completed endurance races staged in the District, Philadelphia, New York City and Malibu, Calif., over the past few years.

But Schiff noted that he typically does Olympic length triathlons; the predetermined biking portions in those particular contests top out at around 25 miles.

He’ll need to crank out around 80 miles a day to keep pace with the LifeCycle crew. And he said the longest ride he’s been on to date was the 65-miler he knocked out last weekend.

“It felt pretty good. But it was hard,” Schiff said of the first metric century he got under his belt.  Full story

May 20, 2014

Dave Camp Aide Extracts Reality Show From Dustbin of History

“Spymaster USA” alumnus James Brandell — aka chief of staff to retiring Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., to you civvies — is marking the 10-year anniversary of his brief flirtation with reality TV stardom by screening the pilot episode of the short-lived show Wednesday night at 201 Bar (201 Massachusetts Ave. NE).

Dave Camp Aide Extracts Reality Show From Dustbin of History

(CQ Roll Call Photo Illustration)

Brandell is resurrecting the British export (their version of the show survived for several seasons) in a bid to have a little fun while raising money for his latest Leukemia & Lymphoma Society campaign.

There is no charge to attend the two-hour extravaganza (think: drinks and chitchat from 6-7 p.m. and intense scrutiny of the unfolding melodrama from 7-8 p.m.), though Brandell would certainly welcome any contributions that arts aficionados would care to make.

“This is my kind of way of giving back,” the endurance sports vet told HOH of the low-key get-together.

Brandell originally made it his mission to stamp out cancer after his mother, the late Mary Ellen Brandell, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2008. He has since found another reason to keep up the good fight: his boss’ withering — but successful! — battle with lymphoma.

For those of you who missed the weekly nail-biter the first time around, the cult classic featured a handful of starry-eyed Capitol Hill denizens angling to enjoy just a taste of the spy game.

Given that no footage of the U.S.-based production remains in circulation — Brandell said a friend had the incredible foresight to burn a copy of the original The Learning Channel broadcast onto a DVD so many years ago — just imagine that this tense exchange from the U.K. programme was happening in a dilapidated cottage just south of Richmond, Va.:

In addition to Brandell, show-runners tapped Stephanie Whelpley, a Senate GOP aide who later worked her way up through the George W. Bush administration, as well as a certain then-tax reporter who may still be covering Congress today, to share in the pseudo-covert escapades. (For those who didn’t scour Tax Notes in the early part of the last decade, or follow other parts of this reporter’s un-IMDB-able show-biz career, keep digging.)

Do your part by drinking heavily (201 Bar is kicking back 10 percent of the booze tab to Brandell’s Team in Training efforts) while watching ex-Delta Force member cum “Spymaster USA” consultant Eric L. Haney put the would-be recruits through hell.

May 16, 2014

Binge Drink to Brad Ingwell’s Health!

Local bartender Brad Ingwell may have to go through cancer treatment, but his pals in the industry are not going to let him do it alone.

Binge Drink to Brad Ingwell’s Health!

(Courtesy 201 Bar)

Fellow hospitality vets Paige Farrell and Mike Haigis dreamed up “Brad-a-Palooza” as a way to raise Ingwell’s spirits — and perhaps a few bucks — as he shoulders the burden of attempting to vanquish the stage 3A lung cancer diagnosis that totally blindsided him this past winter.

“We’re trying to structure it as an opportunity to raise some money and show our support,” Farrell said of the mini-bar crawl.

Liquid courage is scheduled to flow freely Friday from 6-10 p.m. at both 201 Bar and Union Pub (201 Massachusetts Ave. NE); a $50 contribution (suggested) will grant participants access to a partial open bar (rail liquor), light appetizers, live music, a photo booth, a silent auction and raffle.

Per Farrell, those more comfortable donating less can still enjoy the food and entertainment as well as signature drink specials (just no open bar).

All donations will go towards helping defray Ingwell’s out-of-pocket expenses for the ongoing medical treatment.

“I’m really touched by it,” Ingwell, who serves as area director of the two participating watering holes as well as the fledgling Barrel, said of the outpouring of support he’s received from the Capitol Hill community.

Still, he’s very much looking forward to putting this whole being sick thing behind him.

“The prognosis is relatively good. They think they can cure it,” Ingwell shared.

That’s the spirit.

May 14, 2014

Murkowski Throws Herself Into ALS Relief Efforts

Murkowski Throws Herself Into ALS Relief Efforts

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski isn’t much for all the game playing that goes on in the Senate.

But if flinging a bean-filled, felt square into a hole several yards away helps the Alaska Republican stamp out Lou Gehrig’s disease once and for all, so be it.

“My family has been living and dying with ALS for eight years,” she shared. Her cousin Jenny Gore Dwyer’s husband, Pat Dwyer, succumbed to the debilitating illness in June 2013. That’s why she and Gore will be heading to Penn Social on Saturday to partake in the “Washington DC Corntoss Challenge,” an annual fundraiser benefiting the ALS Therapy Development Institute in Cambridge, Mass.

“I’d like to think that one of these days we’re gonna make a little progress,” Murkowski said of the work she’s put in to informing others about Lou Gehrig’s disease. She credits Gore with helping to educate her about the all-consuming malady.

“I learned that even though we have identified the disease and named it, we haven’t come any closer to any cure in the many decades since Lou Gehrig,” Murkowski said.

She estimated that inaction has been abetted by the psychologically draining outcome that comes with every diagnosis. “There are no survivors of ALS,” she warned, citing the absence of success stories that have elevated contemporary causes such as breast cancer awareness. “The caregivers are often so exhausted … it’s hard for them to be the daily advocates after their loved one has passed.”

The appropriator said she continues to fight to add more resources for ALS research to military budgets, and that she confers regularly with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki — “Every time I see Secretary Shinseki, it’s an issue we discuss,” she said — about sparing combat veterans from its ill effects.

She also touches base about it with physician and fellow anti-ALS crusader Sen. Tom Coburn. The Oklahoma Republican’s longstanding chief of staff, Michael Schwartz, lost his battle with the disease in early 2013.

As for Saturday, Murkowski is focused on improving at least one little thing.

“I have not set a fundraising goal. But I am hoping to improve on my cornhole performance from last year,” she shared.

Murkowski Throws Herself Into ALS Relief Efforts

(Courtesy Young Faces of ALS)

“It was absolutely pathetic.”

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