AFCEA Bethesda does a great job with this event. It is always well organized with dinner, after-dinner dancing and charity games, and an auction, but the cause is remarkable. For those of you who don’t know about it, the Children’s Inn is similar to the Ronald MacDonald houses — they are a place where families can stay near the hospital and have as normal of a life as is possible. Each year, the gala features one of the Inn’s families who talks about life at the Inn. It is always one of the highlights of the evening, and this year was no exception. Katie Gajewski told the audience that she has a brain tumor. She has been coming to NIH for treatment for years and she and her family have stayed at the Inn. This young teen gave a remarkably poised presentation before the audience of probably 800 or more — something that can be daunting for even experienced speakers. Simply remarkable.
This was the first year that I was there for Federal News Radio 1500 AM — and we had a table. At the WFED table were Federal Drive co-anchor Jane Norris, Federal Drive producer Ruben Gomez, Federal News Radio John Meyer and Ralph Renzi… and we also had the honor of welcoming GSA’s Ed O’Hare and his wife — O’Hare, of course, was just named to replace John Johnson as the Assistant Commissioner for the Federal Acquisition Service’s Integrated Technology Services, which oversees some of the government’s biggest and most important contracts… We also had Bev Godwin and her sister-in-law, who was in town from Iowa. Godwin leads USA.gov at GSA but is currently on detail to the White House where she is working on new media. We also had Larry Allan of the Coalition of Government Procurement and his wife. Rock stars all the way around.