AFCEA Bethesda does a great job with this event. There was a new location for the event this year — the JW Marriott, which allowed for more tables.
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. This year, we got to hear from Kaytelan Hoppes, an 8-year-old who has osteogenesis imperfecta – better known as brittle bone disease. It is a condition that causes extremely fragile bones. And Hoppes talked about the impact that the Inn has had on her family — the ability to have a home away from home. (And she even let it be known that it enables her mother to get an occasional massage. Given what these families go through, whatever it takes to survive. Good for Mom!)
The only snag of the evening — a fire alarm right at the start of the live auction. (You could tell the journalists in the room because none of the people at the Federal News Radio table moved.) The immediate concern was that it would scare people away — and, of course, that they wouldn’t return and it would impact the live auction prices. But… the false alarm sure didn’t seem to have an impact. Most of the items — including a Vespa that the DorobekINSIDER was bidding on — all went for more then their estimated values.
Congratulations to those involved. Nice job! Looking forward to 2011!