This year’s Blue Jeans Ball was without question our most successful to date. More than 900 denim-clad guests gathered at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel on Sunday for the Capital Area Food Bank’s 9th Annual Blue Jeans Ball, and helped raise $416,000 for residents struggling with hunger in the Washington metro area, exceeding last year’s total by $100,000.
First Lady Michelle Obama was our honorary chair. Norah O’Donnell, Mistress of Ceremonies and White House correspondent for CBS News, moderated the evening program that featured our Board Chair Greg Ten Eyck and Kristen Olson, chair of our host committee. I also said a few words of thanks.
The festive evening featured food stations from over 30 of the area’s top restaurants, dancing to The Elastic Waist Band, and a silent auction with over 100 unique items, followed by a live auction that raised $30,000 for the CAFB’s fresh produce appeal. Auctioneers were Paul and David Quinn of Quinn’s Auction Galleries, who appear on the PBS Antiques Roadshow and provided their services for the live auction without charge.
The serious consequences of diet-related illnesses have been compounded by the rise in food prices in our recessionary economy. With more than 600,000 Washington metro area residents, including 200,000 children, facing hunger on a daily basis, it is critically important that we do everything possible to increase the quantity of nutritious fruits and vegetables that we provide to our neighbors in need. Our goal is to raise $2 million a year to support our Fresh Produce Campaign.
Because hunger has increased in the region by 25 percent over the past several years, the food bank will be moving into a larger $37 million food distribution center on Puerto Rico Ave., NE, just a short walk from our current facility. Over time, the new 123,000 square foot facility will enable the food bank to double its annual food distribution of 30 million pounds, half of which is fresh produce.
I hope you were able to attend and enjoyed a wonderful evening for a good cause.