Team of Experts Having a Ball - Capital Area Food Bank
Skip to main content

Team of Experts Having a Ball

By Jana Robinson February 15, 2013

“My favorite moment had to have been last year’s [Blue Jeans Ball], when we walked in, and I just said to myself, ‘My gosh, this is getting bigger and better every year!’,” remembers Barry Scher.
“To think that we started off in the cafeteria of Catholic University! Now attendance has increased tenfold. Who would have thought 10 years ago we could fill one of the largest ballrooms in the city?”
Scher has been on the board of the Capital Area Food Bank since it opened its doors almost 33 years ago, and his labor of love has extended to being part of the organizing committee for the food bank’s biggest fundraiser of the year, the Blue Jeans Ball.
The committee is made up of about a dozen professionals – lawyers, communications experts, architects and a wide variety of others – who donate their time, expertise and contacts to help the CAFB widen its circle in the community by hold a fun, inclusive tasting event.
“If you’re into food, it’s a great event. This is a restaurant town. I mean, this isn’t Provost, Utah — it’s D.C.! We love food here,” jokes Scher.
The head of Michael Dunn Associates Architects sat as chairman of the Blue Jeans Ball committee for three years, and cites working with the diverse crowd in the food bank community as what gives him most satisfaction.
“Such a variety of people, and no matter their creed, race or sexual orientation, we all have one objective. Working to fight poverty is a wonderfully educational moment, no matter how you look at it,” Dunn beams.
Dunn has been on the organizing committee for six years, sharing his insights, wisdom and expertise.
“I was inspired by Lynn Brantley. She is the closest thing to a saint I have ever seen.”
For over 32 years, Brantley was the visionary leader of the Capital Area Food Bank. Her warmth and devotion was palpable to anyone who worked with her. She retired as President and CEO in December 2012.
The committee gets together every few weeks in the months leading up to the March 24 event. PR consultant Adam Shapiro is inspired by the outpouring of generosity of the supporters, and the sad reality that there is still a strong need to help the hungry in the DC area.
“When I go in to a restaurant that supports the Blue Jeans Ball — any time of year — I thank them for helping the less fortunate,” says Shapiro. “With the staff they provide, and the food, under relatively hectic off-site conditions, they really deserve a huge thank you.”
He knows the funds raised at the tasting event are well managed by the Capital Area Food Bank, but finds it heartbreaking to know that in one of the richest countries in the world, so many are still hungry.
“I am bothered by the economic disparity in our community, and the truth is, our community has one of the widest disparities in any area of the country,” Shapiro says.
Shapiro has been volunteering his time on the fundraising committee since 2005.
“It’s a fun group of people. Ideas are appreciated just as much as the time or monetary donations when we sit around the table and come up with ideas on how to make the event bigger and better,” he says.