Sports memorabilia signed by Washington Nationals and Capitals Players Auctioned
With the opportunity to win valuable sports memorabilia donated by professional franchises like the Washington Nationals and Washington Capitals, approximately 100 young professionals from the D.C. area attended a fundraising happy hour July 1 to benefit the victims of the recent Moore, Okla., tornado. The happy hour was sponsored by B’nai B’rith International and Gather the Jews, a project of George Washington University Hillel committed to facilitating Jewish life for local young professionals.
Proceeds from the event went to the B’nai B’rith Flood, Tornado and Hurricane Disaster Relief Fund, which was opened May 21 after a strong tornado devastated the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore. B’nai B’rith International has been committed to disaster relief since 1865 and continues to play a major role in providing short- and long-term relief to victims of disaster across America and throughout the world.
In addition to the individual attendance fees, proceeds for the happy hour also came from the sale of raffle tickets and the auctioning of an autographed baseball bat signed by Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper. Amanda Ladden-Stirling attended the fundraiser to support the Oklahoma campaign. She’s a big Nationals fan and won the silent auction for the autographed bat. “I’m going to give the bat to my father, and we’ll proudly put it on display,” said Ladden-Stirling.
The happy hour was the first event co-hosted by B’nai B’rith and Gather the Jews. Doug Breitenbach, chair of the Washington, D.C. B’nai B’rith Young Professional Network (BBYPN), hosted the event at the Iron Horse Tap Room in the Chinatown district of D.C. Rachel Giattino, director of GTJ, also helped organize the happy hour. “GTJ was proud to work with B’nai B’rith to support the families recovering from the Oklahoma tornadoes on this event. We host regular happy hours in D.C., which bring together 300 to400 young pros. These volunteers and GW Hillel were glad we could lend our support to their fundraising efforts. Partnership is what makes our community strong. There is a lot of work to be done in Oklahoma, and every gesture of tikkun olam helps,” said Giattino.
Raffle items also included autographed baseballs signed by the Nationals’ Jason Werth and Ryan Zimmerman, an autographed hockey stick signed by the Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin and Baltimore Orioles baseball tickets. Other items were donated by Georgetown University, Sixth & I Historic Synagogue and Mr. Yogato, a D.C. frozen yogurt shop.
The autographed hockey stick was won by Laura Bentz. She managed to take home the stick, winning it via an impromptu rock, paper, scissors duel after the owner of the first ticket pulled from the raffle had left early and was unable to claim the prize.
In addition to the happy hour, the Washington, D.C. BBYPN has regular embassy events, a monthly trivia night co-hosted with Sixth & I, as well as social and community service programs. Those interested in attending or getting involved with the BBYPN should email Renee Howard Rodriguez, B’nai B’rith young leadership director, at email@example.com.
To donate to the Oklahoma City Disaster Relief Fund, visit http://bit.ly/17RN9qk.
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