2013 Fair Chance Butterfly Bash

Photo credit Susannah McPhelim.

With gala season in Washington now in full swing, last Friday night marked a “battle of the balls” as several organizations put on their headlining fall fundraising parties. Rather than split the evening between a few different events, I headed to Fair Chance’s Butterfly Bash–a favorite every year–for an entire evening of cocktails and philanthropy.

Fair Chance was founded in 2002 to ensure that children living in poverty have access to quality programs that will enable them to follow their dreams. In free, year-long partnerships, Fair Chance identifies promising community-based youth and family organizations in Wards 5-8 and works with them to increase their organizational capacity and improve the effectiveness and sustainability of their programs.

Butterfly Bash is a personal favorite because you really feel like the money you donate is going to a good cause, not some bureaucratic black hole where dollars are locked up in red tape and administrative costs. Instead, Fair Chance can point to endless success stories, many of which were told during a promotional video, which are both heartwarming and encouraging.

Fair Chance has made a measurable and real difference in the lives of children in Washington, D.C. in seven years, including helping our partner organizations raise more than $2 million in new funds. This year’s event broke new records in attendance and revenue raised. Butterfly Bash Co-Chairs Eleanor Maguire of McLaughlin Ryder Investments, Inc. and Dr. Ida Bergstrom of Farragut Medical and Travel Care led a host committee of 185 committed champions in raising $350,000 (more than $50,000 of which was raised in a ten-minute “flash cash” appeal at the event).

Jane Korhonen, Partner at Brown Advisory, was honored for her work supporting DC’s children through years of volunteerism. She stated: “Their (Fair Chance’s) impact is durable, their approach is repeatable, and they are harnessing the power of compounding… If Fair Chance is successful in bringing more nonprofits through their program and each of those organizations can scale or at a minimum become more effective, the number of children that they will reach can grow at a much faster pace. The need exceeds the capacity to serve. I am urging you to join me in supporting Fair Chance; an organization that I believe is relevant, certainly sustainable and part of the solution to ensuring that all children have a fair chance for success.”

For more information about Fair Chance, see their website.

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