Last night, 85 people gathered at Clyde’s Gallery Place location to support a cause new to the DC scene.
For $75, attendees received two drink tickets and appetizers, and they got to see an early screening of Trainwreck, the new Amy Schumer comedy that comes out Thursday. The event was hosted by Variety—the Children’s Charity and raised money with raffles for items such as a collection of DVDs, movie posters, and a bar set. The DC chapter of the charity was formed earlier this year and focuses on helping children with mobility challenges.
“The goal is to provide mobility bikes for kids,” says co-chair Hillary Eschenburg, who began volunteering for the charity in January. “We want to reach other groups in DC and get the word out about Variety.”
The defining trait, co-chair Phil Contrino says, is that the charity is run mostly by the entertainment industry. In this way, they’re able to bring cinema into their events, defying the typical happy hour scene in DC. “We’re happy to be the movie charity instead of happy hour charity, which we’ve got too,” Contrino says.
The National Capital Region chapter works with local doctors and hospitals to identify children in need. Their first event, held in May, helped buy a $2,000 bike for a 9-year-old boy in District Heights, Maryland.
“It’s an escape from everyday DC. I don’t feel bad about where my money’s going,” attendee Tim Young says. “It’s nice that they’re looking out for a group that can’t advocate for themselves,” Shanika Whitehurst says. “If you look at what they’re doing, it completely makes sense.”
Servers slipped between guests with plates of spring rolls and sliders while the room filled. Guests surveyed the raffles, and mingled around tables and wine.
“It’s a good concept that no one’s done before,” says Ashley Osterkamp, pointing out that Clyde’s is just an escalator ride away from the theater where the screening would be held. “I really want to become part of this,” says friend Terah Yarcoch.
“We want to mainly raise awareness and build a network for people who might attend future events like this,” Contrino says.
After a hysterical two hours of Amy Schumer and Bill Hader, Contrino dubbed the event a success. “It helps that the movie was great,” he says.