When Trust for the National Mall Board Chairman and founder of the cause John “Chip” Akridge, who is also the founder and head of commercial real estate firm Akridge Companies, came to the podium during the Saturday night Ball on the Mall Dinner, he of course, welcomed everyone, thanked the L’Enfant Society Board, Steering Committee, event sponsors, and all who were there, but when he shared with us that 1,200 people came to the Trust Luncheon a few days earlier and that 1,200 people were about to be a part of the evening’s festivities that evening, an appreciative ripple went through the elegantly dressed crowd.
That number was and is phenomenal.Â I’ve been proud to be an engaged member of the L’Enfant Society since its inception, first on the Host Committee and then Steering Committee and then as a Board member and Media/PR co-Chair with Lindley Thornburg of Heather Freeman.Â To remember what the event was like the first year and has become over the course of four years, is flooring.Â The size of the event has grown so much that the tents have expanded in number and size tremendously.Â And we thought “could it be done?” at one point.Â This speaks to the interest even our own local young professional have in restoring our National Mall and ensuring that it continues to be America’s Front Yard.
Ball on the Mall has earned its reputation as being a beautiful special night on the National Mall under grand gracious tents and on eco-friendly sturdy floors.Â The younger set gets dressed to the nines in formal attire (there were fewer fun cocktail dresses this year and more elegant gala gowns and even few white dinner jackets here and there) and spends hours sipping on special cocktails in long stemmed glassware, dining on Design Cuisine in a lovely setting then moving on to the dancing (and more eating and drinking) portion. The Silent Auction is one of the better ones for this set. I even bid on a few items, losing out on the MONIKA CHIANG clutch, but winning a cool necklace.Â The VIP tickets grant access to the cocktail reception then dinner and the party for $350 with General Admission being $175, all though, I caught some VIPs eagerly digging into the extensive buffets in the main room as it was more “fun” food.Â I get it.Â I would be too if I were guy in expandable tux pants.
DJ Heather told me she was playing tunes fit for a “big wedding” after she grabbed me to tell me my gown was perfect for her DJ booth … yes, in my DVF sequined silver dress, I was any disco ball’s human twin. I coupled it with the Jesse Walker (local designer found at Upstairs on 7th) matching necklace which I carefully chose for the ‘patriotic’ theme.
While Honorary Co-Chair Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush could not be there in person, they did send a lovely letter that Event Co-Chair Marissa Mitrovitch of Verizon Wireless read (her co-Chair was Christian Gullott of Bridgestone) during the dinner.Â Truly, the evening from start to finish, ok, I admit, we did leave a bit early, was perfection, including the VIP gift bag filled with good goodies.
See you next year at the 5th Annual Ball on the Mall and this season, take some time to visit the America’s Front Yard, the National Mall.
Pamela Lynne Sorensen is the founder of Pamela’s Punch, a leading source of information for the “who, what, when, and where” of Washington, DC’s elite social, professional, and philanthropic scene, which she founded in November of 2006. In 2012 she launched Pacific Punch, based in Los Angeles. Pamela comes from an extensive background in sales and business development from a variety of industries, has been involved with charities and fundraising for a number of years and holds several Board and leadership positions. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia and when she’s not out on the town, she’s reading or writing while sipping fine wine, or traveling the country and the world ISO adventures, beauty, fun, food, style, libations, music, and the good life. Follow her on Twitter at @pamelaspunch.