Our much-anticipated Literary Luncheon and Fundraiser was a grand event, with plenty of memorable moments to add to the magic.  We offered an array of silent auction items, live auction travel packages, two videos to showcase our major programs, and a discussion by two distinguished authors of their biographies of trailblazing women who remain mostly unknown despite their significant accomplishments and influence on 20th-century America.


We are celebrating our 20th anniversary of serving the community, so it was fitting that Cindy Burgess, our first chapter president and a dedicated member since 1999, welcomed our guests and provided background about two of our earliest programs: Weekend Food for Kids and Hugs Pillows.  Cindy described how the two programs began and how they have grown and evolved in 20 years.

Next, guests were treated to a video of our accomplishments this past year.  [https://youtu.be/Dap8ppoW0iU]  The recap was created by Bob Kovacs, a videographer who has generously donated his time and talent to our chapter by creating several videos that showcase our various programs.  In addition, Bob and his wife, Mary Ellen, will produce a video of this luncheon.  We are very grateful for their dedication to our chapter.

Then, the principal of an elementary school in Fairfax County that we serve described the important benefits that our programs have had for her students, including weekend food bags, new clothing and sneakers, Hugs comfort pillows, toiletries, and books.

Auctioneer Daniel Sanders, President of Four Sales, Ltd., did a fabulous job leading the bidding on our enticing array of travel packages to destinations such as Dublin, Tuscany, St. Croix, and the popular African Safaris.  He also led the Special Appeal for contributions to help us continue our philanthropic efforts.  We deeply appreciate the generosity of our guests who made donations.

The centerpiece of the event was the discussion by our two featured authors and the fireside chat that moderator, Peggy Fox, handled with her usual aplomb.  Judith Pearson returned to discuss her biography, A Crusade to Heal America, which tells the story of Mary Lasker, who used her intelligence and influence to expand NIH and take it from a small research facility to a much larger institution that embodied her goal of saving lives through medical research.  Christopher Gorham has also written a biography of an exceptional woman who had a profound influence on mid-century America.  His book, The Confidante, recounts Anna Rosenberg’s extraordinary accomplishments.  Despite being an immigrant of modest means, she became an advisor to President Roosevelt during WWII, was the first woman to serve as an Assistant Secretary of Defense, and was also instrumental in the design and passage of the GI Bill.

At the conclusion of the program, some guests lingered to purchase the books and have them signed by the authors and the winners of the Live and Silent Auction items collected their treasures.  Attendees departed feeling delighted, excited, energized, and inspired.