ON THE QUIET
Dynamic Sheila Johnson, co-founder of BET, founder and CEO of Salamander Hospitality, and the first African American woman to be a partner in ownership of three professional sports teams, does everything on a grand scale, so it was a surprise to see her so actively involved with a small charity unknown to many Washingtonians. “Quietly effective” is the operative phrase for Calvary Women’s Service, which has been a turning point in women’s lives for the past 25 years. Among other programs it sponsors, the group moves a homeless woman into a permanent living space every five days.
At Calvary’s 8th annual Hope Awards Dinner, emceed by Alison Starling, Johnson and Michel Martin, the host of NPR’s “Tell Me More,” were honored for their energetic (and well-chosen) support of this outstanding effort.
The FedEx international Polo Classic in The Plains, Va., had everything going for it: splendid weather, a great buffet lunch, two redoubtable teams (U.S. and French), all taking place at the Chetwood Park Farm estate, whose owner, avid polo player Dr. Stephen Seager, is always a genial host. The Ambassador of France was the honorary patron, and Gina Adams, FedEx senior vice president for government affairs, was Polo Chairwoman, with Polo Committee Chairwoman Carole Randolph, and Tracey Ellis, who rounded up the gift bags. The afternoon benefited the National Rehabilitation Hospital, where Dr. Seager is a male fertility specialist.
EYES IN THE SKIES
At a reception hosted by French Ambassador Pierre Vimont to honor supporters of the anti-human trafficking group Innocents At Risk, the organization’s founder, Deborah Sigmund, announced “Blue Lightening,” an important new initiative. After realizing that airline personnel are in a unique position to spot suspicious activity by traffickers in control of their victims, Sigmund has expanded efforts to alert flight attendants and other crew members to possible warning signs. American Airlines supervising flight attendant Sandra Fiorini described the program in action and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, long a Congressional leader in fighting trafficking, praised the innovative concept, which has been approved by the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and Customs Border Control.