Non-profit Global Kids International celebrated their first event held in the nation’s capital.
By Margaret Howell
It was the first event in Washington for Manhattan-based Global Kids International, and the fundraiser went off in world-class style at the residence of the French Ambassador Dec. 6.
Francois Rivasseau, the French charge d’affaires who is serving as acting Ambassador since Pierre Vimont headed to Brussels, opened the splendid Kalorama residence for the gala event which featured a silent auction and delectable specialties prepared by award-winning chefs Daniel Boulud of Manhattan, Jaleo’s Jose Andres, Equinox’s Todd Gray, Restaurant Eve’s Cathal Armstrong and Citronelle’s Michel Richard.
Global Kids’ founder Carole Artigiani was on hand for the announcement of the group’s launch of their DC programs, as was the event’s organizer, Comtesse Elisabeth de Kergorlay. Artigiani initially started the non-profit in Manhattan to help inner city kids gain a global perspective from study abroad trips.
The ornate reception rooms were overflowing with starpower. Sen. Mark Warner and NBC 4 anchor-reporter Kimberly Suiters served as celebrity auctioneers on the residence steps, held in the grand foyer of the ambassador’s home.
Comtesse de Kergorlay spoke at length about what it meant to her that Global Kids is expanding to Washington, DC. As an acting board member, she said she was delighted to “have the opportunity to be here” and added that “having a 30 year old friendship, it’s a one-time opportunity to build on that,” speaking of the partnership with the embassy.
Washington philanthropists George and Trish Vradenburg and Steve Trachtenberg had the winning bid for a chef tasting culinary package.
Georgetown venture capitalist Rick Rickertsen took home a trip to France, staying in the over 1,000 year old Chateau de Canisy located in the Cotentin peninsula of Normandy.
Socialite Cindy Jones took home the Marvelous Mediterranean auction item of the night; a package offered by Diandra de Morrell Douglas to stay in a 17-room estate on the island of Mallorca for five days.
Jamaica’s Ambassador Audrey P. Marks mingled with other notable guests of the evening, while Kaloramo telecommunications executive R. David Wilson and Old Town venture capitalist Mark Kington sampled champagne from France’s southwest region, specially served for the occasion. Guests took home delectable French desserts and candies, accompanied with world class cupcakes from Crumbs Bake Shop.
With the expansion of Global Kids to the D.C. area, local middle and high school students will undoubtedly gain benefit from their presence, Artigiani said. The program boasts a 90 percent college attendance rate among participants, and offers international affairs and global education to kids who may have not known anything outside of their own neighborhoods.
“We have a curricula that offers skill building, critical thinking, digital literacy, and cross-cultural communication,” Artigiani said. “There are also leadership opportunities through youth-led peer education, social action campaigns, service learning projects, digital media production and internships which we feel will give DC kids a chance to succeed well beyond high school.”