The nonprofit raised $150,000 to combat domestic violence.
Becky’s Fund, the domestic violence prevention nonprofit founded by attorney and kickboxing instructor Becky Lee, celebrated its tenth annual Walk This Way charity fashion show last weekend at Uline Arena. This year’s fundraiser included a star-studded runway show, silent auction and presentation by the Friendship Collegiate Academy’s football team. Originally funded by Lee’s “Survivor: Cook Islands” prize winnings in 2006, the annual runway show has grown into a one of Washington’s most popular charity events. This year more than $150,000 was raised for the organization’s Men of Code program, which educates coaches and young male athletes about a range of topics including leadership, healthy masculinity, dating/sexual violence, bystander intervention and consent. The money raised will bring the program to three new schools next year.
“It’s important for our local community to get behind causes like this, and that D.C. can rally behind Becky’s Fund and what they’re aiming to achieve,” said Washington Spirits’ Estelle Johnson, who walked in the event’s runway show. Marissa Coleman of the Washington Mystics echoed Johnson’s sentiment. “It [domestic violence] affects both women and men and is a national problem,” Coleman said. “To be a part of something like this, that sheds light on such a serious issue – it’s important. And it’s important to raise awareness for a cause as relevant as this, and what Becky’s Fund does.”
Journalist and activist Noor Tagouri emceed the festivities alongside WJLA’s Adrianna Hopkins. “It means so much, because my family and I have been helping survivors for the last ten years,” said Tagouri backstage. “I hold this so close to my heart, and to be a part of this D.C. event that brings everyone together for this cause is amazing.”
The show featured wares from womenswear boutique d/eleven, as well as sharp suiting by the menswear brand STITCHED. Female models were accessorized with jewelry by Mindy Lam, herself a sexual violence survivor. In addition to show-stopping models from Kingsley Model + Talent Management, Walk This Way featured prominent D.C. athletes and figures walking the runway to music by DJ two4our. Familiar faces included D.C. United’s Bill Hamid, Washington Redskins players Josh Norman, Kapri Bibbs, Simmie Cobb, Jr. and Vernon Davis, Redskins alum Clinton Portis, Washington Spirit’s Joanna Lohman and Estelle Johnson, Washington Mystic’s Tierra Ruffin-Pratt and Monique Currie and ESPN’s Basketball Color Analyst Christy Winters-Scott.
Becky’s Fund aims to create awareness, raise peer advocacy, promote activism and provide victim support through its commitment to prevent domestic violence. In an intensely powerful moment onstage, multiple attendees stood in solidarity on the runway, with voice-overs sharing their domestic violence experiences and how they bravely survived them.
Before the show, guests sipped specialty drinks provided by Peroni, Breakthru Beverage and Terlato Wines. A variety of gourmet food was sponsored by Ivy City Smokehouse, Profish, and Capital Meat Company. Additionally, several of the city’s top chefs, such as Scott Drewno from RAMMY’s Restaurant of the Year CHIKO, Jonathan Dearden of Radiator, Jake Addeo of Occidental Grill, Maziar Farivar of Peacock Cafe, and Philip Thompson of Harth and Rappahannock Oyster Company, came together to prepare delicacies for the event. Other event sponsors included Verizon, Audi, PMSI, JSON Art, Whitestar Investments and Douglas Development.
SPOTTED: NBC Sports Washington anchor Julie Donaldson, Washington Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman and wife Heather Downen-Zimmerman and radio host Sunni Puric.