Swaggin' Out One Last Time

Swaggin' Out One Last Time

Eyes front and center, class, looks like we’ve got one more steaming heap of story to smack down on your plate. Coming to you from the middle of absolute nowhere Indiana, I find myself sitting in front of this website one more time to give you the last little tidbits of the awesomeness that have littered my DC experience like a poorly potty-trained puppy. As I had said in my previous posting: I come bearing gifts of the Benefit Luncheon and Ball kind. That’s right; I survived both our 2011 Benefit Luncheon and the Ball on the Mall: two of the biggest events that the Trust holds every year. Serving as major outlets to not only spread the word about the Trust’s mission, but as major fundraisers for our operational costs for both the organization and our projects, the Benefit Luncheon and the Ball on the Mall are easily two of the most extravagant events that I have been fortunate enough to attend in my meek and pathetic little life. I’m sure you’re all just aching to hear all the exploits and misadventures of the experience, so I’ll just dive right into it.
 
     The 4th Annual Benefit Luncheon

     Exhibit A) The 2011 Benefit Luncheon this past Thursday afternoon. A whole new breed of event monster. To say that the Benefit Luncheon was a massive undertaking would be an equally as massive understatement. From the time I walked in the door at the end of January  up until my last week in the Reagan Building I spent researching, preparing, listing among a variety of other tasks in anticipation of the Benefit Luncheon. But, despite the insane amounts of tedious preparation, list checking, and follow-up, the Benefit Luncheon was a massive success. The entire last week I was told by the staff to be prepared for things to go wrong, and naturally, for people to be on edge and even upset (the staff that is). But, surprisingly, everything ran pretty smoothly with a minimal amount of drama to boot. The guest list was practically a view into the “who’s who” of the Washington DC Metro area and beyond. Seeing that much money sitting in one room together was, in and of itself, staggering. But, if the VIPs weren’t enough to get you a little bit excited, then surely the layout of the massive tent-castle they had situated just behind the American History Museum and in the shadow of the Washington Monument would. Elegant banners draped the ceilings, fancy china circled each of the tables, and a general feel of opulence emanated from the very air.

Main Room

Wash Monument
 
     But, once everything started… that’s when the magic happened. The precision of the wait staff; The organization of each of the key VIPs so that each table would have someone of note helming the conversation; the general vibe flowing through the tent, it all couldn’t help but make you feel like you were part of something special. Maybe that was because everyone was in fancy day-suits or spring dresses, maybe not. Either way, I couldn’t help but be amazed at the sights and sounds that bewildered my eyes and ears. It truly was a massive success. But, just as it had started… it was over. It seemed like the entire time I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I was the runner for the day, meaning my job was to make sure that I did anything that anyone needed done immediately in the absence of someone else. While the nature of such a role is conducive to a stress level beyond the threshold of normal human tolerance, I think I handled it well. I just kept in mind that things were naturally going to be crazy with nearly 1,000 people all sitting in one tent for an extravagant luncheon. Yes, you heard me correctly: there were roughly 960-some-odd people at the Benefit Luncheon. But, I will reiterate, it went along quite smoothly. For all the prep the staff did in getting us interns to understand that problems would arise, there sure seemed to be a lack of problems. Not to say that I’m complaining. In fact, that made my life all the easier. Not to mention the day was absolutely gorgeous outside. Considering last year’s Luncheon was supposedly ridiculously hot outside, the cool and breezy 65 degrees that we had seemed like an omen from the heavens mandating that the day be absolutely perfect. The Trust really outdid themselves with the Luncheon. It truly was a sight to behold.

B-DS Table

Packed

    

     The 2011 Ball On The Mall

     Exhibit B) The Ball on the Mall this past Saturday evening. I wish I could adequately describe how absolutely amazing the Ball was. Maybe it was because the Ball was kinda’ my “last hoorah” at the Trust that made it more memorable. Maybe it was the super-swanky atmosphere of it all. Either way though, the Ball on the Mall was, dare I say, an even greater success than the Luncheon?

BOTM
 
     The Ball on the Mall is a formal, black tie dinner and gala for the “up-and-coming” young professionals in the DC Metro area (although it isn’t only limited to this crowd). One major difference, however, besides the added fanciness in dress, is the overall less rigid formality of it all. This is not to say it wasn’t fancy, but by simply having a younger crowd in attendance meant that the overall vibe that the event gave off was a bit more inviting to my interests and a little easier to enjoy. Not only that, but I was allowed a little more freedom to mingle around at this event. Towards the end of the night, providing there was nothing pressing for me to do, I was allowed to walk around and soak the entire event up rather than standing by a sign, rigidly waving and blindly greeting anyone who happened to cross my path. This easily heightened my overall enjoyment of the event.

Dancing
 
     Walking around, I was able to scope out the crowd and get a feel for who I knew (through the research I did) all the while taking in the event. Plus, it felt good to mingle around in a tuxedo with the rest of the fancy DC socialites. It kinda’ made me feel like James Bond meandering around a swanky party (minus the guns and spy-like intrigue though). Furthermore, the entire staff seemed to be truly having a great time in all corners of the party. The Ball, as they told me, is much more of a celebration of getting all the awe-inspiring amounts of prep work for both events finished. Well, they sure were right. I felt like the Ball was the culmination of my entire internship experience, and quite possibly, the best way that I could have left the Trust.

Packed 2
 
     Then to top it all off, after the event was finished and we had all cleaned up, we got the immense pleasure of attending the swankiest VIP after-party that I have ever had the chance of attending. Pulling up in a friend’s car, I stepped outside the W hotel in downtown Washington DC to a massive line of patrons all scrambling to get in for what I was told was going to be one kickass party. But, rather than waiting in the ginormous line outside, and being Trust staff members, the two elegantly dressed ladies and I simply waltzed up to the front of the line and busted straight up into that place. But, that wasn’t the end of it. Once inside, another gargantuan line awaited those attempting to get to the upstairs balcony where the true “VIP party” was taking place. Nothing we couldn’t handle… we were on cloud 9. We simply walked up the elevator operator, told him we were Trust staff, and immediately got a private elevator called for us to get to the roof lounge. 
After Party

 
     Once we made it up top, I could hardly believe my eyes. Lined across a series of lounges and bars was every major VIP that I had done research on over the last semester… and then some. The amount of money sitting in that room was astronomical. But, I was simply “one of the bunch” at that point in time. It was amazing. But, the most amazing part came not from being in a fancy VIP party… in a tuxedo, swaggin’ around like James Bond, but from the view that we had out on the upper deck. There, not a block or so away was the White House. I could literally see into the second story of the White House from where we were positioned on the balcony. I could have possibly thrown a baseball onto the White House lawn from where we were situated. The moment was to pristine to be properly conveyed in typed words. Rather than drabble on about how I felt at the moment, I’ll just say that I walked up to the bartender, got myself some Maker’s Mark on the rocks, and simply sat on some posh couch with some of my coworkers and stared out over what I had, at that time deemed, as my dominion. I felt like damned royalty, if even for only an hour or two… and it was amazing. My entire experience with the Trust ended with this night, and it really did go out with bang rather than a fizzle. It surely won’t be a time that I will forget anytime soon. 
 

Thank You Y'all, You've Been Far Too Kind Thanks Bro

     With all this said, I need to extend out a huge thank you to all the staff members of the Trust for everything they’ve done for me over the course of the semester (for those of you who are reading this at least haha).  You guys really treated me like one of your own, and for that I will be forever grateful. You’ve all helped me to grow so much professionally and as an individual that I feel like a totally different person from what I was before I came to DC. I’ll never forget you guys, and I hope my memory doesn’t fade, at least, too quickly.
 
     For all of you who have been faithful readers through my butchering of the English language: congratulations… it’s all over. You can now reclaim your brains and go on to read some crappy Twilight book instead of my mindless garbage. But honestly, it was those of you who read every week that kept me going throughout the semester. I hope all of you find some time in your lives where you can do much of the similar to what I did here… it truly is liberating and… dare I say… fun?
 
     Keep it real y’all, and remember: “don’t sweat the petty… pet the sweaty.”

     The Soundtrack To My Last Night

   

 

     ...nuff said, right?

 

Image Source:

Thanks Bro: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://images2.memegenerator.net/ImageMacro/6941363/THANKS-Bro.jpg%3FimageSize%3DMedium%26generatorName%3DJoseph-Ducreux&imgrefurl=http://www.memegenerator.net/Snob/ImageMacro/6941248/Splendid&usg=__mXShTScGy0XowpCuc7_mAWlG848=&h=360&w=274&sz=81&hl=en&start=32&zoom=1&tbnid=E7Idj5WXzUpX4M:&tbnh=166&tbnw=136&ei=YLPJTbmtJcW_gQe6l93mBQ&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dthanks%2Bbro%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26biw%3D1659%26bih%3D865%26tbm%3Disch&um=1&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=135&page=2&ndsp=33&ved=1t:429,r:21,s:32&tx=39&ty=130

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