- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 18, 2003

Signing up Princess Yasmine Pahlavi, Kara Kennedy Allen and Mariella Trager on a benefit committee would be a major coup for any charitable organization in town. And when the glamour trio’s cause turns out to be legal, health and social services assistance for the District’s at-risk youngsters, who is going to say no? The sky’s the limit.

With the drawing power of Washington Ballet Artistic Director Septime Webre and Rincones & Company Dance Theater founder Juan-Carlos Rincones added to the mix, it was hardly surprising that 400 guests paid a (strictly minimum) $100 apiece to see and be seen at Tuesday’s chic soiree for the Children’s Law Center in the Kennedy Center’s recently renovated Roof Terrace Restaurant.

“We’ve gone from raising $30,000 to $150,000 at this event in only two years,” Mrs. Trager, the committee chairwoman, said as she greeted friends and supporters near the entrance of the stunning art deco-style room that reminded some of the grand dining saloon of a 1930s ocean liner.

There was plenty of sun, fresh air (and no hurricane talk to speak of) outdoors on the open deck where Hadassah Lieberman, Virginia Williams, Tom Pheasant, Rhoda Glickman, Holidae Hayes, Chris Downey, Michael Trager, Kay Kendall, Deborah Gore Dean, Richard Pawlik and other guests enjoyed cocktails and a buffet dinner before dancers from both companies (including Mr. Rincones) performed.

More subdued moments came earlier, when Children’s Law Center Executive Director Judith Sandalow recounted the stories of “trauma and transformation” that characterize the center’s rescue of abused, neglected and abandoned children.

“Almost every day we can tell you something we’ve done to turn around the life of a child,” she said.

Princess Pahlavi, one of the center’s staff attorneys, moved the crowd with the story of Tony, a severely disabled boy whose adoption by a grandmother was arranged after his mother had left him for dead.

His later recovery, she said, “shows what the power of love and family can do.”

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