- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 26, 2004

Clear skies, a cool breeze and a beautiful sunset over the monuments made the Children’s Law Center (CLC) benefit a not-to-be-missed affair once again this year.

Fall was officially only a few hours away, though you wouldn’t have guessed it from the tanned faces of guests gathering on the Kennedy Center’s Roof Terrace Tuesday night to raise funds for housing, education, legal programs and other services for low-income and at-risk children in the District. Thirty-something social scenesters packed the open-air terrace and adjacent restaurant to exchange vacation and back-to-school tales, and to hear about the center’s progress from event co-chairwomen Mariella Trager and Valerie Danto-Sharpe.

“We take care of a lot of children … in need and give them hope,” Mrs. Trager said as she greeted friends and supporters with other center stalwarts, including Princess Yasmine Pahlavi, Kara Kennedy Allen and Hadassah Lieberman.

The CLC, she noted proudly, hired six attorneys during the past year and more than doubled the number of children served.

Full-time professional staff and volunteers, including more than 100 pro bono attorneys, help the children “at their most vulnerable time,” said Princess Pahlavi, a full-time staff attorney and the wife of Prince Reza Pahlavi, the son and heir of the late Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi of Iran.

Abused and neglected children and their families and caregivers need a voice, noted CLC supervising attorney Vivek Sankaran as guitarists Michael Bard and Richard Marlow kept the beat uptempo with flamenco tunes. “We’ll do anything for our clients to get them any place they need to get.”

About 400 guests paid a minimum $100 for a cocktail buffet — featuring delicious-but-lethal orange-flavored “rumtinis” courtesy of the Santa Teresa Rum company of Venezuela — that raised nearly $200,000 for the cause.

— Shelley Widhalm

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