- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 19, 2007

If the parade of chauffeured sedans turning into the driveway of Food & Friends in far Northeast Washington was a bit incongruous on Sunday afternoon, so was the party theme: a Spring Fling on the coldest, windiest, nastiest April day in years.

“At least it’s not snowing,” hostess Jane Cafritz said, placing ropes of carnival beads around friends’ heads as sounds from the 12-piece D.C. soul band Odyssey warmed up the festively decorated warehouse site.

Many guests relied on drivers, maps or automotive GPS systems to find their way after being lured to the Food & Friends site, where seven days a week, 365 days a year, 38 staffers and 4,500 volunteers prepare and then deliver meals to 1,200 HIV/AIDS victims and others with life-threatening illnesses.

Not coincidentally, the charity’s headquarters is adjacent to Riggs Plaza, a mixed-use project being developed by co-host Calvin Cafritz that will include office space for nonprofits as well as commercial and residential space.

As his wife pointed out earlier, Mr. Cafritz could hardly get lost. “I worked as a timekeeper here as a boy,” he told the chuckling crowd.

After cocktails and a buffet supper, guests trooped onto the dance floor for that promised fling, among them Ann and Bill Nitze, Diana Negroponte, Lolo Sarnoff, Bill Haseltine, Jan and Taz Shepard, Bob Barnett and Rita Braver, Ellie Merrill, Bitsey Folger and Sidney Werkman, Kay Kendall, Gail and Togo West and Debbie Dingell.

There was much to celebrate when Food & Friends Director Craig M. Shniderman announced that the 19-year-old organization would mark a major milestone this week when it served its 10 millionth meal.

“It’s absolutely amazing that they are able to tailor each one to the dietary needs of the individual,” said Aniko Gaal Schott, who said she planned to make a donation.

Lawyer Lloyd N. Hand, new counsel to King & Spalding LLP, made sure to compliment the hosts on their success in getting out the Food & Friends message to potential contributors. “I’m impressed,” he said. “Let’s hope people will come back to help serve as well.”

Kevin Chaffee

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