Creative Coalition’s Right to Bear Arts Gala: The Arts Cultivate Young Minds


April 27, 2018 I had an exclusive invite to cover the 2018 Creative Coalition’s Right to Bear Arts gala held at the Mayflower hotel in Washington D.C. This was during the White House correspondent party season where all the top journalists and communication aids are seen schmoozing with a fine wine and gourmand chicken kebab.

What I particularly love about this gala is the mission behind it. The Creative Coalition works tirelessly to work with national leaders on Capitol Hill on protecting federal funding for the arts across small and undervalued communities across the United States. This issue transcends party lines and brings value back to our communities in that the arts cultivates creative thinking skills in children, independent thinking, modes of expression and higher self esteem.  Peer pressure and cyber bullying is at an all time high in schools, and the arts can instill confidence, and solidify individuality among-st kids from various backgrounds. The arts empower artists, creatives, and free thinkers to do what they love.

 In recent news: funding was briefly threatened around May/ June of this year but the Creative Coalition is pleased to announce that the House of Representatives as of July 2018 stood behind the Right to Bear Arts (#RightToBearArts) in properly funding the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA). Now, it’s up to the Senate to fully pass this bill. The house passed the Fiscal year 2019 Interior Appropriations Bill and approved $155 million for the NEA. House members voted down the amendment by a vote of 114-297.

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For this gala, I wore a White House Black Market black dress and a Kay Unger intricately designed velvet blazer. FYI, I don’t think I would ever sell this Kay Unger blazer because Victoria Justice (From Nickelodeon’s “Victorious”) and Tim Daly (President of the Creative Coalition) liked it a lot!

I drove straight from work and fought monstrous traffic to get to this event on the dot. Street parking was scarce so I shelled massive bucks on garage parking a block away from the hotel. I was nervous about this event in particular because my favorite actress as a young teen was going to be featured at this red carpet event.

I will admit, I was obsessed with the WB’s Roswell in the early 90’s and Liz Parker played by Shiri Appleby is my favorite.  The first time I met Appleby was at the  Roswell 15 year anniversary showcased by the ATX Television Festival in Austin Texas. Not only was I right in front of Snooki when she gushed her love of Roswell at the panel but when I first saw Shiri Appleby outside the panel, I dont know why but I cried so much. Because of her character, I also kept a diary and that ended up helping me become a more creative writer.  She was so sweet and gave me a big hug!

So yeah, it’s a big deal seeing Appleby again and I hoped not to cry again as an older adult.

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Took some star-studded selfies with Steve Howey, Victoria Justice, Shiri Appleby and Sara Rue.

So when I saw Appleby again as an older adult, I asked her if she remembered a young woman who cried when she first saw her at the 15 year Roswell anniversary and her eyes teared up and she not only gave me a huge hug, but took me aside and ensured I have a one on one interview with her for Sharing the Details. I had to admit, getting VIP treatment from one of my favorite actresses was a personal highlight for me.

I not only had an exclusive interview with Shiri Appleby (UnReal, Roswell, Life Unexpected) but I also had exclusive interviews with Victoria Justice (Victorious), Tim Daly (Madam Secretary), Sara Rue (Popular, A Series of Unfortunate Events), Steve Howey (Reba, Shameless),  and Nicholas Gonzalez (The Good Doctor).

Exclusive Interview with Shiri Appleby (UnReal)

Before my interview with Shiri, she was joking around with popular character actor, Richard Kind (he’s that guy you see in every 90’s movie). 

SD: Tell us more about your production company?

SA: We sold our first show and that will be announced soon. We’re very excited and it’s just been such an empowering experience. I have been going on at for almost two years. I am starting to figure out how that works. And I feel that I have the opportunity to build a company and with giving other women opportunities. I have been sitting at meetings with other women and they are doing the talking and selling themselves. And they are getting the opportunity. It makes me feel like it’s the greatest thing in the entire world.  Like, we (women) need to keep going forward.

SD: So how do you empower women to get into leadership roles? 

SA: It’s all about having the confidence. I work on it every day too.  It’s all about having the confidence to speak up.

SD: What were the challenges as an actress and director for the recent season of Unreal?

SA: The hardest part was that we shot in Vancouver and my family was in Los Angelas.

SD: What are your thoughts on the Roswell Reboot?

SA: I am like: Ahhhhhh! I am so excited! I want to Reboot ours.

SD: And I have heard you are working on a Roswell reunion?

SA: I am working on it.. I am working on it. We’ll see..


Exclusive Interview with Sara Rue (Series of Unfortunate Events)

SD: Would you ever do Idiocracy 2?

SR: In a heartbeat but I actually think we are living it… so I probably don’t need to do it.. But if they (creators of Idiocracy) ask me to do it than I will.

SD: Can you tell me more about your new series A Series of Unfortunate Events?

SR:  The show is based on the Lemony Snickets book series. I feel so lucky to be a part of this production. One thing that is so brilliant about it is so beloved by kids 5 years old to 70 years old. The range of fans that come up to say they binge watched the series. Literally, a 4 and a half year old at my daughter’s daycare to someone just about to become a grandfather is really exciting to me. I also love to play the character I play. She’s a librarian who turns into a real bad ass. I was real proud to play her.

SD: What are your hopes in congress passing funding for NEA (National Endowment of the Arts)? 

SR: Our hopes is for them to increase the funding. There are so many kids that feel that they don’t belong.  This is why I am here. So many kids are bullied and feel they don’t belong and they cant find their community until they step foot into a theater, or in an art class. These kids need a teacher who can really inspire them with a music class. The arts can really make a person blossom into who they are going to be.


Exclusive Interview with Nicholas Gonzalez (The Good Doctor)

SD: So what your thoughts on Congress passing more funding for the arts?

NG:  Before coming in, I thought this was going to be more difficult. That maybe our argument was going to fall on deaf ears but we have a lot of support with the Republican legislatures who said this kinda the way it goes each year. That each year they fight to keep funding and slowly get it all back in together. It ultimately it was something I felt comfortable walking away from.

SD: How do the arts strengthen the economy and build the community?

NG:  In just the numbers you hear banded together. Every dollar that is put towards the arts you get seven dollars back into the local economy. When you invest in your community, you are investing in their welfare. The arts are responsible for a lot of that.


Exclusive Interview with Tim Daly (Madam Secretary)

(TD:Your jacket is really nice. What is it? SD: It’s velvet..)

SD: How do the arts strengthen the economy and communities at large?

TD:  It’s a fact that the arts strengthen the economy and communities.  There has been data collected for decades about this. That the economic impact of the arts can be assessed that for every dollar invested by the NEA that seven dollars goes back to the economy. It’s a winning investment. I used to think that was enough of an argument to stop there. I would take those odds to Vegas just like that. However not everyone believes in that and I am not sure why. Could it be a fear in the arts that it’s hard to quantify in other ways? Certainly, the arts are the second largest export from the United States. The arts are a huge strength to our economy.

I am here with the Creative Coalition and I am the president of this organization and we’re a bunch of people who are successful actors. A lot of us are known in television and in film and it’s important to me that people understand that I am here to advocate for artists and I am not here advocating for Hollywood or for Broadway.  We have no stake in this game and we have nothing to gain. What we are advocating for is the NEA which gives grants to every congressional district in the United States of America. These small towns who would other wise have no access to arts are who we are fighting for. Not for places like LA, NY or Miami or Chicago. Those cities are fine. Little towns, especially children, need to be exposed to the arts.


Exclusive Interview with Steve Howey (Shameless)

SD: Tell us about your new show?

SH: This new show is based on a movie I did called Game Over Man. The show is doing well, it was fun. I am also on a show called Shameless that’s on Showtime and we go back in a few weeks for our ninth season.

SD: In your opinion, how do the arts strengthen the economy and build communities? 

SH: As you know, for every dollar you donate to the arts the community gives back seven dollars. There’s also a ridiculous amount, like seven billion dollars comes out of the artistic community back into the states. That’s why, it’s a great investment.  And the budget that we are going for is only a $150 billion dollars and we’re talking about hundreds of billions of dollars in return. But the more macro answer to it all is that the arts are so important because we are talking about the development of the human spirit.


Exclusive Interview with Victoria Justice (Victorious)

SD:  Tell us more about your “Girl Up” Non-profit?

VJ:  Girl Up is an amazing organization. This organization empowers girls across the globe and helps provides girls with clean drinking water, school supplies, education and to provide a safe space and community for these girls who wouldn’t have that otherwise. You know that I am all about girl power and it’s something that’s super important to me. I actually wrote a song for them a couple years ago and I went on tour and played the song during the show. We had little girl booths so people can donate and get involved with the organization. The song kinda became the Girl Up theme song. So yeah, it’s a great cause.

SD: Do you keep in touch with the cast of Victorious?

VJ: Yup, we all do keep in touch, occasionally.  Not as much as I like to. I guess everyone is in different places and living their own lives. Being an adult. It’s just a different time now for each of us.  We definitely do try to support each other whenever we can which is really cool. Yeah, we do still keep in touch.


Feel free to donate to the Creative Coalition right here. 

About Creative Coalition

The Creative Coalition was formed for the charitable and educational purposes of bringing together artists and entertainers to learn about pressing issues so they can better inform and influence the community and nation. The Creative Coalition:Sponsors forums for the discussion of central issues such as education policy, violence in America, the role of the media, campaign finance reform and other topics of broad concern. These events ensure a balanced approach that always includes concerned and informed members of the creative professions.Tackles issues of direct importance to the arts and entertainment community, including First Amendment rights, public funding for the arts, and arts education in the public schools.










OH SNAP–I was a Guest Interior Tester for a 2018 Porsche 911 S Cabriolet episode on Motorweek


Motorweek is a show that is one of the first automotive television series that presents car reviews, features, and comparisons nationwide through PBS, Discovery Network, and Velocity and Internationally on the American Forces Network.

I had the exclusive privilege to be a guest interior tester for a 2018 Porsche 911 S Cabriolet on episode 45 of season 37 of Motorweek. This episode premiered nationally and internationally  on July 14, 2018 at 5:00 p.m Eastern time.  Click  to watch the episode for free here.

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Behind the scenes moments.

For this guest starring role, I had to dress the part as a young woman who would actually own this car. The day before, I got my nails done and bought a Vince Camuto Spring dress and Italian made necklace and bracelet from Nordstroms. I didn’t have time to get my hair done so I crossed fingers that the Moroccan argan cream in my hair gave off a socialite vibe.

motorweek oh snap
Here’s the moment when I said “Oh Snap” when the hood went down. I was too amazed and blown by how awesome this porsche 911 was.

Although my segment was only 50 seconds long, my shoot took between 1-2 hours.  The Motorweek team wanted to make sure the weather had a bit of a downcast to highlight this beautiful vehicle.

Much of what I did was manuevering the interior interface, playing around with the wheel, and adjusting the seat to my liking (I am as short as a leprechaun and I was able to adjust the seat well).

motorweek 7 What’s really interesting about the Porsche 911 is that this really is a great Summer vehicle to take the top off.  The look is sleek and has a classic porsche look plus the dynamic boost function allows the driver to ease at the throttle.

The longer I sat in the car, the more this felt like this could really be my car. I had a wonderful time working with the Motorweek production team and jamming out  acapella to 80’s rock jams. That was a definite magical moment in my life.

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Here I am adjusting the seat to my leprechaun legs.

If you want to get in touch with nature, you can easily drive down back roads and take the scenic route due to the 2018 cabriolet body style of the car. I legit couldn’t stop grinning when I was in the car.  I really enjoyed the leather seats and the first class feeling of the interior. I love this car so much!

The launch control of the car is so great, you can leap of any line. The 2018 Porsche 911 costs around $204, 050, has 580 horsepower, and in just 2.9 seconds you can go 60 MPH.

What made this guest appearance even more memorable was that I get to use the same catchphrase Biz Markie used in the song “Just a Friend”. I only had one line, and that line was, “Oh Snap!”

I thought it was so awesome my catchphrase was promoted on Motorweek’s Instagram and Twitter account.

I hope I made Biz Markie proud…

An Evening for the Stars with Starfish Foundation


On April 21, 2018, contributing writer Raquel Davis and her two daughters, social media correspondent, Destinee’ Merritt and photographer Charity Merritt, attended  An Evening for the Stars: Starfish Benefit Dinner held at the Red Lion Hotel in Timonium, MD.

Few days before the Starfish Benefit dinner, my daughters, Destinee’ and Charity, and I joined Sharing the Details to cover an event located around my neighborhood in Baltimore County, Maryland. This particular event was hosted by The Starfish Foundation, a safe hub that provides education and leadership development to Ecuadorian high school students who are currently living in extreme poverty.

Being an educator of fifteen years myself, and a mother to a high school graduate (Destinee) and a high school senior student (Charity), I understand the importance of having a good education. And how life changing it could be without it.

The Starfish Foundation was founded in November 9, 2011. Their mission is to “be a premier means for at-risk Ecuadorian youth to achieve a post secondary education.” They provide scholarships to students in Ecuador to finish their high school education and help students develop into strong leaders. Presently, the program has 150 students and is looking to expand space to receive more participants.

 Here’s how the The Starfish Foundation stays engaged (and how you can be involved):

  1. To Sponsor a Scholar – For just $30 per month, one can support a student to attend school along with the necessities required to receive an education.
  2. Join in the fun! – Locals can participate in the March Madness challenge, attend a Happy Hour on Giving Tuesday after the Thanksgiving holiday, and/or compete in their virtual scavenger hunt Starfish Search in the Fall.
  3. Volunteer – The Starfish Foundation are looking for volunteers both in the U.S. and in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
  4. Stay in touch – Connect on social media by sharing and posting on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and blog.
  5. Shopping on Amazon – Help buy items to donate from their Wish List and/or Add the non-profit as the Amazon Smile program receiver for whenever shopping online!

And of course, the attending the Benefit Dinner dedicated in celebrating and supporting the Students in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

The Starfish Foundation Event Banner

When we walked into the venue, we were greeted by  members of the organization. The Welcome Party gave each of us printed and laminated name tags. There were tables with Silent Auctions items to bid on to and a Photo Booth with the Starfish Foundation Logo backdrop, ensuring all guests will be Stars for the night! Even the food was exquisite! We had  salad, rice & beans, shrimp, chicken and fried plantain chips from a self serving buffet line. Once we were seated, we noticed recipes placed on each table for guests to try at home.

Salad at the Table. Photo Courtesy of Charity Merritt of At Five Photography.

Here’s a sample recipe on how to prepare Plantain Chips!


  • Green plantains
  • Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional: Chili pepper or garlic gloves to season the oil

Plantain Chips

  • Peel the plantains
  • Cut the plantains in thin slices.
  • Heat the oil, either in a pot or frying pan, until it reaches around 375 F – 400 F. Use enough oil so that the plantains are completely covered to brown.
  • Add the plantains slices to the hot oil. Fry them until they begin to brown.
  • Sprinkle with salt to taste. Serve hot or cold

Each table center also had a bulletin that featured students from the program next to the creatively cut lemon and flowers center pieces. My table highlighted a beautiful soul named, Karla.

Karla. Photo courtesy of Charity Merritt of At Five Photography.

“Karla enjoys spending time with her siblings, she is fifteen years old and her favorite color is gold. She likes rice with fried chicken.” I only look forward to her success story!

There is a saying that goes, “Teamwork makes the Dream work!” I must say, for The Starfish Foundation it holds true because over 200 people came out to support. 

Packed house. Photo courtesy of Charity Merritt of At Five Photography.

For an organization which started almost seven years ago, the Starfish Foundation has accomplished in making a positive impact in South America. However, there is still so much more work to be done. It was a great pleasure to have met the leaders in the group and join other guests in supporting such a great cause.

An Evening For the Stars, is an annual event held in the Spring hosted by The Starfish Foundation. Be sure to come out and dine with Starfish next year! In the mean time, join the mailing list to be notified of their other annual events. 

2018 Creative Coalition: Right to Bear Arts Gala-Come to this Exclusive Event April 27, 2018!


Friday, April 27, 2018 at 8:00 p.m, The Creative Coalition Arts Team is sponsoring their Right to Bear Arts Gala held at the Mayflower Hotel (1127 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington D.C). Tickets start at $1,000 and can go up to $75,000 depending on the sponsorship package attendees select.

The Creative Coalition’s Arts Team will go to Capitol Hill the day before to bring focus on the value of the arts to national leaders. The Right to Bear Art is a national issue that transcends political affiliations. The arts affects everyone! Whether it’s music, ballet, paintings, theater, or the cinema–the arts cultivate a person’s intelligence, identity and critical thinking skills. Skills that are often sought after in several emerging corporations, non-profits and STEM-related industries.

For every $1 spent by the federal government on the arts, $7 comes back into arts communities across the United States.

After the Creative Coalition arts team goes to The Hill, The Creative Coalition will host their #RightToBearArts Benefit Gala.

This year’s co-hosts are: Tim Daly (Madam Secretary) • Alyssa Milano (Project Runway All StarsSara Rue (A Series of Unfortunate Events) • Shiri Appleby (UnREAL)Mädchen Amick (Riverdale) • Karamo Brown (Queer EyeRichard Schiff (The Good Doctor) • Nicholas Gonzalez (The Good DoctorVictoria Justice (Victorious) • Steve Howey (ShamelessAnthony Carrigan (“Barry”) • Sean Giambrone (The Goldbergs)Richard Kind (Red Oaksand others.

Honorary Congressional Co-Hosts:
Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer, Senator Tammy Baldwin, Senator Ben Cardin, Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr., Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Kamala D. Harris, Senator Angus King, Senator Ed Markey, Senator Jeff Merkley, Senator Patty Murray, Senator Brian Schatz, Senator Paul Strauss, Senator Chris Van Hollen, Senator Mark Warner, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Representative Mark Amodei, Representative Donald Bacon, Representative Jim Banks, Representative Nanette Barragan, Representative Joe Barton, Representative Karen Bass, Representative Jack Bergman, Representative Don Beyer,  Representative Elizabeth Etsy, Representative Bill Foster, Representative Lois Frankel, Representative Tulsi Gabbard, others TBA.

• Logo inclusion on media wall
• Logo and boilerplate inclusion in press releases
• Opportunity for product placement in gift bag for celebrity welcome gift placed in their hotel rooms (up to 25 gifts)
• 10 VIP seats
• Opportunity for sponsor to gift all dinner guests
• Social media opportunities
• Photo Ops with Celebrities (Sponsor provides photographer)
• Verbal acknowledgements from podium
• Full page Program Ad
• Opportunity for live activation (all technical and staffing provided by Sponsor)
• Opportunity for Executive to accompany talent to Capitol Hill

THE ULTIMATE – $50,000 (limited to one)
• Opportunity for product/issue placement in gift bag for celebrity welcome gift placed in their hotel rooms (up to 25 gifts)
• Opportunity for sponsor to gift all dinner guests
• 5 VIP seats/5 General Seats
• Social media opportunities
• Photo Ops with Celebrities (Sponsor provides photographer)
• Verbal acknowledgements from podium

• Opportunity for product/issue placement in gift bag for celebrity welcome gift placed in their hotel rooms (15- 25 celebrities)
• Product placement gifts for all dinner guests
• 8 general seats
• Social media opportunities

ALL FOR THE ARTS – $10,000
• 10 General seats
• Commemorative #RightToBearArts shirts for your guests

• 1 seat

Click HERE to order “All For The Arts” and “Individual” Sponsorships online.
For all other Sponsorships please contact Barb Horvath at:

The Sharing the Details Team covered this event in 2017. Click here to read last’s year’s recap. This year the team will get exclusive coverage of the Right to Bear Arts Gala event! Stay tuned for more details!

Planned Parenthood 2018 Gala: Sharing Our Past, Shaping Our Future


April 20, 2018  I covered the 2018 Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington DC’s (PPMW) 2018 Gala held in Union Station. Tickets were $300.00 and that includes VIP reception, a three course meal, the silent auction, and dancing. Attendees invited were donors, board members, socialites, and PPMW advocates.

For this event, I had to leave work early because the VIP reception started promptly at 6:30 p.m. I wore my Anne Taylor floral silk shirt with ruffled sleeves, and a layered, asymmetrical, tiered black skirt from Adrianna Pappel. I think the highlight of my last minute ensemble was my Bruno Magli shoes I bought from Saks.

Courtesy of

I wasn’t sure how parking was going to be around Union Station so I drove straight to Bethesda metro station, parked at the nearby garage, then took a rather long metro ride to the event. As soon as I walked out of the metro station, I was lost for awhile and didn’t know how to find the gala, itself. I was later greeted by an associate of PPMW and she escorted me through a highly secured (police and body guards were everywhere) area. Vocal protesters were within eye-shot so security was a high priority.

Courtesy of

As I walked through the red carpet, I noticed the words “Planned Parenthood” etched in light on the side walls. The exterior decor was impressive and inviting. Inside the venue, I realized how iconic this Capitol Hill setting really was. The reception area was modern, classy with tall ceilings. The walls dripped of opulence, and the veranda that allowed guests to nibble on appetizers, al fresco, brought out rich conversation from notable figures. The venue truly does appreciate natural light–through the skylights in both the East Hall and the side cocktail room. The East Hall was breathtaking, as well.

Naturally, the three bar areas in the reception area were beset by a thirsty crowd. The wait was worth it, my glass of pinot gris quenched my thirst.

CEO Dr. Laura Meyers and Emcee (CNN analyst) Angela Rye. Photo courtesy of

PPMW was founded more than 80 years ago through the idea that access to sexual and reproductive healthcare can enhance people’s lives.  Since 2017, this non profit has served more than 17,000 patients at three of their health centers (Northeast DC, Suitland, MD, and Gaithersburg, MD) by offering services such as breast exams, pap tests, STD testing and treatment, and contraceptive services.

The vision behind this gala is to share PPMW’s rich history. In addition, attendees bared witness to numerous testimonies through speeches, written word, and video as well.

Pictures Courtesy of

After much was shared, dinner started with a bang. A banquet of sorts fed this hungry crowd in the most haute-gourmand way: exotic canapies that experimented with veggies, mousses, and meats; a deluxe donut bar featuring a variation of flavors, and strawberries filled with a luscious cream.  The “Fund Our Future”  silent auction corralled supporters, and helped raise funds to support the Contraceptive Equity Fund which provides low-income women with supplemented costs for contraceptives.

Pictures Courtesy of

Right before the gala, I was whisked away to do one-on-one interviews with two notable women. I was able to learn more about the importance of empowering women from CNN analyst Angela Rye (who was the wittiest emcee with the best one-liners) and learned about the progression and impact of Planned Parenthood from CEO Dr. Laura Meyers. Dr. Meyers has lived a rich life in which planned parenthood services affected her family at a young age.


Exclusive with Angela Rye

SD: So what brought you to host this year’s Planned Parenthood gala?

AR: They (PPMW) have me making remarks for the reception. They reached out through  a traditional booking process and I am elated to be a long-time Planned Parenthood supporter. I respect how they bring access to healthcare services and provide preventative healthcare for women, specifically for women of color. I am grateful to be here.

SD: That’s awesome! We’re glad you can support and emcee the show. So I hear you are famous for the #RyeRoll that gained traction a few years back during Trump’s election. Can you tell us more about this?

AR:  I don’t know if I am famous for it. It was just a moment where I tried to live my authentic truth. In that particular moment I just had enough of people defending Donald Trump’s antics during the election. For a moment, I thought I was off-camera and I just rolled my eyes. I was just tired of it.

SD: I know that you are well known for being a notable figure with women empowerment. Is this part of your mantra for 2018?

AR: Actually, my mantra for 2018.. what I like to say every morning is, “I am Love and Power.” And whatever I do: I want to spread that to people I connect with, people I am in contact with, and people who support me. I always want to make sure that I am empowering women, people of color, folks from my own community.  I think the best way to empower people is to help them to fulfill their own purpose so I work diligently do that; Whether I take on a speaking engagement, spread inspiration through social media, or when I mentor others. I also love to learn from others through feedback from all kinds of people irregardless of position, title, or influence. I believe you can learn from the youngest and the oldest.

Exclusive with Dr. Laura Meyers

SD: So what inspired you to be the CEO of Planned Parenthood in the DC area?

LM: Wow, that’s a great question. First and foremost, my grandmother and my mother who are inspirations for my life. My grandmother had a legal abortion in the 1930s. My mother didn’t have birth control options and with her fifth pregnancy, she developed gestational diabetes in which she lived her latter years of her life without legs. They both inspired me because they both taught me to make choices about when or whether you have children, make all the difference in your life. It shapes your life. Women could not participate in the labor force if we (PPMW) didnt have birth control.

SD: Do you have any advice for women who want to be leaders? Who want to be like you? Who want to take on the reign?

LM: Get involved! Get involved wherever you are. For example, you can volunteer for Parenthood. We have so many opportunities to get involved, whether that’s through our developing leaders program or our ambassador program. There’s so many ways that you can get involved to make a difference.

SD: Last question. I know that Planned Parenthood Metropolitan DC re-opened in 2016. Previous locations endured various openings and closings. I know that this location is successful so can you tell us more about the successes that these current facilities have amassed?

LM: Well, what’s been so wonderful since we opened up our DC house center is that it is a beautiful facility and it affirms all of our values around patient care. Patients come to us because they aspire for a better life. Whatever they are doing now, they want to live their own destiny according to their own views and make their own health decisions. So I would say that the success of the facility is how beautiful it is and how wonderful our staff are. Patients who come to our facility know they will get non judgmental care. That when they say anything and they can say anything, no one will raise an eyebrow. And they will get compassionate, non judgmental care.

Feel free to make donations to Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington DC here.

About Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington DC

Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. was founded on the visionary idea that access to sexual and reproductive health care could transform people’s lives. PPMW has provided high quality, supportive reproductive medical care for families in the DC metro area.

PPMW’s mission is to provide high quality, affordable reproductive health care; promote education programs that empower all individuals to make informed & responsible reproductive choices; & to protect the right to make those choices. PPMW is the oldest & largest provider of family planning services in Metropolitan Washington, serving DC, Maryland & Northern Virginia.

Blue Star Neighbors Celebration Honors Extraordinary Americans!


March 13, 2018, Sharing the Details had the privilege of covering the Blue Star Neighbors Celebration held at the Chamber of Commerce in Washington D.C.

The venue was wide-spread, with red, blue, and white lights beaming from the walls. Stars, stripes, and all sorts of American flag themed decor sparkled the venue. Attendees wore military suits, formal dresses, and business suits.

Programming opened up with words from emcee Brianna Keiler, CNN, Senior Washington Correspondent; and continued with awards with Camille Hymes, Starbucks Corp., Mid-Atlantic Regional Vice President; Dr. Lynda Davis, Department of Veteran Affairs, and Harriet Dominique, President of the USAA Foundation.

Blue Star Families Neighbor nominators (The Clark Family) and winners (The Nelson Family) with Gen. Paul Selva and wife Ricki
 – Pictures courtesy of Kang Hu 

As the show continued, the winner for the Blue Star Neighbor award was announced. Erik J. Nelson was the big winner of the night. He was nominated by Shane Clark, a U.S Army Major, commissioned in 2002 as a second lieutenant in the U.S Air Force.  When he was activated back to active duty over three years ago, Erik Nelson stepped up to the plate to help teach  on behalf of Shane and run the martial arts school in northern Colorado. Nelson, was still a student himself and managed the martial arts studio in addition to his position as Vice President at Engineering Analytics, Inc and his own family.

Notable VIPs that attended the event were General HR McMaster (National Security Advisor) General Joe Dunford (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff),  Jessica Moore (The Walt Disney Company), Marianne Downs (Lockheed Martin), Lieutenant General Daniel Hokanson (National Guard Bureau), Steve Schwab (Elizabeth Dole Foundation) and Scott Rice (Air National Guard).

SSgt Hiram Carrion (Marine Corps) and Chef Todd Grey (Equinox). 
Picture Courtesy of Kang Hu 

All- star chefs from the Washington D.C area crafted scrumptious treats for all patrons.  Food station tables were divided by chefs who work under different military branches:

  • The Air Force Table, run by Chef Robert Wiedmaier (Marcel’s) and MSgt Jennifer Medeiros (Air Force), displayed delicious Napoleon of Scottish Smoked Salmon.
  • The Army Table, run by Chef Chris Clime (PassionFish) and SSG Michelle Brown (Army), pastrami made from smoked mesquite, piquillo pepper,  and N’duja tapenade.
  • The Coast Guard Table, run by Kyle Bailey (The Salt Line) and CSCS Derek Johnson (Coast Guard) wow’d the crowds with Hiramasa Crudos made from blood orange ponzu gelee, popped amaranth, and nasturtium leaf.
  • The National Guard table, run by Chef David Guas ( Bayou Bakery) and TSgt Tyer Gaswint (Air National Guard), crafted Gulf Shrimp Burgers.
  • The Marine Corps table, run by Chef Todd Grey (Equinox) and SSgt Hiram Carrion (Marine Corps) delivered on the Tahini Grits and Lamb Meatballs.
  • The Navy table, run by Chef Ris Lacoste (Ris) and CS1 Frida Karani (Navy) fed a warm heaping of New England Clam Chowder.
Todd Thrasher (Potomac Distilling Co.) Pictures Courtesy of Kang Hu 

Along with memorable dishes, renown mixologist Todd Thrasher concocted memorable beverages such as The Pea-triot made from White Rum, Lemon, and Pea Flowers and The Wake up Call made from Bourbon, Decaf Coffee, Sugar, and Orange.

As a whole, this celebration celebrates the kindness of military supporters across the country  and their impact on the military family community. Blue Star Families (BSF) is the non-profit behind this great celebration. Blue Star Families mission is to use community as the solution for military family problems. Military life is hard and BSF leverages data-driven insights to curate resources for military families, including career development tools, local community events for families, and care giving support. Because of Blue Star Families, 1.5 million families have been helped.

Blue Star Families is a remarkable non profit that has impacted the lives of several military families across the U.S. Click here to make a donation.

About Blue Star Families

Blue Star Families is a non profit that strengthen military families every day. Through career development, caregiving, and our leading research on military family life, this organization is striving to better understand and provide solutions to the challenges facing today’s military families. This organization started in  April of 2009,  when a group of military spouses got together in the hopes of making a difference in the lives of military families. They knew the issues surrounding military families and saw a need for a platform where military family members could join forces with the general public and their communities to address the challenges of military life.

Since then, BSF has grown from a few military spouses around a kitchen table to more than 150,000 members and over 35 communities and chapters around the globe. Blue Star Family programs and services reach more than 1.5 million military family members every year.

Tune into Sharing the Details for an exclusive interview with the Founder and CEO of Blue Star Families, Kathy Roth- Douquet. 

Engineers without Borders (DC) Gala: Dress to the Nines and help a great cause March 23, 2018!


There’s a multitude of reasons why charitable giving is always a positive! Did you know that participants who donate, according to a study from NIH, donating even $100 activates pleasure centers in the brain?

Not only that, charitable giving brings more meaning to ones life, helps others in need and sets a strong example for children to follow!

With that said, why not donate and also wear your best gown or tux?

Engineers without Borders- DC Chapter is having a gala at Josephine Butler Parks Center (2437 15th St NW Washington, DC 20009) on March 23, 2018 from 8:00 p.m to 11:00 p.m. Tickets are just $85 and proceeds go to several humanitarian-based projects that the organization is involved in. Street parking is available around the D.C area. Click here to purchase tickets!

Engineers without Borders, (EWB-DC) is a non-profit humanitarian organization that collaborates with community partners to design and build sustainable engineering projects. Their projects are implemented through a community-driven model based on full partnership with host communities.



This year’s Gala will have an open bar ALL NIGHT, hor d’oeuvres by Eat & Smile Catering, silent auction, DJ, photography by Brian Adrian Photography, a trivia give-a-way contest, and a pitch competition where we will be awarding over $6000 to our project teams determined by audience vote!

The Gala is also a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the DC chapter’s many projects:

1.) Current project: Water Supply project in Cameroon 

2.) Current Project:  Community Center in Panama 

3.) Completed Project: Water Supply in El Salvador 

4.) Two New Projects: A Bridge in Burkina Faso and Water Sanitation in Peru.

There will also be a silent auction featuring items in and around DC as well as good from  partner communities.


The Sharing the Details team will be providing live coverage of this event, tune into our website and social media the day of the event!

Uncorking with Nationals Pitcher Gio González


On July 27, 2017, Washington Nationals Pitcher Gio González announced his 2017 Uncork for a Cause charity program with a special event at Teddy & The Bully Bar to raise awareness and funding for The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and Hialeah Baseball of Hialeah High School, González’ alma mater. 

Gio González, along with his teammates and special guests gathered together at Teddy & The Bully Bar. The evening also served as the release party for the Pitcher’s very own 2014 Sonoma Reserve Red Wine, which was available only during this particular event. Only one limited-edition barrel was bottled for González charity program.

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A limited number of VIP tickets were available and included a private pre-event reception and upscale wine tasting from Far Niente Wine Estates. Also, guests had a photo opportunity with Gio and his teammates.

Washington Nationals Player Max Scherzer serving drinks.
Courtesy Photo by Mike Braaten

Guests enjoyed an enticing culinary menu specially designed by award-winning Executive Chef Demetrio Zavala, beer and wine poured by Nationals team players, as well as an opportunity to participate in an auction featuring Game-used Nationals gear and memorabilia, local and national sports items, wine lots from some of California’s elite producers, and travel opportunities to wine country.

Gio González in center, standing with guests in front of the backdrop of his fundraising event. Courtesy Photo by Mike Braaten

The event was a success and All those involved to make this event happen are of the following:

Gio González is an outstanding athlete playing as a baseball pitcher for the Washington Nationals. González is a Strikeout pitcher who has once set a Nationals record when he pitched 25 consecutive scoreless innings. He has called his curve balls a blessing taught by his father. His generosity and eagerness to help the children who grew up from roots similar to his upbringing, thus allows for this event to occur.

Uncork For A Cause is a collection of people, professional athletes, and celebrities working together to give back to the communities where they live, have lived, and work.  Developed by TAG Sports, it was created as a way to bring the world of fine wines and unique, personalized collectibles to eager fans, and to benefit those in need through various local and national foundations.

The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation is committed to improving the lives of children and teens in the Washington, D. C. area by supporting initiatives focused on academics, the arts, nutrition and sports. Through the generosity of Nationals fans and corporate partners, the Dream Foundation is using the power of baseball to provide a world of opportunity for area youth.

Hialeah Baseball provides financial support and planning directly to the Hialeah High School baseball team, where Gio began his career and won two state championships. Funding supports the kids and team in travel expense, field maintenance, equipment and provides opportunities on and off the field for Thoroughbreds baseball to excel. Proceeds from Gio’s charity event provided new home and road uniforms, hats and cleats for the team.

Teddy & The Bully Bar is a salute to Theodore Roosevelt, one of the most popular and gallant American Presidents. Locally sourced menu, distinctive bar program and stunning interior design by DC artist Maggie O’Neill, the venue captures the essence of Teddy. Known to host incredible private events, corporate functions, weddings and gatherings of all kinds, and accommodates a lively Happy Hour to anyone who walks in.

Baseball Season Tickets for all 2018 regular season home games at National Park are on sale nowOpening Day tickets will go on sale on Today, March 8, 2018 at Noon. Opening day is April 5, 2018 at 1:05PM.

Pearl Gala : 30 Years and More to Come!


On February 17, 2018, Sharing the Details contributor, Aubrey Shaffner explored a lavish gala in the heart of Belle Haven Country Club in Alexandria Virginia. She wore a stylish black dress with a deep v neck, had her hair tied up to the side, and wore golden, circle, earrings to match the sparkle of the room.

“Despite an intense winter storm hitting the tri-state area Saturday night, the Community Lodgings 30th Pearl Gala Event was a huge success! The gorgeous ballroom of the Belle Haven Country Club was buzzing with conversation and excitement as friends came together to celebrate the non-profits monumental anniversary.

Community Lodgings was founded by 8 Episcopal churches in the Alexandria Virginia area in 1987. Per their website, “Community Lodgings’ mission is to lift families from homelessness and instability to independence and self-sufficiency through transitional housing, affordable housing, and our Youth education programs… to have a world where all families have access to housing, education and resources to achieve and sustain independence and productivity.”

Contributors: Aubrey Shaffner and Chloe Shaffner.  Picture by Mark Soriano

Since opening, the churches have been able to purchase 44, soon to be 45, apartments that they are able to provide at below market rent to families in need. Beyond housing the program also works with underprivileged community youth.

In 1998, the organization expanded by opening computer literacy and English Language Learner (ELL) classes for adults to combat the risk of homelessness, gang involvement, substance abuse, inappropriate sexual activity and emotional, physical,and/or sexual abuse. In 2002, the organization again expanded, opening the community-based Fifer Family Learning Center. Built to meet the needs of the surrounding Arlandria-Chirilagua community as well as introducing their Youth Education Program. Elementary, middle and high school students, all living below the poverty threshold, could now attend free daily afterschool programs and summer programs, meet with tutors and mentors, learn valuable life skills, and participate in various enrichment and recreational activities. In 2008 Community Lodgings expanded the center, increasing instructional time for at-risk children and their parents. Community Lodgings was also named “Non-profit service provider of the year” by HomeAid Northern Virginia.

Pictures by Mark Soriano

The Gala is an annual fundraiser for the non-profit. The night was celebrated to the music and flair of the 50’s and 60’s classic Motown group, The Intruders, who had everyone excited to get out on the dance floor! A wonderful buffet dinner was provided by the Country Club. Filled with selections such as fish, and chicken, with a variety of sides like green bean salad, corn, and squash as well. Also available was a dessert display of cannolis, tiramisu, and chocolate cake.

Pictures by Mark Soriano

The staff of Belle Haven were so quick and courteous. I had found a high top table off to the side to be able to observe the general splendor of the evening that happened to be near one of the bar stations. The older gentleman behind the bar kept an eye on me all night, making sure I was well and never without a drink, I do wish I would have caught his name. A silent, and live auction also took place to help raise money for the families in need. Some of the prizes included were a trip to Cancun, a private chef for an evening, and tickets to sporting events. To increase the funds raised some anonymous donors even matched individual’s bids. I watched as thousands were brought in to help such a worthy cause.

Pictures by Mark Soriano

In honor of the 30th Anniversary a special awards ceremony was also held, honoring the contributions of several long-time board members, founding faith partners and other community partners. One stand out award was the “Community Hero,” given to John Porter. Everyone involved in the non-profit, whether they were from the beginning or a more recent addition, were genuinely happy to be a part of helping the cause, and working as a cohesive unit to help the individuals and families in need.

Overall, the night was full of success and happiness in the honor of helping those in the community who need it most. I love that Community Lodgings not only knows that their community is stronger together, but really makes it happen. I wish them nothing but the best for another 30 years of success and happiness helping those that truly need it in the Alexandria Virginia area.”

Click here to donate to Community Lodgings, Inc.

About Community Lodgings, Inc.

For the past 30 years, Community Lodgings has helped homeless and low-income families by providing a variety of affordable and transitional housing options. In addition they offer Youth Education programs and Community Outreach. Community Lodgings’ mission is to lift families from homelessness and instability to independence and self-sufficiency through Transitional HousingAffordable Housing and our Youth Education ProgramsLearn more about our history and values.

Washington Film Institute: “In Order of Disappearance” screening at Arts Club of Washington D.C.


January 27, 2018 I watched my very first Washington Film Institute screening at the Arts Club of Washington D.C. I had an exclusive invite to attend the showing of “In Order of Disappearance” (Kraftidioten), a 2014  Norwegian Comedy, Crime, Thriller about a mild-mannered snow plowman, whose sun was mistakenly murdered. The plowman, Nils Ploughs, unknowingly ignites a war between vegan gangster “The County” and the Serbian mafia boss Papa.


The venue, the Arts Club of Washington D.C, formerly the home of President James Monroe, has celebrated and promoted the visual, performing, and literary arts in the George Washington University area for over a century. The movie screening was held in the Monroe Gallery, which features ornate contemporary art all around the walls, and a stage with full audio visual support. The gallery seats 120 guests. Movie goers were even treated to sit on the balcony to watch this humorous film.

For an event of this magnitude I wore my White House Black Market plunging neckline cocktail dress, and draped an intricately sewn black drape to hide my own plunging neckline.

John Hanshaw, Founder of the Washington Film Institute

I wore my black, Italian, leather boots from Nordstroms and some Kate Spade stalkings. It’s still Winter after all and I couldn’t wear stilettos in this weather. Street parking was a bit difficult to find but I did find a parking garage that only charges $12.00 (after 5pm)  .3 miles from the venue. Attendees primarily dressed in luxurious black sweaters, business suits, trendy black leather jackets, and had fresh haircuts that could only be defined as clean and pristine.


I unfortunately missed the social before the movie (it was from 7:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m) and tried to grapple for a decent seat. The movie attendees were full of decorum and helped me and my friends find the best seats by the front. Almost everyone inside had a glass of red or white wine, and several attendees non-discreetly snacked on hummus and veggies, Greek dolmas, as well as other haute-gourmand treats. The bar was well staffed, dressed and had sparkly smiles. A part of me felt like I was in a movie although I was watching one on screen.


John Hanshaw, founder of the Washington Film Institute, and wearer of a fashion forward Chinese suit top, flicked the projector  on with cinematic ease. The movie came on without a hitch– to roaring applause from the crowd.

All attendees for this showing  are ardent film lovers. So watching a movie (especially an international one) would be thoroughly consumed, and also digested into weighty conversation full of stories, anecdotes, and memories of traveling overseas.

I have never watched a Norwegian film before, but I think this won’t be the last. I laughed so hard throughout this film. Whenever a character died there was a quirky nickname and a death symbol flashing on screen. The vegan crime boss had the best one-liners and reactions throughout the film. I doubt he could even get away with half the quips he was spouting if this was an American-made film. I could only imagine the creative freedom the director had with this film.

The Washington Film Institute often carries art-films like this on a monthly basis. This institute was founded in 2007 by John Hanshaw, as a way to inspire DC audiences through film education and the cultivation of the cinematic arts. Hanshaw has worked in film and television for over ten years at NHK (Japan Broadcasting  Corporation), PBS, and most recently National Geographic. If you are a lover of fine cinema, and want to meet like-minded souls, definitely join the Washington Film Institute!

About the Washington Film Institute

The WFI is an organization created to inspire audiences through film education and the cultivation of the cinematic arts. The institute does this by developing educational programs and programming film events throughout the year. You can join their EMAIL LIST for Event Invites at:

Sharing the Details will be covering the Washington Film Institute’s Oscar Red Carpet party March 4, 2018. Tune in for details!