Photo caption: Southwest Soiree VIPs (left to right): Commissioner Gail Fast (ANC 6D01), Superintendent Shawn Stover (DC Public Schools), Pastor Monica Raines (Christ United Methodist Church), Principal Tamikka Sykes (Amidon-Bowen Elementary School), Commander Morgan Kane (First District), Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6), PTA Co-Presidents Rose Shelton and Allison Harvey, Bruce DarConte (CEO, NSC-Partners), Bruce Levine (president, Southwest Neighborhood Assembly).

On June 3, more than 110 Southwest community members braved torrential rains to attend the first-ever Southwest Soirée, a fundraiser to support Amidon-Bowen Elementary School.

Held at the beautiful glass Dockmaster Building overlooking the Washington Channel, the event brought together the community’s civic and religious leaders, current and future parents, and many others from Southwest to raise money for computers, enrichment activities, and school supplies for Amidon-Bowen students.

As Clarence “The Blues Man” Turner rocked out music with his band, guests bid on silent auction items, sipped wine, and sampled gelato from Dolcezza. Approximately 20 Amidon-Bowen choir students performed at the sold-out event and Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen stated, “The energy in the room was outstanding. With a combination of school, parent, and neighborhood leaders, it was a great showing of the support and future for Amidon-Bowen Elementary School.”

By the end of the night, the Amidon-Bowen Parent Teacher Association (PTA) had raised nearly $25,000. “We are so grateful for all the support. This money will help us bring much-needed resources to the children of Amidon-Bowen,” said Allison Harvey, co-PTA president. Amidon-Bowen Principal TaMikka Sykes was on hand to express her gratitude to community members.

The event was made possible through sponsorships by local businesses, including Platinum Sponsors— The District Wharf and The Erkiletian Family Foundation. All sponsors are listed at:

Organization of the event, from lining up food and beverages to ticket sales and decorations, was all managed by volunteers. “We’re not event planners. This was a group of parents and community members working late nights for several months. We believed that the Southwest community would show up and help our neighborhood school, and we were not disappointed,” said Alexis Tuttle, PTA fundraising chair.

The Amidon-Bowen PTA looks forward to building on this year’s successful event and hosting another Southwest Soirée in 2019.

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