Catcher Ivan Rodriguez walks the red carpet at Saturday's Dream Gala benefiting the Nationals Dream Foundation.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Ryan Zimmerman
, Doug Slaten
, Todd Coffey
, Danny Espinosa
, and Ivan Rodriguez
were but a handful of the players in attendance on Saturday evening, for the Washginton Nationals
’s sixth annual Dream Gala.
Presented by Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
, this weekend’s benefit attracted more than 700 team members, coaches, owners, friends, and, of course, baseball fans, to what has become the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation
’s primary fundraiser of the year.
Nationals mascot Screech pays a compliment to the team’s first lady, Annette Lerner.
Since baseball returned to the District just a few short years ago, the Dream Gala has raised more than $2 million for the nonprofit’s three cornerstone programs, which focus on children’s health, education, and recreation.
Guests perused hundreds of silent auction items during the reception.
Saturday night, supporters of the foundation were invited to National Harbor for a Hollywood-themed affair, featuring a cocktail reception and silent auction followed by a dinner program emceed by MASN analysts Bob Carpenter
and F. P. Santangelo
, as well as a live auction.
Prior to the start of dinner, guests were treated to a red carpet entrance by the players as a special opener to the show, with Nationals broadcasters Charlie Slowes
and Dave Jageler
serving as guest announcers.
Foundation chair Marla Lerner Tanenbaum
delivered the night’s formal introduction, touching on the community work that will be facilitated and the children who will benefit from the funds raised that night.
Coincidentally, this year’s gala also served as the diamond wedding anniversary of Nationals owners Ted and Annette Lerner
, who were enthusiastically toasted by all in attendance.
Rooting for the home team never felt so good!