Fundraising, increasing awareness for a charity, promoting fencing and all collided on a fashion runway tonight as Jason Rogers and me “fenced” down the catwalk as the opening “act” at of the annual “Paws for Style” event run by Wendy Diamond to support man’s people’s best friends!
This was a truly new and exhilarating experience for us! We came dashing off the side of the stage going back and forth with parrys before throwing off our masks as Jason attacked me down the runway while I nervously counted paces to make sure I wouldn’t misjudge the distance and go flying off of the very high and narrow stage!
We threw in a few flips, a duck and jump move and then took a bow to the roughly 500 people and dozens of media in attendance. We then held our sabers high as host Wendy Diamond came out to thank everyone for coming. Then the rest of the “fashion show” commenced andincluded designer Richie Rich, American Idolists, SI Swimsuit models, socialiates and various television personalities walking with their dogs.
Thanks to Wendy for inviting us to participate and to our friends Celine Marie and Helena Dep for being the best supporters!
Big week, birthday party tomorrow night and then I’ll be heading to DC on Wednesdsay with Melvin Rodriguez where we will be meeting up with Cadet world Champion Katie Holmes for a fencing demo on Capitol Hill! (Join us if you’re in DC!)
New Year’s Eve was our latest endeavor into the New York City events scene with a party of our own design, the aptly named, “Open ’09 with Olympians” at Elmo’s Lounge.
Counting down to 2009 with Richie…10,9,8,7…
With very little experience about what it takes to throw a cool party and sell tickets (why does everyone wait until the last minute to finalize NYE plans?!?!), we were in a bit over our heads, but in the end we learned a lot of valuable party planning lessons and it all came together with a packed house, a hip crowd and most importantly— we raised about $4000 dollars for the Right To Play charity!
Steve (one of Elmo’s Owners) with Mo Rocca and me
The hilarious Mo Rocca,a long time contributor to Daily Show,was in attendance and while he chatted with partiers, Richie Rich’s dancing and revelry helped set a fun tone. In attendance were a number of Olympians including Judo champion and two-time Olympian Taraje Williams-Murray, Canadian swimmer Nikki Dryden and Olympic Silver and Bronze Medal winning diver Anne Montminy along with a packed house of friends that helped us bring in 2009 with a bang!
Matt and a lot of girls
Now, a few tips from our experience throwing this party (Somewhere Scott Buccheit is laughing at me as I write)
One good idea when throwing a party is to recruit folks with a lot of friends to help you host. We learned this lesson late in the game,(luckily we learned it!) but thanks to Alison Goldman, Eva Snopek, Ember Dahlvig and Jackie Gonzalez for bringing a crew of friends!
Alison Goldman and her Crew
Another good idea is to make sure that the person you hire to work your door doesn’t get drunk and pass out on the job! Yes, our door man was passed out by 11pm and then proceeded to vomit. Let’s just say our door might not have been as well guarded as it needed to be!
Our friend 2-Time Olympian in Judo Taraje Williams-Murray
And lastly, in the category of things I never thought I would be doing, at one point we had 50 women RSVPed and only 5 men, and we had to spend quality time trying to find men to come to our party! (Haha, I remember back in high school when I might have struggled to get 2 girls to come a party…times have certainly changed!)
Adrian Grenier hosted the third annual Charity Water gala at the Metropolitan Pavilion, and along with 2500 guests we got to view the amazing photographs of founder Scott Harrison’s journeys to Africa to help impoverished villages receive clean water.
Though the non-profit organization, Charity Water, is only three years old, I don’t think you could find a person in city who would say they haven’t made a splash in the New York charity circuit while also aiding thousands of people with over 1000 water projects in 13 developing nations including Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Rwanda.
As Adrian guided the program, our friend Richie Rich drank his “bubbles” and brought his usual cheer, “The Hills” actors Whitney Port and Olivia Palermo scmoozed as cameras for their new show “The City” tagged along, model Camilla Barungi educated others about the benefits of the African Moringa supplement, designer Keith Lissner mingled with other fashion forwards, and our favorite crew of Scott, Naeem, Liam McMullan and Lydia Hearst surveyed the scene.
Following the tradition from last year’s gala, a runway was set up where brave souls carried 80 pounds of water in gas tanks from one end to the other to symbolize how the people in places such as Ethiopia must carry dirty water (to drink) in these empty gas containers. We carried a few jugs ourselves with each jug generating $40 dollars in donations from a corporate sponsor (they were heavy even for Olympians!).
Highlights of the night included commiserating with musician Amos Lee (who performed at the gala) about life on the road, listening to Charity Water’s founder Scott Harrison’s tell about his incredible journey from a New York scene promoter to philanthropist as he thanked the gathered crowd, and chatting with the very nice Adrian Grenier about the Olympics and Charity Water.
Lastly, we would be remiss if we failed to mention that we are looking forward to more fun at the Guest of a Guest Holiday party tonight!
On Friday, we performed a New York rarity: hosted a party for nothing more chance to see all of our friends before the holidays steal them away for the winter. The evening proved to be an interesting scene, and was definitely a nexus of the old and the new.
That is, old friends including athletic trainers Scott Weiss and Marc Bruck and Olympic Silver Medalist compatriots James Williams and Erinn Smart intermingled casually with new friends Richie Rich, Adrien Field, Nicole Sawyer and Geraldine Laiz (aka Little Richie).
Guests sipped on Green Tea Sake Martinis (the drink of the night) and admired the hip décor of one of Chelsea’s newest, coolest Japanese restaurants, Rock N Sake, which although seeming like an odd place for a Christmas party did not disappoint when it came to providing the requisite holiday cheer.
The Club Mansion located inChelsea in New York City was the host of the Diesel sponsored NYC Paper Mag’s Fourth Annual Nightlife Awards. If you have ever stayed up late wondering if such awards existed…well,they do! It was a who’s who of NYC nightlife coming together to celebrate and honor the best clubs, DJs, promoters, nightlife blogs and more!! Our friends at guest of a guest (www.guestofaguest.com) Rachelle Hruska and others invited us along, as they were nominees for the best online blog award. Richie Rich along with Ally Hilfilger, Michael Musto and others presented awards to the hottest folks on the NYC scene for 2008.
Some of thehighlights: The best club award went to “Santa’s Party House.” Best Bar/Lounge went to “Angels and Kings.” Samantha Ronson won an award for her Deejaying skills while DJ Skeet Skeet took home the overall award for best DJ award. A Personal high for me was getting to meet the legendary photographer Patrick McMullan (truly a huge honor), as well as spending some time with his son Liam who was celebrating the launch of his role as Page 6 Writer for the NY Post (Best of luck Liam!). I headed home at about 10:30pm since I’ve got an early day of training and a big week ahead!
The Humane Society of United States in collaboration with The Arts Institutes threw their fourth annual “Cool vs. Cruel” ceremony at the Bowery Hotel on Wednesday evening. In addition to celebrating fur-free fashion and treating guests to the eclectic sounds of DJs Albert Hammond of the Strokes and supermodel Agyness Deyn, the event honored the winner of the national animal-friendly fashion design competition (Gohar Rajabzadeh). The participating designers were in attendance along with other notables such as, Nigel Barker, Richie Rich, Marc Bouwer, Jay McCarroll, as well as your very own Olympic Medalists Jason Rogers and Tim Morehouse! We had a great time for such a good cause!We got to chat with Nigel a bit and learned that he had actually done fencing back in his school in England.I’m always surprised by how many people have fenced! I think its way more than people realize. I’ve never been much into fashion, but am starting to really appreciate the art form. The outfits on display tonight were really amazing and we got to chat with some of the designers who proudly displayed their awards for winning the animal-cruelty free design contest.The place was a packed house and it’s really good to see that even with the economy that most of the fundraisers are full.