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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia yesterday to offer his congratulations and encouragement to graduates of the Washington Adult Drug Court.
He had a gavel given to him by West Huddleston, chief executive officer of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, who had carried it on his World War II-era BMW motorcycle for the last leg of the cross-country All Rise America! National Motorcycle Relay for Recovery.
Since 1994, the Department of Justice has supported drug courts, which now number 2,600 nationwide, as a way to get treatment rather than jail time for convicted addicts.
The gavel relay began in California on the first of May, which is National Drug Court Month, with about 1,200 concerned citizens, many of them drug-court graduates and judges, hopping on motorcycles in California for the first leg.
Holder told the graduates that their ceremony was just as inspiring as the Harvard Law School graduation where he was the commencement speaker this week.
Huddleston explained that the relay is meant to “raise awareness and make noise. What makes more noise than a motorcycle?”
Being from Kentucky, home to the Derby and its annual hat extravaganza, Republican Congressman Ed Whitfield knows good headgear when he sees it.
He and Finnish Ambassador Ritva Koukku-Ronde were at the Tudor Place Historic House and Garden 20th Annual Spring Garden Party Wednesday, where they surveyed hats ranging from classic straw boaters to elaborate confections with fake birds and feathers.
“I had to wear a hat to cover my frizzy hair,” lamented Christina Griffin, a Tudor Place patron who braved muggy weather to pay tribute to this year’s honoree, journalist Austin Kiplinger, a president emeritus at Tudor House. The Georgetown gem was built in 1805 for Thomas Peter and Martha Parke Custis Peter, Martha Washington’s granddaughter.
Guests sipped specialty cocktails called the “Bee’s Buzz” (vodka and lemonade) and the “Tangerine Twist” (a fruity concoction with apricot brandy).
The decor under a garden tent included bouquets, sofas and tables dressed with fans and bug spray.
The cocktails were also flowing in Georgetown Wednesday night at Peacock Cafe, where a “Mad Men” dinner was held to benefit the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at the American Ballet Theatre.
The menu featured 1960s favorites such as Beef Wellington and Oysters Rockefeller, and guests downed the television show’s signature martini while Frank Sinatra tunes filled the air.
The event was organized by Peacock Cafe owners Micky and Shahab Farivar and photographer Walter Grio, who took photos of the guests in their best Don Draper and Joan Holloway looks. Maziar Farivar, co-owner and chef, came up with the ’60s-themed menu.
Twenty percent of the evening’s proceeds went to a scholarship fund to send students to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at the American Ballet Theatre.
Grio said his philanthropy Shoot for Change, which donates the sales of his photos to nonprofits, has already raised enough to send one student to the school this autumn.
(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)
Muse highlights include Jeremy Gerard on theater and New York weekend.
To contact the writer on this story: Stephanie Green in Washington at email@example.com or on Twitter @stephlgreen.
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