Photo: Courtesy of JLNV
Photo: Courtesy of JLNV

An Inside Look at Monte Carlo Night

What better way to support a good cause than by getting dolled up and playing casino games at Monte Carlo Night? This Saturday, the Junior League of Northern Virginia (JLNV) invites locals to head to a secret location in Great Falls (event location details announced upon ticket purchase) to support the nonprofit with its mission to combat childhood obesity, provide nutrition education and promote physical wellness within the Northern Virginia community. JLNV invites you to dance the night away, enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and check out the auction and raffle at this themed event. We caught up with JLNV President Lori Ann Terjesen and Emily Wyant, the chair of the League’s spring fundraiser committee, to learn more about Monte Carlo Night while tickets are still available.

On Tap: What inspired the idea for the Monte Carlo theme?
JLNV:
Our committee was looking for a fun event that would allow us to share the mission and community focus of JLNV with our guests.

OT: How would you describe the ambiance at the event?
JLNV:
Monte Carlo Night will be a sophisticated, cocktail-attire affair with drinks, dancing, games, a silent raffle and an auction. Games will include blackjack, Texas hold ’em, roulette and craps.

OT: What kind of drinks will be served? Any specialty cocktails?
JLNV:
We have two specialty cocktails that will be served at our open bar during this event: one is a Moscow mule, and the other is a bourbon-based drink. We will also have wine and beer.

OT: What about appetizers? Any sneak peeks of the menu?
JLNV:
Our passed hors d’oeuvres will include mini-baked brie, goat cheese bruschetta and beef teriyaki tenderloin, to name a few. We will also have an antipasto station, and desserts.

OT: Will there be live music or a DJ? What type of music will be played?
JLNV:
We will have Bulles Deejays at the event playing Top 40 hits, and a dance floor for people to show off their moves.

OT: What do you think makes this event unique to other local fundraisers?
JLNV:
Attending the inaugural Monte Carlo Night provides guests with the opportunity to support one of the largest and oldest charitable nonprofit organizations of women, developed as civic leaders and making a demonstrable impact on their communities. True to its mission, today’s League members work at the forefront of social reform, tackling the toughest and most critical issues of the day – including childhood nutrition and obesity, human trafficking, foster care, juvenile justice, teen self-esteem, cyber crimes, literacy and the environment, among others – for the purpose of enhancing the social, cultural and political fabric of civil society. As a result of this work, the Junior League – and the more than 150,000 women in 291 communities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico who comprise its ranks – has amassed an archive of tangible results and a reputation as thoughtful and influential change agents dedicated to the public good.

OT: Why would you encourage locals to come to Monte Carlo Night?
JLNV:
This event is a great opportunity to support local women volunteers and our efforts to increase the number of elementary age children in low-income communities to be empowered to make healthy eating and active living a priority.

OT: What would you say are JLNV’s top three goals right now?
JLNV:
Our top three goals have been defined to support the development of a strong, healthy organization that is poised to effect positive change in the Northern Virginia community. The first goal is to cultivate an engaged community organization that promotes lifelong membership, learning and leadership. This is at the very heart of the JLNV, and is necessary for achieving the League’s second goal, which is to increase our community impact through programs and partnerships that combat childhood obesity – the JLNV’s current philanthropic focus area. The third goal is to develop a financially strong, sustainable organization with diverse revenue sources. This last goal is essential for successfully executing the activities that support the first two goals. Together, these goals create the environment for the JLNV to achieve its mission.

OT: How will the proceeds from this event directly support these goals?
JLNV:
By funding leadership and civic responsibility training seminars for our League’s members; underwriting community programs, such as our Market Explorers physical activity education events, Kids in the Kitchen nutrition education programming, and swim camps for underserved youth; as well as providing a much-needed source of revenue to help the League meet its commitments to Northern Virginia’s most vulnerable communities.

OT: What other events do you have coming up?
JLNV:
Most weekends, JLNV members can be found working in community gardens with our transitional housing shelter partners, sorting food donations with our food pantry partners, and encouraging children and families to get active and discover healthy foods together at our Market Explorers program at local farmers markets. We’re happy to invite the community to come see us in action at the eighth annual Kids in the Kitchen Spring Health Fair on April 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mosaic District in Fairfax, Va. Live cooking demonstrations by area restaurateurs, opportunities to engage in family-friendly exercise and a very special raffle makes this year’s event particularly exciting!

OT: How can locals support JLNV?
JLNV:
While attending our fundraising events, such as Monte Carlo Night, or purchasing a copy of our soon-to-be-released cookbook, What Can I Bring Through the Seasons?, available in the fall, are important means of supporting the League, the most critical support the community can lend to our efforts is by becoming active members of the JLNV. The first line of our mission is to “promote voluntarism.” Voluntarism is the spirit of volunteering. Anyone can volunteer once, but real impact is achieved when volunteering and civic leadership become ingrained components within individuals, empowering them to continually work toward building better communities. In the Junior League, we refer to this as the “multiplier effect.”

Monte Carlo Night in Great Falls, Va. is on Saturday, March 18 from 7-11 p.m. Tickets cost $150, and are available for purchase until midnight tomorrow. Buy them here.

Learn more about JLNV and the organization’s initiatives at www.jlnv.org, including upcoming events like the Women Who Lead speaker series on April 24.