Inside a Bella Benefit at the Italian Embassy

Shaista and Ray Mahmood and Sheila Switzer

Earlier this month (4/30/14), hundreds of Washingtonians honored the 125th Anniversary of the Washington Home & Community Hospices at a “Celebrazione della Cura,” (A Celebration of Caring) at an elegant embassy fundraiser.

Sharon Collins Casey, Chair of the Board and Tim Cox, CEO of the Washington Home & Community Hospices, joined the wife of His Excellency Claudio Bisogniero, Italian Ambassador to the United States (representing her husband) to greet guests — to include The Honorable Esther Coopersmith, Ambassador/UNESCO, The Honorable Aniko Gaal Schott, Gail Berry West (wife of Togo West), Shahin Mafi, Christine Warnke and her escort, David Short of FedEx, The Honorable Rafat and Shaista Mahmood, Marlene and Fred Malek, Didi Cutler, Judith F. Terra, Chair, DC Commission on Arts & Humanities, Arnaud and Alexandra Villard De Borchgrave, Singapore’s Ambassador Ashok Kumar Mirpuri and Netherlands’ Ambassador and Mrs. Rudolf Bekink — in the grand ballroom of the Italian Embassy.

Barbara Hawthorn, Mr. and Mrs. Luca Franchetti Pardo and Sharon Casey

Greek opera singer Chrissellene Petropoulos electrified the evening with a magnificent Italian song, joined by widely acclaimed opera singer Rolando Sanz and Russian classical violinist Rafael Javadov. Rosalia Acampora, hostess at il Canale restaurant in Georgetown spoke about her native Italy as guests shopped at an elegant Italian market featuring upscale clothing, leather goods, jewelry, ceramics, perfumes and wines.

The benefit raised funds for healthcare services for aging, chronically and terminally ill area residents at The Washington Home & Community Hospices in Northwest Washington.

*All photos credit Neshan Naltchayan

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