We Kare-eoke *Washington* 2012

A Report on the Evening

 

Hundreds of people attended the four-hour event at Union Jack’s in Bethesda on December 23.  Holt’s friends Sara Cowan and David Joffe and Stone’s friends Michael Rogan and Jules Baringer, with an major assist by Sarah Taylor, team-emceed the evening.  Again, singers of all ages, solos and groups of all sizes, sang their hearts out.  There was much love and support and tears.  And beautiful energy in the spirits

of Stone and of Holt.


The event raised thousands and with funds added by the Foundation, $18,000 in grants were issued to equally benefit the three organizations: 

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Rebuilding Together of Washington DC

and Environment America.


    Before the singing began, Jan and Linton spoke.

Thank you, everyone.  We want to begin tonight -- as 2012 comes to an end -- with a brief period of silence. To remember all of those killed in Newtown, and their parents. And to remember all those we knew and loved who left us this year, and all those who lost a loved one this year.


Thank you to everyone who is here tonight -- remembering and helping us keep alive the spirits of our beloved sons, Holt and Stone.


We miss them so incredibly much. 


With your sensitive and generous help we can carry on some of their good works and goodwill.


Stone and Holt loved karaoke. We remember a Christmastime adventure a few years ago when our friends Nick and Cathy Guyer of Southampton, England brought their family here for a visit.  The Guyers have five smart and beautiful children.  And they came to Washington hoping that our family could show them America.


It was a tall order for Holt and Stone. But as usual, they not only rose to the occasion, they seized it and with grace, wit and a lot of good humor, they gave us all an unforgettable Christmas.


The boys guided the Guyers on a history-laced tour of the Capital city. They introduced them to the Museum of Natural History -- showing them the Hope Diamond, the African elephant and the hissing cockroach. The boys led us through The National Gallery. And then we all went back to our house and everybody -- of all ages -- sang karaoke. We had the best time. Holt and Stone made everything so much fun.


That is why these events, as hard as they are for us, remind us so much of our fun-loving sons. We are surrounded by old friends and new friends and that is exactly how Stone and Holt were -- surrounded by amazing and diverse friends.


Thank you all for helping us tonight combine social activism with being together. Thank you to the engaged organizations which Stone and Holt worked with and we benefit tonight -- Environment America that is committed to a greener planet, Rebuilding Together of Washington DC that helps provide affordable housing in the nation’s capital, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society that battles cancer of the blood.


Thank you to all of the wonderful ones helping us tonight:  Thank you to Holt’s and Stone’s dear dear friends, to the emcees, dear friends of Stone and of Holt. Thank you to Nico Atencio, the Walter Johnson Leadership Class and interns -- and thank you to all other generous volunteers.  Thank you to Caroline Lacey who continues to do many thoughtful things -- large and small -- for The Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation. Thank you to our Foundation administrator Susan Park, to Bob Garfield, to The Harikaraoke Band and to everyone at Union Jack’s. And thank you to the many generous sponsors who contributed to the raffle.


Thank you to all the singers, all the singers along, all the listeners, all the diners who know that a portion of all food and drink tonight goes to our Foundation. We love you all.


Now please:  Drink responsibly and sing irresponsibly.

 

     Beautiful speeches were made by the organizations’ representatives.  Each of the three spoke about the important ways that Holt or Stone contributed to their causes, and how memorial awards have been created to honor them and to encourage more volunteerism like theirs.  The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has established The

Holt Weeks Trailblazers Challenge trophy to encourage innovative fundraising in Washington-area high schools.  Rebuilding Together rewards enthusiastic volunteerism in green building with The Green Hammer Award in Honor of Stone and Holt Weeks. And Environment America recognizes an outstanding recruiter in their Fellows Program with The Stone and Holt Weeks Recruiting Award.    


A deeply heartfelt thank you to all of the generous volunteers and sponsors who donated talents and prizes.