The Fifth Annual Dream Gala was held on Saturday, May 8, 2010 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Prince Georges County, Maryland.  Marla Lerner Tanenbaum said that the 2010 Gala was a sellout. "It was a much better sell that we thought it was going to be given the economy this year. Last year was difficult and we felt for our partners and sponsors; we understood it was a difficult year and they really came through this year. I feel very positive about it."

This year's theme was "It's Time to Play" which describes the attitude of the 2010 Washington Nationals team.  The Nats pulled out an exciting win over the Marlins on Saturday and took the series on Sunday so it helped with the festive atmosphere of the event.


After the game, the players traded in their uniforms for tuxedos and arrived at the Gaylord to walk down the red carpet with their significant others wearing gorgeous gowns.  Virtually every coach, player and front office personnel were in attendance of the gala.

"It's really gratifying. This is our biggest fundraiser for the foundation for the year, so it's important on many levels. In terms of the team, I feel that we're representing the team--this is the only big ocasion event we do as a team, so it's nice, and it evolves, and I think this year it really reflects where we are as a team," said Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, Chair of the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation.

Ted and Annette Lerner


Chelsey and Ian Desmond




VP of Human Resources Bettina Deynes and Cristian Guzman


Wil Nieves and expecting wife Yormarie


Matt Capps visiting with guests; George all dressed up for gala


Brian Bruney and Roger Bernadina

There was a lot of activity in the first hour with the red carpet, check in, cocktails and silent auction. It was an opportunity to mingle with players and sponsors while out-bidding each other on everything from jewelry to experience packages to professional athletes autographs of all sports (including the Washington Capitals).

Silent auction items




One of the most popular sections of the silent auction was the "Player Favorites Baskets" which are a collection of some of their favorite things.  Baskets might contain snacks, cards, books, movies, games, signed baseballs, bats, Nationals caps, golf balls, variety of Nats memorabilia, etc. This year baskets were submitted from Adam Dunn, Scott Olsen, Willie Harris, Sean Burnett, Alberto Gonzalez, Wil Nieve, John Lannan, Ian Desmond and Craig Stammen.


PLAYER FAVORITES BASKETS:


Adam Dunn

Scott Olsen

Willie Harris

Sean Burnett

Alberto Gonzalez

Wil Nieves

John Lannan

Ian Desmond

Craig Stammen


Alberto and Elaine Gonzalez




Stephen Straburg game-worn jersey went for $6500 at the live auction!




Mock up of field gate to enter for dinner


Main Dining Room

Three youth baseball players assisted with guests.

Youth baseball players got to throw out a ceremonial first pitch
to future Hall of Famer Catcher Pudge Rodriguez



MASN's Johnny Holliday and Rob Dibble were emcee's for event
and announced the 2010 Washington Nationals:
Nationals Relief Pitchers

Nationals Starting Pitchers

Nationals Catchers

Nationals Outfielders

Willie Harris

Nyjer Morgan


Nationals Infielders

Adam Dunn

Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman


Marla Lerner Tanenbaum's Remarks before dinner

"We really want the Nationals Foundation to be a brand that people connect to. We want people to know that when they give to the Nationals Foundation it's going to some really good causes."



"The most immediate thing we do...is the neighborhood initiative program, because we give to non-profits in the neighborhood of the ballpark. The fishing school, boys and girls club, the earth consevation corps, these are all things in Ward 6, Ward 7, Ward 8; that's what we consider the neightborhood of the ballpark."



After dinner, guests had the opportunity to bid on unique items and experiences in the live auction. In addition to the Strasburg jersey mentioned earlier, the big ticket item was to shadow GM Mike Rizzo for the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, which raised $7,000 for the foundation. Shadowing the team photographer for a day went for $2500. Other live auction highlights were a team signed Deacon's Bench, suites at Nats Park for baseball game, Dave Matthews Band concert suite for 16 people and Opening Day 2010 baseball signed by President Obama and first pitch photograph.

Ivan ("Pudge") Rodriguez and Wil Nieves with their wives


The Kloke Family with Scott Olsen and his girlfirend


Jimmy and Wil


Josh and Ginger Willingham


\

By the smiles on everyone's faces, it looks like all of the guests had a fun night. If you are interested in attending the 6th annual gala, mark your calendars for May 2011 and check their website.  If you'd like to make a donation, you can do so online and make a difference in a child's life.

All Photos 2010 © Cheryl Nichols Photography/Nationals News Network. All Rights Reserved

2 comments

  1. Lauren T. // May 13, 2010 at 1:46 PM  

    Love it! Come take some pics of the Braves in their tuxes for us, please! :)

  2. Cheryl Nichols // May 13, 2010 at 5:43 PM  

    I would love to take photos Lauren - just let me know when. :)