It has been fashionable for some time to decry "Washington cocktail weenies," and more generally the culture that produces bipartisan schmooze-fests where people hobnob and make deals.
But I am here to tell you that those cocktail parties can be put to good use. Very good use. Next week, a guestlist equal parts "famous for DC" (Sen. Arlen Specter! Barney Frank!) and "famous-famous" (Christina Ricci!) will host a benefit for RAINN, the Rape Abuse, and Incest National Network.
ABOUT RAINN: Founded by Tori Amos, it is the organization that supports the ONLY national hotline for victims of sexual assault (1-800-656-HOPE). About 10,000 victims call every month -- a number that's double from last year. They've recently started an "online hotline" to reach out to people who may feel more comfortable with texting or messaging than calling. They rely donations, which are tax-deductible.
ABOUT THE EVENT: Cocktail party at 6pm on Wednesday, September 9. Not much more to say. There will be drinks, as well as food that is slightly smaller in size than food you receive at regular meals. RAINN will be premiering a new PSA (starring Gabrielle Union, Dylan McDermott, and Kevin Bacon). MANY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS will be there. BARNEY FRANK, folks. THE FRANK.
If you're in DC, you should come: tickets start at $200 and go up to a Platinum Sponsorship for $5000.
If you aren't in DC, you can still come! Only you'll not actually be there, which means you don't have to dress up. But you can experience the event virtually: I'll be live-Tweeting the event via @RAINNLive. For $100 donation, you'll get access to the protected feed and all that comes with it: vicarious VIP access, party pix -- every detail, including the opportunity to submit questions for my private chat with Ricci. The feed will run from 6pm to 8:30pm ET on Wednesday, September 9. Donate here, and use the code "TWEET" when you give you $100 -- or more!
If you can't give $100, try to give something. It's the only hotline of its kind that serves the whole country; I wish we didn't need it, but we do.