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T.J. and Lauren Oshie photographed at The Maxwell (themaxwellapts.com)

FEATURES

Living to Give

By Michael McCarthy

Photography by Greg Powers

11.01.17

We are blessed to live in a community where giving is part of our collective DNA; it’s a natural way to make lasting connections to souls and neighborhoods. The Washingtonians in the following pages make their marks in a range of ways—from fundraising for Alzheimer’s research to raising thousands for libraries. Their grace has an impact, and for this, we thank them.

T.J. and Lauren Oshie
The couple’s fundraising efforts for Alzheimer’s research is all pro.

T.J. Oshie speaks loudest on the ice, but it’s difficult not to notice the work he and his wife, Lauren, are doing out of the limelight. The Capitals’ star winger saw his father diagnosed with the disease at 50 in 2012. “This [disease] resonates with me because my father and his sister had it, and I think when someone is affected by something that can be life-threatening, or life-changing, it hits you harder,” he says. “You become more aware, and you want to get involved as much as you can. I think we have an obligation and the right to be active in the community and should be proud of that obligation to give back.” Last summer, the Oshies participated in the Alzheimer’s Association’s The Longest Day campaign in honor of his father. The couple raised nearly $23,000 for the organization in less than a week—and the Oshies will continue to be involved with the association during the upcoming season, along with team initiatives like Courage Caps, Teammates for Kids and Hockey Fights Cancer. “DC-area residents have very big hearts, and it’s one of the biggest reasons we stayed here,” he says. “I learned this during The Longest Day campaign, where I spread the word through Twitter. The DC fans jumped on it, and we raised a lot more money than we originally targeted.” 

The Kellers and Tiffany Sanders photographed at The Jefferson (jeffersondc.com)

Carolyn and Mark Keller, and daughter Tiffany Sanders
A husband, wife and their adult daughter founded EBeauty to provide wigs to thousands of cancer patients.

The numbers and logistics are staggering. But when talking to Carolyn Keller, the entire—and seemingly impossible—enterprise seems like another challenge worth tackling. Since January 2016, EBeauty has received and distributed 7,000 wigs to cancer patients. It has distributed 17,000 in the past seven years. In the coming year alone, Carolyn says the program, which has a partnership with the American Cancer Society’s Look Good Feel Better project, will reach at least 16,000 women. “Having access to wigs at no cost during their journey through cancer treatment empowers women with an increased sense of confidence that carries them through such a difficult time,” says Carolyn, who launched the nonprofit in 2010 with husband Mark Keller after she battled breast cancer twice. Daughter Tiffany Sanders, a lawyer in DC, is now a board member for the organization. DC’s Eivind and Hans Salon cleans and refurbishes all wigs donated through the program. From there, women select wigs via the EBeauty website, and they are mailed at no cost. Wigs are also distributed via a partnership with Georgetown University Hospital’s Lombardi Cancer Center (a distribution channel exists in Miami, where the Kellers also have a home). “For the women who donate their wig, it allows them to move forward with their lives knowing they are supporting another woman on her journey,” says Carolyn. “The program fosters a cycle of giving, support and healing.” 

Anna Fuhrman profile by Jennifer Barger

Anna Fuhrman
With strumming guitars as a call to action, retailer Anna Furhman has helped raise thousands for the DC Public Library.

Books and local music were among the diverse interests of the late DC writer and fundraiser Annie Lou Bayly Berman. After Berman’s untimely death from breast cancer last year, her friend (and fellow bibliophile) Anna Fuhrman founded Rock the Stacks, an innovative words-and-notes fundraiser for the DC Public Library. The idea was one Berman herself had championed: Have local bands cut an album and play at a rollicking party to benefit one of her and Fuhrman’s favorite causes. The album, available either on vinyl or as a digital download, features cuts from local punk and rock acts like Sitali and Juju, and Fort Knox Five; cover artwork depicts Berman and her four kids. That first bash happened this past February at the MLK Jr. Library, and it drew music acts like Fugazi’s Jerry Busher and Thievery Corporation’s Rob Myers. “So many people worked to make it happen, pouring their love of Annie Lou and their passion for art into it,” says Fuhrman, owner of Proper Topper. “It was a blast, and Annie Lou would’ve loved it.” What she also would’ve adored: The event raised $45,000 for the library. A new album and party is currently in the works. Album purchase and donations, dcplfoundation.networkforgood.com

Anthony and Elizabeth Wilder
The couple has used their design and fundraising prowess to great effect for The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health.

Anthony Wilder needn’t have worried about the impact his efforts make at The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health, a hospitality residence for children and their families while children with life-threatening diseases are undergoing treatment. Recently, he and his wife, Elizabeth Wilder, along with members of their team at Anthony Wilder Design/Build, were serving dinner to families at The Inn when he met a young girl. “She [had] covered her walker with the red balloons we had brought with us,” says Anthony. “She was filled with positive energy, even though she was really struggling. Putting hope into a child’s day when she’s facing something so difficult—that’s what giving back is all about.” The Wilders—Anthony is founder of the firm, and Elizabeth is the president—had its team design and build a colossal fire-truck playhouse for The Inn. This year, they are donating their services and materials to design and construct a new grilling area at The Inn. “We’ve been focusing on creating a legacy,” Anthony says. “The charitable choices we make and our company’s philanthropic culture are all part of that.”