The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia will host its 2021 Raise the Region, a virtual fund-raising event that will be live-streamed and will include an online auction and opportunities to engage and connect with the community, on Friday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. 

The theme this year is "Building a Community that Works for Everyone," and the event will highlight a record level of giving from the Community Foundation throughout the region.

Hosted by NBC4’s Leon Harris, the 2021 Raise the Region virtual event is free to attend at Though usually an in-person gala attended by more than 600 business, philanthropic and community leaders, this year’s event is a virtual campaign to raise unrestricted funds to support the Community Foundation’s ability to grow philanthropy to respond to need and seed innovation throughout the region. It will include an online auction and raffle, a video presentation highlighting the foundation's work in the region, and opportunities to engage and connect with the community.

The Community Foundation awarded more than $2 million of emergency response support last year to address the immediate impact of COVID-19. This year the Community Foundation continued to address the fallout from the pandemic with the launch of its "Build Back-Dream Forward Initiative."

“We launched Build Back Dream Forward last fall to help those who had been disproportionately impacted by the virus and its fallouts. Our goals for the initiative are to promote more social and economic mobility, racial justice and equity and more inclusive systems of economic growth,” said Eileen Ellsworth, president and CEO of the foundation. 

To date Build Back-Dream Forward has awarded $530,300 in grants to over 20 local organizations.  

The Oct. 8 event will feature the presentation of the 2021 Community Leadership Award to Karen Schaufeld, philanthropist, author, entrepreneur, and lawyer.

“Karen is a strategic and highly effective advocate for the needs of Northern Virginia.  Her passion is clearly contagious on behalf of the entire region,” said Ellsworth.

Support for the Community Foundation’s 2021 Raise the Region Event is provided by signature sponsors Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, Jeane Dixon Children to Children Foundation, John and Nina Toups Charitable Fund, Nolan Family Charitable Fund, Schaufeld Family Foundation, Fred Schaufeld, Tony & Annette Nader, Cliff & Debbie White and SWaN Investors Management. Community leadership sponsors are Ted and Lynn Leonsis and Truist.

The auction sponsor is Pohanka Automotive Group, the photo engagement sponsor is Monument Wealth Management, and the raffle sponsor is the Caimi-Markis Family Fund. Community wealth building sponsors are Tom and Hillary Baltimore, The Blackthorn Foundation, David and Amy Bosserman, Dewberry, Eileen Ellsworth and Bob Weil, Robert and Pamela Kipps, Lubetzky Family Foundation, Telos Corp., Washington Gas, John H. Wolff & Wealthspire Advisors.  

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