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(Photo via Runningbrooke/Facebook)

Spring2ACTion, the biggest single-day fundraiser for the city’s nonprofits, is just around the corner, and so is early giving.

After raising a record-setting $2.9 million for 186 local nonprofits from 8,331 donors last year, ACT For Alexandria has, for the second-straight year, set the upcoming fundraising goal at $2.5 million. ACT also wants 10,000 donors for what will be their 14th annual fundraising bonanza.

Spring2ACTion is the main annual fundraiser for most of the participating nonprofits. The top three recipients last year were Move2Learn with $170,400, Casa Chirilagua with $167,994 and Carpenter’s Shelter with $91,938.

Spring2ACTion will run from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24. Early giving starts next Wednesday, April 10.

Donations can be made on, where donors can search for and donate to their preferred nonprofits.

According to ACT for Alexandria:

All donations are tax deductible and irrevocable. (Donations will not be refunded). Donors will receive a receipt for their gift. The nonprofit will receive contact information for each donor, unless the donor elects to remain anonymous. Leaderboards will add a sense of competition and excitement during the build-up and event day. Additional cash grants will be awarded to the top winners in each leaderboard category for the day:

  • Nonprofits that have the Most Donors – We will award prizes based on operational budget size broken down into three categories — small – $0-$100K, medium – $100K-$500K, and large – $500K+
  • Free Agent Fundraisers that have the Most Donors – these prizes will be awarded to the organization designated by the Free Agent Fundraiser

Via Running Brooke/Facebook

The Irish Breakfast Band (image via Art on the Avenue/Facebook)

Didn’t get enough Irish cultural celebration at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade this weekend? A group of musicians are celebrating Irish folk music at a concert in Alexandria this weekend.

The Irish Breakfast Band — a group consisting of around 15 musicians with a variety of fiddles, flutes, hammered dulcimers and more — is playing at the Lyceum (201 S. Washington Street) this Saturday (March 9) from 7-8:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door, or $5 for children 17 and under. All proceeds benefit The Office of Historic Alexandria.

According to a release:

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day early with The Irish Breakfast Band. Most Irish Breakfast Band performances feature 15 or more musicians, often several fiddles and flutes, a guitar or two, a drummer, a hammered dulcimer, banjo, pipes, and at least one vocalist. The band performs extensively in the Washington Metropolitan area at festivals and other events including the Washington Folk Festival, Art on the Avenue (in Alexandria) and local concert series. Proceeds from ticket sales, cash bar, and tips benefit the Office of Historic Alexandria. Free Snacks. Beer & wine for sale.

Photo via Art on the Avenue/Facebook

Pysanky for sale at Made in ALX (image courtesy Made in ALX)

Buying a traditional decorated egg, called pysanky, in Alexandria will help support families affected by the war in Ukraine.

Creator collective Made in ALX is collaborating with local management consultant business The Critical Mass and a group of Ukranian-American artists led by Pysanky Steph to sell the decorated eggs and raise funds for Razom for Ukraine, a nonprofit that donates food and other kinds of support to Ukrainian families.

According to a release, the eggs are a sort of Ukrainian Easter egg — an art passed down through generations and made during Lent to be given as gifts.

“Legend says that there is a monster that represents all evil chained to a cliff, and how tight those chains hold it is entirely dependent on how many pysanky are made each year,” the release said. “The more made, the tighter the chains hold evil at bay.”

According to a release:

As the war in Ukraine drags on, the region’s humanitarian crisis continues to grow. More Ukrainian residents are being displaced every day due to the war. This annual fundraiser benefits Razom for Ukraine, a nonprofit organization founded in 2014 and dedicated to building up Ukraine and its people.

This year, Pysanky Steph (Ukrainian-American artist Stephanie Malm Cheeseman) and other local artists will decorate traditional pysanky (decorated eggs) to sell at Made in ALX in Alexandria.

The eggs will be available for purchase at Made in ALX (533 Montgomery Street) starting tomorrow (Feb. 15).

A celebration on Sunday, Feb. 25, from 5-7 p.m. at Made in ALX will also give buyers a chance to meet the artists. A class on teaching pysanky classes is being offered as well, with classes starting on Sunday, Feb. 25.

Alexandria’s Pat Malone will stand up for 24 hours straight on Feb. 10 -11 for his 10th annual Stand Up To Cancer fundraising event (via Elza Daniel/Facebook)

For the 10th straight year, Alexandria resident Pat Malone will stand up to cancer for 24 hours straight starting Saturday, Feb. 10, at Fire Works Pizza in Arlington.

The event starts at 4:26 p.m. Saturday and ends the same time on Sunday. That’s the time that Malone remembers waking up from surgery to remove a hockey puck-sized cancerous malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor from his shoulder at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Over those 24 hours, Malone won’t sit down.

“I stand up for 24 hours because there are people that you and I and everybody know who are suffering through cancer and can’t stand up,” Malone told ALXnow. “We need to win the war against cancer with medical breakthroughs. You can give a donation of $20 or $2,000, and 100% of the donations goes straight to the front lines of this literal battle.”

The 20-year U.S. Air Force veteran underwent dozens of radiation treatments in 2014 and has been cancer-free ever since. Later, he conducted his first fundraiser with the nonprofit Stand Up To Cancer and estimates raising more than $100,000 over the years.

Malone, 66, also suffers from hereditary spastic paraplegia and is slowly losing his ability to walk. He said that standing for a full day in the restaurant, which is owned by his family, is the most physically exhausting activity that he does every year.

“By hour 12, at around 4:26 a.m. is when I really start to feel it,” Malone said. “All the staff have gone home and I’ll watch ESPN on the big screen TV until they start coming back at around 9 a.m. It gets exasperating at about the 20-hour mark. It’s so intense, but then in that last hour between 3:26 and 4:26, friends start showing up and the countdown starts and it gets easier.”

Malone will dedicate the money raised to the medical teams at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Fort Belvoir’s Alexander T. Augusta Military Medical Center.

Fifty percent of men and about 33% of women will get cancer in their lifetimes, according to The National Cancer Institute.

Photo via Elza Daniel/Facebook

Sign marking the lynching of Benjamin Thomas (image via City of Alexandria)

A set of dinners next month will help raise funding for local scholarships named after the victims of lynching in Alexandria.

The Alexandria Community Remembrance Project runs the scholarships in the names of Joseph McCoy and Benjamin Thomas, Black Alexandrians who were lynched in 1897 and 1899.

“The dinners, hosted in the homes of members of ACRP, provide attendees with an opportunity to meet other Alexandrians who care about racial justice issues,” the Office of Historic Alexandria said in a newsletter. “Each dinner is based on a book that attendees agree to read ahead of time and discuss at the meal.”

Tickets for the fundraisers are $125 per person. The dinners are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 4 and the following Saturday, Nov. 11.

The discussions will center around Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk About Race, Grace Elizabeth Hale’s Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South, and Loki Mulholland’s Get Back to the Counter, Seven Lessons From Civil Rights Icon Joan Trumpauer Mulholland.

Flyer by The Little Theatre of Alexandria

The Little Theatre of Alexandria (600 Wolfe Street) is hosting a pair of staged reading events over the next two weeks to commemorate the murder of Matthew Shepard and raise funding for The Matthew Shepard Foundation.

Shepard, a young gay man in Laramie, Wyoming, was beaten, tortured and killed in a hate crime. Shepard’s murder sparked awareness of and advocacy for hate crime legislation, including the launch of the LGBT nonprofit Matthew Shepard Foundation by his parents.

The Little Theatre of Alexandria is producing a reading of The Laramie Project, a play first produced in 2000 to explore and understand what happened to Shepard, including text from real interviews with people connected to the murder.

The readings are scheduled for 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6, and Thursday, Oct. 12.

Tickets are $20 and benefit The Matthew Shepard Foundation.

According to the theatre’s website:

Kaufman and the other company members visited Laramie on six occasions and interviewed residents, members of the police force, and Matthew’s friends, in an attempt to understand what happened, and why. They were also interested in the possibility that theatre, more than any other medium, would allow people to engage with and reflect on the issues brought to public attention by Matthew’s murder, such as homophobia, hatred, intolerance, and fear. The Laramie Project takes those real interviews and weaves them into the story of events surrounding the murder and the months beyond. This staged reading at LTA will be performed exactly 25 years from the date Matthew was attacked and the date he died in the hospital.

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GoFundMe for Mya Hall, third from left (image via GoFundMe)

Mya Hall, a manager at Matt & Tony’s All Day Kitchen + Bar in Del Ray (1501 Mt Vernon Avenue) was killed Saturday morning in a single-vehicle crash on I-70 in Baltimore.

Hall, 28, leaves behind one son. Matt Sloan, owner of Matt & Tony’s, launched a GoFundMe to support Hall’s family. Sloan described Hall as a beloved friend who brightened everyone’s day with her smile and humor:

We are heartbroken after losing a beloved friend, Mya Hall. A talented manager at Matt and Tony’s in Alexandria, she brightened everyone’s day with her smile and her sense of humor.

We are asking for support to help her family, including her son, through this difficult time. We will miss you, Mya!


The Alexandria Fire Department is running its annual fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) starting next week.

The Fill the Boot campaign is an annual drive run by the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2141. This year, it kicks off on Wednesday, Aug. 23 and will run through Thursday, Aug. 31. Drivers around Alexandria can expect to see local firefighters along the side of the road looking for donations.

“Between 2009 and 2022, AFD has raised more than $350,000 for MDA,” the city said in a release. “Every boot drive helps families with muscular dystrophy in your community by funding research for new treatments, supporting MDA Care Centers, and sending kids to MDA Summer Camp.”

According to the release, firefighters will be trying to fill the boot with donations at:

  • George Washington Parkway/Slaters Lane
  • Richmond Highway/East Glebe Road
  • King Street/Quaker Lane/Braddock Road
  • Van Dorn Street/Edsall Road
  • Washington Street/King Street
  • Duke Street/Patrick Street/Henry Street OR Gibbon Street/Patrick Street/Henry Street
  • Duke Street/Quaker Lane

Donations can also be made online.


One month after Nasrat Ahmad Yar’s murder in D.C., the family said the GoFundMe has helped them stay in their home.

Yar worked as an interpreter for U.S. Army Special Forces in Afghanistan before moving to the United States with his family after the collapse of the Afghan government in 2021. Yar lived in Alexandria and worked as a tow truck driver and rideshare driver to support his family.

While working as a rideshare driver for Lyft in D.C. on Monday, July 3, Yar was shot and killed. Surveillance video shows four people running from the scene, but no arrests have been announced.

In an update posted yesterday on the GoFundMe, organizer Jeramie Malone said the family was behind on their rent when Nasrat was killed, and the fundraiser has kept his widow and children from being evicted and the remaining funds are being put into a trust for the family.

According to Malone:

Thank you all for continued support for Nasrat’s family. Because of your kind donations, the Ahmad Yars have been able to stay in their home. The night he was killed, just over a month ago, Nasrat was behind on his rent because he had given so much of his money away to friends and family in need. Thanks to all of you, Nasrat’s wife and children do not need to worry about a roof over their heads.

We are also in the process of having the donor funds put into a trust for Nasrat’s wife and kids. Nasrat’s dream was to see his precious children grow up safe, happy, and healthy here in the US. Nasrat will not be here to see his kids grow up and to celebrate their many successes. He was robbed of the opportunity to share the many beautiful experiences they will have. Nasrat’s family almost lost their opportunity to fulfill his dreams for them, but your generosity has given them another chance. Thank you for the kindness that shows that there are so many good people here.

Image via Facebook

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The Alexandria City High School marquee (staff photo by James Cullum)

A grassroots social media page at Alexandria City High School, run by students and teachers, is looking for some funding to help make better content for the school.

Alexandria City High School teacher Gabriel Elias was the example in a Washington Post story and a White House briefing in 2020 of teachers adapting to virtual classrooms and connecting with students digitally. Since then, Elias has been working with a volunteer team of students and teachers to make a positive social media hub at the school. Now he’s looking for some help to take the project to the next level.

“Over the past years, I’ve gone from teaching with social media to planning, shooting, editing, and posting for a school of over 4,000,” Elias, a teacher at the school’s International Academy, wrote. “I teach full-time, but I run the successful social media team. The impact of our positive content on struggling students, concerned parents, potential community partners, and inspired teachers is massive. I want to step it up next year!”

The channel includes testimonials from students, coverage of events at the school and more. The Instagram page has roughly 3,233 followers.

So far, the students and teachers have mostly been using personal cellphones since they don’t have access to cameras that record well indoors. Elias is looking for funds to help give the students access to top-of-the-line camera kits, microphones and more to help promote activities and events at the school.

The Donors Choose page — a fundraising platform for teachers — says the goal is $2,922 for better equipment by Nov. 14.

“By last year’s end, we were posting (we are a team of students and teachers– all volunteer) at least ten video segments a week including sports events, clubs like Black Student Union, ceremonies, interviews on safety, and much more,” Elias wrote. “Next year will be even more: People expect a video for everything!”

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