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This story was updated at 11:30 a.m. on May 23.

There were torrents of rain before, and more after. But it happily and remarkably ceased during the McLean Project for the Arts annual Spring Benefit on May 15, which reached its fundraising goal of $160,000.

A McLean tradition of more than 20 years, the funds raised by the benefit support MPA exhibitions, art classes and workshops for adults and children, its ArtReach program in local schools, summer art camp, tours to galleries and museums, and the annual Youth Art Show.

Ignoring the residual damp, approximately 300 guests—many event benefactors, patrons and sponsors—crowded into a spacious tent outside the large and stately Georgetown Pike home of Michelle and Chris Olson, “Holly Hill.”

MPA’s biggest and most lavish annual fundraiser was co-chaired by McLean residents Sylvia Garfinkle and Laura Miller.

Dining on food and drink provided by the Windows Catering Company and set up at several stations, the gregarious crowd filled the tent with a genial and boisterous social energy.

Only remarks by the guest of honor, veteran sports journalist Christine Brennan, and thanks to the hosts, chairs and others supporters by MPA Board Chairman Bill DuBose momentarily halted the animated conversational buzz.

Rather than art, Brennan--an award-winning USA Today sports columnist, best-selling author and commentator for ABC News, ESPN, NPR and Fox Sports Radio--spoke about women and sports.

“I believe Title IX is the most important law in the country,” said Brennan, who is widely known for her Oympics coverage and as the first woman to cover the Redskins.

Athletics, she added, is where “girls learn about winning and losing … where they learn those life lessons.”

Brennan predicted that someday a woman would not only be a candidate for President of the United States but the same ticket would have a woman vice-presidential candidate, too.

“The common denominator for all these women [present and future] is that they all played sports,” said Brennan, who donated proceeds from her book, “Best Seat in the House, a Father, a Daughter, a Journey Through Sports,” to MPA.



The original version of this story attributed a quote to the wrong person.