November 8, 2017 Published in Non-Profits

2017 Capitol Steps Benefit For UCM Raises Nearly $87,000 For Families In Need: Proceeds Support United Community Ministries

UCM Executive Director Alison DeCourcey welcomes more than 350 guests to the 2017 Capitol Steps Benefit for UCM (courtesy photo)

On Sunday, Nov. 5, The Friends of UCM hosted a sold-out crowd for its annual fundraising event, The Capitol Steps Benefit for UCM, in the Madison Auditorium at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria. The 26th annual signature event raised nearly $87,000 that will provide help and hope to vulnerable individuals, families, and children in Southeastern Fairfax County.

“Poverty is no laughing matter, but The Capitol Step’s political satire was as hilarious and timely as ever,” says Elin Bohn, President of The Friends of UCM and member of the UCM Board of Directors. “I look forward to this performance each year. It’s a fun event to support a cause that we can all rally around.” Even though recent political discourse on both sides of the aisle has been quite contentious, the comedy of The Capitol Steps did not disappoint, with creative skits that poked fun at the current presidential administration, former presidents, congressional leaders, Supreme Court Justices, and foreign heads of state. One of the most popular skits was “Lirty Dies,” the Steps’ always funny “backward talk” monologue. More than 350 guests enjoyed a delightful evening with friends and colleagues, with chances to win elegant raffle baskets.

“UCM is grateful to our hosts and to our sponsors who make this event possible, especially Title Sponsor Doug and Eileen Kennett and Diamond Sponsor, AT&T, Diamond Sponsor,” says Alison DeCourcey, UCM Executive Director. The full list of more than 40 event sponsors is available on the UCM website at  Media sponsors included the Mount Vernon Gazette and Mount Vernon Voice.

Event co-chair Diane Hanak with Friends of UCM President and UCM Board Member Elin Bohn and event co-chairs Trish Fowler and Judy Cahill (courtesy photo)

“The Friends of UCM is a group of volunteers providing fundraising and community education about UCM,” continues Bohn. “We have raised nearly $2.6 million since our founding in 2001 – all to ensure that during their time of need, people in our community can turn to UCM for help and achieve financial stability. We are so pleased that our Capitol Steps signature event was a success this year. Thank you again to all our sponsors and guests for joining us and for supporting UCM in so many ways to strengthen and help low-income families.”

“UCM’s programs and services are changing lives every day,” explains DeCourcey. “A key priority is to demonstrate the impact of our services on the lives of the individuals and families we serve. In the long term, this is what truly matters to them: changing their lives for the better. It’s multiple generations of families no longer relying on UCM for groceries but instead living in safe housing that’s affordable with healthy food due to living wage employment.

Community leaders at the UCM benefit: (l-r) retired Fairfax County Supervisor Gerry Hyland, State Senator Scott Surovell (D-36) and Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck

“UCM is committed to addressing the changes occurring in the community we serve, and continuing our tradition of playing a vital role in the lives of those who need help the most. As UCM puts itself on a more sustainable path, we will help put our clients on their own sustainable path to self-sufficiency. We are committed to ensuring a better future for the next generation.

“We are grateful for the outpouring of community support to equip, educate, and empower people to improve their lives. This is a wonderful time to be involved, and we have so many ways to help including volunteer opportunities for groups and individuals of all ages.”

The Friends of UCM will host its annual Give From the Heart Spring Gala on Saturday, April 14, 2017, at the Madison Auditorium, US Patent and Trademark Office, in Old Town Alexandria. For information about sponsoring the 2017 Gala, contact UCM Development and Communications Director Kenya Welch at


About United Community Ministries

United Community Ministries is a community-based nonprofit offering comprehensive programs and services for vulnerable children, youth, and families in Southeastern Fairfax County. UCM provides a vital connection between people in need and the people committed to helping them thrive. Services include counseling and referrals, emergency assistance, supplemental food, early care and learning, after-school and leadership programs at neighborhood community centers, ELS and citizenship classes, and parent education. Learn more at

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