Posted by: Antonio | December 19, 2011

Thank You and a Baby Bella update

Hello amazing Yelpers, generous sponsors and 2011 Singles Auction Attendees!

I ran into a few of you at yesterday’s Yelp event and most of you were interested in how Baby Bella is doing.

She’s doing well and I wanted to forward along a note (see below) commemorating Bella’s 1st birthday in November.  This birthday was an amazing milestone which you’ll understand why after you’ve seen this year in review movie created by her parents.

Thanks again to everyone for their incredible generosity which made this first ever singles auction a HUGE success!

I hope you all have a very happy holiday season and a safe (and very fun) new year!


Happy Birthday, Bella!Bella Birthday Pic

This is a very special week for Geoff and Jenny Clopton and their daughter Bella. As friends of the family and Bella’s honorary uncles, we are overjoyed to be writing this message to let you know that precious little Bella turned one year old on Wednesday. Thanks to an incredibly selfless liver donor (Jenny’s sister, Jodi), teams of medical experts, a loving family, generous and amazing friends (and even a few strangers) and lots of help from above– Bella is happy and as healthy as possible considering all she’s been through over the past year.

We’ll let Jenny and Geoff update you fully– about Bella’s amazing progress and the health challenges Jodi is still facing– in their message below. Please enjoy these recent pictures of Bella and click here to watch a movie Jenny has put together about Bella’s first year of life. So many of you sacrificed so much– both financially and otherwise–to help this family. Their challenges are far from over. And it’s very likely we’ll have to call on you again for help. But for now, please take heart in the fact that Bella is alive and well on her first birthday, and you played an extremely important part. This family could not have done it without you.

All Our Best,
Len and Tommy

A Message From Jenny, Geoff, and Bella: 

Bella turned one on November 16th. I know this is a joyful milestone for all parents, but it is a particularly miraculous one for us. This past year we were told if her liver disease hadn’t been diagnosed – Bella would have died before she was eight months old. And when the pathologist saw her old liver after the transplant, he said there was no way she would have made it to her first birthday with that one. We know this to be true because sadly, this last year we have seen several other babies and children pass away before their life saving gift arrived. So, we don’t take this milestone lightly. We know what a blessing my sister’s life-saving gift was and it’s something we celebrate every day. We feel so lucky and blessed that thanks to her loving Aunt Jodi, Bella is one of the lucky children who was able to make it to her first birthday to celebrate.

Bella </p>
<p>      1st </p>
<p> BirthdayThanks to my amazing sister and her extraordinary gift – Bella is full of joy and embracing life as she turned one. We are told over and over again that she is one of the happiest babies anyone has ever met. She smiles all the time, squeals with delight when she sees people she adores, claps when things excite her and is quick with affection – crawling into our laps to offer hugs and big, sloppy kisses or to hold our hand while we read a book together or play. She is very affectionate with Jodi too. It’s like there’s some sort of liver magnet at work when she crawls near my sister. I sometimes feel it’s as if their livers get close and Bella suddenly feels something and realizes – ‘Oh, this is why my liver is happy now.’ Whenever she’s near Jodi, she crawls up on her, clasping her little baby hands around my sister’s neck and kissing her cheek. It’s amazing and never fails to bring us all to tears.

We’ve learned this last year that Bella loves dogs, music, books and the beach and is a very social girl. She’s almost walking, appears to be on track developmentally and says Mama, Dada – and after a recent doctor’s appointment was frustrating her – ‘all done.’ We’ve also learned this year that Bella loves most nurses and pet therapy, doesn’t like white medical coats or that paper that lines medical tables in doctor’s offices, and is a champ when she has to have her blood drawn every week or two – especially if we let her watch Baby Einstein on her Dad’s iphone  while it’s taken. She is still on so many medications we need a list to keep track of them all every day and she is restricted in the contact she’s allowed to have with people this first flu season. But her incision is healing well and we are very hopeful about her medical outlook.

Our greatest sadness now is the price Jodi paid for her gift of life to Bella. Instead of feeling better after three months, as is typical, Jodi continues to deal with gastroparesis – the digestive disorder without a cure – that she developed after the transplant surgery. Essentially her stomach struggles to empty, which has resulted in daily nausea and pain and often overwhelming fatigue. She’s learning to manage it – which is no easy task – and will go to the Mayo Clinic in January for additional care because they specialize in treating the condition. On top of all of this, last month she was in a car accident – hit by a woman who confused the gas pedal and brake. The woman totaled Jodi’s car– but not her spirit. One of the many airbag burns she ended up with peeled in the form of a heart, which delighted her. Despite everything, she continues to try to focus not on the pain, but on love.

Our challenges – medically and financially – for both Bella and Jodi – are far from over. But we made it through this year – thanks in great part to all of you, your love and support. We aren’t having a bunch of people over for a big birthday party for Bella this year because that would be a health concern for her right now. But we hope you will celebrate with us in spirit. If you aren’t already an organ donor, it would be great if, in honor of Bella’s birthday, you’d visit to register as one. And if you happen to pass a cupcake shop in the next few days, maybe you’ll think of our beautiful Bella, go in, pick a few up, and join us in celebrating just how sweet life really is.

Thank you –
Jenny, Geoff and Bella

See Bella’s Extraordinary First Year Online.

Here’s a video I created online at . You don’t need to have an account. If clicking on the link does not work, copy and paste the web address below into your browser’s address field:

This letter was sent by Len Turner & Tommy Rossman on behalf of Jenny, Geoff, and Bella. We plan to send periodic updates on Bella and Jodi’s progress. If you’d like to opt out of future emails, click here.
Posted by: Antonio | June 24, 2011

POSTED! Pictures from the Auction!!

Pictures from Wednesday’s auction have been posted!

Please click HERE or click on the following image to see a picture slideshow from Wednesday’s auction:


Click on the above image to see a slideshow of pictures

Everyone had a blast raising some great money for the Transplant Trust Fund.

Thanks again to all our auctionees, our generous bidders and all of our amazing sponsors.

A special thank you to Tabaq Bistro who donated 10% of their Wednesday night revenue!!  Thank you Tabaq for the $219 donation!!  :-)

Thank you everyone for making Wednesday a memorable night where we all banded together for a very special little girl!!!

Thanks!    :-D


TabaqDC PING Jaleo Volt Birch & Barley/Churchkey PlakaGrill

Posted by: Antonio | June 23, 2011


THANK  YOU!!!!!!!!!

Howdy Yelpers and Non-Yelpers!!

A big THANK YOU to all of you for helping out, being an auctionee, a bidder or a bringer-of-fun by helping to make last night a HUGE success!

I hope everyone had a fun time and you should all be proud of yourselves for helping raise some amazing money for the Transplant Trust fun.

If everyone follows up with their pledged donation amounts, we are on track to raise over $4500 (including the Tabaq 10% donation of $219)!!

$4500!!!  That is an AMAZING tally for an event that started as an idea on a Yelp talk thread.

The idea came from you all, the word was spread by you all and each and every one of you helped to make last night a success.

Without you guys and gals, the singles auction would have never become a reality.

On behalf of our little recipient, the Transplant Trust and myself, thank you all very very much!  I’d like to thank a few people for their exceptional help in making this charity a reality:

  • Tara L – Thanks so much for helping me get in contact with Tabaq and for giving some great advice in helping organize this event.
  • Shachi – Thanks for being the queen of the DCYelpers twitter account and for helping us get the word out via the interwebz
  • Justin C – Thanks for getting me in touch with Greg Engert.  The BBCK beer tasting was our most popular silent auction item.
  • Gloria L – Our amazing Gloria must’ve spent HOURS creating those bidding paddles.  Thanks Gloria for all your hard work!!
  • BM – The master emcee.  Thanks so much for lending your voice and pressence to successfully emcee the singles auction.
  • DJ David “Double-D” Dick & his crew – Our amazing DJ for the evening!  David graciously DJ’ed for FREE! Thanks for spinning some awesome tunes David!  If anyone wants to contact David, please email him at:
  • Marianne L & Mike S – For coming early and helping us set-up and get the mood going!
  • My amazing wife Maha – Who helped rally the bidders and who supported me as I worked on organizing the auction.  Thanks babes!
  • Brigette – Our friend, our neighbor and our connection to Jenny, Geoff and Bella. Thanks for the help and advice!
  • To all our auctionees and bidders – Thank you all for spending your Wednesday night with us and helping to make this event a success.
  • Our amazing Sponsors who kindly contributed some GREAT items which made our silent auction a H-U-G-E money making success!!!

If I’ve left anyone off the list or forgot to thank someone, I’m so sorry.  Just know we appreciate your help!!

You guys and gals all rock and I could NOT have done this without your help and support.  You should all be proud of yourselves!!

Way to go and thanks again.  :-)



TabaqDC PING Jaleo Volt Birch & Barley/Churchkey PlakaGrill

Posted by: Antonio | June 22, 2011




Well after a lot of hard work and planning, the night of the auction has finally arrived and I can honestly say we expect an AMAZING turnout!  The DC area is buzzing about tonight’s TWO auctions which promises to be an awesome time!

With that said, have a few important points/reminders for tonight:

1)  Please remember to bring your Credit Cards, Checkbooks and your sense of fun.
2)  Auctionees, please arrive at Tabaq by 6:30pm (or earlier) to check-in and to go over the auction details.
3)  Bidders for the Singles Auction – Please read the RULES before deciding to bid on an introduction
4)  Bidders for the SILENT Auction – Please note that the silent auction will run from 7pm to 8:30pm.
4)  LAPTOPS!  If anyone has a spare laptop and/or a MiFi (personal hotspot), can you please bring them?  Thanks!
5)  Remember to HAVE FUN!  This is in the spirit of fun and for a great cause.  Please please please remember our special recipient!

Between the singles auction and the silent auction, I’m sure everyone will find something/someone great to bid upon.

Again, the SILENT auction starts at 7pm and the SINGLES auction begins at 8pm sharp!

See you all tonight at Tabaq Bistro!!      :-)



Birch & Barley/Churchkey Birch & Barley Churchkey
– Birch & Barley / Churchkey has generously donated a Rare Beer Tasting with Birch & Barley/ChurchKey Beer Director Greg Engert. The tasting will be for the winner and five guest(six people altogether) featuring six unique beers. Greg Engert will guide the guests through the tasting, shedding light on the intricacies, nuances, and historical points of interest for each brew. Light snacks will be provided. Thank you Birch & Barley/Churchkey and Greg Engert!!


Sprinkles Cupcakes
– Who likes cupcakes?!?! Well if you are like me, your mouth is watering at this sponsor! Sprinkles cupcakes has donated a gift certificate for one dozen cupcakes to ANY Sprinkles location. Thanks Sprinkles!!



Pleasant Nail Spa
– Pleasant Nail Spa is donating donate a gift certificate for two (2) deluxe spa pedicures. Thank you Pleasant Nail Spa!



Black Door Photography
– Black Door Photography has donated a location portraiture sitting and 8×10 print from Black Door Photography. Black Door will come to a location of your choosing in the DC Metro area for a single, couple, or family portrait and provide a web-gallery for your viewing and sharing. Black Door Photography will also provide one free 8×10 print from the session to the auction winner.

Please see our Sponsors page for a full listing of our wonderful sponsors and the donated items!

Posted by: Antonio | June 14, 2011

Two new “Beery” Generous Sponsors!

We have two new wonderful sponsors!

Mad Fox Brewing Company
– Mad Fox Brewing Company is donating a $50 gift card for their amazing restaurant/brewery. With $50 you can enjoy many pints of their amazing craft beer and some delicious eats courtesy of their awesome chefs. Thanks Mad Fox!


Flying Dog Brewery
– Flying Dog Brewery has kindly donated two Flying Dog pint glasses, an apron and a t-shirt. Great shwag for any Flying Dog fan! Thanks Flying Dog!

Good morning DC!

Well the outpouring of interest for the June 22nd auction is AMAZING!

As of today, this website has amassed over 6,800 unique visits!!!

That is ASTOUNDING and a tribute to all of you wonderful people for spreading the word!!

Thank you THANK YOU!!

I also wanted to share the new (and “official”) contact email address for this site and for the singles auction.

If you have any questions, comments or thoughts related to the auction (singles auction and silent auction of the gift cards), please feel free to click on the Contact tab or use the following email:

I’d also like to thank all of our wonderful auctionees for volunteering and for the time they’ll be donating on June 22nd.  We now have 12 lovely ladies and 12 cool dudes signed up as auctionees.  24 is a GREAT number and as such, we are now closing all requests for new auctionees.

I’ll be following up on emails to prospective auctionees (that have yet received a reply from me), but as of today we are no longer accepting new auctionees for our singles auction.

Thank you to everyone for their interest and please feel free to contact me if you’d still like to help or volunteer on June 22nd.  We’ll need some people to help out and before I forget…we’ll need some folks to bring their laptops to process the PayPal donations at Tabaq.

Thanks again for everyone’s interest and please remember to spread the word about the June 22nd auction!


Posted by: Antonio | June 8, 2011

Thank you Chef Morou!!

The donations for our silent auction keep coming!

Chef Morou and Ms. Heather Ouattara have selflessly agreed to donate:

Thank you Chef Morou and Ms. Ouattara for your generosity!

Please visit our sponsors page for more information!

Posted by: Antonio | June 7, 2011

New WONDERFUL Sponsors!!

The donations for our amazing local DMV area merchants keep coming in!

Please join me in thanking our wonderful NEW sponsors!!!!

– The ThinkFoodGroup (TFG) and Chef Chef José Andrés have donated a dinner for 2 to any DC area Jaleo

– Chef Bryan Voltaggio’s amazing restaurant has pledged a $100 gift card to be used at Volt.

Plaka Grill
– The wonderful Plaka Grill management has pledged two (2) $50 gift cards! Thank you Plaka and please make my order a Plaka style order! :-)

Perry’s Restaurant
– Everyone’s FAVORITE Adams Morgan landmark has pledged a $50 gift card. Thank you Perry’s!

– Mala Tang is donating a $100 gift certificate to be auctioned off. $100 can buy you a LOT of their amazing hot pot goodness. Thank you Mala-Tang!

Thank you SO much to all of our generous sponsors!!

Please visit our Sponsors page for a full listing!

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