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BUZZWORTHY/A Shirtless Clinton Portis, Getting his Beefcake on

Allison Brooks
By Allison Brooks
Posted on Nov 17,2011
Filed Under Entertainment , Local Style,

Photo by Allison Priebe Brooks<br /> <br />Clinton Portis being
Photo by Allison Priebe Brooks
Clinton Portis being "auctioned off" at Knock Out Abuse.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In grand style, The Knock Out Abuse Against Women (KOA) organization celebrated 18 years of fundraising and raising awareness for victims of domestic abuse in our nation's capital last Thursday.
The colorful St. Tropez themed gala had the largely ladies only crowd wearing colorful dresses and sarongs at The Ritz Carlton in DC as guests were treated to an amazing night out on the town, with sisterhood and supporting victims of domestic violence in the forefront of attendees minds.

Photo by Allison Priebe Brooks<br /> <br />Marissa Mitrovich and Kathleen Kennedy at Knock Out Abuse.
Photo by Allison Priebe Brooks
Marissa Mitrovich and Kathleen Kennedy
at Knock Out Abuse.

The sold-out gala hosted more than 750 of Washington's most prominent women.
The more notable names in the crowd included WUSA's Andrea Roane, who played emcee for the evening; Knock Out founders Cheryl Masri and Jill Sorensen as well as members of Congress and leaders in the corporate and philanthropic communities.  
Lucky men in attendance included founder of  Evolution Look modeling Paul Wharton,  DC events impresario Andre Wells and  Maryland's Lieutenant Governor Anthony G. Brown as well as Redskins star Clinton Portis, who was auctioned off for a date for $6,000.

Knock Out’s annual girls night gala was near capacity and sold out even with the $500 ticket price for admission.  

Guests were escorted down to the grand ballroom by shirtless hunks and men in tuxedos starting at 6:30 followed by a cocktail reception and over-the-top silent auction, featuring nearly 200 goods and services up for grabs. The doors for dinner opened just after 8pm.

Photo by Allison Priebe Brooks<br /> <br />Washington Redskin Clinton Portis gets his beefcake on.
Photo by Allison Priebe Brooks
Washington Redskin Clinton Portis gets
his beefcake on.

Guests were ushered into a glittering ballroom that looked spectacular with table cloths that glistened like the Caribbean ocean.  Andrea Roane opened the event and, after a heart felt word from the organization’s founders, Cheryl Masri and Jill Sorensen there was special recognition for 2011 event chair - Jaci Wilson Reid  - and then a delicious three course dinner was served.

The honored guest of the evening was The Honorable Anthony G. Brown who gave a heartfelt keynote address on domestic abuse.  

The O’Malley-Brown administration is well known for its focus on the protection of victims of domestic violence by taking firearms out of the hands of the abusers and passing legislation allowing victims of domestic abuse to terminate a residential lease with a copy of a final protective order.

“Addressing domestic violence is the collective responsibility of each and every one of us,” said Lt. Governor Brown, whose cousin Cathy was shot and killed by her estranged boyfriend in a domestic violence incident in 2008.  “Domestic violence is a tragedy that has impacted the lives of far too many, and those targeted by their abusers are not the only victims.  The victims are also the families who share the pain of their loved ones, the communities that are shaken by these heinous acts, and our society as a whole. I thank Knock Out Abuse Against Women for recognizing our efforts to reduce domestic violence in Maryland and I salute you for your ongoing work to provide critical support to survivors of domestic violence.  I look forward to working with all of our partners throughout the region to eliminate this senseless crime.”

Photo by Allison Priebe Brooks<br /> <br />A full house at Knock out Abuse.
Photo by Allison Priebe Brooks
A full house at Knock out Abuse.

Organizations that will benefit from this year’s proceeds are Bethany House of Northern Virginia, a non-profit that provides emergency shelter and support services to victims of domestic violence; Crossway Community, an entrepreneurial, non-profit organization with a mission to promote learning, creativity, and community for all families; DC Volunteer Lawyers Project, a nonprofit organization that provides high-quality, free legal services to low-income District of Columbia residents in family law cases; and Safe Shores, a facility that offers a safe and supportive environment for physically and sexually abused children and adolescents.  
When the frenzied live and silent auctions ended and tearful speeches concluded the guests were ushered back into the lobby, where men from the Knock Out’s brother event across town, Fight Night, began to file in.
Back in the ballroom, tables were removed and the space was flipped into a dance club. The men and women danced and drank until the wee morning hours.  

This annual gala is the primary fundraising event for KOA. Since its beginning in 1993, this benefit has raised more than $7 million.

Philanthropist Amanda Polk, Allison Priebe Brooks and artist Maggie O'Neill.
Philanthropist Amanda Polk, Allison Priebe
Brooks and artist Maggie O'Neill.

Proceeds go to support shelters for women and children whose lives have been shattered by abuse, poverty and homelessness. While domestic violence affects 1,400 women a year, an average of four women are also killed each day by their domestic partners. The 15 million children who witness violence in their homes each year are five times more likely to commit or suffer violence as adults.
Kudos to the many talented women behind this spectacular event - it continues to be one of Washington's most beloved traditions on the busy social circuit and for good reason!  
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