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24hrs: Washington DC

September 29, 2008

DGW visited the University of Maryland and the nation’s capital for a pair of screenings on September 24.

Here, the crew fields questions from students in the University of Maryland’s Public Leadership Program. This visit was organized by former Athenian, Jennifer Littlefield.

The Public Leadership Program engages students to practice community involvement and apply classroom theory to the real world.

So, crew-member Daniel thought it would be a good idea to take advantage of free advice from the students on how to reach DGW’s one-year, million-DVD goal.

In addition to this brainstorming session, Maryland showered Darius and crew with gifts, including UM t-shirts, an awesome homemade greeting card, and a basket of funds raised around campus. Thanks, Terrapins!

That evening, Darius and the crew headed into DC for a screening at the Letelier Theater.

Before we arrived, Daniel had to do some tight maneuvering to get around a tour bus on one of DC’s narrow four-lane roads.

Here, John Hadden tries to help by adjusting the offending tour bus’s mirror–which turned out to be un-adjustable. Meanwhile, a concerned onlooker wondered whether or not he should intervene.

When we finally made it through the traffic (and mirrors) to the theater, we were met by our lovely hosts, Patricia Villegas, Clark Thomason, and Jessica Perno.

Each of them put a ton of work into making this night very special for us. This screening aside, it is important to note that these three women are life-long friends of Logan’s, old friends of many of the crew members, and that they have been supporting DGW since day one.

It is also important to note that Darius was very happy to be seeing them again.

We were also very happy to meet relatively new friend of the project, Gabriela Luis. A few months ago, Gabriela volunteered to help gather audience feedback for a very rough and unreleased DGW promo video. She took it upon herself to send the rough trailer off to her network of friends, pester them for their detailed opinions on the content of the video, and being the thorough helper that she is, she then conveniently compiled the feedback for us to interpret.

The compiled feedback that Gabriela handed over guided our every step in making the most successful promo video we’ve created to date–The Vehicle.

That Evening, as we fielded questions from a packed house assembled by Clark, Jessica, Patricia, Gabriela, and many others, The Vehicle was busy traveling to tens of thousands of new viewers in its featured spot on the YouTube homepage.

Hundreds of DVDs were sold online, hundreds were sold at the screening, and again, as a result of a small group of determined supporters putting forth exemplary levels of sustained kindness, we experienced another record-breaking night. On top of individual DVD and t-shirt acquisitions, DC purchased eight miniature RV’s, the most ever sold at a single screening.

In RV purchases alone nearly $2,000 was raised for Duchenne. The evening was just beginning…

Meet Dr. Eric Hoffman. We did!!!!

You know all that money we’re trying to raise for DMD??? Well we’re trying to raise it for scientists like Eric.

Dr. Hoffman identified the protein product of the gene that CAUSES Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). In other words, he provided every scientist that cares to affect DMD a target for their experiments.

In other words, he is a freaking genius and a hero to Darius and the crew, and it was an incredible honor to even meet him….

We offered him a spot on the bus as our traveling doctor, but he opted for a miniature RV instead. We hope he gives his copies of the film to the doctors that, with his help, will affect this disease.

Oh….and then…the day after the screening… we met with Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi! A few years ago, Senator Wicker introduced a bill to fund medical research for muscular dystrophy. Through his and his aides’ diligence, Senator Wicker enlisted over three hundred other congressman from both parties and both branches of the legislature as cosponsors of the bill. While we were in Washington, the senator was pushing to extend the bill’s timetable. We’ll keep our fingers crossed on the bill.

We didn’t have much time to check out the sites of Washington, but long-time-supporter Owen Simcoe did make sure we made it to the Washington Monument.

The Monument is wheelchair accessible, and periscope-type tools are available to see over the ledges and out the windows. Here, Darius checks out the view of the White House.

You’ve heard it from us before: Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is the number one fatal genetic disease to affect children in the world.

In a monumental 24-hour span, a major university, over 100 Washingtonians, over 100k YouTube viewers, a Senator, and a world-renown scientist showed focused sensitivity to that fact. The number one genetic killer of children in the world deserves that level of attention. Supportive reverberations from such a triumphant time–24 hours organized by a handful of ambitious supporters–are still rolling in every day.

Thank you old friends, thank you new friends, thank you University of Maryland, and thank you Washington DC for understanding the Million DVD Goal!

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14,024 DVDs sold!

Leading States: Georgia, New York, Ohio
How’s your state doing? To find out, click here
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2 Responses to “24hrs: Washington DC”

  1. On September 30th, 2008, Tim Johnson said:

    Great work, Jennifer, and DC folks.
    And especially continuing great work by Darius and his band of brothers — you continue to inspire us all, and are helping the world not only by promoting the end of this terrible disease, but by being living examples of the ideals described in the Washington quote.

  2. On October 12th, 2008, DariusGoesWest said:

    Thanks Tim, and thanks for thanking the DC folks! We’re headed to NY right now, and we’ll be lucky if we get to stop over in DC again for the night.

    Take it easy.

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