You could say that Midtown became Boogie-down Town Saturday night when the wild and woolly Don't Stop Believin' Christmas Celebration took over Advantage BMW Midtown for a blowout fundraiser. Close to 600 party animals cruised to the spins of DJ Senega while dreaming of shiny new BMW 5 Series and 3 Series and raising greenbacks for Combat Wounded Marines Fund.
In 2005, a carefully curated group of young guys from various business and social circles, each with non-profit board experience, joined forces to create their own entity that would twice each year hold a mega-fundraiser and rotate proceeds to the charities of their choice, "charitable mercenaries, as John Andell, one of the founders describes his brethren. In July, the group, which calls itself the GSC, focused on fundraising for Big Brothers Big Sisters with "A Night in Havana."
The guys billed this year's Don't Stop Believin' bash as bigger and better than ever. By all accounts, it was. Think holiday party gone totally, rocking bananas.
Applause, applause for Andell, Jay Cliburn, David de Roode, James Easterling, Tony Essalih, James Gietz, Matt Harris, Jon Paul Hull, Anil Mahendra, John Stevens, Lee Willeford and Dusty Wilkerson — the GSC guys who put this thing together.
As is tradition, Santa, a very youthful one at that, was there as well as a few buxom Santa pixies. Guests jived and gyrated to the sounds of DJ Senega and a special stint by Doctor Sosse & Santa Clawz. And they tipped their hats to the night's sponsors: Advantage BMW Midtown, CDM, Savage Brands, Utopia Med Spa and Capitol Beverage.
Doing the jingle bell rock were Stacy Andell, John Carter, Amanda Luedecke, Will Underwood, Natalie Houston, Kelly Griffin, Ellen Prince, Park Carter, Kim Padgett and Marcus Mann, Maidie Ryan, James Phelan and Tyler Berger.