Our History


The Cherry Fund, established in 1996, and located in Washington, DC, is a not-for-profit independent, all-volunteer organization that serves as a spark to ignite the dance music community for a greater good. The Cherry Fund actively raises funds to support the HIV/AIDS service and prevention community via charity dance events. Over the years, CHERRY has collaborated with the biggest, most progressive names in dance music, to host some of the largest parties in the mid-Atlantic.

CHERRY began when a group of local residents united to plan a charity fundraiser in the late 90s. Using modest financial resources, the volunteer-based organization known as Friends Being Friends banded together to put on a weekend of music, dance and celebration. Several other CHERRY events would follow, each growing in entertainment value and attendance over time. The popularity of these fundraisers inspired the idea that Washington was ready for an annual charity event on the level of those held on Fire Island, Miami or Montréal.

2017 marks CHERRY's 22nd Benefit Weekend, we're proud to have raised one million dollars in financial support to assist the Washington DC HIV/AIDS community organizations that enable city wide education, prevention and mental support.

cherry fund our history

Our Organization

The Cherry Fund has an all-volunteer board composed of 5 members. The Event Organizing Committee is composed of volunteer members from various backgrounds reflecting the diversity of our communities. The Cherry Fund has provided more than $1,000,000 in support in monetary donations, as well as provided organizations with non-cash support such as volunteers, raffle items, etc. The Cherry Fund continues to support underserved communities and creates incentivised programs such as Testing for Tickets to increase the number of those getting tested. The Cherry Fund continues to be an all volunteer organization.

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  • Provided more than $1,000,000 in support
  • Donates non-cash support to organizations with volunteers, raffles, etc.
  • Supports underserved communities.
  • Created incentivised programs to increase the number of persons tested
  • Continues to be an all volunteer organization

About Our Grant Programs

The Cherry Fund has four grant programs of which we provide funding and support to area non-profits. To apply for funding for FY18, please fill out our grant application by March 1, 2018. Applications will be notified in July 2018. You can find our application by clicking here.

Direct Grant Program

Funding from our direct grant program supports non-profits whose work and mission is consistent with our own mission of supporting the HIV/AIDS Service Community.

Barry Smythers Fund

The Barry Smythers Fund is our new program created in honor of Barry Smythers, one of our strongest supporters and volunteer who unexpectedly took his own life. Funding from this program will support mental health and support group programs throughout the DMV area.

Partnership Program

Funding from our partnership programs is given to non-profit organizations and programming partners who have assisted The Cherry Fund and have made a substantial impact in our community.

In-Kind Program

Ticket and passes are provided to non-profits to support their own fundraisers who have received no funding under any other program.

Who We Are

Allen Sexton

Board President

Todd Orange

Board Vice President / HIV Testing Chair

Chris Pena

Board Treasurer

Philip Tickner

Hospitality Chair / Board

Andre Thomas

Production Stage Manager

Alan Thompson

Safety and Security Coordinator

Patrick Arkin

Safety and Compliance

Deonte Leach

Volunteer Coordinator

Ryan Weber

Decor and Social Media Manager

Cherry is an annual charity dance music event, which has raised more than $1 MILLION for Washington, DC HIV/AIDS services and prevention. Your continued support of Cherry contributes to the efforts of passionate health and social advocates at the forefront of the GLBT community. Copyright 2015, The Cherry Fund. Non-profit tax ID 52-2139599.