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.

2018 marks CHERRY's 23rd Benefit Weekend, we’re proud to have raised more than 1.2 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 Impact

Since our incorporation in 1996, the Cherry Fund has provided more than $1 MILLION in support and grants, of which 97% comes directly from individual ticket sales. Financial support also includes contributions and sponsorships by national and DC area businesses. Funds may be used for any purpose that contributes to an organization’s programming or furthers its mission, so long as such mission conforms with the values of the Cherry Fund. Preference will be given to youth-serving organizations that utilize the funds for HIV/AIDS prevention.

Since our incorporation, The Cherry Fund has donated more than $1.2 million dollars in grants and support to the following organizations:

Advocates for Youth, AQUA, ASGRA, Camp Rehoboth, Capital Metropolitan Rainbow Alliance, Capital Pride Alliance, Capital Trans Pride, Church of the Pilgrim, DC Aquatics Swim Team, DC Black Pride, DC Care Consortium, DC Leatherfest, DC Rape Crisis Center, DC Wetskins, Delphi Foundation, Delta Lambda Phi, Food and Friends, Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore, GL Victory Foundation, GLAAD, INOVA (Juniper Program), La Clinica del Pubelo, Lambda Legal Defense Fund, Latino GLBT History Project, Mautner Project, Metro TeenAIDS, Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry, One in Ten, Out for Work, Pediatric AIDS HIV Care, Pride & Heritage Celebration, Project Lazarus, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders (SMYAL), Sundance, The Metro DC Center, The Trevor Project, Triangle Community Works, Us Helping Us, Victory Foundation, Wanda Alston House, Washington Renegades Rugby Football Club, Women's Collective, Youth Pride Alliance.  Email us at info@cherryfund.org for more information on how you can apply for support.


From Our Direct Grant Program..........supporting....
Inova Juniper Program ($10,000) - HIV/AIDS Services
The DC Center ($10,000) - Our Community Center
Wanda Alston Foundation ($5,000) - Our Community's Youth
CASA Ruby ($3,000) - Our most vulnerable community members
Metro DC PFLAG ($1,000) - Our Community's Youth

From Our Barry Smythers Fund..........supporting.....
Us Helping Us ($5,000) - Mental Health Services
La Clinica Del Pueblo ($5,000) - Mental Health Services
LAYC ($1,500) - Mental Health Service

From our Partnership Program..........
Capital Pride ($10,000), DC Sisters ($2,000), NOVA Pride ($1,000)

cherry fund our impact

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.