AFCEA Washington, DC’s Winter Gala, now in its 44th year, incorporates both classic traditions and modern elegance, making it the premier social event of the holiday season for the Federal IT community. 

As a celebration of the holiday season, the Winter Gala is not only a time to come together as a community, but also a time to give back. Over the course of the Gala’s 44-year history, AFCEA DC has established hundreds of STEM scholarships, and donated thousands of boxes of toys to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots initiative.
The heart of the Gala is the holiday spirit of charitable giving. Every year, we at AFCEA DC are proud to help support the efforts of the Marine Corps Toys for Tots initiative. In addition to accepting unwrapped toys at the door of the event, we are also encouraging generosity in the form of monetary donations to Toys for Tots, and donations via our Toys for Tots Amazon wish list. And if that wasn’t enough, we have asked that our sponsoring companies set out collection boxes in the lobbies of their headquarters. Request a donation box for your building’s lobby by emailing
The Gala is also a critical tool for fostering STEM education in the local community. Every year, AFCEA DC uses the proceeds from the Gala to establish scholarships for graduating high school seniors in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, helping to foster a comprehensive, structured path for students in the government IT workforce. Since May 1989, AFCEA DC has awarded 373 scholarships totaling more than $2,400,000 to students from 112 area high schools going to 71 U.S. colleges. AFCEA DC also supports McKinley Technical High School in their mission to become a nationally recognized STEM High School.
Custom built gingerbread houses have been a staple of AFCEA Washington, DC’s Winter Gala for over ten years now. Every house - each a mini-masterpiece of its own – is the product of countless hours of work and creativity, often taking over three months to plan, build and decorate. Best of all, these houses contribute to a valuable cause. AFCEA DC is proud to partner with the USO, who donates the gingerbread houses to partner charity hospitals, helping to continue the celebration of the holiday spirit.
The Winter Gala continues to be a fixture of wintertime Washington because of the values that lie at the core of the event – the importance of giving back to our community. Attendees of the 44th Winter Gala can look forward to snow covered gingerbread creations, overflowing sleighs with toys for girls and boys of all ages, and unparalleled fellowship and community.