Spookstock

In this image provided by Mark Kelton, Lenny Kravitz, the headliner at this years Spookstock concert poses with Army Gen. Tony Thomas, former commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, at the annual Spookstock event, While many Washington insiders haven’t heard of it, the annual charitable event, held each year in an undisclosed Washington location, has become a centerpiece for Washington’s tight-knit intelligence-military special operations community. It has raised millions to fund higher education for the children of CIA field officers and special operations soldiers killed on duty. (Mark Kelton via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sometime earlier this year, one of the most elite social events in Washington took place, but without any fanfare or news coverage.

It drew about 1,800 attendees and Grammy-winning rocker Lenny Kravitz performed. Yet there were no written invitations, and the actual date and location were carefully guarded secrets.

The annual charitable event is mischievously known as Spookstock. While many Washington insiders, let alone the public, haven’t heard of it, the gala has become a centerpiece for the capital region’s tightknit intelligence and military special operations communities.

“I’ve done my share of formal events and black dress nights,” said retired Maj. Gen. Clay Hutmacher, the former director of operations for U.S. Special Operations Command. “It’s very casual. If you want to show up in a Def Leppard T-shirt, that’s fine.”

Now in its seventh year, Spookstock has raised millions for the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which look after the families of CIA officers and special operations forces killed in the field. Last year, after expenses, each charity received about $400,000, according to Spookstock Board member Mark Kelton.

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