Fenty Gets His Big Party Started With Free Tickets
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
D.C. mayor-elect Adrian M. Fenty (D) handed out the first of 15,000 free tickets yesterday for his inaugural ball Jan. 2, a $500,000 gala that will be held at the Washington Convention Center.
The Fenty transition team has set up a 501 (c)(4) nonprofit corporation to pay for the extravaganza, and so far donations by business and private individuals total almost $150,000, said Fenty's spokesman, Mafara Hobson.
A partial list of contributors released by the transition team yesterday include major developers and others that do business with D.C. government. Thompson, Cobb, Bazilio & Associates, an accounting firm with millions of dollars of city contracts, and the Tenacity Group, a condominium developer, both contributed $25,000, the maximum allowed. Republic Property Trust Chairman Richard Kramer gave $20,000 and Tennessee developer and Washington Nationals bidder Franklin L. Haney contributed $15,000.
In 1999, nearly $385,000 was raised for the first inauguration of Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D). When all the bills were paid, $23,000 was left over, officials said.
Inauguration Day festivities will begin at 7 a.m. with a prayer service at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, at 13th Street and New York Avenue NW.
At 10 a.m., Fenty, 36, will become the District's fifth elected mayor when he takes the oath of office at the Convention Center. The public is invited, and no tickets are required. Also sworn in for four-year terms will be Vincent C. Gray, who will become chairman of the D.C. Council; incumbents David A. Catania (I-At Large), Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) and Jim Graham (D-Ward 1); and three new members, Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), Harry "Tommy" Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5) and Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6).
The free tickets for the ball will be available to the public starting today. They will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, excluding Christmas and New Year's Day, in the rear lobby of the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center until they are gone.
Ken and Pauline Chapman arrived at the Reeves Center 90 minutes early yesterday and were third and fourth in line when Fenty started distributing the tickets slightly after noon. Like many of the approximately 100 who waited in line, the Chapmans had volunteered for Fenty's mayoral campaign.
"It's nice to have a young, fresh face with great, new ideas. Historically, we have had a lot of geezers in D.C. government," said Pauline Chapman, who added that she had not settled on what she planned to wear that evening but vowed that she would "be stunning."