The New Year's Eve extravaganza that will rock the Lincoln Memorial is being financed with nearly $15 million from about 40 companies, foundations and individuals, the event's main money man said yesterday.
The total includes more than $3.2 million that CBS television paid to broadcast the Friday night show live, which means the network will not be cutting away to the traditional ball-drop at Times Square in New York.
"It's been a huge success," fund-raiser Terence R. McAuliffe declared gleefully, having helped to raise what White House organizers expect they will need to host the weekend of celebration. "There's been a huge outpouring of people . . . on very short notice."
The nail-biting, three-month time line to pull in the money was "very late," McAuliffe said, especially because many corporate and philanthropic budgets had been committed for the year. It also complicated planning for the show, which is costing nearly $13 million, and for the Smithsonian Institution's three days of programs, demonstrations and exhibits.
But by mid-December, he and finance co-chairman David Jones knew they would meet their goal and surpass it by a healthy million. It didn't hurt that they pitched the fund-raising as a way to help the entire nation celebrate the millennium--or that other major events elsewhere folded for lack of interest and support.
Three companies contributed at least $1 million, and the names of Slim-Fast Foods Co., of West Palm Beach, Fla., Cisco Systems Inc., of San Jose, and InfoUSA.com, of Omaha, probably will be displayed prominently at the memorial Friday night.
Three other companies gave $500,000 to $1 million, according to sources involved in the planning. On that short list are Discovery Communications Inc., of Bethesda, Lockheed Martin Corp., of Bethesda, and Tommy Hilfiger Corp., of New York.
Programs to be distributed Friday, starting at an 11 a.m. opening ceremony with President Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton, will list the dozens of others who donated at least $100,000--including Synergics Energy Development, of Annapolis; the Kovler Foundation of Washington; James Kimsey, chairman emeritus of America Online Inc.; America Online, of Dulles; Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; Jonathan Ledecky, co-owner of the Washington Capitals; and Larry Harris, general counsel for Teligent Inc. of Vienna.
By then, the memorial's transformation into giant outdoor stage will be complete. And before the final bows at 1 a.m. New Year's Day, some 50 stars will have paraded before the audience, joined by almost 450 singers, dancers and musicians in the three-hour production.
The show will be topped by two separate bursts of fireworks that one organizer estimates are costing $500,000 to $1 million.
The front steps of the memorial were a hectic, scaffolded scene yesterday as hundreds of workers in hard hats continued construction of the wide stage floor and elevated VIP seating. To the right and left stand the massive light towers that will spotlight performers, and two huge cranes hold a metal-framed sun that will provide one of the program's most illuminating surprises.
Tourists and gawkers stopped and pointed, and those who followed Lincoln's gaze toward the Washington Monument could see the line of fireworks stanchions down the middle of the Reflecting Pool.
Just seconds before midnight Friday, President Clinton will light the fuse that will race down the pool and ignite a pyrotechnic razzmatazz at the monument.
A number of street closings will be in effect for this weekend, but some streets are closing sections as early as today. Below are the street closings for the District up to Friday. A more complete guide to street closings, including Friday and Saturday closings, will appear later in the week.
1. Today (starting at 7 p.m.)
Constitution Avenue between 9th and 14th until 11 p.m. Jan. 2.
2. Tomorrow (starting at 1 p.m.)
12th Street Tunnel northbound
3. 12th Street between Independence and Pennsylvania at 1 p.m.
Both reopen at 11 p.m. on Jan. 2.
Tenth and 11th streets, NW, between Constitution and Pennsylvania avenues, closed from 12:01 a.m. until 7a.m. on Jan. 2nd