By B.J. Reyes
Preparations are under way for another round of inaugural balls to mark the re-election of Hawaii-born President Barack Obama.
Island residents – and any others willing to pay the $400 per person ticket price – will get a chance to celebrate at the Hawaii Presidential Center Inaugural Gala, set for 7 p.m., Jan. 19, on the enclosed rooftop of the historic Hay-Adams hotel in Washington, D.C. A similar ball was held at the Hay-Adams in 2009.
Organizers announced the event Tuesday.
Maya Soetoro-Ng, the president’s sister, is set to be the event’s special guest, organizers said.
Proceeds will benefit the Hawaii Presidential Center initiative, a coalition of academic, government, community and business groups asked with developing a proposal to develop Obama’s presidential library in Hawaii. The initiative is led by the University of Hawaii.
Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, in a statement, said:
“A project like this translates into a massive infusion of capital, from the federal government and from private donations around the world. Presidential libraries have a pronounced multiplier effect. They create jobs and stimulate the local economy while requiring only a modest investment of local resources. There has also been discussion about designing the Obama presidential center so that it operates completely on renewable energy, making it the first ‘net-zero’ presidential library in the nation.”
Tickets can be purchased at http://www.hawaiipresidentialcenter.com. The event four years ago was sold out two days after it was publicly announced.
The official list of inaugural balls to be attended by Obama and Vice President Joe Biden has not yet been released. In 2009, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced 10 balls attended by Obama and Biden, including one for Obama’s home states of Hawaii and Illinois.