Virginia Businessman Throwing Million-Dollar Bash

Benefactor builds inaugural ball for the disadvantaged

WASHINGTON -- A Virginia man who bought a $1 million inauguration ball package from the JW Marriott Hotel plans to invite disadvantaged people, wounded soldiers and others to the prime event on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Earl Stafford, a Fairfax County businessman, announced plans Thursday for what he's calling the People's Inaugural Project.
The package includes 300 rooms, four suites, and food and drink at the hotel overlooking the inaugural parade route near the White House. Stafford also plans to stage two balls.
Stafford is reaching out to organizations such as the National Urban League to identify people whom he says have demonstrated hope and change in their communities. He will invited people from around the country.
Stafford is the founder of a Centreville technology company. The project will be funded by his family foundation.
Stafford told the Washington Post that he was inspired by his deep faith -- he is the son of a Baptist minister -- and his personal good fortune.
Copyright AP - Associated Press
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