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Earl Stafford, CEO of Universal Systems & Technology (UNITECH), spearheaded a $1 million project to set up a presidential inauguration ball package to be offered to disadvantaged people, wounded soldiers, and others for the historic Jan. 20 event, according to reports. He’s calling it the People’s Inaugural Project which will be facilitated in the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington D.C.
The project is funded by his family’s organization, the Stafford Foundation, a faith-based nonprofit that seeks to help “underserved, marginalized, and distressed” individuals.
The package includes four suites, 300 rooms, and $200,000 worth of food and drink at the hotel, which overlooks the inaugural parade route. Stafford, whose company was listed No. 44 on the BE 100s Industrial/Service list, also plans to stage two balls, with one particularly catering to youth.
Participants will be chosen based on their demonstration of a positive example by embodying hope and creating change in their communities, and they will get to stay at the hotel free of charge.
Cooperating organizations, including the National Urban League and Washington’s Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, will help the foundation find invitees and help them get to Washington for the inauguration. Also, according to reports, Stafford has said he plans to contact homeless shelters, community organizations, and military hospitals in search of guests.
Janell Hazelwood is the copy editor and a reporter at Black Enterprise.com