People's Ball by Radhika Chalasani

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - JANUARY 20:  U.S. Army Chief Alonzo Tate's watches a replay of Barack Obama's inaugural speech before attending the People's Inaugural Ball January 20, 1009. Tate just returned from a tour of duty to Kuwait. Virginia businessman Earl W. Stafford and his non-profit foundation, together paid $1.6 million USD, so those who wouldn't normally have an opportunity to participate in the festivities would get a chance to celebrate. With the  help of non-profits and social service groups nationwide, including the National Urban League, some 300 people, among them the homeless, unemployed, war veterans, and those who have worked to help the less fortunate were brought to Washington D.C. to attend a specially organized ball, all-expenses paid at the JW Marriott  Hotel, a luxury  hotel near the White House.