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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, February 5, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesVirgin Islands Performers Play at USVI Friendship Inaugural Ball

Virgin Islands Performers Play at USVI Friendship Inaugural Ball

The event was truly spectacular. Lorna Freeman performed at the USVI Friendship Inaugural Ball, the evening when President Barack Obama was sworn into office in a private ceremony earlier in the day. Freeman gave a stunning rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” and received an ovation by over 300 ball attendees. Lorraine “Lolo” Milliner served as the mistress of ceremonies and John George, candidate for Holy Orders from the Episcopal Diocese of the Virgin Islands, gave the invocation and benediction.
Delegate to Congress Donna M. Christensen delivered the keynote address, whereby she congratulated President Obama and Joe Biden on their second term. Congresswoman Christensen told the audience, “The Virgin Islands is indeed a blessed place. We are fortunate to have so much talent, such varied experience and expertise, such intellectual capital and so many who while they may be outside the Virgin Islands, the Virgin Islands is not out of them, not at all out of their minds or out of their hearts! We are also fortunate to have Virgin Islanders who have stayed or returned to contribute at home and to have corporations who have not only located to the Virgin Islands, but have made it their home. It takes all of us to create the Virgin Islands that we want to have and that we should have and that our children deserve to have!” Congresswoman Christensen is serving her ninth term as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Grammy Award-winner Dion Parson and the 21st Century Band took the stage and had everyone on their feet dancing to some quelbe tunes and Lorna Freeman provided vocal for a number of hits. Giving tribute to jazz great Sonny Rollins, the band played “St. Thomas” featuring Virgin Island saxophonist and Grammy Award Winner Ron Blake of the Saturday Night Live band. An unexpected surprise — Rudy Faulkner joined Freeman for duets that covered every genre of music. The band was also joined by 20-year old Virgin Island Kai Richardson, a protégé of Dion’s music education program “Mentoring Through the Art of Music.”
A mixture of over 40 executives in Information Technologies, Communications and Green Energy businesses were able to meet and network at the event. Among members of the Virgin Islands government and business community in attendance were: V.I. government officials; Cornel Williams, CEO of International Capital & Management Company; former First Lady of the V.I., Joan Harrigan-Farrelly; talk show host Dr. Jeri Shannon, and many Virgin Islanders and citizens of our mainland community who know and love the U.S. Virgin Islands. Corporate sponsors provided seating for seven members of UVI’s Student Government Association. Wendy Wynters and eight students from St. Croix’s Graffiti Street program also interviewed ball attendees as one of their stops on their tour of inaugural events in the Washington, D.C. area.
Additional sponsors provided door prizes, which included: the new Motorola Solutions Droid RAZR Maxx HD and Golf Polo shirt; an original official invitation to President Obama’s 2009 Inaugural Ball; and Swatch combo pack, including watch, backpack, and accessories.
USVI Friendship Inaugural Ball corporate sponsors include Beam, parent company of Cruzan Rum; Diageo, parent company of Captain Morgan; West Indian Company Ltd., International Capital & Management Company, VI Tourism Department, KAZO Properties LLC, Eursdale Companies, Social Concepts & Development Services, USVI Lifestyle Festival and Your Go 2 Girls.
This event is managed by the 340 Group, LLC – a consortium of DC Metro area business owners who hail from the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additional photos of the event can be found at the event Web site http://www.usviball.com and on FaceBook. For more information, visit www.usviball.com

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