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Inaugural party created to bring islanders together

By Staff | Jan 15, 2009

“Come Together.”

The phrase is the title of a Beatles song and often the words uttered by clergy impassioned to bridge rifts and mend relationships.

But in less than a week it will also be the theme that Brenda Kinnaman hopes people adopt after attending the Island Inaugural An All American Celebration.

Everyone is being encouraged to attend the inaugural party being held on Tuesday, Jan. 20 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Jacaranda Restaurant on 1223 Periwinkle Way – the same day as President-Elect Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Kinnaman, a Sanibel resident and political consultant, decided to organize a non-partisan inaugural party so that anyone who wanted the opportunity to celebrate the historic new presidency could. She secured the help of popular Southwest Florida musicians – Kraig Kenning and Chris Workman along with the support of the Jacaranda and other islanders for the event. Arundel’s is helping with the decorations. And Rusty Farst will be creating a documentary film of the event.

Musician Kenning is a national slide guitar champion from Chicago and has played many times on the islands. Workman plays regularly in the area and plays pop/Americana style music.

Kinnaman who worked on Obama’s campaign is delighted about the party.

“A lot of people started saying shortly after the election that it would be great if people could get together,” she said. “I think its important for all of us to pull together. It’s an all-American celebration.”

Attire for party is casual island to cocktail dressy. Prizes will be given to folks wearing red, white and blue hats, shirts or outfits; and historical American patriotic costumes are encouraged (Uncle Sam, Betsy Ross, or your favorite President/First Lady).

There is a charitable portion underlying the fun and gaiety of the inaugural party. Though there is no charge for attending the party, guests are requested to bring a non-perishable item to be given to the Happy Chapin Food Bank in Fort Myers. Donations should be protein foods and items children would eat such as cans of tuna fish, jars of peanut butter, and pastas and cereals. People who wish can write a check instead of bring a food donation, Kinnaman said.

The charitable part of the party underscores Obama’s mission of prosperity for all, Kinnaman said.

Al Brislain, the executive director of the Harry Chapin Food Bank is delighted with the prospect of receiving gifts from an inaugural party.

“This is a first,” he said. “We’re very thankful for it. “Of course the need is great.”

Reservations are not needed for the event but Kinnaman asks that those wanting to attend email her at islandinaugural@yahoo.com. For additional information, call Kinnaman at 395-3039.

All ages are welcome to the family-friendly event.

“This is my gift to our special island,” Kinnaman said. “Given the economic situation and unrest worldwide, it is so fitting for us to come together as neighbors. Let’s seize this historic moment. On this fun night, may our unity at events across America usher in a great new chapter for our great democracy. What a wonderful opportunity to help feed those that are hungry in our own community.”