East Texans celebrate at Inaugural Ball

By Courtney Lane - bio - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The city of Tyler held it's first inaugural ball Tuesday night. The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Tyler Metro Chamber of Commerce sponsored the event.

They wanted to not only give East Texans a place to come together and celebrate, but have a fundraiser for the community. KLTV 7's Courtney Lane was there for the big night.

Dancing, fellowship and praise. Celebrating history and, of course, honoring our veterans who helped get us to where we are today.

"I think everyone is excited about the energy and the vision of our new president," said Tyler mayor Barbara Bass.  "As Americans we will support him, we will pray for him, and we will pray for our nation."

Mayor Bass was proud to speak at the city's first inaugural ball and on a day which marks a new era for all Americans.

"This day in history gives everyone hope. I think that we will have an American president that will be a female at some point.

"We look forward to a great year, a great four years," said event organizer Dr. Shirley McKellar.  "I know that we're going to move forward and some great things are going to happen."

McKellar attended former President Clinton's inaugural ball and wanted to recreate something just as special for East Texans.

"We can watch on the big screen, President Obama and his family and everyone in Washington enjoy their inaugural ball," said McKellar.  "We know how to do it right in Texas. We wanted to do the same thing that they're doing in Washington."

A local artist also displayed her latest work, painting the faces of our current and future leader. For these East Texans it was the perfect way to wind-down after such an emotional and joyful day.

Proceeds from the ball are going, in part, to scholarships for high school students interested in studying political science.