2009 Pearl Presidential Inaugural Gala
Special Performance by Charice Pempengco
SAMPLE MEDIA COVERAGE:
January 22, 2009
WASHINGTON – Secretary of Veterans Affairs-Designate Eric Shinseki spoke to a throng of 1500 guests at the Pearl Presidential Inaugural Gala on Monday, January 19, 2009 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C. General Shinseki previously served as a four star general in the United States Army and as the 34th Chief of Staff of the Army. As Chief of Staff of the Army, General Shinseki testified before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee that “something in the order of several hundred thousand soldiers” would probably be required for postwar Iraq, a sentiment later thought to have been prescient by many.
General Shinseki was preceded by Secretary of Energy-Designate Steven Chu who spoke at the VIP reception. Dr. Chu won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997. He is one of the nation’s most outspoken advocates for scientific solutions to the twin problems of global warming and the need for carbon-neutral renewable sources of energy. He has called these problems “the greatest challenge facing science” and has rallied many of the world’s top scientists to address it.
Special guest speakers included Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Congressman Mike Honda (Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus), Former Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, Tina Tchen (Director of White House Public Liaison) and Actor Kal Penn. Guests sampled foods from the Philippines, China, Korea, Japan and India followed by a dessert reception. They danced to popular rock n’ roll tunes from the multi-cultural band The Strangers and later in the evening with the Swingin’ DJs.
Charice Pempengco, the 15-year old international singing sensation wowed the crowd in the Oriental Ballroom with her powerful voice singing One Moment in Time and other hits. She has performed at the Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, the Ellen DeGeneres Show and sang a duet with Celine Dion.
Later in the evening, guests heard from Maya Soetero Ng and Konrad Ng, the sister and brother-in-law of President Barack Obama. Maya, a Pearl Gala Honorary Council member praised the tireless work of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community to get President Barack Obama elected. Maya also shared personal experiences on the campaign trail and her hopes for continued engagement with the AAPI community. The evening was capped off by Charice Pempengco singing “God Bless America” in honor of the Obama family.