Republicans throw Grand Old Party for Murkowski/Leman

Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2003

There is a broad consensus that last week's Governor's Inaugural Ball at the King Salmon Motel and Convention Center in Soldotna was the biggest formal party the Peninsula has ever thrown.

Some 350 supporters, friends and family of Governor Frank and Nancy Murkowski and Lt. Governor Loren and Carolyn Leman turned out for the first Governor's Inaugural Ball ever hosted on the Kenai Peninsula. Master of Ceremonies Don Gilman, former State Senator and Borough Mayor, greeted everyone and let all know that it was going to be an historic occasion. It didn't take long for the evening to live up to everyone's expectations as young Kelsie Leaf sang the National Anthem and 7-year-old Lily Arnett performed a perfect rendition of the Alaska Flag Song.


Newly elected Representative Kelly Wolfe enjoys a dance with his wife at last week's Inaugural Ball in Soldotna.

Official host for the evening was Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Dale Bagley who quickly credited his wife and Inaugural Ball team for the success of the event.

Other organizers and decorators included Kay Tauriainen, Debbie Bagley, Donna Bucy, Jennifer Richards and Blaine Gilman. Entertainment included the Kenai Central High School Honor Choir with soloist Elena Bird, the Kenaitze Tribal Dancers, and music by Southern Comfort with the vocal stylings of Stephanie Brouchard.


The Belle of the Ball, 7-year-old Lily Arnett, who sang at the Governor's Ball last week.

The Governor and First Lady were first to lift a glass of champagne to officially toast Alaska's future, but when all was in and done Murkowski concluded by summing up his appreciation for the opportunity to serve as Alaska's Governor by saying, "I can promise you this, we won't let you down."

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