Thursday, January 25, 2001

Ohioans boost fund for inaugural

By Derrick DePledge
Enquirer Washington Bureau

        WASHINGTON — William O. DeWitt Jr. and Mercer Reynolds III not only asked their friends and business associates to help pay for President Bush's inaugural, the Cincinnati investors stepped up themselves.

        Messrs. DeWitt and Reynolds each donated $100,000 to the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which they headed at Mr. Bush's request. Their contributions were among $27.7 million in inaugural donations detailed Wednesday on the committee's Web site.

        The committee raised $40 million for the four days of events and parties surrounding the inauguration. The committee's staff has voluntarily disclosed the names of contributors and the amounts donated even though the law does not require them to release the information.

        Natalie Rule, a committee spokeswoman, said the fund-raising goal was reached despite a tight timetable caused by the contested presidential election.

        “We had fewer days than past inaugurals, so I would say it went very well,” she said.

        According to the latest report, the Procter & Gamble Co. donated $50,000 to the committee, while White House deputy chief of staff Joseph Hagin, former vice president for corporate affairs at Chiquita Brands International Inc., gave $5,000.


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