Inaugural 2005

ARC Assists with the 55th Presidential Inauguration

Washington, D.C. – Amidst a series of snowstorms and frigid winter weather, the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) was an active participant in the 55th Presidential Inauguration. Since 1985, ARC has been involved in supporting Inaugural activities by assisting the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) logistically and with volunteer services. This year, ARC stepped up the intensity of its participation and contributed efforts on four key events. The involvement was made possible by ARC members and allies.

The week kicked off on Tuesday, January 18, with a youth event at the Armory. The event included a concert featuring such luminaries as Hilary Duff and Fuel. ARC was very active in arranging and operating a tent full of recreation-based activities for the young attendees. The Walt Disney Company, an ARC member, created a mini-ESPN zone on the premises complete with popular games and prizes. Take Pride In America’s booth distributed TPIA volunteer guides and TPIA tattoos and recruited for Friends of Take Pride as well. The Student Conservation Association and others briefed visitors on volunteer opportunities available on public lands during school vacations. Other activities included a hang- gliding simulation, arranged by ARC and provided by Kitty Hawk Kites, and various other “action stations.”

On Wednesday, January 19, ARC played a central role at the premier entertainment event of the Inaugural – the Celebration of Freedom on the White House Ellipse – by providing 11 RVs. Four of the RVs were used as offices on site by show producer George Schlatter, by set-construction company Showcall, by PIC staffers and by fireworks show producer Grucci, Inc. Two were used as secure holding rooms on site for the President, the Vice President and former President Bush. And five were used by top talent appearing at the event, including Kenny Chesney, Patti LaBelle, the Temptations, the Radio City Rockettes and Rubben Studdard. ARC provided help in other ways, as well. Staff from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, another ARC member, and a top RV technician from Monaco spent nearly three days on site helping in various ways – including dealing with questions about the RVs. ARC’s contributions were specifically listed in the event’s program, one of only 14 entities – and the only nonprofit organization – to be so honored (click here to see the program).

On Thursday, January 20 – Inauguration Day – ARC also lent its efforts to the Inaugural Parade, including mid-parade command posts in RVs, and to the Inaugural transportation center, including command and sleeping posts for this round-the-clock operation. Finally, on Thursday evening, ARC helped with an important, behind-the-scenes role at the Washington Convention Center, where six of the nine official Inaugural Balls were held. Two feature-packed RVs were parked in a secure loading dock area and served as holding rooms and retreats for the President and First Lady and the Vice President and Mrs. Cheney. The two RVs used were redeployed from service on the Ellipse late Wednesday evening, with their movement through closed roads and snow aided by a U.S. Park Police escort unit of motorcycles and cars.

January 25, 2005