Colorado Dems open wallets for Obama inauguration |

Colorado Dems open wallets for Obama inauguration

DENVER, Colorado ” Some of Colorado’s wealthiest Democratic donors have opened their pocketbooks to give big contributions for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.

Six Coloradans gave the maximum of $50,000. They include former Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tom Strickland and Pat Stryker, a billionaire heiress who often donates to Democratic candidates.

For $50,000, the Obama transition team has promised four-day packages of four tickets to his historic swearing-in ceremony and parade. It’s a steep price tag ” but it’s still a change from President George Bush, whose inauguration committee charged five times that for a richer package of events and goodies.

Strickland told the Rocky Mountain News that he didn’t need to donate so much to get tickets to Obama’s inauguration. Strickland said he felt compelled to give for the historic inauguration.

“I was 8 when John F. Kennedy was elected and inaugurated, and we had this sense of open possibility that we haven’t had since,” Strickland told the newspaper. “It will be a historic event, and my wife and three daughters are very excited about the beginning of this new era.”

Other top givers included Merle Chambers of Denver, founder and president of a charity targeting woman and girls in need.

The Colorado donors list also includes smaller contributions, of course. Among those donors is Karen Ekuban, the wife of Denver Broncos defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban. She gave $500.

More than 2 million people are expected to descend on Washington next month for Obama’s Jan. 20 inauguration.

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