A week after the White House extravaganza celebrating the nation's just-installed GOP President, the Young Republicans of Orange County threw their own inaugural ball.
On Saturday night, about 150 members of the 40-and-under set gathered to initiate their new officers--as well as to toast the advent of George Bush.
"Many of us wanted to get to Washington for the inauguration but couldn't, so now it's our turn to party," said Laguna Hills resident Andrew Nimitz, 32, new treasurer of the Young Republicans. "We call this the Inaugural Ball West."
Held at the Red Lion Inn in Costa Mesa, the black-tie, black-sequins event featured a sit-down dinner--followed by a non-traditional ballroom dance. A disc jockey led exquisitely attired guests through rock 'n' roll tunes.
There was no Pledge of Allegiance, but an American flag displayed behind the speaker's podium provided the evening a patriotic flair.
Named Republican of the Year by her juniors, state Sen. Marian Bergeson (R-Newport Beach) swore in the Young Republicans' new cabinet. Officers for 1989 include President Barry Zanck of Newport Beach, Marcus Meleton of Costa Mesa, Jill Richards of Newport Beach and Denise Davidson of Corona del Mar.
"I remember a few years ago when it was difficult to get young people to join our party," Bergeson told the group. "Today, the participation of young people is a driving force in the Republican Party."
Zanck, 33, in his inaugural address, said that his goal as president is to "bridge the dichotomy of the GOP by reaching out to the conservatives and the moderates, the old and the young."
The evening's mood was definitely social.
"I'm so excited about the Bushes, especially Barbara," said Johanna Supple, 32, of Santa Ana. "I loved the Reagans, but they were like having the cast of 'Dynasty' in the White House for 8 years. Barbara makes me feel like I can just relax and have a good time."