LaChanze featured as Mistress of Ceremonies at Mayor Thomas' Inaugural Ball
The inauguration of a new mayor is still a big deal in Mount Vernon, as was evident when over 800 people attended the Inaugural Ball of Mayor Richard Thomas at the super luxurious VIP Country Club in New Rochelle, on Saturday, February 27.
The mayor’s Inaugural Ball had originally been scheduled to take place on January 23, but due to the historic snowstorm that pummeled the Westchester County region, it was rescheduled for February 27.
It seems that everything that involves Mount Vernon’s new mayor is historic and grandiose. He became the youngest ever Mount Vernon City Councilman; he became the youngest mayor in Mount Vernon’s history; his Inauguration ceremony was held at Mount Vernon High School, where he graduated with honors, and was attended by an unprecedented crowd of over 1,500 people; and now his Inaugural Ball – attended by a celebrity studded crowd of over 800 people.
The atmosphere and scene outside the VIP Country Club resembled Barack Obama’s first Inauguration Ball, since some of the celebrity guests were arriving in limousines, all dressed impeccably in formal attire, as well as the common folk. There was excitement and electricity flowing through the air as the guests entered the exclusive club.
An early VIP cocktail hour took place for the many sponsors that helped make the highly successful gala a success. The mayor personally thanked each individual and held a photo op with each one.
The program commenced with Jacene Thomas welcoming the guests, and the record crowd applauded loudly when she introduced the Master and Mistress of Ceremonies, LaChanze and Synck, a popular comedian.
The guests were in awe when LaChanze approached the podium. Rhonda LaChanze Sapp, a Mount Vernon resident, is known professionally as LaChanze and is an American actress, singer, and dancer. She won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical in 2006 for her role in The Color Purple.
After the Invocation by Reverend D’Andre James Daniels and the Pledge of Allegiance by Detective David Clark, Mount Vernon’s new singing sensation, Steven Thomas, the mayor’s nephew, sang the National Anthem.
Next to the podium was Congressman Eliot Engel, who spoke fondly about Thomas and introduced all the elected officials in attendance.
After a break for dinner, a violinist by the name of Mathew Silvera entertained the guest with an impressive selection.
LaChanze next introduced Roberta James, head of the Mayor Thomas Organizing Committee.
“We hope for your continued support as we uplift and build. Please know that we value your opinions and Impute to move “The City of Hope” forward. This is only possible if people like yourselves continue to make conscious decisions for our future,” said James.
After James' speech, a very detailed and informative video presentation about Mayor Thomas was shown to the guests.
After the video presentation, LaChanze had a big smile on her face, and the guests knew immediately she was ready to introduce Mayor Thomas.
As Thomas approached the podium, the applause was deafening.
“Thank you for joining me, Cherish and our children on this improbable journey to become the First Family of Mount Vernon. It is an honor and privilege for which we are deeply grateful. I chose to run for mayor of my hometown because I believe that we can be great again. I grew up in Mount Vernon where friendships were forged at Memorial Field, character was defined on basketball courts and playgrounds, and lessons from victory and defeat were learned daily due to our competitive sports and entertainment culture. And as mayor, I will tirelessly work to bring back the Mount Vernon we all know – the City of Homes, also known as, “The City of Hope.”
After another musical selection by the violinist, LaChanze and Synck asked the mayor and his wife to prepare themselves for their First Dance.
As expected, it was truly the highlight of the program, as the handsome mayor and his very pretty First Lady thrilled the audience while dancing and making history with their First Dance.
After the mayor concluded his First Dance, he asked the guests to join him on the dance floor.
The guests danced until the end of the gala to the music of The Soul Synergy Orchestra.
"Synck" and LaChanze acted as Master and Mistress of Ceremonies
The historic "First Dance"