2017 Inaugural Gala

SCI President & CEO Mary D. Kane and H.E. Ambassador Božo Cerar (Slovenia). Photo ©Patricia McDougall.

The second in Sister Cities International (SCI) history, the 2017 Inaugural Gala was a triumphant success with over 400 guests including Ambassadors, diplomats, elected officials, community leaders, and sister city members. Guests gathered at the Organization of American States (OAS) on January 17, 2017 to celebrate the inauguration of Sister Cities International’s Honorary Chairman, the President of the United States, Donald Trump and to support SCI’s mission of promoting peace through people.

The evening kicked off with general and VIP receptions, where guests could mingle and enjoy live Slovenian accordion music as well as Slovenian wine and vodka before the Gala.

SCI President & CEO Mary D. Kane and H.E. Ambassador Božo Cerar (Slovenia). Photo ©Patricia McDougall.The Gala was held in the historic OAS ballroom and was led by Master of Ceremonies Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, CNBC Chief International Correspondent and “Power Lunch” Co-Anchor. The Gala began with remarks from SCI’s President and CEO, Mary D. Kane and H.E. Božo Cerar, Ambassador from Slovenia (First Lady Melania Trump’s birthplace). 

Ambassador Cerar painted a beautiful picture of Slovenia, welcomed guests to the Gala, and introduced a video message from the Mayor of First Lady Trump’s hometown, Sevnica, Slovenia. The Gala proceeded to include remarks from SCI’s Honorary Chairman Tim Quigley; Mayor Markovic of Jagodina, Serbia; and Van McCormick of International Economic Alliance.

During her remarks, Ms. Kane said, “Since Sister Cities International was founded in 1956, Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama have served as its Honorary Chairperson. We look forward to working with [President Trump and his Administration] to continue our mission of promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation — one individual, one community at a time.”

The rest of the exciting evening featured traditional Slovenian music, a performance of the National Anthem by Syrian Opera Singer Lubana Al Quntar, as well as live music by the Mood Swings, where guests joined in to dance the night away.

Guests enjoy mingling alongside Ambassadors and diplomats throughout the Gala. Photo ©Patricia McDougall.

Over 40 Ambassadors to the U.S. served on the Inaugural Gala Honorary Host Committee. The Embassy of Slovenia and International Economic Alliance were Gala co-sponsors and American Women for International Understanding, Anciens Association of the NATO Defense College, The Washington, DC Chamber of Commerce, and Wharton Club of Washington, DC were partner organizations. 

View official photos from the 2017 Inaugural Gala here

Check out the 2017 Inaugural Gala in the news!