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Washington Gears Up for Obama's First Prom

The White House Correspondents' Association is doing something different this year with the gobs of money it typically raises off its one-night love fest between the 4th Estate and all the president's men and women: giving a sizable chunk of it to charity.

This year's annual White House fete falls on May 9. And in spite of the news industry's horrible financial woes, and given the overall dismal state of the economy, the correspondents' association has decided to donate a total of $23,000 to the D.C. food bank So Others Might Eat.

Every journalist, government official, celebrity and other guest who attends the dinner this year will be helping out - by sacrificing dessert. Taking the chocolate mousse off the menu will save a little over $13,000, says Jennifer Loven of the Associated Press, who is this year's president of the White House Correspondents' Association.

"Everybody's crunched but everyone is trying to do what they can to help," says Loven. "We're kind of looking outside ourselves."

Never fear, though, you'll still have bad wine to drink at your table. And there'll be plenty of boozing, as always, before and after the dinner, which, given that it's President Obama's first ever, is an even tougher ticket than it usually is.

Last year, when a lame-duck President Bush spoke at his last-ever White House press dinner, the correspondents' association still had to return $100,000 worth of overbooked seats and table reservations. This year, dinner planners expect they'll have to return even more than that given the tremendous interest.

Also this year, first lady Michelle Obama will be participating in the dinner by personally presenting the White House Correspondents' Association's annual college journalism scholarships. All of the recipients who attend the dinner will have a chance to meet POTUS and FLOTUS at an exclusive reception before the dinner.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  April 29, 2009; 5:47 PM ET
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Even at DC prices, $13,000 must buy a good bit of chocolate mousse. How many people attend this thing, anyway?

Posted by: bobsewell | April 29, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

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