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Gov.-Elect Baker Collects Donations For Inaugural Celebrations

Massachusetts Gov.-elect Charlie Baker has collected more than $781,000 in donations from supporters to help pay for his inaugural celebrations.

At least 16 companies and individuals have given $25,000, the self-imposed cap that Baker set for donations to his inaugural committee, according to a list of donors released by his campaign.

Those donating the maximum include New Balance, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance, Cumberland Farms, Northeast Utilities Service Company and the trustees of Boston University.

Other top donors include Oasis System, Brait Brothers Corporation, Massachusetts Credit Union Share Insurance Corporation, Hanover Insurance Group and Energi Insurance Services Inc.

Individuals giving $25,000 include Wayne Capolupo, head of SPS New England Inc., a highway construction company; Thomas DeSimone, a real estate developer and executive vice president of WS Asset Management; and Thomas Kershaw, CEO of the Hampshire House in Boston, home to the Bull & Finch Pub, the model for the television show "Cheers."

Companies and groups donating between $10,000 and $20,000 include Verizon, Staples, Fallon Community Health Plan, the State Police Association of Massachusetts, First Wind Energy and the Beer Distributors of Massachusetts.

Some of the companies are involved in industries that are regulated by - or do business with - the state.

Aides to Baker say the limits he set on donations are similar to those imposed by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Gov. Deval Patrick, who set a limit of $50,000 for donations to his 2007 inaugural committee. Patrick, who raised about $1.9 million, also accepted donations from insurers, developers and law firms.

Baker will be sworn in on Jan. 8, succeeding Patrick, who did not seek re-election.

Baker will make a brief walk to the Massachusetts Statehouse before taking his oath of office at noon in the House chamber. Following the swearing-in, he will greet members of the public at the Grand Staircase next to the chamber.

After the formal events at the Statehouse, the celebration moves to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center for an inaugural party. Capacity at the event is about 5,000. Tickets are $50 each and available to the public.

Among the performers will be the Boston Police Gaelic Column of Pipes and Drums, the Angkor Dance Troupe, the Asociacion Carnavalesca de Massachusetts and the Boston Gay Men's Chorus.

On the following day, Jan. 9, Baker is a planning a Central Massachusetts Inaugural Celebration in Worcester. The event is free and open to the public.

The theme of the inaugural is "Let's Be Great, Massachusetts."

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