Mayor Mike Foley welcomes guests to the Inaugural Ball, held Jan. 25 at Dana Warp Mill. Chance Viles / American Journal

WESTBROOK— After a six-year hiatus, the Inaugural Ball was back Saturday to celebrate newly elected officials.

The formal ball, held on the top floor of the Dana Warp Mill, was funded through sales of tickets, which went for $50 a piece. An excess of $1,500 from the sales was divided equally and donated to the Westbrook Community Center, the newly opened Veteran Services Office and Just Love Worldwide, a nonprofit based in Westbrook that aims to end sex trafficking in Maine.

The donation to Just Love Worldwide aligns with the city’s proclamation of January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month. According to Just Love, there are between 200 and 300 suspected cases of sex trafficking in Maine each year. The Maine Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 2017 said sex trafficking is reported more than labor trafficking in the United States. The National Human Trafficking Resource Center found that 63 percent of reported U.S. cases are related to sex trafficking, while only 22 percent are related to labor trafficking

The Inaugural Ball ball was skipped over during Mike Sanphy’s tenure as mayor, with the last ball taking place in 2013 after Colleen Hilton was re-elected for a second term.

Ward 1 City Councilor David Morse visits with other ball attendees. Chance Viles / American Journal

At-large City Councilor and former mayoral candidate Michael Shaughnessy stands with Pam Dunham at the Inaugural Ball, Jan. 25. Chance Viles / American Journal

Sue Salisbury, At-Large School Committee member, poses with Wendy Harvey, high school co-principal, at the ball. Chance Viles / American Journal

City employees stand as Mayor Mike Foley recognizes them for their work. Chance Viles / American Journal

Lawrence McWilliams, alternate Planning Board member and a former contender in the race for the Ward 5 City Council seat, talks with Director of Veteran Services and Public Works Operations Manager Arty Ledoux. Chance Viles / American Journal

Westbrook-based band Plush Music played through the night. Entertainment was provided by Rock Row. Chance Viles / American Journal

Lissa’s Sweets and Kindness Cookies provided Westbrook-themed cookies and cupcakes. Chance Viles / American Journal

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