After receiving more than 200 e-mails from around the country asking the city of Federal Way to pay tribute to Sanjaya Malakar
, the city decided to honor the former American Idol
contestant after all despite its previous reluctance.
Last month, Federal Way Town Manager Neal Beets made public that the city had “more important things to deal with and won't push to give the 17-year old a proclamation.” City Mayor Mike Park also commented previously that the city had never proclaimed anyone with a “special day” in its 17-year history. But On Wednesday, May 9, the former American Idol
season six contestant was given an unexpected homecoming ceremony that changed the history of Federal Way.
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"Hello everybody. I'm so happy to be home," Malakar said on Wednesday to a crowd of 600 people gathered on The Common in his hometown of Federal Way, Washington. He was greeted by screaming fans and was praised by the city’s Mayor Michael Park and King County Council member Peter von Reichbauer for serving as a role model, and giving emphasis on his “charismatic personality, contagious smile and enthusiastic pursuit of his dreams.” In addition, Malakar was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from the city and a declaration of “South King County Sanjaya Malakar Day.”
"We're recognizing that he's using his celebrity status not only to benefit himself but also the community," Reichbauer told The News Tribune. "He's going to have his 15 seconds of fame."
In line with his homecoming, Malakar signed 200 autographs. The pre-signed autographs were available for a $1 donation or more to World Vision, an international Christian relief and development organization.
As for Malakar’s reaction to the tribute, he considered the tribute as something very memorable yet dreamlike. He told The News Tribune, “It's kind of surreal. It's kind of all hitting me at once. It's fun, but it's awkward to deal with in such a small amount of time. You don't really have time to let it sink in.”
-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: RealityTV World
(Image from Wikipedia)