Like many active Democrats, Elizabeth Montgomery will spend August 3 honoring Pres. Obama’s 50th birthday. She’ll even be attending a party to celebrate, too, like many across the state and nation will do.
But it won’t be any of those house meetings the “Obama for America” campaign team is organizing for the president’s Big Five-Oh.
Instead, the Pawley’s Island resident will be celebrating the day directly with the president at his gala event in Chicago.
On July 30, Montgomery learned she’s one of four supporters nationwide randomly selected to attend Wednesday’s event, which also serves as a benefit for Obama’s reelection campaign.
And all she had to do was spend an afternoon volunteering. Montgomery participated in OFA’s “50 for 50,” a nationwide campaign drive, on July 12. “Bring 50 new people into this campaign in time for the President’s 50th birthday,” read OFA’s invite.
The organization offered an incentive, too. “Once you get to 50, you’ll automatically be given a chance to be one of four supporters who will join the President for a birthday celebration in Chicago next month.”
“At the (Georgetown County) event I hosted,” Montgomery says, “we had 12 volunteers who went from door to door in one of our precincts registering voters and identifying supporters.”
The contest itself wasn’t her incentive, though; she’s been an active Obama supporter since she first heard him speak at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, she says. After completing the July 12 duties, she never thought about the contest again.
Until her phone rang early yesterday morning, that is. OFA called Montgomery to tell her she was one of the four winners.
And her response? Ecstatic! She was (and still is) blown away by the prize, which she calls “miraculous.”
So overwhelmed by the news, Montgomery’s still in shock a day later. “I truly did check the call history on my phone to make sure I didn’t dream it,” she says, “as well as emailing (OFA) again just to make sure.
“I’m still not sure I’m not dreaming!”
The prize includes airfare and one hotel night along with a general admission ticket to the event, and has a total dollar value of about $1,050.
Scheduled as a benefit for Obama’s reelection campaign, the birthday event takes place at the famous Aragon Ballroom in downtown Shy Town. Much reported but still unconfirmed, Jennifer Hudson could be the evening’s entertainment.
Montgomery’s still frazzled after learning yesterday of her win. “I have no idea what I am going to wear!” she’s posted on her facebook page, and says she hasn’t been able to get much sleep since, either. “I’m still just trying to recover from the shock!”
Other South Carolina Democrats can take a part in the event, too, although not to the same level Montgomery will enjoy. OFA organized a few house parties across the country for Obama supporters.
There are 14 of these Aug. 3 events scheduled across South Carolina so far, from Greenville to Georgetown. (Click here to see these locations; you can RSVP through that link, too.)
Visit Rob Groce’s website and blog