On the second and fourth Friday every month, a group of 12 Victoria women gather to play bridge and catch up on stories. In 2006, one such story came from Liz Beatty whose son Marvin Nicholson was asked by a man named Barack Obama to assist him in running as a Democratic candidate in the presidential election.
Lorna Elder, another bridge player, facetiously said, “When Barack Obama becomes president, we should play bridge in the White House!”
In 2009, history was made when Barack Obama was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. In addition to his friendship with the new president, Marv became co-ordinator of the minute-by-minute movements of Air Force One.
And with that, Lorna's tongue-in-cheek comment was suddenly on its way to becoming a reality.
In April this year, the bridge club members boarded a plane for Washington, D.C. Tucked in Lorna's luggage was a waterproof pen and an apron complete with the Souper Bowls of Hope logo.
The women received a warm welcome from Marv Nicholson and the apron was given to him to be taken to the president for his signature.
As the awestruck Canadians ascended the steps of the White House, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton greeted them. Marv introduced them to President Obama’s staff, including Reggie Love, the president’s personal bodyguard. After a tour of the White House, including the East Wing (Michelle’s side), the women were thrilled to see the president as he boarded Air Force One, and waved at them before his departure.
Only by special invitation (one day in April and one day in October), visitors can view the expansive White House gardens, where commemorative plantings represent each president while in office. They even met Bo, the presidential dog!
With all the sightseeing, shopping and touring the nooks and crannies of the White House, the women still had time to play bridge!
OCTOBER 2010 SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE VANCOUVER ISLAND
Souper Bowls of Hope is an annual local fundraiser that supports the Victoria Youth Empowerment Society (YES). YES provides many services including emergency shelter, health care, education and training to some of the most vulnerable people in the city - underprivileged and at-risk youth.
On October 14, local celebrities will be ladling soup at the Fairmont Empress Hotel. For $25, donors will receive a steaming bowl of fresh, gourmet soup served in custom, handcrafted bowls made by local artists, which they get to keep. In addition, there will be auction items - including the apron signed by President Barack Obama.
Tickets can be purchased at The Bay Centre’s Guest Services, Ivy’s Book Shop on Oak Bay Avenue, Tanner’s Books on Beacon Avenue, by calling 250-383-3514 or at the door. For more information, visit www.souperbowls.com
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