by Tarrin McGhee
Special to The New Tri-State Defender
The first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, will be the special guest at an Obama for America fundraising reception to be held at the Memphis Cook Convention Center on June 28 at 11:30 a.m.
The reception is open to the public, and ticket prices for the event range from $500 for individual tickets to $5,000 for two reception tickets and a photo with the first lady. For $35,000 the option to co-chair the reception is also available and includes six tickets plus a photo for two.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Obama Victory Fund 2012, a joint fundraising committee authorized by Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Parties in various states supporting President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign.
In his bid for reelection, President Obama is facing opposition from Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney – an independently wealthy candidate whose campaign is heavily financed.
Van Turner, chairman of the Shelby County Democratic Party, said Michelle Obama's upcoming appearance in Memphis, and her recent visit to Nashville (on April 17), indicate that the Obama for America campaign wants southern states to play a larger role in helping the president win election this year than they did in 2008.
"There is a focus on the south that we haven't seen in the past and I think that is good," Turner said.
"Our community is hungry for opportunities to help and to get involved. Michelle Obama's visit will undoubtedly help the president raise money and increase awareness in Memphis and Tennessee, and also provide a needed boost to galvanize voters and get them inspired to vote in August and again in November."
Turner said he has been in communication with Obama for America's Tennessee State Director, Justin Wilkins, and Chip Forrester, chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party, about hosting a welcome reception with the Shelby County Democratic Party for the First Lady upon her arrival. Details have not yet been confirmed.
For more information about the fundraising reception on June 28, or to purchase tickets, visit www.barackobama.com.