Monday, June 13, 2011

Michelle Obama in LA: Military family talk, fundraising in Bel Air

June 12, 2011 | KPCC Wire Services

First Lady Michelle Obama will take part in a panel discussion Monday on the challenges faced by military families, then hold fundraising events in Pasadena and Bel Air for President Barack Obama's 2012 reelection campaign.

A $1,000-per-person lunchtime fundraiser will take place at a home in Pasadena. Organizers expected about 500 people. For $10,000, a couple can have their picture taken with Obama and have "private time" with her, according to organizer Lena Kennedy.

A $1,000-per-person dinner will be held tonight in Bel Air, according to Wilshire and Washington, the political website of the entertainment trade newspaper Daily Variety.

Obama will join Katherine Fugate, creator of the Lifetime series "Army Wives," in a panel discussion in Beverly Hills this morning on the unique challenges faced by military families. Obama is expected to share stories about the work of Joining Forces, an initiative she and Jill Biden, wife of vice president Joe Biden, started in April, intended to help volunteers who want to help military families find service opportunities.

"You see, these women — and men — they are heroes,'' Obama told a Long Beach crowd in October. ``And it's time that we recognize that the challenges they face and the obstacles they overcome and the contributions they make, all of that isn't just a military issue. It's an American issue.''

Director J.J. Abrams will moderate the panel, which will also discuss ways television and film can better reflect the reality of military families.

"We have to talk about this," Obama said. "Their needs, and their concerns, should be on the agenda of every woman and every American, because they represent the very best this country has to offer. And it's time that each of us did our part to give them the support they need, the recognition they deserve and the gratitude they've earned."

Obama plans to visit Oakland and San Francisco Tuesday before returning to Washington, D.C. Wednesday.

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