Posts tagged Fundraiser.
Pennsylvania Couple Win Contest Dinner With President Obama, Beyoncé, and Jay-Z

A week ago, 28-year-old Erika Dungee (pictured below, second from left) decided to respond to Beyoncé Knowles’ (pictured below, far right) e-mail, asking President Barack Obama (pictured below, center) supporters to donate to his campaign for a chance to win a dinner with the President, her husband Jay-Z, and herself at the 40/40 Club in New York. Dungee could never have imagined that the Obama campaign would call her just an evening later and announce that she was indeed the winner. Flying from Pennsylvania to New York, Dungee, a kindergarten schoolteacher, and her husband, Bill, a school administrator (pictured below, second from right), embarked on a night they would never forget. NewsOne spoke exclusively with the young parents of a 2-year-old and 5-month-old to find out why President Obama being re-elected is a priority for them, what were their impressions of the commander-in-chief, what type of hosts did Bey and Jay make, and what indelible moments will they share with their children and grandchildren for years to come.

NewsOne: How did you know about the contest?

Erika Dungee: Well, I got an e-mail saying that if you donated to the President’s campaign, that you’d be entered to win, you’d get the option to meet the President, so I thought that would be really awesome.

NewsOne: How did they contact you when you won?

ED: They contacted me on Friday by phone at like 5:30 p.m. They just said, “Congratulations, you won the contest.” I was just completely floored, because it was just a day between the entering and a day between me winning so it was really fast.

NewsOne: How did you prepare for the event?

ED: We didn’t have time; everything was rushed. [They alerted me that I had won] on Friday, and we flew out on Tuesday. We had to decide on something presentable cause we were meeting the President, Beyoncé, and Jay-Z. And I just looked everywhere to learn a few things about his education policies, so I would be prepared for our “Access Hollywood” interview.

NewsOne: But you guys definitely went shopping?

ED: Yes, we had to find something presentable for the event.

NewsOne: Once you got to the event, what did you discuss?

ED: We definitely talked about teaching, and my husband is the business manager for the school district that I work at. We definitely talked about education because if it wasn’t for federal funds, our school would basically be closed. We definitely let them know that we, public schools, need to get that financial support from the government. Because if not, a lot of us would be shut down.

NewsOne: How did the President respond when you told him who you are and your position in the school system?

ED: He was really responsive. He told us he had our back and that he knows we’re in the trenches and just hang in there. They’re doing everything they can to restore some of the funds to public schools.

Bill Dungee: With the federal funding, I mentioned to him that one-fifth of our budget here in the school districts is federal funding, and he said he was going to try his best to get more funding out to public schools because our governor has really cut our state funding. We’re an economically depressed area, so our tax base isn’t great at all. We depend heavily on federal funding.

ED: Since one-fifth of our budget is federal funding, we operate on about $15 million and we receive approximately $3 million in federal funding.

NewsOne: What is the impression you got from the President?

ED: With the President, it was just his voice; he was so warm and welcoming, and that was the first thing I felt from him.

BD: For me, he had like a kind of comedic personality. The other impression I had was of his swagger. He has a swagger to him that I’ve never seen a president have.

NewsOne: What about Beyoncé and Jay-Z?

ED: As for Beyoncé, she was just really down to earth. We talked about our kids. She was warm and really easy to talk to. Jay-Z was just cool with that signature laugh he has. Me and my husband were cracking up, because it’s different to hear it on tape than to hear it in person.

BD: Yes, I would definitely say Jay-Z’s laugh caught me off-guard. It was definitely signature. Beyoncé, I would just say she’s more beautiful in person than she is on TV. TV doesn’t do her justice.

NewsOne: Did you learn anything that you didn’t know before you went there?

ED: I learned how down to earth [President Obama is], and how he really, really has America’s best interest at heart. While I knew that before meeting him, the meeting made it clearer that everyone has to get out and vote if they want this country to continue on the right path.

BD: I think for me it was more of an understanding that we as average Americans can make a difference as far as even getting other people to vote. One of the last things that the President said to us was that since we lived close to Ohio border, we should go in to Ohio and get some more support. And we were awestruck because here’s the President asking us for help and saying that we can play a part in getting him re-elected. To me, that stuck out in my mind.

NewsOne: I understand that you are going to volunteer on election night. What motivates you to do that? And why do you think that type of work is important?

ED: It’s important because maybe somebody doesn’t have a ride or somebody’s not sure that they’re registered to vote. That’s how I can play my part, just educating everyone on what they’re supposed to do. And when I’m going to vote, however many can sit in my car, that’s who I’m taking with me or even if I have to make a couple of runs, I definitely don’t mind. Whatever it takes so everyone can get out there to vote and support the President.

BD: We live in a smaller inner city area. There are a lot of economically depressed areas here. I know when I was growing up here, it wasn’t impressed upon you to get out and vote in the presidential election. It wasn’t really made a big deal of how much of a difference you can make. So for me, it’s just trying to get the word out to a lot of people our age and younger, you know, that your vote counts and will make a difference. To get President Obama re-elected. Four more years in office.

NewsOne: What does it mean to you if Romney wins? How do you think that will affect your town, your school system?

BD: Well, I think if you just look at our governor [Tom Corbett] now, when the Republican Party got power in our state, that’s when the slashing started. Over the last three years, we’ve lost more than $2 million in state funds. Another thing is that you take the comment that Mitt Romney made about the 47 percent and I feel like my city is directly targeted — that we’re just looking for government handouts. I also feel like our city, our demographics match who he was targeting with that statement. And so I think our area will be one that’s forgotten and very much in trouble if Romney is elected as president.

ED: As for me, I’m a teacher. Our school has had layoffs year after year. And you know, next year my job may be on the chopping block. So you know I’m running for someone who supports me. And our President, he made it clear when I talked to him, he said, “I support teachers.” That meant a lot to me, because I want to work. So if I don’t have a job, that kind of defeats the purpose of me going to school — and student loans are ridiculous. You know, my payment isn’t enough and I need an income. We have two kids, we have a house, we have school. Everything needs to get paid, and you need money to do that.

BD: And I think something that President Obama keeps making a point of is that this election is all about choice. Since I’ve been following presidential elections I’ve never seen such a stark difference in opinions. I think it’s clearer than ever, one side or the other, as far as what the potential future of the country is. As we’ve seen here in Pennsylvania, I think we know how it’s gonna look if the Republicans get control of the White House.

NewsOne: Final question, how did your night end?

ED: The President gave a speech then he exited and we sat on the (4:44 unsure what is said). We just kind of hung out a little bit and waited for another chance to hang out with Beyoncé and Jay-Z. And they were still there, hanging out with everybody, talking, taking pictures. We got a few last pictures, and then we just got on the bus. It was like, “Let’s just wait to leave, because it’ s a once-in-a lifetime opportunity,” so we kind of just hung out for a little bit and snuck in a couple of pictures.

BD: One final though is this, the President told Erica that he was gonna write her class a letter on why she was out of class. I thought that was pretty good. So hopefully we’ll get that letter and we’ll be able to share it.

Inside President Obama’s Fundraiser Hosted By Beyoncé & Jay-Z

Beyoncé and Jay- Z with President Barack Obama at 40/40 Club, NYC

48 Days To The Election


President Obama’s DJ Praises Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s ‘Important’ Fundraising Party.

One of the perks of being President of the United States is the pomp-and-circumstance that follows you everywhere you go. And while former President Bill Clinton has said that he misses hearing “Hail to the Chief,” it’s possible that President Obama might someday pine for the days when he had his own DJ.

For now, though, Obama’s West Coast turntablist, DJ Adam 12, is happy to cue up some choice election-hyping cuts for the commander-in-chief, as he did on Tuesday night when the president was in New York at a $40,000-a-head 40/40 Club fundraiser
 hosted by power couple Jay-ZBeyoncé which raised $4 million for the Obama re-election cause.

I think it sends an important message for Jay-Z and Beyoncé to throw this fundraiser … that it’s important for people that support the president to actually support the president,” said Adam 12. “I know that Jay-Z and Beyoncé had gotten some flak recently for not supporting their community. I think this just goes to show that they do support their community.”

While introducing Obama to the 100 or so guests at the party, Beyoncé said, “I can’t tell you how proud we are to host tonight’s event with President Obama … we believe in his vision.”

President Obama had some high words of praise for his hosts at the party, as well, joking that he’s actually got a lot in common with rap superstar, and new dad, Jay. “Jay-Z now knows, you know, what my life is like,” he said. “We both have daughters. And our wives are more popular than we are … So we’ve got a little bond there. It’s hard, but it’s OK.”

He also noted that first lady Michelle and his daughters Malia and Sasha were mad at him because they could not make it to the fundraiser on a school night. Obama thanked both stars for their generosity toward his children and singled out Beyoncé for being a good example to the girls.

"Beyoncé could not be a better role model for our daughters because she carries herself with such class and poise," he said. "And has so much talent."

On September 1, during Jay’s Made in America music festival performance in Philadelphia, the rapper rolled out a special message from the president on the big screen as tens of thousands of fans cheered on. “To me, the idea of America is that no matter who you are, what you look like or where you come from, you can make it if you try. Jay-Z did it,” Obama said in the pre-taped message following “Public Service Announcement.” “He didn’t come from power or privilege. He got ahead because he worked hard, learned from his mistakes and just plain refused to quit. That’s what ‘made in America’ means.”

If fans and fellow musicians feel the same way about Obama as Jay, Adam 12 encouraged them to get involved. “I think that people should put their money where their mouth is,” he said. “DJs across the country, artists across the country, no matter what kind of artists they are, it’s one thing to support it and just talk about it, but it’s another thing to actually go out there and do something.”

And while he realizes not everyone can have a glamorous, multi-million dollar fundraiser, Adam 12 said everyone can pitch in.

"That’s obviously the highest level of something you can do in support of raising money for the president," he said of he 40/40 party. "But I think it’s important for everybody … it sends a clear message that everybody can do something, whether it’s make some phone calls, knock on doors, have a little party of your own, throw a club, whatever it is you can do in whatever town that you’re in, you should be doing that if you actually do support the president and you want him to be re-elected."

Hopefully, he said, the Jay and Beyoncé event will set a trend and other artists of that caliber will step up and do the same.

Visit MTV’s Power of 12 campaign for more information on this year’s election or check out Fantasy Election ‘12 for details on how to get involved in the game!

Beyoncé Wearing Oscar de la Renta at Obama Fundraiser in 40/40 Club, New York (9/18/2012)

Beyoncé, Jay-Z Raise $4 Million for Obama in New York

After an appearance on the Late Show With David Letterman in New York on Tuesday, President Barack Obama picked up a cool $4 million at a fundraiser hosted by Jay-Z and Beyoncé at the 40/40 Club.

One hundred donors in suits and dresses sat on sofas in a large, dark glassy room at Jay-Z’s exclusive club, according to a pool report. Each paid $40,000 to attend the event.

"I can’t tell you how proud we are to host tonight’s event with President Obama," Beyoncé, wearing a red cocktail dress, told the crowd. "We believe in his vision."

Obama thanked them when he took the stage.

"To J and B, thank you so much for your friendship."

The president told the crowd that “Michelle, Sasha and Malia are mad at me because they aren’t here.”

He said the couple has been so generous to his children: “Beyoncé couldn’t be a better role model for our daughters because she carries herself with such class and poise and has so much talent.”

Obama also said he and Jay-Z have a lot of common. “We both have daughters and our wives are more popular than we are. So, you know, we’ve got a little bond there. It’s hard but it’s okay.”

Obama was more subdued while speaking at this event, though he hit many of his same themes.

"We’ve made history in the past and we’re going to make history in the next seven weeks," he said.

Join Jay-Z, Beyoncé and the President in New York City

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