November 26, 2008: Barry Cauchon

As many of you know, I volunteer for an organization called the Power Within that puts on high-powered speaker events. Today, we hosted President Bill Clinton in London, Ontario, Canada. I have volunteered at two previous Clinton speeches (one on November 13, 2007 and the other on October 16, 2008) and so this time, I think the folks at the Power Within wanted to give me a ‘thank you’ surprise. So they assigned me to work with the photographer in the Pre-Show Photo Op session. This is a 20 minute period where about 100 pre-paid patrons come to get their pictures taken with the President.

So there we were, set up and ready to go in a small 10′ x 10′ room, with the 100 people lined up just outside, waiting for their opportunity. Inside the room was me, the photographer, another volunteer colleague Louise, and 2 to 3 other sponsor reps. Except for Louis and me, everyone was in either a suit or dress. Louise and I were wearing bright blue STAFF tops. We kind of stood out in the sea of suits!!!

After about a half-hour delay, the room began to quickly fill with secret service, additional sponsor reps and President Clinton’s advance team members. All in all, there were now probably about 15 people in this tiny little room.

Finally President Clinton entered the room to my right. He looked around and then walked over to Louise and me and greeted us. After saying hi to Louise, he stepped in front of me, shook my hand and said “Hello. Nice to see you”. “Nice to see you too, Mr. President. Have a great day!” was my reply. WOW. That was totally unexpected.

Other than the 100 people that were about to come in and get their pictures taken with him, we were the only two he greeted. So cool! Anyway, I got to then spend the next 20 minutes standing within 6 feet of the President watching him work with the various people who came to get their pictures taken with him. He is warm and inviting and of course, very personable. It was a great gift and I want to thank my friends at the Power Within for doing this for me.

As a transplanted American citizen living in Canada, it was a very proud moment for me to meet the President of the United States. Up until seeing President Clinton give his speech last November, I had only seen one other President speak live, and that was LBJ. In 1965, when I was a cub scout, I saw LBJ give a live speech at Langley Air force Base in Hampton, Virginia. It left quite an impression on me.

So years later, I’ve now actually met the President of the United States. And I did it by just being a volunteer and giving my time and energy to an organization that brings great speakers to the public. You never know where things will lead you to, but for me, look what happened! It was great.

Thanks for letting me share.



Published in: on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 at '7:21 pm'  Comments (13)  
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