Cheese heads unite. And, they did, along with more than 1,000 other supporters of the Republican vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, at a fundraiser Friday night at the Westin in Arlington Va.
The well-organized Virginia contingent of Romney Victory put together the metropolitan area fundraiser mere hours after Gov. Mitt Romney formally announced Ryan’s selection as his running mate.
There was a pre-private dinner for the higher rollers, a pre-photo shoot with the candidate for those who gave enough, than a general reception for lower rollers. That reception was nearly 40 minutes late in starting because, as one in-the-know operative said, the photo opportunity drew “twice as many people” as expected.
At the reception, a group of seven or so supporters brandished foam hats shaped like hunks of cheese. The first thing Ryan, a native of Wisconsin, did at the microphone was to give those cheese heads a big appreciative shout out. For those who didn’t know, Wisconsin fans like to wear cheese hats to sporting events.
Also cropping up in the audience were Romney 2012 rhinestone pins purchased from Ann Hand’s store on MacArthur Boulevard in D.C. But let it be known that Hand’s jewelry collection has political memorabilia of all kinds, GOP and Democrat.
Virginia Atty. Gen. Ken Cucccinelli and Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus, another Wisconsinite, warmed up the audience with praise for the R&R ticket and what they deem as faults of the current occupants at 1600.
Travelers are routinely warned by experts to keep an eye – or a hand – on their valuables. Sometimes that caution can vanish in the excitement of the moment.
Like at the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.
An amusing photograph to take at this popular tourist site is one where you position yourself so that it looks like you are holding up the very beautiful, but tipped, historic monument.
It also is a place where the unscrupulous mine for euros. All your attention is on snapping the perfect shot. Your hands are busy, either as a subject keeping the tower from falling over or giving it a final nudge, or as the photographer.
Women plop their purses on the ground to pose for that shot. Men put their backpacks aside.
On the day our group visited, some other tourists had their wallets lifted by swift thieves who have made a study of what people do to get that shot.
What a wonderful picture to show to friends back home, although some wallets could be leaner. If you go to view that awesome tower, be aware. The woman kneeling in the picture is taking the shot the right way.
Athletes Without Limits and its founding president coach Barry Holman were spotlighted at a summer fundraiser Tuesday night organized by Beasley Real Estate to benefit the inspired organization that makes dreams come true.
Disabled rowers who are part of that dream are U.S. Marine Sgt. Rob Jones, 25, and Oksana Masters, 23, who have qualified as a team to compete in London in the Paralympic Games. Jones lost his legs in an IED (explosion) in Afghanistan. Masters lost hers as a child while exposed to radiation poisoning from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. (www.teambadcompanyrowing.com)
And, oh yes, a little research showed the stunningly beautiful Ukraine-born Masters in ESPN’s 2012 Body Issue sitting on a jetty with her oars beside her, showing her toned physique and tiny tattoos.
Athletes Without Limits athlete Michael Murray, 21, of Nashville, Tn., has earned the historic opportunity to be the first athlete with an intellectual disability to compete for Team USA at the upcoming London games. He qualified for the U.S. Paralympic Track Team.
The games run from August 29 until September 9.
Athletes Without Limits has partnered with DC Strokes and the US Paralympic Military Program to form an integrated team of athletes to train and race together.
The rowing program is a driving force in D.C, with a strong volunteer contingent and 20 active athletes.
“We are breaking down perceptions that rowers with disabilities cannot row by themselves,” said DC rowing program director Patrick L. Johnson. He also coaches rowing at Wakefield High School. Local rowers practice at the Anacostia Community Boathouse, where each athlete practices two or three times a week.
“It’s about integration not separation,” emphasized Johnson, saying, for example, that a rower with a disability can aid someone with a different disability. Aptly proving that point were photographs on display of Claudia Perry, 34, of Silver Spring, Md., a blind rower who served in the Air Force, assisting a rower on prosthetic legs navigate a dock.
At the event at Balance Sport and Fitness gym near Thomas Circle, rower Michael Lautenberger, 21, also of Silver Spring, Md., helped showcase the mission with Holman and Johnson.
Athletes Without Limits is a nonprofit group that helps athletes with intellectual disability integrate and accelerate in sport. It also hosts the program with rowers with physical disabilities.