On Monday, GRA Parent Association President, Sue Rivera and VP, Elisa Race mentioned to Headmaster Tim Viands that President Barack Obama would be appearing at Kent State, and the search began for tickets, which proved non-existent. Director of Development, Tom O'Neal then reached out to alumni and the Ashtabula Star Beacon, and was able to procure press passes for the boys with the hope that those credentials would get them in the door. Calls to State Senators Capri Cafaro and Eric Kearney turned up the name of the Regional White House Press Manager who agreed to meet our boys at the Press Entrance, and assure that they would be able to be seated in the section reserved for the press; Tony in the reporter's section, Ian among the photographers. The rest, as they say, is history...
"The atmosphere was literally electric" said Tony,
"I was standing with professional reporters, and so I was not able to cheer like the general attendees, but I have never been so moved by the sheer power of a speaker, nor do I believe I ever will again. This was a once in a lifetime experience."
Ian Race had been a fan of the President since 2004, and the chance to actually be up close with his camera was something out of a dream. "I took over 700 shots, said the senior from Cleveland, I knew this would never happen again." The results of that work can be seen below in the photo of the President that has the campus as well as the local paper, clamoring for copies.
"It was amazing that, working together like this, we were able to pull this off in 24 hours", said Mr. Viands. "It makes me extra proud to be part of The Grand River Family."