The following is a write up from Stephanie, a fellow Palinista and O4P Coordinator who drove from North Carolina to South Carolina to meet Gov. Palin for the first time. The video is from Ken Elliton, VA O4P Coordinator.
Gov. Palin Rocks eWomen, Meet/Greet, Complete Video, Photos
by Guest Contributor on Monday, March 19, 2012 17:34 EDT
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin rocked the BI LO Center in Greenville, South Carolina with an inspiring speech preceded by an emotionally powerful meet and greet session with supporters who purchased VIP tickets. Gov. Palin talked about how she walks with God and defended Judeo-Christian values. Stephanie Todd and Ken Elliton, who are the North Carolina and Virginia State Coordinators for American Grizzlies United/Organize4Palin provided on-site team and first person coverage of this event, including a photo and video spread.
Preparing to Meet Gov. Palin for the First Time
Well the day finally arrived… the day I finally got to meet Sarah Palin. I had bought my ticket five months ago to the Extraordinary Women’s Christian Conference in Greenville, SC for March 16-17. I am the North Carolina Coordinator for Organize 4Palin/AGU and had previously seen Gov Palin in 2008 at a campaign rally at Elon University, NC but never got the privilege of meeting her. Unfortunately, I was not able to make any of the book signings either. So…. this day was 3.5 years in the making. I arranged to go down with one of my volunteers from O4P on Friday. I was so excited. I was nervous about all week. We were to meet at the VIP entrance of the BI LO Center 4 pm sharp to receive our Palin pass, which we proudly had to wear the entire conference along with wearing a red wristband that said “Palin.” We also had to pick out our seat for the conference and pick up our conference T shirt and mug.
My friend was running behind so I had to go ahead without her. I signed in and received my seat marker and proceeded down to the arena. The “Palin Section” was in the first two rows, stage center and stage right. When I got down there the front row appeared to already be taken so I looked on the second row. Then, all of a sudden I saw a seat on the front row, center stage that had no place holder in it. I asked one of the staff attendants if no one took the seat. She said “no.” So, I quickly plopped my card on there and said, “I’ll take this one.” It was as if my name was already written on it. I hate that my friend and I could not sit together, but as it turns out it was meant to be for me to have a front row seat right in front of the podium I was so excited. My friend ended up sitting right behind me on the second row. So that worked out well.
The meet and greet session with Gov Palin was scheduled for Saturday afternoon. I made sure to try to eat something during the late morning break because were told to meet at 1 pm at the VIP entrance for the meet and greet. I was so nervous I could barely eat but didn’t want to fall out out in the floor at the meet and greet either. The time finally came for us to line up. I had brought my book “Going Rogue” with me to have her sign as well as my NC4Palin T shirt if she could sign more than one item. As it turned out they told us we could not use our cameras, that we would be given a copy of “America by Heart” already signed by Gov Palin and a book signed by the host of the event. My copy of “America by Heart” said ” Keep the Faith, Sarah Palin.” They told us we could shake her hand and that a professional photographer would be taking our picture with her. I was a little bummed she would not be signing my book but understood there was probably a time constraint.
Gov. Palin and Todd Arrive
They then proceeded to check off our names on the list and give us the books. We were led down a set of steps to the backstage area. They had us fill out postcards with our name, address, phone number and email info for the photographer. They will mail us the photo with Governor Palin. They had coffee, tea, brownies and cookies there for us. Most of us seemed to be too nervous to eat anything or fearful that we would have a brownie crumb on our face for the picture. So we waited about an hour in this holding area with a black curtain around us. It was nice talking with other Palin supporters as we waited for the moment. Suddenly, we heard a garage door open and a silver dodge caravan backed into the area. We were able to peek through the curtain a little and saw Todd step out of the back seat on the driver’s side of the car. He then went around to the other side and opened the door for Governor Palin. Of course, we all were cheering and carrying on. They proceeded to walk down another hallway and we had to wait maybe another 10 minutes. Then, finally we saw Governor Palin and Todd and some security detail walk toward the photo area. The cheers erupted. They let us go in one by one to meet her. We were only given maybe 10-15 seconds.
Finally, my turn came so I walked in and gave my card to the attendant. I was then told to proceed up to Governor Palin. The moment had finally arrived when I got to shake the hand of my hero, the lady who has inspired me so much these last 3.5 years; the one I have been supporting and spending so much time organizing for in preparation of Presidential Run since 2009. I created Facebook groups and pages, Twitter, and YouTube accounts. I worked hard on sending updates to all my NC volunteers and tried to keep them up to date on everything. I tried to arrange showings of “The Undefeated” in my area. I set up a table at the NC GOP Conference in 2010 when I was the coordinator for 2012 Draft Sarah Committee and signed up volunteers. I conducted a couple of meetings to help organize in NC. I am naturally a more reserved person so this was a challenge for me to get out there and talk about Gov Palin and speak to small audiences, but I did it because I believe in Gov. Palin and her message and felt she was and is the best person to lead this country.
I visited Alaska the last two summers and have fallen in love with that gorgeous state. I conquered my fear of water a little and took a kayak trip in Homer and a day cruise out of Seward even though I am a little sensitive to motion. We visited Wasilla and saw the most gorgeous sunset on Lake Lucille about 11pm!
The Meeting…Band of the Hand…Inspirational
There was so much I wanted to say to her but time was too short. So as we shook hands I said, “Governor Palin it is so great to meet you,” and told her I was with Organize4Palin and she said, “oh” and asked where I was from. I told her North Carolina. She then asked me what my name was and I told her Stephanie Todd. I think she may have said, “thank you” or “good to meet you Stephanie.” Time passed by so quickly that it was almost a blur because about that same time the staff said, “Stephanie, can you look at the camera?” So we posed for the photo. We again shook hands and I said, “thank you.” She said, “thank you” back and then my time was up. It was so quick. I will say when she shook my hand she used both of hers and it was a very firm handshake so I used both of my hands too. There was so much more I wanted to say like how much she has inspired me and how much I admire her. As I was walking out of the area I smiled and waved at Todd and he smiled and waved back. Then I proceeded to get my book bag and made my way back up to the arena and took my spot on center stage on the first row and waited for the speech. One girl was was so touched that she was sobbing in the elevator. I just hope she waited to tear up after her photo.
Gov. Palin Walks with God, Defends Judeo-Christian Values
The speech was amazing. Governor Palin gave her testimony and spoke about her walk with God and how He has been the driving force that has sustained her theses last few years especially. It was very uplifting. She mixed a little politics in there. She encouraged everybody to make a difference where they are and to stand up for Judeo-Christian values and to not care what others think. She emphasized “not preaching to the choir” so much but getting out there and living for Christ in our communities, etc… “Make a positive difference.” She encouraged supporting those in pop culture who are Christians that are trying to live right. She mentioned Candace and Kirk Cameron. Candace was a speaker at the event. They are in the entertainment field but speak about their faith. Gov. Palin quoted Jeremiah 29:11-13 as being one of her favorite Bible verses (Ed. Note: See Going Rogue, p. 102-104 for salient and applicable material that equally applies to the POTUS run she forwent as when she left the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission):
“For I know the plans I have for you. Plans for peace and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope. When you call upon Me I will hear you, when you search for Me you will find Me; if you seek Me with all your heart.”
Gov. Palin said she sometimes will write a Bible verse in the palm of her hand just so members of the media will have to look it up to see what it means and they will end up reading The Word. She said Willow was with them but I did not see her in the photo room. There was a funny and cool moment in the beginning of the speech when she mentioned people not always liking you or something to that effect. The girl beside me yelled out, “we love you!!” Governor Palin looked down our way and acknowledged her and chuckled. That was pretty cool.
What God Has In Store for Her will be Special
This weekend was one of the highlights of my life that I will always cherish. I just wish I had more time to speak with Gov Palin. She is truly a very special person. I so wish she was running for President and admit to being depressed for at least a couple weeks after the October 5, 2011 announcement. But I also respect Gov. Palin and her decision, because I know she has prayed on this and made the decision that she felt was in the best interest of her family at this time. She is still out there fighting for We The People but just not in the role we had all hoped for. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for her. I know it will be special. The next Palin book signing or political event in my area – I am so there.
NC State Coordinator, American Grizzlies United/Organize4Palin
Complete Video Transcript, Standard Definition, Hand-Held, 112 minutes, Seven Parts
to see videos 3 thru 7 and some great pictures please visit here. The full speech is well worth it.