Entries in First Lady (20)


First Lady to Promote Outreach to Homeless Vets on TV Show

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- First lady Michelle Obama will tape her first appearance on network reality TV this week as a guest star in ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

The White House says Mrs. Obama will travel on Thursday to Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she will roll up her sleeves and help expand a community resource center for homeless female veterans located just outside the gates of Ft. Bragg.

The first lady’s participation is framed as part of the “Joining Forces” initiative she began with Dr. Jill Biden to provide support and recognition to military veterans and their families.

George Verschoor, executive producer of Extreme Makeover, said Mrs. Obama will work specifically on a new greenhouse and a children’s playhouse at the center, the Steps-N-Stages Jubilee House.  She is also expected to participate in a special project to honor the center’s founder, Barbara Marshall, a 15-year Navy veteran, he said.

“When the first lady first saw this story, she was so moved by Barbara Marshall and the work she’s doing,” Verschoor said.  “The first lady has said she not only wants to do something for the whole house… but she also wanted to do something personal for Barbara.”

Marshall, a former chaplain, has served hundreds of women veterans since opening the center a little over a year ago, Verschoor said, but her center is only able to provide living accommodations to five women at a time.

“Her problem is the house is so small,” he said.  “So that’s what we’re doing this week: expanding the capacity of the house and to all of her resources so she can help even more.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates 107,000 veterans are homeless on any given night.

Mrs. Obama, no stranger to the television limelight, has previously appeared on PBS’ Sesame Street, Nickelodeon’s iCarly, Food Network’s Iron Chef America, and a mix of daytime TV talk shows and late-night comedy.

Her appearance on Extreme Makeover, which will air in October, follows a similar one by former first lady Laura Bush, who was featured in a 2005 episode taped at a Biloxi, Mississippi home damaged by Hurricane Katrina. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Private Service to Be Held in California for Betty Ford

Ron Galella Archive/Getty Images(PALM DESERT, Calif.) -- Former first lady Betty Ford, who passed away last Friday from natural causes at the age of 93, will be remembered on Tuesday in a private service in California.

First lady Michelle Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton, and former first ladies Rosalynn Carter and Nancy Reagan are all expected to be on hand to pay tribute to Ford, who is best remembered for her White House stay and for making her struggles with breast cancer and substance abuse public.

The service will be held at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Palm Desert at 2 p.m.  Rosalynn Carter and journalist Cokie Roberts will be among the people who will deliver Ford's eulogies.

On Wednesday, Ford's casket will be flown to Grand Rapids, Michigan where a public memorial and funeral service are scheduled to be held on Thursday.  After Thursday's funeral, she will be laid to rest alongside her husband on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford presidential museum.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Former First Lady Betty Ford Dies at 93

Betty Ford and Gerald Ford attend Carousel Of Hope Ball Benefit on October 26, 1990 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Ron Galella Archive/Getty Images(PALM SPRINGS, Calif.) -- Betty Ford, First Lady of the United States from 1974-1977, has died.

Ford was born Betty Bloomer on April 18, 1918 in Chicago.  She married Gerald Ford -- who was to become the nation's 38th president -- in 1948.

Of all the first ladies, Betty Ford was one of the most outspoken and candid.  Within months after moving into the White House, she let the country know she had breast cancer and became an advocate for early detection.  

Betty Ford went public again in 1978 when she entered a rehabilitation program for dependence on alcohol and prescription drugs.  Four years later, she opened her own substance abuse center .  

Thousands have been helped at the Betty Ford Center -- among them celebrities, Elizabeth Taylor, Chevy Chase and Mary Tyler Moore.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Michelle Obama, Jill Biden to Spotlight Military Families on Tour

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- First lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden are heading out next week on a tour to support military families.

The pair will first make a visit to Camp Lejeune on Wednesday, where the duo will address 3,000 marines, soldiers, sailors and military family members.

Following that event, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Biden will join Martha Stewart and pregnant women whose husbands are in the military when they visit Operation Shower, a non-profit that hosts baby showers for expecting military families. The two then plan to visit service members and families at a support center in San Antonio, Texas, before an evening trip to Coors Field in Denver where they will join military families from across Colorado for a Rockies baseball game.

On Thursday, their tour will take them to Colorado Springs and Columbus, Ohio.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Ladies' Night: Michelle Obama Tells Girls to 'Break the Glass Ceiling'

MIKE THEILER/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Bright pink tablecloths, red carpet stars and 120 rosy-faced high school girls filled the East Room of the White House Wednesday night for a dinner to celebrate mentoring with first lady Michelle Obama. The event paired more than 20 famously successful women with girls from D.C.-area high schools to showcase the benefits of mentoring.

“You don’t always see what it took for many of us to get to where we are today. You don’t always see the thousands of hours that were spent studying or practicing or rehearsing, the years spent working for that promotion, the hammers used to break glass ceilings,” Mrs. Obama said. “All of them -- every last one of them -- had someone in their lives who took the time to encourage them and to inspire them.  None of us are here on our own.”

Comedian, actress and author Ali Wentworth started the evening off by poking a little fun at the first lady’s other initiatives.

"I'm glad that everyone's gathered here today in the East Room because we're going to talk about something that I think is vital to discuss and that is childhood obesity. Millions of Americans are...” Wentworth began before a White House aide who was in on the joke stopped her. “Who has a garden? Who knows how to organically grow... No?” she tried. The aide then called out “mentoring!”

“Oh, mentoring! That is such a great idea!" Wentworth joked.

The first lady poked back.

"When I told my husband that Ali was going to be the MC he was like 'Huh, Ali's pretty funny but sometimes she can be a little inappropriate.' So far so good."

Wentworth shouted from the audience, “The night’s not over yet!”

Other notable guests at the evening’s festivities included Academy Award-winning actresses Hillary Swank and Geena Davis, Olympic gold medal gymnast Dominique Dawes, and the founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Nancy Brinker.

The first lady encouraged the mentees to “reach back and pull someone else up. It’s never too soon to start mentoring.”

Earlier in the day Mrs. Obama visited Ballou High School in Washington, D.C., where she talked about growing up on the South Side of Chicago. She gave a short speech, then took two questions from students.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


Michelle Obama: Happy 1st Birthday for 'Let's Move!'

Photo Courtesy - The White House(ATLANTA) -- It’s been one year since first lady Michelle Obama announced her signature exercise and nutrition program "Let’s Move!" On Wednesday, she celebrated.

“’Let’s Move!’ is far more than just a campaign, it’s so much more than just a slogan, this is a nationwide movement,” she told a large crowd at a church auditorium in Atlanta.

Obama deemed the program an early success, crediting the parents of America who insisted on more information on food labels, more affordable fresh fruit and vegetables and better food in school lunch programs.

“The truth is that executives at Walmart didn’t wake up one morning and decide to promote healthier products just for fun and folks in Congress didn’t write the most sweeping child nutrition legislation in decades because they had extra time on their hands,” she said, “They did this because folks like us stood up and asked for those changes.”

Last month Walmart, one of the nation’s largest grocers, pledged to cut 25 percent of the salt and 10 percent of added sugars in processed products by 2015 as well to cut $1 billion in costs to lower the prices of fresh food.

In addition, Obama said they’re putting salad bars in 6,000 schools, enlisted 2,000 professional chefs to help make school menus more healthy. And they recruited professional athletes to star in commercials that promote exercise and eating right.

“If we can do all this in just one year, just imagine what  we’ll achieve next year,” she said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


First Lady To Celebrate One Year of Her Child Nutrition Campaign

Photo Courtesy - The White House(WASHINGTON) -- Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of first lady Michelle Obama’s flagship issue: the "Let’s Move!" campaign to combat child obesity. Mrs. Obama will declare Wednesday that over the course of the year the “first signs of a fundamental shift in how we live and eat” have been seen due to the progress of her initiative.

The first lady will travel to Alpharetta, Georgia to give a speech at the North Point Community Church, one of the largest non-denominational evangelical churches in America, also hosted by Ray of Hope Christian Church. The first lady’s office is saying that tomorrow’s speech will be highly “personal” in tone, as the first lady will share how this issue has affected her as a parent.

In excerpts released before the speech from the first lady’s office, Mrs. Obama will call the day a celebration, noting that the anniversary of the initiatives brings some progress in child nutrition and eating habits in her eyes.

“We’re here to celebrate a new conversation in this country about the health and well-being of our children,” Mrs. Obama will say. “And over this past year, we’ve seen the first signs of a fundamental shift in how we live and eat. We’ve seen changes at every level of our society -- from classrooms, to boardrooms, to the halls of Congress.”

Mrs. Obama is expected to talk about the road going forward with the anti-obesity campaign and the role Americans can play.

The first lady will deliver the speech before parents, members of both congregations, local faith and community leaders, and supporters of the "Let’s Move!" campaign.  Beforehand Mrs. Obama will visit the Burgee Peterson Academy, a local Atlanta school, to “highlight how the school is working with children to promote healthy eating.”

The first lady’s office is pulling out all the stops to mark the anniversary, including Mrs. Obama’s live appearance on the Today show and Live! with Regis and Kelly.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


First Lady Obama Takes Gift Suggestions for POTUS from Kids

File Photo Courtesy - The White House | Chuck Kennedy(WASHINGTON) -- First lady Michelle Obama on Monday wouldn’t divulge any secrets as to what she is getting her husband for Christmas, but took a few suggestions from kids during her annual visit to the Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C.

“I’m not going to tell you because it’s going to be in the paper tomorrow, and then he’s going to read it, and then it won’t be a surprise.  But first I have to see whether he’s been naughty or nice.  I’ve been trying to figure that out,” Mrs. Obama joked.

The children suggested everything from a watch to a suit to a bell to an ornament to candy to a “new” hot tub as options for gifts to give the commander-in-chief.

“You think he’s got an old hot tub?” she laughed back.

There were also suggestions for what to get Bo, the Obama’s family dog. The first lady said that her daughters Malia and Sasha are the ones responsible for shopping for Bo.

The first lady was asked what was on her wish list to Santa this year.

“I didn’t ask for anything in particular.  One of the biggest gifts I got this year was -- we got it this morning.  We signed an important law that helps make the school lunches more healthy.  And that was my big Christmas wish."

The visit to the Children's Hospital in Northwest D.C. is a tradition that the White House says dates back to first lady Bess Truman.  Mrs. Obama toured the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit where she met with patients, families, doctors, nurses and support staff before meeting with children.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 


Michelle Obama Kicks Off the Holiday Season at the White House

Photo Courtesy - The White House(WASHINGTON) -- “It’s Christmas! It’s exciting!,” first lady Michelle Obama yelled from the festive East Room of the White House Wednesday afternoon.

Mrs. Obama got in the holiday spirit in the newly decorated White House Wednesday, welcoming the families of military members to see the new décor.

“This is a very exciting time here at the White House for me and our family,” Mrs. Obama said. “And I have to say the house looks more beautiful than it did last year.  It is really something special."

Mrs. Obama mentioned the highlights of this year’s Christmas decoration -- the giant Bo replica which she called “shocking,” and the 350-pound gingerbread house. Mentioning the theme of “Simple Gifts,” the first lady said that that is really what the holiday season is all about.

“In the end, the greatest blessings of all are the ones that don't cost a thing -- the time that we spend with our loved ones, the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, and the joy we feel from reaching out to those in need.”

For the second time in two years, the White House has teamed up with Toys for Tots to help collect toys.

After her speech, Mrs. Obama went to the State Dining Room of the White House where “creative stations” were set for children to make holiday ornaments, cards and decorated gingerbread cookies.

Mrs. Obama took off her formal jacket and helped decorate a card, and fold magazine pages to make a recycled Christmas tree.

A child gave Mrs. Obama a cookie she had decorated.

“That is delicious,” she said after taking a big bite of the cookie.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


First Daughters Give White House Christmas Tree 'Thumbs Up'

Photo Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The official White House Christmas tree – an 18.5 foot Douglas-fir – arrived at the White House Friday by horse-drawn carriage.
At a brief ceremony in front of the White House, First Lady Michelle Obama, along with daughters Sasha and Malia, received the tree from Crystal Spring Tree Farm of Leighton, Pennsylvania.

A band played “My Christmas Tree” when Mrs. Obama and the girls walked out.

“So what do you think?  You giving the thumbs up,” Mrs. Obama asked her daughters after a close inspection.  The girls signaled to their mom that the tree had their approval.  The first lady then announced, “We’ll take it.”

The tree will be decorated and put up in the Blue Room of the White House.  This is the second time the farm was chosen to provide the official White House tree.  The Bush family took a tree from Crystal Spring Tree Farm back in 2006.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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