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Illinois Women Gather for Michelle Obama

The First Lady was the featured guest in many living rooms, beauty salons, and community hubs across Illinois as Women for Obama groups gathered to participate in a special conference call with Michelle Obama.

"Women are at the heart of our communities, at the heart of our country, and at the heart of this campaign." – Michelle Obama

Gerrie Ryan hosted a Women for Obama event in Lake Bluff. She wasn’t sure how many people to expect when she planned her Women for Obama event. “I’d invited a bunch of friends and neighbors on my own. Then I went online and saw that my event was full! An additional 20 people signed up to attend; I didn’t know what to do. But, if people sign up to volunteer then it’s okay.” 19 women attended Gerrie’s event, including many who found her event through

Prior to the call with the first lady, the attendees gathered in a circle to tell the story of how they became a Barack Obama supporter. Paula C. of Waukegan moved the room when she revealed that her father and aunt became U.S. citizens in January 2008, “just in time for all of us to vote for Barack Obama as a family for the first time,” Paula proclaimed proudly.

At the conclusion of the call, the women discussed taking a border state trip to Wisconsin and created the Women of Illinois 10th District for Obama group to stay connected.

At Mattie’s Salon in Chicago, Jeanne Clark hosted an event with 30 fired up women eager to listen to the first lady’s call. “We had 20 women sign up to volunteer. After hearing from the first lady, we all had a group discussion to share why we were all there and in support for the President. It was great hearing the personal stories and the level of enthusiasm in the room was contagious,” says Joyce Drake, a community organizer.

In addition to sharing personal stories, the attendees spoke about the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the historic health care reform with an emphasis on improving women’s health.

Women are doing so much more than hosting house parties. They’re organizing their communities, educating voters, and holding phone banks. Get involved and participate in an event near you.

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