Local moms are baking for Barack Obama | VailDaily.com

Local moms are baking for Barack Obama

Nicole Inglis
Vail CO, Colorado
AP PhotoDemocratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., speaks at campaign event in New Philadelphia, Ohio, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008

The week before school starts most 12-year-olds are out shopping for school supplies or frantically trying to memorize locker combinations. But Kaitlyn Donovan was with her parents at Invesco Field at Mile High, witnessing Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention.

“I thought it was something she needed to see,” said her mother, Marcy Donovan. “It was a really exciting place to be, and she’s started tuning in to more and more of the messages.”

Marcy Donovan is part of a group of moms that hopes to get more families involved in politics. The group is holding a bake sale for Obama this Saturday at Freedom Park in Edwards, said Amie Nelson, coordinator of the event.

Donovan, Nelson and other Eagle County mothers are trying to get involved with civic issues, including anything that affects mothers and children, Nelson said. The group also focuses on the involvement of children in their events.

“We noticed that kids weren’t really involved in fundraisers,” Nelson said. “We’re really hoping to get families to come out with their kids. We want our children to be civic-minded. We want them to know from a young age that their voice counts and that they are the future.”

Donovan said that educating children in the political process will be “pivotal,” and emphasizes the need to look beyond just the next presidential term.

“This is more far-reaching than just the next four years,” Donovan said. “It’s their life, their future. We need to open their eyes to the political system and the changes going on.”

It is important to teach kids the importance of events like this weekend’s bake sale, Donovan said, or the family barbecue that her family held a few weeks ago that raised $672 for the Obama campaign. She hopes to teach her kids that it is the little things that add up to really create changes in the world.

And the change is the focus of these mothers’ dedication to Obama’s campaign.

“We’re really looking to Obama to improve our educational system from the ground up,” Nelson said. “We don’t want any more empty promises. A community is only as strong as its public education, and everybody suffers if it is weak.”

Nelson acknowledges that many families in the Vail Valley can afford to send their children to private school, but maintains that public schools are still important, because children who go to public school still interact with those who go to private school.

Carole Onderdonk, co-chair of Eagle County Democrats, said that groups who have no official affiliation with the Democratic Party are important in helping raise awareness and bringing specific issues, like education, to the surface.

Both Onderdonk and Nelson alluded to the need to either better fund or scrap Bush’s No Child Left Behind mandate.

“There’s just got to be some other way,” Onderdonk said.

Marcy Donovan said that every issue in this year’s campaign is a big issue, citing environmental concerns like oil dependency. But mainly. it is important to get the word out to adults and children alike, she said.

“The stakes are just too high this time,” she said.

Onderdonk believes it is “critical” to reach undecided voters, and is “thrilled” that people like Nelson are providing this level of support for Obama.

“People with that kind of initiative are the backbone of of the Democratic Party,” Onderdonk said. “We love groups like them, and are happy they are putting on this event.”

Nelson, with the culinary assistance of more than 20 families, hopes to use the bake sale for Obama to bring families and their children together to try and raise awareness and reach undecided voters, Nelson said.

“There are still people on the fence that we need to educate,” Nelson said. “We’re really trying to raise awareness not just for our candidate but for what he stands for.”

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