Meckler, Wildman Highlight Boca Chapter Meeting
The Palm Beach County Tea Party group kicked off September in grand style with it’s monthly dinner/speaker event on Monday, September 12th. While many people were still absorbing the impact in the wake of yesterday’s media blitz of the 10-year anniversary of 9-11-2001, many of our attendees were still contemplating the significance on just what it means to be an American in this day and age. There is nothing like being reminded of the sorrow of fallen heroes and their families to readjust your idea of what it means to be patriotic.
On a night when we had a major televised debate for the Republican candidates, as well as a torrential downpour that lasted about an hour before we opened for the evening, we still had about 70 patriots who braved the weather and showed up, so that our voices can be heard in force. As the rain began to subside, many familiar faces trickled in for a night of true education and encouragement. As usual, we had about one-third of our crowd who had never been to a Tea Party event before!
After all enjoyed a delicious dinner at Boca Greens Country Club, Alex Berry, the Boca Chapter Coordinator of the Palm Beach County Tea Party, took the podium as the evening’s MC. A brief welcome was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, and a review of the three tenets of the Tea Party was presented. Our founder and County Coordinator, Pam Wolschlegel was then introduced to update the attendees on the latest PBCTP news and events. Pam also started a tradition of providing the “Quotes of the Month”—typically statements made by liberal politicians (but others as well) who wish to vilify the Tea Party movement, and to characterize us all as cartoonish malcontents. There was lots of laughter and guffaws at these statements, but was illustrative of how the Left is desperate to discredit our movement.
Alex then introduced Bruce Besser, a loyal member of the Boca Chapter, who encouraged attendees to get involved LOCALLY, and specifically in our Boca Chapter, which needs more patriots to get involved with us. Terry Brady, a co-founder, followed to inform the attendees about the various fundraising activities that he is conducting, encouraging those who are passionate about our cause to give in a sacrificial way, or at least give of your time to help raise the money needed to continue to educate about our great cause.
Alex then introduced the speakers for the evening: Dawn Wildman, a state coordinator of Tea Party Patriots from San Diego, CA, and Mark Meckler, the Co-founder and National Coordinator of Tea Party Patriots. Dawn took the podium first, and recounted her journey in the movement. As only Dawn can do, she used her wit and intelligence and wry humor to address what life is like in a liberal bastion like California. Her presentation brought both nods of understanding and laughter. Who says great patriots can’t be funny and encouraging?!?!
Mark Meckler then took the podium, after Dawn’s introduction. Mark told us the story of what the Tea Party movement is like nationwide. His incredible message resonated strongly with our boisterous and lively audience, because it was so entertaining and encouraging—he said that this movement has it’s hallmark in meetings like ours—mobilizing local people to get involved! Mark then regaled the crowd with stories of his experiences with the national media- like the Chris Matthews story—as well as dealing directly on Capitol Hill with elected politicians who benefited from the Tea Party vote. One thing is clear: not much has changed in the Big Political Machine in Washington. This means that the Tea Party still has a lot of work to do. A natural speaker, Mark truly captured the essence of what true patriotism really means on a local level—whether it means making a financial contribution, getting involved in events with your local group, or just having a bumper sticker to help our cause. The point he made is: “There is a Role For You”.
The “Q&A” portion was equally entertaining, and Mark Meckler handled all the questions with grace, aplomb, and a direct honesty that was appreciated and respected by all. After about 6 questions were asked and answered, the raffle prize was drawn and won by none other than the Boca Chapter’s own Howard Dekkers– who promptly returned the $100 prize back to the Tea Party. Thanks, Howard!
One of the best parts of meetings like ours is the fellowship that occurs afterwards. Not only do like-minded patriots get to meet each other and exchange ideas, but the speakers always make themselves accessible to answer any additional questions, as well. Several people stayed to chat and enjoy the evening, and many stayed till well after 9:00pm. Media present at our event included Michele Kirk, Associate Editor of BizPac Review, and Heather Gustafson, a student at nearby Lynn University, whose senior project in Journalism School is her report on local Tea Party activities.
We look forward to another great meeting in October for our Boca Chapter—please stay tuned into this site for more information, and INVITE YOUR FRIENDS!!! See you next month!