Neighborhood Prepares for Bush Visit

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AUBURN, Kan. - First lady Laura Bush paid a visit to northeast Kansas Tuesday afternoon to attend a fundraising event for State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins.

Jenkins is running for the 2nd District Congressional seat against incumbent Democrat Nancy Boyda.

President Bush was originally scheduled to make the visit, but the damage from Hurricane Ike required him to be in Texas instead.

The fundraiser was held at the home of John and Diana Joliff, 6422 SW Bayshore Drive, Auburn. Tony and Jana Berry hosted the event. The location was moved from their home in the Clarion neighborhood for security reasons.

Guests of the event parked at nearby Ken Berry ballfield and were shuttled from the event. The Jenkins campaign says nearly 300 people attended.

Folks in the neighborhood say they spent a few days making sure their homes and lawns looked nice for when the first lady drove by. They sat in their yards to get a peak at Mrs. Bush in her SUV as she made her way to and from the fundraiser. On her way, she even gave them a wave.

The actual luncheon was held in a tent set up in the Joliff's backyard. It was closed to media, but those who attended the event later told 13 News when the first lady arrived she greeted people, then was introduced by Jenkins to give a speech, posed for a few pictures and then left 45 minutes after she arrived.

"She talked about Lynn Jenkins and what she stands for. She talked about the war on terror," said Ken Aubuchon. He traveled from Lenexa for the event. "I was pleased with the speech."

Aubochon says even though he liked Mrs. Bush's speech, he would've like it more if the President himself had made it. "We came to see the President, but I'm pleased that Laura showed up."

Many say support from Mrs. Bush will help Jenkins' campaign against Boyda.

"It's an honor for Lynn Jenkins to have the first lady here," said Cathy McCoy. "It's just a wonderful thing for her." McCoy was among the neighbors watching for Mrs. Bush from their front yard.

The Jenkins campaign called Tuesday's event a success.