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Former First Lady Speaks In Roanoke - abc27 WHTM

Former First Lady Speaks In Roanoke

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Roanoke, VA - Former First Lady Laura Bush was in Roanoke Tuesday, invited to be the keynote speaker for the Ninth Annual Women's Luncheon.

The event is the number one fundraiser for the Taubman Museum of Art.

The crowd was huge at Hotel Roanoke, which helped to draw $225,000 as the former First Lady pulled a crowd unlike year's past for the event.

"Thank you for inviting me to speak and be with you all today," Bush said.

More than 800 people shelled out $135 a plate to see Mrs. Bush.

The money raised comes to almost 10% of the museum's annual budget, so a success is a big deal.

The success is solidified by the long relationship between Jenny and Ambassador Nick Taubman with the Bush's.

The Taubmans led the charge for the museum, now aptly named for them, making the five year keynote speaker a must-have booking.

"George and I have learned all we know we have is now. So take advantage of life as it is and walk on the beach every chance you get," Bush said.

"In this case bringing Mrs. Bush to town; a fellow educator, an advocate for women's rights. It sort of shares with the community our commitment to our educational mission and goals," Executive Director Della Watkins said.

The Taubmans even covered the speaking fee charged by Mrs. Bush.

It was a perfect deal that allowed the museum to gain maximum fundraising potential without incurring much of the heavy cost of putting the event on.

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