• Ericka’s night with President Obama, Jay-Z, and Beyoncé

    Jay-Z, Ericka, President Obama, Bill, and Beyoncé

    “I just felt like such a superstar. I’m a mom and I feel like I’m constantly rushing to make dinner, prepare bottles, do dishes, and this was the best break a mom could ask for.”

    For Ericka, a kindergarten teacher from Pennsylvania and Obama supporter who has been pitching in where she can, that break was a night in New York City with her husband Bill, President Obama, Jay-Z, and Beyoncé.

    “Everyone at the event was so nice and enthusiastic. Now I’m even more inspired to do all I can. I told my husband I just want to be a part of that, so I’m going to using my car to give people rides to the polls on Election Day. I have two small kids, so it’s hard for me to go door to door, but now there are so many ways for me to help out from home. I’m planning to post all over the internet about the issues, and the importance of voting and all the info you need to do that, so I’ve been sending my friends to gottavote.org. In my area, I want people to know all the facts and how President Obama’s policies are helping them.”

    Here’s what Ericka had to say about the event:

    “I saw Jay-Z first and I pinched my husband real hard. Then Beyoncé walked in and I almost lost it. We got to talk to both of them for a while and they were so nice to us. Beyoncé and I talked about our kids because we both have young ones. Hers is three months older than mine and, even though she’s Beyoncé, all mothers can relate to each other on that level. Then she said, well you have two kids so you must be even busier, which was so funny— Beyoncé was telling me how busy I must be. That woman’s probably the busiest woman on the planet!

    “Jay-Z and my husband had a really nice talk as well. The place had a lot of memorabilia on the walls, so of course they talked some sports. It was kind of like hanging out with friends—except they were Jay-Z and Beyoncé!

    “Then the President walked up to talk to us for a while and I thought I’d be so nervous, but he is just like a normal person. Here’s the President of the United States taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to two regular, middle-class citizens. He talked to me about our kids and about education—it was great. I told him I’m a teacher so he said, I know you’re in the trenches so hang in there, I’ve got your back. I got into this profession because I love kids and I want to make a difference, so that meant a lot to me. I could tell how much he appreciates teachers. My husband does accounting for the school where I work, so he and President Obama talked numbers. We spent a lot of time with him!

    “The best surprise, though, was that he gave a speech, and I love hearing him speak. He’s always so entertaining and powerful—and he even threw some jokes in there, too! He had me really laughing.

    “At the end of it all, the five of us got to take a picture together. That photo will be framed and it’ll go on the mantle at home—it’ll be a nice reminder of one of the best nights I’ve ever had.”

    Ericka and Bill in New York City

    But to Ericka, this contest wasn’t just about a fun evening—it says something about the campaign as a whole.

    “I entered the contest because I’m just a huge, huge, huge supporter, and I want to do what I can so I figure, holy cow! Why not kill two birds with one stone? When I first found out that I won, I think I blacked out for a few seconds. I was so shocked for the next ten minutes that I couldn’t even speak coherently. I donated 10 bucks because I couldn’t afford anything else. But I say, if you have it and you can give it, that’s wonderful. I like a campaign that appreciates me no matter how much I give. It says a lot about what the President stands for. I had a conversation with President Obama, Jay-Z, and Beyoncé, and they made me feel so great and so at home. Just, wow!”

    Enter Dinner with Barack

    No purchase, payment, or contribution necessary to enter or win. Contributing will not improve chances of winning. Void where prohibited. Entries must be received by September 25, 2012. You may enter by contributing to Obama for America here, by signing up for Quick Donate here, or click here to enter without contributing or signing up for Quick Donate. Three winners will each receive the following prize package: round-trip tickets for winner from within the fifty U.S. States, DC, or Puerto Rico to a destination to be determined by the Sponsor; hotel accommodations; and dinner with President Obama on a date to be determined by the Sponsor (approximate retail value of all prizes $4,800). Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Promotion open only to U.S. citizens, or lawful permanent U.S. residents who are legal residents of 50 United States, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and 18 or older (or age of majority under applicable law). Promotion subject to Official Rules and additional restrictions on eligibility. Sponsor: Obama for America, 130 E. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601.