WV Press InSight Videos

Busy week got busier after White House call

Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Tom Hindman Michael Farmer (left), director of the after-school program at the East End Family Resource Center, shows off the posters that President Barack Obama signed Wednesday during his visit to Charleston. He and Terri Berkley, the center’s executive director, got to meet him. Matt Sutton (right), a center board member, listens.
Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Tom Hindman
Michael Farmer (left), director of the after-school program at the East End Family Resource Center, shows off the posters that President Barack Obama signed Wednesday during his visit to Charleston. He and Terri Berkley, the center’s executive director, got to meet him. Matt Sutton (right), a center board member, listens.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The staff at the East End Family Resource Center was already expecting a busy week this week, as they planned a block party and one of their biggest fundraisers of the year.

Then the White House called.

“So as if this week wasn’t already going to be crazy enough with two events to have to plan for, plus all the services, we sort of got our building taken over to be occupied by the White House and the Secret Service,” said Matt Sutton, a board member for the center.

The center, housed inside the Roosevelt Neighborhood Center, hosted President Barack Obama’s event on opioid addiction Wednesday afternoon.

The staff first learned of the possibility of hosting the president’s visit a week ago, a day after the White House announced plans for Obama to come to the city to address the region’s opioid epidemic.

“We had our kids outside and these gentlemen came up to us and said, ‘Hey can we talk to you about leasing the building next Wednesday,’” said Michael Farmer, director of the center’s after-school program. “And I said, ‘OK, that’s kind of soon,’ and they said, ‘Can we go off somewhere? We’re with the White House.’ And I said, ‘OK, let’s go upstairs and talk…

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