Mitzi Gellman showed Eyewitness News the photo she had President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama sign on Wednesday in Ballantyne. She is one of only four people to win a nationwide contest to land a one-on-one with the president.
“I wanted to thank him for all the service he does and I'm not sure I got that out of my mouth,” Gellman said. “He came in the room friendly and full of life.”
Gellman is the director of Habitat for Humanity in Hickory. The organization has built more than 150 homes in Catawba County. It’s something the president brought up while talking with Gellman.
“He said it is a great organization. It is one of those organizations that is not Republican or Democrat. It is about making lives better for people,” Gellman said.
One of those people is Tami Abernathy. Gellman was able to bring a guest and decided to take Abernathy, who she met through Habitat.
“They were supposed to give us five minutes, but I took longer, because I hugged him and told him that God was blessing him,” Abernathy said.
He gave Abernathy a White House coin to give to her husband for his military service.
Both women also talked with Michelle Obama, who was right next to her husband. It is a visit neither will forget.
“She had just gotten done with her speech the night before, and I told her, ‘Great speech. You knocked it out of the park and you did it in four-inch heels.’ So we all laughed,” Gellman said.