Old friends, long-time supporters and even a number of local Democrats braved heavy rains Saturday to attend an event in Pierce City to raise funds for the congressional campaign of their "hometown boy" Jack Goodman.
|Goodman boosters were greeted at the Lawrence A. Witt National Guard Armory in Pierce City by Kaye Smith, Maura Sparks and Teresa Heeter. The three laughingly admitted they are "Democrats for Jack."|
Goodman is in a six-way primary race with fellow Republicans Mike Moon, Billy Long, Jeff Wisdom, Darrell Moore and Gary Nodler for the 7th Congressional seat currently held by Roy Blunt who is not seeking re-election.
The event was organized by supporter Julie Johnson and other local volunteers, Goodman said. Johnson sent out letters last May to friends and Goodman supporters to begin organizing the hometown fundraiser.
|"I really like Jack and support him," Johnson said.||Goodman thanked the many people who helped with the event including Johnson, calling her "the ring leader." He also thanked Smith for "the kind words she wrote about me in the newspaper."|
"She's been looking out for me since I was a little kid," said Goodman.
Smith was one of several local women who made desserts for the evening. Freda Mae's provided finger foods and Rosebrough General Store supplied red, white, and blue balloon bouquets to the event.
Entertainment was provided in the form of comedian Johnny Pinney, Pierce City singers Sandy Lakin and Jamie (Gripka) Larimore and musician Mark Chapman, a former Pierce City resident.
|Jeremy Chapman, one of Lakin's three sons in the military and currently on the list for deployment to Afghanistan, accompanied his mother on a song with his camouflage-decorated guitar.||Don Lakin spoke at the event about work Goodman has done on behalf of Pierce City as a state senator.|
|"Look what Jack did for this community when the tornado came through," Lakin stated. "Our town, our community would not be what it is if not for Jack's help."||Penny Smith introduced Goodman prior to his address to the assembled boosters. Smith said Goodman was "someone who has shown his loyalty in good times and bad."|
Goodman expressed his thanks to those who had put the fundraiser together saying "this is a great night." He said it was one of the most "feel good" things that could happen to a person, jokingly comparing it to "getting to attend your own funeral but not dying." He further joked that he started to question the true intentions of the gathering when retired coroner Don Lakin took the stage and began to speak so glowingly about him.
|Other thanks went to Goodman's parents, Sam and Joyce, and his wife Laura's parents, Paul and Darlene Hood. Goodman said he and his wife could not thank them enough for helping with their children and keeping them safe while they are on the campaign trail. Goodman also thanked Mark Chapman, "one of my life-long, very best friends" for taking time out to entertain at the fundraiser.|
On a more serious note, Goodman noted that the event was being held in the National Guard Armory and thanked the Guardsmen and women. He said his service would mean "frankly nothing" without the men and women who serve to keep the country free.
|Speaking about Pierce City, Goodman said the town embodies everything that is great about the United States of America.|
"I look around this room, and I see the kinds of people that make every community strong," he said.
Recalling that he was in Pierce City in Flummerfelt's grocery store when the May 3, 2003, tornado destroyed much of the town's historic downtown, Goodman remembered seeing a lot of activity before the "dust even settled." He saw people who had lost everything physically, reaching out to people around them and looking for people they could help.
"I am proud of you every time I drive though town," Goodman said.
With people from his hometown, of both political parties, coming out to support him made Saturday's fundraiser a "humbling, energizing and motivating event."
|In looking ahead, Goodman said he would "continue to strive to never put a look of disappointment on your face." He also said he was looking for "2010 for 2010," which equates to 2,010 volunteers for the 2010 election campaign.|