A 97-year-old school volunteer is still beaming after meeting President Obama at the White House and is now on a mission to get a second Obama to visit her school. Linda So reports.
When 97-year-old Vivian Bailey walks through the halls at Running Brook Elementary School in Howard County, Maryland, she's a star. NATS: 10:57:01 "I have a special visitor who wanted to come in and say hello, good morning Mrs. Bailey." Mrs. Bailey has been a volunteer for the past 15 years raising tens of thousands of dollars for the school. SOUNDBITE: PRINCIPAL TROY TODD, SAYING: 10:38:57 "We call her our guardian angel." One year when none of the classrooms had any TVs, she got them mounted in each room, benefiting students in every grade. SOUNDBITE: VIVIAN BAILEY, 97-YEAR-OLD SCHOOL VOLUNTEER, SAYING: 10:17:23 "They write me thank you letters, I think they think I do it all. I keep trying to remind them that even though my name is on everything the funds I secure for them, those funds come from a lot of people who are concerned about them and want to show their support." A big portion of the money raised is used to fund field trips for students, a mission near and dear to Mrs. Bailey. SOUNDBITE: VIVIAN BAILEY, 97-YEAR-OLD SCHOOL VOLUNTEER, SAYING: 10:16:29 "When I was growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the 1930s in segregated schools, we never had field trips." So it was a dream come true when Mrs. Bailey got a special invitation to the White House last week. Staffers invited her for a tour, but when she got there, she got so much more. SOUNDBITE: VIVIAN BAILEY, 97-YEAR-OLD SCHOOL VOLUNTEER, SAYING: 10:19:08 "We started in this door and there was the vice president. He said I'm Joe Biden, vice president. And then for a moment I thought was this really happening. He was just so gracious and so welcoming." But that was just the beginning. SOUNDBITE: VIVIAN BAILEY, 97-YEAR-OLD SCHOOL VOLUNTEER, SAYING: 10:19:57 "As I walked in the door, there was the president. I think for a moment there, I couldn't see anything." SOUNDBITE: MELISSA PEYTON, FOUR GRADE TEACHER, SAYING: 10:34:25 "We came around the corner and the president was standing outside the oval office Mrs. Bailey just stopped and oh, that's the moment I will never forget, I truly enjoyed meeting the president and the vice president, but seeing how happy Mrs. Bailey and how special this was for her meant so much to me." And before they left the White House, the President sent the principal home with a special hand-written message to students. SOUNDBITE: PRINCIPAL TROY TODD, SAYING: 10:43:03 "Dear Running Brook Elementary dream big dreams, that captures what it means for the students, dream big dreams... for him to write something like that just connected perfectly with the vision and mission we have at Running Brook." And Mrs. Bailey is not done making dreams come true for students. Now she's on a mission to invite First Lady Michelle Obama to the school. SOUNDBITE: MELISSA PEYTON, FOUR GRADE TEACHER, SAYING: 10:25:39 "If I could put the bug there and maybe put a little special request maybe she could get over here in the fall and that would be icing on the cake. SOUNDBITE: MELISSA PEYTON, FOUR GRADE TEACHER, SAYING: 10:35:24 "Nobody says no to Mrs. Bailey." An unforgettable lesson that it's never too late to dream big dreams.