Obama Fundraising With Bowling, Cocktails and De Niros

Mar 19, 2012 12:16pm
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(Image Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo)

Fresh off an all-day Friday fundraising swing that landed close to $5 million for the 2012 campaign, President Obama and the first lady are kicking off the week with another round of money events expected to raise at least $1.2 million more.

The president this afternoon will host a private, roundtable discussion with 20 of his wealthiest supporters at the W Hotel in Washington, D.C.  Tickets to the event – Obama’s 109th of the election – were $35,800 apiece, a campaign official said.

Meanwhile, Michelle Obama will travel to New York City to host a colorful duo of fundraisers that include a bowling party at Chelsea Piers and cocktails with Hollywood stars.

The first event, billed as a “Family Game Night,” will draw at least 400 supporters at the “300 New York” bowling alley on Manhattan’s West Side, a campaign official said.  The invitation lists three tiers of ticket prices: from $150 to attend as a guest (no bowling); $250 per person for bowling shoes and a spot on a lane; and $5,000 for bowling and a photo with the first lady.

She will later attend a star-studded cocktail reception hosted by actress and philanthropist Grace Hightowner De Niro and her husband, actor Robert De Niro at Locanda Verde restaurant at the Greenwich Hotel, which the De Niros own.

The eatery is described on its website as a “casual, energetic, affordable Italian tavern” offering “soul-satisfying riffs on Italian cooking.”

The event’s host committee includes Whoopi Goldberg, Angela Bassett, Star Jones, Tina Knowles, Tonya Lewis Lee, Alfre Woodard, Lynn Whitfield, Lisa Ellis and Peg Alston, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by ABC News.

About 90 donors are expected for the reception, the campaign said, with tickets starting at $5,000 for a photo with Obama and a cocktail, $25,000 to mingle with her.

All proceeds from Monday’s events benefit the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising account that funnels cash to both the Obama campaign and Democratic National Committee.

Michelle Obama will round out her visit to the Big Apple with an appearance on the “Late Show with David Letterman” to promote her Joining Forces initiative, which raises awareness of the need to support military veterans and their families.

The Obama campaign said today that it raised $45 million in February, roughly 50 percent more than its January total but behind its record-setting fundraising pace of four years ago.

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