It’s been weeks since the White House Easter Egg Roll but those who attended the historic event will remember their experience for years to come.
That includes Jonas Meeks, 10, of Roseville.
The fourth grader from Huron Park Elementary School not only attended the holiday eggstravaganza on Capitol Hill but stood on the White House lawn within earshot of President Joe Biden.
That’s what he’ll remember most, said Jonas.
“Seeing my president, Joe Biden, speaking and addressing the crowd, hearing the words coming out of his mouth, actually made me believe that I could be president one day,” he said.
He also got to play basketball with some of his basketball idols, although he cannot remember anyone’s names, and was among the guests who did their best to roll an egg across the lawn using a wooden spoon.
“It was fun and it was good,” he said, of the egg rolling. “But it was very, very hard.”
The White House Historical Association funds the White House Easter Egg Roll each year and members of its staff became acquainted with Jonas when he traveled to Washington, D.C. on a trip with his mother, Shanina Meeks.
After the Egg Roll, which returned last month after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the President of the White House Historical Association Stewart McLaurin, sat down with Jonas to talk about his firsthand experience for a segment of Stewart’s recurring social media series, “White House History Weekly.” In the broadcast, he invites guests to discuss tidbits of White House history and standing traditions of the Executive Mansion making Jonas somewhat of a celebrity himself.
“I’m so glad he was able to experience that,” said Shanina, who is the director of event planning for Westin Book Cadillac Detroit and strives to expose her son to a variety of experiences. “You have to show (children) there is more in life than where they live.”
Shanina said Jonas was home schooled during COVID-19 and after a tough year she asked him if he could go on a trip anywhere, where would he want to go? “Most kids his age would have said, ‘Disney World.’ But he said, ‘I want to go to Washington D.C. and see the White House,’” Shanina said.
It was during that trip that she and Jonas met McLaurin, who invited Jonas back for the Easter Egg Roll.
Jonas joined the nearly 30,000 lottery winners from around the country at the White House for its first Egg Roll in two years, due to COVID-19. The event always includes the iconic rolling of eggs with wooden spoons on the South Lawn and a variety of other educational activities for children to enjoy.
“It was a great experience,” Shanina said, adding it was almost surreal for her young son who said, ‘I can’t believe I actually got to watch our president speak in person. I will never forget this.’”
So, what would Jonas do if he were president?
“I would make a law that people would not have to work on a holiday, whether it’s in this country, China or any other country in the world,” Jonas said. “My dad had to work on my birthday. He works 24/7.”
And it’s for hard-working people like him and his mother that would inspire Jonas to make such a law.
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