Greater Richmond Convention Center

Photo: Senator Ted Cruz Addresses 1,100-Plus Conservatives At TFF Gala

A sincere thank you to all who attended, sponsored, supported and volunteered at our 2013 Annual Gala. Here's a small sampling of what Saturday night was like. More to come.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas addresses more than 1,100 conservative, values voting Virginians Saturday night during The Family Foundation of Virginia Annual Gala at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. In his talk, which was covered by national and statewide media, he outlined the dangers of Obamacare and why it is not a time for conservatives to despair, but rather why it's an opportunity to rally.

The Cain Train's Next Scheduled Stop: Richmond For TFF Annual Gala, Polls Show More Jumping On Board

Herman Cain is on the rise, surging in the polls and now is an "upper tier" candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. You can see why more and more people are jumping on board the "Cain Train" as it makes a stop in Richmond at The Family Foundation Annual Gala this Saturday, October 8. Tickets are still available: Click here now, as space is limited. Not only will you have a chance to hear Mr. Cain, you can also meet him and have him sign a copy of his soon-to-be-released book, This is Herman Cain: My Journey to the White House. The book will be available for purchase after the dinner and Mr. Cain will sign them for our guests. Autographed copies of the book are free for table sponsors and certain sponsorship levels also include the opportunity to have your picture taken with Mr. Cain. For more information, click here.

Mr. Cain* is coming to Richmond to share his remarkable story that includes rising to the top of the business world, his tenure as a pastor and stage IV cancer survival, and encourage our attendees — not as part of his presidential campaign. Nevertheless, attendees will hear from the man whose national reputation has taken off in the last few days in a furious media buzz

On the heels of his landslide victory in the Florida Republican presidential straw poll, a recent Fox News poll showed Cain had tripled his support among GOP primary voters. Now he is running practically even with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Texas Governor Rick Perry as the top tier of contenders. Another poll indicates he's surpassed both Romney and Perry and stands alone as the front-runner.

Here are some of quotes from recent articles on Mr. Cain:

» Herman Cain may or may not win the nomination, but right now he is the center of gravity within the Republican field and all the other candidates are, after last week, being pulled into his orbit. (See RedState.com.)

» Unlike the incumbent, Herman Cain has at least twice identified the causes of a large failing enterprise, designed goals, achieved them, and by all accounts inspired the people he was supposed to lead. Not least, Mr. Cain's life experience suggests that, unlike the incumbent, he will adjust his ideas to reality. (See The Wall Street Journal/WSJ.com.)

» After a well-received debate performance last week, Herman Cain surprised everybody by finishing atop the Florida straw poll. This week, he's finally seeing traction in the polls, and now serious people are starting to take him seriously. It's far past time for us to take a closer look at Cain, who appears to be making a credible bid for top-tier status. (See TheWeeklyStandard.com.)

» This guy's the one who makes sense to me. He's a sweet man. He's not self-aggrandizing. (Talk-show host Dennis Miller, reported on Politico.com.)

Visit www.familyfoundation.org/gala to reserve tickets or sponsorships today. To purchase tickets or sponsorships by phone, or for more information, call Dan Thompson or John Downer at 804-343-0010 or e-mail gala@familyfoundation.org.

Here are the Gala details

Annual Family Foundation Gala featuring keynote speaker Herman Cain

Greater Richmond Convention Center, Grand Ballroom, corner of 5th and East Broad Streets

October 8; private sponsors reception at 4:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:00 p.m.

Business Attire

* DISCLAIMER: Mr. Cain's appearance is in his personal capacity, not as a candidate, and does not imply any endorsement by The Family Foundation Action or The Family Foundation.

Gala Update: Previewing Herman Cain, Sponsorships Available

The Family Foundation is thrilled to announce that sponsorships and program ads for our 2011 Gala with Herman Cain now are available. Find event details and sign up for sponsorships for this much-anticipated event or reserve a program ad by visiting www.familyfoundation.org/gala. This year’s Gala, featuring keynote speaker Herman Cain, is Saturday, October 8 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. A private sponsors' reception and photo line will begin at 4:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:00. The suggested dress for the evening is business attire. Sponsorship benefits for the various levels include seats at Mr. Cain's table, a private reception and photograph with Mr. Cain, and a signed copy of his soon-to-be-released book, Who Is Herman Cain?

Seating placement in the ballroom is influenced by response date, so with a capacity crowd of 1,000-plus people anticipated again this year, please don't delay becoming a sponsor. To be listed as a sponsor in the printed invitation mailed to several thousand Family Foundation households, your sponsor commitment must be made by Friday, August 12.

Herman Cain is the American story. The son of a chauffeur and house cleaner, through hard work and perseverance, Mr. Cain rose to the highest levels of corporate management and is now a prominent, well-respected conservative leader and commentator. After earning a Master's degree from Purdue University, he served in the U.S. Navy, shared the pastorate of a Baptist church, beat stage IV cancer and finished second in a three-way bid for a U.S. Senate seat. His life as the celebrated CEO of Godfather's Pizza and corporate turnaround expert, chairman of the Kansas City Federal Reserve, president of the National Restaurant Association, and popular radio talk show host has provided Herman Cain an unparalleled national platform (see John Stossel at FoxNews.com). His love for our country, respect for the principles it was founded on and zeal for seeing a return to that foundation make him an important ally.

He's also a passionate and spirited orator whom you won't want to miss. Here's a sample of what to expect from Herman Cain. It's a brief speech at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition last winter:

"Our Founding Fathers did their job. We must be the defending fathers. We must defend the life of the unborn."

What: The Family Foundation Gala featuring keynote speaker Herman Cain

Where: Greater Richmond Convention Center, Grand Ballroom

When: October 8, 2011, private sponsors reception at 4:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:00.

Dress: Business Attire

Register Online: www.familyfoundation.org/gala

Register by Phone or Questions: Please call The Family Foundation at (804) 343-0010 to speak with Dan Thompson or John Downer

Email: Gala@FamilyFoundation.org

Deadline for Sponsor Listing in Invitation: Friday, August 12

Our Gala Speaker On October 8th Is . . .

Herman Cain!

Pastor, radio host, business mastermind, CEO, non-politician, and a champion for pro-life, pro-family policies, Herman Cain is a rising star within the conservative movement and a favorite amongst the Tea Party. While likely best known for his role as former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Mr. Cain also is remembered as the one who articulately challenged former President Bill Clinton on the negative effects of HillaryCare on small businesses during a widely publicized nationally televised town hall forum in 1994.

Not one to mince words, Mr. Cain recently spoke at The Heritage Foundation (see Heritage.org) and blasted Planned Parenthood. Referring to Planned Parenthood's founding purpose of killing black babies, Mr. Cain said, "It's not Planned Parenthood. No, it's planned genocide. You can quote me on that." (See Talking Points Memo.) He supports fully defunding Planned Parenthood.

A real life rags-to-riches story, he is the son of a chauffeur and a cleaner who has not always had life easy. However, he has accomplished much in his 66 years: a Masters degree from Purdue University, service in the U.S. Navy, associate pastor at a Baptist church, beating stage IV cancer, several executive positions at major corporations, president of the National Restaurant Association, chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and senior advisor for the 1996 Dole-Kemp presidential campaign to name only a few of his significant accomplishments. A Georgia native, he is married to his wife, Gloria, and his a father and grandfather.

You won't want to miss hearing Herman Cain address the annual Family Foundation Galaon Saturday evening, October 8, in Richmond (see today's Richmond Times-Dispatch). As with the last two years when former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Congressman Mike Pence inspired crowds of 1,000, Herman Cain's personal story will encourage, motivate and energize you for the future. Join other like-minded folks at this one-of-a-kind event that has become a "must attend" for conservative Virginians and a "who’s who" for politicians and elected officials.

The Gala will again be held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Details, including information on sponsorship packages, tickets and program advertisements, will be forthcoming in the coming weeks. But in the meantime, we hope you'll reserve this date on your calendar.

Additional information also will be provided via e-mail and online at our Gala page (click here). To receive the information by mail, please call us at (804) 343-0010 or e-mail Gala@FamilyFoundation.org.

Family Foundation Day At The Capitol Is Thursday!

The Family Foundation's Annual Day at the Capitol is this Thursday, with an emphasis 0n education freedom — particularly legislation that provides tax credits for private school scholarships. We need to send a loud message to our legislators that, after years of dragging their feet while public education deteriorates (especially for the underprivileged who are trapped in failing schools by an education establishment unwilling to embrace reforms) and options and competition few, educational opportunity for all children is the right choice for Virginia.    Registration for the event, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, begins at 8:30. The program begins at 9:00 with a briefing  from lawmakers and policy makers, includes a visit with your legislators, and ends with a rally on the Capitol Square grounds. Some of our special speakers include Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, Secretary of Education Gerard Robinson and Family Foundation Chaplain, Bishop E. W. Jackson, Sr.   You will have an opportunity to meet with your legislators, get updates from The Family Foundation staff and enjoy optional tours of Mr. Jefferson's Capitol, the Governor's Mansion and the Virginia Supreme Court during the afternoon. Tours are available on a first come, first serve basis the morning of the event, so if you are interested get to Richmond early.   While our format is a bit different this year, it will be an extremely exciting Lobby Day at the Capitol. Christian and private schools from across the Commonwealth will participate with us. If you are affiliated with a Christian or private school, please share this information with the school and fellow parents and students, and encourage them to send a delegation to support this effort.

If you would like more information about arranging at special tour for your school or about the event, please e-mail amanda@familyfoundation.org or call 804-343-0010. To register online, click here.

Join Us February 10 For Family Foundation Day At The Capitol

With the 2010 elections over, Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas just around the corner, most people are giving politics a rest right now. Deservedly so. However, the General Assembly will go into session in early January and The Family Foundation is gearing up for another heated session. With issues such as wrongful death for the unborn, the federal repeal amendment, and a renewed emphasis on school choice, now is not the time for us to rest on our laurels. Our staff is busy preparing to stand in the gap in the upcoming session for the values that we hold dear. With that in mind, please commit for one day — Thursday, February 10 — and attend our annual Family Foundation Day at the Capitol, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center (directions). This is a change from the last few years when our lobby day was on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This year we will focus on school choice and, in particular, a bill that Senator Mark Obenshein (R-26, Harrisonburg) and Delegate Jimmie Massie R-72, Henrico) will carry. The bill would provide tax credits for contributions to scholarship foundations that in turn sponsor children to attend the school of their choice.

We believe that competition in education and true education freedom are key components to the reforms our current education system needs. In addition to our normal Lobby Day at the Capitol activities, we will join with several other groups for a rally for school choice at the bell tower on the capitol grounds.

A similar bill by Delegate Massie passed the House of Delegates last year but died in the Senate Finance Committee (see how it went down). We need a strong show of support from people across Virginia to convince our senators that school choice is the right choice for Virginia.

So, we encourage you to mark your calendars for Thursday, February 10, and join us in Richmond. Registration for this free event is as easy as clicking right here.

Several private and Christian schools are participating with us in this effort. If you have children in a private or Christian school or have a relationship with one in your area, please forward this link with them. Also, you can e-mail us @ FamilyFoundation@familyfoundation.org and let us know of any schools in your area that might be interested in participating. We will be happy to follow up with them. For more information about the event, call Roger Pogge at 804-343-0010.

Funeral For The U.S. Constitution

One of the lighter moments of the Virginia TEA Party Convention last weekend was Friday morning, when a group promoting a new 25-minute documentary by the National Republican Trust, a political action committee not affiliated with the Republican Party, staged a "funeral" for the U.S. Constitution and "Integrity." A re-enactor portraying Thomas Jefferson led a solemn processions inside the Greater Richmond Convention Center as well as on downtown Richmond streets, slowly ringing a bell, before stopping and eulogizing the late founding document and the integrity with which our representatives used to govern. It was well received by the TEA Partiers, many of whom stood and applauded at first sighting of the coffins, fully understanding the point before the speech. A flurry of photographers — media and spectators — snapped away. One gentleman even placed his hat over his heart! It was an early event at the convention — before it had even started — and an unofficial one at that, but the reactions of the crowd were telling. Far from an angry mob as the mainstream media portrays them, these are every day citizens with a deep love of country and, perhaps, a deeper concern for its current direction.

Is the Constitution dead? Or just sleeping, like Lazarus, waiting for a "great awakening" November 2?

Join The Family Foundation Blog On Facebook And Twitter At The Tea Party Convention This Weekend!

A lot has been said and written about the first ever Virginia Tea Party Convention this Friday and Saturday at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. National as well as state media are expected to turn up as the convention's organizers are billing it as the largest such gathering in the country. So far, 2,300 attendees have registered to hear an assortment of national figures as well as state leaders, such as Governor Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. But the convention will be more than speakers. It is going to have policy round tables and workshops for activists to better prepare for the upcoming and future elections. Your humble admin will be in attendance along Blogger's Row. I will post live on our Facebook page (click here to join that page) which also tweets to our Twitter page (click here). Our tweets also pop up in our Twitter box on right margin of this blog. I'm not sure how much live blogging  I will do but I will take it all in and do a wrap up early next week. But I think  convention  settings are tailor made for quicker observations which allow for more audience give and take. I hope you will join me online. 

With our Gala taking shape in the same building hours after the convention ends, it's going to be an active and hectic weekend. One thing I will look out for: the extent to which "social issues" are discussed. After all, you can't have liberty without Life, and for all the discussion about how social conservatives and libertarians don't mix well, most of those I know are firm pro-lifers.

Regardless, please, check in here during the weekend for the latest on what should be one of the most memorable two days of conservative activism in the commonwealth's history: The Tea Party Convention and The Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala (which has its own gaggle of state and national media coverage, including Fox News). In fact, more than 1,00o people will gather at the gala to celebrate a quarter century of advocacy of family values in Virginia public policy, and to hear rising conservative leader Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana.

Breaking News: Fox News Channel To Cover Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala!

Two days remain to buy tickets to see Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) deliver the keynote speech at The Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala, this Saturday, October 9, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Winner of the recent 2012 presidential straw poll at the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit (see video for a preview of what to expect Saturday), Congressman Pence has been turning heads as a rising star in the conservative movement. So much so, in fact, we just learned that Fox News Channel intends to cover the gala! Last weekend, Congressman Pence, the third ranking member of the House Republican Conference, traveled to Iowa — not by accident, he joked — where he spoke to the Faith and Freedom Coalition dinner (Iowa Independent). A hero among social and fiscal conservatives, Congressman Pence's remarks were enthusiastically received (see Kathie Obradovich at The DesMoines Register's Iowa Politcs Blog). In short, he is rising to the top of the 2012 GOP presidential field.

This quote from that speech is an example of why he is held in such high regard by social conservatives (see Caffeinated Thoughts and its podcast):

To those who say we should focus on fiscal issues, instead of the right to life, I say, "What is more fiscally responsible than denying any and all funding to Planned Parenthood of America?" To those who say that marriage doesn’t matter, I say, "You would not be able to print enough money in 1,000 years to pay for the government you would need if the traditional family continues to collapse."

In addition to registering online, you can purchase tickets by phone through Friday at (804) 343-0010 by Friday. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and is preceded by a private sponsors' reception and picture opportunity with Congressman Pence at 5:15 p.m.

Here's one more sample of what you'll get with Mike Pence:

Pence: God planted America's seeds of liberty.

Gala Speaker Mike Pence Wins Presidential Straw Poll At Values Voter Summit!

We've been making the case that our 25th Anniversary Gala speaker, Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.), is one of the leading conservatives in America. Well respected by his colleagues and those in the conservative media, his star is shining brightly among the grassroots now, too, as Saturday he won the closely watched Values Voter Summit Presidential Straw Poll with 24 percent of the vote over 17 potential candidates (see Politico.com). The 2,000 summit attendees voted (see Outside The Beltway's Doug Mataconis) last year's gala speaker, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, second. The others who received votes in the straw poll, in alphabetical order, were Haley Barbour, Jan Brewer, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, Jim DeMint, Newt Gingrich, Bobby Jindal, Bob McDonnell, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum and John Thune.

This year's gala not only will be a chance to hear one of the leaders and intellectual forces behind the conservative movement, but also to share in the celebration of 25 years of fighting the good fight for traditional and family values. Already, more than 900 people have bought tickets to the event (nearing last year's record), and you will want to see for yourself why Congressman Pence is so respected by thousands of conservative grassroots leaders and activists from around the nation.

This very special Family Foundation event, one that will be remembered long after it is over, is Saturday, October 9, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center at 6:30 (5:15 sponsors reception with Congressman Pence). To order your tickets or for sponsorship information, get complete details here, e-mail us at Gala@FamilyFoundation.org, or call The Family Foundation at (804) 343-0010.

See the speech that drove Values Voter Summit attendees to vote Mike Pence its 2012 presidential favorite:

Pence, commonsense and common values: "Those who would have us ignore the battle being fought over life, marriage and religious liberty, have forgotten the lessons of history. As in the days of a house divided, America's darkest moments have come when economic arguments trumped moral principles."

When Obama Speaks, Who Do You Call To Respond? Our Gala Speaker, Mike Pence

We've mentioned several times recently that Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) is a rising national conservative star and leader. Many tout him as a 2012 presidential candidate and he is the third ranking GOP member of the House, in line to become the majority whip if the Republicans win the House majority in November. He also happens to be the keynote speaker at The Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala on October 9 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. (See video invite featuring Congressman Pence, here.) There is no greater evidence of his standing and stature in the national media and political realm than this: Friday morning after the Labor Department released yet another sad employment number (9.6 percent unemployment rate) and President Obama's sadder still rationalization and fantasy land pronouncement that the economy is improving, it was Representative Pence who was the in-demand speaker to articulate the opposition view.

Here is the Fox News Channel interview with Congressman Pence that aired live immediately after the president's propaganda show:

Voice of the opposition: Congressman Mike Pence takes the lead in providing right reason to the Obama-Reid-Pelosi regime program of failure. See for yourself why he commands so much national media attention at our 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala on October 9 in Richmond.

Gala Tickets Now On Sale!

Tickets now are on sale for The Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala Celebration. By acting now, you will receive the best available seating before thousands of official Gala invitations are mailed, so please reserve your seats or table today by clicking here. This special event, taking place Saturday, October 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, will look back on our legacy and ahead to future successes. We are delighted to have U.S. Representative Mike Pence (R-Ind.), the chairman of the House Republican Conference, as our keynote speaker for this special celebratory gala. (See this special Mike Pence/Gala video, here.)

Individual tickets are available for $85.00 and couples tickets for $165.00. Sponsorships also are still available. To order your tickets today, click here. You may also register for the Gala by calling John or Dan at The Family Foundation at (804) 343-0010, or e-mail to Gala@FamilyFoundation.org. Act fast, though, as space is limited and this special 25th Anniversary Gala is sure to be a hot ticket.

For out of town guests wishing to stay overnight on October 9, a discounted group rate is available at the Hilton Garden Inn at 501 East Broad Street, located directly across the street from the Convention Center. Call (877) 782-9444 toll free and mention The Family Foundation Annual Gala for more information. The cut-off date for the group rate is September 9.

There is a private sponsors reception at 5:15. Dinner starts at 6:30. The dress is business attire.

Family Foundation Chaplain Bishop E.W. Jackson, Sr., To Speak At Virginia Tea Party Convention

The Virginia Tea Party yesterday announced (Richmond Tea Party Blog) that Bishop E.W. Jackson, Sr., the chaplain for The Family Foundation, head of our Pastors for Family Values arm, and the founder of Chesapeake-based Exodus Faith Ministries International and STAND (Staying True to America's National Destiny), will be one of the keynote speakers at its first-ever statewide convention this October 8-9 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center (Richmond Times-Dispatch). It will be a busy weekend for Bishop Jackson, already an in-demand speaker, who also will feature at our 25th Anniversary Gala the evening of the 9th at the GRCC, at which Congressman (and potential presidential candidate) Mike Pence of Indiana will keynote (click for more information). It won't be the first Tea Party address by Bishop Jackson — whose resume could run the length of Virginia Beach's Atlantic Boulevard — a Harvard educated attorney, broadcaster, writer and a Tea Party regular, who brought down the house at the Hampton Roads Tea Party on April 15 and at a recent Tuesday Morning Group Coalition meeting. He's also becoming quite the national figure (see Fox News Channel interview with Megyn Kelly and with CNN's Roland Martin). Bishop Jackson also is the author of the best selling Ten Commandments To An Extraordinary Life: Making Your Dreams Come True.

We congratulate Bishop Jackson on his rising prominence in the commonwealth and country. We look forward to his continued leadership at The Family Foundation and in the cause of restoring traditional values. For a taste of what you can expect, here's a video of Bishop Jackson speaking to a PFFV event in Norfolk earlier this year.

Bishop E.W. Jackson, Sr., on the side of truth and right.

Update: 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala Information

The Family Foundation is thrilled to announce that sponsorships and program ads for our 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala, featuring keynote speaker Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.), are now available (here). Find event details, sign up for sponsorships for this exciting event or reserve a program ad by clicking here or by visiting our Gala Web page: www.familyfoundation.org/gala. Individual and couples tickets will be available in mid-August. This year's Gala is Saturday, October 9 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. A private sponsors' reception and photo line will begin at 5:15, followed by dinner at 6:30. The suggested dress for the evening is business attire. Sponsorship benefits for the various levels include seats at Congressman Pence's table, a private reception and photograph with Congressman Pence, and a breakfast with Historian David Barton. Click here for complete details.

Congressman Pence describes himself as "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order!" An outspoken advocate for the values we share, he has been named one of the 20 most influential conservatives in America and has repeatedly received the "True Blue Award" from the Family Research Council for his commitment to the family and sanctity of human life. Human Events named Congressman Pence "Man of the Year" in 2005. If you have not heard Congressman Pence speak you are in for a real treat!

For out of town guests who wish to stay overnight, a discounted group rate is available at Hilton Garden Inn, at 501 East Broad Street, located directly across the street from the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Please call 877-782-9444 and mention The Family Foundation Annual Gala for more information. The cut-off date for the group rate is September 9.

We look forward to another big turnout in what promises to be a major event in the midst of a potentially historic election year. To register online, click here; to register by phone or for more information, please call The Family Foundation at 804-343-0010 and speak with Dan Thompson or John Downer; or e-mail questions to Gala@FamilyFoundation.org.

Who Could Follow Mike Huckabee?

How about Mike Pence! In case you missed yesterday's big announcement, we ended months of speculation as to who the mystery keynote speaker is for The Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala. I am absolutely thrilled to announce that it will be Congressman Mike Pence!

Congressman Pence describes himself as "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order!" An outspoken advocate for the values we share, he has been named one of the 20 most influential conservatives in America and has repeatedly received the "True Blue Award" from the Family Research Council for his commitment to the family and sanctity of human life. An April 2006 profile in U.S. News and World Report said Pence "has emerged as a powerful force" in Congress. If you have not heard Congressman Pence speak you are in for a real treat!

We plan to make the 25th Anniversary Celebration a night to remember. For a quarter decade, The Family Foundation has been on the front lines of policy decisions in Richmond and we have much to celebrate! From parental consent to abortion to the Marriage Amendment to defunding elective abortion, our victories list is long. I hope you will join us to celebrate the legacy of Walt Barbee, Anne Kincaid and others.

The gala is Saturday, October 9, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m. with a private sponsors' reception and photo line beginning at 5:15. Details for the evening are being finalized, but if you would like to be sure you receive an invitation, please e-mail your name, address and phone number to us at gala@familyfoundation.org. We also expect to announce other special activities surrounding this once-in-a-lifetime event that will make the gala a can't miss event. For more information, visit our Gala Web page or call 804-343-0010.

The invitation will include details of the sponsorship benefits including the private reception, and photo line. A discounted hotel group rate is being negotiated for people desiring to spend the night in Richmond. So please mark your calendar today and plan to be in Richmond the evening of Saturday, October 9, to hear Congressman Mike Pence at The Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala!

Virginia Homeschool Convention June 10-12 In Richmond

Looking for a way to breathe new life into your child's education and your family relationships? Concerned about a lack of God in today's hostile culture? Then, don't miss the Virginia Homeschool Convention, sponsored by the Home Educators Association of Virginia, June 10-12, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Admission is free for the entire convention for first-time parents of pre-schoolers (the eldest child must be under five years of age, and this must be the first time the parent has attended the convention) and non-homeschooling grandparents. The convention features a number of events, including speakers and workshops. One highlight will be Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis. Gain insight from him into why our children are walking away from their faith — and what we can do about it. Workshop topics include learning styles, helping struggling learners, budgeting, educating distractable children, time management, workplace preparedness, parenting teens, character training, dealing with a strong-willed child, family business, study skills, preparing for college, media safety and more.

For those curious about homeschooling, four "how-to-begin" workshops are open to the public on Thursday, June 10. The free sessions include an introduction to homeschooling, information on how to get started, an overview of the laws and requirements for homeschooling, and guidance on choosing curriculum.

There also will be 310 booths in the exhibit hall, covering a range of topics, services and materials. In addition to homeschool resources and curricula and some of the best educational resources in the country, there will be books on child rearing, Christian audio-visual resources, Bible memory aids, and summer enrichment materials for the children.

While you browse the exhibit hall booths, be sure to stop by and visit The Family Foundation. We'll be at the convention and look forward to meeting you. We will have information about ourselves and education choice and options in Virginia, and where the education freedom movement is headed in the commonwealth. For more information and/or to register for the Virginia Homeschool Convention, click here.

Save The Date: The Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala October 9!

Our Annual Gala this year will be a little more special than most years and we're excited about that. It will be extra special because it will be our 25th Anniversary Gala, and we're celebrating it on a Saturday evening instead of the typical weekday so more people can attend.

So, please save the date: October 9 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

Befitting a silver anniversary event, we're planning activities throughout the day in addition to the dinner, which will make the Gala a fully rounded, lively and engaging celebration. It is certain to be a memorable event as we look back on a quarter century of defending our shared values and celebrate our many victories. We’ll also look ahead to the next 25 years as we advance our critical mission.

Okay, Okay . . . people hear that all the time and the word has been out for a bit, but people keep asking me who the keynote speaker is, or even if we have one lined up yet. The answer is, yes, we do a have a speaker and, just as with last year, when former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee inspired a crowd of more than 1,250 guests, the keynoter this year will encourage, motivate and energize you for the future. In fact, we have a pretty good track record of Gala speakers: William Bennett, Tony Snow, former Senators Rick Santorum and George Allen, Gary Bauer, David Barton, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Steve Forbes, Maggie Gallagher, Eric Metaxas and former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, among them.

This year's speaker — named one of the "Top 20 Most Influential Conservatives in America" and a frequent national television guest — is a national leader for conservative principles and is certain to bring a powerful, engaging and inspiring message that you won't want to miss. In fact, you will be disappointed if you do. So, please get your tickets now to see. . . .

Stay tuned for the big reveal in the weeks to come. We will have exciting announcements and updates delivered to you in exciting ways, so sign up for our e-mails, return to this blog, join us on FacebookTwitter and YouTube. Help us launch an exciting new era at The Family Foundation where we bring our traditional message to new audiences with modern techniques. 

The dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m., preceded by a private reception for sponsors with the speaker. We hope you’ll reserve this date on your calendar.

Additional information on sponsorship packages, tickets and program advertisements will be provided this summer via email and online at www.familyfoundation.org/gala.htm. To receive the information by mail, please call us at (804) 343-0010 or e-mail Gala@FamilyFoundation.org.

About Last Night: Gala Was A Smash Hit

The nearly 1,300 pro-family Virginians who gathered at the Greater Richmond Convention Center last night at The Family Foundation of Virginia’s Annual Gala were treated to a fantastic evening of inspiration, motivation and topped off by a wonderful keynote address by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. The host of the Fox News Channel hit Huckabee was in great form with an inspirational speech filled with philosophy, morality, Biblical principles, humor (lava soap, anyone?) and capped with a moving exposition as to what happens when people ignore the tragedies around them (see Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog).  Just a week before election day, it was abundantly clear that pro-family citizens are excited about the future and are mobilized to act. The energy in the convention center was palpable. From the beginning of the program with an inspirational rendition of our National Anthem by eight-year-old Alana Springsteen to the final special music by April Lee, no one could leave room last night not feeling excited about the future of Virginia and the future of The Family Foundation.

Governor Huckabee combined humor with personal stories and an emotional challenge to the crowd, encouraging them to fight for our freedom, regardless of the cost. Touching on his time as a pastor and then as a politician, he made it abundantly clear that there is no time when Christians should abandon politics and government. Instead, we must continue to fight for our values to ensure a prosperous future.

As Family Foundation of Virginia President Victoria Cobb told the audience:

We look forward to election day this year with cautious optimism. One might even say we look forward to the future with hope for change. Yet, while we may anticipate electoral victory, we realize that it is just one small part of the cultural renewal that we seek, and there is so much more to be done. The Family Foundation has had one of the busiest years in our history, but the results on Election Day are not the completion of our work – just a new beginning. 

The Family Foundation Gala has become the largest pro-family gathering of its kind in Virginia and Governor Huckabee’s message was perfect for the evening. Joining the him in the program were our emcee, and new Chaplain to The Family Foundation's Pastors For Family Values, Bishop Earl Jackson; Speaker of the House Bill Howell, who introduced Governor Huckabee; and Pastor Jonathan Falwell of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, who gave the invocation and voiced strong support for the Family Foundation's work.

Also last evening, Delegate Glenn Oder (R-94, Newport News) was honored with The Family Foundation’s Legislator of the Year Award for his leadership on payday lending reform (see The Shad Plank). Delegate Oder showed principled leadership and an ability to work with a diverse coalition of organizations and legislators to get results on a tough issue. The compromise bill he was able to craft has significantly reduced the number of payday lending stores in Virginia and helped protect families from predatory lenders.

Virginia News Stand: October 27, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  The Day After

Wow! What an evening last night! We'll have a review and other highlights later, and hopefully some video later in the week. Mike Huckabee brought down the Greater Richmond Convention Center with an inspirational speech filled with philosophical overtones overlayed with moral and Biblical principles, capped with a moving exposition as to what happens when people stand idly by and ignore the events around them. We have coverage from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog and The Shad Plank Blog.

Meanwhile, President Obama is in Norfolk today to campaign for Democrat Creigh Deeds. If he's truly the chosen one, he should be able to raise this campaign from the dead, right? As he passes the gates of D.C. into Virginia, the POTUS will see a new Post poll that shows Republican candidate Bob McDonnell stretching his lead to 11 points. He leads in campaign donations, too, the latest filing reports show.

In Commentary, Thomas Sowell looks at the dismantling of America, Bobby Eberle excoriates Republicans and the president, and Richard Olivastro reports on an "under God" button controversy. There's more, too, as well as a full National News section. Read up! We're only a week away.

*McDonnell leads Deeds in poll, cash (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

*Huckabee draws a crowd in Richmond (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

*Huckabee in Richmond tonight as Del. Oder snags award . . . (The Shad Plank Blog)

McDonnell's edge over Deeds grows stronger (Washington Post)

Heading into homestretch, McDonnell has more cash (Roanoke Times)

Competition for 17th District House of Delegates seat in home stretch (Roanoke Times)

National News:

No guarantees on Senate health bill's public plan (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Long-term care insurance program gains in the House (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Pelosi: 'There's got to be a better name for this' (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Senate Leader Harry Reid faces tough re-election (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama admin concerned about freedom of speech (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary:

Dismantling America (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Obama's War On Fox Is Liberalism's War On Dissent (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

'One Nation Under God' Button 'Terminated' (Richard Olivastro/GOPUSA.com)

Scratch Another GOP Candidate Off The List For 2012 (Doug Patton/GOPUSA.com)

Message to Republican Leaders: Get a Clue! (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Obama Bails Out When Asked About Fox News (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Tonight Is The Big Gala Night With Mike Huckabee And You Can Still Attend!

We're all excited that our big day is here: The Annual Family Foundation of Virginia Gala with keynote speaker Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate, and current host of the hit Fox News Channel program Huckabee. Although there are opportunities to live blog from the event and other activities, such as the press availability with Governor Huckabee this afternoon, we're going to take in the sights and sounds and report to you tomorrow and throughout the rest of the week. The Gala will be a memorable event, to say the least. In addition to what will be a dynamite presentation by Governor Huckabee, other speakers and performers, a near capacity crowd of 1,300 people in attendance (doubling last year) will guarantee a unique experience of camaraderie and fellowship. The good news is, you can still attend! Although online registration closed at 1:00 p.m. today, some tickets are still available at the door at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

Doors to the ballroom will open at 6:30 p.m., but with the large crowd we encourage you to arrive early to have time to find parking and make it to the ballroom. The event will begin promptly at 7:00 p.m.

The reception for full table sponsors will begin at 5:30 p.m. Because of the large crowd and photo line with Governor Huckabee please plan to arrive at the reception promptly. Looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. Anyone who wants to meet yours truly, please ask the staff. I'll be around. Looking forward to bringing to everyone reviews and thoughts over the next few days.