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Politics

Bush visits for lunch fundraiser

The president will dine with donors who have paid $25,000 to attend the Pinellas Park event.

By EILEEN SCHULTE, Times Staff Writer
Published October 12, 2007


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What are you doing for lunch today?

Fast food? A ham sandwich?

Chances are good you won't be eating it with President Bush.

But a select group of rich folks will be.

They have forked over $25,000 to eat lunch with W today.

The event is a Republican National Committee fundraiser, and it's being hosted by developer Brent Sembler and his wife Debbie poolside at their Tuscany-style home in Pinellas Park.

Michael's On East in Sarasota is doing the catering and Redman Steele Floral Design Studio of St. Petersburg is decorating the estate with loads of leonidas roses mixed with black chili peppers for a festive fall look.

The guests are scheduled to arrive at the Sembler residence in the Bayou Club community no later than 9:30 a.m.

Bush is expected to touch down at St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport aboard Air Force One about 10 a.m.

After he disembarks, he'll greet Brenda Corace Guinand, 27, a longtime volunteer with the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, on the tarmac.

Guinand began offering comfort to terminally ill people in 1997 when she was a student at Palm Harbor University High School in the international baccalaureate program. She volunteered for the hospice while attending the University of Virginia, organizing the first hospice volunteer program in the college's history.

She and her two golden retrievers, Bella, 4, and Lola, 3, visit patients to help lift their spirits.

She and Bush, who created USA Freedom Corps to expand volunteer service, will exchange pins.

"I'll thank him for the priority he puts on service," Guinand said.

Eileen Schulte can be reached at schulte@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8785.

[Last modified October 12, 2007, 01:45:41]


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