Four Baton Rouge area students took part in the 138th White House Easter Egg Roll.
Attending the event on the executive mansion’s south lawn were Jamya Cain, 7, student of Slaughter Elementary School; JaVione Fontenot, 10, Dufrocq Montessori Magnet Elementary in Baton Rouge; Shamira Thomas, 9, Impact Charter Elementary in Baker; and Aalyiah Viges, 9, Louisiana Key Academy in Baton Rouge.
The trip was made possible after Madison Davis, 10, a resident of Washington, D.C., received tickets through a private Democratic National Committee funder and decided she wanted her family and friends from Louisiana to attend the event.
“When I got the called, I was speechless and ecstatic. I wanted my daughter to participate in this special occasion,” said Ava Williams, the mother of Aalyiah. “It is the last year for the Obama family to be in office, and (I) wanted her to experience this lifetime event, something she will forever remember.”
The four children boarded their first flight on March 26. They were excited about the flight and were able to talk to the pilots, who permitted them to go into the cockpit to take pictures and play with controls of the plane. Upon arrival in D.C., one of the flight attendants announced it was their first flight, and the passengers of the plane applauded them.
On Easter Sunday, first lady Michelle Obama talked about her mission of physical fitness and healthy eating habits. President Barack Obama and the first lady read the book “Where the Wild Things Are” in a story time area nestled under a tree.
The south lawn featured games, healthy foods and drinks, musical performances, visits with professional athletes, cooking demonstrations, egg roll, egg hunt, egg dying, artistic and craft stations, photo booth, dance and yoga area.
“Let’s Celebrate” was the theme and more than 35,000 people attended. The Easter Egg Roll is open to anyone with children under the age of 13. There is a public lottery system through National Parks and Recreation Services website. Many people enter the lottery hoping to win tickets. However, tickets are not guaranteed.
Tesha Cobbs, the mother of Jamya, said she was thankful and grateful her daughter could attend. She called the event a trip of a lifetime.
The children were able to meet several actors from the television show “Black-ish,” and the singer Silento autographed their hands. Stars from the Disney show “Bunk’d,” Washington Redskins football players, members of the band Echosmith, Daya, Shaquille O’Neal, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Blue Ivy and many other celebrities attended the event.
The children were each given a signed commemorative wooden egg. While on the trip, the students visited historical places such as the U.S. Capitol, Pentagon, Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington Monument and the Martin Luther King Jr., National World War II and Lincoln memorials.
Jamya is the daughter of Tesha and Saterius Cobbs and Jeremy Cain; Shamira is the daughter of Sharelle Thomas; Aalyiah is the daughter of Ava Williams and Nicko Viges; and JaVione is the son of James and DeKaya Fontenot.