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obamastateoftheunion.jpgDozens of San Francisco kids are getting ready for an event that many are saying is their dream come true – a chance to see President Obama in person.

Members of Boys and Girls Clubs throughout the city were chosen to attend the president’s speaking event tonight at the Masonic Center in the Nob Hill neighborhood, an organization spokeswoman said.

Out of the 16,700 kids who participate in the club annually, 33 were chosen to attend tonight’s event.

The pre-teens and teens who were chosen are core team members who are role models for their clubs and their communities, spokeswoman Brittany Johnson said.

“This is definitely a rewarding experience,” she said.

Five of the city’s nine clubs will be represented, including the Tenderloin, Excelsior, Columbia Park, Ernest Ingold, and Treasure Island clubs.

“All of our clubs are positioned in neighborhoods with the lowest amount of resources, the most challenged neighborhoods,” Johnson said.

As preparation for tonight’s event, the participating youth made a short documentary in which they talk about the president and the issues that are important to them.

Those interested in viewing the members’ personal take on the president and tonight’s event can view it at

“It’s a pretty uplifting, moving video,” Johnson said.

The organization doesn’t anticipate that the kids will be able to speak to the president but organizers are hoping for some interaction.

“I’m hoping that they can shake his hand,” Johnson said.

She said the club members will be wearing bright orange Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco t-shirts to set themselves apart from the crowd.

“It’s going to be hard to miss us,” she said.

The tickets were acquired for the organization by several board members and Lorna Randlett, the wife of Wade Randlett, co-founder of Technology Network, a political action committee.

The board members gave 41 tickets to the nonprofit; 33 will go to students and seven will be given to staff members who will act as chaperones.

Tonight’s event begins at 8 p.m. and the members and their chaperones are planning to be there by 5 p.m.

The members will be armed with donated video cameras and are planning to document their experience tonight and post it tomorrow on their YouTube channel.

Erika Heidecker, Bay City News

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