Dale Farland and Kim Schweitzer
The SaddleBrooke Ranch Democratic Club held their first annual fundraiser event on Oct. 29 at the Sol Ballroom. It was a big success as the event sold out within ten days. There were more than 230 residents and guests attending.
There were beautiful centerpieces of blue and silver stars on every table. The food stations overflowed with heavy hors d’oeuvres. Chef Jose and Kelly Kyper were very helpful in making the event so enjoyable.
The speaker was Captain Mark Kelly, who is running for the U.S. Senate. Matt Nelson, chair of the SaddleBrooke Ranch Democratic Club, provided the guests with some background for Mark Kelly before his arrival.
Our special guest arrived to the sounds of the song “Danger Zone” from the movie Top Gun—a reference to his career as a pilot. DJ Sam Rossi kept the musical theme going, playing “Major Tom” and “It’s A Beautiful Day.”
Mark Kelly received a Bachelor of Science degree in marine engineering and nautical science, graduating with highest honors in 1986. In 1994, he received a Master of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.
As a naval aviator, he flew 39 combat missions during the Gulf War. He was selected to become a NASA Space Shuttle pilot in 1996 and flew his first of several missions starting in 2001. His final mission in 2011 was on the Space Shuttle Endeavor.
Mark shared his background with the crowd. He was born in New Jersey, which drew applause from the guests who were from New Jersey. He is the son of two policemen. This family life of serving others has been a foundation for his career and his decision to run for office.
He outlined his vision for important legislation and the steps necessary to accomplish it. He provided several anecdotes from both his personal life and on the campaign trail that have impacted him. Of interest, he intends to not take any corporate donations for his campaign.
Mark was gracious with his time and stayed to answer questions, meet guests, and take pictures. Before he left, Club Chairman Matt Nelson presented him with a SaddleBrooke Ranch Golf baseball cap as a reminder of his visit here. The guests in attendance will certainly remember, as a good time was had by all.