President Barack Obama stops to speak with campers from Lenora Academy at The Varsity restaurant on Tuesday in Atlanta. (AP Photo)
ATLANTA — A canceled trip to the Georgia Aquarium could have been a downer, but for a group of campers from Lenora Academy in Snellville, it turned into an opportunity they’ll never forget.
The change in plans meant a water day at the Fountain of Rings in Centennial Olympic Park and lunch at the famous Varsity restaurant in Atlanta. Little did they know the President of the United States of America would be joining them.
“We saw all the activity and (were) wondering what was going on,” said Dawn Washington, assistant director at Lenora Academy.
Just after noon Tuesday, the excitement began.
“What’ll you have?” Barack Obama was asked as he walked into The Varsity at the start of the lunch rush.
He ordered five chili dogs, four hotdogs and a cheeseburger for his traveling staff and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Reed’s mother Sylvia Reed.
Washington’s daughter, 11-year-old Armonie, got to shake Obama’s hand after a brief chat and photo opportunity, which included other Lenora Academy campers.
“It was really cool. I would never expect to meet the president in real life,” Armonie Washington said.
Washington said some of the campers were crying tears of joy.
A total of 17 kids were on the trip. The camp is for kids age 5 to 13. Lenora Academy provides child care services, pre-K programs, afterschool programs and daycamps.
Obama was in town for a fundraising event at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in downtown Atlanta.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.