Community Prepares for Michelle Obama's Visit to Wausau Friday

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

UW-Marathon County is preparing for a major political event Friday when it hosts First Lady Michelle Obama three weeks before the Presidential election.

The event takes place at 1:15 p.m. at the campus fieldhouse, but if you don't already have a ticket, you're out of luck.

Free tickets quickly ran out early Tuesday, within a few hours of being available.

At UWMC, a steady flow of students and staff stood in line for a chance to see Mrs. Obama.

The first lady is expected to speak about what's at stake in this election for Wisconsinites and ask them to help organize their communities between now and election day.

Mrs. Obama will also promote Own Your Vote WI, which teaches voters what they need to do to register to vote.

Staff at UWMC are spending the week preparing for the prominent visit.

"One of our roles is really to help shine a light on the democratic process and that dialogue, so we welcome all kinds of opinions and political commentary on our campus," Brian Becker, director of university relations said.

The campus is working with the U.S. Secret Service, the Obama Campaign and local law enforcement to help ensure a smooth event and most importantly the first lady's safety.

Anytime a national political figure visits the area, the secret service contacts local law enforcement.

"When we work with the secret service we of course do inventory or a checklist of what resources are available locally, and then most of the work is done once the site is identified by the campaign," said Wausau Police Deputy Chief Bryan Hilts.

Aspirus Wausau Hospital has also been preparing for Mrs. Obama's visit.

According to a spokesman, the secret service has gone over a checklist with hospital staff, making sure they can perform a variety of surgeries, have specialized doctors readily available and have a full blood supply.

Hundreds of tickets were given away at six different locations, including two in Wausau. If you did get one, organizers encourage you to get to the event early.

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