Denver pregnancy center volunteer receives honor
Crystal Regan said that on the afternoon of Sept. 17, she became a little girl again.
It was something she said she never imagined would happen to her. She was meeting the president.
Regan, who volunteers at the East Lincoln Pregnancy Center in Denver, has received the Presidential Service Award through the USA Freedom Corps, a program begun in January 2002 to encourage more U.S. Americans to volunteer.
The award is presented to people who have volunteered for at least either two years or 4,000 hours. The award is presented in different regions of the United States, and Regan received the award for the Charlotte area.
Regan remembers the day she got the call from the White House. She received the call only three days before she was to meet President Bush.
â€œA friend of mine told them about me through Freedom Corps,â€ she said. â€œThey called me and interviewed me, and I thought to myself, â€˜is this a joke?â€™â€
Regan said she almost didnâ€™t answer the phone, and when she did, she agreed to meet them.
Friday afternoon, she stood in the rain in front of Air Force One and waited for the president to greet her.
â€œI turned around to a voice that said, â€˜Are you keeping dry?â€™â€ Regan said. â€œIt was the president, and when I reached out to shake his hand, he grabbed me and hugged me.â€
She said he thanked her for her compassion and work for others.
â€œIt was so nice to see him be so genuine and not be standoffish,â€ she said.
Regan has been a volunteer at the East Lincoln Pregnancy Center for six years, two of those years as its director. She also devotes her time as a mentor at Pumpkin Center Middle School and as the fund-raising chairperson for the PTSA. Regan also spends her time at Rock Springs Elementary School and as the music director at her church.
Regan is a mother of four boys, ages 2, 7, 9 and 12.
Her children also got the opportunity to meet the president.
â€œMy family was not able to stand with me when I met the president, but he was the one that said to bring them over,â€ she said.
A family portrait was taken.
â€œI canâ€™t wait to receive the picture so I can use it for my Christmas cards,â€ she said.
Since Regan knew this was a once in a lifetime experience, she wanted to give the president a gift.
She presented him with a book on Governorâ€™s Island in New York, which documents the history of the island and how it was built.
â€œI wanted to give him something with a little personal flare,â€ she said. â€œI also wrote a thank you note in the book.â€
Regan said the best part was being thanked for all she has done.
â€œIâ€™m excited that I got to represent the pregnancy center and the county,â€ she said.
by Amy Wadsworth