OOIDA members grateful for opportunity to visit White House

December 22, 2020

SJ Munoz

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Not many people receive an invitation to the White House.

Even fewer are offered a chance to attend the White House Christmas party.

OOIDA members Brian Dell and Luis Fraga knew it was an opportunity they couldn’t pass up.

Dell’s invitation came via email from OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh.

“I sent my son and daughter to the Truck to Success seminar, where they met Lewie. They must have made a good impression. My daughter called me and explained Lewie emailed her about attending. I told her to check with him and make sure. There wasn’t a lot of information, and we weren’t really sure if it was going to happen because of COVID-19. Our first impression was … seriously?”

Fraga, who brought his brother with him to the Dec. 13 party, had a similar reaction when learning of his White House invitation.

“The news came from my boss and OOIDA Board Member Danny Schnautz. I was in shock. It’s something you don’t believe, but it’s a lifetime experience, so I said yes. From there it all went pretty quick.”

The brothers flew from Houston to Washington, D.C. Fraga said the travel went well, but it was all still surreal.

“Everyone was taking pictures and you could tell who was there for the first time,” Fraga said. “Once we went through security we knew this was real. I will always remember the invitation. I’m really thankful to OOIDA and my boss Danny. I’m grateful for this.”

Dell made the drive from Tipton, Ind., to the nation’s capital with his son, and it was an experience he will always remember.

“We decided we needed to go. It’s not your everyday Christmas party invitation,” Dell said. “It was my first trip to the White House, and I thought it would be quite the opportunity. It will probably be the only one I get in my lifetime. I will remember the quality time I got to spend with my son. It was a great experience for me, but to see my 24-year-old son enjoy it the way he did, that will be what I remember most.” LL

 

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SJ Munoz

SJ Munoz is the newest edition to the Land Line Media team. He brings a variety of skills to the job as he has experience as a reporter, photographer and in radio. He’s also written for Omaha Magazine, the Lawrence Journal-World, and PrepsKC.com.