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South Whidbey family heads to the White House for Easter Egg Roll

Emily, 7, and Katie, 8, take a break from practicing an egg-in-spoon race. The race will be one of the many activities taking place at the White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday, April 21.  - Celeste Erickson / The Record
Emily, 7, and Katie, 8, take a break from practicing an egg-in-spoon race. The race will be one of the many activities taking place at the White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday, April 21.
— image credit: Celeste Erickson / The Record

A Langley family is taking the trip of a lifetime and celebrating Easter at the White House.

Carol Kerley and Linda Dunham were chosen by the Pride Foundation to take their granddaughters, Katie and Emily, to the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday, April 21.

Kerley received the call earlier this month and couldn’t believe the news.

“It came out of nowhere,” Kerley said. “We’re very fortunate to go. We were so surprised.”

At the time of the call, she was recovering from oral surgery and requested the invitation in writing — just to be sure.

“I think that might have been the funniest part,” said Executive Director of the foundation Kris Hermanns, who made the call. “They were thrilled beyond words for this opportunity. It was a very sweet and wonderful exchange.”

Emily,7, and Katie,8, were in a car when they heard about the upcoming trip. The sisters spent the rest of the car ride shouting with excitement.

“I screamed and did cartwheels,” Katie said of her reaction.

Hermanns said Kerley and Dunham were the first people she thought of when representatives from the White House contacted her for families to recommend. Kerley has been involved for years with the Pride Foundation, which provides opportunities for full equality of LGBTQ people across the Northwest.

“We’re so happy we could bring joy to Carol and Linda in the way they have to so many others.”

The foundation chose the Kerley-Dunham family because they embody what’s best about modern families, Hermanns said.

“Carol and Linda are very close to their family,” she said. “Having a couple that’s been together for over 40 years who are taking their grandkids — they’re a wonderful blended family, love makes a family. We’re happy to have Carol and Linda represent the community in that way.”

The Kerley-Dunhams will join 30,000 other participants on the South Lawn of the famed Pennsylvania Avenue house to celebrate the 136th annual Easter Egg Roll with the first family and many celebrity guests.

The family will spend five days in Washington D.C. and tour Sen. Patty Murray’s office, Lincoln Memorial and Martin Luther King, Jr.  Memorial.

The theme for the Easter Egg Roll this year is “Hop into Healthy, Swing into Shape,” upholding first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign to promote fitness. The event will feature live music, games, cooking stations, storytelling and Easter egg rolling. Several celebrities will also be attending including YouTube singing sensation Cam Anthony, Ariana Grande, Jim Carrey, Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, former NFL player and NASA astronaut Leland Melvin, Debby Ryan from the Disney Channel TV show “Jessie” and Sesame Street characters to name a few of the guests.

Emily and Katie are excited to see Debby Ryan, an actor from one of their favorite TV shows, along with the memorials, which they studied before the trip.

“I’m excited to see Lincoln [Memorial] because he stopped slavery,” Katie said.

The two will keep journals to write down their experiences and share with their teachers at South Whidbey Elementary School.

“It’s a thrill watching the two of them get excited. We always wanted to go to D.C. but didn’t think we would while they were so young — especially as part of the Easter Egg Roll,” Carol said.

If the family gets lucky enough to meet President Obama, Katie had an idea of what she would say.

“First, I would scream for about 20 minutes,” Katie said, though Kerley quickly vetoed that idea and asked what else she would say.

“I would say, ‘I want to live there,’ ” Katie said.

 

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