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Last updated 5:50AM ET
February 25, 2021
Alabama
Alabama
Cycling Enthusiast Meets with President
(2007-11-11)
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - Fred Kelley of Monroeville never thought he'd get a private meeting with his congressman, much less President Bush.

But on Tuesday the 50-year-old Kelley was in the Oval Office talking with both of them about bicycling, charity and, of course, Alabama.

Kelley says they didn't talk about nuclear disarmament or anything like that. It was chitchat and Kelley says Bush ''just made us feel welcome.''

Kelley started a bicycling fundraiser for the American Cancer Society several years ago after suffering a massive heart attack and being diagnosed with a heart ailment that threatens to cut short his life.

Since then, he has dropped more than 100 pounds and helped raise nearly $350,000 toward finding a cure for cancer.

Knowing that Bush likes to cycle, Kelley asked Alabama Congressman Jo Bonner of Mobile if he could somehow arrange for a ride with the president, hoping ultimately to lure Bush to Alabama for the ''Peddlin' for a Cure'' event that he founded.

Kelley, Bonner and Sen. Jeff Sessions, also of Mobile, put in requests with the White House.

Last week, Kelley got a call from Bonner asking him if he could fly to Washington on short notice.

He had been invited to visit the White House as part of an occasional series of meetings that Bush holds with volunteers and community leaders.

Kelley, who is marketing director at South Alabama Gas and has a local radio show, met with Bush for about 15 minutes along with Bonner, Kelley's daughter, Kim, and a White House secretary.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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