Moore TEA Citizens Picnic Draws Big Crowd
The Moore TEA Citizens' picnic Saturday attracted a crowd of more than 400 to Cannon Park in Pinehurst.
The purpose was to raise awareness about the organization and to get people out to vote in November.
"It shows how broad the appeal is (for the TEA party)," organizer John Marcum said. "It's a good-sized group. A lot of these people are not members - they're coming out for the first time."
Marcum said the Moore TEA Citizens puts on an event about every month, either in Moore County or at larger venues.
According to Marcum, the Moore TEA Citizens group has about 1,400 members and more signed up at the picnic.
The group's main goal is to reaffirm American values, he said.
"What we mean is to take back America to its origins," he said. "We feel like we need to reaffirm these cultural and constitutional values."
The event included big-name speakers like U.S. Rep. Howard Coble and Fox News contributor Steve Moore.
"If the election were today, I believe we would have the majority in the House," Coble told the crowd, as he was preparing to leave for another TEA party event. "We have an administration that's completely out of step with America."
For volunteer Allen Coburn, the Moore TEA Citizens membership gave him an opportunity to be involved in something on the local level.
"You have to start to band together," Coburn said. "We want to be active. We want to be respectful. We want to be non-confrontational."
Dee Park, chairwoman of the board for the Moore TEA Citizens, said she felt the need to get involved after the last election.
"We were watching as the last election was rolling around and by the inauguration and new Congress, we knew we needed to do something," Park said.
So she organized an event for downtown Southern Pines, which attracted more than 1,000 people, she said. Since then, the group has grown.
"Anybody who went never forgot it," she said.
At the picnic, many were dressed in red, white and blue.
One Moore TEA Citizens group member, John Oltesvig, wore a Revolutionary War uniform.
"Our country has been drifting away from our Founding Fathers," Oltesvig said.
For volunteer Carol French, joining the organization gave her a chance to be a part of something larger.
"(The TEA party) can't be ignored," French said. "It's important, because these are the people that want America to be America."
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