It's tough for organizations which are not well known nationally to get the attention of star attractions, much less convince them to lend their faces, names and fame to an event the group is sponsoring. Had Washington, Illinois Mayor Gary Manier and representatives from Five Points not taken a tour of the Ronald Reagan Museum at Eureka College, the stars may not have aligned, and perhaps they never would have found themselves in a position to attract Sarah Palin to speak as part of their "Lessons from Leaders" series on April 17:
Sherril West, president of the Five Points board of directors, said before meeting with former Peoria City Councilman John Morris - now the director of development for the Ronald W. Reagan Leadership Program and the Ronald Reagan Museum - letter writing to the stars asking them to speak in Washington was unsuccessful.More of the story behind Gov. Palin's speech in Illinois here.
Morris, though, was able to forward the Five Points group to the right connections with speaker bureaus. These are similar to groups used to lure former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev to Eureka College for an appearance last year.
West said a phone call was made to one of the bureaus that, ironically on the same day, agreed to represent Palin.
"We were one of the first in line," West said.
Following Five Points' submission of a lengthy application, Palin's group announced she was coming.