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Ohio Valley University hosts fundraising event with Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders

Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 7:37 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va (WTAP) - Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was in Parkersburg Friday night for a fundraising event for Ohio Valley University.

Sanders and OVU President Michael Ross have a mutual friend in Jim Carr, a notable figure at Harding University in Arkansas. Ross says the connection helped him land Sanders as a special guest for Friday night’s fundraiser.

According to Ohio Valley University’s website, all the money raised at the event will go toward the Ohio Valley University General Scholarship Fund. It cost $500 a person to get into the reception at the Blennerhassett Hotel with Sanders. After the reception, there was an option to join her and university officials for dinner and a river cruise on the Valley Gem. That cost $1,000 a person.

“OVU has really been trying to recreate itself and kind of establish itself as kind of a marquis university in the northeast, specifically a Christian university. So having someone like Sarah come and talk about faith and how that relates to everyday life, with her experience and the things that she has done, it just lends credibility to what we’re trying to do,” said Ross.

Ross actually graduated from Harding University which Sanders says has helped build a connection between OVU and HU.

“There’s a good Arkansas-West Virginia nexus there that’s been going on for quite some time. And that relationship is pretty much what landed me here tonight,” said Sanders.

Sanders was also promoting her new book, “Speaking for Myself: Faith, Freedom, and the Fight of Our Lives Inside the Trump White House.”

She says she wanted to write the book because even though there are many books about this presidency, she didn’t feel like anyone had truly captured what President Donald Trump is really like.

“I worked for the president for three and a half years, two and a half in the White House and spent nearly every single day next to the president. I traveled to over 20 different countries with the president and really got to see him in a way that I want all of America to see. Somebody who is constantly fighting for our country and doing everything he can to make it better,” said Sanders.

Inside the reception, Sanders took pictures and signed autographs with those in attendance. She was also set to participate in a short question and answer program with Ross.

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