When Bobby E. Kellogg received an invitation to attend this week's Republican Senatorial Inner Circle meetings in Washington, D.C., he didn't realize that those invited are expected to make a large donation.
Kellogg, who was left with only 20 percent of his mental capacity after he was shot in 1987, took the invitation at face value and figured he'd make the trip to meet the Republican Party leaders and perhaps President Bush. Kellogg has been active in politics since President Ronald Reagan's terms and is a charter founder of the Ronald Reagan Republican Center.But Kellogg could not afford the transportation costs or the required contribution fee of $1,000. It would also be difficult for a person with Kellogg's handicaps to attend the conference.
But thanks to the efforts of friends and public officials, Kellogg, 56, will get to attend the meeting after all. He left for Washington, D.C., Tuesday to attend Wednesday's and Thursday's meetings. He'll be eating lunch with Bush on Thursday.
A few weeks ago, 3rd District congressional candidate John Harmer met Kellogg while campaigning at the Seville Retirement Residence in Orem, where Kellogg lives. Harmer realized from talking to Kellogg that it meant a great deal to him to be able to go back to Washington. So Harmer's office staff decided to see if they could help Kellogg's dream come true.
With the help of Sen. Orrin Hatch, Harmer's office was able to get the contribution fee waived. Also Delta Airlines agreed to waive most of the air fare and the Marriott Hotel in Washington will provide accommodations. The remaining money needed for the $4,500 trip has been donated by local businesses and citizens, including $100 collected from Kellogg's friends at Seville.
To help him get around, Morri Tolman, a Mountain View High School senior and part-time waiter at Seville, is accompanying Kellogg.
Kellogg was injured at his Orem home on the evening of March 2, 1987. On that night, Kellogg's wife said she heard an intruder, and he went outside to investigate. He got in his car and drove around the block. When he returned to his house he was shot in the head while getting out of his car. His wife found him lying in the driveway. No suspect has been arrested.
Kellogg survived the shooting but is left with only 20 percent of his brain functioning and is confined to a wheelchair. After years of therapy the former Mountain Fuel employee now lives at the Seville Retirement Residence.
When he meets the president, Kellogg said he would like to tell him to clean up politics and to get drugs off the streets, but he will probably let the president do most of the talking.
"I'm not much good at talking," Kellogg said.
Most of all, Kellogg and Tolman said they hope the trip is a learning experience and teaches them more about politics.
"We just want to get in there and take notes on what is going on," Tolman said.
Besides attending the Inner Circle meetings, Tolman and Kellogg will visit the Vietnam Memorial, the National Archives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation offices. They will also be present when the Philo T. Farnsworth statue is unveiled in the capitol rotunda.