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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
October 14, 2007

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at the National Park Foundation Leadership Summit on Partnership and Philanthrophy Opening Reception
Driskill Hotel
Austin, Texas

6:28 P.M. CDT

MRS. BUSH: Thank you very much, Regan. And Regan, thank you for what you do. Regan is the Citizen Chair of the National Park Foundation board, and I want to thank you for everything you've done, especially for everything you've done to organize this symposium.

I want to recognize a lot of distinguished guests who have visited us. Of course, I can't see them because I'm totally blinded. But Governor Perry is behind me, and Anita is here with him. The Honorable Linda Lingle, the Governor of Hawaii is here. Governor Lingle. The Honorable Dirk Kempthorne, the Secretary of the Department of Interior is here. He's actually -- where is he? There he is, right over here. (Applause.)

Mary Bomar, the Director of the National Park Service is here as well. (Applause.) The Honorable Henry Paulson, the Secretary of the Department of Treasury has joined us as well. (Applause.) And he's accompanied by his wife Wendy. And both Secretary Paulson and Wendy are very, very knowledgeable naturalists. They're great bird watchers, and they had a chance to bird watch here today in Austin. And I know they're thrilled to have this chance to be here and maybe see the bats tonight.

Congressman Mark Souder from Indiana is here as well. Where is Congressman Souder? (Applause.) Vin Cipolla, the President and CEO of the National Park Foundation is here. (Applause.) And our host for the reception, John Faraci. John is one of the directors on the National Park Foundation board, and he's on the stage with me. Thank you very much, John. (Applause.)

I want to congratulate the National Park Foundation for organizing this symposium. I've read through the sessions that were today. They all sound so really interesting, and I'm looking forward to being at the symposium tomorrow to hear a lot of the different sessions there.

I'm so happy to be with so many friends here in Texas to talk about what we can do to make sure all Americans are engaged in the stewardship of our national parks.

Making sure Americans share that sense of responsibility for our national treasures is central to the National Park Foundation's mission. 2007 is the 40th anniversary of the National Park Foundation, and this Leadership Summit on Partnership and Philanthropy is a great way to celebrate this milestone.

Many of you who were at the sessions today already heard a lot of interesting ideas that were shared. And I'm looking forward to hearing many more tomorrow.

Finally, I'm especially delighted that this symposium is here in my home state, and I'd like to thank Governor Rick Perry for joining us tonight. Governor Perry, thank you for everything you do for our state of Texas.

And now I'd like to ask Governor Perry to come address you. And welcome, Governor Perry. (Applause.)

END 6:31 P.M. CDT

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