Oklahoma boy gets hug from first lady Michelle Obama for his weight-loss campaign

Oklahoman Mason Carter Harvey lost 85 pounds in the past year and started an anti-obesity campaign to encourage others to lose weight. The first lady took notice.
by Chris Casteel Published: April 10, 2012

Among the many goals of Mason Carter Harvey's anti-obesity campaign is to get the signatures of 85 famous or important people who can help spread his story.

The seventh-grader from Guthrie landed a big one on Monday — first lady Michelle Obama.

“You are an amazing young man,” Obama wrote in Mason's signature book. “Everyone in our nation needs to do our share to help children grow up healthy and strong. Keep up the great work!”

The first lady, who has been involved in her own effort to fight childhood obesity, had heard Mason's story of losing 85 pounds in the past year and starting his “Strive for 85” mission to get others to lose weight.

She invited him to the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, which drew an estimated 30,000 people on Monday, and gave him a hug when she met him.

Mason was thrilled.

“It was lots of fun,” he said. “She's nice, very nice.”

Obama, he said, was “the number one person that I needed to meet to get this word across America. And I think she's going to help me do that.”

Early this year, Mason contacted Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett to congratulate him on his successful drive to get Oklahoma City residents to lose 1 million pounds.

To highlight efforts to fight obesity, the first lady invited Cornett to sit in her box for her husband's State of the Union speech in 2010. In January of this year, the mayor invited Mason to attend his State of the City speech, where Cornett read Mason's email aloud.

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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