It’s not hard to find real superstars in America today.
Now, I’m not talking about pop idols or reality television personalities.
I’m not even talking about so-called Hollywood superstars.
The superstars I’m talking about can be found closer to home than we think.
Last week, I was given the honor to serve as an escort at the Night of Superstars Event that was held this year in Festus the day after Valentine’s Day.
This charity event recognized extraordinary children who are affected by varying types of disabling conditions but reach far beyond their adversities by excelling in many activities including academics, athletics and community service.
When some think about the word superstar, what comes to mind is someone who is idolized by fans and elevated to a position of importance.
It can also mean an individual who has popular appeal.
When I consider the challenges faced by the young people being honored and all the challenges they faced and obstacles they overcame, well, I cannot think of a group more deserving of being called superstars.
These young people are not only superstars in name, not by a long shot.
These superstars received the superstar treatment they deserved.
They spent their day being pampered at a salon and arrived via limousine to the main event for an Oscars-like red carpet reception, all decked out in the finest formal attire.
They were surrounded by friends, family and even some members of the local paparazzi, as they walked the red carpet.
Already I was quite humbled to have had the opportunity to walk Sarah Weston down the red carpet and into the dinner and awards ceremony that followed.
But even more than that, it makes me thankful you have given me the opportunity to serve you in Congress and to participate in special events like this and to meet extraordinary young people like Sarah and her family.
Clearly, this event in particular keeps me in touch with the people I was elected to represent and to stay connected with what is most important.
It also makes me thankful that I am able to return home each weekend from the sometimes brutish political conditions in Washington, D.C.
The superstars event is another reminder that serving as a member of Congress is not about power or prestige, but rather it is about service to all of you in the 3rd Congressional District of Missouri.
When I think of Sarah and the 19 other superstars I had the pleasure of meeting, I am reminded there are heroes all around us who, when we have a chance, should be recognized for their accomplishments and achievements.
It’s really not too much to ask of any of us.
My escort duties were only a small part of an event that rightly focused on a group of young people who, to me, are much more than superstars – they are heroes.
And the lessons I took with me will continue to have a meaningful impact on me as I serve you in the House of Representatives.
As always, for thse of you with Internet access, I encourage you to visit my official website.
For those without access to the Internet, I encourage you to call my offices in Jefferson City (573-635-7232) Washington, Mo. (636-239-2276), or Wentzville (636-327-7055) with your questions and concerns.
If you want even greater access to what I am working on, please visit my YouTube site, Facebook page, and keep up-to-date with Twitter.