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Obama letter provides economic stimulus

A handwritten letter from President Barack Obama
Gary Zimet
Moments in Time
A handwritten letter from President Barack Obama

A woman from Monroe, Michigan made news last week when she sold her hand written letter from President Barack Obama for $7,000.

The dealer who bought the letter, Gary Zimet of Moments in Time, is hoping to fetch $18,000 for the "exceedingly rare handwritten Obama letter." Zimet told me that most correspondence from Obama is signed by an "autopen" making the letters worthless in value. He said he's received several serious inquiries for the letter already.

Jennifer Cline first wrote Obama in December of 2009, detailing her troubles after losing her job and getting treatment for skin cancer with no health insurance. She went on to thank him for the programs that have helped her out. She wrote that a Pell Grant allowed her to go back to college, but she said most importantly:

"The thing I wanted to thank you for the most, though, is the extensions of unemployment. Since I lost my job I have been on over 40 interviews and filled out 100s of applications and haven't landed a job."

Obama personally wrote her back saying, "I know things are tough, but knowing there are folks out there like you and your husband give me confidence that things will get keep getting better!"

According to the Detroit Free Press, Cline and her husband were not bothered that the letter might fetch twice as much as they sold it to Gary Zimet for. The Clines said they're planning to use the money they made from the letter to pay off some bills, make a down payment on a house, and start a college fund.

Mark Brush was the station's Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.