'Thanks, Obama' Event in DC Applauds President

On social media, many are using the hashtag #ThanksObama to share notes of appreciation

Attendees of the sold-out "Thanks, Obama" event in southwest D.C. applauded outgoing President Barack Obama at 7 p.m. Thursday and encouraged people across the country will do the same.

Bejide Davis, one of the "Thanks, Obama" event organizers, said the idea came to her in May.

"The idea actually came from a conversation with one of my older brothers," Davis said. "...We were just driving around the city, and we were talking about politics... and we were just talking about how, no matter who wins the election, people will miss President Obama."

Davis said she wished there was a way she could thank the president. "I kind of jokingly said, 'Maybe I'll just go outside of the White House and thank him, give him a round of applause.'"

"My brother said, 'Do you really want to give the president of the United States a fifth grade clap-out?' And I said, 'Actually, that doesn't sound like a bad idea; maybe we should.'"

Attendees of a sold-out event in Southwest D.C. will stand and applaud for outgoing President Barack Obama at 7 p.m. Thursday, and they hope people across the country will do the same. News4’s Aaron Gilchrist talks with organizer Bejide Davis about the event that will include singers, artists and hula dancers.

The event featureed a local hula troupe as well as local artists and DJ Olivia Dope from New York. It was streamed live on Periscope.

"Thanks, Obama" was held at the Mead Center for American Theater from 3 to 8 p.m.

Davis encouraged those who would like to participate but couldn't make it to the D.C. event to join through social media.

"We're trying to reach everyone," Davis said, "and get that reach out there so people can stand and clap with us at 7 p.m. -- which is going to be the appointed clap-out time."

And Davis isn't the only one. Around the country, people are finding creative ways to express their gratitude for the president. 

Minneapolis-based Surly Brewing Company is releasing a new beer, Thanks Obama, on Inauguration Day in tribute to the outgoing president. Surly hopes the new beer plays a role in healing the nation's partisan divisions. “Reflect on the last eight years, look to the future, and enjoy a pint with your fellow Americans,” the brewery says.

On social media, many are using the hashtag #ThanksObama to share notes of appreciation to the president for saving their lives through the Affordable Care Act, standing up to LGBTQ rights and for attending to a peaceful transition of power with grace and dignity.

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