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First Lady Michelle Obama Attends Fundraisers in Western Mass.

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Michelle Obama. (Photo credit JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Michelle Obama. (Photo credit JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Michelle Obama has told a western Massachusetts audience she and President Barack Obama know what it’s like to struggle for the American Dream.

The  first lady said Friday at a fundraising luncheon for her husband at the Basketball Hall of Fame that “education was everything” for her family. She recalled her father, a pump operator for the city of Chicago, contributed what he could to supplement grants she and her brother received.

The president, she said, also knows what it means to work hard, and believes when you “walk through the doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it behind you.”

Also on the first lady’s fundraising schedule were a reception in Pittsfield, and a dinner at the Richmond home of Gov. Deval Patrick.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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