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About  2,000 party faithful packed the lobby at Time Warner Cable Arena Tuesday to get pumped about the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which included a rousing call for personal donations to help pay the $37M it'll take to put on the Dem?s big party.

Former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt speaks before a crowd of about 2,000 at the DNC countdown this week
Featured speakers: Mayor Anthony Foxx, National Democratic Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC Convention CEO Steve Kerrigan, and former Mayor Harvey Gantt, (above) who was instrumental in bringing the DNC to Charlotte.
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Tod Kubo and LaWana Mayfield at the big DNC preview event

We ran into roving theatre director and choreographer Tod Kubo (an LA native and Charlotte resident) and LaWana Mayfield, who's running for Charlotte City Council. Tod is doing choreography for a local production of The Cotton Club.

Binaco?s Garry Bhojwani at the DNC party

Real estate, construction, and CRE investment company Binaco?s Garry Bhojwani moved to Charlotte from NY in 1977 to set himself up in business. The city has been remarkably accepting over the years, he said, swelling with pride at the thought of Charlotte hosting the DNC: ?I love this place. The city, and it's  people."