January 11, 2012 - 10:27 am

BY OLYMPIA MEOLA

First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to roughly 300 supporters at a lunchtime fundraiser today at the Richmond Marriott.

Attendees sitting around round tables in the ballroom included former Gov. and former DNC Chairman Timothy M. Kaine, who is running for the U.S. Senate; Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, D-3rd; and Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones.

Tickets began at $500 and fundraiser benefits the Obama Victory Fund, according to a campaign official.

The first lady, standing behind a podium and in front of the Virginia and U.S. Flags, drew applause many times during her roughly 20-minute speech, while discussing health-care reform and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, among other things.

Virginia first lady Maureen McDonnell will join Mrs. Obama at Virginia Commonwealth University this afternoon for the announcement of a new commitment on medical care for veterans and service members.

The first ladies are scheduled to meet privately before the event, along with one of McDonnell’s daughters, Rachel, according to Gov. Bob McDonnell’s office.

Obama is making several appearances in Virginia today in a mix of official and political business.

She began the day at the luncheon for President Barack Obama’s re-election effort, with tickets ranging up to $10,000 for a VIP reception and photo.

This afternoon, she will tour the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center to visit wounded warriors and veterans receiving treatment, according to the White House.

She’ll then head to VCU to announce the new commitment by medical colleges and universities to bolster efforts in care to veterans and service people. The first lady will be joined by leaders in academic medicine focused on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury research.

Obama’s event at VCU will take place in a cozy auditorium. Camouflage-wearing service members from Fort Lee are filling many of the seats.