First lady Michelle Obama will visit the Bay Area this weekend to raise funds in San Francisco for her husband's re-election campaign and to take part in a new Coast Guard vessel's commissioning in Alameda.

On Friday, she'll raise funds at the California Academy of Science in San Francisco in an event marking the launch of a "Families for Obama" initiative. PopLyfe, an Oakland-based teen band featured last fall on the television show "America's Got Talent," will perform.

Ticket prices start at $500 for an individual or $5,000 to have your picture taken with the first lady. A "co-host family" paying $35,800 will take part in a private reception with the first lady that day and will receive a family photo with Michelle Obama plus a commemorative invitation with their names listed. These co-host families also will have a family photo taken with President Barack Obama when he makes another visit to the Bay Area. The first $5,000 of a contribution goes to Obama for America, half for the primary and half for the general election; the rest, up to $30,800, goes to the Democratic National Committee.


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On Saturday -- as part of her Joining Forces initiative to honor, recognize and serve military families -- the first lady will take part in the commissioning ceremony for the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton, placing it in active duty for homeland security and national defense.

The first lady helped christen this ship in Pascagoula, Miss., in 2010 by breaking the traditional champagne bottle over the bow. The Stratton has been under testing and sea trials since, and Saturday's event marks its formal introduction into the active Coast Guard fleet. As the ship's sponsor, the first lady will ceremonially give the order to bring the ship to life, at which time the crew will board.

The ship is named after Capt. Dorothy Stratton, director of the Coast Guard Women's Reserve during World War II. She oversaw 10,000 enlisted women and 1,000 commissioned officers. The first lady also will visit with a group of women veterans who served with Stratton.

After her Bay Area events, the first lady will travel later Saturday to Los Angeles for Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards, where she will present "The Big Help Award" to recording artist Taylor Swift for her work with tornado and flood survivors.

Josh Richman covers politics. Follow him at Twitter.com/josh_richman. Read the Political Blotter at IBAbuzz.com/politics.