Published: Jul 20, 2012 10:56 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Stay-at-home mom Jennifer Lessinger went through days of screening and preparation to have the honor of introducing President Obama at his campaign rally Friday. But after the tragic movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, the tone of the event changed, and she never got the chance.

The Southwest Florida native found out the morning of the event while in a holding room with other volunteers.

"Someone came out, and he said, 'We've had to change the focus, and I don't think you're going to be speaking today,'" Lessinger said.

While disappointed, Lessinger understood why the changes were made and agrees they were the right move.

And staffers made up for it, bringing her backstage with other volunteers to meet the President after his speech.

Minutes later, he appeared and started shaking hands with them, but Lessinger got a different reception.

"A staffer came over and said, 'Mr. President this is Jennifer Lessinger, and she was (supposed) to be introducing you today.' Then (the President) said -- 'Oh, Jen, you get a hug!'" Lessinger said, smiling as she remembered the experience.

"Not many people get the chance to meet a sitting president of the United States. So I can't complain about the outcome of the day. It ended up being a great day."

Lessinger wasn't allowed to take any pictures, not even with a cell phone. She said the campaign has promised to send her what the official presidential photographer captured of her special moment.