Gilford, New Hampshire (CNN) - The big draw at the New Hampshire Sheriff's Golf Tournament luncheon were the prizes, including a car, a variety of athletic wear and golf equipment.
Diners representing all 10 of the state’s sheriffs' departments dressed in polo shirts and shorts hoarded piles of little red tickets for an upcoming raffle and jumped up to collect their spoils as an announcer called out winners in that morning's golf tournament.
Into the mix walked presidential candidate Ron Paul, the congressman from Texas, to deliver the keynote address.
While attendees filled their plates with barbecue and made announcements about the ice cream table, Paul shook hands with several enthusiastic supporters and posed for pictures with children.
After a brief introduction, Paul approached the podium.
"My personal beliefs are that of defending personal liberties," he told the audience. "It's your life. You ought to be able to live your life as you please. It's your money. You ought to be able to spend your money as you please."
He said he was encouraged that citizens were beginning to notice and worry about problems with the country's financial system, and briefly mentioned his opposition to government spending on some foreign wars and entitlement programs.
"We have a tremendous opportunity right now to change things to the point where we emphasize the importance of liberty rather than emphasizing, well, the government can take care of us," he said.
Then, less than 10 minutes later, Paul finished speaking and quickly walked from the podium. Several diners stood up to shake his hand.
The emcee took the stage again and thanked Paul: "Extra points for keeping it nice and short. Appreciate that, sir."
The congressman shrugged bashfully and smiled.
As he circulated around the room, two high school students approached Paul to declare their support. Kevin Koechel and Sam Broadwater, both seniors at Bedford High School, said they had been allowed to leave class to see Paul speak and were receiving service hours for attending.
"He stuck with his guns the whole time, he hasn't changed his views and he's got the experience to back it up," Koechel said of Paul.
Broadwater said he trusted the congressman's support for gun rights.
Paul signed their forms, chatted for a moment, then quietly left the country club to attend a private function in the evening.
Meanwhile the raffle continued on stage.