I’m writing this article with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. Now some of you, mostly the male some of you’s, are thinking this is nothing new to you as you’ve seen the women in your life this way before. Some of you, the female some of you’s, are thinking about what my mascara must look like right now. The rest of you are thinking I might be a little off my rocker….no comment to that.
You see it’s time to start planning the annual Teacher Appreciation Luncheon for the educators in Frederick. It’s a great moment to honor them all, have a little fun and share a meal together. I have enjoyed the opportunity to participate for several years as a school board member but now I get to experience the planning part as the Chamber Director. I’m honored in both capacities for the opportunity. That makes me smile.
Here’s the part that brought the tears to my face. I sent out an email to both Jill Biggs and Dawn Mefford who are the main muscle behind this yearly event to start the planning. Jill and I spoke pretty quickly about a few of the details and she went right to work. In the back of my mind I was thinking that I didn’t want to bother Dawn with this right now, she has enough on her plate. (For those of you who don’t know, Dawn is battling breast cancer at the moment. I say at the moment because knowing Dawn, she will fight it swiftly and efficiently. Period.) I received an email back from her the next day, here’s where the tears kick in.
She asked me if we planned it for August whatever. If so, that’s the day of one of her treatments (radiation) and she can move it to another time. I’ll let that soak in. This woman is so committed to her volunteer work in our community that she is willing to move a treatment back in the day so she can help honor our educators. I won’t lie, “is she crazy?” shot through my head. But then I remembered who I was dealing with. Dawn was named one of Frederick’s Most Useful Citizens after all and that plaque isn’t just handed out to anybody. She volunteers so many places in our community, fundraises, helps others in times of need and fights passionately for what she believes in. If you’ve ever worked with her or against her, you know what I’m saying!
I’m honored to have her as a friend and a fellow volunteer in the community. I point this story out to you so that you’ll know the kind of people stepping up for our community. Granted and thankfully, we don’t have too many volunteers facing the obstacles that she is currently dealing with but we have many people who work all day, have families but still show up to volunteer for many good causes in Frederick. Many of these people inspire me to do better and be better for my community. Some of them I’ve known my whole life and I’ve watched them be amazing ambassadors for Frederick, a few I’ve just met and I’m thankful for their vision of what Frederick can be yet others I’m still trying to pull from their comfort zones because I know they have so much to offer.
We all have that one thing we are good at, that thing that allows us to help others, coordinate something or be the muscle behind the scenes. That thing that makes us useful in our everyday lives and in our community. I hope I’ve inspired (or I’ll even take guilted) you into looking inside yourself for your “thing”. Share it with others, allow yourself to be caught up in fighting for the greater good of your community whether it be through the Chamber or another worthy cause.