My Soroptimist Club made me cry yesterday. Our Foundation Committee put together a presentation to honor this quarter's high school Girls of the Month and the recipients of our club's various Soroptimist scholarship and recognition awards - the Women's Opportunity Award, the Making a Difference for Women Award, and the Violet Richardson Award.
This program meeting is a favorite of everyone in the club, so there were lots of members and guests. The high school girls honored are always such amazing young women - active in both school and the community, exemplary students, and their plans for their futures are always so inspiring. Then, in the middle of the presentation, the MC said, "This year, we are starting a new award for our club, called the Above and Beyond Award. Our first honoree was born and raised in Denver, Colorado."
I was born in Denver. I'm trying to think who else in the club is from Denver. The MC goes on, "She spent 10 years tending bar in Leadville, Colorado."
Oh my, she's talking about me! The MC continues (she gave me a copy of her presentation speech. Since we rarely hear how others see us, please indulge me as I quote her):
"She worked at Harvey's Casino, then at Eagle Valley Golf as Administrative Assistant. She met her husband through friends at a party - they married October 11, 1989. She has two children (no, I don't) - Boris the dog and Albert the cat (oh, ok). After 25 years, she received a degree in Human Ecology from UNR (ok, it took me a while. I worked full-time, and incurred no debt).
"She loves pizza and cheeseburgers (she's right - I don't eat them very often any more, but I could happily live on either). She's been all over the world: Tanzania, Tahiti, Honduras, Costa Rica, Machu Picchu, Belize, Curacao, Rarotonga, and has even taken a barefoot cruise on a real sailing ship (the girls, their parents, and the other guests just listen, but my club members start turning their heads to see where I'm sitting).
"She has 15 chickens - if you like eggs, let her know. She has three guinea fowl that love her and follow her all around (did she interview my husband?). She has her own garden and orchard - pears, apples, peaches, nectarines, Asian pears, plums, apricots, cherries, figs. She even has her own root cellar.
"She has a Honda Pacific Coast motorcycle which does not get out much (so, she did talk to Aries - he never said a thing!). She lives with her husband at the Firesign Farm.
"Please congratulate the first to receive Soroptimists' Above and Beyond Award. She loves to volunteer. She is involved in Muscle Powered, the Democratic Women, and Soroptimists. This year, she's been busy as our Treasurer, started a new fundraiser for our club selling garters during Nevada Day, and she is always willing to help out."
I was so surprised! The MC called me up to the podium. Recognition by your peers can be so moving - it's a good thing I had a handkerchief in my pocket. All I had to say was, "Thank you. I'm honored."