Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Jaycee of the Year

Several weeks ago I went to the year-end Jaycee convention in Timonium, MD (hmmm, I wore this same dress at the 2007 year-end convention...) This particular convention is always fraught with tension and curiosity as chapters and chapter officers around the state vie for awards and the TOP award - the Henry Giessienbier, named after the Jaycee founder. In addition to chapter awards, the Gaithersburg/Germantown (G&G) Jaycees had nominated three of our members for state and national awards without them knowing (except they did because there were some slip-ups over the past few months in trying to keep things secret). Anyhow, we were especially fraught (love that word today!) with anticipation. We had arranged flowers, cake, and champagne for the recipients and I had worked hard making scrapbooks for two of them.

The banquet on Saturday was amazing with two MD state troopers on hand to accept a $9,000 check from the Jaycees for their stab vest program to protect the dogs inside state prisons. As far as awards, G&G did really well and our chapter officers and a couple of members received some nice plaques (if you weren't there, you'll have to come to our membership meeting next week to find out what the awards were - too bad!). However, during all of the excitement it came time to announce the Maryland Jaycee of the Year. MDJC President David Smith got choked up during the presentation because the award is named after someone from his chapter - the Salisbury Jaycees - who unexpectedly died several years ago. I don't recall everything that President David said, but I got teary eyed when I realized he was talking about me and my courage and strength this past year. I am honored and thrilled to have received this award, especially when I think about how many Maryland Jaycees there are. I will be PROUD to display on my wall (once Ron gives the plaque back to me after the membership meeting!).


Blair said...

I don't recall David's exact words either (I was too busy trying to guess the winner's identity), but the gist of it was that you were handed one of the biggest challenges a person can be handed and utterly refused to let it stop you.

Along with going through all those rounds of chemo-therapy, you also:

- Co-chaired the 2007 Maryland Jaycees' Officers Training School.
- Raised more money for Relay for Life than all the rest of the Maryland Jaycees combined (putting Maryland in - I believe - third place Nationwide).
- Co-chaired the "Cancer Cafe" discussion at the November convention.
- Co-chaired the Biergarten at the Germantown Oktoberfest.
- Set an example to inspire the hell out of the rest of us (myself included).

Like I said, not exactly verbatim, but you get the general idea.

victory4angela said...

Hey, OTS happened BEFORE I had cancer so that doesn't count. :)

Okay, the rest of it I did.

FirePhrase said...

Congratulations!! I know the Jaycees mean a lot to you. And now you know how much you mean to them. You did all that during chemo? Dang, girl.

Julie B

Gila said...

If this comes up twice, it is because my original comment was eaten by the comment gremlins, and was then regurgitated....

You absolutely deserve this! I am going to second Julie--you did all that while you were undergoing chemo??? Amazing! And of course, I can second Blair as well. You have inspired me no end. I know I told you this, but will tell you again--I have made a number of big changes in my life over the last year. Most of them can be traced to my lying in bed at night, your latest post fresh in my mind, and asking myself "Gila, what the hell are you doing with your life????"

Hmmmm...maybe I should get you a plaque. Or another pair of earrings. :)

Congrats--no one deserves this more than you. I am really thrilled that you received this public "thank you"


victory4angela said...

Co-chairing the biergarten during chemo gave me something to focus on when I was done with treatment. I also had 2 really awesome other co-chairs to back me up.

Now I tell other Jaycees that I co-chaired a project AND had cancer - so they need to step it up! :)

I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing with my life. Only now I really need to focus. If only I could win the lottery so I could sail around the world.

WashingtonGardener said...

Wait! Dogs need stab vests? Are you saying prisoners stab police dogs? That is insane.

Oh yes, a belated CONGRATULATIONS!