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!).