Wednesday, 13 July 2016 22:25

The Spirit of Smedley Marks Smedley Chapter One's Annual Independence Day Barbeque

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SmedBBQ 2Peter Wang and Josephine Lee Pose with Ralph Smedley

It wasn’t just another Tuesday night in Founder’s District.

It was a great summer night to bring Toastmasters together from all over Founder’s District in order to celebrate the spirit of Ralph Smedley with the club that is the epitome of his vision, Smedley Chapter One, as part of their annual Independence Day barbecue.

And, what a celebration it was with dignitaries showing up to contribute their time and talent to the proceedings at hand.

The Toastmaster for the evening was newly-elected club President, Peter Wang, who worked tirelessly to promote this event to any Toastmaster he knew or knew of. The impressive aspect of Peter’s approach to being President is how tirelessly he does promote his club’s events and functions. It’s a strong indication that he is very much aware of the historical significance of Smedley Chapter One while also highlighting his energy and passion for his club, Founder’s District, Toastmasters and life in general.

In his inaugural address, he spoke of the advancement of technology since 1996 while relating it back to Toastmasters in terms of the changes that have occurred over the past 20 years. He also spoke of the diversity amongst the International Presidents Toastmasters has had in terms of the countries they are residing in, which reminds us of one of the more appealing aspects of Toastmasters in terms of being one of the most diverse organizations in the whole world. It showed in terms of the diversity represented at this event. He also detailed some of the unique events his club has in store this year including more barbecues and a speakeasy event as a tribute to clubbing back in the roaring ‘20s. You’re going to be a great club President for Smedley Chapter One, Peter, and a joy to watch as you and your club progress through the course of this year.

Program Quality South Director, Dan Cossack, was charged with deinstalling the old officers and installing the new ones. As usual, Dan was poised, well-spoken and straight to the point in asking the officers and the members to commit to being the best they can be in terms of the respective jobs each officer and member will hold. Way to go, Dan!

Then, it was time for the speeches of which there were three speakers and four speeches in total. The first was delivered by immediate past Advisor for Region 11, Victoria Ferrer DTM, who spoke of the commitment to excellence Toastmasters is known for. The charisma and power by which she delivered her message was well summed up when she discussed how the positive and supportive aspect of Toastmasters helped one its members go into remission after contracting cancer. Aside from the healing nature that Toastmasters can offer its members, Victoria also spoke of how any person exposing himself or herself to Toastmasters can delay the onset of Dementia or Alzheimer's Disease because of the aspect of giving speeches, memorizing speeches, participating in other aspects of Toastmasters and so on and so forth. When selling Toastmasters to prospective members, these two testimonials made by Victoria are very much worth mentioning. Thank you, Victoria, for sharing such wisdom and reminding all of us how fortunate we are that Toastmasters found us and how we chose to not resist how much of a difference it can make and has made for each of us.

Your’s truly gave a speech on the power of recognition in which I spoke of how much a difference in my life it made in terms of finding my definite life purpose and how much it can make a difference in anybody’s life. It was a joy to share the speech with such a special group of people that attended the Smedley Chapter One event. Thank you, Peter, for asking me to do so.

Founder’s District speech competition champion, Josephine Lee, then graced us with not one, but two speeches. Her first speech was the winning speech “Let it Go” that just gets better and better every time she gives that speech. She followed that up with a speech entitled “Just Be There” in which she spoke of a friend named Jenna who was always there for Josephine, but who Josephine wasn’t always there for when Jenna needed someone to help pick her spirits up. It was a very heartfelt speech by Josephine with some very genuine emotion and sadness as she taught us the importance of not taking great friends for granted. Happily, Josephine and Jenna reunited and Josephine showed up to Jenna’s birthday party to show she had learned her lesson. We’re very proud of you, Josephine, and look forward to you representing Founders District at the International Speech Competition semifinal in August. Go get ‘em!

To close, Peter chose various members of the audience to come up and give toasts/ testimonials on that person’s experience at the event. It was a nice touch and a great way to bring the audience together even more making for a tremendous evening of fellowship.

At the end of the day, the spirit of Ralph Smedley was all over the proceedings of the
Smedley Chapter One Annual Independence Day barbecue.

It’s an event that reminds us how fortunate we are to be Toastmasters and Founder’s District members.

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Steve Itzkowitz

I would summarize myself as a driven and determined individual who takes life seriously, but not too seriously, and who believes in the concept of working hard and playing hard. At the end of the day, success isn't about what you have. It's about what you give.

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