Jennilyn and I had our first child Tuesday, October 2nd and we named her Kadence because of its meaning: “One who has rhythm.” We’re hoping she’ll be a dancer, just like her mama and papa. While we’re at it, we hope she will be a musician, soccer player, video gamer, photographer, surfer, and all else that makes someone well-rounded in life. It is mind blowing to imagine all of life that awaits herâ€”and for us as parents too!
I wanted to thank those who have served with me this year. I hope you all can join me in appreciating the board members’ effort, time, and contribution to the swing club. Please take an opportunity to thank them for all that they did. They all deserve our gratitude for helping us keep our club going.
Bob Smith served as my (and the club’s) vice-president these last two years and I’ve been thankful for his knowledge, counsel, and encouragement. He double-duties as one of the club’s resident DJs and we’ve been blessed by his awesome sound system at our dances.
Monica Gration served as the club’s secretary, keeping records of each monthly meeting throughout the year. I’m glad she is organized as we sometimes get off-topic at meetings but she manages to keep the meeting minutes clear and concise. She helped Susan in aggregating the data from the membership survey this year. She is also part of the nominations committee who are tasked with recruiting next year’s board members and organizing the annual elections.
Glenna Cooke has served as treasurer these past two years. She also served as the BridgeTown event director, so if you enjoyed BridgeTown, she’s the lady to thank and praise. She works around the year to make the event weekend a success.
Leah Gross served as the dances director, who was exceptional in managing the dances, scheduling instructors, organizing refreshments, and more. One of my biggest praises for her is how well she thought ahead for others. When she was sick and couldn’t fulfill her duties, she made calls around to organize volunteers to help out the person who had to quickly fill-in for her.
Jason Isbell organized workshops and our local competitions as events director. He also helped out as the beginner instructor for our dances. Jason has many connections with various dance circles in Portland, including serving in the Lindy community, that has been a great resource.
Susan Eliot prepared monthly dance flyers and e-mail announcements as promotions director to keep everyone in the loop as to where to dance west coast swing in Portland. She also headed up the membership survey which provided valuable insight as to how the board could improve and serve the club better. Along with Monica, she served as part of the nominations committee.
Stan Cunningham was the facilities director, who worked with Ted Macy to ensure that we had a venue to dance at, that it was properly set up and cleaned up, and also scheduled DJs. Along with the dance director, the facilities director is responsible for each dance and often comes early and stays late. I’m also thankful that Stan was always out dancing and smiling between tasks..
Jolene Knight created our bi-monthly club publication as our newsletter editor. She also helped organized the annual club scrapbooking party and the scrapbook was almost complete in a few short hours!
Jennifer Beyerl served as the membership director, maintaining the members’ records. She also served as BridgeTown’s volunteer coordinator, scheduling and organizing people for various tasks. My thanks goes out to her for all the volunteering she does for the club. During workshop weekends, she was always there for support and helped out wherever she could.
I also wanted to thank my wife Jennilyn. Though she was unable to serve with me this year, she was a constant encourager, listening ear, and my newsletter article editor. Her prayers and presence in my life gave me strength and courage to be the best president I could be.
Last, but certainly not least, I wanted to thank all of you. As a dance community, we all fulfill different roles that make it all happen. Some of us are teachers. Some are social dancers. Some are hosts. Some are organizers. Some are leaders. We need them all. We need each other.
For the next year, if you find an opportunity to help, I hope you take it and bless someone that way. It could be as simple as asking a beginner to dance, help bring food for refreshments, welcoming people at the desk, helping clean up at the end of a fun night, etc. That one time you helped might seem small and insignificant to you, but it does wonders for those who have dedicated a year’s worth of time and energy in service.
To the world
you may be one person,
But to one person,
you may be the world.