Today marks a new chapter in the history of my Toastmasters journey.
This last Friday, it was decided that Sensational Speakers should close. And if you read my entry from Friday, yes. That was the day where I had lunch at a restaurant. Where I and the rest of the committee decided the fate for Sensational Speakers.
Tonight, I will be attending the very last Sensational Speakers meeting. This will be bittersweet, as I have so many memories associated with this club. Bitter, as the club is closing and I’ll be missing it in its passing. Sweet, because of the warmth of the people that will be there and all the recounted memories of the past that will be discussed and shared.
Before I delve any further into the present, I would like to reflect on the past. A past that goes back nearly five years ago…
Five years ago, it was back in July of 2009 that the seeds were planted. I was a newly appointed Sergeant at Arms for Midland Toastmasters. I was serving my first ever officer role. At the time, I was working on my Competent Leadership Manual. One of the requirements was to “Help Organize a Club Special Event”. A open house needed to be planned for the fall, so I accepted the task. Upon accepting it, I realized that this open house would not just consist of one club, but two. Midland Toastmasters and Sensational Speakers.
Being the open house chair of a joint-area open house really challenged me to grow, as I now had to email several people to fill the agenda slots, including the president of Sensational Speakers. After several emails, contacting the media and discussing the planning through a conference call, it all came together smoothly.
When the date for the open house came up (October 20, 2009), I came down with a terrible flu bug. Regardless, I wanted to see how the open house turned out. I made the unwise decision of attending anyway, instead of staying in bed. The open house turned out amazing. And fortunately, I managed to sit there for most of the meeting without running to the bathroom. (I did eventually, but I believe that this was during a break.)
One year later, it was now July 19, 2010. I was a newly appointed Secretary for Midland Toastmasters. To further enrich my experience in Toastmasters, I attended a Sensational Speakers meeting. As a recording secretary, I took some unofficial notes on what went on at the meeting. (The official notes were recorded on what went on at my home club) The first speaker wasn’t present, but the other two were. The third speaker, Wendy Schram, gave her speech titled “What a Week!”
At the end of that meeting, I was asked if I wanted to join. I politely addressed everyone, telling them this is my first meeting of my three meeting trial period. By the third meeting I would make my decision.
The date of the third meeting came: September 20, 2010. I made my decision. And it was to join Sensational Speakers. From that point on, I knew that I made a decision that I would never regret.
Over the years, I really grew in that club. In February of 2011, I gave my first prepared speech in Sensational Speakers. It was titled “The Coaching Smoothie”, and Helen Dotson evaluated it.
My growing continued. It would be just a few months later that I would be asked to take on a new club officer role: Vice President Public Relations. Helen Dotson asked me if I could do this, that night during a District Governor’s reception at Boyne Mountain resort. I agreed. That night, it was official. I would be serving as Vice President Public Relations for both Midland Toastmasters and Sensational Speakers.
More years passed, which brings us to today. Sensational Speakers helped me in getting my Advanced Communicator Gold. I can remember giving my first speech for my Advanced Communicator Gold. It was titled “Go for the Gold”, since it was right after the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Helen Dotson evaluated that speech. A year later, I was able to achieve this.
As I go to the last meeting tonight to reflect on the fond memories that this club was able to provide, I have this to say. I will never forget the warmth, kindness, encouragement and growth that this club was able to provide for me. It was people like Maxine, Helen, Jeannie, David, Chris and Wendy that made this club the successful one that it was. And as the light goes out for this club, I must remember that this is not the end, but the beginning. The beginning of a new chapter in Toastmasters history. Will there be another club in Midland? Another advanced one, perhaps? I know beyond certainty that there will. And when that happens, I will be among the first of its founding members, to begin a new legacy for a new Midland club. And I hope all of the former members of this club will join me.
Ghost Muse: Your club is closing? It can’t!
It’s already been decided. The website is off-line and there’s nothing else that can be done.
Ghost Muse: But…You could’ve saved it!
We tried, but were unsuccessful. How much more time could we buy if we tried to revive it? We would have another year at least, but then this would happen again.
Ghost Muse: I checked all the Intangible clubs that I started. All of them are doing well.
All of them?
Ghost Muse: So far, they are. A few are dropping in membership, but they’re still at charter strength.
That’s great. But for one of my club’s, we have no choice.
Ghost Muse: Well, that’s too bad. If only my members could join yours, but that wouldn’t work.
Imaginary members joining real members. It wouldn’t work.
Remedy: I just figured out a way to spy on the Muse without even visiting her.
And how would this be done?
Remedy: With these binoculars. They allow you to see different dimensions. This is set for her living room. Have a look.
*looks into binoculars*
Aw…She’s sitting there watching a cartoon!
Muse: Go, Rainbow Dash! We like this part! Tee hee…
It looks like she’s watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Well, that’s a nice invention. I’ll have to use that another time.
Ghost Muse: You probably want to get ready. I’ll let you. But give me those binoculars! I wanna see!
Here. I’ll see you later!
Now comes the sad part. The part that is both sad and happy at the same time. As I said before, tonight is the very last Sensational Speakers meeting. There will be pizza and snacks if any of you want to join us. Before that, I will be working a 3-6 shift at the pizza pit, where I will be picking the pizzas up to deliver to the meeting.
Today’s high is going to be 71 degrees and the silver lining is attending tonight’s last Sensational Speakers meeting.
To all of you who have ever had to say their painful goodbyes, I hope that you all have a fantastic day.
Muse: Whee! We like it when they fly. Pinkie Pie’s our favorite! But what’s with Cheese Sandwich? We don’t know who he is! Tee hee…