Relationships are priceless

I had the good fortune to be reunited last evening with a cadre of friends that made a profound impact on my life over 20 years ago.  Last evening I was given the opportunity to be the closing speaker at the Annual Giving campaign dinner at the Robertson County YMCA in Springfield, TN.  For those of you who know me well you remember that this episode in my life, starting in 1990, changed the entire course of my career and my residence.  I would say that is very impactful.

My tenure with the YMCA included time as a volunteer, staff member and then again as a volunteer.  My membership with the Y has remained in place since the beginning.  This opportunity in my life allowed me to be a part of a committed group of volunteers who pulled together, against great odds, to raise over $2.5 million to build a full facility YMCA in a community with a tremendous number of needs.  This effort began in 1990 and the facility was opened in 1996.  The 20th anniversary celebration was in July of 2016 and I was also allowed to address this gathering when they came together to celebrate.

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Life experiences are powerful and when they are coupled with relationship building, they become priceless.  It was humbling for me to look out at the crowd last evening and see so many of the "pioneers" in this project still actively engaged in building strong kids, families and communities.

We moved to a city about 50 miles away in the late 1990's, but the warmth and friendship of those I had the chance to work with during this effort still remains.  This only confirms my belief in the value and power of committed volunteers with a common vision.  It is hard to deter such a group.

My encouragement to you today is to find an effort where you can work with others who are committed to that common vision.  The work you do will have the capability to make an impact for decades to come.