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Hello Again, and Happy Holidays!
Since my last annual Christmas Letter, the year has had ups and downs. Mountain View Presbyterian Church closed its doors in May of 2014. My brother Jeff, who was the Pastor of MVP, was able to land another position at the Union Presbyterian Church in Downtown Powell WY. My best friend in Colorado, Dan Brown, and I got to go up to Powell Wyoming to celebrate my 60th Birthday which was on October 11th. We spent a day in Cody, Wyoming; and another day at Yellowstone National Park. On Sunday, October 12, we got to attend the Adult Sunday School Class at Union Pres. followed by the Sunday Morning Worship Service and a church potluck. I got to sing in the choir during the service. My brother Jeff, Dan and I then spent an afternoon in Billings, Montana.
A week after coming back from the visit Powell, Wyoming, Dan and I became Members of Gateway Presbyterian Church in West Colorado Springs. My friend and I really enjoy that church, its Pastor, and the people who attend there. We had also tried out Trinity Presbyterian Church a few Sundays, but we decided to make Gateway our new church home.
September 11, 2014; was my second year anniversary with Service Source Inc. I really look forward to going to work every morning when I get up. I like serving our troops out at Fort Carson. I do this job more for the troops than I do for the money. I sang the National Anthem for the Service Source Awards Banquet in July which was quite an honor.
Since I work Sunday Mornings 50% of the time, I am not yet involved in music at my new church. Dan and I attend an evening worship service at the Cheyenne Place Retirement Community whenever I have to work out at Fort Carson on Sunday Mornings. I do Folk Song Concerts at Cheyenne Place a few times a year now (Valentine’s Day, Easter/Spring, Fourth of July, Oktoberfest/Halloween, and Christmas). I will be doing my Christmas Concert this year on Dec. 30th. I got to sing the National Anthem at two Toastmasters Speech Contests, so I have been able to stay active in singing. November 4th, 2014; marked my 24th Anniversary with Toastmasters International. I have been with the Colorado Springs Toastmaster Club now for 4 years. Also in 2014, I earned my 14th Competent Communicator Award.
Well, that is about it for this year. I hope everyone has a Great Christmas and a Happy New Year in2015….
By Bill Baxter.
Toastmasters International gives out the Golden Gavel Award every year to Non Toastmaster Speakers who strive to make a difference in others lives. Various Toastmasters Districts give out C & L Awards (Communication and Leadership) to Non Toastmaster Members for the same reason. Motivational Speakers strive to make a difference in others lives by persuading them to stick to pursuing their goals, and not let anything weigh them down or detour them from pursuing their goals. After awhile, the Motivational Speakers Goals come second. So it is with Motivational Speaker, Paralympic Snowboarder, and Dancing With the Stars Contestant, Amy Purdy.
Fellow Toastmasters and Honored Guests……
Amy M. Purdy was born on November 7, 1979, in Las Vegas, NV. At age 19, she contacted Bacterial Meningitis. This caused problems which caused her to lose both of her kidneys, her spleen, and both of her legs from the knees on down. Her father donated a kidney which saved her life. She had to have two prosthetic legs. She, however, vowed not to let this defeat her. She strive to become a great snowboarder. She recently won the Bronze Medal in the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi, Russia. She also became a Motivational Speaker, and went around the country sharing her story in attempts to persuade people to stick to their goals and not let anything (like prosthetic’ s, developmental disabilities, or anything else) slow them down or detour them from pursuing their goals in anyway. She did this to the point that her own goals and accomplishments started to come in second. This is Amy Purdy’s mission and her passion. Around the time she was to compete in the 2014 Paralympics, she was asked to be a dance contestant on Dancing with the Stars. After winning the Bronze Medal, she boarded a plane back to the USA to be on the show. Up to then, Amy Purdy was a very accomplished woman; but, the minute she stepped out onto the stage with Professional Dancer, Derek Hough, she had become a celebrity. Her passion for making a difference in other’s lives as a Motivational Speaker has carried over onto the dance floor on Dancing with the Stars, and she has inspired many people. Her wanting to inspire others has come first, where her goals have come in second.
In conclusion, I hope I have persuaded everyone here tonight in two ways: 1) Hold fast to Amy Purdy’s messages and stick to pursuing all of your goals and dreams, and don’t let anything (such as disabilities) hold you back from pursuing your goals and dreams; and 2) I hope all of you will agree with me in recommending Amy Purdy to be a recipient of the Toastmasters International Golden Gavel Award, or a Toastmaster District C & L Award, or both. Amy Purdy deserves this, just as she deserves to win on Dancing with the Stars.