The Moyer Foundation posted the following update on facebook Friday:
How wonderful, to read that!
The event was lovely, and very well done.
I drove over to the Moyer Foundation office on Magnolia Bluff. It was inspiring; they are excited about what they do, and committed to doing it well. As we were getting acquainted, the executive director realized that our family had been helped by the Moyer Foundation's generosity much more than any of us had known. Since they support Ronald McDonald House, Childlife &Advanced Care at Seattle Children's Hospital, Hospice, the American Cancer Society's Camp GoodTimes West AND the Hutch School, he felt there was a lot more that I could say...yet still, just five minutes in which to say it, at the luncheon!
I went home and did some writing, and re-writing, and editing. I practiced, and edited some more. I read it aloud with Latte "heckling" me (rubbing up against my legs, purring and distracting). And then I was as ready as possible.
I am not a public speaker. I love to write, and tell stories, but delivering them on stage is daunting, and it's not getting any easier with practice. Smaller groups are better for me. This room, the Sheraton's "grand ballroom," had about 75 tables, set for 10 people. I'm not kidding - there were nearly 800 people in attendance. Huge video screens were placed around the room so that everyone could see the stage, from every place in the room.
It was a luncheon; just one hour. Very good for business people, and the staff kept it moving and on time. The Moyer Foundation volunteers and staff members were awesome, courteous and professional. Awards were given to the Volunteer of the Year, Youth Volunteer of the Year, the Humanitarian Award and the Corporate Partner Award. All were inspiring. Steve Raible (a local news broadcaster and MC of the event) spoke. A board member spoke; the executive director spoke. Karen & Jamie Moyer spoke. I kept counting my note cards, to be sure I hadn't lost one, while we ate lunch. I didn't eat much - I was concerned that I might end up with bit of parsley or green onion stuck between my teeth, and I was having fear fantasies about that - but I did eat some chicken, so that I wouldn't get up on stage and faint (another fear fantasy). Have I mentioned that I'm not a professional speaker?
A staff member came to get me. I stood by one of the enormous video screens, to the side of the stage, and leaned against the wall. My legs started to tremble. I bent one knee (an old trick learned in junior high school choir - thanks, Mr. Taylor!) and relaxed the other leg. Switched legs and prayed: "Jesus, help me. I just want to thank God and do a good job for the Moyer Foundation. Help me get through this. I don't want to cause a scene. Help me." I looked for the people at my table, and figured that at least one of them (my mom) would be praying with me.
Toward the end, I found the Moyers. They had been seated right in front of me all along, but the lights were so bright that I couldn't see them. Karen was leaning on Jamie.
I finished. I stepped down from the stage. Steve Raible shook my hand. The Moyers came up and hugged me very warmly. Karen walked me back to my table, with her arm around me. She is just so kind.