“At the end of the game, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.”
— Italian proverb
Today, was the Toastmasters’ District 7, Sunset Division, International Speech and Evaluation contest. There were five contestants each for the two contests each of which gave it their all, bettered themselves, and raised their game. A “game” which was played expertly.
We listened to one man’s dream of completing his bucket list, and an urge for all of us to not be afraid of doing the things that we’ve always wanted to do.
We agonized with a mother whose daughter sent 4,509 text messages … in one month.
We cringed during one man’s visit to a zoo in Prague and an honest-to-goodness, dark, creepy bat cave.
We relived one runner’s races. One, an agonizing, crushing defeat at the hands of a deceitful competitor. Another, a victory on the track and a victory of the soul.
We even heard of one woman’s struggles to find love in a culture where the words ‘I love you’ were never spoken.
In the end, we watched as two winners were crowned. They will move on to the district conference on May 5th.
How many volunteers does it take to run a contest like this? By my count,
- 1 organizer – (Lorri, you did a great job!)
- 1 chief judge- (Thanks, Dick!)
- 7 judges
- 3 ballot counters
- 3 sergeant at arms
- 2 timers
- 1 district official to sanctify the results
- 1 master of ceremonies
- and volunteers to bring food and drink
By my count, that’s 19 people to run a pair of contests which help budding speakers and evaluators stretch themselves and raise their game. That’s a lot of people willing to devote the better part of a Saturday afternoon to helping others get better.
None of this happens without volunteers. An entire village of volunteers to be precise. And every person in the room – contestant and volunteer alike – won.
We didn’t win because we crowned a king, even though there was a winner. We won, because we worked as one. When the game was over, the king and the pawn went back into the same box. We’re all in this together.
Thank you, Toastmasters. Thank you, volunteers. Everywhere.
Today’s gift of time … MC’d the Toastmasters’ District 7, Sunset Division contest along with 18 other volunteers.