Friday, May 21, 2010

An Award

There I sat, May 15, watching the announcer making her way to the lectern in the court area of the Best Western Eden Resort in Lancaster PA.  She would soon announce the Pennwriters 2010 Meritorious Service Award winner.  My name was among the candidates nominated and there were some awesome members on that list.  I didn't have my hopes set too high, after all, this was my third year of being nominated.

Maybe the third time is the charm because there was no doubt that with the speaker's opening line of "This year's Meritorious Service Award recipient has been a member of Pennwriters since 1995. . . . "  that I realized I'd won and I was wowed--then touched when the speaker said: "As an author who knows that publication is not always a writer's goal, but that writing well is, this year's Meritorious Service Award winner, strives to help her fellow Pennwriters learn and write from the heart." 

I had written those words for my first bio when I was running for my first term as Area 1 Representatives back in 2004.

Above this entry is a photo of the plaque-award.  A long time ago someone told me the clock was symbolic of all the time a volunteer has given.  The clock is now mounted on my office wall, but when I first installed it, I sat in my task chair looking up at its gleaming gold numerals and recalled the years and the volunteer minutes and hours given to Pennwriters. 

In 1998, I gave my very first workshop at the local library with a minuscule turnout.  Now the workshops I give in person draw more than 40 people to fill a conference room.  In 2009, I gave my first online workshops--and more are scheduled for this year and next.

Over the years I've served Pennwriters as contest coordinator (for four years) and then was Area Rep (two terms).  At conferences, I've been a regular volunteer.  Once I stepped in two days before the conference to run the Silent Auction because the auction coordinator couldn't make it.  I sold tickets and tickets--breaking the $1,000 mark for the first time.  Okay, I will confess, I had fun coming up with ideas why people should buy lots of tickets!

I've been a room moderator, Conference Penn Pal, and an agent/editor timekeeper.  I've even sat in corners listening to members practice their pitches and missed the workshops I had wanted to attend.  Periodically, I've relieved volunteers in the hospitality room or at registration so they could have a bathroom break. 

Just listing all the volunteering makes me realize how a little volunteering here and there have added up to years and hours of service until this year, I was honored with the Meritorious Service Award . . .