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Dishing Out A Million Bucks!

Food for thought...

I'm sure a lot of people would share in my opinion about how exhilarating it would feel to have enough money that giving away a million of it would still leave you sittin' pretty!  Here's how I see it...I would choose ten people from my life that have made an impact on me in some way.  One of those people would be a "Wildcard" pick …  someone perhaps I didn't know as well, but made enough of an impact that I know they would put the money to good use.  I wouldn't choose family members since in a perfect world, I would've already shared my fortune with them.  I would invite each of my ten nominees (and a guest) to a formal restaurant where we would of course have our own private room.  The reasoning behind the invitation would be top secret until my genuine/personalized speech would unveil why each person was invited.  I think the whole money part would be the ultimate conclusion to our evening together!  It's almost like a "Golden Ticket" where showing up earns you a lot of kudos and $100,000 for being just good-hearted people (What the world needs more of!)  I just haven't figured out if I should pre-record my speech in a fun video-like message since I will be very emotional, or if I'll be able to suck it up and get through my sentiments for these VIP's.  Here we go...in no particular order.

Patti:  I knew as soon as I met you that you were going to be an important part of my life.  Despite the fact that you were the same age as my mother, we connected in the education world on a professional and personal level.  We were creative with our teaching endeavors and rose above the gossip and competitive colleagues.  You made the anticipation of having my first baby so special by organizing a party thrown by our students when we were team teaching.  We've shared frustrations, yet mostly laughed. After taking a leave from school, you talked me into coming back part time and that was a pivotal and emotional decision for me. My family loves visiting yours up north in the summer.   I had your back, you had mine - always.  I know that will never change!

Kurt:  We've known each other since the start of my career.  You and your wife had my respect from day one with how good of a team you were inside and outside of our school building.  We went on to teach the same grade level together, then you were my assistant principal, then sadly you moved on to be a principal in another district.  Eventually, you would recruit me to teach in your building and that was a huge turning point for me professionally.  You've challenged me to live up to your high expectations and I hope that I proved that to you each and every day.  Having your daughter in my classroom was such an honor and she is a person I will always hold dear to my heart.  You have done amazing things in the tough world of education and I applaud your dedication to making this world a better place.

Ashley:  Although you're several years younger than me, I could never tell the age difference.  You are mature beyond your years, generous, warm & caring, and an "A" player.  I wouldn't have been able to maintain my level of effectiveness as a teacher without you by my side.  Every school should be full of teachers like you and I'm proud to say that both of my kids had the honor of being guided and molded by your teaching.  We have bonded over school, our families, and common interests.  It's commendable that you help your family out so much with their business finances and that you commute so far every day to make a difference in the lives of country kids!

Kevin: After calling so many physical therapists to see who would be knowledgeable enough to continue my daughter's sessions from Cleveland Clinic, I was so pleasantly surprised to receive your phone call.  Not only were you one of the few people that knew what we were going through, you were also willing to add to your schedule to take my daughter on.  When we met you and realized that you were a person who worked with disabilities and you had a disability yourself, I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical.  Not only did you quickly put us at ease, but you made recommendations that would finally put all the pieces together for my daughter to walk without pain again.  We will always remember your unique sense-of-humor and minion impressions!  You are a special soul!

Cidnee:  There's a lot about you that reminds me of myself at age 19!  You are committed to helping people in so many ways, you have a drive to continue your education, and you have taught our family so much about the dynamics of living in the country with a bunch of show rabbits!  You are a role model to my kids and I want to continue to surround them with people like you so that they will grow up with knowing how to be selfless.  I hope that we will always be a part of your life so that we can witness the many big moments that are yet to come in your precious life.

The "M" Family:  We came to know each other because of our children and that has grown to the most positive coaching experiences in basketball and sharing so many common interests in the education world.  You are a family that my entire family can count on to be straightforward, honest, and kind.  I look forward to many more shared experiences as our families go through the paths of life and being their for each other when times get tough. You are a one in a million group of friends to us and we want nothing but the best for you all!

Clara:  You were our first caregiver for both of our children.  Our youngest was only five months old when he started with you.  I remember feeling the warmth of your heart as soon as I met you.  I truly felt like God led us to you and enabled me to have an easier transition to going back to full time work.  You were always so incredibly patient and loving to our children, especially with our baby always having ear infections.  Every family should be lucky enough to have a caregiver exactly like you.  When we moved and had to find a new caregiver, we were both emotional, but you understood - that's you in a nutshell!  We will always be grateful to you!

Melinda:  When my daughter and I went to our first big rabbit show, we quickly realized we were in over our heads being surrounded by expensive show rabbits.  I eventually told my daughter that she could sit there and cry, or get up and network with the surrounding rabbit breeders so that we could purchase a more competitive rabbit.  You were the first breeder that showed a genuine interest in helping this young 4-H child learn the basics!  You spent so much time teaching her about your rabbits and told her that you would never charge her a lot of money.  A few months later, we drove four hours to purchase some rabbits from you and that began an incredible journey that we still enjoy today!  The time you take to text with her and like her rabbit posts on Facebook absolutely make her day...and mine!  

Father George:  When my daughter had the hardest year of her life going through chronic pain, you prayed for her, you prayed for us as her parents, and you blessed her leg with your loving hands.  I'll always remember when you told me "God never promised he would make it easy for you, but he will never leave your side."  It's easy to question God when your child has been in pain for so long, but you helped us through this journey.  You are personable, funny, and kind.  You come from a huge family and I hope you'll always consider our family part of your extended family.

Wildcard:  Luke:  You may be the youngest person on my list, and the person I have spent the least time with.  However, you are like an adopted son to my sister and I've seen how you've impacted their family, as well as so many of the less fortunate through your mission work.  I'm not sure there's many 18-year- old's that would be willing to put their lives on hold to move to New York for two years of very basic living and working with the homeless.  You've said many times that you've grown more as a person doing this than any other time in your life and for that, I applaud you.  I truly believe you've only scratched the surface of the people's lives that you will have a lasting impact on.

Honorable Mention:  My salon!  Am I breaking my own "Rule" by not choosing a single person here?  I'm not sure I'll ever experience such an overall wonderful establishment!  From the front desk girls to hair, massage, and assistants, you all have a way of making me feel like we've known each other forever - even the staff that I don't get services from!  This is truly my happy place that I look forward to in every way.  Congratulations on building and maintaining such an incredible and cohesive staff - that is so hard to come by!

Now comes the part where everyone gets to open their golden envelopes and suddenly see their lives enriched by $100,000!  Will they pay off their homes?  Go on a memorable vacation?  Use it for college?  Pay it forward?  Only time will tell … and I will forever be enriched by these friendships and dishing out the dollars!

Who would your top ten be?



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