I want to thank all of you. I want to thank our readers. I want to thank our contributors. I want to thank my family. I want to thank our fishermen and local merchants, our local politicians, people that have worked on the Block Parties, The Flowerbox competition, the GMG Tree Project, the Gorilla Art Project media presentations, the Matteo Russo Family Fundraisers, the fellow bloggers, Senator Tarr, Senator Ann Margaret Ferrante, Congressman Tierney and the folks at Action Inc. There are so many people that have played a role in GMG and if I haven’t listed you let me tell you that I truly feel blessed for this whole community we’ve built.
Thank You, originally uploaded by captjoe06.
Last night I was supposed to go to Action Inc’s annual dinner to receive a community outreach award which by itself was a great honor. Senator Tarr received an award and the big man of the evening was really Bill Rochford who received the Lyndon B Johnson award for his over 40 years of building Action and steadfastly helping those less fortunate.
I was told by the lovely Ronna that I’d be giving a little talk and I went in without any plan for a speech. Reading off a piece of paper is not my style and my theory on giving speeches is that I’d rather give a passionate speech from the heart without trying to memorize anything even if I make a bunch of mistakes. I want people to know when I speak, I’m all in. I let adrenalin take over and let it fly.
Well I knew my time was coming to get up and receive my award and I started to panic a tiny bit so I decided to go to the bar and get something stiff to settle me down. I asked the barmaid for something really really strong and confided in her that I had absolutely no idea what I was going to say when I got pulled up on stage. Thankfully she obliged and poured me a 3/4 of a glass of captain morgan and a dash of diet coke.
Well Senator Bruce Tarr gets his award first and if you’ve ever heard Bruce you know he’s as slick and polished of a speaker as they come. I knew I’d have to bring the thunder if I wanted to make an impact. As a matter of fact the first things I said once the lovely Ronna introduced me was “lucky Me I get to be the guy who follows Bruce”
So I went right in and spoke from the heart. I didn’t want to take too much time because really this was Bill Rochford’s night. I got chocked up about mid-way through because I was thinking about how blessed I have been. You’ll see the video tomorrow morning.
So after I accepted my award and shook hands I headed back to my seat but they weren’t done with me.
They told me to stay put and then one after another- Bruce gave me a special recognition from the Massachusetts Senate, Sefathia presented me with another special recognition from the Massachusetts Senate from Ann Margaret, and then another from The US Congress Special Recognition award from Congressman Tierney. I was slightly embarrassed and completely blindsided as I thought I was only there to receive the award from Action Inc.
But the bottom line is that even though I was being recognized for Community Outreach, the fact is that I wouldn’t have kept at it if it weren’t for all the folks listed in the first paragraph.
If you’re reading this- I owe it all to YOU.
Thank you so much for being a part of my life.
-Your Pal Joey