It was an exciting Toastmaster meeting February 19th. A BIG congratulations to our contest winners who will be heading to the Area Contest on March 14th. For the Evaluation contest, Mark Avignone received 1st place and Quinton James received 2nd place. For the International contest, Renee’ Perry received 1st place and Jim Katula received 2nd place. We heard some spot-on evaluations and inspirational speeches. Another thank you to all who came out to support the contestants on one of the coldest days of the year.
In the past, I have written articles about Toastmaster members that have received a trophy or plaque in their advancement of their communication and leadership skills. In the spirit of Christmas, I wanted to write about someone who gives without asking “what’s in it for me”. So this time this article is being written about a Toastmaster who hasn’t received any trophies or plaques recently and deserves recognition for his dedication, commitment and constant support in helping others by making a difference in their lives and giving them the foundation for effective communication and leadership skills. He is the founder of Lincoln-Way Toastmasters and Frankfort resident, Thaddeus Gray.
Thad founded Lincoln-Way Toastmasters in September of 2001. He receives no monetary compensation, but obviously this group compensates him in other ways since I have not known him to skip one meeting. What really impresses me is Thad’s ability to encourage through slight nudges and pushes, encouraging you to reach a potential that you dream of but that he sees possible. Because of Thad there are many more competent communicators and leaders walking around. He has paved the way for Toastmaster members to grow and accomplish more than they thought possible.
Hayward Suggs, a Frankfort resident and member of Lincoln-Way Toastmasters, was awarded with Toastmaster of the Year for Area 60 recently. This award recognizes one toastmaster member whose educational accomplishments, club service, dedication and enthusiasm are exceptional; and Hayward exemplifies all four of these criteria. Andrew Weissmann, VP Education for Logistically Speaking Toastmaster Bolingbrook stated “I look for someone who is committed, approachable and who is working towards a goal which personifies Hayward”.
Garrett Gray competed on Saturday, November 15, 2014, in District 30 Fall Conference, Evaluation and Humorous Speech Contests. Garrett finished in 2nd Place in the Evaluation Contest and competed very well in the Humorous Speech Contest. Garrett has had a phenomenal 2014. In April, in District 54, he finished 1st Place in the Evaluation Contest. Last week, in District 54 Tall Tales Contest, he finished 3rd Place. This weekend, in District 30 Fall Contests, he was a finalist in the Humorous Speech Contest and finished 2nd in the Evaluation Contest. The number of contests that he has qualified for to be among the best in a District speaks for itself. We are anxious to see what 2015 will hold for Garrett!
A funny and exciting Division contest was held on October 18th. Congratulations to all three, they represented themselves and our club superbly. Mike Timmons and Garrett Gray will advance to District 54 Championships on Nov. 7th and 8th.Come out to the Holiday Inn in Bolingbrook Nov. 7th and 8th to watch them compete.
Another fun afternoon was experienced as Garrett Gray took home first place for the Humorous Speech contest, Jim Katula took second place for the Tall Tales Speech contest and Mike Timmons took first place for Area 61 Humorous Speech contest. The next round of contests will be on October 18th at R.R. Donnelly in Bolingbrook, Illinois, at 12 p.m. We would love to see you cheering on our fellow toastmasters and having laughs in the process!