Friday, February 13, 2015

Darwin Day Surprise!

Our group got together for our monthly Secular Supper on Feb 12, 2015 in honor of Charles Darwin's Birthday. We had a great turnout, 17 members were able to attend. It was to be a night of surprises. The fun began with one of our new members, Michael of the UNC at Pembroke's Secular Student Alliance, made a dramatic entrance arriving in full Darwin beard & hair. Everyone loved and appreciated his effort to set the mood!

Cory brought a huge bunch of Coke Rewards to add to our running donation to Ferguson Easley Elementary school, a local STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) school we at MASH Ft. Bragg support.

Everyone ordered their dinners and conversations were in full swing when Mike Banks got up and announced that he had some awards to present. Mike began reading a letter from Rosalind Eaton of MAAF. For those of you who don't know me, I have Lupus and I'm a little slower on the uptake than I used to be. So, I'm sitting there listening to what Mike is reading, interested  in what he was saying, but completely confused. Who is this award for and, as the president of MASH Ft. Bragg, why didn't I know anything about it? As I was slowly processing these thoughts, Mike finally announced that the awards were for me, Brenda Germain! To say I was stunned would be an understatement. More like a deer caught in the headlights!

They got me good, catching me completely by surprise. The first award was the President's Volunteer Service Award - Silver level for my attaining 445 volunteer hours for MASH during 2014 which came with a cool coin. Wow, I had no idea it had added up to so many hours. Time flies when you're having fun!

 The second award  was the MAAF All Star Award for Exceptional Community Service for the charitable work our group has been involved with over the last year. Mike told me to get up and say something. The lupus fog was in overdrive! About the best I could manage was to thank everyone, because my Swiss-cheese brain was still trying to process this unexpected turn of events. I must have started dithering, because I vaguely remember hearing a voice say "sit down." Not loudly, but just loud enough to break through my mental fog and confusion. Turns out, it was Paul, my husband. Thank you honey for preventing me from looking too foolish!

I'd like to thank Mike and Wendy Banks (sneaky little stinkers!) for presenting and coordinating this surprise with Jason Torpy and Rosalind Eaton of MAAF. Of course these honors would not have been possible without the great group of people who make up MASH Ft. Bragg and I thank all of them for helping build our interNOfaith community!