Helping affiliates celebrate their first decade of service to their communities has been a fun, rewarding effort. It's an important milestone and a great opportunity to reach out and make many connections. Many new board members don’t know the early history about their affiliates. Some are newcomers to their communities and are eager to learn more about their new home regions. Founding board members often don’t have details about their affiliates today.  So, bring everyone together, add in our fund-holders and grantees and you have a room full of energy and stories. Oh my, what stories! (Did I tell you how we really got that fund started?)

Think back 10 years and in the northeast area, we have been through two major hurricane impacts and disaster relief grants events. We have moved from film to digital cameras. Our communications have expanded from mail to websites, high speed internet, Facebook, Twitter and more. We have involved so many more women in philanthropy and have established many new funds for different charitable purposes. It is worth remembering that all of this was started with the beginning number of ‘0’.

All this adds up to a celebration of talents, time and treasures! Never mind the old photos showing our bad hair days and old styles. Look at the people in those photos; they are the ones who made it all happen. They are the heroes and heroines of our communities. They are the ones who started the journey for many others to follow, creating new opportunities that benefit people, nonprofits and the whole community.

So take time to celebrate the journey, pick up a glass and make a toast to those who contributed so much to our communities. Then, pass around the chocolates and take time to tell the stories.

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