Today, officially kicked off the start of Vail Pride Day with the volunteer appreciation lunch. The volunteer coordinators work very hard over several months to plan a nice lunch and decorate one of the halls for the volunteers to enjoy a meal. Kim worked to chair this event last year and started the planning for this year's event, before she got sick. I remember how nervous she was about having to speak in front of several hundred volunteers, peers and administrators. She looked so nice in her suit and derby hat and spoke so well, her soft, angelic voice was a pleasure to listen to. And she worked the crowd like a pro, going from table to table, greeting each volunteer personally and thanking them for their help over the year.
This year, was a beautiful event. The volunteer coordinators had the hall looking so nice and a buffet meal for us. Rebecca Manoleas gave a moving testimony for Kimmy - talking about what a pleasure she was to be around and what a hard worker she was. Many volunteer coordinators and administrators came up to me to tell me what they liked best about working with Kim and getting to know her and see her passion for our school district...They had a nice picture of Kim and I on the big screen...she looked so incredibly beautiful...and then, I was floored as they announced each school's volunteer of the year, and Melissa Grossheim, Cottonwood Elementary's volunteer coordinator, said that the school's volunteer of the year were Kim and Dave Conca...and patiently waited for me to digest what she said...and Ms. Bryson, our principal, gently encouraged me to stand up and walk up for the beautiful plaque that Melissa was waiting to present...I floated to the front and Melissa gave me a hug (held me up is more like it!)...this school district has been so overwhelmingly supportive!
Here's a shot of the beautiful center pieces on all of the tables (Kim loved hot air balloons! We'd often go to balloon shows and she took me on a hot air balloon ride for my 21st birthday.) Ms. Bryson made sure that I got my table's centerpiece, telling me to give the M&M's to the bambini's.
I can't thank Vail, the school district, the volunteer coordinators and everyone at Cottonwood who made this special event happen for us, enough! And the final, special touch...everyone received a rice krispie treat! Kim loved rice krispie treat...Angie and her daughters, Andrea, Janene, Kristie and Kim, would make various shapes and colored rice krispie treats to hand out after every birthday or holiday, always making sure to send us home with a couple extra... : ) Kim enjoyed them and always thought they made such a nice 'party favor', so it was a fitting parting tribute today.
I forgot, when I blogged about Barnes & Noble, to include a shot of my desk...complete with many photos of the bambini and Kimmy...the obligatory Cafe Americano, ready for action on my desk, flanked by an iced tea...just in case. The Trader Joe's bag is chock full of goodness from Lola, the patron saint of our book store. She always brings us snacks from Trader Joe's!!!
Anyway, I was, once again, so proud of Kimmy today...and all of the lives that she touched...the memories shared...and the work she did for our schools and our children, whether helping kids to read in the Head Sprout program, or passionately trying to get a garden built for the inclusion kids, or helping with PTSA functions or fundraisers...Kim absolutely LOVED our schools and wanted to give back - our kids are so well cared for...thank you teachers, for your long hours and dedication and the nurturing environment you create...thank you administrators for your hard work and leadership...thank you to all of the parents, who tirelessly, come out to support school events and help in the classrooms!! We are truly blessed in the Vail School District...
"Smile five times a day at someone you don't really want to smile at - do it for peace"
- Mother Teresa