I Have Seen the Future

Editor’s note: I know I said I would not blog on vacation, but I saw something that made me want to write … so much so that I left the event early Sunday night to share this with you.

Some say it takes a special power or talent to see into the future, but not for me. I saw the future in the banquet hall at the Churchill Country Club. At least the future I would like to experience.

I was in attendance the Don Bosco Humanitarian Award dinner and the inaugural winner of this honor was none other than our meteorologist emeritus Joe DeNardo. The night was not so much to recognize his work on the air as it was to salute his tireless work on behalf of children through 23 years of Project Bundle-Up and fund-raisers for the Special Olympics.

Forgive me not being able to put up any pictures but our graphic artist is gone for the night, but I can at least paint a picture. About 150 people in the room this night made up of friends, family and dignitaries including Bishop Zubik. A video was shown of Joe’s work in the community and then he was presented the award. Joe is a man of great composure but he began to weep. He told the assembled crowd that rarely are meteorologists ever celebrated. That drew a laugh.

The award was followed by a series of testimonials ( “roasting” as the layman would call it ) from local broadcasting “legends” Adam Lynch, Wayne Van Dine and Sally Wiggin. Each told the audience of the love and passion they have for this man and his work. Finally, Bishop Zubik brought a special honor: a blessing from the Pope himself for Joe.

The reason I share all this is becaused I was moved, in much the same manner Joe was. This was not about Joe’s humanitarian award, it was about Joe’ years of service and selfless work. It was a celebration of his career that stretched over four decades. It was a final tribute to a man who did more than bring us the weather every night.

It’s what I would like to enjoy in 25 years. I know there will never be another Joe DeNardo .. or Sally Wiggin. I would just hoped to be remembered and loved in 25 years for doing something greater than myself for my community. Of course, if I want to win the 25th edition of this humanitarian award in 2003, I need to make it happen … and the best part is that I can. I have seen what the end of the road of good work and I know Joe has left me a blueprint on how to make it happen.

He also left me a quote that I will try to remember:

     ” When much is given, much is expected”.

OK, I’m done now. I’m leaving on vacation. See you in a week.

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