I received an e-mail shortly after I returned to the office from lunch today. It was the Monday Morning Memo that is normally sent out by Sarah Pilgreen, the current president of the Birmingham Jaycees, letting the membership and those that are interested an opportunity to know of what’s going on in the organization. As eluded to earlier today, I spent the better part of the weekend at home in this weird place known probably only to myself and Boomer (the cat for those that are visiting for the first time).
I was slightly taken aback when I realized that instead of receiving an update on the success of the return of the Haunted House from this weekend (which we wrote about first here), I received word that it never quite got the chance to re-open. It may be best to use Sarah’s words to explain:
It is very difficult for me to type this edition of the Monday Memo. This past weekend, instead of having a grand re-opening of the Haunted House, we were instead shut down by the Birmingham fire and building inspectors for various violations of the updated codes. At this time we are assessing our options to see what we can do, but as it stands we will not be able to present the Haunted House for this year.
My dealing with personal issues prevented me from giving as much time as I wanted to for the success of this project. My heart is heavy thinking of the various community service projects that could be accomplished with the additional funds not to mention the opportunities to meet new people and just have a good time. This organization has helped me tremendously both here and in Savannah, just knowing that there were people available who cared. It’s perceived role as a networking agent pales in comparison to the lessons available for learning and the opportunities to practice true leadership in all of its forms. If leadership is action and not position, this organization and its members are a great example of it.
The building on the hill in Lakeview served as the home of the chapter’s biggest fundraiser for nearly 40 years. The joy that accompanied its anticipated reopening cannot be measured, except by those that had previously participated in the Haunted House project. I would not have enjoyed being in the room when the group was informed that it wouldn’t get the chance to send it off joyfully again.
So what’s next? I’m not really sure. It is a hard pill to swallow, but it may have provided something else to our local chapter, something that again may best be spoken by Sarah:
While we may not be presenting a House in Lakeview this year, I want that feeling of teamwork and friendship to continue for the rest of this year. We pulled together when it was needed most and that is what will get us through this rough water. I understand the emotions involved with this decision as I’ve been wrestling with them myself. However, let’s find a way to channel those emotions into something positive so we can maintain our status as the premier leadership training organization for young professionals and maybe prevent abuse to innocent furniture or walls.
It’s been “preached” a lot recently that it only means something if you’re the best. That line right there told me that I’m a part of one of the best outfits out there nowadays.
If there are any other suggestions for this situation (like maybe somewhere to set up something as simple as a scary house, put a comment up here.
Thanks for listening and enjoy the day.
“We would do a great disservice to Birmingham if we dreamed too little dreams.”
– Dr. Joseph Volker, first president of the University of Alabama at Birmingham