I have been honored to be part of many different committees for various Trenton and Downriver events or projects. I only join committees if I know I can commit time and energy.
But I’m especially willing if the leader of the group can make my volunteer time so fun I just can’t say no. This past year alone I have had the pleasure of seeing a few individuals in action. Mike McCullough sure dazzled me and many other volunteers recently with his efforts on the Signature Event fundraiser for the Trenton Educational Foundation.
I’ve also worked with Dr. Noel Jackson on many occasions, but he brought me into the fold for a Josephine Ford Cancer Center-Downriver event where I was part of an experience I will never forget.
There are so many awesome volunteer event chairs whose efforts raise so much for those in need, I am in awe of these charismatic and organized people who take charge and produce spectacular events and reach goals no one ever thought possible.
As a member of Trenton Rotary Club, I get involved because our leaders don’t make being involved a chore. They make it fun, interactive and see it as a way to build friendships. Which is why I was equally amazed that one of our busy members, Laurie Dixon, took on not only one major fundraiser for our club, but also created a brand new event — all within a four-month period.
And in the middle of doing all that she even stepped in to oversee the club’s annual Salvation Army bell-ringing drive on short notice when another member had an unexpected conflict and couldn’t do it.
I just so appreciate people who take charge, take action, and get the job done all with a happy heart to help someone in need.
Laurie had been part of the committee that runs the Winter Beach Blast since the event was created four years ago, and is chairwoman of this year’s event, which will be held Feb 18 at Crystal Gardens in Southgate.
I must say it seems as if organization, positive attitude and gratitude are the ingredients for a successful event leader. She has a special zebra-colored file folder filled with agendas and meeting times and said she keeps a notebook by her bed to record ideas she comes up with in the middle of the night.
She has goals and budgets for each event and using her financial background skills, she is extremely particular about saving on expenses and maximizing revenues for their charities. She figures that she will put in more than 100 volunteer hours just for the Beach Blast, but it is all worth it if the event raises the funds needed to help Rotary charities in the coming year.
She also is spearheading the first “Mom Prom,” slated for April 28 at the Westfield Center. She expects this event to be sold out as the room holds 200. At $25 a ticket, ladies can enjoy an evening of girlfriend fun and help worthy causes in our home town.
“I noticed another group in Canton holds a Mom Prom every year and found the information online,” said Dixon, who already has purchased her gown. “It just seemed like a fun idea to don an ugly prom dress and spend the evening eating, dancing and shopping with girlfriends.”
I think she must have something here, because she has already sold 10 tables. She is also working with area restaurants to provide Mom Prom dinner specials to encourage groups to dine before the event.
As chairman, Laurie is committed, prepared and enthusiast and it helps that her husband Joe is her “go-to guy” when she needs the heavy lifting done.
“I’m just not good at saying no. When I say ‘yes,’ good things do happen.”
She is also in line to become the Trenton Rotary Club president in a few years. “It may be a big time commitment, but it’s also about sharing experiences and enjoying friendships with everyone who helps in the process.”
Kathy Kane is co-publisher and business manager of the Trenton Trib. Contact her by email at email@example.com.