Finishing strong

United Way Family Day was my last major event before retiring from United Way.  It turned out to be our biggest with over twelve hundred people attending. 

They say that everything comes full circle.  Family Day felt like because it hearkened back to the days of doing interPLAY. 

Once again, I was surrounded by young performers with a beautiful mix of nervousness and joy of being able to get on a stage and perform.  Each and every one one of them glowed with anticipation and made me feel grateful to be a small part of giving them an opportunity.

Once again, stuff happened that none of us expected that caused our team to react, respond and adapt.  Bouncy castles deflated unexpectedly, children got bumped and bruised, and adjustments had to be made on the fly.

Once again, I saw families smiling, kids playing and parents beaming as their little ones performed on the stage.  At one point I saw two young performers, strangers before the event, engaging like they had known each other forever.

In just over a month, I will hand in my keys and cart my personal effects out to the car and leave The Redpoll Centre for the final time as an employee of United Way.  Now that Family Day is over, that eventuality is starting to feel rather real.

I've always been a believer in finishing a job strong.  From the time I left university, I have served in multiple full-time positions and worked for 11 different employers.  I spent most of my years with Keyano College; my time with United Way will be my second longest term of employment.  It is important to me that I finish out my weeks in a way that serves their future and ensures a smooth transition.  Thankfully, if anything get missed, my studio is a short drive away, and any excuse to put the paint brushes down for awhile will be a good one.  Finding opportunities for human contact will be essential to building a thriving semi-retirement as an artist.

It is a little early for talking about how I feel about United Way, but it is important to acknowledge that they have been essential to where I am and where I am going.  I will be forever grateful.


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