Sunday, December 7, 2014

Global Volunteers Gala

Last evening, December 6, was the 30th anniversary celebration of the founding of Global Volunteers. This was celebrated with Gala, held at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Saint Paul. I perhaps might be the person attending who lived the closest. I walked one block to the 10th Street Station of the light rail, rode 3 minutes to the next stop, and then walk 1.5 blocks to the hotel. So much fun to get somewhere like this and not have to look for or pay for a parking space!

I found many people already having great conversations.

I had volunteered to be a greeter. And a very good thing the planning committee had thought about this as the ground floor of the hotel now is under renovation. The hotel staff was also very helpful in giving arriving people directions to the area for the gala. I enjoyed my greeting "shift" very much as I shared it with the country manager from Peru and the country manager from China.

At 6 PM I was "free" and spent some time looking at the items that had been brought from around the world for a silent auction.

Above is a magnificent chess set that I had carried back from Poland. Below is a Polish napkin holder. I was pleased to learn that the chess set sold for a very good price.

Here are some plates from Romania.

There were also some very some very American things on the tables for the silent auction.

There were also items on display for a live auction.

One splendid thing was a black pearl brought by the country manager from the Cook Islands.

 My photo really doesn't really show off this beautiful jewel at its very best.

While walking around I was approached by a staff person who asked if I had seen my pictures on the anniversary web site. This was a great surprise to me. I knew I had prepared something but never found it on the web when I clicked on the anniversary link on the home page of the Global Volunteers page. So this morning I googled for Global Volunteers anniversary page and arrived here.

I believe the statements on the above page appear at random. You will find one written under my name. Another is written by Brenda Pearson. I've been on two teams with Brenda and enjoy working with her very much.

Another is written by Zygmunt Wielogorski. For many years he has been the Governor of the County of Siedlce, which is the host organization for Global Volunteers in Poland. I have just learned that he will be leaving this position, retiring from this public office.

Another thing I was pleased to do at the Gala was to carry the Hungarian flag. I did not do the Global Volunteers program in Hungary, but was privileged to have a Fulbright experience there. This I was very happy to carry the Hungarian flag.

The photo below was taken by Lynn Paitakes Lokowitctz. 

The photographer above took this photo to note the passage of the flag for Greece. I just happened to be right behind with the Hungarian flag.

The rest of evening was full of good conversation, good food, interesting videos. All in all it was a good celebration.

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