A Night Full of Surprises

A few months ago I had the honor of being chosen the Hunt-Morgridge Award winner. What you haven’t heard of that? It’s kind of like the lifetime achievement award for the Food Bank. I joked I was way too young to receive this award since I had only spent the last twenty years volunteering there. Nonetheless they gave me the award.

Tonight was the Evening of Appreciation event where I was actually receiving the actual award. The event is usually an inside baseball kind of night where just the really good friends of the Food Bank come so they can be thanked for all they do. Corporate donors and individuals are recognized for their generosity. Mega volunteer organizations are called out for all they do for the Food Bank.

I had asked my parents if they would like to come and a few of my local friends. I was sad that Carter was going to be at school, but I knew I was going to see her at Thanksgiving. The Food Bank apparently sent invitations to many people I know. I figured this out when I started getting cards saying that some far off friends had made donations to the Food Bank in my honor. Thanks to you all for such a meaningful way to show me your love.

My parents came to our house to ride over to Raliegh with us. We pulled in the parking lot and as I was getting out of the car I heard my sister Margaret’s voice. She and her boyfriend Pete had driven down from Annopolis as a surprise. After we were inside the Food Bank, seeing so many old friends, I looked across the room and saw Carter coming through the door. What a fabulous surprise which made us both cry.

Then my sister Janet, who I thought was still in China, appeared with her girlfriend Sophie. My whole family was here. It made my night. Many friends came from Durham which is a true sign of love to fight rush hour traffic. It meant the world to me.

My wonderful Food Bank family said many nice things to and about me before I was able to take the stage and give my speech. In it I said that my 20 years of working for the Food Bank had been my true joy. Being honored with this award was icing on a cake I share with so many. But my work is not done at the Food Bank, never will be until we don’t have one hungry person in Central and Eastern North Carolina. Now on to the next twenty.

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