· Rodger and Helen– thank you for going on this journey with me and for putting up with me. When we first sat down to start planning after you were elected Grand Sentinel, we made a promise to each other that if either one of us ever had an issue or a problem with the other, we would talk about it and work it out. We haven’t always agreed on things, but we have always been honest with each other and have found a way to maintain our friendship. I couldn’t have asked for a better couple to travel this road with and I am truly grateful for you both.
· To the members of Analia Chapter, thanks for being the best Chapter in the State and for all your support and enthusiasm over the years. I couldn’t have done this without you.
· To PGM Bev Haave and MWGP John Grobler, who started me on this adventure by appointing me as one of your Chorus Line Deputies and then PGM Cheri Moll and PGP Wayne Mouat who made me their westside chairman of the Guiding Angel deputies, thank you for having confidence in me. It inspired me to have confidence in myself.
· To PGM Marilyn Hoots for appointing me as Grand Representative to my home state of Illinois. It was a privilege that I so appreciated and will remain a happy memory forever.
· To the Portrait Grand Family who are my rocks, and especially PGM Diane Osborne, your friendship and support through the years has allowed me to weather many storms and I couldn’t have done this without you.
· To the other Grand Families in which I have served, the Starlights, PaceSetters and Lightkeepers, thank you for making me part of your families and for all the wonderful times we have shared.
· To my session Chairmen Dianna Kaspar and Paula Sonker and their right hands, Marilyn and Bill Hoots, and to my decorations chairman Louise Day and her committee, thank you for everything you did to make this grand chapter session successful. You far exceeded my hopes and dreams and created the perfect setting for our Stars of the Heartland County Fair. You made my life so much easier and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
· To everyone who accepted a committee assignment this year, all 280 of you, thank you for everything you did to make this year successful. Your efforts are truly appreciated.
· To my Bluebird Deputies, wow, you were great. I couldn’t have asked for a better crew and I am so proud of everything you accomplished.
· To my own Happy Hearts Grand Family, we have had a rough patch or two along the way this year, but we have weathered the storms and remained friends. I am so proud of you and the work you have done. I couldn’t have asked for a better group to share this year with and I am grateful to each and every one of you for everything you have done to make this year successful.
Basically, I’m a very simple person. I’ve always been a bit of a loner and a nerd, a small town girl from rural Southern Illinois. Until I started on this journey, I lived a fairly quiet and peaceful life away from Eastern Star and work. Many of you who haven’t known me for a long time, may find it hard to believe that talking to people, being outgoing, standing up in front of people and being a leader are things that are way out of my comfort zone. I’m more comfortable in the background, supporting and assisting than holding the gavel.
The reason that I stand before you today in this position, is the training, nurturing, friendship and encouragement I have received from all of my mentors and friends in the Order of the Eastern Star. Without you, I would never have the courage to take this journey. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving you this year.
As I said in all my official visits, there is not one person in this room who is more important than anyone else. You ALL matter. Remember in everything you do to Live, Love, Laugh and Be Grateful!
Jr. Past Grand Matron