My Graduation Commments
Graduation was emotional and wonderful. Tonight I will simply share the comments I shared at this event. I will write more about the graduation tomorrow.
October 28, 2005
Some of the people in this room tonight know that I once was a teacher. I loved being a teacher. Tonight however, I stand before you as a very very humble student. I am here to thank your for what you have all taught me.
• When I look around the room and see first all the Michurski’s Emma’s foster family,
• the instructors of Team training,
• the staff of helping paws
• Those of you who are foster parents
• Sponsors and donors
• Helpers at the various classes
• The board of directors
• Families and friends of graduates
• The graduates from my class and others
• And of course the wonderful dogs
I recognize how much you have taught me about what people can accomplish when people work together - they combine their unique gifts and talents to work towards a common goal. Certainly tonight celebrates that unity of purpose!!
You also have taught me about persistence and patience and commitment. I especially thank the Michurskis and all the foster families and instructors. Every day I marvel at how these dogs can help others. I learned about helping paws long before I had a disability. I have learned through the process of becoming a graduate. Now I have wonderful Emma in my home and have had a chance to work with her in public. It is impossible to list for you all ways she is assisting me in my daily life. Your patience, your persistence and commitment -
All those days weeks, months and years you trained and nurtured this intelligent dogs – is certainly something we celebrate tonight.
Finally - being involved in this organization and process has taught me a great deal about THE DEPTH OF HUMAN GENEROSITY.
I was fortunate to be a teacher for jack and Michael Michurski. I met Judy and Steve there and you won’t be surprised to hear Judy was an active volunteer.
When I had to leave that position due to my life began to change dramatically. I did not see them as our paths went different ways. I did not know she had a puppy to train or that she became a staff member. I did not find out until it was decided the Emma would be placed in my home of their roles as Emma’s foster family.
I have wrestled with how do I ever say thank you to Judy, Steve, jack, Michael, Katie Michurskis for all they have done.
LOOK AT THIS ROOM - filled with people who have open their homes to puppies that have become service dogs. All of you who have supported helping paws in various ways. I salute your generosity!!!
Thank you for showing me the depth of human generosity.
I WANT IT TO BE VERY VERY CLEAR TO ALL OF YOU that the investment you have made to helping paws has made a difference in my life. WHATEVER YOUR DONATION HAS BEEN TO HELPING PAWS = YOU CAN BE VERY VERY CERTAIN
THAT EVER DOLLAR YOU SPENT SUPPORTING EMMA AND HELPING PAWS
ALL YOUR EVENTS YOU HELPED WITH
EVERY HOUR YOU SPENT IN TRAINING CLASSES
EVERY MTG YOU ATTENDED
EVERY SECOND YOU SPENT AS FOSTER PARENT
ALL THAT TIME AND ENERGY HAS PAID OFF. YOU HAVE CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER. Thank you to all of you for that.
On a closing note, since we are in tears here anyway, I have one final comment to make to the JUDY MICHURSKI. YOU are so kind hearted – that I doubt she recall this. When I left teaching due to MS there were some teary moments. On one occasion you said to me “Someday I am going to think of way to help you with the MS”. Well Judy, you sure did.