Unexpected Inspiration – on the road in Canada

by | Mar 11, 2014 | Uncategorized

While managing an event this past week in Ontario Canada, I had a brief fight with every event manager’s onsite demons- stress and fatigue.  I mention brief, because I usually realize that the latter feeds the former, and get myself together and focus on what to do next and to continue to find my positivity.  My positivity came in the form of a 14 year old boy named Brandon.

Brandon was assigned to work with Moriah Bacus, my event assistant to prepare trophies and distribute them for ceremonies.  He is very soft spoken and since this was a new role to him, he was a little confused as I tried to give him directions while Moriah had to run away to solve an onsite issue.   After a few awards, I looked at him and realized that he was having a fun time!  I take it for granted, and he was having fun!  He had been preparing the trophies for a good portion of the afternoon with Moriah, taking them out of the boxes and placing them carefully on the awards table.  Brandon had never seen a FIRST Robotics Competition before, and was taken in by the production music, screaming kids, bashing robots, and the entire dramatic energy around him. What I was taking as a stressful moment, he was seeing as something exciting.  He would approach the judges with me and hand the trophies to them and then hurry back to get the next trophies in his hand. He did the same with the medallions.  He was hooked.  Moriah and I presented him with a medallion for doing such a great job!

After spending a bunch of time with me on the breakdown doing things like counting and packing radios, I went to facilitate the truck load.  He then finished off his volunteer experience once again with Moriah packing other items, and even getting some volunteer pizza and soda.  Before he parted, I had the privilege to meet his mother and Moriah and I both were sorry to see him go.  He said to his mother “I want to come back and work for SRE and maybe see some other events as well.”  His mother was very pleased.  I was caught off guard that he knew my company’s name, and its acronym.

Through this process, I learned that Brandon was born prematurely, and suffered a brain injury.  The reason why he spoke so softly is that he has a paralyzed vocal cord.  He has been an Easter Seals Ambassador in Ontario, and from what I could tell from the Easter Seals bio on him, has gotten to travel and see many different events and doesn’t let his disability get in the way from him learning, and having fun.  Funny how little my challenges seemed in the face of someone who courageously tackles life and all of its problems.  I had a front row seat to greatness, and I am so thankful to have met and work with him. I also hope that our paths cross again, hopefully for us to “Lennon and McCartney” together again.  I know Moriah feels the same way.  Way to go Brandon!

Steve