In 1987, an award was created to honor Kitsy Moody - The Unsung Hero. I have not found out who she was to Schola Cantorum (our former name), or exactly what it was she did to earn it, but it was given to a member of the organization that quietly and dependably helped. The one that saw a need and stepped in to fill the void or relieve a heavy burden. We have a large trophy inscribed with a name each year that has been passed from Hero to Hero. In 2013, the trophy was set in a garage and forgotten.
In 2017, the FWC suddenly went from having a paid Executive Director to an all volunteer board. Furthermore, most of the current board members were ready to step away from leadership. It was a do or die moment after the last rehearsal of the season. Would the FWC be able to continue? As the new board president, I will admit it was tempted to say, “I’m out too!” and close the book.
In the parking lot after that ominous last rehearsal, three choir members learned of FWC’s fate if something was not done. Those three became the engine that kept us moving forward: Karla Martin, Kay Green and Ron Berggren. If I keep saying thank you every day till I die, it would not be enough. Everything that had to be organized, rebuilt, downloaded, timelined, filed, submitted - they did. We found other key people to advise, help and take different tasks. At times, it was more than any of us had bargained for. Looking back, all of our experience and skills combined not only kept the organization together, we were better for it.
I have learned a lot about volunteers from these three individuals. One: “ I will do it” is the most beautiful phrase ever uttered to a leader. Two: the people that give the most are the ones who have more going on in their lives than most of us, yet still manage to be generous and courageous with their time and energy. I believe volunteers are courageous. Saying yes when you don’t know what it entails or who you are working with, means you have to grow and put yourself out there. I know what these three people have gone through in their personal lives while they lifted FWC out of its crisis. They are amazing!
When we reorganized, there were over 50 years of various odds and ends in storage. Most went straight to the dumpster, but several members took and stored scrapbooks and memorabilia. A couple of weeks ago, I went to retrieve some boxes in preparation for our 60th anniversary celebration. There were several scrapbooks, a couple of plaques, and a trophy.
The Unsung Hero trophy.
The plates inscribed were filled with names of familiar friends and those heard about in stories from other alums. They are heroes still to this day to FWC for their courage to volunteer and step forward. People who not only made a difference, but are the reason we will celebrate 60 years of singing together. It was time for this trophy to come back.
So, to Karla Martin, Kay Green and Ron Berggren, I award you the Unsung Heroes of 2017 for your courage that evening to step forward and give to FWC.
Furthermore for their service with the board:
I award Karla Martin, who has since stepped down, the Unsung Hero of 2020 and Kay Green, who will be stepping aside from the board this Fall, the Unsung Hero of 2022.
I hope that we will continue to award and honor those who are actively volunteering with FWC. You are heroes, each and every one of you. Join me in thanking these wonderful members for all they have done and continue to do for FWC. But also - just a little nudge - please don’t wait for a crisis to volunteer and support FWC. The health of our organization depends on new and different input from future unsung heroes like you.