By Greg Pick, DTM, Past District Director
My friend Nadia called two weeks before the planned 24 hours of Toastmasters event with the theme “Together Towards Tomorrow.” She asked me for a favor, “Would I be willing to fill a role in the 24 hours of Toastmasters event?” I was pleased and honored that a friend from First Rate Toastmasters thought to include me; I immediately agreed to be the Ah Counter – how exciting is that! District 98 conceived the event to bring Toastmasters from around the world together for 24 hours of Toastmasters meetings in 2‑hour blocks. Nadia Gilkes, DTM, Public Relations Manager 2019-2020, District 115 (Las Vegas), organized the first 2-hour session that ran from 7‑9 pm (CDT) with a theme of Embrace – Engage – Empower. Toastmasters from all six time zones in the United States filled roles.
The meeting occurred virtually and transpired flawlessly. Guests from Canada, Kuwait, Guyana, Nairobi, Switzerland, India, China, and more attended the meeting. The speakers delivered inspiring speeches with messages about choosing to succeed, not accepting labels, appreciating our gifts, and being overcomers. In addition to a wonderful meeting experience, I had a couple of surprises. I was able to connect with Pamela and Philip Raneri, our own Chris Raneri’s parents, and Darryle Brown, DTM, Past D26 Director, with whom I attended district leader training. At the end of the meeting, I had a greater appreciation of the Toastmasters program and how similar we are no matter our country, location, or background, and how we can work Together Towards Tomorrow. Do you know where you want to go on your Toastmaster’s journey? You can go as far as you desire.