Archive for Volunteering

Why my spouse is my hero

You’ll all have to put up with some spouse-bragging, which I suppose you won’t mind since most people who read this blog are some form of relative or close friend.  Once your kid/relative/whathaveyou goes off into the world and moves in very different circles than you do, sometimes it’s not easy to understand the scope of what they accomplish.  I just want you to understand how many people Max has touched and/or helped, directly or indirectly, and continues to do so. 

This weekend was the culmination of weeks of work for Max, as the MTHC health conference (3rd year now) filled auditoriums and classrooms as Metro State University with doctors/health practitioners and with community members.  It was massive and very well rated via all forms of feedback.  Max is in the process of stepping down as co-chair after many years and so a tribute was given to Max before the afternoon keynote address by the remaining and incoming co-chair.  I captured much of it on video on my cell phone, but I need to try to clean up the audio as it is difficult to make out the words.  It was a big auditorium full of people.

Some of the key statements however were, “4 years ago we were just 3 people sitting in a room not sure what to do.  Then Max arrived, and it was like a hurricane blew in.  Many of you have worked with Max so you know what it is like — Max has the project done before it is even started.”  Generally the sentiment was that Max had grown the organization by leaps and bounds beyond what the initial group ever thought possible.  They gained their 501c3 nonprofit status, formed a board, developed and delivered professional level trainings to medical personnel, and created the Health Conference which has grown to huge proportions and is attracting all sorts of national attention and attendance.  When the other co-chair was finished speaking the place erupted in a huge standing ovation for Max.  It was deafening.

Just to ice the cake, that night at the conference cabaret it dawned on me that no fewer than 3 of the excellent acts / groups has been created by Max, or spawned from something Max had created (such as a choir that formed for the first time at a Voices conference Max co-created several years ago).  And here they were going strong years later and performing at the latest of Max’s creations.  Too funny. 

Of course this is all while co-chairing a large group at the University of Minnesota that applies to all statewide campuses, which boasted a list of achievements of its own that made life a lot better for certain groups of students and staff/faculty, and of course you know, that real life job thing.  I think I’d have to go to bed for a week just to recover from one “Max-week.” 

Max would be the first to say that there was lots of help along the way.  However the vision and passion Max brings to the table, the sheer raw determination, the complete willingness to personally take on any task that needs doing, and finally a deep commitment to creating community and making sure everyone has a place at the table … that’s what makes Max so successful and so well loved. 

You really are my hero honey!! 

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mon(k)ey plant

If the cat persists in shredding the mon(k)ey plant, does that mean the cat will get rich, or we’re going to have bad financial luck? I hope it isn’t a portent of high vet bills.

National Night Out was a hit tonight, fun because it happens on our street right outside our house, so we contributed some tables along with the obligatory dish-to-share. Our neighbors are great, and it’s a very tight neighborhood association. We keep vowing to get more involved but time and other causes are always against us.

Rosanne is due REALLY REALLY SOON!! She’s betting on the 14th, I picked the 15th. We are tickled about having a niece.

Sweetie the foster dog is doing great, no accidents in the house so far today (a first). She may just be “the one,” Matty is warming up to her quite a bit and being much less neurotic. I think it’s good for her.

We’re exploring a special sort of fostering called the Host Home Program, where you foster a teenaged GLBT kid who has become homeless (variety of reasons, one of which might include being kicked out for being GLBT, we gather). This is one to ponder and get into slowly (and of course they don’t make it too easy so they can make sure you’re not a psycho) … we’ll be starting with an info session on the 19th.

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new foster dog

We have a new foster dog — Lola the big bundle o’ doggie love Rottie. She’s around 100 lbs. We were considering adopting her but Matty is scared of her. We have totally fallen in love with her and now I’m trying hard to find her a home I can feel good about giving her to. Also for the weekend we also have Doris here (Max thinks I’m nuts, for the record, but since Max is working all weekend it’s my problem to deal with ;). Doris and Matty play well together but we’re not sure about whether we really connect with Doris. Time will tell. No pics of Doris yet, she doesn’t like to hold still since she’s only 9 months old. Here’s her online “ad” on

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more fair and recital

So, grand total for the fair was 305. That’s a lot of ppl!!

And Max did *fantastic* at the recital. Just beautiful. The new space is fantastic and Max did it justice. After the last few months of Fair planning, if Max had managed to get up there and play chopsticks it would have been a miracle! As it was, it was well beyond amazing.

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Fair – holy buckets

What a success … there were SO MANY people at the Health Fair tonight. I can’t believe how big an event Max can pull together (with lots of help from co-conspirators of course).

Big shout-out to Wendy for going to our house, picking up our dog, taking her home to play with Murphy until they were both worn out, and then dropping her off. You are the best!!!

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Matty on the web

Matty’s “Happy Tail” story has been published on Pet Haven’s website.

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