DI Global Finals 2015 (A Thank-You Note)

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Disney-Global-Finals-Blog-2-720x340Another Destination Imagination Global Finals has come to a close!

This year was the best GF I’ve ever attended, and one of the best weeks of my life. The volunteers were fantastic, the staff was supportive, the kids were inspiring, the love felt on my birthday was overwhelming, and I’m so grateful and proud to be a part of it all that I can barely find the words to express it. Some of my friends from IC might understand, I’m sure.

For all of the volunteers who get to go to Knoxville for the tournament every year, Globals is both a compleeeetely exhausting week of crazy long hours for no paycheck, AND without a doubt the most fun, rewarding, and meaningful thing we could possibly be doing with our time for one week at the end of May.
GF-2015-IC-Appraisers
Someone was in my shoes 17 years ago when I attended my first global finals as a scrawny and painfully shy little eight year old. Helping other awesome volunteers prep before the tournament, building setups, going to meetings, setting up challenge rooms, running scores, putting out fires when they popped up, printing schedules until midnight (sorry, Fritz!), trying to wet-vac water out of carpets that were under water instant challenges (oops…), getting four hours of sleep per night for a week, enjoying the company of an incredible group of volunteers, laughing and smiling until it hurt, and serving the kids and Instant Challenge appraisers by doing whatever needed to be done to make the tournament happen.
GF-2015-IC-ICMs
I’m glad I’ve had the chance to step into those shoes and make a difference in the lives of so many amazing kids like that person did for my friends and me. If even for a minute you (my fellow volunteers) doubt that what you do for DI at any level is unappreciated or unimportant, please accept my appreciation and thanks for giving your time to help build an organization that has enriched my life since before I could write my name or tie my shoes, and that has touched the lives of millions around the world. That goes for all appraisers, team managers, parents and volunteers at every level. We are all DI, and you deserve all the credit for making this thing we love so much keep running every year.

If I didn’t get to say thank you to you in person before we left, then let me say it now. Thank you! Especially my IC peeps. I’m grateful to be a part of such an incredible group of people. Really, I can’t talk you guys up enough. 😉 I’ll see you next year in Knoxville!

Until Then,
Ryan

Global-FInals-Welcome-Ceremony

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