An Avalanche of Thanks

Avalanche. The word by itself is menacing and fear provoking. When you take into consideration the natural forces that make up and avalanche, the thoughts are even more ferocious.

An avalanche can reach speeds of eighty miles per hour in as little as five seconds. Its force is massive, its destructive capabilities more so. The thought of being caught in an avalanche of snow is nightmarish, but not all avalanches are terrifying.

I remember cartoons as a kid where someone would roll a snowball down a hill and it would turn into an avalanche. Although that is not how those floods of snow occur, there is some truth, metaphorically, to that animated depiction.

Think for a moment about an object set in motion, encountering other objects and applying its momentum upon them. The force of that object continues to spread and grow. Its impact expands exponentially and what began as a tiny, little snowball transforms into a mammoth avalanche. Now, substitute the object with a person’s vision and dream. Next, consider the impact, reach and influence this dream has on others when coupled with persistence, determination and a sincere sense of giving. The results are not catastrophic. Rather, they’re quite epic.

There are a great many things for which I find myself thankful. The list is almost too long to mention, and if I started today I would most likely not be done by next year’s TweetsGiving celebration. Still, I would be remiss if I didn’t take some time to mention one person in particular to whom and for whom I am incredibly grateful.

I met Cate Calgon (@CateTV) on a whim. There was a Tweet-up event my wife and I thought would be interesting to attend. We went, we mingled, and we walked away with a handful of business cards. As we were leaving, we bumped into a woman we later would be able to describe only as eccentric. She was kind, charming, and spoke a million miles per hour. This casual encounter later led to an invitation to a social media class she’d organized. After that, a wonderful new relationship was born.

Cate Calgon is the driving force behind Epic Thanks Tampa Bay. The event that celebrated a local Changemaker was born from her vision, and the fact a team of volunteers was put together to make it happen was a result of Cate’s unrelenting resolve. Like a snowball at the top of a hill, Cate put into motion a dream that became reality and culminated in an avalanche of giving and goodwill.

Cate also begat a community of individuals who’ve not only given tirelessly of themselves to make Epic Thanks Tampa Bay happen, but have also planted the seed of something great for years to come. It is an absolute honor and privilege to be a part of this community, and words cannot begin to express how thankful I am for being given the opportunity to help make a difference. Being a part of the ETTB team has been incredibly rewarding and inspiring. It’s opened my eyes to the many individuals and groups that are working every day to make a positive impact in the lives of others, and it has also introduced me to a set of peers that I’ve grown to consider family. I don’t think any of this was by design, but just as an avalanche moves with controlled chaos, so does Cate’s influence and impact go wherever it needs to go.

Cate’s a connector, always looking to put a person in need in touch with a person who’s able to satisfy that need. Cate is a visionary. Her thoughts and ideas are large scale, and it’s been a fun challenge to ask her at times to rein that vision in. Most importantly, Cate is a friend. She is a friend you can count on. She is a friend you can trust. And on this day of Epic Thanks, I am forever thankful to be able to call her my friend.

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