A few weeks ago, our company received an envelope from the City of Auburn Hills. Too fancy to be a tax or water bill, the card inside congratulated us on being given a 2014 Beautification Award from their advisory commission, and invited us to attend an upcoming dinner at the Community Center, where we would receive the award.
For over 10 years, icons Sandy Evans, John Rau (our facilities guru) and a select team of landscape designers and constructors have meticulously put into effect a continuously evolving plan for the exterior of our facility and surrounding grounds. To me, the receipt of this award was well deserved on their behalf.
After congratulating Sandy and the team, my plan was to exercise one of the options offered by the city committee – to pick up the award at their offices sometime after the event was over. But my partner’s plan differed, as was evident in our brief conversation on the subject:
SHE: What date was the Auburn Hills dinner again?
ME: Dinner? You mean the awards thing?
ME: Come on…you know I’m allergic to rubber chicken and cold mostaccioli.
SHE: No. I think we need to attend. It’s important to be part of a community, and a business is no different. Especially an image business getting a beautification award.
ME: Yeah. (Inaudible to “SHE”: #@%&*@#)
So…we went to the dinner at the Community Center, where we discovered that the majority of the 88 award recipients were residential homeowners. On a large screen near the podium, a continuous loop slideshow displayed photos of each winning home or business. During the pre-program small talk with our tablemates and those nearby, a few other things became obvious:
- People were extremely proud to be acknowledged for their efforts, and would discuss them at length, if prompted
- People were extremely proud of their neighbors efforts as well
- People – at least this group – had a great deal of pride in their community, as well as a burning desire to see even more results city-wide on an ongoing basis
- There was little, if any, correlation between financial outlay and end results
The last point is the biggie to me, as, for the most part, taking care of and improving on what you’ve got mainly requires two things: elbow grease, and a willingness to use it.
After a great dinner (absolutely no rubber chicken) and a short, professional, well-conducted program, we left the event happy that we attended, inspired to work to be invited again in the future, and sincerely proud to be part of a positive-thinking community that truly cares.
Caring is contagious.