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There are literally a thousand words that I could use to explain this past weekend but ultimately, I’m not sure any of them would do justice to just how remarkable our “Making A Difference” Event was!

The CBE Group is headquartered in Cedar Falls Iowa and they have additional locations in Des Moines Iowa and Kansas City Missouri and…they are 1,000 employees strong.    This event was a part of their annual “Pay It Forward” campaign which takes place each July and let me tell you….these people are simply amazing.     Not only are they focused on giving back to their communities, they have a great appreciation for their company, their co-workers and they share the corporate vision of ‘giving back’.

If I had the time and space, I’d write something about every single one of the CBE employees we had the pleasure of meeting and working with at this event.   Their dedication, commitment, passion and genuine affection for each other and their communities is second-to-none.    Stephanie Wetherell facilitated this event with Chris Roundy and Chris Emery and scores of other people from CBE. Their hard work, attention to detail, thoughtfulness, creativity and authenticity are unparalleled.   The event was beautifully orchestrated, the crowds were huge and genuinely interested in what ICS is about AND they were captivated by Dennis Emery’s family and how he had faced his transplant surgery and recovery with courage and positivity.

I think we all left that day having a new sense of the integrity, love and character that IS Dennis Emery. Michael and I had the opportunity to visit with him in the hospital later that night and everything we had heard was true…a passionate family man, friend and co-worker with a huge heart and a loving spirit! Thanks to his donor, he now has opportunity to watch his grandchildren grow, his children thrive and he gets to share all of those things with his wife of 32 years, Vicky. What an amazing gift!

I want to share a quick story which speaks volumes and captures the essence of the day: there was a beautiful little girl who, along with her father had enjoyed some shopping and lunch at our event and her smile was both contagious and endearing. She came to say ‘good-bye’ before she left and we were all a bit sad to see her go…her smile could light up a room! She and her father had been gone for literally less than a minute when they pulled back around and we saw her get out of the car. She walked towards us with her hands outstretched, holding all the change she could in her tiny hands and she said, “I hope this helps”.

It did.