Harry Hobbs, DTM, of Flin Flon, Manitoba, Canada, was honored by local Flin Flon Toastmasters for 50 years of service and dedication to Toastmasters International. Hobbs first joined Toastmasters in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, in 1969 and helped charter the Flin Flon club in 1977. A retired teacher and librarian, Hobbs is also a charter member of Talking Books Toastmasters, an advanced club in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Not long after she joined Toastmasters, Trixie Hunter-Merrill, DTM, of Greenwood Village, Colorado, was diagnosed with cancer. Members of her club, Eloquent Entrepreneurs Toastmasters, stepped in to help, taking her to doctor appointments and chemotherapy treatments, and helping her with meals and housework. While she thought she was in remission, Hunter-Merrill became heavily involved in her District and was a keynote speaker at two Toastmasters Leadership Institutes. Unfortunately, her cancer returned, but Eloquent Entrepreneurs was there once more, along with Spirited Speakers, DTC Speaks, I’m Just Sayin’, and other members of District 26, and Hunter-Merrill was able to beat cancer again. She says, “Toastmasters has helped me reach new heights in my life I never knew I could. I think it may have even helped me beat cancer. I accomplished the goals I set out to: I earned my Distinguished Toastmaster and completed my Dynamic Leadership path! I am hoping I stay cancer free, but I know I will always be a Toastmaster!”
Siddu Kappali (left) has enjoyed being mentored by Manjunatha Hiremath, of Hubballi, Karnataka, India, for more than two years. Kappali says Hiremath helped him through his Ice Breaker and encouraged him to take Club Treasurer and Club President roles. Kappali also says his speech writing and delivery have greatly improved due to Hiremath’s direct, constructive feedback and encouragement.
Shortly after turning 87, Gil Eakins of Palo Alto, California, presented his Pathways Ice Breaker in the Presentation Mastery path. His speech featured life stories, including what it was like to join Toastmasters in 1997. Eakins says the organization has had a huge impact on his life by giving him the confidence and the ability to think on his feet. So he welcomed the possibilities he saw in Pathways. “I enrolled in Pathways because it offers a new challenge for me,” Eakins explains. “I come to Toastmasters because it is a continuing challenge in my life and I enjoy encouraging new members to take the same Toastmasters challenge.”
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