Let’s celebrate our community

Did you happen to make it to Rooster Booster last Thusday? It was quite a program — one that I wish we could place in a bottle and open up whenever we were feeling down. What was so special about it?

First of all, Wendell Foster was the sponsor. Joy is abundant around Wendell Foster. I encourage you to go to this link and watch the video that CEO Carrie Blackham and Board Chair Clay Ford presented to our crowd (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPDDfComa8E).

Wendell Foster is a capsule of Owensboro spirit. Like most impacting things, it started with a couple of people, Edith and Wendell Foster, who saw a need and worked tirelessly to meet it. The community that has risen up to own that story is the next part of the inspiration. For decades, private citizens have worked in every way and have shared their time, talents and treasures to keep Foster’s dream alive. The clients and families who lives have been touched by the organization are spirit-filled, affirming and life-changing. The past, present and future of Wendell Foster is an integral part of our community’s narrative.

Our speaker, Dr. Bertice Berry, intuitively understood what we have here. When I met her, she congratulated our community on being remarkable. I said “thank you, we have more work to do.” I guess we need to learn to take a compliment, because that was apparently what was what most of us had said to her in reply.

She spent a good part of her speech talking about embracing who we are as a community, building on our identity, touting the many strengths that we have (including our four institutions of higher learning), and to quit trying to be someone else. All good advice.

She also left us with some individual work to do. She shared an exercise that she does each day. Since it was one day into Lent, I thought it would be a good habit to try and develop over the next 40 days. I challenge everyone to work on this with me. At the end of each day, write down three good things that happened. The idea is to be grateful for the things that we may take for granted, and to create a habit of embracing joy.

Today, let’s celebrate living in a community that defies trends, that pours out its heart to serve and that is too hard headed to give up.

By Candance Brake President and CEO Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce