Monday, June 10, 2013

The Roast of Don Laird

May 29, 2013 ~ Tonight was a fun event to "roast" our past Chamber President, Don Laird to help benefit the Alzheimer's Association. Don worked at our Columbia Chamber of Commerce for 24 years and earlier this year he retired. I really enjoyed getting to know Don over the past 7 years. We have had several conversations about business, Midway, leadership roles, and even some interesting situations that the Chamber Ambassadors have been involved in. I consider Don a great friend.... well I did until he went into hiding and tonight I get to witness others "roast" him!

Alzheimer's is something that affects so many of us. I often considered it an "old age disease" but the fact is that this isn't an old age disease and affects many young people. Tonight I would learn about a very special couple who is currently on a journey after her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at age 52. Amelia works for Hawthorn Bank here in Columbia, MO. I have gotten to know her over the past year or so and her husband Brian is a lucky man. To have a strong woman like Amelia on his team is pretty special. They don't know exactly where this journey will take them but they will be side by side and hand in hand.

(click on this link to see the video)

KOMU 8 put together a great video of Amelia and Brain Cottle. Brian has worked for KOMU for 35 years in the IT department. You could tell that the entire KOMU team really love and appreciate this family. 

It was fun helping decorate the Holiday Inn Executive Center and Victoria Brees came up with the cutest decorations! We built two campfires and she had stuff for s'mores and the cutest "little Don's"
made out of marshmallows!

Bob Gerding was the emcee for the evening and the "roasters" would be Paul Land, Sherry Wohlgemuth and Bob Wagner. They were hilarious! Of course they were "roasting" him but these three people thought very highly of Don and said some nice things too. Oh don't worry.... Don had an opportunity for rebuttal and did the same thing to all of them! This was all for the benefit of the Alzheimer's Association and hopefully one day they can find a way to stop or slow down this disease. I have no idea how much was raised but I know that Columbia has a wonderful community that supports many great organizations and I know any amount of money raised will help with the costs of helping those in need.

All in all I think Don had a great time. He loved his little marshmallow guy and even being "roasted" to help a great organization. Of course it's always good to see Don! (I was glad his wife, Joey and his son, Cam was there with him.... you know.... so that they could witness him being picked on)

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