What the Randy Smith Means to Me

We have asked members of the trade show industry to share their thoughts and impressions of what the Randy Smith has meant to them. We are sharing this collection of thoughts with our industry peers knowing that if you have attended this event even once since its inception you have been touched as well.

Maria Lombardo

Nth Degree

November 17, 2017

Dear Rich,

My hubby just picked up our mail.  I’m totally Blessed with your check from The Randy.   I’m still in tears and I’m so grateful.   I’m at a loss for words but I will find them to thank each and everyone who was involved to assist my husband and I with the funds to have my Stem Cell Therapy in August.  

I’m seeing a better quality of life with my lungs but now I’m battling a fight that I need to win.   I never dreamed that I would now have cancer.   I had my Pet CT Scan on Tuesday and this Monday I will undergo three additional surgical procedures to see if it has spread.   Please keep me within your thoughts and your prayers.

My husband and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Irish Bender

MC2

November 15, 2017

Dear Rich,

First and foremost I must say what a Blessed Day this is. Today, my family received the check from the RSMGC.

Me and my family would like to thank, the board, and all its members.  We would like to thank the wonderful people who donate to this cause every year, and just every blessed soul, that participates in this wonderful event. 

Words cannot express the gratitude me and my family feel, to be a part of such a gracious, community of people.  We were so happy to meet our “Randy family”, at the event, and none will ever be forgotten.  This was an experience of a lifetime.

My family “Loves”, the “Randy Smith Memorial” family.

Thank you,

Nancy Virene

Sho-Link

October 19, 2017

Dear Rich,

I just wanted to tell you that you are all the BEST!!!

The RSMGC is put together with so much heart and awesomeness that surpasses no other.  I am proud to be associated with it, and hope to be for a long time to come.

The added touch of acknowledging Breast Cancer Awareness, was top notch classy. And I would be remiss not to thank you for the NanC hats! They are priceless. Bad reason, but very thoughtful. I am blessed with my diagnosis and prognosis, without question, and appreciate your support more than I could ever express.

You are all one in a million!

 

 

Claudia Cantu

wife of John Cantu

The Expo Group

December 20, 2016

Dear Jim,

I wanted to take a few minutes to thank you and the Randy Smith Memorial Foundation for your generosity to my family.

I will use the money received to get my 12 year old boys (twins) a laptop to use for school work.   We continue to remember our beloved John Cantu,  and we thank you for continuing to remember him as well.

Thanks again for your kindness.  May you have a very happy holiday season.

Kind regards,

 

Michele Lewis
Account Manager

Apple Rock Displays

October 10, 2016

Hello Robert,

I hope you have had a chance to recover from all that went into the event! First, I wanted to thank you for such a wonderful opportunity. I will always want to be a part of the RSMGC! It was such an amazing experience and I am so grateful for being selected as a recipient. As soon as we know that next year’s date, I will put it on my calendar! It was wonderful getting to know you and hearing about you and your family. I really enjoyed riding around with you and meeting everyone that I did. It was a beautiful experience! It truly was! I am so humbled to be amongst the other recipients and to be on the receiving end of such love and generosity! I will truly never be the same! I am going to start an initiative here at Apple Rock to do some projects that will raise money to help support the RSMGC. I sent a meeting request to our COO/ CFO to discuss getting this started. Again, thank you for your time, consideration, and generosity! It is greatly appreciated!

Thank you!

John Brant

Display Technologies

November 21, 2016

Hi Rich,

I received your check today and wanted to thank you for everything you have done for me.    I am back in large part to your work. I can never thank you enough for your help and work.

God bless and thank you.

Heidi Hopper

wife of John Hopper, Nth Degree

November 17, 2016

Hi Rich,

I received the fed-ex with the check from the Randy.I am so very thankful for this generous gift,and am thankful for the opportunity to have participated in this event.It was a pleasure to have spent time with you all and see so many people I hadn’t seen in a long time.I am also happy that I was able to speak on behalf of my husband and share a little with everyone.

Have a great weekend and let’s talk after Christmas about the Montana lodging and fishing gift

Dan Griffin

Czarnowski

November 15, 2016

Hi Jim,
I just wanted to let you know I received the check. I am blown away by the caring it represents of those who gave but also the organization that puts this all together. Thanks for your part in facilitating.

It does make a difference.

Thank you!

Horst Tondasch

President, Coral Enterprises, Inc.

November 3, 2016

Hi Rich,
It was great seeing you again in Orlando.

I met John Brant today and he was happy to be available for a photograph, as you (Mike) said you were interested to publish that for the Randy Smith charity.John is back on his feet, and back in business with I&D. At first it did look rather grim, but thanks to his native American strong will and character, and with the help of your generous support, he was able to overcome this challange.

Thank you!

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October 10, 2016

Hello Robert,

I hope you have had a chance to recover from all that went into the event! First, I wanted to thank you for such a wonderful opportunity. I will always want to be a part of the RSMGC! It was such an amazing experience and I am so grateful for being selected as a recipient. As soon as we know that next year’s date, I will put it on my calendar! It was wonderful getting to know you and hearing about you and your family. I really enjoyed riding around with you and meeting everyone that I did. It was a beautiful experience! It truly was! I am so humbled to be amongst the other recipients and to be on the receiving end of such love and generosity! I will truly never be the same! I am going to start an initiative here at Apple Rock to do some projects that will raise money to help support the RSMGC. I sent a meeting request to our COO/ CFO to discuss getting this started. Again, thank you for your time, consideration, and generosity! It is greatly appreciated!

Thank you!

Michele Lewis
Account Manager

Apple Rock Displays

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October 10, 2016

Yo Fish:

Another great year at “The Randy”!We all hate that there was unfortunately 9 recipients this year but year after year the industry steps up to the plate to deliver the time, talent and treasure to the needy!You, along with the board and all of the volunteers did a spectacular job as always!

By my scientific calculations you had better numbers from your “Town Hall Meeting” than either Trump or Hilary last night!Your video is always a big hit with everyone!I’m putting you up for an Academy Award!

Great seeing everyone from coast-to-coast!

Talk soon,

Jake

jack berenato
account executive

Nth Degree

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December 14, 2015

For everything you’ve done, for being the special people that you are….thank you so very much.

Thank you for the wonderful surprise I received in the mail this week.I appreciate the check more than you know.I am so grateful to you for all the help you have given me.

Unfortunately, I lost my part time exhibit job 1 year ago on November 5.But I am blessed to still be alive.

Again, words can’t thank you enough.
Lots of love,

Wendy Murray

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December 9, 2015

On behalf of Tammie Kotara I just want to say thank you for the letter and the support.At first it was very hard for me to write that letter and share her story.The whole year for me has been heartbreaking.But these last few years I have found good people like your foundation and very kind doctors and nurses. everything you’ve done, for being the special people that you are….thank you so very much.

Please tell everyone in your committee thank you for their support, and the check.That was very kind and thoughtful.
Lots of love,

Thank you all, and God bless
Erwin Kotara

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December 9, 2015

My name is Donna Kotara.I am the wife of Ronnie Kotara, who worked for Laser Exhibitor Service for many years.I want to thank you and your RSMGC Foundation for the kind letter and the check in memory of Ronnie.

Our family appreciates it very much.

Thank you very much,
Donna Kotara

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December 8, 2015

Thank you for the check in memory of my late son, Rik Williams.It was a pleasant unexpected surprise.I’m grateful that Rik’s friends and co-workers remember him.

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Thank you again,
Helen Williams

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October 26, 2015

The Right Thing To Do, by Dave Brown, Optima Graphics

October 12,2015 was the 21st annual Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic held at the St. Ives Country club in Atlanta, GA.I have been fortunate to attend 8 or 9 of the events and each year I have some similar observations.

First, what a great way for the industry to pull together to help its own.The mood for the day is about the industry, helping, caring, and doing the right thing to raise money for those in need.Read More.

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February 23, 2015

To everyone involved with the Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic,

Thank you very much for the generous check that you sent.

Over the last several years we have faced exorbitant costs related to health insurance for our family, particularly with regard to monthly premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.Happily we were blessed with the birth of beautiful healthy twins in 2013 but it came with huge medical bills as the babies were 5 weeks premature and stayed in NICU for a month.So, along with excessively high premiums for health insurance we were faced with huge medical bills related to their birth.These expenses have put a major strain on our finances and have put us into debt.

We were so pleased to receive your generous check to help us pay off these medical bills.We wil always be grateful to everyone associated with the RSMGC.
Most sincerely,

Johan (and Elizabeth) van Die, Production Coordinator, Exhibit Resources

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February 17, 2015

To everyone involved with the Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic,
My sincere apologies for not being able to attend the Golf Outing.Our youngest son, Charlie, was extremely anxious about my being away from home overnight.He is afraid that Mom will leave and never come back like Dad.

Thank you so much for honoring Ray and for choosing our family as a recipient this year.We are grateful for the generosity RSMGC has shown to us.Ray always talked about how special the people in the trade show industry are.For as much as he didn’t like the hours that he worked, he truly enjoyed the people he worked with.Those ever changing groups of people he considered himself lucky to encounter, especially since during most shows he spent more time with them instead of us.There were always stories and jokes taht were brought home after a long day, not to mention the smile when talking about familiar faces that were brought back into town with the rotation of shows.

To all of those wonderful industry people who gave so generously, Thanks You!Our family feels blessed by all you have done.
With much appreciation,

Wendy, Katy, Raymond, Jenny & Charlie Banak

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January 29, 2015

To Rich and the Randy Crew,

Now that we have reached the point of being unacceptable I find myself sitting in front of my computer not happy with the way this thank you is going out.I spoke to Sandra the other day and tried to explain how many times I have actually sat down to write this.It just never seems right.An email (like this) is too impersonal.The endless search for the card leaves me empty handed as no one has printed what I want to say.A simple card that says “thanks” just doesn’t cut it, nor does the sitting down and writing it out on a piece of paper.I guess what I am trying to say (at a very late date) is thank you.

That just doesn’t seem to be enough.Nope fell sooooo short (and that is not a pun on my lack of height).

The entire event was life changing.Loving.Supportive. Amazing. Humbling.

It was not only great to connect with so many that I have not seen in a long time but…wow.I really don’t know what to say.

Thank you (still not enough)

The gift will be so incredibly helpful to assist in the funding of future chemotherapy – scans – blood tests – etc.And that is what every penny is being used for.The stress of coming up with the payments every 3 months is now lifted.I can concentrate on being strong and not having to worry about the funds.But the check is only a small part of what I came away from the Randy with.

I came away with a family.People who care – people who see me on the show floor and are truly interesting in my well being.

I may have faltered and had to learn to trust enough to walk on the water but you invited me to the Randy party and taught me how to dance on water.Something I can never repay.Once again, thank you (not enough).

As for right now, I go for another scan the end of February.Blood work came back right before Christmas as “concerning” but not “alarming” so I’m taking that as a good thing.One day at a time – all will work out as per God’s plans and in His time.Until then, I am forever grateful for the entire Randy experience.I hope that I can be a blessing to someone as you and your crew has been to me.

Thank you again.(still not enough)

humbly signed,

Pam Milburn, Echelon Design

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November 21, 2014

Dear Jim,
My sincere thanks for the generous check you sent me yesterday.I was totally surprised and grateful.It will help so much as this awful time both financially and mentally.It’s a sign to me that good things can still happen after this terrible year of worry and sorrow.

Thank you from the bottom of my brother’s heart,

Helen Williams sister of Rik Williams

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January 17, 2014

Mr. Wurm,
Thank you and all others involved for again remembering me this holiday season for your generous gift from the RSMGC fund.It is very kind and gracious of you all to remember me each year.I am honored and very humbled that you do this for me.

My Health has been stable for the most part this year and I am thankful for that.I will always have medical challenges but in general I am doing very well.

I wish you all a healthy, happy and prosperous 2014!

Sincerely,

Nicole Sheldon

PS –I hope to meet you in 2014

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January 10, 2014

Jim,
I wanted to take a moment to thank you and everyone involved in the RSMGC.

The check was a great help.We have been drowning in debt since my husband lost his job.Oh yes, we finally married after 10 years together.We also lost my son to suicide last year but we are all hanging in there.

Thank you for your support.It means the world that you remember.

Karin Brennan-Scholwin

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December 17, 2013

Jim,
We wanted to drop you a note and let you know we received the funds from the Randy Smith Foundation about 2 weeks ago.

It is difficult to find words for blessings such as this that come so unexpectedly.When we were nominated, we were touched by Spoon’s concern and kindness.That is especially true when it comes from co-workers and our fellow exhibit industry cohorts.What can we say?We feel fortunate that we both have family, jobs and friends.We would never have asked for this gift, there are so many in need and much worse off than we.I have missed quite a few days of work and blew through and earned time off pretty quickly.The gift from the Randy Smith Foundation put a large dent in our stress level!

Melodie and I wish to thank you and all the members, producers, participants and those that donated time and money.We are grateful for the assistance and feel blessed to be in an industry that helps their own.The good news is that Chemo is over as of this week.Now, on to Radiation!I have been told that the Radiation is very low dose, such as an X-ray, and that the side effects are almost zero.My doctorss hav told me that my recovery stands at a 90% chance of a full cure.Isn’t modern mediciine wonderful!

Thank you does not come close to expressing how grateful we are but here it is, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!

Rick and Melodie Janin

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December 16, 2013

Jim and Rich,
I am so touched and so grateful for the generosity of your Foundation!No words can thank you enough for the blessing you have given my family.I have big dreams for my boys, Brody and Kole.The funds you sent will be set up in a college fund for them.Kurt was so proud of his boys, and I will not let him down.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,

Amy Johnson

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October 29, 2013

Rich,
Thanks for everything you do for “The Randy”….people like you are one in a million!

I was very proud to be a part of your TEAM!

Best Regards

SK

Scott Kaye
National Account Executive
Project Manager

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October 28, 2013

Rich,

I have enjoyed playing in many golf tournaments over my twenty plus years in Atlanta, however, I never felt as good as my group and I felt after the reception on Monday night.It is rewarding to see real people receive real help rather than some bullshit bureaucracy draining the funds.

Next year, I would like to contribute more hours to obtain donations and once again play in next year’s group event.

By the way, I have a contact in the golf shirt business that did all of the NFL’s golf shirts – he will give me a great price on a logoed golf shirt for next year’s special commemoration – let me know what you think.

P.S. – I am originally from Milwaukee and enjoyed one of the speakers thoroughly.

Finally, some of those groups were more creative than Spielberg when it came time to turn in their score cards – this malarkey should stop going forward.

Sincerely,

John C Cameli

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October 23, 2013

Jim,

It was a pleasure to see you again last week.I want to express my gratitude for all that Yourself and Rich along with the Randy Smith Foundation, have done for me.Words of appreciation alone, just don’t seem to fit when you’ve literally taken a person who felt alone and frightened to feeling concerned and cared for. It is tough to go through experiences like this when your alone and life seems bigger than yourself.

What you guys do goes beyond what anyone who spent time in this dynamic industry of people who do get together to make certain that those less fortunate, sick, suffered a loss, we are not forgotten.Thank you so much Jim, for going over and beyond the normal to assist me during this time of need.

Thank you again, Jim, for all your wonderful hard works.I appreciate you very much !!!

Sincerely
Gina McLane

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October 15, 2013

Rich,

Over the years I can’t begin to count the number of fund raising golf outings I’ve played in.Even though those in this industry routinely pull off the “impossible”, for an event of this size and scope to be planned and executed entirely by volunteers is just short of remarkable. Especially as well done as it is done.I’m sure the good Lord was looking down yesterday, was smiling and thinking “ well done my faithful servants”.

You are a genuine, authentic nice guy that I’m proud to call a friend.Great job, take care and be well.

Don

ID3GROUP

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January 15, 2013

Dear Jim and the RSMGC family,

We have said this all along:

Our lives have been changed forever… not by cancer, but by the love we’ve been shown.

Our experience has been emotional, with tears at every turn.Once we were able to lift our heads and wipe the tears of sadness after the leukemia diagnosis we saw love and generosity beyond our wildest dreams.It is this kind of love that has gotten us through our journey and carried us when we just couldn’t do it on our own.The tears continue today, though they are tears from the depth of our hearts, tears expressing what words cannot begin to say.Our lives have absolutely been changed forever!

From the start in October 2011, we have been blessed with notes of encouragement, cards, letters, emails, prayers from all over the world.We’ve been blessed by people we know and many we don’t.It is amazing to know that people have room in their lives and love in their hearts to give us in addition to their own familiies and their own busy lives.Many of these same people sent us money and helped us raise money.Each and every dollar we received was accepted with grateful hearts knowing it was earned with hard work and most likely already had a bill’s name on it.As it also is with each dollar the Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic has so kindly and lovingly given to us.

We have hard evidence that prayers really do get answered!We were able to keep our house payments up and keep food on the table throughout our ‘hospital stay.’But as soon as we came home it seemed all assistance stopped and we found ourselves in a new position, unable to pay our mortgage and wondering how we were going to get 2 new tires for the car and how to buy a gallon of milk (the medical bills weren’t even part of the equation at this point).We were in the thick of playing catch-up like we’ve never known before and it had begun to feel like a spiral that was going to swallow us up.At this point Davis had started getting regular paychecks again, but it just wasn’t enough.

Mid-December, we are 6 months out of the hospital, Sierra is in remission, but the tears are back and the pain has shifted to financial suffering.We couldn’t believe we made it all the way up to this point and now we just couldn’t get a hold enough to catch up.Davis walks in the front door with a letter and tears in his eyes.He reads the letter out loud, our hearts burst with love.He tells me there is a check and he tells me the amount…shock, complete disbelief that our prayers had, indeed, been answered with so much love.Because of the love and generosity of the RSMGC, we are now completely caught up.What amazing timing, what a tremendous gift that was given to our family.The tears continue to flow, though these are the tears made from pure joy.We are proud to be a part of the industry of trade show professionals, people we call “family”!

David is hopeful to attend next year’s Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic and to thank everyone personally.It will be an honor for him to be part of this tremendous event.

Please accept our most sincere appreciation for the gifts you have given to us.

This year our family ins enjoying a “normal” holiday season together!Sierra continues to get monthly blood tests and remains in remission from the leukemia.

With truly grateful hearts,

David and Mindy Luby

and AJ, Julia & Sierra

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January 14, 2013

Dear RSMGC Board of Directors, E2MA and EDPA Foundation
I can’t begin to express my gratitude and appreciation to the industry that I love for your wonderful gift.

I have lost a lot of skills, memory and more with my stroke and illness… but the biggest loss was the ability to do my job with the people, friends and colleagues that mean so much to me, especially at Exhibit City News.After my husband’s long illness and then my own, we were at the lowest point that we had ever been financially.The check you sent was like receiving a gift from God and I thank you all so much.

I miss you all so much!

I have been blessed to have been able to be involved in such a wonderful industry full of such loving and caring people.Thank you all for everything.

All my love and thanks,

Judy Kackley

Exhibit City News

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December 18, 2012

Hey Guys,

We received the generous donation from the “Randy” and are, needless to say, extremely grateful! I will be put to essential use, and could not have come at a better time. I hope you realize that being able to see you both, along with the other quality people who were such a pivotal part of my life was quite extrordinary. I was blown away by the event itself, and continue to be inspired by the emotional and spiritual dividends everyday. To have Kathy and my children be apart of such a worthwhile event, was the added icing on the” proverbial cake.”

Please extend my warmest regards to everyone in both of your families, and have a great Christmas Holiday!

Much Respect,

Wallace Prougha/k/a Hool

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December 13, 2012

Rich,

Every year I leave the Randy with the intent of sending you a personal note of thanks but of course get distracted. Each year this event gets better and better and you may be the only kid from Alcyon drive that has a shot to being in heaven with Monsignor John…. Think about it, well maybe Frinerfrock?

First, the “clown” video was a classic and if you can, I would like you to forward to me. I wanted to send to my brother. He will be so proud that not only did you pass his English class, that you actually are a Shakesperian thespian- no not lesbian. Really appreciate the fact that I had to follow the friggin clown video too.

Cannot thank you enough for what you were able to do for Davis and his family. He is such a humble and hard working, family guy, you could not have selected a better candidate. I am sure his family will be humbled by the amount and wanted you to know how much we appreciate this.

My best to you and Susan for the holidays. Maybe I will see you at CES?

Merry Christmas

Scott Bennett

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November 19, 2012

Hello Rich & Jim:

Finally getting around to writing you!First I want to thank you for recognizing Nth Degree as “Sponsor of the Year”!I know many, many of the Nth Degree team year after year are behind the RSMGC pushing very hard.I personally will recommit myself to push even harder next year and hopefully for many years to come!

I know you recognize it’s all about the recipients and I want to commend you on refocusing on the families and their stories.Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that it was great to see you bring back the levity that brings a perfect contrast to the sorrow that envelops the event.“The Clown” hit the spot and yes it was very, very funny Richie!!!

Enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday this week with your families…we all have a lot to be thankful for!

Talk with you guys soon,

Jake Berenato

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August 14, 2012

Rich (Snoof)

This e-mail is about 16.5 years too late. Each year after the RSMGC I intend to write you an e-mail and never get around to it. After this year, I knew I could no longer procrastinate.

I just want to tell you how impressed I am year after year with the RSMGC. You have done a phenomenal job with this event. Each year I know the hours you must put in to make this thing a success. Every year when I come walking up to sign in I can always count on you for a friendly face and a hug. I don’t know how you can stand up in front of everyone year after year and MC the Event. You do it with Style, Grace and Humor! I on the other hand am usually trying not to get emotional. You seem to be able to handle it and do it with style.

More than anything I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate everything you do and how much respect I have for you on starting the RSMGC and still maintaining it. You are truly an asset to this Industry and this Event.

I am so proud to say that I have been involved from the inception. Thanks for keeping this alive and making it such a Great Event.

See you on the floor!

Steve

Steve Daugherty, VP, Labor Operations

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January 20, 2012

I would like to thank the RSMGC Board of Directors, the EDPA Foundation, the TSEA Foundation, TS2, and the EACA for thinking of my family.I can’t believe that it has been over 8 years since Paul passed away.While at times it seems like he has been gone for an eternity… other times it still feels like it was yesterday.Even though some of the ties with other friends have faded, the friends of this industry have always been there and I can’t thank you all enough.

I appreciate everything you have done for me and my family and wish you all the best for 2012!

Thanks again,

Debbie Olavarrieta and Sons

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January 17, 2012

Dear Mr. Wurm and everyone at the RSMGC:

Thank you so much for the monetary gift and for remembering me once again with this honor.It is so gracious of you to do so.I plan to use the money toward books this semester at college.I am continuing with my studies toward a bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts.

My health has been good despite some challenges which I must face from time to time.In May I celebrated my 14th anniversary of my heart transplant!

Thank you once again to everyone at the RSMGC for your generosity.I truly appreicate it.I wish you all a healthy and prosperous new year.

Happy New Year!

Sincerely,

Nicole Sheldon

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January 10, 2012

Dear Rich & Jim:

We don’t go to the mailbox too often so I was very surprised when I got your letter and generous check.My family and I would like to thank all of the EACA and EDPA Foundation members, and everyone at RSMGC for your generous gift.When I showed my wife we cried and she told me how lucky I was to have such wonderful friends.For six years we have prayed that the new year will bring us good health and happiness.The truth is we are so blessed and now take life, and what it presents to us, one day at a time.

After 2 bouts with cancer, 15 surgeries and major procedures, dozens of scans, a pulmonary embolism, a 22 inch blood clot, neuropothy, one year of chemo, 6 weeks of radiation and hundreds of blood draws and doctor’s visits we believe we are so lucky because we realize there are so many people who are worse off than we are.We understand the hardships they face every day and pray for them and everyone associated with “The Randy.”

Again, thank you and everyone involved in this wonderful program and for making our life so fulfilled, and making us feel like there is a huge group of caring and generous people who are supporting us in so many ways.

God bless you all!

Sincerely,

Don Drew and familly

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Dec. 12,2011

Dear Rich & Jim:

I am sincerely grateful for the generous financial support you have provided me.Being a single mom with overwhelming medical expenses, this will take away some of the financial worries.Thank you for your dedication and commitment to helping people in our industry in time of need.Many thanks to all the participates and volunteers to the RSMGC 2011!

Kathy Bartol

The TERM Group

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Oct. 17, 2011

Rich

Thank you for your support when you could obviously tell I was nervous as hell.You may not know it but Kevin posted on our company blog most recently about the incredibly moving event that is the “Randy”.

I write a personal blog in hopes that someone will read them and smile and not be so scared.This weekend I took time out from that and wrote about the incredible experience I had last weekend.I brought your name up with a smile.I don’t normally self advertise but…. www.psa2640.blogspot.com

Thank you for supporting me Monday night.More importantly thank you for giving me the opportunity to get on my soap box.I actually had guys come up and say they would go get their exams.Score!

If you ever need anything whatever in my means to help the cause please let me know.

I’ll do the best I can to help.

Thanks so much
Mike Swartout

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Oct. 12, 2011

Jim

Thanks again for all that you do. Mike was truly moved and appreciated everyones love and care while he was there.

Thanks so much pal. I will look forward to dinner with you and CJ next time we are over in Bend

Be well

Kevin Carty
Vice President
Classic Exhibits Inc.

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Oct. 12, 2011

Jim,

Great event I have been telling everyone about it, count on my support.It wasn’t my first Randy but it was the first one I actually made it to the course.In 2009 I was heading there from the airport to only be detoured to the hospital for three days.

Thank You
Kraig Shetler
New Business Development
Immersive Realities
Dimensional Communications

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Oct. 12, 2011

Rich,
Hi!I am sorry I missed you tonight!I am sure you get a million of these emails, especially right after the event, but I’m sending you another anyway.

I just wanted to say thank you for including Tim in your program this evening.With so many families that have either suffered loss or who are going through something terrible, it really was an honor for you to include Tim.You will never know how much that means to me.Your work on the Randy really is truly remarkable.You have built something larger than life there and I hope that while you go home exhausted when it’s all said and done, that you are also very proud.You don’t just provide something to the recipients, but you also give people an outlet to give to something they can really feel good about and see the difference they make.I have used Renaissance for 9+years and can’t believe we didn’t get to know each other before March.You are a wonderful man and I have really enjoyed getting to know you better over the last few months.I’m looking forward to many years to come!

Alicia Rosen

Elements

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Oct. 12, 2011

Richie,
Hey man.Good to see you today.

I just wanted to tell you how great of a job you do with that event.I’m sure may people give you a pat on the ass but I sincerely am impressed with what you’ve done here.You’ve always handled yourself with such class and compassion – but it was very noticeable tonight.You had just the right delicate touch with every recipient.(And you may be the only guy that can get away with the timing on a comedic statement like, “prostate, pancreas cancer – what the fuck is the difference?”)

Thanks for what you do brother

Jim Milanwoski

Czarnowski

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Mr. Wurm

Thank you for the generous monetary gift you sent me on behalf ofthe RSMGC.I am honored that you continue to remember meyear after year.The money will be used toward my college tuition, as I am a sophomore this year.I continue to see several specialists and take more than 15 different medications daily.For the most part my health is OK and I am lucky to be doing so well!

Thank you once again and to everyone at RSMGC, EDPA, TSEA, TS2, and the EACA.

Respectfully,

Nicole Sheldon

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Jim,

My family and I would like to thank you and all the different individuals from the EACA, EDPA Foundation, and the Board of the RSMGC for your generous gift again this year.I am truly blessed to be associated with all of you.

Lately I have been afraid to go to the mailbox, so when I recently went and saw your envelope I was so very surprised.For all of you to continue to remember me and my family is so very appreciated.I miss all of you and pray for all of you, as well as the day I can join you all in Atlanta as a golfer or volunteer instead of a recipient.

In closing, I’d like to thank all of you again and wish allof you a very happy and healthy holiday season and prosperous New Year.

Sincerely,

Don Drew and Family

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Jim Wurm and the rest of the RSMGC,

Thank you so much for your gift of money.It comes as a wonderful surprise, just like it did last year.My battle with Stage IV Colon Cancer continues.The cancer is in my lungs and the doctors are telling me to get my things in order.I am sustained and peaceful due to my faith and the prayers of many.Thank you!

Thank you so much for your help especially at Christmas!

Chris, Karen, Brenden & Jaxson Baty

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Dear Jim Wurm:
Saturday when we opened the letter from the RSMGC, well all I can say is, it was just unbelievable.

With more than 20 years experience in the business, I can tell you that I am normally not at a loss for words, but when I saw the generosity of my fellow trade show professionals it brought tears to my eyes.The cost of a transplant and after care can be devastating to a family.

My wife, son and I want to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.It is like a prayer answered.It will help us stay in our home until I get back to work.
Love and Thanks!We will never forget what you have done for us!

God Bless You,

Mel Stelmack

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Yo Rich:
Just a short note to touch base…I want to let you know that after 16 years of “Randy’s” you are still keeping our industry focused on the most relevant facet of the mix…the people who are the foundation of our fraternity, making sure we all “see” those that need our monetary help, prayers and attention!I want to thank you, Ted, Jim and all of the volunteers, associations, etc. who stand behind “The RSMGC” making it a success year after year!Keep up the GOOD WORK!You will always have my support and prayers!

One suggestion going forward…many of us were disappointed that we did not get the opportunity to enjoy another “Itchy Johnson” video which has always offset the seriousness of the dire needs of the recipients and their families with a dose of levity!Your great mix of emotions has been a mainstay at the “Randy” and we look forward to it’s hopeful return next year!

I hope to see you on the Tradeshow Trail very soon!

Later,

Jack Berenato

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Dear RSMGC,

Hannah, Paul and I would like to thank you so very much for recognizing Mark Linser at the 2009 Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic.He would be very proud to know his efforts and hard work were recognized in this way.I also know he was very worried to leave us, of course and your generous gift will help so much.

Mark was a great creative problem solver and used this gift in his work daily at Downing Displays.I know he loved his work and the people he worked with.He was able, even after he was unable to drive, and also in a lot of pain, to still find fulfillment and distraction at work.He is so very missed by all of us.We can’t thank you all enough for your generous gift.Greg Ward told me you were almost rained out, but as luck would have it, the weather cooperated long enough to play!He said God must have known how important the event was to all the participants and families.

Thank you again so very much.

Sincerely,

Karen, Hannah & Paul Linser

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Dear RSMGC,

Words cannot express my gratitude and thanks for the check you sent.It arrived at the perfect time.The foundation and the participants are amazing.

Thank you and bless you all,

Karin Brennan

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Dear RSMGC,

Thank you so much for the generous donation.It literally caused me to fall to my knees in tears and thankfulness.My family and I continue to battle through all the challenges, but this really saves the day.What an awesome time to receive the gift also – going into the holidays.Please keep up the good work – you are truly life changers.

I had my liver surgery and now continue on with Chemo.This is a long battle.

Thank you for helping me along the way.

Chris Baty

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Dear RSMGC,

On behalf of myself and my family, I want you to know how much we appreciate your generous and thoughtful gift.

Words cannot express how I feel, so I will say thank you so much.

God Bless you,

Mel Stelmack & family

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Dear Mr Wurm,
I am emailing you today with great thanks. My name is Nicole Keenan and I recently received your check from the RSMGC! Although I am no longer employed with RenaissanceManagement Inc. I still consider everyone there as well as in the industry apart of my family. I think it is amazing how Richie as well as yourself reach out to families, friends and fellow colleagues. My father loved your organization and I hope to be able next year to be apart of the tradition in 2010!
Again Much Thanks
Nicole

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Mr. Wurm

I just returned from my vacation and wanted to send you a short email thanking you for all of your help and hospitality during the RSMGC.

We in the fire service preach a great deal on a thing we call the brotherhood.In my short time around your group I don’t think the fire service has anything on your network of people in your industry.Myself, not being part of your industry,never once felt out of place or not welcomed.I can’t get over the amount of people that just came up to me, started a conversation, and welcomed me with a great hand shake.

You and everyone involved in this organization needs to be thanked by everyone.This is a great thing that you folks are doing and I hope to tag along with Lee and Kelly Jacobia next year and participate in the event again.Maybe you can have good weather next year.

Again, from my wife and myself thank you for a great time, as well as choosing Lee Jacobia as a recipient.I won’t go into how much I know this must have meant to the two of them.I know they are so modest and never complain,but if you only knew what the last 2 1/2 years have dealt them you would be amazed that they can keep such a positive attitude.Anyway,please tell everyone that had anything to do with the golf classic thanks from the bottom of our hearts.

Sincerely,
Dale & Mary Kelso

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Katie Hull, Czarnowski Atlanta

I was in high school when my father (Geoffrey Winslow) got the news of Randy Smith’s tragic accident, as his employer at IDEAS, he was deeply saddened and concerned for the Smith family. After graduating college, I was taken under Rich Johnson’s wing at IDEAS/Folio.He appointed me to be the Event Coordinator for the 2000 RSMGC.I was away in college as the annual tournament had come into full swing, so this was going to be my first RSMGC experience. I was excited for the opportunity, but little did I know what I had just agreed to undertake.Work was pushed aside for weeks; long hours at the office were now spent on the RSMGC.It was an overwhelming task to say the least.It wasn’t until the emotionally draining banquet that I truly grasped the importance of this event.I was ultimately reminded of what all my hard work was for – the recipients.I thank Rich for letting me be a part of something so special.

I continue to attend and being at the RSMGC is still as emotional as ever.For one day, our entire industry focuses on the importance of giving. It’s a reminder that we’re all in this together and we take care of our own.And for that one day, it’s all that matters.

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Rodney Brannon, Hi-Tech

Every year the RSMGC continues to bring our industry together as a family.The support, generosity and dedication shown by so many amazes me as this isn’t just a local event, it’s a nationwide gathering to help those in our industry community.Opening the RSMGC flier each year to read of the year’s recipients is a humbling experience.It’s reassuring to know that this organization wouldn’t hesitate to step in to help my family if I was ever in the same situation.

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Bob Prihoda, 3D Exhibits

The Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic is the most meaningful annual event for our industry. It is the one opportunity for our community to share the blessings we have achieved from the exhibit industry with those that have come on hard times, financially and emotionally. For those recipients that I have had the pleasure of knowing, one consistent message comes through – the families are overwhelmed by the generosity and understanding provided by the Randy Smith participants and sponsors. The best gift they receive is not financial, but the support and love demonstrated by Rich Johnson and the rest of his industry peers.

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Dave Walens, Brumark

The RSMGC means giving back to an industry that I have grown up in for almost 25 years. Knowing the contributions and efforts I put forth in support of the RSMGC go directly to families in serious need is the most satisfying and direct way for me to give back. The RSMGC is the heart and soul of the exhibit industry. Seeing the industry come together in support these families is something very, very special and can only be experienced by attending this unbelievable event.

Tom Kendrew, Champion Logistics Group Boston

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To me the Randy Smith means an opportunity to give back to an industry that has been good to me. I was first introduced to the event when a fellow Champion employee, Bruce Carl, passed away and his family was selected as a beneficiary. Having been to many golf tournaments over the years, I had a pretty good idea of how the day would go. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Not only was the day of camaraderie like nothing I had ever experienced, the banquet, film and presentation was so incredibly moving that I found myself telling people about it for a long time afterward. The Randy is truly an opportunity to help people that may have at one time or another unknowingly helped me. As much as it is a charity, it is also a day for the people who treat each other like family all year long to come together and demonstrate what family really means.

Nicole Klein, Exhibit Expressions

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Hey Rich,

I am hoping you can get some rest now at least until next year.I am still processing all that we experienced in Atlanta and I don’t think Icould have imagined that it would be as comforting as it was. I was very nervous about it until we got there and could feel the care and love
thattotal strangers had for our family. Thank you doesn’t express how grateful we are for everything we experienced.

You are a visionary with a tender heart as big as the state of Georgia.
Wethank you so much. I will call Lee next week.

Gratefully and with love,

Debbie Adams

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Rich,

You put on a wonderful event. The course was fantastic and we all had a great time. It was nice getting out of the office and spending some time with fellow employees in a relaxed environment.

It is nice knowing that there are people out there like you that care for so many families. It was a real wake up call walking around the course and seeing all of the remembrance signage at the tee boxes.

Again, I can not thank you enough for what you have done for Lee Sexton. She is a wonderful person and did not deserve what happened to her. Additionally, sitting back and listening to all of the other recipients made me want to get on a plane that night to go home and hug my wife. An event like yours makes you think about how precious life truly is.

Again, Rich it was a pleasure meeting you and I am sure we will be seeing each other again in the near future.

Bill Ciccone
Exhibit Works

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After learning of the RSMGC, I was compelled to participate.Our industry is extremely competitive; the fact we are able to come together to support our fellow colleagues and their families in their time of need is remarkable.We are all very fortunate to be members of such a community.The RSMGC is a wonderful charitable event that I hope to see grow and prosper for many years to come.
Jennifer Eades
Donald E. McNabb Company, Inc.

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Five years ago, as a newcomer to the exhibit industry, I watched a video of the Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic at an EDPA luncheon.The scores of participants and volunteers who came together to take part in this awesome charitable event amazed me.And, I was moved to tears by the stories of the recipients who benefited from its generosity.I’ve been a volunteer for the RSMGC ever since.I’m proud to be a part of an industry that cares for its members in times of need.I’m also blessed to have the opportunity to coordinate the tennis portion of the RSMGC.This year, with generous gift donations from the PGA Superstore and Wilson Sporting Goods for tennis goodie bags and an amazing Grand Prize for the top point winner, I’m hoping even more tennis players will join us for this awesome charitable event! Tennis anyone?

Pat Pino
Laarhoven Design

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Oh My Goodness

I received the check from the Randy.Words cannot express my gratitute..It was such an emotional boost being there for the event. I can’t seem to grasp the number of people that must be involved.Thank you so much for including me. The money is just the icing on the cake.Thank you for being so fabulous.

Love you,

Karin Brennan

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Rich, wanted to let you know again how cool yesterday was! Man, you’re doing a great thing with this tournament. We were blown away by all of the stories and emotion. Kristy, me, Keith, Roger and Joe sat in the back and wept over these other people’s stories…just like Lew’s.Like Laurie said, Lew would have been honored being a part of this. You did your buddy good!

Love ya man….Swill

(Mike Swilley)

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Hi Rich.

Thanks for all of your efforts on the tournament.I had a great time and met some really nice people this year out on the course.I was especially moved by arriving on hole #5 of the King course and seeing Frank and my family on display.How very emotional for me.I know that was planned and I want to thank you.Rich, thanks so much for all of your efforts.

Joe Palminteri
ASICS America Corporation

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Hi Richie,

Well once again you pulled off a sensational gathering ofsensational people for a sensational cause. From the bottom of my heart I want tothank you for making this memorial happen. It is truly an honor to be a part of this great memorial. Rich a long as you have this tournament you know I will support it.If I can be of any assistance please do not hesitate to let me know, you know I will be there for you.

Thank you again for the Sponsor of the year award, I am deeply honored
and appreciative.Can we some how recognize the supporting cast that work so hard behind
the scenes? Let me know if you have any ideas.

Thanks again Rich, you are special.

Gary Michel

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Thank you and God Bless

Rich –

I don’t think I have ever been more touched by an event of this nature.Not only was I emotionally and spiritually touched, but I was in absolute awe of you and your partners in setting up this memorial – what a wonderful group of individuals!Thank you so much for including me in this year’s event.Please keep me on the invitation list – as long as I am still upright I plan on attending all future events.

God bless you pal and you will always have a special place in my heart.You are definitely one of the good guys!Take care and let’s stay in touch.

Dale A. Austin
Account Executive
The H.B. Stubbs Company

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Pay it Forward

Dear Rich, Ted and Robert,

I wanted to thank you for inviting me and my family and friends to the Randy Smith Memorial Golf Tournament.It was truly an experience of a lifetime.I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support we all felt from so many who attended and of course you guys who run the tournament.It was an emotional night for me, our girls, Lew’s sisters, my parents and my brother as the year anniversary of Lew’s death was upon us.However, being able to remember him helped us all feel like we had been a part of something that had truly been honoring to Lew and others in such a perfect way.Lew’s absolute favorite thing to do was play golf at Berkley.Wow!I felt his presence so strongly that night.Thank you for that time to remember him and celebrate his life.

I cannot imagine the countless hours you spend getting everything together. The attention to even the smallest details was to perfection.You should feel proud of yourselves, your families (who I’m sure sacrifice being without you a great deal during the preparation time), and the people in your industry.Not only have you modeled how to reach out to your fellow man for your children but you have elevated and motivated an entire industry of people to better themselves through this experience.I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie Pay It Forward but it talks about when someone does something good for you, you in turn “pay it forward” by passing on something good for someone else.I will always remember to “pay it forward” from the goodness and kindness you have shown to my family.I believe through this event you inspire many many people to be the starting point of goodness and kindness to others.

Throughout this past year I have felt God’s comforting presence in my life.I believe he uses people here on earth to give us hugs and help from Him.I believe he is using you to accomplish His purposes.Psalm 34:18 says,”The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”Thank you for reaching out to my family in such a beautiful way.

God Bless You,

Laurie Rogers
The Christie Cookie Company

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A Thank You from Chris Sheldon

Jim,

Happy Holidays to you!

My family just wanted to extend our thanks to all of the following:

RSMGC Board, EDPA, TSEA, and EACA for the generous gift to Nicole and remembering
her as you do each year.

Nicole is doing just fine and is a Junior in High School this year.I hope to be able to bring her to next years event as I am guilty of not
doing a very good job staying involved with all the great people in the tradeshow industry and some very good friends.

Take care and many thanks again!

Sincerely,

Chris Sheldon
C & S Logistics Solutions, Inc.

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A note from Al Gniadek

Rich and Jim,

I received the proceeds check last week and my wife and I wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU and let you know how much it is appreciated!!We were told we will have to stay at a hotel for at least two months during my treatment, in case I get a fever I need to get to the hospital within a half an hour.The money will help pay towards this and all the out of pocket expenses we will incur due to co pays and numerous medicines I will be on.

I also wanted to give a brief update on my treatment, all is going well. I was admitted to the hospital last weekend due to a fever and tremendous back pain but was released on Sunday afternoon. They were able to collect all of my stem cells in one session which is a rarity. I had this done on Monday. This upcoming week will be a big one for me. Tuesday I will go in for a full day of high dose Chemo and on Thursday I will have my “clean” stem cells transplanted back into my body. After this they will monitor me daily and more than likely I will have to be at the clinic 8 hours a day 7 days a week. It is also anticipated that I will have to go into the hospital approx 10 days after transplant for approx 1-2 weeks, so it is very possible I will be in the hospital for Christmas. I will also need blood transfusions and blood platelets, and was overwhelmed to hear that MC-2 ATL has 20 people coming in to donate!!

After this transplant I will recover for 2-3 months and will repeat the process of the transplant with stem cells donated by my brother.

Again thanks so much for everyone that the RSMGC has done for my family and I. I not only thank you for my share of the proceeds but also for all the support I have received, it truly gives me strength in my day to day battle and is part of the reason I am winning!! I am very much grateful and honored to be a recipient of the RSMGC and look forward to sharing my story and experience with other recipients in the years and decades to come!!

Happy Holidays to all!!

AL

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Dear Jim & Sue,

Brian would like to extend his sincere thanks to you, and to the many
dedicated volunteers and sponsors of the Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic.
He truly appreciates everyone’s hard work, kindness and generosity.Brian
was always very proud to be a Sho Link employee and now takes even greater
pride in knowing that he was part of such a wonderful organization.It’s
unique to see an industry come together and support their own – for that,
Brian will always be grateful.

Dianna Bocian
Decision One Mortgage
From Keith Tomaszewski

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Good Morning Rich,

How are you doing?I hope things are going well.I just wanted to write you and thank you for sending me a portion of the proceeds from the 2005 RSMGC.I was expecting to receive a CD of the event and had no idea that I would receive anything else.When I opened the letter, it brought me to tears.This industry has been so wonderful to us.Ya’ll are very special people and I can’t thank you enough for everything you and this event has done for me both financially and emotionally.

Thanks again for everything.

Love,

Debbie Olavarrieta

PS:I hope you and your family have a Happy Holiday Season!

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From Lori Rupp

Hi Rich and Ted,

I wanted to thank you for the most incredible couple of days I have had in a very long time. The RSMGC meant more to me than I could ever tell you. The amount of love and sympathy in that room the night of the dinner is priceless. I truly meant it when I said I was proud to be a part of this new found family. Everyone made me feel so welcome and the hugs and kind words touch my heart in a way I cannot explain. I can tell you having to stand in front of all those wonderful people and speak was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done but felt so wonderful when I finally did it. You all truly touched my heart and it’s such a wonderful feeling. I am finally beginning to be able to have some closure. Thank you so so very much. I definitely can’t wait until next year when I can come back and be a part of the RSMGC and be a part of this again. God bless you all.

Sincerely,

Lori Rupp

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Hi Linda- I am sorry I did not get to say goodbye to you the other night.I think I went outside for a few minutes and you left in the interim.Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you so much for a wonderful time last week.It was really nice spending time with you and I had a really good time at RSMGC.I appreciate you introducing me tothe folks from Champion; Rich, Jim and the rest of the folks that make RSMGC happen.It is a great event, and while I have attended many banquets for a lot of great causes, this one was really special.Ithit home, because it affects the folks in our industry, and while we all pray that tragedies don’t happen in our lives, it is nice to know that if it should occur, the people in our industry come together and honor the families that are affected and their loved ones.It is a great thing you do. I know that the fund raising aspect can be tedious,but you should be proud of the fact that you are making a huge difference in people’s lives at a time they need all the support they can get- when tragedy hits. AMAZING!Thank you, again.

Lenny Servedio
General Manager
Metropolitan Exposition Services, Inc.