How To Breathe New Life into Your Club

by Francine Juhlin, DTM

Is your club yearning for a surge of new energy? Have you ever experienced an open house devoid of fresh faces, attended solely by the familiar staleness of existing members? Do you find yourselves teetering on the brink of achieving distinguished club status, agonizingly close yet just out of reach due to a mere handful of missing recruits? These were the stark realities that gripped the hearts of the members of Toast of JAX in Jacksonville as they contemplated their next special event.

Toast of JAX realized that doing the same old things would achieve the same old results. They understood that to achieve something truly remarkable, they needed to break free from the mundane. They set out to craft an event so unique and imaginative that it would draw in even those who had never considered the transformative power of Toastmasters before.

Welcome to the Toast of JAX Spontaneity Showcase—an event like no other, designed to ignite the passions and curiosity of all who dared to participate. But where to find participants worthy of such an occasion? The answer lay in the heart of the community, among the esteemed members of the local Chamber of Commerce.

Armed with the fervor of a true innovator, the Vice-President of Public Relations took to the task with zeal, rallying potential contestants at the Clay County Chamber of Commerce Finally Friday Networking Group. With each impassioned pitch, the allure of the Spontaneity Showcase grew stronger, captivating the imaginations of those who dared to dream beyond the confines of routine.

But the true miracle of this endeavor lay not merely in the recruitment of contestants, but in the transformation it inspired. Among those who answered the call, one soul found herself so enraptured by the promise of growth and self-discovery that she took the bold step of joining Orange Park Toastmasters to prepare for the Showcase. After winning 2nd place in the Showcase, she decided to go All In and joined Toast of JAX, too; this single act of courage and determination changed her life forever, a testament to the miraculous power of the Toastmasters experience.

As the stage was set for the Spontaneity Showcase (a table topics like competition), anticipation crackled in the air, a palpable energy that screamed of new beginnings and endless possibilities. Truly, this was not just an event—it was a new beginning for Toast of JAX and all involved. The energy in the packed meeting room, as people reunited with long-lost friends and met individuals from various organizations, felt electric, brimming with potential.

Beyond the contestants overcoming their fear of public speaking, beyond the club planning and executing a fun and exciting event, a young mind learned of Toastmasters for the first time. She was a guest of one of the contestants, supporting her aunt in the audience, having no idea what she would witness. This young lady joined Toast of JAX, adding to the club’s vitality and furthering the cycle of growth and transformation.

As the curtains drew to a close on the Toast of JAX Spontaneity Showcase, we were left not only with memories of a remarkable event but with a lasting impact of daring to step beyond the bounds of routine. What began as a quest for new energy and fresh faces evolved into a journey of transformation, both for individuals and for the club as a whole. The new surge of energy within Toast of JAX attracted two additional members to the club.

But the true magic of this event lies not just in the tangible outcomes of four new members, but in the intangible sense of possibility that now fills the air. As we stand on the threshold of new beginnings, fueled by the electric energy of camaraderie and potential, we are reminded that with innovation and determination, there are no limits to what we can achieve.

So let this event serve as inspiration to all who seek to break free from the mundane, embrace the unknown, and step boldly into a future filled with endless possibilities. In the heart of every challenge lies the opportunity for growth, and in the soul of every dreamer lies the power to create a brighter tomorrow. Together, let us continue to strive, to innovate, and to inspire, for it is in these moments of daring that we truly come alive.

Left – Renee Mejias 2nd Place

Center – Francine Juhlin, Toast of JAX VPPR

Right – Heide Aderman 1st Place

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