No 48. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Thursday, November 26, 2015
I’m thankful that I’m sitting here in the Arthur Murray Dance Center of Santa Monica. We drove by St. Monica Parish tonight where 1000+ were served a hot dinner, and were taken to the “Boutique” for a full set of new clothes, all donated from our church. I’m so thankful I have a warm home to go to tonight for it is in the 40’s here in Santa Monica tonight. I pray for those without a home tonight.
I’m thankful that I found my parish of 27 years, St. Monica. I’m thankful that I walked up to a great man, Dan Schwala, 14 years ago and said “May I help?” and Dan put me to work. Thank you Dan! Thank God for giving me the good sense to find the miracle of service, leadership and volunteering to help others.
Thankful for my wonderful parents, my dad the hero of my life and my mother the precious soul who I call to every day for guidance. The other part of the “trinity” in heaven, Jim Byrd, who was such a wonderful friend and partner and generous person. Jim always said “It will get better”, and it does. Thanks to my brother and two precious sisters and their families!
Now, I’m married to Joel Rieck, the kindest and nicest person I have ever known, next to my dear mother. Thank goodness I was in a good place in my life to have met Joel. I trust him with my life, business, and with my future.
I’m thankful for my 40 years with the world famous Arthur Murray organization. For Helen and Vadim Logvinov who first believed in me, also the great DeBeves who mentored me and shaped my skills and dancing. For the believers at Arthur Murray International who have always supported me. My coaches and especially Wenche Sevick, who guided my dancing. To the many others, I’m thankful for you all.
For the desire to write and read, I’m grateful for all my mentors who helped me with my love of books. Now, I have a strong burning desire to write and to become a world-class speaker. I feel electricity flow through me when I speak and I hope that the spirit of life flows through me as I share with others.
I’m thankful for my business partner, Gabriela Young, who inspired Joel and me to join together in this great journey of being franchisees.
I’m thankful that I love to cook and keep a house. My ample figure will show you how good a cook I am and yes, it is a passion for me.
For the great love of music, from Gospel to Opera, I love it all. Possessed by the love of music, I enjoy each day’s blessing of music.
For the smarts to be surrounded by great people. Our Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, Laurel Rosen and the many leaders in our Chamber. The great leaders in our City who I am delighted to know and serve with. Thanks to you all.
The list of why I have an attitude of gratitude is very long. For my health, the funds to live and have a good life, the geek part of me who loves electronics and science fiction and time travel.
After my faith and fantastic family, thanks to the wonderful friends who will be my friends through eternity. Thanks for forgiving me and helping round out my rough edges.
Yes, this is a great time to give thanks, and say to you reading this, thank you for your love and support. May God richly bless you and guide you in your life. If you every need a helping hand, like Diana Ross said, “If you need me call me, no matter where you are, no matter how far. I’ll be there in a hurry, and that you can depend and never worry”.
Ok, I’ll wipe off my tears and get back to work and start counting another year’s worth of blessings.
David Earl Woodbury