Mike Dunn: Red White & Boom’s circle will expand

About 20 years ago, when I was just getting involved in the Wicomico County Relay For Life, I had lunch with my Relay mentor, the one and only Bud Elzey.

I had known Bud and his wife, Bev, for years, but this lunch seemed different to me – and it was.

That’s because Bud was introducing me to his theory about what he called the “Relay For Life circle.” And, as I look back on it, that theory has turned into one of the best life lessons I’ve ever received.

Bud’s “circle” theory was a simple one, seemingly. He shared it with me on … a napkin.

On that napkin Bud drew a circle. He then explained to me that, in order for Relay For Life to grow, that circle must always expand. The circle needed to expand with more teams, more cancer survivors, more volunteers (like me), more vendors, more fundraising. More … of everything.

By expanding the circle, the event guaranteed its own success.

Expand the circle. Always expand the circle.

This year, as another event I’ve been proud to be a part of – Red White and BOOM – brings free community fireworks to Salisbury for the sixth consecutive year, the Red White and BOOM circle is expanding.

Two wonderful young men – one a former Eagle Scout, and another who’s got a last name that’s familiar to lots of Salisbury folks – are joining our little Red White and BOOM circle, as co-chairs of the event. In 2018, they will take over the reins, and allow me the opportunity to step aside.

Brian Nelson and Ryan Weitzel, both of Salisbury, will be all over Wicomico County Stadium on July Fourth, watching the hard work they’ve been putting in since January pay off. Brian and Ryan have been painstakingly picking my brain for the last five months, prying for as much intel as they could.

As many of you may know, I’ve been the Chairman and, I’m proud to say, the founder of Red White and BOOM, since 2012. I have some files, and lots of contacts, inside my head, of course. But, I haven’t had to download that intel with anyone, until now.

Red White and BOOM has been a fairly small operation My wife, Karen, has (thankfully) joined me each year on the Fourth, decorating the Stadium and locking in the logistics for our food vendors.

And, I’ve been lucky enough to have bunches of volunteers help me along the way – thanks Kim Hudson family and friends, and “Neighbor Jen” Jordan, and my first volunteer, Bill Gordy, and many others. Now that small operation has its two newest members, Brian and Ryan.

They will help oversee the amazing community effort that has ALWAYS been at the heart of this event.

This year, Red White and BOOM, presented by Toyota (Yes, that’s new, too!!) will do what it’s always done: it will take the incredible efforts of SO many, and put on the best, darned free community fireworks celebration on Delmarva.

Thanks Brian and Ryan, for your efforts this year – and for your (now) continuing efforts next year and beyond to … expand the circle!

Mike Dunn is President and CEO of the Greater Salisbury Committee.

 

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