Redding, CA: Final stop on the 2015 Visionary of the Year Tour
Thursday morning, October 1, we waved goodbye to San Francisco and drove north to Redding, CA for the final presentation on the 2015 Visionary of the Year Speaking Tour. Thursday afternoon found us at a beautiful house outside of town, enjoying the mountain view, crisp clean air, and a lovely group of people interested in supporting Zuhal and supporting the work of Euphrates. Over a lovely spread of appetizers, Janessa introduced Zuhal and her amazing work, and people had the opportunity to ask questions, mingle, and enjoy a feeling of celebration as the tour came to a close!Thursday night we were privileged to spend in the McConnell Foundation Guest House (McConnell helped to make our trip to Redding possible - we thank them for their generosity!) and we woke up Friday to a gorgeous Redding day. Zuhal was interviewed for the evening news, and a group of Euphrates supporters gathered for lunch later.
The evening's event, at First Methodist Church in Redding, CA, had an air of excitement as Chapter members busily set up T-Shirt sales displays and encouraged guests to sign-up for the Euphrates newsletters. The auditorium filled in until the house felt full, and we had the honor of Mayor Francie Sullivan introducing Zuhal that night. After, Janessa took the stage to share the story of Euphrates: the way she noticed the peace of the Euphrates river cutting right through a war zone in Iraq, and how she knew that peace and efforts toward unity would always be present, even in the midst of seeming un-ending conflict. This concept shows up in all the work Euphrates does, and so clearly in the annual Visionary. Janessa presented Zuhal with her award, and with many thanks for the whirlwind speaking tour she had embarked upon as part of her role as the 2015 Visionary.Zuhal took the microphone for the tenth time in sixteen days (not to mention her interviews and meetings sprinkled in throughout!) and gave an outstanding presentation about the orchestra, about her journey, and about her hopes for the future. The questions she received were heartfelt, thanking her for her work and imploring her to share the 'secret' of how to feel motivated to be a change-maker, especially when the temptation to feel disillusioned is strong. Zuhal shared the need for hope, and the need to try -- to take any skills you have and to see how they might help others in a small or in a nation-wide way. She was met with a standing ovation!