As 2023 comes to an entertaining end, it is now time to say a parting goodbye to adored family and friends. The Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation has gifted me with over a decade of opportunities to serve others in a very fulfilling way. Together as an organization, we provided entertainment experiences that are so good they demand a return. That mission was the fuel that resulted in twelve years of meaningful work with extraordinary people by my side. After 4,000 days and 480 shows, my affinity for the people we serve has continued to grow. For it's not the data and statistics that drive a mission. It's the heart. And from there, is where this note of thanks must start.

To the Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation Board, I salute you for working in one accord. The vision was cast collectively and so many faithful servants invested hours to uplift it happily. Some of Van Wert's brightest and finest leaders have gathered monthly around the Green Room table to ensure our efforts received a full appraisal. The Board has been represented by good stewards and committed citizens eager to impact the quality of life through entertainment that eases strife. The work was worthy and these lauded leaders continue as the legacy plays on artfully at the Niswonger, the crowning jewel venue.

Bravo to the esteemed Van Wert Live Sponsors and members who believe in the vision to make Van Wert an entertainment destination through their investments. The return is easy to measure when observing the smiles in the lobby after a show which is a great treasure. Their investments have made it possible for Van Wert to leave people better than we found them by using entertainment as a tool to infuse great joy around them. Thousands upon thousands have been gifted and thousands of lives have been lifted. Their support of choice gave the stage a voice and for that, we all rejoice!

The Van Wert Live Volunteers shine a very bright and beautiful light. With over 150 committed souls who make every show night more than alright. Each of their warm personalities is essential to the customer experience as the organization delivers on the "So Good" promise for the money they spent. That wouldn't be possible without the outstanding work of our dedicated volunteers. Each person is deeply revered and will forever be held in my heart so dear. 

The Van Wert Live Team is a collection of brilliant professionals who have devoted their career lives to serving others. Entertainment is the fun stuff. But it's the work behind the fun that makes this team a family. Held together by a culture of integrity and passion, they work every day to leverage their unique skills in a meaningful way. This solution-seeking team working in harmony creates uplifting atmospheres resulting from a mindset of "we." It has been a grand honor to serve alongside them, together building processes to guide them. The team honors a shared knowledge that the smarter we work, the better we serve. My admiration for each one is stored up in memories of laughter and fun. Because work is made better when enjoying it together. When the work is done and one observes the results, it's the relationships that are the trophies. Rather than collecting dust, they continue to grow through mutual trust, respect, and devotion. To the hardest-working team, I look forward to enjoying your good work from a different perspective in the house. 

With great elation, I thank the Van Wert County Foundation. For this story could not have been written without their support being the ignition. The Foundation powers the arts in the region and gives us yet another reason to give thanks and make merry. Entertainment enhances life for the better and the mission was so very worthy to carry. As I bid adieu, I wish only prosperity and progress for a vision renewed. Embracing the arts is supporting a new start. We all enter a new day, smiling all the way. As my adoration of you grows, I look forward to seeing you at a show!