How Can I Ever Thank Everyone?

Starting off this blog post, I’m already nervous. I know that I’m going to offend someone, and I truly don’t mean to do so because this is a post about gratitude.

As you know, I’m changing up my personal blog for the month since I’m working night and day on the San Gabriel Valley Literary Festival, but I’m not the only person who is working long hours. Each and every person I’ve listed here has volunteered time to help us. They have all been patient and kind, and every single person is dedicated to the vision that the San Gabriel Valley can and should have more literary opportunities.

I’m going to start with the wonderful people at West Covina. Lyndel Morgan, for example has been nothing but wonderfully efficient. She has facilitated so much for us, done so much to make sure that the West Covina City Hall is open to all of our readers and audience members for the entire weekend. Without her help, we could not possibly have had this at West Covina.

Thank you Lyndel.

Scott Smilowitz has also been so helpful and has helped to make this work. The two of them together make an extraordinary team.

Wen Wen Zhang is the head librarian at the West Covina Library and has hosted readings and workshops for us. She will be opening her doors for the entire weekend, and allowing all of our audience members access to my favorite library, the one that I grew up in.

Thank you Wen Wen and Scott.

And of course, there are so many volunteers. We have had nearly 100 people volunteer in one way or another. Too many to possibly mention here. I’m afraid that if I try to mention all of them, I’ll miss many of them, so let me just list some. Nicola San Juan organizes so much of what we do. She coordinates and facilitates. At fundraisers, she brings everything we need. She finds donors and partners. She’s amazing. Michaelsun Knapp has organized and judged our fundraising contests. Clifford Ashpaugh has brought in investors and is selling booth space. And there is David Falkinburg. If you see any video, it’s his. If you see graphics, they are either his or Daniel Cuesta’s.

Thank you Michaelsun, Daniel, David, Cliff, and Nicola.

And there is the group. We sat together one smoggy afternoon two years ago and thought this festival up. We’ve been working constantly since then. I’m gregarious and I often get too much credit because I have no shame or shyness so people see me a lot. But there’s Scott Creley who has organized, dreamed, thought up, developed, designed, and done all of the computer work. Scott is a genius and deserves so much credit.

But so does Elder Zamora, who runs much of our financial program. If you think that’s easy, then you’ve never done taxes. Imagine doing your taxes every day for two years. That’s Elder. In addition, he’s given ideas, organized, and been brilliant.

And there is Ann, my wife, who is the organizing force in anything that I do. It’s easy to do great things when someone else is taking care of all of the detail. Ann is a genius. I’ve never been more impressed with anyone, and so much of the work is done by her.

Thank you Scott, Ann, and Elder

And here is why I am afraid. I know that I’ve left someone out. If you’ve noticed a glaring hole, private message me so I can fix it.

And I can hear you saying that you want to help too.

You can.

If you want to donate money, and we need a little more money, please go to our campaign to donate.

However, almost more importantly, make sure that everyone else in the world knows about our campaign and the festival. Advertise on your Facebooks and Twitter accounts. Mention it to your friends.

The San Gabriel Valley Literary Festival is a movement to take the arrogance out of art and bring everyone in. We want you to be a part of this as much as we are.