District 26 - Serving Colorado, Wyoming and Western Nebraska

As I sit ready to write my last post for this year, the song from Sound of Music keeps popping into my head. Now I need to ear worm share it with you.

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodnight, but not goodbye forever. Now when you hear that song, maybe you will think of me. 🙂

It has been a crazy two years in the district for me. I started out in 2017 as a Social Media Chair upon Rhea’s request. I made some updates, helped out where I could and did the best job I could via District Training, Toastmaster Leadership Institute and the Expo of helping the district understand social media and how to use it to their advantage.

I was the Fall Conference Chair for “The Best Last Fall Conference EV-AR!” I got to know Marcia Wood and the rest of the TRIO through contests,District Officer Training and another chance to help out with conference as Sponsorship Chair and Silent Auction Chair for the Spring Conference with Ann Hill. Before my Social Media year was even up, we were discussing launching a brand new and improved website for District 26 with me as Liaison to Source One Technologies who carried the brunt of the work. The Web Team of Rhea Thompson and Gregory Harris were integral to this new site happening, and I could not have managed this without them.

In 2018 I happily accepted the appointment of Public Relations Manager from Marcia Wood, our new District Director for the 2018-2019 year! I loved her new focus “Keep the Promise, Meet the Challenge.”.Boy did I ever follow that focus!

In January on 2019 many of you may know that I found out my Colon Cancer had come back. This time with a vengeance as Stage 4 Metastasized Colon Cancer with a 14% chance of survival in the next five years. I was asked if I wanted to resign and chose not to. With Integrity being the top Core Value of Toastmasters I felt it was my desire to show  integrity to stay in my position and do the job and role I said I would do.

  • By the time I was Public Relations Manager, a new website was launched and we now have 74 current subscribers. If you would like to Subscribe CLICK HERE
  • We had moved from having Newsletters to a Blog, and a new Blog Editor Dia Kline was an integral part of the PR Dream Team as I called us.
  • I changed the Social Media Spotlight to Toastmaster on the Move and used that as a platform for finding people for a Podcast I wanted to try. We had a few guests, but I found it was not my forte.
  • I have written and released a few Press Releases during my time and some of them acquired the traction we desired some did not. They can be found on the Public Relations Page at the bottom.
  • We tried Slack for all the VPPRs and while it worked well in the beginning when all the VPPRs were new, it slowed down and our Slack Chair decide to leave the PR team.
  • I changed the way Networking was handled and kept the same format, yet changed location. Two Speakers, One Timer, The Division Directors help find a location and the speakers. The speakers send PR their intro, Bio and headshot to be able to use and promote on Social Media. An event is always created on Facebook and Eventbrite.
  • We tried Vendor events and found some success in getting the word out but it was so closely related to Club Growth, it needed more fine tuning.
  • We did start out with a Social Media Chair but the hard lesson I learned is that I had all the knowledge in my brain and nothing written down for Roles and Responsibilities. To hand things over to my successor I created a document just for this cause and hopefully this year they will have better luck filling that role so PR doesn’t have to take the brunt of all that.

All in all I did the best I could to raise up District 26 Toastmasters into the technology age. I stayed the course. I tried new things. I learned what did and did not work. I trained VPPRs. I trained the District. I learned what being a leader really meant and believe you me, it was not what I thought it was. It was so much more. I am grateful to both TRIOs from both of my years (2017-2018 & 2018-2019) in these roles. I have learned and gained more than I could ever hope for.

So who am I handing the baton to? Keith Horowitz! He is from Colorado Springs and wants to help retain the structure that I have laid out for the next few years.

I have great faith in Keith and am excited to hand over this baton to him!

Keith has experience in the District, has competed in contests and has served often in his club. He will be  a valuable resource to all of you!


This coming year I will be silent in the background helping Keith Horowitz as needed but mostly I will have one main task…BEAT CANCER. That is first and foremost on my mind and I am sure you all understand.  The second is to hopefully participate in contest this year, health willing. So long, farewell….See you on the flip side!

Trixie Hunter-Merrill

Public Relations Manager



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