Posted by Daniel Joraanstad on Mar 12, 2022
A breath of anticipation was in the air as arrivals at the Nikko Ballroom took in the beautiful setting for Emergency Services Day (ESD), held since 1987. Everyone was excited. Past attendees knew that tales of heroism and dare were on the program and that the Club would put on the dog for our special guests. A large stage was backed by draperies and lights; spotlights hung from the ceiling to light up the platform. 18 tables were topped with floral displays. There was a bar and a photo booth just inside the room. It was an EVENT!
Oversized portraits of the 10 honorees were displayed on easels in the lobby, popular for family and friend photos. Converging on the lobby area for registration were uniformed members of the Coast Guard, Sheriff’s Office, San Francisco Fire Department, and San Francisco Police Department, checked in, making quite an impression. For the first time in the history of this event, Healthcare Representatives joined us having given their all in battling COVID. ESD is a favorite of the Club and usually draws a large audience. This year 140 attendees enjoyed a riveting program, plus a fine three-course lunch if you attended in person. This year we offered an option for those to attend via Zoom if they could not attend in person.
I served as Master of Ceremonies. As one of our Club Members stated, “Dan was born with a microphone in his hand” and obviously enjoyed his role (I did!) I opened the program with a focus on the question: “What is a Hero?" and mentioned that the Department Chiefs had to answer this question when they selected the ten honorees of this day. Conclusion: All of us have a chance to be a hero in big and small ways as part of Rotary, sketching something of what we do.
Each of the five ESD areas was prefaced by an exciting video sketch providing a dramatic beginning complete with epic music. The video team was particularly effective in their work and planning for the day. This event was first rate in every way, in our attempt to bring honor and congratulations to such an important coterie of our City, who are often overlooked or criticized.