2016 Michael's Memories Cruise - Networking Success!
To say the 2016 Michael's Memories Cruise was a success is an understatement. Yes, I wrote 'success.' You might be thinking, 'well, sure 7 nights on a floating party ship, along with amazing excursions in beautiful ports-of-call, is a success.' Those aspects of the trip were certainly fun. However, the new friends we made and the connections Michael established far surpassed our expectations and resulted in one of the most successful networking opportunities for Michael's Memories to date.
Anyone who knows Michael knows one of his many gifts - and likely his strongest - is the gift to connect with people. If you spend more than 5 minutes with Michael, you are no longer an acquaintance - you are his friend. This was certainly evident during the cruise. He handed out over 100 Michael's Memories wristbands and told the story of the organization, and he listened with empathy and compassion while other Carnival Freedom guests shared stories with him about grandchildren and spouses and family members and friends who were fighting cancer or who had lost their battle with the unbiased disease. He also befriended numerous staff members, including comedian Lester Bibbs (check out his Facebook page - Lester Bibbs Memphis Red). However, his most successful connection resulted from a chance encounter with John Heald, Carnival Cruise Lines Ambassador and blogger extraordinaire. John happened to be in the middle of a video blog early one morning when he randomly came across Michael at a coffee shop. Click on the link to see what happened next:
As a result of this chance encounter, the word about Michael's Memories has spread globally. The video has had over 49,000 views, Michael's Memories Facebook page 'likes' have increased by approximately 500, and people from all over the world are donating to the cause. SUCCESS! As always, thanks to everyone who supports this charity in its efforts to send firefighters who have been diagnosed with cancer, along with their families, on all-inclusive paid vacations.