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ESTHER 2020 “Banquet”: The Rest of the Story

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Thumbnail of ESTHER 2020 Banquet video on YouTubeOur 2020 virtual “Banquet” celebration started out strong, with an amazing program and an audience of over 220 people registered to participate. As the event began on November 1, however, we realized that the “livestream” on YouTube was neither live nor streaming.

All efforts to fix it failed. IRL (in real life), the program was actually taking place at the scheduled time, but no one could see it! The live program was recorded, however, so we are able to share it with you.

On November 8, a large and enthusiastic audience watched the recorded “Banquet” video premiere together on YouTube. And now we are making it available to all. You can watch the program at this address:

Highlights include:

  • Opening piano music by Noah Harmon, with a guest appearance by Fr. Joe Mattern on flute
  • “Why I Love ESTHER” testimonials from many ESTHER volunteers
  • Presentation of ESTHER’s 2020 Community Leadership Award to Kristin Welch for her work with Menīkānaehkem and MMIW
  • Wade Fernandez’s beautiful solo on the Native flute
  • Presentation of ESTHER’s 2020 Individual Leadership Award to Jennifer Considine
  • Video cameos by ESTHER Task Force leaders and other volunteers
  • Hillary Reynolds singing her haunting and uplifting “What Faith Is”
  • A stirring keynote presentation by Rev. Traci Blackmon
  • Fawn Youngbear-Tibbetts calling all of us to take action
  • Nathan Angelo’s delightful song “Spread a Little Happiness” (arranged by Appletonian Sam Nulton), with dancing by many intrepid ESTHER volunteers

In addition to those mentioned above, we want to give special thanks to Jonathan Steffen, Dee Savides and Shannon Glenn for technical and directorial support; ELCA Bishop Gerald Mansholt, MC; Cherie Thunder, Hannah Schmidt and the women of Menīkānaehkem and the MMIW leadership cohort; Deb Martin; Rev. Laurie Lyter-Bright; Rev. Joe Ellwanger; ESTHER Lead Organizer Bill Van Lopik; ESTHER President Gary Crevier; and ESTHER Banquet Committee members.

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