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Your article [“Wary of the ‘Wow,’” May 2003] was to the point. Unless our industry takes a proactive stance, we may find the baby being thrown out with the bath water. In Boston, with the mayor's edict, the magician planning to appear at the Lions Club lunch today can't use flash paper. I hope the Boston Opera is not planning a production of “Faust,” because the Devil appears in a flash of smoke and fire.
Richard D. Thompson
Thompson Associates
Van Nuys, Calif.


Our industry services many corporations and associations. In my years of involvement, I have worked with many myself. Never have I experienced a group of professionals as special as the event professionals of this world. During very busy work seasons, you took the time to visit, write, and send cards, flowers and gifts during my illness and recovery. Special events is truly the industry with a heart.

Each day another message of love and hope appeared. I have to thank the special people who flew in to take care of me: Betty Garrett, Audrey Gordon and Sheri Pizitz. You not only helped my incredible family by helping with my care, but you gave me yet another life lesson in true friendship.

The card blitz was not only immensely supportive at the time, but sitting down a few weeks ago and reading them all again was very emotional. Steve Kemble and John and Marty Daly — you take the top awards for amount of cards sent. Your love and affection humble me. I received letters full of faith from people I have met only once, and a few from people I have never met. Thank you, thank you all.

My original surgery, although a major one, was fraught with complications causing such a long illness. Those complications are what caused the two additional surgeries and the five months in bed. There are side effects one doesn't imagine; after five months lying down, one's body forgets how to sit up. The muscles have to be retrained. But … there are silver linings too. I didn't have to wear a bra or high heels for all that time. I do tire easily and that will pass, but I am thin and healthy and plan on staying that way.

I also want to thank all of you who came to visit me in the hospital during The Special Event. You had the nurses baffled at the amount of people suddenly visiting the ward. You made it easier for me. I knew how much I was missing not being with all of you, and you were all so close, you helped me through it.

To Lisa Perrin and Lisa Hurley and everyone at Special Events Magazine, what can I say but a thousand thank-yous for the very special award. Being named the Top Event Professional is something I will always cherish.

Shari Hirsch, even more thanks for keeping all of our programs running and managing everything without help. You always come through.

Pat Mobley, you always kept me laughing, an important part of healing!

And what can I possibly say to Kevin and Rebecca Coons, as well as Terry Souza? You kept me alert, you kept the doctors alert, you filled my soul with love, my room with personality … you kept me alive. I love you all so very dearly.

I am starting on the next phase of my life, as a friend said, a “life leap” — moving back to Hawaii! I will be keeping my repeat clients and have found new ones already. I will be traveling as usual but when I return home, it will be to my little tree farm on the mountain. I will be living in Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. I am taking all of those lemons and making lemonade!

To all of you, the heart and soul of an industry, my love and my thanks! I will forever be grateful.
Aloha nui loa!
Patti Coons, CSEP
Volcano, Hawaii

Special Events Magazine named veteran event designer/producer Patti Coons its Top Event Professional at The Special Event in January.

Special Events Magazine welcomes your comments. Please include your name, title, company and address. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Write to us at 23805 Stuart Ranch Road, Suite 235, Malibu, CA 90265; fax: 310/317-0264; or e-mail: [email protected].

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