Given the fact that I work for Emerge WI, I have been to a few of their events and thought I knew what to expect. But Thursday's event was such a success that it blew my mind.
There were hundreds of people in attendance. They came from all walks of life and from all areas of the state. I won't go into naming all of the politicians and community leaders who were in attendance because I know that I would miss some.
There were the speeches given by Bethany Ordaz, Emerge Wisconsin Board Chair; State Senator and Emerge alumna Nikiya Harris; Emerge Alumna Melissa Lemke; and Congressman Ron Kind. There were also some very moving videos of other Emerge alumnae and political and community leaders.
The most moving and passionate tribute came from Congresswoman Gwen Moore, who did the introduction for Baldwin. As usual, Moore delivered a passionate and uplifting speech that really got the crowd going.
Baldwin, the recipient of many standing ovations, also gave a very moving speech. She spoke of how Emerge Wisconsin is changing the social and political environment so that women no longer feel that they are unqualified to run. She talked about how we are in this together and that no one has been successful doing things all on their own.
On a personal note, I have to say that the highlight of the evening was not the speeches or the videos. Nor was it seeing so many friends and making many new ones. Nor was even the fact that Baldwin went out of her way to thank my wife and I for volunteering to help with the event.
The highlight of the evening, for me anyways, was seeing the look on my wife's face as she got to meet one of her heroes. Not only meet her, but to hug her and have our picture taken with her.
The fact that Baldwin is such a genuinely nice person just made it all the better for both my wife and myself.