I first met Jenni & her witty husband, Pete, over a trivia night souree hosted by Norwalk's PTO. A mutual friend had needed intelligent couples and somehow, Gerard & I made "the cut". I'm so glad we did because a year after that event, Jenni's family had a reunion that she asked me to photograph and now, two years (maybe more?) later, a group that is totally run by volunteers entrusted Jenni to hire a photographer for their 30th anniversary and alumni event. Jenni knew who to call, or maybe she could only find my number...;)

To those of us on the outside of it, The Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute could look like a group of selected adults who are trained and then challenged to complete a Girl-Scout-Gold-Award-meets-Boy-Scout-Eagle-Award-Project-on-Steroids. But, to those who have experienced it, have completed the amazing projects that have bettered our city of Des Moines, have met their future spouse in the program, it's safe to say that GDMLI changes lives for the better. While also uplifting the surrounding community. And they've been around for 30 years. It was time to celebrate and honor those who have gone above & beyond to make Des Moines a wonderful place to live.

I arrived before the guests began cocktail hour for some detail shots of the evening:
My next "detail" was the entry door to cocktail hour. Jenni & I wanted some kind of prop to denote that it was GDMLI's 30th anniversary, so I brought along a chalkboard and had just about each group that passed my way hold it for their group photo.
My next "duty station" was catching candid moments of the guests during dinner, preferably when their mouths weren't full of food....:)
Here are President and Mrs. Maxwell of Drake University:
As dinner progressed, the jazz ensemble providing music also led us in a rendition of 'Happy Birthday' for GDMLI's 30th. The cupcakes were made special by one of GDMLI's own members for everyone!
As dessert was finishing, it was time to honor their distinguished guests, Mollie Cooney of Channel 8 News Em-cee-ed the event:
Award recipients included:
-Joe Gonzalez, Des Moines Police Dept.
-David Stark, Blank Children's Hospital
-Vernon Delpesce, YMCA of Greater Des Moines
-Kim Butler, The Private Bank
-Jackie Matt, Wesley Life
-David Maxwell, Drake University
-Joyce Chapman, West Bank
Jenni & The Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute-I had a fabulous time getting to know your organization and all that you've done and are continuing to do for the Des Moines area. Thank you for caring about our community and investing your time, sweat and efforts to make this a great place to live!
Many blessings,