Russ Backus Distinguished Service Award
Each year at the discretion of the District Governor, a deserving Arizona Toastmaster is presented the Russ Backus Award. The recurring award is presented to recognize members for their continual service to District 3 and to the Toastmasters program. To eligible for the award you must be a Toastmaster in District 3 for over 10 years and have continually served the District in some way. Basically you would wear Toastmasters pajamas if they made them.
At the discretion of the District Governor is tough; there are so many wonderful Toastmasters that have served our District for many years in many ways. When I became District Governor there was one person that always came up when I was thinking about this award. I have known this Toastmaster from almost the beginning of my Toastmasters career. I served with this Toastmaster several times in my leadership journey. This Toastmaster has been a solid and consistent force of nature in their home club and Area. She has chartered clubs, kept clubs alive, been in speech contests, and has served many, many, many times when we needed her. Her unfailing positive outlook in times of tragedy inspired me. And she never doubted the ability of this year’s team to meet and succeed in our goals. I can honestly say I don’t think there is a person in this district that knows this woman and does not absolutely love her. So I thought that if someone served as Division Governor, and an Area Governor for her area nine times deserves some recognition.
It is my honor and privilege to award the 2011-2012 Russ Backus award to my friend, and yours, red hot and rising to the top Toni Leiboff.