Today we have a special guest. Or is it guests? With all the hoopla surrounding the Jonas Brothers, be it marriage, their music (blah), or Wilford Brimley we just can’t seem to get rid of these guys. They stopped by the AOL campus for a fundraiser this past Monday and my Dad was one of the people in the stands. Battling the sun and all the tweens in attendance, he was kind enough to snap a few pictures and after a little convincing he has decided to grace this blog with his prose a second time. Take it away Dad.
As an employee of AOL LLC for the past six years, I have been fortunate to witness a lot of things. No, I was not there to benefit from the multiple stock splits of the early 90s, but I have been able to experience a different excitement, that of getting the opportunity to see a wide variety of guests that have come to the Dulles Virginia campus.
One of the first “celebrities” I met was Gheorghe Muresan. Some may remember him as the 7 ft 7 inch center for the Washington Wizards. Others will remember him as the Giant in Billy Crystal’s My Giant movie. Yes, I got an autograph for my son.
Over the years the different interest groups at AOL have been very active in bringing in people of special interest that many would never think to come and see. We have had a comedian with multiple sclerosis, a transsexual female that use to be a man, a Muslim holy man to talk about the Muslim religion, and a lawyer that once walked in Selma, Alabama with Martin Luther King, Jr.
We have had our share of “Hollywood Celebrities”as well. The Oscar winning actress Marlee Matlin Children of a Lesser God came to speak (and sign) about how AOL had been out front in working with people with special needs to ensure that they too could access the Internet. As I was leaving the auditorium, who is walking out next to me but none other than Ted Leonsis (AOL executive and owner of the Washington Capitals). He looked at me, held out his hand and said, “Hi, I am Ted”. All I could say was, “I know who you are, I am Dana.” : ) Ashley Judd came in to speak about the children of Africa (I regretfully was out of the office for that visit).
This past Monday, July 13th, the organizers at AOL were able to reach a new plateau. The previous Thursday a corporate email came out announcing a Summer Sizzle picnic and Softball game to be held on Monday, with special guests for the family to enjoy. The rumors started flying and by Friday the word was out; the Jonas Brothers were the special guests. People quickly Googled (I mean AOL Searched) and found out that they were playing at the Verizon Center in Washington DC that Monday night. A makeshift softball infield, bleachers and stadium were setup on the Dulles campus, and after the AOL All-Star team warmed up, the speakers started to play the music “Who Let the Dogs Out” to introduce the Road Dogs softball team. The visiting team came jogging out, lead by Kevin, Joe, and Nick Jonas. Their father was the pitcher. The rest of the team consisted of band members, security and a few roadies. Needless to say the young folks, especially the ladies in the crowd, become very excited. The game ended 15 – 13 with the Road Dogs winning. The Jonas brothers did themselves proud with multiple hits and Nick played a mean short stop. The event raised $2,900 for the Jonas Brothers charity Change for the Children Foundation which raises money for many charities including American Diabetes Foundation. Nick Jonas was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2005.
I am fortunate enough to be working on another upcoming event where Olympic gold medallists, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Zina Garrison will participate in a panel discussion on overcoming obstacles in their life. Many of you will know Jackie. Zina was the Williams sisters before Venus and Serena hit women’s professional tennis.
Many people look to their jobs as a place where they can climb the corporate ladder, make a good salary with hopefully good benefits. I am lucky enough to look at my company and realize, without AOL, I would not have had the opportunity to meet so many interesting people.
Thanks for letting me share Christopher.
Dana Snider (Sr. Technical Project Manager, AOL, LLC)