by Setma Maddox DTM

TK O’Geary, International Director, indicated in her Keynote Speech at the District 25 Conference, that “only 1% of all persons who have ever been a member of Toastmasters International and only 6% of the active members earn the Distinguished Toastmasters award. No other District honors their Distinguished Toastmasters like District 25. The ceremony is well-known at International.” Other Districts have tried to copy this unique ceremony, but we do it best.

I have been a member of District 25 for twenty-two (22) years during which I have watched many members get the prized DTM medallion placed around their necks, pose with the amazing plaque provided by International, and then give a short 1-2 minute speech on a topic of their choice about their Toastmasters journey.  I earned my first DTM twelve years after I joined.  I think I was in a fog of disbelief because I only remember that I didn’t fall flat on my face and I had family members in the audience.

Saturday night I was privileged to be among the thirty-two members honored by District 25. This time I wanted to savor every minute. I found so many things to be thankful for; the warm greeting of Allan Pickering who made certain I didn’t fall flat on my face; the smile of Chris Raneri as he placed the medallion around my neck; how well organized the whole program proceeded thanks to Glenda Curry, Jamie Pickering, and Ninfa Flewitt; and the helping hand-down from the stage by Keith Beopple.

I listened to the honorees who told me they had earned their DTM before the Summit last November but wanted to wait so they could walk with other club members who would walk at this ceremony. I listened to the stories of each honoree and learned that some have overcome tremendous odds to be present; some who emerged from their cocoons into beautiful butterflies; one told us she found her husband because of Toastmasters; and those that were thankful to all the people who helped them along the way. The messages were serious, sometimes funny, but always heartfelt.

Honoree Sandra Barron quoted Hillary Clinton, “It takes a village…..”, The quote is appropriate to this occasion because these individuals did not achieve this level of success without their clubs. The clubs represented were:

Afterburners #6191 4
ARBOR Toastmasters #2474402 2
Bethesda Toastmasters #1082726 1
BNSF Expressed Toastmasters #879088 1
Colleyville #1582921 1
Crefmasters Toastmasters #1737716 1
FAA Toastmasters #6102 2
First Rate Toastmasters #5213 1
Flagship Speakers #4370 1
Highway to Excellence #3332446 3
Lakeside #3692 1
Leaders-Speakers of Tomorrow #1879279 1
Microsoft Toasters #672146 1
MidCities Achievers #7694 1
NE Tarrant Toastmasters #4618496 1
NW Tarrant Toastmasters #1440249 2
Off the Cuff #4354 1
Power Communicators Toastmasters #4538 1
Progressive Leaders of Denton County #3467810 1
Roanoke Texas Toastmasters #4236 2
Skymasters #593906 1
Speaking for Change #6868376 2
Westlake Toastmasters #7050056 1

Whether you are just starting or have been in Toastmasters for 5, 10, 15, 30, or 40 years, this is an honor and an experience you deserve. If it is your first or more to earn the Distinguished Toastmasters award, plan to walk across that stage. Savor the moments. Watch your fellow honorees because you might just see them glow, and hear their messages. You will be among 1% of all persons who have ever been a member of Toastmasters International and only 6% of the active members to reach this honored goal. Those statistics alone may be enough to say “I did it” but when you add the experience of the District 25 Distinguished Toastmasters unique ceremony to your journey, you want to repeat it again, and again. Come be a One-Percenter!

Check out pictures from 2021 Saturday evening conference event including pictures of all 32 DTMs – click here

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Brenda Daniels

Great writing and inspirational to any Toastmaster working hard to reach the highest recognition in Toastmasters. Afterburners Club 6191 is so proud of our four newly minted Distinguished Toastmasters. They rock!