Kysar Keynote Award 2004 goes to Dick and Sandy McElroy

Congratulations to Dick and Sandy McElroy, joint recipients of the 2004 Michael Kysar Keynote Award, bestowed at our annual recognition party December 12, 2004.

The award was a sentimental tribute to a long-standing favorite couple.  It not only demonstrated to the choir an extraordinary display of devotion and dedication to the choir, but a source of encouragement to both of them as Sandy made the long road back from her stroke.

One of the first things Sandy did was to ask her voice teacher if there was damage to her singing voice.  When she heard positive news, she and Dick began coming back to choir.  Dick noticed that pretty soon she was singing along, so instead of sitting off to the side, Michael encouraged her to retake her place in the front row.

Jon Cannon, in making the presentation, gave Sandy credit for his taking on role as choir president.  Cannon said he has experienced personal and professional growth beyond measure because he heeded her “gentle promptings.”

“When Sandy was stricken, the choir was in jeopardy — not only of losing a soprano and a bass, and doing without two of their most active members over the past 25 years — but of losing one of their dearest couples,” Cannon said in making the presentation.  “But after her months of therapy, she came back as soon as she could walk, with the unwavering support of Dick at her side and a big welcome from the rest of us.”

This determination to continue to be a part of our choir has not gone unnoticed. T hey are some of the first to learn the music.  They are always in their chairs ready for rehearsal and concerts, only missing when they are out of town.  Dick has been one of our well-dressed stage hands moving risers in and out.  Sandy has been on the board, often as soprano section rep.

Their music box sings It’s a Small World, an appropriate theme for their lives of travel, and their focus on the foreign students they took into their home, with whom they forged lifelong friendships.  Their lives have changed, as all of us have changed over the years.  We’ve grown, and learned from your steadfast loyalty.  You exemplify the very spirit of Boeing Employees Choir.  Thank you and God speed.