Pay it forward

Jennifer, manager for a party and event center in Camas, Washington, told session four of the Leadership Development Lab

“I was hired to setup and coordinate a wedding for an amazing couple. It took about two hours for my staff and I to get everything ready for the wedding.The bride and her bridesmaids had gone out to take pictures before the wedding and they forgot their flowers. I went in search of them, so they would have their flowers for the photos.

“On my journey to find them I walked past another wedding that was taking place not too far from my event. I noticed their wedding cake was not looking so good. It kind of looked like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I kept walking because I was on a mission to find my bride and give her the flowers before they were finished with photos. I located the bride and bridesmaids and gave them the flowers. On my way back I walked by the same wedding with the sad looking wedding cake and this time I just had to stop and ask if I could help fix their cake.

“I started lifting one of the layers of the cake to see if I could sneak a wedge under one side to lift it up. I found out that there were no support plates or dowels to hold the cake up, so it was caving in on itself and there was nothing I could do to fix it.

“I googled the closest store and found a Safeway a few minutes away. I dashed over and asked the baker for any type of white cake in two different sizes that I could stack together to create a new wedding cake for these people I didn’t even know. I ended up with one square and one round cake. I was determined to make it work. I went back to the wedding, stacked the cakes, and asked them to use their other cake to serve the guests. I pulled a couple of flowers from each centerpiece and decorated their new cake with live flowers.

“The mother asked me how much she owed me. I told her, ‘This is my gift to you and your daughter. Have a marvelous wedding.’She was so happy she almost squeezed me to death. I went back to my event and finished the night perfectly.

“The lesson I learned from this experience is sometimes the smallest things to me can be the most wonderful things to someone else.

“The action I call you to take is don’t be afraid to ask people if they need help especially when you know they need it and you have the skills to fix it.

“The benefit you will gain by paying it forward is someday you may be the next person that needs help and the universe will pay you back with dividends.”

Congratulations to the 92 February 2018 Leadership Development Lab graduates!

Classes  graduated in Vancouver, Washington (25 graduates), Clackamas, Oregon (38), and Bend, Oregon (29). Successfully completing the Leadership Development Lab requires persistent effort and courageous determination. Thank you to the 30 companies represented in these classes.

You can reach Larry Dennis TODAY at or 503-329-4519