Sister Erin Polnar – Grand Worthy Advisor 2016 – 2017
My Rainbow journey began when I was initiated into the Pitcairn raindrop pledge group in 2001. As a raindrop, I looked forward to following in my three older sisters’ footsteps and become a member of Pitcairn Assembly No. 90. In December of 2006, it was finally my time to join Rainbow. After holding multiple offices, I was installed as Worthy Advisor for my first of two terms in 2011. Also in 2011, I was installed into my first Grand Office as Grand Representative to Maryland. I was fortunate enough to visit Maryland’s Grand Sessions that year, and to meet so many rainbow girls from Maryland and New Jersey. As the years progressed, I was able to represent Pennsylvania Rainbow by holding several other Grand offices in addition to Grand Representative to Maryland. These offices include Grand Choir Director, Grand Patriotism, Grand Fidelity, and Grand Faith. While spending my rainbow years learning ritual, making friends, and gaining time management skills, the thought of becoming Grand Worthy Advisor of Pennsylvania was always a dream of mine. After being so active in my home Assembly and as a Grand Officer, running for Grand Worthy Advisor finally became a possibility, and my dream came true!
I would like to share one of my favorite stories with you.
The Starfish Story- A young man is walking along the ocean and sees a beach on which thousands and thousands of starfish have washed ashore. Further along he sees an old man, walking slowly and stooping often, picking up one starfish after another and tossing each one gently into the ocean. “Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?,” he asks. “Because the sun is up and the tide is going out and if I don’t throw them further in they will die.” “But, old man, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it! You can’t possibly save them all, you can’t even save one-tenth of them. In fact, even if you work all day, your efforts won’t make any difference at all.” The old man listened calmly and then bent down to pick up another starfish and threw it into the sea. “Yes, but It made a difference to that one.”
With this story in mind, our theme this year is “Be the Difference.” The colors are navy blue and bright yellow. The symbols are starfish, seashells, and lighthouses. Our mascots are Ariel and Flounder from “The Little Mermaid.” The flower is the white carnation. The song is “I am Invincible” by Cassadee Pope. The bible verse is 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, as indeed you are doing.” In addition to our state charity, My Stuff Bags, the charity that I have chosen to support is Special Olympics of Pennsylvania. This charity goes hand in hand with our theme of be the difference. In the Fall, I will begin my junior year at Slippery Rock University with a major in Recreational Therapy. Upon my graduation, I hope to be able to work with people with disabilities. The Special Olympics mission is to provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. This gives them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy. The athletes also participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community. As usual, we will support this charity by selling state pins.
The membership incentives for this year will include: a seashell or starfish with your name to be displayed at Grand Assembly, for one petition. For two or more petitions, you will receive a beach towel embroidered with your name. The girl who acquires the most petitions will receive a Brighton bracelet with several charms.
I would like to take this time to say thank to the members and advisory board of Pitcairn Assembly No. 90. I would not be standing here tonight without your encouragement and support. Next, thank you the members of Corinth Chapter Order of the Eastern Star for your continued support of Pitcairn Assembly. Also, thank you to the Senior Grand Executive Committee and to those who voted for me to represent Pennsylvania Rainbow, as your Grand Worthy Advisor. Lastly, a big thank you to my family for their unconditional love and support throughout my entire rainbow journey. I love you all.
In conclusion, let us work together and support each other to ‘be the difference.” As in the starfish story, we may not be able to be the difference to everyone we meet, but we can strive to be the difference to many. Sister Betsy, congratulations on such an awesome year. You accomplished so much, and are definitely a tough act to follow. Mrs. Snedden, I look forward to going on numerous adventures with you this year. We are going to have so much fun! To you, my rainbow sisters, I hope that you are just as excited about this upcoming Rainbow year as I am, and like you, I cannot wait to see what we can accomplish together. Let’s be the difference!