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A Story of The Agility Community's Support for a Trial Secretary

The job of trial secretary is huge - what if your secretary suffered a house fire the week before your trial? A story of how one club rallied to support her.

by Heather Smith

Tyler is in a very pretty part of Texas - gently rolling land, Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush, Red Clover and other wildflowers decorate the roadsides.  It's a nice place, rural and urban, with a friendly country feel, but all of the amenities of a larger city - about 80 miles East of Dallas down I-20. 

The work of a trial secretary is fast and furious the week before a trial.  But what if you suffered a house fire the week before your trial?  This is exactly what happened to Monica Adkins of the Tyler Obedience Training Club in East Texas.  Thankfully, Monica's husband was home and got the pets out and tried to control the fire, but it was too big and they suffered a total loss from fire, smoke and water.

Monica's friends and club members took over to make the show happen and run smoothly so that Monica had no worries about anything other than pulling her life back together.

On top of that, the show was small since it was the same weekend as a nationals event and trials from other organizations in the area, but that didn't bother this great group of folks.  The Starters/Advanced judge was advised of the small entry and that her services would not be required, so it was up to Evelyn Robertson to cover both rings on an alternating basis and keep things moving along, judging Cindy Hensley's courses.

An email went out to competitors advising what had happened and that every competitor should bring their entry form because they had been destroyed in the fire - they still wanted to follow the requirement of submitting entry forms. The database was intact, so competitors did receive a final confirmation and running order compliments of Robin Visniski the co-secretary.  Monica is usually at the score table, but Karen and Robin pitched in to cover that with the help of Tev Brannan from the office.  The members of this club - even those who don't compete in agility - work the rings so there are very few holes for competitors to have to fill.  Breakfast items are available each morning, the Star Spangled Banner is sung and the show gets under way. 

There was a special request at this trial - help Monica and her family with a donation and the club would help monetarily as well. The email containing results included a special message. Given the small number of competitors at the trial, the call for help was met with great generosity with hopes that the Adkins will feel less stress from this devastating loss.


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