As someone who was lucky enough to attend the Module for every Day while in high school from 1985-1989 and was even more lucky enough to be asked to join the Team in 1994, it always meant a lot to me that as many teens as possible come on a Day. Try it once, we would always say in recruiting calls, and we think you will enjoy it and want to come again and bring a friend. So when Amy Toskas and I volunteered to rector Involvement Day, the opening day for September 1997, I made the bold announcement that I wanted 100 teens to attend. Of course, everyone assumed I was crazy and looking back on it now, I probably was. We had come off a great season the previous year with fantastic teens and a strong team and I believed in my heart that everyone should want to be a part of this so why not make it available to as many teens as possible. There was a strong recruitment drive done in the spring and Doris Iskaros had everything organized in her usual impeccable way so we started to invite teens to come. I had asked my uncle who was a graphic designer to help us make a great flyer. Flock meetings were held at Amy’s big apartment in Beechhurst. There was a wonderful new season welcome dinner at TR’s American Café in Williston Park where we met new team member Christine Caruso. All we had to was to find enough people who wanted to come.
The weeks before the day Amy and I spoke multiple times daily and finalized the talks and activities. We discovered we might need to ask more team to work the Day and we called every single team member on the roster and even the reserves. Michelle Bischoff and Mary Kerner were the first one to volunteer, even though they had not worked a Day in years. The Friday night before the Day we met and started to organize the drivers to pick up the teens on Sunday and we had to ask several people to do Double and even Triple Runs. The numbers were high during the planning and recruiting stages but never reached the magic number until finally the Friday night when we were figuring out how to fit more bodies in John Fodera’s car that we realized we had 102 teens attending. After months of hard work and careful planning, we did it! We reached the milestone and all we had to do was make sure the number on paper matched the amount of people in the room. Sadly, it would not.
As usually happened when the team would call the teens to tell them about their pick-up times, people dropped out. We settled in with around 80 teens and 17 Team and headed over to St. Mel’s to have the Day. The biggest surprise of the day occurred when we arrived early on that Sunday morning and found 2 girls sitting in the room waiting for us. Their mom heard about the Module and decided her daughter and friend should come and made sure they did so she dropped them off early and we didn’t even know they were coming or even who they were. It was a great boost in our spirits and when the flood gates opened and all of these people arrived, we were ready to go. Christine gave her first talk on that day, an amazing thing to do for someone on her first Day on the team. There were so many small groups. Tommy Leavens ran small group #14. It was chaotic and Amy and I were running all day back and forth getting things ready and trying to keep us on schedule, very hard with so many people. The priest who came to celebrate the Mass was stunned to see so many teens and said it was a wonderful thing to see.
We never got 100 teens on the Day. It was a moral victory for us to get that many committed at one point. What mattered the most was the feeling of community we had creating this experience with our friends and celebrating the Mass with such a big group of people who were happy to be there on a Sunday fall afternoon. For me, that so many people experienced the Module for the first time and came back was the most important part. Being able to share what we cared for so much, it didn’t really matter if it was 100 people or 1. 100 would have been awesome, though.