We celebrated Julie Sacco’s retirement today! May 3rd was her last day and we had a lovely barbecue, with good friends and beautiful weather.
I wrote Julie a speech that I decided to read in private to the staff. It was bittersweet. I will miss Julie very much, but she intends to still stick around! She’s already signed herself up for a few volunteer days at the Center. There’s no getting rid of her and I’m glad!
Here is the speech I wrote! Happy Retirement, Julie Sacco!
Not Goodbye but So Long! A Tribute To Julie Sacco
My name is Rosa, I’ve volunteered here for the last seven years and I’m a writer. Today I needed to use my gift to give a dear friend something treasured.
This is a gift, a tribute, a recognition, and a sincere thank you to a person who has inspired my life and so many others.
Julie Sacco is retiring. Goodness knows she deserves this, and so much more. This is a woman of strength and dedication. Someone who gives selflessly every day, in any way she can.
For some of you who may not know Julie and may be unfamiliar with her work, I can only tell you one thing. Look at this Center! Her work is evident every time I walk the trails and see the beauty here. The beauty that her and the incredible staff here, work so tirelessly to maintain and promote.
I remember I had done an interview with Julie a few years ago. I was inspired to write a book about this place and I still plan to do that, when I find time between school and other lovely chaos. When we were talking about the reasons why she wanted this job she said, “I don’t have a degree in this like Liza, Sean, and Bob. I’m not a naturalist and don’t have any formal education that helped me get this job. It’s just something I love and wanted to do.”
Julie taught me the key behind a good job. Do what you love! Everyone here and everyone reading this on my blog, do what you love! Don’t let your dreams die!
Julie may not have had any degree for this job, but she works with everything she has. She puts love into whatever she does and I truly believe that is why she reaps the fruit she does.
When I hear the name, Julie Sacco, I think of a giver, a teacher, someone who is humble, kind, dedicated, and never backs down. She is what makes this Center great and they’ll never be another director like her. At least not for me!
However, this is not a day for goodbyes or tears. It is a celebration! I celebrate you Julie, and Bob, Liza, Sean, and Frank. Your work is what makes this preserve beautiful! You have enriched the lives of so many, and you’ve helped a young girl find herself in a world where selfishness rules.
Julie, you have taught me responsibility, good work ethic, and humbleness. You’ve showed me what teamwork really means and what a good community should do. For that I thank you.
Thank you for all the times you’ve made me smile. For believing in me, for coming in to work on your days off or when you weren’t feeling well. For just being you, because that is the best person you can be!
The Nature Center may be a preserve or just another building in North Park. But to me, it’s never been any of those things. It’s always been all of you!
Thank you for making the Nature Center what it is and thank you for keeping everything the way it should be. Beautiful!
I hope on this new journey of retirement that you have all the love and joy you so deserve! That’s why we’re all here today. To wish you the best, to celebrate everything you’ve done, and to say, “We Love You!”
And I couldn’t agree more with the truth from Laura Ingalls Wilder, who said, “I’m beginning to learn that, it is the sweet, simple things of life, which are the real ones after all.”
God Bless you and the staff always!