“Only the ones who believe ever see what they dream, ever dream what comes true.”
– Beth Neilsen Chapman
Inscribed on a park bench memorializing my mom is the above quote from the song, the Color of Roses. It’s a small token of remembrance for the impact the my mom’s vision had on the small town community of Oswego NY. More than 24 years ago, during my dad’s time as mayor, my parents, a dynamic team (and inspiration for our Successful Happy Couples Program), had a vision to utilize our town’s great resources and grand harbor to it’s fullest extend. Their vision was to bring in the Grucci Fireworks Company to wow the people of Oswego and dazzle the harbor with their unique (and world famous) display of fireworks.
Even though the cost to create something of that caliber was extraordinary, it didn’t dissuade my mom. She took the idea and the vision for creating a city wide festival around this fireworks display straight to the most powerful and lucrative business in town. I recall that day vividly. I was eleven at the time. My mom came home from her “pitch” meeting with her eyes wide and a glimmer of excitement in her tone informing us that, “They didn’t say no!”.
Soon after the official YES came in and the first ever Harborfest was launched. By year two it drew more than 300 thousand people and to this day it remains one of the largest and free festivals in upstate NY.
Through Harborfest, my mom’s spirit and the power of her dream continues to touch the lives of many thousands who knew her and the many more thousands who never will. Every time those fireworks go off, it is a special moment for my family and me. Hearing the giddy excitement and whistles of the crowd and children (including my own giggles of glee this year) is an experience that is moving beyond words.
As a daughter of a woman (and father) who followed their dreams and created such a legacy of joy for so many, I am of course inspired to create my own legacy. Having already inspired and empowered hundreds of thousands through my former magazine, The RAY, I am on a mission to continue the journey of helping people live their lives from an empowered and authentic place.
As I approach the grand opening party of the Life Stylized Success Center, I feel similar excitement to what my mother must have felt the first year of Harborfest. I see the possibilities for what this vision will offer the community of Saratoga Springs and beyond. I believe in my dreams and I believe in yours! Let’s make a difference together!