I know many of you know me, but for those who don’t – my name is Lauren Snarski. I attended St Patrick from Kindergarten through 8th grade, and I am Mitchel & Gage’s older sister. 2 years ago, when I was in the 8th grade, I was awarded the Dorothy Spedoski Scholarship, and that is why I was invited back here to speak to you today. On this day, we reflect on Dorothy’s life and follow her example of serving others and doing small acts of kindness.
Many of you did not have the chance to meet her and did not know Dorothy. I did not even know her well, but I do know that she had a kind spirit, willingness to help out and was humble about doing so. Dorothy was a quiet woman who did not draw attention to herself, but that did not stop her from giving up her time to listen and care for those in her family,this school, and parish. Whenever I saw her at church or a parish event she would always be happy.
When I was at St. Pat’s, I played basketball for 4 years. I was not the star player, just ask my brothers, they will tell you. In fact, during my 8th grade season, I only scored ONE basket. It came at a great time because we happened to be playing St. Thomas, and who doesn’t like to score against St. Thomas? still, it was my ONLY basket. But even though I only contributed that one basket, I was still a value to my team. First and foremost, I said “yes” to being on the team, if I hadn’t said “yes” there might not have even been enough players for a full girls basketball team. I was a devoted practice player, I was there for encouragement, I was there to go out on the court when another teammate needed a break. It wasn’t my favorite sport, I admit, but I had fun being on the team, and cheering on my friends when they played well. You learn a lot from being on a team , and remember, even though you may feel like your contributions are small, it’s the small things that you do in your daily life that mean the most.
Dorothy did many of these “small things”. For example, several years ago, as part of our annual parish festival, the community organized the first St. Patrick’s 5K Run. Dorothy probably hadn’t ever participated in a 5K before signing up for ours, but that didn’t stop Dorothy. Dorothy didn’t care about whether or not she was going to be “the winner”, Dorothy walked because it was something we were doing as a community. Dorothy walked to show her support, as she always did. She was a great inspiration to us, and many people joined her to cheer her on and to cross the finish line with her.
Dorothy wasn’t looking for attention while she did little acts of kindness throughout her days. Dorothy was just truly being her best self and living life to the fullest and following the example of Christ.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop
It always pays to be kind, to be a good friend, to be a good teammate. In the end, you will most likely be paid back -maybe with a kind smile or a simple ‘how was your day?’ from someone.
Dorothy didn’t follow the crowd but instead did what was right and was the leader and role model.
No matter how old or young, tall or small you are, everyone can make a difference if we all come together, be kind to one another, and work as a team.
2014 Saint Patrick Graduate
Dorothy Marie Spedoski Scholarship recipient