THE NEW LEAF CEREMONY

for

TARA WILLIS

 

 

Central Park, Boat House, New York City

October 1, 2002

1:30 p.m.

__________________________

 

Music Selection/Guest Arrival Music/Steve Dumont: String of Pearls, Bennie Goodman

 

WELCOME

 

The Guest of Honor Tara and the Celebrant walks down the aisle and stands in the front, facing the Guests.

 

Celebrant:

Welcome colleagues, cohorts, friends and family to the “New Leaf” ceremony for Tara Willis as she leaves her present position and steps into her future of growth and promise.  Please be seated and turn off your cell phones and beepers, as we now begin the ceremony.  Thank you. 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Celebrant:

Good afternoon and a warm welcome to all!  It means everything to Tara that you are all here to send her off with love and caring. The company (TCBA Advertising) is honored to give this ceremony and going away party for her and wishes her well. Tara, we will miss you tremendously and we are better people for knowing you.

 

Last spring we were bought out by a Telos Communications and both companies merged. In merging, a downsizing had to take place. Many of us have felt the repercussions of this in many ways for those who are leaving like Tara and those who are staying on and hoping the company will make this transition a positive one. This is hard to talk about but it is a reality. So, we honor Tara and those special people who we worked with over the years through the wonderful and challenging times. Working together is an intimate and special relationship we all share and we hold it close to our hearts. So, we celebrate Tara today for all she is for all she has been to us and for all she will be tomorrow.

 

                                  Prayer for Friends (Poet Michael Leunig)

 

We give thanks for our friends.

Our dear friends

We work with each other.

We strive and learn together

No matter the weather.

We share this thick earth, this tender life, this precious time.

Such richness. Such adundance.

Together we are blown about.

Together we are moved along.

All this delight.

All this angst.

All this communion of life.

We hold it together.

 

Tara has been the music producer for 7 years here at TBCA cranking out the best work with joy and passion. Steve Dumont, her long time friend from KJR Music has composed this song for Tara...

 

Steve Dumont, Blues Tune, Keyboards and Vocals:

 

Tara, you mess my mind up

You always make the most of me

What toothpaste jingle should I decree

Is the one to make it and set me free

 

Oh Tara, Every moment has been the best

Long hours, bad food and all the rest

You have stood by us all

You have grooved till the night falls

We’ve heed the call

And done it all

 

Oh Tara, you are in our hearts

A tune from the very start

Come back and hang with us

We promise cosmopolitan martinis, back rubs and no fuss.

 

Celebrant:

And now Laura Klien, Creative Director of our department would like to say a few words.

 

Laura:

Tara, you and I have worked together for over 6 years and during this time we forged a wonderful friendship and working relationship. We’ve shared the joys of winning several prominent accounts and we celebrated our children’s birthdays. Tara, your extreme good taste in music and sense of humor has been an inspiration to me and to everyone that had the grand opportunity to know you and work with you. You have been the spice of life to all of us. And since you like to cook so well, our department gifts you and your loving husband Jerome, a dinner at Le Cirque from all of us. We had such a great time at your summer parties every August where your musical friends in the biz and all of your friends and family celebrated the best in life and food and wine with you and your family. You have always been the quintessential hostess and music maven extraordinaire. We thanks and we wish you all the best. Don’t forget us we love ya.

 

Celebrant:

Little leaf shaped cards were passed out in the beginning of the ceremony and we ask all at the end of the ceremony to please write wishes/hopes and dreams for Tara on the leaves and put them into this amazing wish box that that we created just for this occasion for Tara. We decorated the wish box with mementos from our times with Tara including chop sticks from her sushi craze and music sheets from her favorite pieces of music in a shape of a guitar. We stayed up many hours and the glue got to us but we were inspired to create this masterpiece.


Celebrant:

Ling, a great fan of yours, has this to express…Ling come on up…

 

Ling:

Ms. Willis, one can try to give expression to the concept of working in a truly harmonious environment for a fantastic person like you who has been such a great influence on all of us, but perhaps it is a matter best left to the poets.  In the words of Rainer Maria Rilke:

 

“Once the realization is accepted

that even between the closest people

infinite distances exist,

a marvelous living side-by-side

can grow up for them,

if they succeed in loving

the expanse between them,

which gives them the possibility

of always seeing each other as whole

and before an immense sky.”

 

 

Celebrant:

You have been a mentor to many here today. Claire, Jane, Fredrick, Colleen, Sarah, George, Joe, Ling and Ahmed have learned so much from you that will resonate through out their lives. You have taught them the appreciation and respect for artists and their art, to work hard and enjoy the process of learning and sharing. They are gifting you this bamboo plant for you to bring home and remember them by as they will always remember you. The Bamboo signifies in Chinese culture good luck and prosperity. As the Bamboo grows with its twists and turns it finds harmony with the world and then it sprouts new shoots and leaves along the way. You have helped them to sprout, you have given of yourself wholeheartedly, and that is something so very special. May we learn from your giving and give as you have given, Tara.

 

(Celebrant turns to Tara)

 

Celebrant:

Tara, have you lived and worked with joy in your heart?

 

Tara:

Yes, I have.

 

Celebrant:

Have you valued the challenges, failures and triumphs?

 

Tara:

Yes, I have.

 

 

 

Celebrant:

Do you recognize that you have given the very best you have and are proud of your accomplishments?

 

Tara:

Yes, I do.

 

Celebrant:

Are you ready to face the future and all the golden opportunities that are in store for you?

 

Tara:

Yes, I am.

 

Celebrant:

Do you feel the love and support we all have for you and accept our gift of thanks?

 

Tara:

Yes, I sure do.

 

Celebrant:

Tara, under the trees and the birds and sun and the clouds you have come through this time and day of change and transformation. The world blooms for you and awaits you with open arms.

 

Your husband Jerome would like to read this poem by the Australian poet Michael Leunig…

 

Jerome:

 

The path to your door

Is the path within

Is made by friends

Is lined by flowers

Is lined by thorns

Is stained with wine.

Is lit by the lamp of dreams.

Is washed with joy.

Is swept by grief,

Is blessed by the lonely traffic of art:

Is known by heart,

Is known by prayer,

Is lost and found.

Is always strange.

The path to your door.

 

Jerome:

My dear Tara, you are heart and soul girl and I love you!

 

Celebrant:

On that wonderful note of love we end this ceremony that expressed words and feeling of sincere appreciation and demonstrated gratitude and thoughtfulness for Tara. We encourage and celebrate today the atmosphere for her growth and well being.

 

On behalf of TCBA we honor you with this certificate of appreciation, your esteemed tenure with the company, your exemplary performance and to the wonderful person you have been to us all – We thank you.  (The certificate is given to Tara framed).

 

And now everyone is invited for Sushi, Sake & the Blues (Tara’s favorite) in the boat house where we will toast her and ourselves for one “happening” ceremony for our dear friend.

 

Music Selection/Steve Dumont sings:

Cole Porter, I get a kick out of you.

 

 

~ Here Ends the Ceremony & Here Begins a Wonderful Life ~