Music for the evening was performed by the Now & Then Trio.
Stuart Whittmore - told the story of his life from "doing it his way" and getting a high paying job without a college degree. From there, when the economy tilted, he took a nosedive into alcoholism and depression. One day, seeking refuge, he went into the forest to end his life with a gun. At the moment he pulled the trigger he asked God for forgiveness. He pretty much shot his face off but he lived. And because he lived, his life changed. The reconstruction of his face too a long time and many surgeries. during that time he healed mentally as well. Now he travels around telling people his story so that he can help others who reach "the bottom". He brings a wonderful message of hope.
Sherry Leonard - talked about not really knowing her father. As an adult she learned that she had other siblings because her father had been married twice before he married her mother. He became her father at the age of 40.
Linda Bradley - Linda's story was about surviving leadership. Her job at Alpha Beta market years ago was to help the head of their travel agency. They were planning a ten week cruise on a first class liner. At the last minute, right before the cruise was to sail, Linda's boss broke her leg forcing Linda to go on the cruise in her place. The story is about how Linda, a single mom, got the help of her parents to watch her daughter and not only survived the trip, but thrived in the knowledge that she "did it!" and did it well.
Summer Ashley - Summer was an Rotary exchange student in Japan and her story is about her experiences there. She felt like an alien for a long time - not being able to break through the cultural differences. However, by using humor (and applying whipped cream mustaches and eyebrows to her family) she gained their trust. She wants to apply for college in Japan and continue her journey.
Ryan Hess - told the story about being on the Bold and the Beautiful soap opera. The set was next to The Price Is Right and the "wheel" (which is one of televisions "sacred cows") was wheeled into his range. The temptation of spinning the wheel was too great and Ryan just had to do it. While the wheel was spinning he was called to the set and he never found out what he "won." To this day it puzzles him.
Diana Coogle - Her story was about becoming Rebecca Dougl, the second coming of Christ - her journey through schizophrenia. Diana ended up on the streets of San Francisco at the age of 27, portraying the life of a 14 year old teenaged girl named Rebecca. She landed in a mental hospital in Napa and remained there until gradually drugs and group therapy helped her come back to who she really is.
All of the stories were stunning.