Aug 5, 2009

Challenge # 5 : Write a Story Worth Sharing

JW Marriott Grand Rapids Associate Saves Girls From Drowning

Without any regard for his own life, JW culinary associate, Matt Varley, threw himself and his surfboard from the elevated concrete pier into the rough and chilly waters of Lake Michigan last Saturday to save three girls screaming for their lives from the dangerous conditions that engulfed them.

Matt quietly does his work in our banquet kitchen each day. He's one of those associates one might just miss when doing your rounds. We exchange courtesies whenever I see him in the kitchen, however, I don't believe that I've actually spent any time to get to know him a little better. He caught me by surprise today when he asked me if I saw the article posted in the kitchen bulletin board. I walked towards the bulletin board and upon reading the first paragraph of the newspaper article about his heroic act, I couldn't believe that I was just hearing about it four days after it happened.

I stopped by Matt's station to congratulate him and tell him how proud I was of his actions.

"I heard the girls cry for help so I grabbed the life rings (which sounds the alarm) and my board," says Varley. "I just knew I had to do something." He sure did.

A brave police officer wearing a life jacket jumped before him to attempt the rescue, but the credit goes to Matt's courageous action and quick thinking for getting to the girls in time to help them hang on to his surfboard back to shore. True to his character, he just faded away from the crowd that gather on shore and went about his own way.

What Matt and the police officer didn't realize is that the beach surveillance camera captured their heroism on that gloomy day in Grand Haven beach. Fortunately for us, their heroism doesn't go unnoticed.

So next time you're dining at the JW, give a shout out to a hero who is quietly chopping the parsley for your next order.

Here's to Matt Varley. Your team at the JW is very proud of you.


Andrew Voss said...

Matt is a guy that constantly goes out of his way for others! He is a great asset to our J Dub team and the community. Great story! David Hasselhof would be proud!

Pete said...

Great story George! I'm enjoying your challenge and looking forward to the rest of the posts.