We started working on this special gift for Tom last November. We named it “Message From The Heart – Gift for Tom.” We asked for fans to share their first concert, first time they heard Tom’s voice, saw him on TV. We asked them to express what he’s meant to us over the years. A notice was placed on Tom’s website announcing our gift for Tom. We had our first notice in our December newsletter. Messages started coming in from around the world. Some shared their poetry, artistic abilities and most shared what Tom’s voice and music has meant to them over the years. We were still receiving messages up till the end of September. I created an icon for the gift and I created the book using Power Point software on the computer. The final copy was printed on special mat finished paper. I found beautiful artwork for the front and back cover. The front cover artwork had the word “memories” which fit the book’s contents of so many wonderful memories. Our printer, who does our newsletter copies, copied the artwork on stock paper and bonded the book for us. We were so pleased with the finished product. On October 3rd, I e-mailed Tom’s management that our special gift for Tom was complete and we would like to present the book to Tom when we were in Las Vegas the following week. On October 4th, we received E-mail from Tom’s Tour Manager that Monday, October 10th would be fine for Tom for us to present the book to him. Tom put on a fabulous show that evening. At one point, a fan shouted out “Where did you get that voice” and Tom replied “It’s a gift from God and I thank God everyday for this gift. I just love to sing.” I thought at that moment I would use that line to present our book to him, because it says it all. After the show ended, we went over to the security guard who had our name and he escorted us backstage. Over the years we have met Tom many times backstage. This time I felt we were taking all of you back with us in spirit because your messages would be handed to him. We walked into the greeting room and Tom’s Tour Manager, Sandy Battaglia, greeted us.
A little while later I looked to my right and Tom came out of his dressing room wearing a checkered jacket, black turtleneck and black pants. He always looks so nice and he has such great taste for clothes. He came over to me and said “You have a book for me” and I said “Tom you were talking about your voice during the show, well this book says it all, your voice means so much to all of us.” Tom took the book from my hands and held it in his hands, and gave me a big smile and said “Thank you.” From the many times I’ve met Tom backstage I know when he’s very touched, he’s lost for words, but that smile on his face says it all. He then said, “let’s take a photo.” I gave the camera to Don Archell, Tom’s assistant, and Celine stood on Tom’s right and I on his left and Tom held the book in his left hand while Don snapped two photos. I turned and thanked Tom and he gave me that big smile. Sandy walked us to the door and we bid farewell and said, “We’ll see you again.” We were happy to deliver our book to Tom. The messages throughout the book describe how Tom’s beautiful voice touched our lives in so many ways over the years. We know that when Tom reads this book; we’ll touch his heart with our messages as he’s touched our lives over these 40 years with his voice and incredible talent. We plan on selling copies of this book to the fans. Check our website for details. http://www.tjfanclub.com. Tom Terrific Fan Club Margaret & Celine Mariotti Shelton, Connecticut USA By Margaret & Celine Mariotti