Halfway through a Semester at Sea voyage in 1990, Don Gogniat challenged the students to think about one person who’d made an impact on their journey so far. After the trip ended and the students returned home, Gogniat told the students to remember this person each time they brushed their teeth.
The former CEO at Penn State York continued the “Toothbrush People” lecture on subsequent journeys in 2004 and 2010. In March of 2012, with help from Penn State York reference librarian Valerie White, Gogniat compiled some of the students’ responses into a book.
“The toothbrush is just a way of having a clue to remember what they felt,” Gogniat said in an August article for the York Sunday News. “It’s a nice way to put things into perspective every morning.”
Members of the York community will have the opportunity to meet some of the book’s participants — all Semester at Sea alumni — at brunch 10 a.m. Jan. 13, hosted by the York JCC, 2000 Hollywood Drive, Spring Garden Township.
Gogniat, now retired and living in Spring Garden Township, will be on hand with copies of “Toothbrush People” for sale and signing. The book costs $20; profits are donated to Semester at Sea scholarships.
Tickets for the brunch are $8. Reservations are requested by Jan. 10 and can be made at the JCC front desk or by phone by credit card by calling the JCC at 717-843-0918.
Attendees are encouraged to bring new toothbrushes as a donation for Global Grins, an organization that distributes them at no charge to needy people throughout the world. The organization was founded by Todd and Joselyn Pomeroy Miller, a couple who met on the 1984 Semester at Sea trip and married a year later.