Hello again. It is just a few days until Thanksgiving, so it is appropriate to open this week's Weekly Bridge with an expression of gratitude. I would like to extend a sincere Thank You to everyone who helped make last weekend's "Cheers to 30 Years!" Gala such an overwhelming success. Held at the Crowne Plaza in Foster City, the event itself was tremendous, with a sellout crowd of 120 that included a mix of Stanbridge families, alumni parents, staff, board members and friends. Throughout the evening, many families shared stories of how much Stanbridge meant to them and the positive impact Stanbridge made in their lives. The energy was incredible, and in addition to the great food, atmosphere, music and fun, the auction portion of the evening helped to raise thousands of dollars for the school.
Of course, the fun and fundraising extended to the silent auction held on campus during the week leading-up to Saturday night's gala. Again, it was fantastic to see so many Stanbridge families get involved--not just bidding on the items, but donating them as well; a final tally shows that we had over 100 gifts up for bids! As I have said before, the generosity and support from the Stanbridge Community for this event was overwhelming. Anne is still crunching the numbers, but early figures indicate that we raised over $35,000! That is amazing and I am grateful to everyone who donated their time, money, goods and/or services to make our 30 year gala such a success. A by-name list of individual donors and businesses is here, but one last general Thank You to everyone at Stanbridge for your support over these past few weeks.
As I mentioned, this week we are heading into Thanksgiving, and it is a short week at Stanbridge with Thanksgiving Break on the calendar. Students will have school as usual on Monday and Tuesday, but Tuesday afternoon will feature "Turkey Bingo" from 2:00 to 3:10 p.m. (school-wide bingo will be played for gift cards and other prizes) and Wednesday through Friday are days off for the holiday.
Amidst all of the feasting, football and shopping, it is easy to lose sight of the true meaning of the holiday season. Here at Stanbridge, we currently have two community service/volunteer service opportunities to ensure that the holiday spirit is alive and well. Our annual Thanksgiving Food Drive has been running throughout November and will end this Monday, November 25. Monday morning will be your final opportunity to drop off non-perishable food items at school before James delivers the donations to St. Anthony's Kitchen in San Francisco. Last year, James delivered over 30 bags of food to St. Anthony's, and we are on pace to potentially exceed that number this year. This is a great opportunity for students in all divisions to participate in a meaningful service project. On behalf of the student STAR Teams who sponsored and promoted this event, thank you for making a difference!
As the food drive winds-down, our giving tree goes up. The Family Giving Tree is now on display in the Hayden Hall foyer and we will be collecting donations through mid-December for less fortunate children and families. Gift tags are displayed on the tree and feature the name and age of a child in need, as well as that child's specific gift request. Stanbridge families who wish to participate can take a tag from the tree, and then return the tag with their unwrapped donation to Hayden Hall by December 10. Donated items will be delivered to the FGT warehouse by the Stanbridge Junior High students during their December Day of Service, and later distributed to the specific recipients by the FGT organization in time for the holidays. We are also looking for volunteers to assist at the warehouse on Saturday afternoon, December 14. More information on the Family Giving Tree, as well as all of this year's community service events, can be found on the Community Service page and in this week's SPA Spot.
The remodeled multipurpose room certainly lived up to its name this week. In addition to keeping the P.E. classes dry during the rain, the facility also hosted Transitions Day on Wednesday. Resource Specialist Diane Chau coordinated this event which gave high school students, parents, and guardians the opportunity to talk one-on-one with representatives from work-study programs, community colleges, four-year universities, and post-secondary support programs. Many of the agencies on-hand at the event were schools and programs where previous Stanbridge graduates have found success (we even had a Stanbridge alum on hand to talk about her transition experience). This was a unique opportunity to explore the options students have after Stanbridge and I was happy to see such a robust turnout. If you were unable to attend, you can email Diane any questions about post-Stanbridge transitions and arrange a time to talk with her further. You can also click over to the Media Room to see photos from Wednesday's Transitions Day event.
On Friday afternoon, the multipurpose room was transformed into the Globe Theatre. Well...not quite, but Stanbridge did host a special production of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, performed by actors from the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. After performing the play for the high school division, the actors then taught interactive workshops with the students, making the event more than just a Friday matinee. The unique literary/theatrical experience received a positive response from the groundlings and we will post pictures in the media room posthaste next week.
Before signing-off, a few final notes:
• The Stanbridge Bulldogs Basketball Team has officially started their season. Afterschool practices began this past week and--after a brief timeout for the Thanksgiving holiday--will resume in December. Practices will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays after school and on most Saturday mornings at SportsHouse in Redwood City. Right now, Coach Mark Kelley has two games scheduled for later this winter, but more will be added soon. You can keep up-to-date with the latest practice and game schedules, results, and more on the Bulldogs Athletics page. Good luck to this year's team and Go Dawgs!
• The annual Scholastic Book Fair will begin right after Thanksgiving break, on Tuesday, Dec. 3. Featuring displays of books for all ages in Hayden Hall, the fair will run through December 10 and students will be able to make purchases before and after school, as well as during lunch (and anytime online). More information can be found on our Book Orders page, and SPA organizers are still looking for volunteers to assist during the event, so be sure to click over if you are able to lend a hand.
The holidays are always busy at Stanbridge and there is much more coming up in December. Until then, enjoy the upcoming break and have a wonderful weekend.