Hello again. Well, tonight is the big night! This Saturday evening, November 16, we will be hosting our
"Cheers to 30 Years!" Fall Gala. I am happy to report that the event is sold out, and I look forward to connecting (and reconnecting) with many friends and families of the Stanbridge Community this evening. If you are attending, I encourage you to arrive promptly at 6:00 p.m., since that is when the silent auction will open. Bidding will close before dinner, so there's a limited time to get your bids in!
I would again like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who volunteered and contributed over the past few months to ensure the success of Saturday's gala. As I noted last week, the generosity from Stanbridge families was overwhelming. We received hundreds of donations for our auction alone, which we were able to package into nearly 100 items. This far exceeded our expectations, and on behalf of the gala committee, thank you for your contributions and support.
With so much to offer on the auction block, we opened the bidding on a number of items this past week. Because not everyone could attend Saturday night's gala, we wanted to give all Stanbridge families an opportunity to participate in the auction fun, so dozens of gift items were displayed in Hayden Hall throughout the week for a special "Pre-Gala" silent auction. From techie gift baskets to student crafted artwork to a bowling playdate with teachers, there was something for everyone up for bids. It was great to see so many students and families get involved (there were friendly-but-competitive "bidding wars" for a number of items) and most of the highest bidders were able to claim their prizes on Friday afternoon. A hearty congratulations to all of our silent auction winners!
I can't emphasize enough the generosity of everyone who donated and volunteered over the past few months to ensure the success of our gala. Next week, we will publish a full list of individuals and businesses who contributed their time, goods, and/or services to the event. Until then, a final, pre-gala Thank You! to all who helped, and a look at some post-gala happenings of note:
• This coming week is the last full week of school in November before Thanksgiving Break starts on November 27. High school families, please note that Stanbridge is hosting our "Transitions Day" on Wednesday, November 20 at 12:30 p.m. Resource Specialist Diane Chau has coordinated this event which will give 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. Planning the next step for students after they leave Stanbridge can be challenging, especially if you do not know what options are available. Many of the agencies that will be on-hand at the Transitions Day event are schools and programs where previous Stanbridge graduates have found success. This is a unique opportunity to explore the options your student has after Stanbridge and have your questions answered in a personalized, conversational forum. The event is open to all Stanbridge high school parents and guardians, and is mandatory for all high school juniors and seniors. Freshman and sophomores are welcome to attend if accompanied by a parent or guardian. Check your email or the Bridge Blog for additional information on the event--including a list of the schools and programs scheduled to attend--or email Diane if you have any specific questions.
• I previously noted the overwhelming generosity of Stanbridge families regarding our gala and auction, but such generosity is further exemplified in our Stanbridge Thanksgiving Food Drive. James Warren and the Stanbridge STAR teams are sponsoring this annual event that allows students from all divisions to participate...and indeed they are participating! James has already had to clear out some of the donations to make more room in our giant blue collection bin. Last year, Stanbridge families donated enough items to fill over 30 bags that were delivered to St. Anthony's Dining Room in San Francisco--could we be on pace to break that record? Collection will continue through November 25 in the Hayden Hall foyer, and we are accepting all non-perishable food items. This is something that truly embodies the spirit of Thanksgiving, and I thank everyone who has donated so far.
• Thanksgiving break is just around the corner, and we have a busy December ahead. Be sure to check our blog, SPA Spot, and Weekly Bridge pages regularly for news and updates. For now, it's just a few hours until the gala, and I look forward to seeing many of you there tonight. Until then, Cheers! to thirty years and to a wonderful weekend.