April 30, 2015

Getting Down to Motown

Friends' parents Lisa and Konoy getting down to Motown!
Last Saturday, 180 of us came together at the St. Julien Hotel to celebrate this amazing school community. Thank you to everyone who volunteered and to all of you who came to have a good time and support the school.

We will be able to let you know final numbers raised next week, after the accounting is complete. While the annual Auction is a critical fundraiser for our school – the money we raise is necessary to support the children, teachers, and programs at the school - it is just as importantly, a very special community-building event.   Year after year, the auction brings together so many of our parents, teachers, staff, and trustees to get better acquainted. Whether volunteering with fellow parents in the months leading up to the auction or while socializing, bidding, dining and getting groovy to the music the night of the event, the Auction is an opportunity for us to become closer and to celebrate our community.

Damon & Chris
Among my remarks that night, I shared that I had received a letter recently from a preschool parent, singing the praises of her child’s teachers.  One of the great joys in my work as a school leader is knowing the enormous difference that is being made in the lives of our students and their families every day. When I get to hear about it firsthand in a letter or a conversation, it’s icing on the cake.

Following our school auction, I received another letter from a parent, this time a 4th grade parent who wrote the following:

Bret, Corinne, Christina & Jim
“I just wanted to send a quick note to tell you I was truly touched with a moment that occurred during the financial aid portion of the live auction as MANY of the Friends' staff and teachers raised their arms to donate their own personal money to the fund.  What an honor it is to have my child at such a place, full of love, generosity, encouragement and a genuine sense of community.  
With a warm and grateful heart,
Cinder”

Mary Ann and Marv
She was talking about the direct appeal paddle raiser portion of the Auction. Donations go directly to fund financial aid to students whose families are unable to pay full tuition.  Financial aid is an essential part of our school culture and allows many kids to come to Friends’ who could not afford to otherwise.  Approximately 25% of the families in our community receive financial aid and many, many families gave generously to this cause on Saturday, including 19 of our teachers and staff.

Like almost all independent schools, Friends’ does not charge in tuition what it costs to run the school.  We try to minimize our tuition increases from year to year.  We raise funds through our Annual Fund, the Auction, and other means to fund our great programming – and financial aid.  The additional funds raised annually allow us to keep our enviable student:teacher ratio of 8:1, and bring us our exceptional programs like music, art & Spanish which are hard to find in public schools.
"Heads or Tails"

In his authentic and thoughtful speech on Saturday, Friends’ School graduate, and CU Boulder freshman, Michael Hansen said:

"I was a Friends’ student for eight years, both in the preschool and elementary school. I think it’s safe to say that spending eight years doing anything will make a pretty big impact on you, and Friends’ created the entire foundation of my education. At Friends’, my success sure wasn’t measured on an ABC scale, but something became instilled in me that made me eager about actually learning, excited about trying new things, and ambitious to find out my passions. Some of my success is due to what I learned during my early childhood, and I know I’ve taken a bit of what Friends’ gave me in every step of my educational journey."
Alumni student Michael Hansen

Some of Michael’s success includes being the lead developer of the app Finish which won the Apple Design Award and sold 250,000 units worldwide, captaining the Boulder High Swim and Dive team, and being selected as a Leeds Scholar, a selective business leadership and honors program for the top students in CU's Leeds School of Business.  Even Michael, at age eighteen, raised his paddle with the intention of supporting a Friends’ School student.


Thank you to everyone who made the evening such a success!

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