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Head's Corner, March 26, 2013
Greetings CMS Families,
I hope that you had an incredible weekend. Many of us had a rare opportunity to gather as a community for a great cause on Saturday evening. We hosted our annual Auction to help raise funds for our financial aid budget. It was refreshing to set aside time to bond with CMS faculty, staff, and parents and truly engage in meaningful conversations over fine cuisine, catered by one of CMS’s finest; Fireside, dance as if no one was watching and bid on classroom art projects, tickets to sports events, vacation getaways, CMS sleepovers and “unders”, play dates with our beloved faculty and a host of other incredible items. Even if you didn’t bid on items, you had a chance to make a donation to help send a student to Passport summer camp for a week. The mood was upbeat and the place was rocking! After a tough week, I gladly welcomed a “feel good” event.
As I climbed the stairs to the Auction, any burden that I may have been carrying slowly disappeared after each step. It was if I was ascending to paradise. When I reached the top, I walked into a room that was simply picturesque. Not overdone, but just right. The sunlight shone brightly through the open windows as CMS faculty members Ken Paynter, Yas Ishibashi and Kevin Koteles played beautiful music that set the tone for a marvelous evening. Each table was decorated with a glass bowl, a strand of pearls and a gold chocolate coin. It just felt right. Almost Great Gatsby-ish without the pretense.
We were all there on behalf of our students whose families depend on our commitment to make a CMS education attainable. Last week Toddler Primary Director Katelyn Ryan bravely shared her personal story with us and reflected on the value of connectedness. While at the Auction, I had the pleasure of connecting with so many parents. Many of whom I only have time to greet in passing. I met an incredible couple, Tim and Lisa, whose son is new (as in January) to CMS. I learned that we had a lot in common. Love and basketball. Great jazz at Wally’s. Native New England Pride and the list continued. I was impressed that Tim, an attorney, was a walk-on basketball player at Boston College. I was equally impressed that he and Lisa were both quite comfortable at the event and seemed like CMS “old-timers”. By the end of our conversation, I gave Tim the nickname “white chocolate”, a name that must be earned and is not easily given. There was something about them that made me feel like their childhood friend. I felt connected. They expressed their love for CMS and raved about their son’s teachers Erin and Jeanie. That night, they doubled their gift to CMS. Why? Because they wanted to help increase our financial aid fund and I think they too felt connected. Not just to me, but to us.
It’s easy to disconnect from something from which you have no affinity. You could have decided that auctions aren’t your scene. You may have had another engagement. Maybe you just wanted to stay in your pajamas and watch March Madness. Perhaps you don’t like crowds, or me, for that matter. Whatever the reason for missing the Auction on Saturday, please give yourself enough time to connect with someone whose story will resonate with you and hopefully inspire you to give the gifts that keep on giving…access, opportunity and education. We are not Camden. We are not Roxbury. We are Cambridge and we need your support and there is still time!
It was so much fun watching our teachers connect with parents. Clearly spending time with teachers was the “hottest” auction item! Mary, Debbie and Jana started a bidding war that mirrored an episode of Storage Wars. Parents also created a joyful atmosphere. It was priceless seeing Jill, Rachel, Anja, Eldene and Gunish, Maria, Jadra and Nick on the dance floor shaking their tail feathers and doing the electric slide. Margarita and Taj, the Auctioneer Extraordinaire; Zeke and Debbie; Esther and John; Jennifer and Webster; Sonali and Akhil; and Jess and Gavin; all pros at the Auction worked the crowd while dressed to nines! The night lived up to the auction’s theme, “Montessori Treasures”. It was an evening that connected us to something greater than ourselves, a purpose. On behalf of CMS, we thank you for connecting with us and sharing your time, talent and treasure.
“You can’t have a perfect day without doing something for someone who’ll never be able to repay you.”
Saturday was perfect. Have an awesome week!