Foxcroft kicked off its Centennial Celebration Sunday with a great, big “giving back” party.
Upwards of 350 people — all wearing pink — and dozens of dogs similarly attired walked, ran, and pranced around the Foxcroft campus to benefit the Cherry Blossom Breast Cancer Foundation, setting a record for participation in the Middleburg event and raising more than $38,000, not including funds raised by the Foxcroft community. A key part of the Walk since it was founded in 2007, Foxcroft hosted the event for the first time and CBBCF President James Atkins has already asked to come back next year.
“I don’t know where to start,” said Head of School Mary Louise Leipheimer. “So many people contributed to a wonderful, wonderful day. I’m very proud of the Foxcroft community.”
Meanwhile, Foxcroft women, friends, and family at 20 locations on four continents did everything from playing poker in Atlantic City to conducting a Darien, CT, CPR training course and installing a drainage pipe in an English village — all to honor Foxcroft’s 100-year-old tradition of community service. “Lots of fun was had by all,” reported Adela Griswold, a 2006 graduate who spent four hours with a dozen Foxcroft alums and family members cleaning and painting at the Holy Family Day Home in the Mission District of San Francisco.
A festive atmosphere prevailed at Foxcroft, which saw virtually the entire student body and faculty, all wearing pink tie-dyed shirts, contributing to the day's success. Foxcroft girls painted children’s (and each other’s) faces. WINC-92.5’s Lisa Herndon, broadcasting live, doled out goodies to lucky spinners of her wheel of fortune. Music blasted and little ones played as Foxcroft alumnae and parents who had traveled from as far as Maine, New York, Delaware, North Carolina, Florida, and Mississippi renewed acquaintances and browsed assorted tables offering everything from special “Centennial Day of Service” bandanas and summer camp information to home-baked delicacies benefitting the CBBC Foundation, if not our bellies!
Nearly 50 individuals participated in the first timed 5K race held in conjunction with the Middleburg event, with medals going to winners in each age group/gender. A gift certificate to the Goodstone Inn went to the overall winner — who turned out to be Amy '14, with a personal best time of 20:26.32. Jake Blycher, brother of Marley ’17, was the top male finisher at 20:35.60 while his mom, Lynn, took female over-40 honors. Other age group winners included Richard Coolidge, Tasha Bolden, and Rebecca Simokaitas. For full results, click here
Meanwhile, in New York, Middleburg native Amanda Hartmann, a 1992 Foxcroft grad, assisted by Marian Tes '00 and Lynn Hancock '05, conducted “Cherry Blossom North,” a 5K walk through Central Park attended by 17 individuals mostly alumnae ranging from the class of 1979 to 2013. “Five-K never flew by so fast with all our chattering ... brilliant idea and great fun!" said Leah Haggerty ’81. Jennifer Slingluff Robinson ’80 conducted hands-only CPR training in Darien, CT, and Olivia Stanfield ’97 spent the day with her family and orphaned dogs at Campo Refugio in Buenas Aires, Argentina. Courtney Maier Burbela '85 persevered to finish a 300-mile AIDS bike ride from Boston to New York City, while in Augusta, GA, former faculty member Becky Gilmore and Mary Helen McDonough ’86 and her husband prepared and served lunch at the Masters Table soup kitchen.
“We shared stories of Foxcroft and service at the School,” reported Gilmore. “I was heartened to hear how often Mary Helen volunteers at Masters Table. She learned the Foxcroft lessons and has taken them into her community.”
Perhaps the most unique activity took place in Atlantic City, where Jenn Sgro Orfield ’91, battled Jerry “the Shadow” Yang and other top pro and amateur card sharks in a charity poker tournament benefitting the Lupus Foundation of America. Other Foxcroft women honored the School with pro bono creative marketing services, hospice visits, food and clothing collections, and volunteering at animal shelters and sanctuaries. They did so in such far-flung locales as Hyderabad, India; Cuzco, Peru; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Missoula, MT and Lake Placid, NY. Tweets and photos from a number of these events, as well as the Cherry Blossom Walk, were on view at the Walk, fed into large flatscreen TVs on site for all to enjoy.
Additional events gathering Foxcroft women to do good works in Los Angeles, Chicago, Sarasota, FL, and Sewanee, TN, are planned for October, while — no doubt — thousands of instances of community service are performed annually by alumnae and students. The spirit of giving back has pervaded the Foxcroft School community since it was founded in 1914 so Centennial organizers thought a day of service an apt way to kick off the celebration. Judging from the enthusiastic participation, they seem to be right!