Alumni Benefit hopes to raise money

Nelson Gaillard and Rowan Mally

Generations of alumni, from the 1940s to 2010s, will come together at Tao Downtown for the 16th annual Alumni Benefit with the goal of raising $160,000 on Wednesday April 17th.

The event features a silent auction that will offer prizes including concert tickets and a private dinner with Dr. Kelly, as well as a “Buy it Now Boutique” in which different items, like gift cards, will be sold at a discounted price, Director of Alumni Relations Kristin Lax P’22 P’22 P’26 said.

The Alumni Council, whose goal is to maintain alumni relationships with the school, has been working in preparation for this event since the beginning of the school year, Alumni Council President Samantha Brand ‘01 P’26 P’29 said.

The total money raised will fund the Student Launch Initiative, a program that will provide meal cards to students on financial aid in grades 6 to 12. So far, alumni have raised $152,146 and hope to raise plenty more on April 17th, Lax said.

The Student Lunch Initiative is a great way for HM alum to feel connected to today’s student body and to know your support is making a real difference to current students, Benefit Committee co-Chair Jennifer Friedman ’08 said.

The Alumni Council hopes to raise as much money as they can, Benefit Committee co-Chair Lindsay Kane ’02 said. “Our goal is to fully fund all of the meal cards.”

“We want to make it so that every student who needs a meal card can get a meal card and doesn’t have to worry about buying lunch,” Brand said.

“Alumni know how rigorous the school can be,” Kane said. With this money, the Alumni Council’s hope is to make students’ academic as easy as possible by taking out stressors, like paying for lunches, she said.

The Alumni Council is committed to helping students on financial aid with the additional expense of meals on campus, which over the course of the school year can really add up, Lax said. 

Last year, the Alumni Council hosted a “record-breaking event,” donating $117,000 to the Student Lunch Initiative, Brand said.

For the first time this year, the benefit is being sponsored by six different corporate sponsors, including FLIK, Supertrans and Selby Transportation, Lax said. “It’s wonderful to see corporations contribute to the alumni community’s effort to give back to their alma mater and support current students.”

“The event is truly a team effort between the alumni who volunteer their time and the Alumni office,” Lax said.

Head of School Dr. Tom Kelly believes that this event continues to represent the very best of what the school describes as service beyond oneself, he said.

According to Brand, the event is tremendously gratifying. “It’s a very concrete way that alumni can help current students in their day to day life at [the school],” she said.

Kelly finds it humbling to see the school’s alumni rally on behalf of today’s students, he said.

The council hopes to have another record-breaking event this year, Brand said. “We are on track to meet or exceed our goal.”