What started as a small idea evolved into one of our biggest and most successful events of the year.
As the Advancement Committee of the Board met to discuss the upcoming year last summer, we noted the increasing level of support for the school coming from grandparents of our students. What struck those involved was that this support for their granddaughters was coming despite the fact they weren't involved in the magic of the LFA experience. We resolved to right that as soon as possible.
Being a first event, the organizing committee tried to keep expectations reasonable. Perhaps we would find interest for 30 or 40 grandparents? That would make for a nice tea and we could run a tour of the facility after Mass. High fives were shared when RSVPs trickled in to meet our goal of 40. The trickle escalated slightly and we were excited when numbers hit 70. Then 100. Suddenly we were looking at 150 grandparents attending Mass and tea, giving rise to adapting the tour schedule to let students individually tour their grandparents. As we crested 200 RSVPs, seating in the Auditorium was adapted to accomodate the numbers: the Choir would move to the stage, adjacent to the altar and rows would be added. By the night before, more than 250 grandparents had RSVPed. Our chef scrambled to accomodate the numbers and we made more changes to the seating. A grandparent who believed deeply in what we were doing stepped forward to make a gift to ensure the day's cost did not affect the school's budget for our girls.
The beauty of our logistical challenges was in finding an event that resonated so deeply with our community. An idea for building community had been embraced and LFA's first ever Grandparent Day will be long remembered by those who took part. The benefit of the event centres on fostering relationships and community. In welcoming grandparents, we welcome a generation who will hold LFA values close to their hearts. It also gives grandparents clearer insight into the education and experience their loved ones are receiving.
Our initial plans to hold a Grandparent Day every other year have been scrapped. We foresee this now as an annual opporunity to strengthen and build our community.