The Power of Community

On Saturday evening Roycemore School welcomed 180 guests to “April in Paris,” a fundraising auction and dinner, to support scholarships and financial aid at Roycemore.  The energy in the building was electric as we welcomed many alumni, parents of alumni, grandparents, current parents, trustees, faculty, former faculty and many friends to join together on a mission-focused evening to support Roycemore’s long-standing commitment to economic diversity at the school.

Community,” one of the core values of Roycemore, was on full-display as guests were welcomed by Roycemore students who helped in a variety of ways, from assisting with parking as guests navigated a surprise late April snow event, to taking coats, to playing music, delivering desserts to tables (speaking French!) and assisting with the paddle raise to support scholarship.  One of our senior scholarship recipients, Daria, shared with attendees how the Eisner Scholarship made her high school journey possible and allowed her to have the time to continue her commitment to the violin, while taking higher level math and Russian literature classes at Northwestern University through Roycemore’s collaboration with the university. She then performed a beautiful piece, Meditation, that left everyone in the room mesmerized with her talent.  An alumna from the class of 2011, Cornelia Leach, shared how she gained confidence as a Roycemore student which she ultimately parlayed into higher education, obtaining her BA and MBAs before landing a position as a Talent Coordinator for a Chicago tech company.  She spent much of last year sharing her inspiring story with young people around Illinois as Miss Black US Ambassador.

Dozens of individuals joined in as volunteers to make the event a success, from sponsors to the event, to attendees, to silent and live auction donors, and individuals who painted the incredible canvases that lined the walls of the room, transporting attendees into the streets of Paris– including the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower lit up with twinkle lights. Fifty-seven individuals were either involved in the painting of the canvases, participated on the planning committee, or volunteered the night of the event.  That’s community!

We were pleased to have Roycemore grandparent, Jerry Springer, serve as our guest auctioneer to auction off a number of Live Auction items to raise funds for scholarship.  Prior to starting the bidding, however, Jerry shared a few personal thoughts about the importance of community and giving to the scholarship fund. “There is such a sense of community and commitment here.  It’s the perfect environment to put a child in. This needs to be looked at not just as charitable giving. It has to be looked at as an investment. This is the single most important investment you can make in your life.  You are investing in your own children and in your own grandchildren. This is not just getting a report every month from your broker, no, you’re investing in your child who’s going to grow up into a wonderful adult. If you could dream up what a school should be and everything a child should get out of a school, you’d want the whole country to go to a ‘Roycemore’ in their own areas where they live.”

We are thankful to Jerry and every single person who helped make the scholarship fundraiser the most successful one in the school’s history, allowing us to continue our commitment to economic diversity at Roycemore, where nearly 50% of our students receive some support to attend.  Now that’s community!!

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