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My 2017 Farm Festival Reflections

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

2017 Farm Festival showcased the vibrancy, collaborative nature and inclusiveness of Manhattan Country School in our new community. After months of preparation, 85th Street from Amsterdam to Columbus came alive with families, delicious food, bouncy houses and games, a marketplace, music and entertainment—many with a Farm theme. Images of toddlers milking the wooden cow and children sporting face paint and fairy wings are priceless; the range of musical talent on stage was impressive.

Farm Festival Raffle

View more photos from 2017 Farm Festival

The raffle drum was filled to the brim with tickets. Thank you to all the families that sold tickets. Congratulations to the 4-5s, 5-6s, 6-7s and 7-8s—the Lower School classes that each sold more than 1,500 tickets and have each won a pizza party for their efforts—and the sixth grade, which sold the most tickets in the Upper School and won a pool party to be enjoyed during their winter farm trip.

And congratulations to all the raffle winners:

  • $1,500 Cash: Denise R.
  • Nintendo Switch Gaming System: Darius R.
  • Apple Smart Watch: Edwin G.
  • Two $100 Le Pain Quotidien Gift Cards: Don W.
  • 10 AMC Movie Tickets: D. B.
  • $100 Amazon Gift Card: Molly J. and Paul S.

Bids are still coming in for the online auction, which runs until 10 p.m. Monday, October 30. We will know how many dollars Farm Festival raised in the weeks to come. The wider impact of engaging prospective families who end up applying for admissions or providing alumni and their families with evidence that MCS is still the kind of place they remember is harder to calculate, but no less important.

A prime annual fund- and friend-raising event, this year’s Farm Festival was a seamless kickoff to a whole year of work to support sliding-scale tuition, economic diversity and an academic success story. Thank you to the 6-7s families who displayed impressive organization skills and the countless volunteers who joined the effort. Thank you to families, trustees, faculty and staff who contributed creative ideas, gave tours or sat at tables answering questions about admissions or reconnecting MCS alumni.

Generations of alumni families make sure to put Farm Festival on their calendar each year. Grandparents and former staff know it’s an event where they can entertain young members of their families. The alumni cocktail reception after Farm Festival is becoming a tradition where classmates reconvene to share memories and catch up. Their reaction to touring the building: “I love the staircase. The whole place feels so MCS-y, just bigger.”

The first thing George handed me on Monday morning was a card with a message from the neighbors who asked to set up two tables to sell sundry items next to our own Marketplace at Farm Festival: 

Dear MCS,

Saturday was a lovely day in the neighborhood—made all the nicer by our joining of our ‘homes.’ Enclosed are the tickets we collected, and a check for the cash we’d like to share from our sale.

All the best,

160 West 85th Street

I have a feeling you know how meaningful it is to get that message from a neighbor on our block.