The rental chairs have been returned, the floor cleaned, the bleachers folded back, and the Coyle Gym restored to its original purpose. But the emotional high from Friday’s benefit concert “For the Green and White” remains.
This was one of the most extraordinary events at GFA. Planned and organized by the senior class, they led the whole initiative from engaging performers, soliciting silent auction items, to organizing tickets and so much more. Faculty and staff offered help and support, and the resulting collaboration, with faculty respecting and honoring the leadership of the seniors, was a melding of talent, hard work, and great team effort.
1000 tickets (clever green wrist bands sold by the seniors) were gone by 2:00pm and from that point on, all energy went into the evening itself. Carefully thought out, the performances were well balanced and timed, and several GFA students performed as singers or members of different bands. The tone of the evening, as reflected by every performer, was one of a community having come together to reach out to help another community that continues to be in pain in the aftermath of such an enormous and horrendous tragedy.
ESPN’s Mike Greenberg was the emcee. Pitch perfect; he made the evening flow seamlessly from start to finish. With his deft touch, Mike balanced celebrating our performers and respecting the reason we had all gathered.
Chad Stokes from Dispatch, a brilliant performer and great musician, was the penultimate act, and to end an unforgettable evening, Paul Simon and Edie Brickell, with drummer Steve Gadd, lit up the stage and inspired an adoring and grateful audience.
With humility and generosity of spirit, Paul asked one of our sixth graders, a talented violin player, if he would accompany on the fiddle, and the result was a perfect metaphor for the evening- performers from across generations and backgrounds coming together in a sprit of community, respect, support, and all with a common purpose.
Everyone left with the same words on their lips- how proud they are to be part of our school and our community. I could not have been more proud of our school, and that evening will stay with us for many years.