Sidwell Community Gathers in Celebration at Annual Homecoming
Sidwell sports teams beat all of their Homecoming opponents, adding to a celebration that included music, fundraising and festivities as the school welcomed alumni back to campus.
In addition to the traditional events -- including the Next-to-New sale to raise money for financial aid, the Homecoming dance and sports -- this year’s activities included a promotional expo for student-run clubs, a performance by the jazz ensemble and a naming ceremony for the newly renovated David P. Pearson Athletic Center. There was also a celebration honoring Coach Lou Heberer for his 33 years at Sidwell. Alumni got to enjoy the day cheering on the Quakers and catching up.
The football team, which has dealt with injuries to a number of key players throughout the season, defeated Silver Oak Academy, 31-6.
“It was great to have the seniors who worked so hard over the last four years win their final game on our home field at Homecoming,” Coach John Simon said.
The girls varsity soccer team defeated Maret. Senior Mikala Jones said it was “an important game for a number of reasons.” The team wanted to redeem themselves from last year’s defeat and show that their hard work had paid off.
“The win [gave] us the boost of confidence we needed to finish the regular season on a high note,” Jones said.
A number of student who run clubs used Homecoming as an opportunity to engage with the school community by exhibiting their activities and fundraising.
The Quarterly made $140 by selling waffles and giving spray painting lessons, an activity they initiated last year. Senior Editor-in-Chief Carrera Chao said, “This year we decided to have more involvement with kids and parents who wanted to try spray painting.” The Asian Student Association made over $1,000 by selling food. They plan to use the money for upcoming events.
Homecoming attendees were also treated to a performance by the jazz ensemble, despite many of the students in the ensemble having prior athletic commitments. Arts Department Chair and Jazz Teacher David Merlin-Jones credited much of his group’s success this year to the common repertoire of jazz.
“It’s essential that complete strangers can play together for the first time and sound like they have been doing it for years,” he said.
The Next-to-New Sale was also successful and, with the help of more than 200 volunteers, collected about $90,000. Organizers held collection days over the summer, a tactic they have decided to use again next year. Sidwell students got involved with the event by volunteering to help as part of their work program requirements, completing about 14 hours of service.
Kathi Webb, director of parent relations, described the sale as “a fun way for parents of alumni to stay connected.”
This year, several events were organized for alumni on Friday and throughout Homecoming day. Anna Wyeth, assistant director of alumni engagement programs, said almost 200 alumni, former faculty, parents and friends participated in the weekend’s activities.
Alumni in attendance included Dick Kaufmann ’57, who performed with the Glenn Pearson Band, and Tim Hanrahan ’91, the deputy chief and online editor of the Wall Street Journal’s Washington Bureau. Hanrahan met with Horizon alumni and student staff members the night before Homecoming day to give advice and answer questions related to journalism.
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