Last year we attempted our first Homecoming Gala. We made lots of guesses about attendance, speakers, and so on. We held the gala and most of the attendees were the team from the US who had come to visit. We had only 3 Belizeans attend who were not our own staff. But hey, we decided to try it again.
I stayed out of the planning. Ms Maggie, the secretary/bookkeeper and Ms Candi, the principal, did the majority of the planning with Mr Tench and me sticking our noses in just enough to make trouble once in a while.
One of the decisions we made was to hold the occasion in Ms Maggie’s yard which is across the street from the school. The school would be open for tours and to use the restrooms but the event would be held at Ms Maggie’s place. On Friday afternoon the students helped by placing all the plastic and metal chairs in the lower classroom and bringing the regular student desks upstairs. Then they helped set up the tent. Later in the evening we strung the Christmas lights that Sylvia has ‘dug up’ and brought down with her. The young woman who edits the Reporter newspaper helped with decorating. (The reporter is just down at the end of ‘our’ street.)
On Saturday morning, while Ms Candi was stuck in the office taking a college math exam, 4 of us moved tables and chairs and did some decorating. By noon we were done with those preparations. We returned at 5:30 to do some final preparations and to help our students helpers understand what was expected of them.
As the sun set at about 6:30, the school and the yard began to glow.
Shortly after 7:00 Ms Candi started the ceremonies. Following the invocation by Mr Dale, that would be me, she told a little bit about our school and then invited Mr. Gary Ayuso for his reflections. He was a journalist for the Reporter when they ran the first article about the Belize Friends Boys School.
Following a time of questions and answers about the school it was time to eat and to give out the door prizes.
Three door prizes of small appliances were provided by A&R and a 39″ flat screen TV was donated Mr Arun Hotchandani. For these we are most grateful. (Fear not, Quaker buddies, these were door prizes that were not advertised ahead of time. No one gambled to win one.)
We are also very grateful for those folks in the US and in Belize who purchased tickets as a donation even though they could not attend the banquet.
Ms Maggie made a tally this afternoon and it would appear that we sold a little over $2000Bz worth of tickets and had costs of about $1000Bz, so we cleared a little over $1000 Bz. I think that it is significant that a good portion of that came from ticket purchases by Belizeans.
We did a little review today and think we have some good ideas for improvements for next year. Stay tuned.