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DragonFest Goes to Playland at the Beach

 DragonFest 2017

Mid-Pen transformed the Pullman San Francisco Bay Hotel in Redwood City into an old-timey carnival boardwalk on Saturday night. As guests arrived dressed in costumes evoking the golden age of Playland at the Beach, San Francisco’s version of Coney Island, they were welcomed by our very own carnival barker and Director of Development, Henry Trevor. Henry pointed guests to the food, fun, and games while decked in an outfit worthy of a best-dressed award, were there such a thing on this night.

Instead of basking in best-dressed glory, however, Henry devoted his time to making sure every attendee got the opportunity to win something. Guests had the opportunity to win prizes entering raffles, playing Wheel of Fortune, getting in on the game ‘Heads or Tails, or winning items in both the silent and live auctions. And of course Mid-Pen won all night long thanks to the spirit and generosity of our community members who attended the event.

While guests milled about during the silent auction, they indulged on a robust assortment of hors d'oeuvres, including macaroni-and-cheese cupcakes and tomato soup shooters with grilled cheese bites. In addition to snacking, bidding, and entering raffles, guests also had the opportunity to play skee ball and pose for photos in the photo booth. There is a rumor floating about that eight Mid-Pen faculty and staff members managed to fit into the photo booth at the same time. Our people are currently trying to locate the photographic evidence to support this rumor.

When the silent auction closed, the entire party moved into the adjacent banquet room, where the Mid-Pen Honors Music Ensemble was waiting to provide the stage show as attendees began to dine. The kids played a set of oldies (they knew their crowd), consisting of Hound Dog and Little Sister by Elvis and Be My Little Baby by the Ronnetes.

After the musical portion of the night, the banquet room became a live auction house, giving everyone the chance to win a special item or life experience. At the conclusion of the live auction, Mid-Pen faculty and staff introduced specific Fund-a-Need projects that attendees could support by making pledges. Excitement in the room swelled as pledges rolled in to support sending kids to conferences and school trips, stocking the new reading room with books, supporting our upcoming spring musical, and introducing e-books to more Mid-Pen classes.

DragonFest Goes to Playland at the Beach was a rousing success in terms of both fun and supporting the school we all love. We would like to thank everyone who made this inspiring night possible. Thank you to Sarah Caplan for working on invitations and design, Denise Fawcett and Mary Hinson for procuring so many great auction items, and Jill Andre and Jeanna Lurie for masterful work on decorations. We’d also like to thank Georgina Cooper, Gail Ishimatsu-Hall, Lisa Maloney, Gregory Prieto, and Lisa Steinback for their all-around help with the event. And thank you Henry, for your hard work, dedication, and super competence in supporting our school and managing the complexities of putting on this gala.

Thanks especially to everyone who came out to DragonFest this year. Our students benefit greatly from your care and support! We can’t wait to see you all again at next year’s DragonFest!