Second Annual Harvest Fest: Fund-raiser and Friend-raiser!
The Second Annual Harvest Fest at The Academy at Mount Saint John was a huge success! After being rescheduled from October 3rd due to hurricane forecasts, on November 14th, 80 people attended a meaningful, fundraising event in the agency gym. This year’s highlights included live music by BluesGrass and a tour of the facility, a delicious spread of appetizers, entrees and desserts made by our Chef Kristen and the culinary students, and a great silent auction with donated items. Kathy C. White (Chief Administrator/Education Director) presented recognitions to several supporters of the program. Two students, Ells and John, were present to help with the food preparation , serving, cleanup and technology assistance.
The keynote speaker was Michael Rohde, former employee of Mount Saint John, Mayor of Meriden and long time supporter of child welfare causes and programs. He introduced John William Tuohy, author of “No Time to Say Goodbye; A Memoir of a Life in Foster Care”. John attended MSJ in the late 60s and Mike was his wrestling coach. Amid laughter about his adventures while at Mount Saint John, the audience rose to give John a standing ovation, after he read a chapter in his book about attending a dance in the very same gym. He described how girls were bussed in from another school for the evening and depicted the awkwardness and insecurity, with the boys looking at the girls looking at the boys… Eventually it turned into a great night of dancing, and after an emotional pause, he read “for a few hours we weren’t poor or scared or desperate …. We were just kids, doing what kids do, and it felt good. It was a great night.”
John and his wife Mary live in Washington DC. John has written several non-fiction books and is active in politics. He has committed to help The Academy at Mount Saint John with new programs and to assist young men in need.
If you are interested in more information about the Harvest Fest, The Academy at Mount Saint John, or John William Tuohy, please visit our website www.mtstjohn.org.