First up was “Grandparent and Special Guest Day,” which was last held in early 2019! This event typically takes place every other year at LMS, but due to COVID-19, there was a little longer wait than usual. But, oh, was it worth the wait! Event co-chairs Maggie Estes and Kari Pollard organized a beautiful celebration, giving grandparents and special guests a glimpse of what makes the school such a special place. Parent Emily Johnson created a lovely invitation for the day, welcoming guests aboard the “LMS Express.” The “passengers” were greeted by Principal Ruth White and then started their journey with a musical performance led by LMS music teacher Katie Huffine; the kindergarten, first- and second-graders sang “Pearly Shells,” and the third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders sang “I Love the Mountains.” After the entertainment, guests connected with their student “conductors” to tour the school, visiting classrooms and seeing first-hand the projects their students were working on. In the library, the guests had the chance to donate a book in honor of their student, and they ended their visit with refreshments in the cafeteria, including coffee donated by Canopy and Moon Pies by Elizabeth Griffin. On their way out, Beth Wingfield took lovely family photos at an enormous blue and gold balloon backdrop created by LMS art teacher Ryan Patterson.
Reflecting on the day, Maggie Estes said, “Faces were all smiles watching the children in the auditorium perform, and it was so sweet to see students grab the hands of their grandparents or special guests to show off their classrooms, art room, science lab, and all their incredible accomplishments at LMS this year.” Maggie laughed that she even saw a child teaching a grandparent how to take a “selfie” to remember the day! Kari Pollard said she loved seeing everyone’s excitement as well, and she was grateful for the support of teachers and parent volunteers who helped with the day. She commented that the support of the LMS community is “why and how our school thrives!”
The next evening, parents and community members gathered in support of LMS again at the “Night Out for Lookout” dinner party and auction. The event was held in the Lookout Mountain Club’s Fairyland Ballroom, where event co-chairs Katherine Smith and Meagan Duke put together a wonderful evening! Guests caught up on lost time while enjoying delicious food and bidding on a wide variety of silent auction items including class murals, student art projects, summer camp vouchers, vacation packages, dinner gift cards, jewelry and home goods, and an impressive array of other items donated by the LMS community. They could even bid to have their child become “Principal for the Day” or be able to pull the school fire alarm! In the live auction later that evening, guests tried to outbid one-another for impressive vacations and experiences, as well as contributing to the night’s special project supporting “Digital Literacy and Mindfulness.”
Mandy Hickey, PTA president, expressed how “incredibly grateful” she was to Katherine Smith and Meagan Duke for their “amazing efforts this year.” She also shared, “It was apparent our community missed [this event] last year, and they were eager to support LMS in a big way. I loved watching some of our long-term and newer parents come together to make it happen.” A highlight of the evening’s décor was assistant chair Kakhi Wakefield using pottery bud vases made by LMS students as table centerpieces; parents were thrilled to purchase these beautiful works of art to take home after the auction! Assistant chair Morgan Everett expanded the auction’s art offerings as well, helping to secure outstanding pieces by local artists, including some very talented LMS parents.
There is always a sense of relief when big events like these two days are all wrapped up … everyone had a nice time, and everything went well. But this year, that sense of relief was magnified somehow by the sheer joy of getting to have the events at all! We got to see in person the community support for LMS, and we were reminded of what shared joy this community brings. Congratulations to everyone involved in these celebrations of LMS - all your hard work came together beautifully!
by Meredith Brown