Two Perfect Evenings, Two Perfect Events

You couldn’t have asked for a nicer evening under the tent than last Friday, when more than 200 members of the Rivers community gathered for It’s All Fun and Games. This festive occasion gave adult members of our community, including parents and faculty, the opportunity to gather together for food, drink, and merriment. As temperatures hovered in the 70s under clear skies, attendees gathered around tables for blackjack and roulette, tossed bean bags at the cornhole station, showed off their hoops prowess at Pop-a-Shot, mugged in front of the camera at the photo booth, and, most of all, reconnected with one another.
“This was a way for our parent community to get together and enjoy one another’s company, plain and simple,” said Amy Dunne, director of parent engagement and special events. “After the necessary distancing of the past couple of years, I think people are just glad to connect with their peers, seeing old friends and new.”
The mood was festive as the crowd began to gather at 6:30. By 7:00, the big tent on the Lank Quadrangle was abuzz with activity. Beyond fun and games, guests enjoyed a wonderful selection of passed hors d’oeuvres; food stations featuring poke bowls, gnocchi, and more; and a delicious dessert buffet.
Assistant Head of School Jim Long briefly interrupted the festivities to make a few remarks. He thanked the parent volunteers for decorating the tent. And, speaking perhaps for all of the evening’s hosts, he concluded, “We’re delighted you’re here, and we hope to be able to continue to hold community events like this one in the months and years to come. Thank you for coming out—let the games begin!”
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The next night, it turned out you could ask for an equally nice evening, when the junior-senior prom took place under the same tent. Students began gathering in their finery about an hour before the “official” start time of 7:30; this pre-prom event was a chance for families to mingle and take photos (and perhaps for parents to shed a few happy tears on this milestone occasion). After the families departed, members of junior and senior classes enjoyed dancing and dinner—and the chance to socialize together as a class one more time before heading off to their post-Rivers pursuits.
“The students had a blast!” said Victoria Mizzi, twelfth-grade dean. “These kids have been through a lot over the past two years, and it was great to see them enjoying a well-deserved evening of fun." 
Between the prom and the previous evening’s parent event, the tent earned its keep and then some over the weekend. Two fine spring nights provided the perfect setting and perhaps a preview of the next two big tent events—Prize Day and Graduation—just around the corner.