Excitement filled the air on Friday evening as parents and guests toasted to a virtual RaisE a Glass gala, the culmination of a reimagined 2021 RaisE series. This 2021 edition of RaisE — the largest Parents’ Council fundraiser of the year — featured four distinct events, and raised more than $120,000 towards supporting the education of Agnes Irwin girls.
The Road to Raise began in early March with RaisE Your IQ, a trivia-style virtual game night attended by more than 100 participants across 45 screens. “Seaton’s Smarties,” also known as the PreK parents, earned their girls a free dress day for an impressive grade-level parent participation of 56%. Later that month, parents and families tuned in on March 18 and 19 for Raise the Curtain, two sold-out virtual events featuring mentalist Mark Toland.
It was a race to the finish line for April’s The Amazing RaisE, as families in 35 cars scoured along the Main Line in this AIS scavenger hunt. Team Yocum brought home the grand prize honor, followed by Team Howard, and Team McEvoy — who also earned an overall best score nod for an exclusively Lower School family — rounding out the top three contenders. Among the honorable mentions were Team Monestere for having the longest CVS receipt (more than two feet long!), Team Cocozza/Thumm for collecting the most physical items, and Team Foster for snapping the most picture points.
Friday’s RaisE a Glass celebration featured live hosting at the 672 Conestoga Road campus from parents Aarti Bijlani P’28 ’30, David deForest Keys P’26 ’28, and Susan Burch P’09 ’10 ’30. Prior to the event, participants received unique cocktail and Philadelphia specialty food charcuterie trays — prepared by 13th Street Cocktails and Crumb and Cow — to whet their appetites at home while they participated virtually in this special fundraising opportunity.
The annual auction — a virtual experience this year — benefits programs, events, professional development, and other educational experiences at AIS. Families began bidding earlier in the week for items including a vacation on Block Island, bedroom and patio makeovers, a Mexican-themed dinner party with the Head of School, a special Commencement celebration package, Chick-Fil-A and cupcake truck prizes for students, and a catered at-home dinner for eight people.
The highlight of the evening, however, was the Paddle Raise, which secured more than $50,000 for the STEAM appeal. This three-year campaign sought to enrich the STEAM experience at Agnes Irwin by providing tools, resources, professional development, and enhanced space in the areas of architecture, engineering, and textile/fiber design. These design-thinking “hot spots” will complement existing curriculum and offer new opportunities with broad applications across disciplines.
Camille Seals P’30, Assistant Head of School for Academics & Inclusive Excellence, emphasized the bold ingenuity of AIS students in her remarks about the STEAM initiative. “Agnes Irwin girls are amazing,” she stated. “They are incredible leaders and scholars. They’re scientists, they’re makers, they’re creators. And even in this strange school year of COVID education, they have continued to do all of those things.”
Head of School Sally Keidel P’27 acknowledged the community’s dedication to empowering girls — and its willingness to rise to the occasion and make educational excellence a reality. “I’m always impressed with the generosity of our Agnes Irwin community,” added Head of School Sally Keidel P’27. “We’ve been talking about STEAM for the last couple of years ... it really inspires and continues what girls at Agnes Irwin think about — which is taking risks, building their confidence, and finding their voice. Gifts like yours directly impact the classroom next year — so thank you so much for your support, and for stepping up for our beloved girls.”
Missed out on our Road to RaisE events? There’s still time to invest in the future of our girls!