On a rainy Saturday morning, March 31, fifty women from many generations of Saint Mary's High families gathered at the school's Shea student center at Peralta Park, for the annual "Belles of Saint Mary's" ladies' group social.
The group celebrates 25 years of scholarship support for the school this year. Founded in 1987 to help students in need attend Saint Mary's, the group's membership dues of $100 a year have grown to a current fund of more than $88,000. One student each year receives tuition assistance from the fund.
Hundreds of moms, grandmas, aunts, friends, faculty, staff, and alumnae have historically been among the Belles members, and the Spring Social brings many of them to campus for an enjoyable gathering, brunch, and program. This year, the presentation included a wonderful musical performance by Ms. Karen Barrett, vocals, and Ms. Janice Maxie-Reid, piano and vocals. Both are longtime friends of the school and local performers.
Ms. Barrett literally grew up around the campus as the daughter of beloved music teacher and band director Bobby N. Barrett, who taught at Saint Mary's for nearly thirty years before his death in 1991. Ms. Maxie-Reid is the sister and mom of school alumnae and a renowned local musician. The two concluded their musical interlude at the social with a moving rendition of the school song, "The Bells of Saint Mary's," with guests rising to their feet to join in the singing.
Thanks, Belles, for all you do for Saint Mary's! Next Spring, the annual social will be part of the celebration of the high school's Sesquicentennial.