What time does the show start and what is the link I need to attend? 7:00pm Thursday April 29th. We will send the link to all who register and will post the link on westernhighcelebration.com as well. Share with your friends!
Is the event open to non-alums? Yes! We expect more than half of our audience will be people who care about the future of young people, education, racial and gender equity and unity among all. And hey, don’t we all wanna have fun? The event is free for total inclusivity. Please share the event information and encourage friends to come!
Why would alums who’ve not been engaged with Western and non-alums want to attend? No doubt, we will tout Western High School’s historic founding bigtime. However, this is entertainment showcasing performances by Anna Deavere Smith, talented Western girls, wonderful art and festive party elements. Fast-paced and fun, the show will last 35-fabulous-minutes on a Thursday evening. What’s not to love?
Is the event live or filmed? Originally we had planned a live event for the end of our 175th Anniversary Year with in-person audiences enjoying Anna Deavere Smith and all our notable guests appearing together on stage. Obviously, that’s not possible during these times. The result may be even better – attracting more people from wide geographies and no prior Western affiliation to celebrate with us!
For the highest quality entertainment, we have retained Human Beings Productions to film and edit segments into an exciting event. You will love it - money-back guaranteed! (Oh right, the event is free)
How can you raise needed funds if you don’t charge admission? I want to support fine education for young women during these challenging times! Oh, we love – and today’s Western girls need -- your attitude!! Four ways to donate:
1-We have faith that people will lovingly donate via the red donate button out of the goodness of their hearts. We suggest $175 or more but certainly welcome all contributions.
2-To enhance the party experience, we will provide fun party totes to everyone who donates $175 in advance of the party. The contents are creative, valuable and festive but –thanks to vendor donations which reduced our costs – you’ll be able to declare a full $150 in taxes. Click here to make a donation.
3-We are seeking sponsors from area businesses who have compassionate values they want to put into action. If a company and its employees care about the pressing issues facing our nation, this is the ideal way to do something. We will update you as sponsors sign on.
4-It’s a win-win when you acquire amazing art works by Espi Frazier! On April 15th, we will begin accepting:
*Bids for the auction for her original Red Queen wall-hanging.
*Purchases of Espi’s signed prints of her black and white Church Lady in Pearls drawing, limited to 25 editions, for $75.
*Purchases of raffle tickets $25 each for Espi’s hand-created, one-of-a-kind extraordinary “Cicely” crocheted shawl.
With all the important causes, why is supporting Western so important? Where do we begin? Five key reasons:
1-Western as the oldest all-girls public school in the nation is a historic jewel for the city of Baltimore and state of Maryland. We cannot let this distinction diminish and must, instead, share its model to the nation and world.
2-Young women in Baltimore face far greater challenges than students in past decades. Yet, 96% of our 1,200 Western girls go on to college and are determined to succeed and shine their light in the world. Western girls are ranked high among city public schools despite a majority living at or below poverty levels. Covid has worsened their situations.
3-Did you know that other top schools have benefitted for decades of their foundations generating tens of thousands of dollars each year? Bravo to them, but c'mon ladies, we can do better by our alma mater. We understand the strapped city school budget must accommodate schools with dire needs, however, there MUST exist a place of excellence for the city’s young women to aspire to! That’s why the Western High School Foundation was formed.
4-Western alumnae are leaders in our city and state...and beyond. We must continue to provide girls the training and example of leadership for competent compassionate roles in our businesses, government and communities. Baltimore and Maryland need fresh leadership!
5-Come visit and see first-hand the uplifting atmosphere of sisterhood our girls experience for four years, preparing them to leave the nest after senior year with solid self-esteem, academic preparation and well-formed dreams. For a visit in Fall 2021, email us.
How do I know my donation is handled responsibly, with all the benefit going to Western advances and not administrative overhead? Glad you asked! Western High School Foundation, Inc. founded in March 2020 is run by executive women who are volunteering their time completely. Fund for Educational Excellence provides us our 501C3 umbrella and is our fiscal agent ensuring pristine accounting and management of funds. Western school staff is not involved in fundraising. We want them focused on educating and inspiring the girls!
So, what are the Foundation’s plans for using the money raised? Our mission is to support the best academic achievement and optimized college admissions/scholarships for Western students. That also means helping Western enhance its legacy, offerings and distinction, so student diplomas have enduring value and so future generations can experience the Western advantage.
Could you be more specific? Our top priority is funding the exact-right academic advancement initiatives for Western girls, collaborating with school leaders. We are building the funds necessary to institute substantial and effective academic coaching to boost performance in classes and standardized tests. It will be highly individualized, rigorously accountable and sustainable over years. This will take some time to plan and do it right.
Secondarily, we are planning facility upgrades to enhance student experience and the school’s success. We have put forth a three-part environmental initiative to the state of Maryland and eco-philanthropists. This will involve instituting a new environmental science curriculum to bolster students’ college and career opportunities; replacing the recently-removed rooftop greenhouse; and creating an eco-friendly, sustainable front greenspace with outdoor study spaces. Oh, and the greenhouse and front space must be aesthetically beautiful too. After all, it’s Western High School, only the best. Next on our radar is reimagining, renovating and renaming of the Western Library. Frankly, we don’t know how long it will take to raise needed funds and make these things happen. But the Foundation is committed to doing game-changing things for Western.
What about Western Boosters Club and the Western High School Alumnae Association? As the Foundation pursues significant investments, the day to day needs of our girls are also important!
That’s where the Boosters come in. They are fantastic spirit-and-fund-raisers and have given 100% of their profits for special, needed items identified by Principal White as opportunities arise for our girls, such as transportation to symposiums, Band equipment, emergency funds and clothing drives for Western families in need.
The WHSAA operates completely independently from the school and through many years has hosted wonderful events to bring alums together, especially in connection with Western’s Unity Day annually held in the month of March. As well, the association assists alums with their reunions and provides a yearly scholarship to a Western senior.
Any more questions? We welcome them! Please email us any time. And please follow us on Facebook and share share share!