On Monday, April 17, 2017, we celebrate Patriots' Day. In Massachusetts (and Maine), it is a special holiday commemorating the opening battle of the American Revolutionary War on April 19, 1775. I remember as a young girl reading the poem “Paul Revere’s Ride,” and learning how our Revolution began in the towns of Lexington and Concord. Patriots’ Day has become a time-honored tradition in Massachusetts, along with another well-respected tradition: the Boston Marathon.
In their own ways, the re-enactment of the Battle of Lexington and Concord and the Boston Marathon are very similar. They are very long in distance, 18 miles for the famous ride of Paul Revere and 26 miles and 385 yards for the Marathon. And both events speak to courage, resilience, dedication, and overcoming odds that appear to be unsurmountable. On April 15, 2013, those very human qualities were challenged with the Boston Marathon bombing. A city, region, and country were put to the test, and we all came together to support one another. I, along with many others, were inspired by the survivors of this event.
On Saturday, April 29, 2017, the first annual President’s Gala, Dance a Mile in Their Shoes, will be held with special guest Adrianne Haslet. Adrianne Haslet is a world-renown ballroom dancer whose life was completely changed by that horrific day. Although she lost her leg below her knee, she vowed to continue dancing and to run the Boston Marathon. Adrianne met her goals. A role model for many, she now walks, runs, and dances on a new path in life. In so many ways, Adrianne is a BOLD woman. It is only fitting that Adrianne is our keynote speaker and judge for our Gala, which will raise funds for scholarships and transformational experiences for Bay Path students.
"When someone tells you something cannot be done, it is more of a reflection of their limitations, not yours," states Adrianne. "We often let ourselves get held back by both our own thoughts and what people say. We need to be reminded that people do things for the first time every single day. That we are capable and brave and can do things we may not even imagine. Do you have a dream to live a big life? Or complete a goal that may seem small to some but it is Mount Everest to you? Go do it. You are way too smart to let yourself stand in your own way."
Adrianne and our students have much in common. They are determined to overcome the obstacles that come their way, and just as Adrianne met success with the helping hands of friends and strangers, our students also need similar support. Our supporters will make all the difference in their lives. Although the President’s Gala is officially sold out, you can be a champion for our students by casting your vote for one of our dancers to win the Mirror Ball Trophy (does this sound familiar?). I can’t wait for the evening results! The Gala also holds a special place in my heart because, as many of you know, I have never hesitated to be the first on the dance floor. If you’d like to share your memory of dancing at Bay Path, please do so in the comment section. I would love to hear from you! And, please, cast your vote. Carpe Diem.