by Alex-Geffner-Mihlsten

A new tradition at Chadwick, the Valentine’s Day Soiree, gave students a chance to have a sit-down lunch to support the building of a school in Ecuador.
Held this year on Wednesday, Feb. 9, the event is still very new at Chadwick. Junior Faith Memmo, a member of the Round Square Board, said, “This is only the second year of doing the Soiree.”
The Valentine’s Day Soiree was part of a larger effort by the Round Square Board. They plan to use the money to donate to an organization called “Free the Children.”

“Through ‘Free the Children,’ Chadwick is going to build a school in Chismaute, a village in Ecuador. We have been fundraising a lot this year, and this is one of our major fundraisers for that organization,” said Memmo.
Overall, the event was very successful, with over 100 students attending. “We came really close to selling out which would be $1,512 raised from tickets and a couple donations from faculty resulting in about $1600,” said junior Elizabeth Powers, head of the Round Square Board. “This money helps us come closer to the $8000 the board needs to make.”
However, the Chadwick Round Square Board intends not only to donate the raised funds to the group; they also will contribute labor to the construction of the school.

“This summer, students from Chadwick and other schools are going on a service project to Chismaute to begin construction of the school. Applications are due soon,” said Memmo.
Preparing the Soiree required each member of the Round Square Board to contribute. “We split up the tasks of cooking food and decorating and getting things together. Furthermore, as a sort of competition, we all had to sell tables,” said Memmo.
Due to the board’s hard work on the Valentine’s Day Soiree, they managed to reach their fundraising goal and sell almost all the spots.
“We reached our goal, and we came very close to selling out, but we are not done with fundraising for the school that we are trying to build in Ecuador,” said Powers. “It has been a long process and we are making extremely good progress.”
Despite the youth of the Valentine’s Day Soiree, many students enjoyed the luncheon.
“I thought the event was really well-thought out,” said junior Jamie Li. “It was a little slow at times, but overall they did a great job with it. I particularly loved that they incorporated music into the Soiree.”
One consistent complaint amongst the many students who attended was the service, however.
“I was a little disappointed with the service at the meal,” said sophomore Stephanie Paulson. “I was at the last table to be served because they completely overlooked or forgot about us. By the time we got the food, it was cold, and they had run out of salad. Needless to say, I was a little annoyed.”
Regardless, many of the students who attended the Soiree this year planned to return should another one occur next year.
“I would definitely consider doing it again next year because not only was it a time to relax with friends, but it also raised money for an amazing cause,” said Li.