It was great seeing so many families at our Alumni Associations 2nd Annual Summer BBQ! Read about the fun and the unique bond shared by Cheerful Helpers families.
It’s that old familiar feeling – obligation mixed with inertia, and a glimmer of excitement. It’s Sunday morning, July 10th, and the
Cheerful Helpers Alumni BBQ starts at 4pm in Pacific Palisades, an hour’s drive from home. How will I convince my family to get in the car on time and join me for what I believe will be a great family experience, but is hard to “sell” to the crowd? I remember the bond I felt with the other families at the Alumni Game Night. I remember how I could hardly get my family to leave the BBQ last summer, after we’d all huddled under a tree to find shelter from the unexpected summer rain, and continued to play Frisbee in the damp parking lot.
As our time at Cheerful Helpers recedes further into the distance (my daughter Addie graduated in 2004), I have a deeper appreciation for the unique bond we share as alumni families. It’s no accident that some of Addie’s favorite people to hang out with are her Cheerful Helpers classmates from over a decade ago. And some of our favorite adults to hang out with are those we met in Cheerful Helpers parent group.
Highlights of the 2016 BBQ include: laughing while setting up the BBQ fixings with Carrie, Rebecca and Carmela; bonding over the hot coals while BBQ’ing with Ben, Sandy and Ike; admiring alumni kids like Addie and Isaac as they chatted with current Cheerful Helpers students and parents; watching with excitement as my son Leo played basketball with Pat, another Cheerful Helpers sibling; and talking and sharing with current and alumni families well past the 5:30 BBQ end time. Once again, it was hard to leave.
We know our lives were forever changed by Cheerful Helpers; that’s why we came. Addie leaves in 3 weeks for a second semester studying abroad at Inje University in Gimhae, South Korea. The BBQ is an excuse to see families we rarely get to see, and with whom we have so much in common. It’s this connection that helps us get in the car and make the trek from Silver Lake to the Palisades.