DOWNEY - It was a cool, breezy day with a slight chance of rain but that didn't matter to the students, staff and families at St. Mark's Episcopal School. When Mayor Anne Marie Bayer stepped out of her car, she was ready with her trademark sunshine smile, eager to meet and greet both students and parents alike.February 19 marked the date for the Family Day and Silent Auction held annually at the school. About 160 students and their parents came together to enjoy, appreciate and recognize the family as a strong institution supporting the community. The students were excited to see her with many asking, "Is the mayor here with her bodyguards and the Secret Service?" Head of School, Glenda Roberts, assured the students that all was well and that there was no need for detailed security for the new 'Honorary Family Day Member'. The students sang the hymn "Awesome God" and added the words "Our Mayor is an Awesome Mayor" to honor her attendance. Later, Bayer presented St. Mark's Episcopal School with a proclamation from the City of Downey commending the school for its achievements and continuing service to the children and the community. The mayor invited the students to visit her office where they could sit in the mayor's chair and also tour the police station. One of the students, Ethan Ruiz, drew a picture for Bayer. Touched by the tenderness of the gift and the giver, Bayer told Ethan that she would place his picture in her office. As the official Family Day program was coming to an end, the aroma of burgers from the In-N-Out truck parked in the school parking lot summoned everybody outside. Bayer ate lunch with the students and took photographs with them and their families, laughing, talking and getting to know the future leaders of America. St. Mark's Episcopal School has been a foundation in the community since 1964. Like most schools in California, there is always a need for additional funds. The Family Day Celebration recognizes the importance of family and is a way to raise funds to help defray expenses. Each classroom had various items such as baskets and crafts the children created and displayed for the silent auction. The proceeds from the auction are used by the classrooms for field trips and classroom supplies. When parent Marichelle Maloney thanked the mayor for attending, Bayer responded by saying, "St. Mark's is near and dear to my heart, I support the importance of community and education. I am very happy to be here." When Roberts welcomed Mayor Bayer, she noted the importance of family and community working together to benefit everyone. It really does take a village.
********** Published: March 12, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 47