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St. Martin’s Celebrates Patron Saint

St. Martin’s Celebrates Patron Saint
In one of the most cherished traditions on the school calendar, the entire student body of St. Martin’s gathered Friday, Nov. 9 to celebrate St. Martin’s Day.

The annual celebration honors the school’s patron saint and namesake. St. Martin de Tours was a Roman army officer, who once met a freezing beggar and shared his military cloak with him. Later he became a priest, dedicating his life to helping those in need.

St. Martin’s Episcopal School first celebrated the day in the 1950s, and the tradition has evolved throughout the years.

Woven throughout the fun-filled day are the three tenets of the school’s mission. The opening chapel service represents ‘faith.’ The discovery hunt, which encourages students to work together and learn more about their school and community, emphasizes ‘scholarship.’ As the entire student body works toward the goal of raising and donating money to Relay for Life, they practice ‘service.’

This year’s festivities opened with an all-school Eucharistic Celebration. Head of School Merry Sorrells declared the day “St. Martin’s Day 2018” to a chorus of cheers and clapping from the student body and faculty and staff.

Student Council President Ritchie Whitney ’19 addressed the assembly, speaking to students about the importance of using their abilities to do good.

“Do absolutely everything in your power to be the best version of yourself as possible,” Whitney said. “Don’t settle for anything less than what you are capable of, because some people don’t get the opportunity to try their best on things we take for granted. Some people don’t get the opportunity to study with teachers who have such love for not only their academic areas but for their students. To waste any of these gifts is frankly a shame.”

In honor of St. Martin, who was known for his kindness, the student body spent the weeks leading up to St. Martin’s Day raising money for Relay for Life. Through various fundraising efforts, students were able to donate nearly $3,000 to the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraiser. The money St. Martin’s students raised went directly to the nonprofit, which works to fund groundbreaking cancer research, critical patient care services, education and prevention initiatives, and more.  

Individual grades coordinated a variety of events to raise funds for the charity. Pre-k students helped with chores at home, while second grade hosted a popcorn and lemonade sale. Middle School students sold raffle tickets. Upper School, led by the Student Council, sponsored several fundraisers in that division.

St. Martin’s Day is not only a fitting observance of the school’s patron saint, but also a beautiful celebration of the school’s diverse, strong, generous, and thriving community.

Photos by Wally Porter ’76
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