After 75 years, the County Assembly and Red & White balls — the girl-asks-guy January formal dances that last year raised over $50,000 for local charities — may be history.
The County Assemblies — the governing board for the 2 events — has sent out an urgent APB.
“We have come to a crossroad,” they say. “We have been unable to fill several board positions. If we cannot do so quickly, we must dissolve our board and cancel all future County Assembly and Red & White Charity Balls.”
The board needs a president, president-elect, treasurer, secretary, and other positions. Meetings are once a month, from September to February.
Interested volunteers should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The end of Counties and Red & Whites will disappoint many high school girls (and some boys). Not to mention several charities.
And tons of limousine companies, tuxedo rental shops, dress stores, hair stylists, manicurists, photographers and florists.
All organizations seem to be having trouble getting volunteers these days. Are people more self-centered than they used to be? The Festival Italiano is no more. The Westport Young Woman’s League has to hire people to run their craft show. Volunteerism used to run rampant in Westport. What happened?
I wouldn’t call people more self-centered these days. The nature of the working world has changed,leaving people with fewer free hours, especially in this economy. Many people are working longer hours, and those hours aren’t during the traditional work week. The lines between free time and work time have become blurred.
As my daughter exits Staples I have the opportunity to consider the Counties with some distance. The current model is antiquated and holds little meaning. The stated objectives of raising funds for worthy charities and teaching young men and women social graces through an intercommunity exchange is not working because the students are not engaged in the event.
Students in Westport who attend Counties attend primarily to attend the before and after parties. The County dance is a brief reprieve before the next party. Whereas when I attend a fund raiser I am provided with some sort of presentation that helps me understand how my money is being used and how I have helped, students attending the County dances really are disconnected from the charities they are supposedly supporting.
And as far as social graces go the County dances are a farce. Students huddle together in their “friend groups” Not only do they not mingle with kids from Weston or Fairfield, but they do not mingle with others from their own schools. They are fortressed off in an inward facing circle warding off any opportunity for social expansion and engagement.
I would like to suggest that the County fund raising group reinvent itself. Why not create a meaningful hands-on experience, such as working on a Homes with Hope house? Cluster students in groups that include some from each school represented. That way those kids will actually get to know new students and practice socializing with others not exactly part of their small spheres. This worth while , meaningful, real world experience could be followed by a party. A party that did not require enormous outlays of money. I always thought there was something odd about money we spend on such events, money that could go to the charity.
Just a suggestion from an old hippie….
While this has absolutely nothing to do with Assemblies, I wanted to report on a very enjoyable performance at the Westport Country Playhouse — “The Dining Room.” Not a drama, hardly a comedy, it’s pacing is somewhat like a farce, but not manic.
A witty slice of life over the generations that makes a large number of social and “class” points.
We enjoyed it immensely and recommend it without reservation.
Back in the old days when social climbing was official policy it was an exclusive event. The girls all clucked like hens over who got in and who didn’t. The guys couldn’t have cared less one way or the other. It’s one piece of Old Westport that is probably going to die unmourned.
Loretta, please use your full name when posting on “06880” in the future — new policy!