Fashionable and Generous


Beehive, bouffant, hot-ironed, teased, crimped, a dab of Dippity-Do styling gel or Brylcreem. Ruffles, shoulder poufs, powder blue suits. Is this 2017 or a flashback to high school? This past May, it was both!

Overseer Grace Sharples Cooke, with Head
of School Darryl J. Ford.

The Parent Community hosted a “Return to Prom” to celebrate the good work of, and to raise money for, the Grace Fund.

The Grace Fund is a fund that pays for all the “extras” such as calculators, soccer cleats and sometimes even prom attire, for students with demonstrated need; the goal is to ensure that every student is able to experience all that the school has to offer. The party, on May 13 under a tent at Timmons House, raised $31,551 for the Grace Fund.

Grace Sharples Cooke, an overseer and OPC parent, spoke about her mother, Grace Russell Wheeler Hon. 1689, for whom the fund is named, and about the importance of providing access for all students to all that PC has to offer.

“An urban school that draws students from more than 100 zip codes becomes a sort of social center for the student body,” Cooke said. “Travel, prom participation, school trips and school supplies—no student should lack such essential experiences and possessions.”

Wheeler was a strong voice in the board’s decision to enroll girls.

The party, featuring the American Deluxe band, a silent auction, neon drinks, a video arcade and lots of dancing, was a great success. Individuals and companies, including past parents, sponsored aspects of the party, even if they couldn’t attend, in a wonderful show of support for PC students.

Partygoers ended the night with a slow dance.

“Thanks to our amazing parents, alumni and staff, this was the most successful Grace Fund fundraiser to date,” Michelle Sage P ’21 and ’23, chair of the event, said.

Attendees, many in their retro prom attire and hair, bid on vacation rentals, local experiences, jewelry and more. “Many of the dads set up an arcade game tournament,” Sage said. “They really got into it!” And, just like the proms you remember, the night ended with a slow dance.