The Final Countdown
Lady Gaga, Elvis, The Blues Brothers, and the Kings of Leon were among a star-studded line-up raising more than £20,000 for Belmont School!
Singing sensations from Amy Winehouse to Bon Jovi raised the roof at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Saturday May 10th, garnering funds for Belmont’s new science building.
In one big ‘tribute fest’, Belmont parents and staff donned wigs and costumes impersonating their favourite singers at the gala dinner, labelled The Final Countdown.
And there was much counting to be done earlier in the evening when, comedian and charity auctioneer, Russ Williams, took to the floor. Under the hammer were auction lots ranging from a dinner cooked by pop star and Mill Hill Foundation parent Paul Young to the right to park in Head Mrs Duncan’s parking space, with bidding reaching dizzying heights.
The evening began with a champagne reception, where harpist and Belmont pupil Hannah Beckett entertained more than 200 guests.
Are You Sitting Comfortably?
One of the great pleasures of growing up is listening to stories. Of course this happens at home but it is also an integral part of the early years teaching of English at Grimsdell. In the winter this takes in classrooms but in good weather teachers can take groups of children out into the School garden area and use the Storyteller’s chair and benches provided by the Annual Fund.
This is just the latest of the resources the Annual Fund has provided to Grimsdell; in the past this has included musical instruments, outdoor maths equipment and resources to develop the Science Garden.
Anyone for Cricket?
2014 saw Mill Hill break new ground when India Whitty and Sophia Dunkley were selected for the 1st XI. They had played in year group teams for Belmont and in the junior classes but now they had made it into the 1st XI. Over the years the Annual Fund has provided net facilities at Belmont, plus covers and an electronic scoreboard at Mill Hill. Fundraising also provided 50% of the cost of the stunning refurbishment of the iconic Pavilion on Park thanks to generous gifts from cricket-loving alumni and parents.
Meanwhile Adam Rossington, who left the School after five years in the 1st XI and breaking most of its records, had a fantastic month in the County game being Northamptonshire’s Player of the Month in July and getting his first County Championship hundred in August.
A Class Act!
Drama is of the highest standard in the Foundation. Performances by year groups and School plays are always eagerly anticipated and well-attended. Every other year the House Drama competition also attracts great interest.
Major plays are staged in The Large with its recently restored stage, new lighting and sound systems; more work will be done here in the near future. Smaller shows take place in The Patrick Troughton Theatre (named after the famous OM actor). But much class work, exam drama and rehearsals take place in the Drama Studio where the Annual Fund has recently provided a new sound system and sophisticated control facility.
400 ‘BRICKS FOR BELMONT’ SOLD
We were delighted to smash our target to sell 300 Bricks for Belmont by over 100 bricks – thank you to all those who now have their names in the Centenary Garden. We have updated the table in our fundraising brochure (right) to show the great progress we are making towards our overall target of £800,000, as more people become Centurions, Patrons, Benefactors and Founders of the Belmont Campaign. Donors at these levels will be listed in the building itself (unless they wish to remain anonymous).
NEW – EDUCATION EXCELLENCE THE FILM!
Our brand new film explores how the Foundation Appeal helps to ensure educational excellence at Mill Hill, Belmont and Grimsdell. From the building of the Poon Nature Reserve at Belmont to musical projects at Grimsdell and the provision of means-tested bursaries at Mill Hill, the film examines how the Appeal is helping to provide first class facilities, and wider-access to those facilities, across the Mill Hill School Foundation. There is some great footage of pupils enjoying their time at school and we hope you enjoy watching the film as much as we enjoyed making it.
INVESTMENT IN SCIENCE TO COINCIDE WITH CRICK ANNIVERSARY
The generosity of donors has enabled us to push ahead with the phased refurbishment of the Mill Hill School Science Building, an initiative that coincides with the 50th anniversary in 2012 of the award of the Nobel Prize to Francis Crick (Old Millhillian) following his discovery of DNA, something we will be celebrating with a series of events to commemorate the School's greatest scientist. The Physics Department is now complete and in 2012 and 2013 it is planned to move on to Biology and Chemistry. There are also plans for a new science and classroom building at Belmont.
Each laboratory costs between £50,000 and £80,000 to upgrade and the Appeal continues to look for donations which really make a tremendous difference to the teaching facilities at Mill Hill. Donors who pay for a laboratory can also have their name associated with it if they wish.
LORD GLENDONBROOK BOOSTS BURSARY FUNDS
In the Annual Review 2009/10 we were able to write that Sir Michael Bishop (School House 1955-57) had undertaken to support the Foundation Appeal with a gift in 2011. It is excellent news to be able to confirm that Sir Michael, who was raised to the peerage in January as Lord Glendonbrook of Bowdon in the County of Cheshire, has committed £300,000 from the Michael Bishop Foundation to the A Better Chance bursary campaign. This wonderfully generous gift has given the fundraising for People a huge boost and helped us to provide opportunities for talented young people.
The Headmaster adds his appreciation:
“Our most sincere thanks go to Lord Glendonbrook for such a generous gift. Donations on this scale really can make an immediate impact and help the Foundation to achieve its aspirations. The bursary beneficiaries are very deserving recipients and potentially outstanding pupils. I would also like to thank Lord Glendonbrook for making a substantial increase to his legacy pledge this year.”
Lord Glendonbrook writes:
“It is my great pleasure to support the A Better Chance bursary scheme which the Foundation Appeal has established. I would like to pay tribute to OMs Robin Mills and Graham Drake who created the scheme and led the way. Through the Michael Bishop Foundation three pupils will be coming into Mill Hill in September 2011 and be able to enjoy the benefits of a Mill Hill education. Their personal circumstances would not have made this possible. I have learned something of their backgrounds and heard that they are all talented young people who will not only benefit personally but also make significant contributions to the School while they are here. Two of them will be taking advantage of all that boarding has to offer; I am pleased about this as I feel there can be something special about boarding life for some young people. Two of them have musical talent, something which I have always enjoyed supporting.
“The Michael Bishop Foundation supports a number of charities every year; there are specific and often personal reasons behind the gifts it makes. As an Old Millhillian I am proud to be associated with Mill Hill. This pride comes less from looking back on my time at the School with great affection than because I feel strongly that the whole Foundation with its three schools, is well led and making positive strides towards a successful future.”