Who's in the Burrow?

Senior Ben Stone Spearheads April 16th "ME to WE Ski-a-Thon"

Ben Stone with African schoolchildren

Sugar Bowl Academy student-athlete Ben Stone has seen plenty of poverty. 

He spent two summers in Africa helping to build a school in the Masai Mara, and has assisted on similar projects on the ground in Mexico.

These are the kind of life-changing events that put the privilege of attending a college preparatory ski academy in perspective, and that gave Stone a desire to do more than put hammer to nails. 

Monday at SBA's All School Meeting, Stone asked for other students and parents to get involved in an effort to help lift children like those he has worked with in Kenya from poverty. 

The event: the "ME to WE Ski-a-thon," coming April 16th at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort
"Initially I went to Kenya in 2009 with my mother as a Youth Leader and co-Champion of a program with Young President's Organization," said Stone. 

"We worked on the program with Free the Children - an amazing organization started by Craig Kielberger at the age of thirteen. It is the largest organization of kids helping kids in the world.

"I was excited and curious, but I really didn't know what to expect. Honestly, I was overwhelmed by the immense poverty in Kenya, but at the same time inspired by the tremendous joy and hope of the Masai people. 

"The children and the community were so grateful for our assistance."

Proceeds from the event will go to help fund the work of Free the Children, whose primary goal is - as the name suggests - to free children such as those Stone has worked with in Africa from a pervasive sense of powerlessness arising from their state of poverty and exploitation.

The event dovetails with Stone's Senior Project, an intensive, year-long effort which entails the publication of a carefully researched and edited paper as well as the development of a related product. 

Stone's fund-raising site has raised $735 so far. To put that in perspective, according to Stone, $25 buys one school kit and $500 can buy six months worth of lunches for an entire school. 

Those who would rather raise money for the cause themselves rather than donating can create their own fund-raising page by hitting the "Raise Money" button at http://www.firstgiving.com/ftc/Event/metoweski-a-thon

Participants do not have to attend the Ski-a-thon, but the person who raises the most money (other than Stone) will win a two-hour ski session with Daron Rahlves, who has volunteered to donate his time. The winner can redeem the ticket next ski season, and can elect to free ski or ski gates. 

Additional prizes will be drawn the day of the Ski-a-thon, and anybody who is interested in donating more prizes should contact Stone

"The bottom line for me is that is just plain feels good to help other people," said Stone. 

"I hope that the parents, students, and community will support, come out and have fun in the 'ME to WE Ski-a-thon.'"

SBA Unplugged

Talent Show MC Devin Gill congratulates winner Steven Tetrault
Talk about eclectic music tastes...

The 2011 SBA Talent Show/Kick It Community Dinner this week featured student performances of music by Frank Sinatra (Fly Me to the Moon), Charlie Daniels (The Devil Went Down to Georgia), Plain White T's (the Rhythm of Love), John Newton (Amazing Grace) and Jane Taylor (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star). 

"I didn't know that there was so much musical talent on campus," Head of School Tracy Keller told the student body at the conclusion of the evening's entertainment.

"The SBA Talent Show has come a long way since its inception here."

Taking top podium honors at the Student Council-sponsored event was Steven Tetrault, who delivered an impassioned recitation of his original poem, Opus/Vox Populi

Student Council Vice President Dylan Murtha was the driving student force behind the event, said SC Faculty Advisor Aly Kendall.

"Without Dylan, it would not have gone as well as it did. He not only performed - and quite memorably, I might add - but he also took the lead in recruiting and motivating other people on campus to perform."

Enjoy the video footage, as well as a text taste of Steven's poem found at the bottom of this post. 

And now, as promised, an excerpt from Steven Tetrault's original poem Opus/Vox Populi, posted here with the author's permission:

We all have the potential for greatness or weakness - to accept our stations in life and wither away;
Or stand united and build as one hand, one heart, one soul.
To raze Babel’s great misadventure,
Or take its broken bricks and rebuild Jericho’s gates; undo the tragedies of eternity.
We are born with our own potentials, ready to [ab]use them as willed by ourselves.
There are these hidden truths in everything around us.
The rules that can be broken, laws for manipulation;
Those who know them, and those who stumble into things greater than themselves.

We all have the yearnings of possibilities yet to be, yet to have been;
Allusions to the realities beneath and above, and through our own. Metaphors.
Dwell not in the mistakes of the past but in the promises of the future;
History and time will absolve us all of our mistakes.
Revel in the beauty of the profound and infinite universe,
The power of physics, the grace of mathematics;
The quantum miracle microcosms that build planets and galaxies and the blush in the infant son’s cheek.
These are the true reasons to live.
We all know the victories of problems greater than any one man; any one woman; any one child or person.

Courage is looking across the void of temporality to just LOVE.