The end of the school year is rapidly approaching. Students are scurrying to write term papers, and prepping for next week’s final exams. The stables have been abuzz with students getting a few last rides in before heading to Nationals, or working with outside professionals in our clinics. With graduation only a few weeks away, the students and coaches took a moment out of their crazy schedules to dress up, reflect on the success of the year, and recognize the seniors during the annual MUET Gala.
This year’s Gala was held at Shriver for the first time in its history. There was a record number of people in attendance; 175 students, parents, and coaches came to celebrate in this yearly social gathering. Kicking off the event was a silent auction. 40 items were up for bid including wine, an iPad, an iPod, gift baskets, and clothing. The auction was a resounding success and a great fundraiser for the team.
A special thanks goes out to Carillon Catering for a wonderful meal of chicken florentine served with garlic mashed potatoes, zucchini, squash and rolls. Rounding out the meal were two desserts, an Oreo torte and New York style cheesecake. Yum!
After dinner, president Tom Schoen and Jenna Samuels presented a video showcasing all the highlights of the year. It was then time to hand out scholarships to some very deserving and dedicated team riders. The Smokescreen Scholarship, given by the Willoughby family, was awarded to Courtney Johnson and the Truman Scholarship, given by the Jordan family, was awarded to Julia Prus. The senior member award was presented to Kelly Herdman, while the returning member award was presented to Bre Lukan. Lastly, the Citro award, presented by Beth, was awarded to Tom Schoen for his journey through riding, his work ethic while working at the barn, and his overall sportsmanship.
Next were speeches by both coaches and seniors. These speeches gave inspiration, made the room light up in smiles and laughter, and even caused a few tears. Highlights include Lori and Heather’s “canter left, canter right” demonstration, Lindsey’s humbled speech about how proud she was to take her Dressage riders to Nationals, and Liz Chasky’s “10 Rules for Freshman” which ended in the most important rule of all, “Don’t blink.”
Then it was time for the gifts. The students gave the coaches a gift basket of items to help refresh and rejuvenate. Items included candles, soap, a hat, and a Luna Blu gift card. The seniors also received a gift to honor their involvement over the last few years and help them to remember their time riding for Miami: a photo book with personalized pictures from the last four years.
The festivities continued the next morning as the seniors took a ride on a favorite steed in what is sure to become an annual event.
For even more photos of both the Gala and the senior ride, check out the team’s Shutterfly account: http://muet.shutterfly.com/pictures2012-2012