After a year of planning, McLean High School is just about ready to spend the entire weekend of Oct. 21-22 celebrating its 50th anniversary.
"We've been working on this since last September," said Demby Banbury, Assistant Director of Student Activities at McLean High School (MHS). "We've been meeting once every two weeks for the last year - never in a million years did I think this would be so all-encompassing. But it's been fun."
Banbury has been working at McLean High School in a variety of capacities for 21 years. She is a field hockey coach, and has also coached lacrosse, swimming and tennis. In addition, Banbury taught Biology at MHS for 19 years.
"I like the smallness of it [MHS]," said Banbury. "It's got such a terrific community and great support."
According to Banbury, the anniversary celebration is going to be extremely busy and with a lot of different venues planned "to attract a lot of people."
"My goal was to do a kind of showcase of McLean High School," said Banbury.
One of the main attractions of the weekend is the HBL McLean High School 50th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, Oct. 22. The gala will be held at Fairview Park Marriott Hotel in Falls Church and will feature 3 live bands, 2 DJ's, dancing, food, individual class reunions and a cash bar. Tickets are $90 and can be purchased at www.McLean50.com. In addition, the Fairview Park Marriott is offering a special room rate for the event. Local car dealership HBL is the title sponsor of the weekend's events.
"It's really going to have a festive party atmosphere," said Banbury.
MHS principal Paul Wardinski predicts that the anniversary celebration "will be the biggest celebration McLean High School has ever seen."
"For the past 50 years, McLean High School has enjoyed a tradition of excellence in academia, activities and community service. We look forward to celebrating," said Wardinski.
In addition to the 50th Anniversary Gala, there will also be the first ever McLean High School Golf Classic, which will take place at Reston National Golf Course on Friday, Oct. 21. Purchase of a golf package includes green fees, cart, range balls, food and complimentary drinks throughout the day. Two families, the Georgelas brothers and the Inman family are sponsoring $5,000 each for the Classic.
Marilyn White, wife of Golf Tournament Chairman John White, says that she and her husband were happy to be involved in preparations for the 50th Anniversary celebration because "we just wanted to give back because we've gotten so much from this school and this community." The White's have had two children graduate from MHS and have one son who is currently a senior.
On Friday night, Oct. 21, there will be a pep rally, bonfire, food, drinks, class reunions, fine arts performances and tours of the newly renovated facilities. Admission is free and tickets are not necessary for these activities.
During Saturday's Homecoming football game and parade, "A Taste of McLean" will feature local restaurant owners and merchants who will offer samples of their food, beverages and other services. Local Italian restaurant Capri is also planning to donate a dinner for 4 (valued at $1000) to be cooked by their top chefs in the person's home. The dinner, which will feature fresh fish flown in from Europe, a choice of beef or veal, champagne and a wine-pairing with each course, will be auctioned off at www.McLean50.com and at the Golf Tournament.
*For more information and a full schedule of events, please visit www.McLean50.com.