Category Archives: Ridley News

Slam Dunk for Ridley College and OSBA

The Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association (OSBA) welcomes Ridley College’s First Boys basketball team into its elite Canadian league.

After more than a decade-long run as one of most competitive basketball teams in the CISAA and following a record-breaking season ­­– winning six tournaments and three major titles ­– Ridley College’s First Boys basketball team has been formally accepted into the OSBA for the 2016/2017 season.

The OSBA is an elite league, governed by Ontario Basketball that helps prepare players for post-secondary, national and international levels of competition. The goal of the association is to increase the number of quality basketball players competing in Ontario and to promote the Train to Compete (T2C) stage of the Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model – of which Ridley was an early adopter and remains a proponent of, school-wide.

The team’s promotion means that the Ridley Tigers will not only compete against top basketball prep schools from around the Greater Toronto Area, but the athletes will also participate in at least three international showcases and host several others throughout the year. Ridley will become the first and only IB Continuum school that is a member of the OSBA, offering the gold standard in academics and athletics in Canada.

“We are excited to add an outstanding institution like Ridley College to the OSBA. We are confident that Ridley College will be able to provide student-athletes with a world-class education, as well as a high-quality basketball experience that supports their development.”

– Carmelo Mallia, Manager of High Performance at Ontario Basketball and OSBA League Commissioner.

With support from the current coaching staff, Ridley Athletics has hired Mr. Tarry Upshaw as head coach of the new OSBA team. Coach Upshaw’s dynamic career has included coaching at the professional national and international level; coaching national team programs in Hong Kong, China, Jamaica and right here in Canada. His wealth of experience in developing young athletes and his relationships in the basketball world will be invaluable as the school’s basketball programme continues to develop into one of the best in the country.

“This is a natural progression for us as an institution with the right people in place at the right time,” said Jay Tredway, Director of Athletics at Ridley College. “I am very excited about the support network we have in place for our student athletes, and adding the competitive environment of the OSBA will no doubt challenge all of us to become even better at what we do,” he added.

Read the St. Catharines Standard’s article.

TransfORming Our Globe – Ted Chen ‘08

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We’re proud to introduce the TransfORming Our Globe blog series. Each month, we will feature Old Ridleians, who are making their mark on the world. The inaugural TransfORming Our Globe story is about a young man that identified an area of need, produced a solution, and was recently named to the Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 list for his work in the Manufacturing and Energy industry.

Evercomm co-founder Ted Chen holding their wireless sensor chip
EverComm co-founder, Ted Chen holding their wireless sensor chip.

Originally from Taiwan, Ted Chen ‘08 came to Ridley College in 2002, as a Grade 7 boarding student. Ted spent six years at Ridley, and was highly involved in both academics and extracurricular activities while he was a student. Ted was a boarder in Burgoyne House in Grades 7 and 8 before realizing how cool it is in the North, spending Grades 9 through 12 in Merritt North House. During his time here, Ted demonstrated his willingness to try new things and work hard, both in and out of the classroom. Coming from Taiwan, Ted had the opportunity to pick up new sports and hobbies, and was most grateful for the opportunity to learn how to play basketball. He started playing on the Under-16 team, and eventually made the cut for the First Boys basketball team in Grade 12. Ted was also a member of the First harriers team and First lacrosse team. He earned the Duke of Edinburgh’s silver award, was a House Captain in Merritt North, and was a member of the Students with Advanced Technology Team (S.W.A.T.).

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Upon graduating, Ted attended Nanyang Technological University in Singapore where he studied Electronic and Electrical Engineering. He later took part in an entrepreneur bootcamp at Stanford University that helped motivate him to start his own business. He then returned to Singapore and cofounded EverComm in 2014.

EverComm uses data analytics to identify cost savings for companies with high energy bills. On average, his customers spend between three and six million dollars on energy per month. The EverComm platform allows these clients to save roughly one to three percent each month on their onerous energy bills.

In true Ridley fashion, Ted says his motivation lies outside of money or comfort. He wants to help transform our globe. Our planet is currently mired in a worldwide energy crisis that impacts everyone and Ted aims to do what he can to make a difference through the work of his venture. Ted’s team continues to grow and work towards combatting the issue of climate change. The industrial sector, with which Ted works most extensively with, consumes more than fifty percent of the world’s energy.

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In addition to citing many of the lessons he learned at Ridley, Ted claims he, “discovered who [he] was, discovered a love for computers, and learned to persevere through challenges.” Through athletics, he learned about his drive and how to compete to the best of his ability. He enjoys traveling the world and, thanks to Ridley, he knows, “someone in almost every pocket of the globe.”

Ted’s story is an excellent example of how hard work, opportunity, and a desire to improve the world around you can truly help to TransfORm Our Globe.

TransfORming Our Globe is a blog series where we share the exciting stories of alumni who are leading flourishing lives and changing the world. It is important to Ridley College to support our alumni and share the stories of Old Ridleians, who have discovered their passions and found success and happiness along this path. 

Do you know of any classmates that are living flourishing lives or transforming our globe? Email any suggestions for the TransfORming Our Globe blog series to development@ridleycollege.com.

 

The Weekend Programme – April 2016 Highlights

Launched in 2015, the Weekend Programme provides students with fun activities – on and off campus – every weekend. This April, the Weekend Programme was chalked full of highly anticipated events, Ridley traditions and exciting outings!

Students witness a battle of epic proportions on the big screen

Saturday, April 2nd

There’s nothing better than seeing an action-packed movie on the big screen, so that’s what nearly 30 students spent their Saturday evening doing. Our Ridleians loaded up the bus and ventured to Landmark Cinemas to see Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice; an epic motion picture, that pits two beloved superheroes against one another. As always, our students enjoyed an evening out with their peers.

House trip to the Great Wolf Lodge

Saturday, April 9th

Members of the boy’s houses travelled to Niagara Falls for an evening of fun at the Great Wolf Lodge, a waterpark resort, located not far from campus. There, they hit every water slide, lazy river and water challenge in site! It was a wonderful outing and a great opportunity for the boys to bond before Summer begins.

 “Best night of the year.”

– Mrs. Jessica Roud, Housemaster of Dean’s House

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Students took part in some friendly competition on the court

Saturday, April 9th

On Saturday, students hit the badminton court for a tournament. It was a great opportunity to practice their skills, bond with their classmates and get active. At the end of the tournament, students enjoyed a pizza party, provided by Ms. Margaret Lech, Assistant Head of Upper School and talented badminton player.

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“Going to badminton on Saturday was a really good time! I think everyone that attended brought the best energy they could (including Ms. Lech!) My favourite part of the night had to be when I played Victoria and our competitive sides came out; the game really took a turn. Calling a rematch with Victoria and Ms. Lech!”

– Rachel Overbeeke ’17

“Badminton on Saturday was a blast. At the beginning it was quiet, but once everyone started to come out it was loads of fun. Everyone’s competitive and fun side came out, which made it even more exciting to play. My favourite part of the night was having a match against Ms. Lech (when I said I needed competition), even though she beat me. It was okay because I was taking it easy on her. P.S. I call for a rematch against you Ms. Lech. The challenge has been accepted.”

– Victoria Dabanovich-Mahoney ’18

Students sang their hearts out at MNO Music Night

Saturday, April 16th

Students gathered in the Ross E. Morrow Theatre for the annual MNO Music Night, hosted by Merritt North. Our talented Ridleians hit the stage, where they sang, danced, showcased their talents and even participated in a little bit of karaoke. This annual student-led event proves to be a hit, year after year.

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Ridleians ventured ‘In the Woods’ for the annual Cadet Ball

Saturday, April 23rd

Our Grade 11 and 12 students experienced a night they’d never forget on Saturday, April 23rd. The annual Cadet Ball is a long-standing Ridley tradition, where our students don their crisp cadet uniforms and their prettiest gowns for a night of dinner, dancing and good company. This year, Club Italia’s ballroom was transformed into an enchanting forest, inspired by the children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are. The Family Guild and Grad Committee planned a fantastic event for our senior students and faculty members. To view photos from this year’s whimsical Cadet Ball, click here.

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With adventurous day trips, tournaments and one of the most memorable events of the year, April was a month to remember for many of our students. As the school year winds down, the Weekend Programme still has some fantastic events planned. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for our students.

 

Students connect with nature during the annual frog watching field trip

In order to live flourishing lives, students must learn the importance of contributing to the community. They must strive to develop meaningful partnerships and connections that will support them throughout their journey. These contributions and connections have a positive impact on everyone and everything around them.

On the evening of Friday, April 22nd, a group of Grade 9 geography students ventured to the Burgoyne Outdoor Education and Research Centre (BOERC). Connecting with their peers and contributing to the restoration of our environment was an important part of this learning experience.

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In partnership with the FrogWatch Ontario Programme, our students participated in a national initiative that allows students to contribute to Environment Canada’s biodiversity database, specifically, data relating to frogs and toads. Coinciding with Earth Day, it was a perfect way to connect with and give back to nature and our community.

During their investigation, the students were asked to record a number of observations and conduct a number of tests. As the summative component of their ‘Amphibians as Bio-indicators’ unit, the students had to record the weather and water conditions, such as wind speed, cloud cover, water quality and temperature. This data was submitted alongside their observations. Ridleians then spent the evening collecting observational data and spent several hours listening for species of frogs and toads that are native to Ontario. Data such as this helps scientists determine positive and negative population trends, range and distribution of species and can help track climate change. It was a perfect night for frog watching and the students collected an abundance of data, which was then sent to Environment Canada where it will be used to help monitor climate change.

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This annual trip allows students to connect with nature, contribute to the community and strengthen partnerships with their classmates. Field trips like this – ones that extend beyond on the classroom and provide an interactive learning experience that connects to a bigger picture – are essential to the Ridley framework.

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Ridley College students net ice time with Ottawa Senators

The National Hockey League came to town as a special treat for our Ridleians on Friday, April 22nd.

Students belonging to our hockey programme joined Chris Neil, Cody Ceci, Kyle Turris, Mika Zibanejad, Zack Smith, Mark Stone, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and Nick Paul, players from the Ottawa Senators, for an hour of fun on-ice sessions and scrimmages at Tiger arena.

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“This was an incredible opportunity for our students to not only meet these world-class athletes, but to also get a chance to learn from them during the practice sessions,” said Ridley’s Headmaster, Ed Kidd. “We want to thank the Ottawa Senators, Mr. Eugene Melnyk and members of the organization for visiting the school and spending valuable time with our students and players. It was truly an experience we will not forget.”

After a successful season for Ridley’s First Boys and First Girls hockey teams, the players will be eager to put to use what they learned from the NHLers next season.

Due to its incredible performance this season, the First Girls hockey team has been promoted to the Junior Women’s Hockey League  (JWHL) for upcoming 2016/2017 season. Coached by two-time Women’s World Hockey Champion, Amanda Benoit-Wark, the girls team will take on an elite level of competition in this North American league that helps prepare players for NCAA and CIS athletics.

Not to be outdone, the First Boys hockey team, coached by former European league player and Niagara resident Mike McCourt, is coming fresh off its MPHL Championship and silver medal win at the National Independent School Invitational Hockey Championship.

In addition to spending time on the ice with students, the Senators also toured the campus, visited classrooms and checked out the newly built Lower School Playscape, designed for students in JK to Grade 8.

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This past fall, the all-natural playscape was integrated into the existing, mature trees on the school grounds to help promote physical literacy amongst our younger students.

“The idea behind the playscape is that our students will reach physical literacy milestones sooner, which then puts them on the path to athletic success in later years,” said Jay Tredway, Director of Athletics at Ridley College. “Unique playscapes like this have been proven to positively impact learning and academic achievement and build fundamental movement skills, promote resilience and increase creative and imaginative play. The introduction of the playscape is just one of the ways that Ridley is supporting its physical literacy goals and the Long-Term Athletic Development plan.”

The all-natural playscape, was built as part of the annual giving campaign for the 2014/2015 school year and Ridley College is currently undertaking an observational study to capture how students are demonstrating fundamental movement skills and imaginative play.

Thank you to the Ottawa Senators and Mr. Eugene Melnyk for giving our students such an incredible opportunity.

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To see photos from the Senators visit, click here.

To view the video from the Senators visit, click here.

Ridleians march in annual Church Parade

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On Sunday, April 24th, the annual Cadet Church Parade took place. This long-standing Ridley tradition and Cadet Corps event was well attended by Ridley families, friends and alumni.

Five-hundred students were on parade, marching along the traditional route passing a number of historical Ridley landmarks, such as Springbank House on Yates Street. As the Cadet Corps walked through the Marriott Gates, the mace was tossed and successfully caught by Drum Sergeant Major, Preston Coffin ’16.

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This year, members of both the Red and Silver Star Programs were recognized for their dedication to the Cadet Programme. In addition, 17 students received Cadet Long Service Awards.

The following students received a Cadet Long Service Award:

Adam J. Difruscia ‘16
Annie Sheridan ‘16
Elliott Ziolkowski ‘16
Ethan Crowe ‘16
Francisco Javier Serrano Cendejas ‘16
Grace Lowes ‘16
Hannah Bradley ‘17
Jacob Bell ‘17
Jesse Wydman ‘16
Liam Wilson ‘16
Michael Steier ‘17
Pablo Lopez Guzman ‘16
Padraic Odesse ‘17
Preston Coffin ‘16
Soo-Min Jeong ‘16
Trinity Russell-Marques ‘17
William Wang ‘16

Congratulations to all members of the Ridley College Cadet Corps.

To read the St. Catharines Standard article on the parade, click here.

To see photos from this year’s annual Cadet Church Parade, click here.

Join us on campus on Saturday, April 30th at 3:00p.m. for the 109th Cadet Inspection. This year’s Reviewing Officers are Dr. Jack N. Lightstone, President of Brock University, and James B. Milligan, Head of Lower School.

Ridley’s Language Programme – exploring the world, inside the classroom

“Every man’s ability may be strengthened or increased by culture.” – John Abbott

There are nearly 200 countries in the world, 44 of which are represented here at Ridley. With such a direct connection with people from all over the world, culture plays a huge role in the day-to-day lives of Ridleians. The more our students can experience and appreciated culture, the better equipped they will be to transform our globe when they graduate. With that being said, Ridley ensures that our students have the opportunity to explore the world as often as they can.

In order to obtain their Ontario Secondary School Diploma, students are required to study French from Grade 4 through Grade 9. Here at Ridley, students are exposed to languages far earlier. The department of Classic and International Languages has developed a curriculum that brings international cultures into the classroom, and gives students ample opportunity to become multilingual. Beginning in Kindergarten, students are introduced to French, and this language is taught up to Grade 9. Ridley’s Upper School language programme then provides students the opportunity to learn languages beyond what is most commonly offered during secondary school, beginning in Grade 10. Offering French, German, Mandarin and Spanish, the students have the choice to expand their multilingual knowledge or continue advancing in a language they have grasped. From the start to finish of each course, the students are able to immerse themselves in the language.

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“The tools to learn a new language are given to you from day one.  Learning a new language is as enjoyable at Ridley as it is educational.”

– Elliott Ziolkowski ’16

“It’s been tons of fun learning a couple of new languages. I think that the Ridley Community is the ideal place to learn languages too because of the diverse student population.”

– Joshua Allan ’16

During the course of their studies, students have the opportunity to venture beyond the Marriott Gates on class related field trips, to locations such as Toronto’s China Town, where they can experience the culture first-hand and apply the material they’ve learned in class. Apart from these day trips, a number of students decide to further apply their knowledge of these international languages by partaking in a foreign exchange.

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In addition to the extensive language options, German and Mandarin students have the opportunity to study literature in their native language, thanks to the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. A tutoring programme is also in place, where students who are native to the language or show exemplary language proficiency can earn community service hours by tutoring their peers!

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By being an international boarding school, students studying a foreign language are able to immediately apply their knowledge with peers and roommates that are from the country where the language under study is spoken. This allows all students to see the immediate applications of content covered in their courses and make real world connections.” 

– Mr. Chris Gordon, Subject Coordinator Classical & International Languages

With so many options and opportunities for students to explore language and culture, students develop a desire to see, change and learn about the world, even after they’ve completed their secondary school education.

If you’d like to learn more about our Language Department or the courses offered, please contact Mr. Chris Gordon at chris_gordon@ridleycollege.com.

 

Ridley College Girls Hockey Team Accepted into JWHL

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We are happy to announce that our First Girls hockey team has been accepted into the Junior Women’s Hockey League (JWHL) for the 2016/2017 season. The JWHL is a North American league that offers an elite level of competition and helps prepare its players for NCAA and CIS athletics. It is a privilege to be received into the league and a tremendous opportunity for our female hockey players to be identified and recruited by University and College programs from across the United States and Canada.

The decision by the JWHL to accept Ridley into its league was fueled by our team’s season-over-season achievements and its success at the annual JWHL tournament held in Washington, D.C. each February. Following the 2015 event, we were contacted by the commissioner about joining the JWHL for the upcoming 2015-2016 season, and after consulting with the Ridley community, Headmaster Kidd confirmed our interest. At the JWHL meetings in early 2016 (at its championship in Buffalo), the association voted unanimously to welcome Ridley into the league.

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In addition to academics and the arts, athletics is one of the three pillars at Ridley and we are continually seeking opportunities to allow our students to perform at the highest level possible.

“Joining this great league is the next step on the developmental path of our now 20-year history of girls hockey at Ridley. The competitive environment that the girls will find themselves in, surrounded by a robust organization dedicated to education and helping student athletes earn a spot in post secondary sport, it is an ideal situation for any serious female hockey player and it is right here in Niagara.”

– Jay Tredway ‘96, Director of Athletics

 Elite athletics (“train to compete”) is a component of Ridley’s Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) plan and transitioning from the North American Prep Hockey Association (NAPHA), of which Ridley was a founding member, to the JWHL will now allow local female hockey players access to one of the most dynamic and successful development league structures for university and college placement in North America.

Ridley’s girl’s hockey program is currently being coached by Amanda Benoit-Wark, two-time Women’s World Hockey Champion (1999, 2000), and Celeste Doucet ‘07, an Olympic contender and national champion. Both coaches have brought invaluable expertise to the ice.

“Ridley is looking forward to moving its program to the next level and we are excited to have the opportunity to do that with the help of the JWHL! We thank Ridley for the support they have given us to make this move possible”

– Celeste Doucet ’07, Assistant Coach

Fortunately, for our parents and alumni around the world, all JWHL teams are equipped to live broadcast games from their home arenas. This means that, just as Ridley broadcasts games on TigerNET, you will be able to follow the First Girls hockey team on the road this upcoming season – and our entire school is looking forward to watching the the players flourish in the JWHL.

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To read the JWHL’s official announcement, click here!

Student design competition produces the newest Ridley accessory

For more than 125 years, Ridleians have displayed their love for our school by wearing items with official embroidered insignia. Whether for music, arts, academics or even the Houses of Ridley (that many come to call ‘home’), a number of motifs have been designed and sported over the years to honour these facets of our school’s culture.

In the fall of 2015, Board of Governors member, Mr. David Carter ‘88, decided that the Board should also sport a custom necktie and scarf of its own. Ridley’s Board of Governors, made up of 14 dedicated members, who ensure that our school continues to grow and flourish, has become an invaluable addition to the Ridley community and thus, were well deserving of this dedicated accessory.

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The 2015-2016 Board of Governors

Mr. David Carter requested that a tie and scarf be designed by a current student and that the ultimate pattern only be recognizable and understood by Ridleians. The top three students competed for a chance to make history – with the winning design being made into a tie and a scarf to be worn by the members of the Board– and were also vying for a monetary prize.

This was not only an opportunity for the Board to collaborate with the students, but also a chance for the students to express their creativity. A process such as this one required research, traditional art skills, the use of computer design software and of course, a connection to Ridley and the community.

Fifty students submitted their drawings that symbolically represented life at Ridley College. Of those 50 designs, three were chosen as finalists by Mr. David Carter along with Board Chair, Ms. Georgina Black and Headmaster, Ed Kidd. The designers of these three patterns were brought on stage during assembly to be recognized in front of their peers by Headmaster Kidd.

As each design was projected onto the big screen in the Mandeville Theatre, it was clear that each member of the audience felt a connection to the images and that these three judges had selected designs that truly evoked a sense of pride.

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In third place was Sarah Wang ‘18, with her design depicting the Marriott Gates, an iconic landmark of Ridley College. Sarah explained, “I wanted to draw something that would represent Ridley in the most simple way. The gate may not be the most obvious structure that shows the Ridley campus, but a gate indirectly suggests direction for the future and the welcoming nature of Ridley.”

In second place was Paddy Yang ‘18, with his design depicting a roaring tiger. Paddy says, “You can see the tiger was howling. It shows our bravery. I would like to say thank you to my teacher, Mr. Campbell, I couldn’t have done this without him. He helped me a lot and during the process he gave me many useful suggestions.”

The winner of the Board of Governors insignia design competition was Callum Campbell ‘18. His tie and scarf design depicted the archway that leads into Upper School, “because these gates are so iconic to Ridley, I wanted to do them justice.” – Callum Campbell

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Callum’s winning design will be used on the Board of Governors tie and scarf, being produced in September of 2016. Congratulations to all the participants, with special congratulations to our top three designers.

Family Guild hosts successful weekend of events

The Ridley College Family Guild is dedicated to truly creating a sense of community amongst our families. Led by current President, Laura Menechella, our generous Family Guild is continuously looking for ways to raise funds in an effort to provide the legacy of a Ridley education to deserving students. Since 1999, the Family Guild has raised more than $1.3 million dollars, which it has funneled back into Ridley scholarships and bursaries, as well as our Annual Fund projects on campus.

On Parents’ Weekend, February 19th and 20th, our Family Guild hosted several events to celebrate our unique school community and to continue its long history of giving.

Family Guild Trivia Night

Parents, faculty, staff and friends of Ridley packed Williams Hall for a charitable (and very spirited) Trivia Night. Following dinner, competitors battled for eight rounds of questioning– spanning topics like geography, sports, Ridley history, and pop-culture. By the end of the night, more than $3,200 was raised to send children from the local community to our Ridley Summer Programmes. Thank you to our MC John Romano, Trish Loat and our sponsors: Chartwells, Oast House Brewers, Silversmith Brewery, St. Catharines Courtyard Marriott.

“As Family Guild President, I was overwhelmed by the generosity and support shown by many Ridley College families.” – Laura Menechella

Ridley Family Ski Day at HoliMont

On a warm and sunny Sunday, our families had the opportunity to test out the slopes at HoliMont Ski Club in Ellicottville, NY. The annual Family Ski Day was made possible by the Family Guild (special thanks to Laura Menechella, Aimee and Charles Cook) and Valerie Parke. It was a great day of skiing with a fabulous lunch provided by the Guild and the BBQ expertise of the Cooks!

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For information on upcoming Family Guild events, click here or check out our weekly parent newsletter.