Feasting Followed By Football

Feasting Followed By Football

Homecoming: As you walked across the ODA football field, you immediately reached a fork in the road. On your left, you saw a giant blowup slide and, to the right, a giant tent beckoning with free food. Which way do you go?

Being that blowup slides bring out your inner-child and you can’t deny free food, this was a difficult decision, so why not do both?

The festivities at this year’s family picnic dazzled all of its attendees, and although we lost our Homecoming game 49-0, the night was a great gathering of ODA families.

Four-time attendee Peter Ross, father of Shannon Ross ’18, said, “this is the best thing to see all the families here. They are doing a great job.”

Marci McFarland has attended every family picnic since her son started at ODA in Kindergarten, even when the picnic used to be held at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota.┬áNow, she loves coming to the upper campus for the picnic with her daughter, Natalia Laliberty ’19.

“[The picnic] is better here, seeing all the families, and the mix of families and students,” McFarland noted. “It’s great to meet people who have had kids here and to see kids from Kindergarten up to the upper school.”

The tent is filled with round tables for dining, but there are not nearly enough for each family to have one. This makes for perfect opportunities to talk to new people and find unexpected similarities.

Marci McFarland and Peter Ross were sitting at a table together not knowing that both were from Maine. To think they only had a connection through ODA. But coincidences like these reflect the power of a gathering and conversation; the possibility of forging new friendships.

Students and their families enjoyed food provided by Lee Roy Selmons while awaiting the kickoff. At 7:00 everyone filed into the stands and cheered on the Thunder…with full stomachs and a spirit of ODA family.

Thank you to everyone who made the day possible.