Country School Holds Fifth Annual Kyle A. Markes Day of Service

Members of the ninth grade class led nearly 300 New Canaan Country School and Horizons at NCCS students and their families to serve the wide-ranging needs of 13 local non-profit organizations this weekend. They were participating in the fifth annual Kyle A. Markes Day of Service in honor of an NCCS classmate who passed away in 2013. The day-long event was held April 6 throughout Fairfield County and also on the school’s campus, in New Canaan. View photos.

Volunteer groups performed an indoor-outdoor seasonal clean-up at The Boys and Girls Clubs of America (Stamford); raked leaves and prepared food trays at Inspirica (Stamford); sorted and stocked deliveries for the food pantry at New Covenant Center (Stamford); prepared grocery bags at Person-To-Person (Norwalk); cleaned up a playground and planted spring flowers at the Open Door Shelter (Norwalk); spent time playing games and making crafts with residents at the New Canaan Inn; played Family Feud and sang karaoke with seniors at the Waveny Care Center Nursing Home (New Canaan); participated in a charity yoga class in support of Camp AmeriKids (Darien); compiled personal hygiene kits for Americares of Norwalk; created a BINGO game and played with a youth group at Building One Community (Stamford); packed personal hygiene kits for the homeless population served by Family & Children’s Agency (Norwalk); made fleece blankets for the babies in the NICU and cards for the mothers comforted by The Tiny Miracles Foundation (New Canaan); and prepared cards and gift bags for pediatric patients of Yale’s Smilow Cancer Center (New Haven).
 
On Friday, April 5, over 130 students and returning alumni attended a charity basketball tournament named “Markes Madness” in Kyle’s honor. Twenty-six 4-person teams comprised of Middle (grades 5 and 6) and Upper School (grades 7-9) students, competed in a spirited 3v3 tournament. Proceeds from the games will benefit Horizons at NCCS, a program hosted at New Canaan Country School that transforms the lives of underserved children and youth in grades K-12 through year-round academic and enrichment programming to inspire learning, encourage success and close the opportunity gap.
 
To open the event, Jackqueline McLean-Markes, standing alongside her husband, Walter Markes, thanked the crowd: “This day is especially meaningful because it honors Kyle so well by combining the three things Kyle loved most: Country School, basketball and community service.”
 
Several of Kyle’s classmates from the Class of 2017 returned to campus for the event. Sophie Smith of New Canaan shared her amazement at the large turnout. “I am so proud of this school and for what you are doing here tonight to honor our classmate, Kyle,” she told the crowd. “He would have loved this.” She was joined by Sloane Latimer and Katie Stevens both of Darien, Dylan Koo of New Canaan and Mimi White of Stamford.
 
The two days of activities were organized by event co-chairs Melinda Stewart of Darien and Bonnie Rumilly of Wilton in co-ordination with the school’s Service Learning Co-Directors, Kathryn Kravec and Will McDonough, and Horizons at NCCS Family & Program Director, Nehemie Moise.
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