The beloved local event welcomes families and friends from across the region for an afternoon of live music, fresh food, and kid-focused activities and events. This year’s Harvest Festival will celebrate being in a new location- the Sugarloaf Outdoor Center. The outdoor space will provide plenty of room for fresh air, adequately distanced socializing, and organizers are looking forward to offering the event to their community.
“The overwhelming majority of our fundraising support comes from our local businesses and community members. Even in tough times, we are finding that people continue to do what they can to help make Harvest Festival a success. We all want our children to have an opportunity to grow and thrive in a beautiful and supportive learning environment, and this fundraising endeavor helps us reach more families and improve the classrooms we provide for them,” MMCH Director Bethany Mahar said.
The event is MMCH’s largest fundraiser, and proceeds benefit the school’s scholarship program which helps to eliminate tuition barriers for low-income families- a goal that exemplifies one of the foundations of Montessori teaching and learning. Montessori methods place an emphasis on learning how to care for and respect the earth and its community of creatures. MMCH places an extra emphasis on inclusivity and being “a friend to all.”
The school was founded in 2006 by Samantha Wright, who was a “fearless leader” in the words of her friends and family. Wright was killed in a tragic car accident in 2014, an event that was devastating to her community, but also brought connection through trauma. After her death, numerous people in the community gathered to keep Maine Mountain Children’s House alive and thriving, in honor of Sam and her infectiously positive attitude toward life.
Harvest Festival had been a daydream that Sam and friends often talked about. After her death, it only felt natural to make the dream a reality. Mahar stepped in as director, and the school has since grown to double their childcare offerings, with no plans of slowing down. The school recently embarked on a strategic planning initiative with a goal of meeting the needs of the 20 plus-family wait list.