Since 1909, the New York Auxiliary of Blue Ridge School (The Auxiliary) has been committed to supporting Blue Ridge School's mission through scholarship support and enhancements to the School's educational environment.
Among its many contributions, the Auxiliary has made it possible for many worthy young men from the New York City community to attend Blue Ridge while contributing to several significant capital-building projects including the New York Auxiliary Student Center and the BRS Track and Field Center. It is a point of pride for both BRS and the Auxiliary that many of these past scholarship recipients have achieved leadership positions within the School, including several class presidents.
The origins of the Auxiliary are truly unique, and its history is a proud one. In the early 20th century there were many southerners in NYC who had made their mark in industry and professions after the conclusion of the Civil War, the Battles among them. Education in the South (as represented by BRS) was a very important philanthropic focus for many of them and the NY Auxiliary of Blue Ridge School began in a New York drawing room when friends were invited to meet Mrs. Mayo and learn of her husband's mission project in central Virginia.
2018 is the 109th consecutive year the Auxiliary has been a leadership donor to Blue Ridge. While 1924 was the first charity ball, the group's fund raising activities prior to 1924 were in the form of Silver Teas which were the fashionable way for ladies to raise money in that more refined era when women's activities outside of the home were more limited than in the 1920's. Silver Teas were, in fact, afternoon receptions held in private homes. Guests put their donations in a bowl as they entered and the proceeds went to the School. It was not until after WWI that charity balls became popular in NYC.
What makes the NYA the oldest continuous charity event in NYC is that other organizations suspended fund raising events during WWI, WWII and the depression, many never to revive. The Auxiliary's members are exceptionally proud of the fact that nothing in world events (wars, financial depressions or terrorist attacks) has interrupted their support for the school over its entire history.
"Gifts to the annual fund have made it possible for us to buy fly-fishing gear, several rifles and shotguns, a clay thrower that enables us to shoot skeet on campus, and traditional archery equipment as well as compound bows. In addition, the annual fund enables us to take students on guided fly-fishing trips, shooting and hunting trips off-campus, making memories that will last for a lifetime." – Vinton Bruton (Assistant Headmaster for Co-curricular Programs)