Portland, November 18th, 2014. St. Mary’s Academy hosted its 21st annual Food for Thought Luncheon benefitting financial aid. Principal Kelli Clark, Laura Phillips ’15, Debbie Spitznagel Ryan ’89, President Christina Friedhoff, Melissa Strain Angeli ’86 & Brigid Schulte ’80 helped make the event a success. Brigid Schulte ’80, award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author addresses work life balance,The event sold out in record time and drew more than 800 attendees who are passionate about St. Mary’s Academy and ensuring that a first-class education remains accessible to young women who desire it, regardless of financial circumstances. Thanks to generous donors, the Luncheon raised more than $500,000.

Keynote speaker Brigid Schulte ’80

Keynote speaker Brigid Schulte ’80

Academy welcomed Brigid Schulte ’80, award-winning journalist for the Washington Post and author of New York Times bestseller, Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has The Time. At the luncheon, Schulte spoke about work life balance, with an emphasis on managing life as a working mother.

This year’s Food for Thought Luncheon was co-chaired by alumnae Melissa Strain Angeli ’86 and Debbie Spitznagel Ryan ’89 in tribute to their mothers, Dianne LaGrand Strain ’60 and Diane Spitznagel.

Their mothers served on the board of St. Mary’s Academy and were on the founding committee for Food for Thought at its inception more than 20 years ago. Although, Dianne and Diane have both passed away, they are memorialized with scholarships at St. Mary’s Academy.

“Our moms always believed in giving back and modeled for us the importance of giving through our time and our support. They were deeply committed to St. Mary’s and believed that a SMA education could change a young woman’s life. We are honored to continue to support this important event in their memory,” said Melissa and Debbie.

Learn more about the inception of the Food For Thought Luncheon, two of its founders and financial aid at St. Mary’s Academy in this short online video: bit.ly/FFT14.