Anticipation filled the gym at Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls. The murmurs turned to excited shrieks as a band entered, followed by Blues mascot Louie and, finally, the Stanley Cup.
The trophy was the guest of honor at Hawthorn on Monday afternoon for its fifth annual Founders Day celebration. Mary Stillman, wife of Blues chairman Tom Stillman, founded the school in 2015. It is the first all-girls public school in Missouri and focuses on a college prepatory and STEM education.
"What a privilege it is for our kids and their families and our staff and our staff's families to come have an opportunity to see the Cup," Mary said. "Really we're celebrating some of the parallels between what the Blues were able to accomplish in a really, really difficult season and what our girls are accomplishing here at Hawthorn."
Video: Stanley Cup visits Hawthorn Leadership School
The charter school, which will have around 450 girls in grades 6-12 enrolled by 2020, emparts many similar values to their students that can be found in the story of the Blues' championship season. Mary listed perseverance, teamwork, and cheering each other on as a few examples.
Hawthorn, along with a strong education, aims to provide their students with self-esteem and leadership skills that they can carry with them through life. Many of the students will be first-generation college-goers.
"For our students, it means a lot to know that they're deserving also of a visit from the Cup here in North City and a girls' school," Mary said. "We don't have any hockey players at our school, but we do have hockey fans and their parents as well."
The Cup has been all over St. Louis and the surrounding area this summer, and it still has a number of stops to go.
"It's really, really great to see how the Cup has touched so many people in St. Louis since it's been here, and we all just share in the team's success," Mary said. "The team has made it very obvious how much they appreciate and respect our fans, and I think that sports, this victory, has brought so many people together in such a unique and special way."