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Classes of 1974

Forums: General Discussion
Created on: 09/18/08 08:33 PM Views: 1328 Replies: 7
Thursday, September 18, 2008 at 8:33 PM

We need to brainstorm to share some ideas for the web site and reunion (decorations, etc.). Anyone interested?

Friday, September 19, 2008 at 3:15 AM - Response #1

It's a good idea. Realistically it would probably be helpful if the discussion started with the size of the class, year of graduation and the size of the city where the reunion is going to be held.

I live in a small southern Indiana town. We are an hour away from anything fancy. My class had about 260+ people (between the junior and senior year we seemed to have lost quite a few people). Next year will be our 40 year reunion.

I have a friend who is one of 11 children. They have a family reunion that is so much fun. ( of course they are family) They have t-shirts printed up...simple design done by the nieces. They go to their dad's cottage near Niles MI. And they have a pitch-in and play games (for money) all day. They have a cornhole tournament, Texas Hold'm, and Left Right Center(LRC). They have 69 people and it just their dad and his decendants. Wow!

I thought something like that would be fun because I like theme parties. Boy was that given the thumbs down.

But I will say that our school colors are red and white so during Valentine's and Christmas I look for red things that are on sale that will work. This takes patience and the desire to shop.

Although one year I bought a bunch of red and silver Hershey's kisses and put them in my freezer. Luckily I only ate the silver ones which could be replaced.

This may sound stupid but this is what my family did for my mother's 90th birthday party which was held and the Jefferson County Historical Museum. You might gets some ideas.

1) We had the stamps for the invitations made from a picture of my mother 50 years ago. A little pricey though...
2)For her 80th birthday, for which she refused to have a party, I took photos into the newspaper and had them make it into a scrapbooklike page. You have to understand I think my mother is really neat. Luckily I'm not the only one that thinks that. We sent we aren't have a party but...we asked people to send rememberances. (my mother was a doctor and is civic leader here)
3) We looked up events that tied medicine and my mother's life and made a time line. Then I used PostIt papers that can go through a printer. Easy up and easy down.
4) I used the same paper to put my mother's pictures in every 10 years. The combination of a timeline and her pictures was pretty neat.
5) A friend set up a program that had guests record their rememberances of mother. It's like what they do on NPR. It is suprising what people see that you don't realize.
6) The food was a combination of fruits and vegetables etc. and a wonderful cake that looked like flowers. ( her favorite ) Not exactly Ace of Cakes, but lovely.
7) We hired people from Hanover College to serve.
Cool I scanned 90 years of family photos and made a slide show using an inexpensive program I got from Scholastic. It looked like a scrapbook. I projected it on the wall of the museum.
9) I bought a photo setting at the Habitat auction. "Killed 2 birds with one stone".
10) I also bought a Trolley ride at the auction for family and friends to take on Sunday after the party.
11) I can't say I pulled this off, but about 2 weeks before her birthday the Madison Courier did a huge front page (1/2 of the front) article on her. Just thought I'd throw that in.
12) My mother had many Girl Scout mugs which she used to decorate various events. I took them to a local florist and they filled them. Very lovely centerpieces. Not too big. You could do them yourselves...I didn't want to deal with them at that time.

As for my reunion:
So far---noting is finalized.
In my class we had a "rock band" called the Romans. I'm trying to get them to play or at lead a few 60's songs in Karaoke.

I'm planning to do the slideshow of Madison school photos etc.

We might do a "Remember When..." book. Or share things from the website.

The timeline thing will probably be done too. Depends on the location of the event.

We might do "Open mike" where people can talk or a survey with whose has the youngest child etc.

If you get through all of that and get any ideas...great.


Friday, September 19, 2008 at 9:55 PM - Response #2


We just had our 45 year reunion in August...Our committee has some experience....and it was another great success....

We called this one the Golden/Golden Reunion…We were born in 1945 and this was our 45th reunion. We graduated in 1963 and 99% of us will turn 63 this year…

Social hour and cocktails from 5-7 pm. Dinner at 7 pm. Program at 8 pm. Cash bar and dancing from 8:30 – 1:00 am. Sandwiches and coffee at 12:00 pm.

We have never had prizes or donations....I believe (if I can remember back) that our reunions were of course less expensive. The past three we set a price of $50/pp and that includes a cash bar, dinner, DJ for dancing, and class book. As most do, we send out a survey prior to the reunion with about 100 superfluous questions about our lives, family, travel, HS memories, music, favorite teacher as well as current address, phone and e mail. We did have a place for them to sign giving us permission to publish their personal information.

That information is compiled into a spiral bound booklet and provided to each attendee the night of the reunion and $10 for those not attending but wanted a book.

We do have a short program, maybe 30-40 minutes right toward the end of the dining. Jokes, music, etc. We have one teacher that has attended every one of our reunions, because we were the first class he taught after college. We were in ninth grade..he taught Civics class. (I'm not sure they even have that subject anymore). This year we awarded him a statue of Patrick Henry as the number one teacher. (he also went to our high school before college). This year we also had 5 of our 63 year old cheerleaders lead us all in the school song as we did in the 60's. Still knew the routine, just couldn’t jump as high!!! Believe it or not 3 of them still had and fit into the cheerleader sweaters they used in high school!

At the registration table you got a name badge and your class book then moved to the photo gallery. A huge poster board of our senior pictures. We took your picture, digital of course, printed it and pasted it on the board next to your senior picture. This helped us old people recognize each other more easily.

We also had a large "IN Memory" board with the Sr. picture of those classmates that have died.

The dining room (separate from the bar area) was decorated on all four walls
with memorabilia from high school. Homecoming buttons, pictures, programs
from the proms, homecoming, Sr. banquet, musicals, class plays. Any thing
we could collect from our garages or attics. You would not believe the junk classmates have saved!!!! We also made up large poster/collages of world events for the 4 decades since graduation.

Each table had a mirror type placemat in the center (furnished by the resort) with a red glass candle (our school colors were red and grey) and silver and red curled ribbon.

This was the largest attended reunion we have had. Most of them have been about 75 to 80 classmates out of 325. This year we had about 130 pre registered and 15 last minutes at the door. (Not a good idea for the resort planning the number of meals) (we have 39 on the “In Memory” board) The committee attributes the response this year to the website and my constant nagging to join the site and attend the reunion. We did not open the website until early June I think and I live in Arizona, 1800 miles from my high school in Minneapolis! I think the key is to keep it light…bring up things that happened in high school…appeal to their sense of nostalgia. Our junior high school and senior high school were in the same building…so we were together for over six years. I added music to the website from all those years….I added the top 10 songs from 1963. I added information about what happened the year we were born (yes 1945) and from the year we graduated (1963).

I have to admit…this website is a HUGE success and I am a HUGE hero!! Please do not tell them how easy this is!!! They all think I am a major computer wizard…..but Brad could tell you different.

These things are really a lot of work and a real thankless job. No matter what you do, you can count on someone being pissed of about it. But, the night of the reunion, when you sit back and watch what is going on…man what a great feeling…….and you start to realize as the reunions roll by that life is short, time is of the essence, world standing is unimportant and true friends are forever.

In the end, it is not the location, not the food, not the music, not the decorations….it is the people you spend the evening with.


(good lord I rambled on)

Friday, September 19, 2008 at 10:47 PM - Response #3

no, it was just what I was looking for. We have a planning meeting tomorrow and I will be mentioning a lot of this. You are right about it being the people, but things do cost money unfortuantely.

Thank you so very much!

Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 8:22 PM - Response #4

Deb...You are so very welcome...

At our 45 year we had an auction and auctioned off items from High School. Items of historical intrest, items classmates made. Any thing doanted by the class....what a riot!

Our high school has a 503A (I thing) foundation. This is a tax deductable foundation formed by the school so it could apply for govenment grants and so on as well as accept doantions. The funds we raised at the auction (over 3k) was donated to the high school foundation for the music department. Uniforms for the band, sheet music for the choir, band and orchestra...

Great fun!!!

Good luck and if you have any questions...let me know I will be glad to share....let me know how your meeting goes...


Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 8:51 PM - Response #5

Dear Jim,

I loved reading about your reunion. We had our 40th back in July, and it was a tremendous success! I too received accolades about the website - but little did they know how little I know about websites but how easy this one has been to maneuver through. Lots of trials and errors but thank goodness for Brad!

At our reunion, Friday night was a simple meet and greet with snacky type foods, cash bar, etc. We live on the coast here in North Florida so our reunion was held at the beach. All you ever need for a good time is a bunch of people who still think they're teenagers and the beach. We walked on the sand until all hours Friday night, and then sunbathed (those that had the nerve to put on a bathing suit!)on the beach and by the pool on Saturday. Saturday night was wonderful - great food at a nearby country club, and a band called "Mid Life Crisis" - is that a perfect name for our group! One of the football coaches came to the reunion along with his wife. That man still has great moves on the dance floor - he was one of the hits of the night. During a short program, he gave our class great praise by saying that he could remember our classmates names from 40 years ago better than ones he had 10 years ago. There was a great camaraderie then and still very evident now. Also, at about 10:30 on Saturday night, our reunion committee chairman surprised everyone when he had bags and bags of Krystal hamburgers brought in for everyone - the Krystal was one of the places that we cruised in high school. Everyone hated to see the weekend end. In fact, we are now planning to get together every quarter for dinner at different restaurants - whether a few or many, whoever can come, just shows up. You are so right about the brevity of life, and the importance of friends. Our class was a large one - 550 plus graduates. Through the website, one by one we are finding our friends from long ago. Thanks for sharing your reunion, and your thoughts on friendship.


Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 9:35 PM - Response #6

KRYSTALS!!!! The White Castles of the south!!! I love 'em... A dozen or so after a night on Bourbon Street!! There is one right there on the corner!

How right you are!!! About I age I realize it more and more!! I still communicate weekly with five of the classmates that walked together on the first day of kindergarten and two of us guys get together for vactions every two years or so.

Our class had 320 VERY close I said most of us were in the same building for 6 years Jr. and Sr. High in the same building. Back in the 50's and 60' families did not moves as much as today. In fact my mother went to the same grade school and graduated from the same high school as did a lot of the classmates famlies!! My wife and I graduated together! We have already chatted about the 50th...most are just inclined to have a late afternoon picnic and then drinks and dancing in the drive way!!! I have about 650 45rpm records from our high school days and they all want me to bring them! Not sure we can find something to play them on! Picnic sounds much easier! We are getting too old to work so hard!

One is very lucky to have four or five really true friends!

Thank you for the kind words...JIM

Edited 09/21/08 9:42 PM
Sunday, January 25, 2009 at 5:35 PM - Response #7

We are thinking about tee shirts for the girls who will be having a brown bag lunch Saturday while we decorate for the party. Colors were red and white and we were the tigers. Any ideas for shirts - decorations, etc.?

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