As many of you know, for the last couple of years, I have been deeply involved in alumni activities at my former HS. I helped found the Sports Hall of Fame and serve on the selection committee as well as being a member of the PHS Foundation. I’ve really enjoyed getting back into the swing of things and helping to move the HS forward and develop Community and Alumni Support.
A couple of years ago, two of our more outgoing and supportive alum (Proudly, they’re members of my 1976 graduating class), started planning a reunion. Our class sizes in the 70’s only reached numbers of mid 200’s to mid 300’s, so they thought it would increase turn out and fun to invite the classes that graduated immediately before and after ours.
As they started planning, their enthusiasm increased as did the size of their ideas. At length, the reunion turned into a reunion for the decade of the 70’s (all 10 classes). They also thought it a great idea to combine the reunion with a chance for us all to give back – they infused the idea to make the reunion a combination fund raiser to help secure field lights for the high school (PHS is the only school in the City without lights).
Well, last weekend the reunion kicked off. Instead of a dinner-dance type of affair, they turned it into an event which reminded us of the old concert “DAY ON THE GREENS” from the 1970’s at the Oakland Coliseum. They had a large stage (two bands played 70’s music and the groups included alumni) with GREAT entertainment. There was food and entertainment areas (YES, there were adult liquid refreshments), large tents to visit in, a large open grassy area to relax and dance.
The day was great. We had a turn out of over 1000 alumni, many from far flung states like NY, Florida, Kansas, and from other countries like the Dominican Republic. We rekindled old relationships, met and visited with others of like backgrounds and (all in all) I had one of the greatest days in recent memory.
The set up and take down was just as much fun as the reunion itself, with many alumni volunteering to arrive early and stay late to help.
We even made a human “Peace Sign” which was photographed from the air (Now; isn’t that a 70’s thing to do). I just wanted to pass my experience on and suggest that those of you with small HS classes might think of trying the same thing – You won’t regret it.