Were You There?

1st All Class Combined Reunion
Saturday, November 3, 2001
Our Lady of Hope School

Where . . . Our Lady of Hope School Hall

When . . . 8PM to 12 AM

Tickets were $30 per person. This included Hot and cold Buffett; Beer, Wine, and Soda; DJ, and some surprises!!!!

The reunion came off nearly as planned on Nov. 3, 2001. Originally we planned to limit the attendance to classmates from the graduation years '64 through '74. Within a couple of months we realized we had two problems. We couldn't find enough grads from the target years to fill the hall, and people from outside the target years started contacting us in droves. So, we expanded our reunion to cover all graduation classes. This created one more problem. There were just a few people who came and found that they were the only people there from their class. They seemed well accepted by the group, but we did feel bad that they didn't see their classmates. Help us do better the next time - - - send us your friends' contact information and we'll do our best to get them there.
By several weeks before the reunion we had more than enough people to cover the fixed costs and also have a pretty good party. Ticket requests were still trickling in, but we had plenty of room, so we were delighted. It wasn't until the last couple of days that we really got bombarded with ticket requests. Fortunately the caterer, Jerry D's, was flexable and allowed us to expand the number of guests. Unfortunately, poor Kathy Korzie Parsley was going nuts running around getting extra tablecloths, candles, and assorted goodies, and spent all of her free time making phone calls.
On Friday afternoon seven or eight of us gathered at the school hall to begin decorating. Sister Irene already had some of the kids set up the round party tables, but we kept pretty busy moving them around, placing the tablecloths, setting up the photo board, cutting ribbon for the balloons, figuring out how to dim the lights, eating pizza, and drinking beer. We had a pretty good time, and even had the semi-unexpected pleasure of having a couple of our classmates drop in to say hi.
By Saturday we thought we would be on easy street, but things didn't exactly go as planned. All of us were running around doing last minute things for most of the afternoon. There were a couple of minor catastrophies, broken teeth, broken video cameras, and more last minute ticket requests. - - you know, the usual stuff. In the late afternoon we met again to finish our preparations. The first thing we did was a dynamic load test on the beer taps. They worked quite well! Finally things were running smoothly. Lots of people showed up early, so we put them to work! Nothing went wrong, we even ran out of helium as we were filling the very last balloon. Before eight o'clock we had a line going out the front door. Eventually we figured out the problem. We had Mrs Bitzel signing people in, and everyone who hadn't seen her in 30 years wanted to stop and talk to her. So, we put Karen Coyle on the sign in sheet. Mrs Bitzel went inside the hall and drew the crowd in with her.
By a little after eight o'clock we had a pretty good crowd in the hall. The tables at that point were nearly useless other than for holding purses and cameras. Most of the alumni were standing in groups, hugging, kissing, shaking hands, and in my case, spilling wine into a purse full of photos. Eventually we all sat down to eat. Jerry D's did a good job with the food. - - Good thing too, since lots of us had been starving ourselves for weeks trying to look our best that night! The DJ, Vicki, worked out pretty well for most people's liking. She just played records, fairly low so that we could talk, and didn't utter a word. She even came down from the stage to show some of the folks how to do a couple line dances There wasn't a whole lot of dancing going on though, because most of us were too busy catching up on the decades. The most common words I heard were, "You still look just like you!" a close second was "right on this spot . . . . " Eventually some of my classmates and I decided to sneek off and tour the school. I don't think we were really supposed to, but we did anyway. Eventually we wound up taking pictures of each other sitting in tiny desks with our hands folded. We figured it was ok, since we were with a teacher - - - just not one from OLH! Other people must have seen us sneek out of the hall, because when we came out of the classroom there were alumni everywhere! Leading the pack was Sister Irene, the school principal ( Ooopps, we were busted - - again!)
Around 11, we presented Sister Irene, with a check for all of the leftover money. It came to seven hundred bucks! She was shocked. So were we! We also introduced Sister Lea, who was, for many of us, our first principal . Finally we gave out door prizes, and prizes for those who came the greatest distance. Acording to Yahoo Maps, Gretchen Haubner came 1713 miles. That's driving distance, although she braved it by plane. Karen Coyle came in second at 770 miles. She drove in, with her husband, 3 kids and a dog. By midnight, the crowd thinned a bit, but most of us decided we weren't going anywhere. We were all too busy talking and exchanging email addresses. The DJ kept playing, the beer kept flowing, and we were all having a ball. By around 1 the hall had pretty much emptied out, so we began locking up and collecting up the left over food and candles. My only personal complaint was that it wasn't long enough. I needed at least a full day!

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We are also looking for volunteers to join the Reunion Committee. If you would like to join the committee, please contact us through our combined email address.