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Sixth Annual Alumni Banquet

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Weeeeellll, a fine time was had by all!

Or at least they all certainly appeared to be enjoying themselves at  the sixth annual Garfield Alumni Banquet held last Saturday at the Garfield Elementary School.  Several classes–’56, ’61, ’66, ’71, ’81 & ’86–were especially recognized for hitting milestone years (twenty-five and up) with most of their faculties intact and their memories probably even more fun than events were at the time in the hallowed halls of Garfield.  The late Don Moore, who labored for years to get the alumni association organized, up and running, would have been proud.  The committee which put together this year’s event (all nine of them) certainly can be as well.

The meal, catered by Guido’s, had filled in any empty corners with cake when Superintendent Chuck Klamer began the program for the evening.  First on the agenda was a brief presentation by Betty Clapp, of the board of Portage County Library District, speaking of the up-coming library levy on the ballot in November.  She outlined the grave funding situation created by the drastic reduction of state support for libraries in all communities and the many, varied services offered by local libraries.  She encouraged all in attendance to support the levy, pointing out that the cost   would be low–$ 2.50 per month for the owner of a $100,000 home–the benefits would be many–including computer access to job-seekers and portals to government sites–and the need is great.

Board members in attendance included  David Vincent, ’70, Deral White, ’72 and Guy Pietra (He’s an import).  Several of those introducing themselves shared bits of Garfield history : Class of ’52 was the first to be graduated from “James A. Garfield High School”, because prior to the consolidation, the communities of Freedom and Nelson had maintained their own schools, the Class of ’56 was the first to attend school in the core building of the present high school/middle school complex ( ’55 got to put the time capsule in the cornerstone but not attend their graduation year in the building).  Siblings and family groups showed up across the years (Think : Vincent, McClintock, Lange, Thrasher, etc.).  Honored classes rounded up their members for sharing good times once again; several local hot spots (We do too have them!) lit up after the gathering ended…some to tour the new, bigger, better high school/middle school with their guide, the intrepid C. Klamer, some to continue the reminiscences in new venues.

For the ending, see opening line : A fine time was had by all.