Alumni Banquet

The Class of 1949 celebrated their 70-year reunion at the banquet. Front row from left: Marie (McClure) Barnes, Melvalee (Deweese) Watson, Betty (Collier) Poucher. Back row from left: Charles Triplett, Kenneth Greenwalt, and Hoyt Davis.
By Shari Harris, Co-Publisher

 Licking High Schools 2019 Alumni Banquet was held Saturday, May 11, at Intercounty Electric Auditorium. Brian Friend emceed the event, which was organized primarily by Linda Friend and Sharon Stephens. Sara Lane and Kelsey Gillaspy greeted alumni as they entered the venue. Elishah Nickels of Perfect Timing Photography took class photographs before alumni lined up for the meal provided by Country Seasons Catering. Stacy Hutsell and the Licking High School Multimedia Class created the programs for the event.

After finishing the delicious pulled pork meal, representatives from the attending classes introduced their members and spoke a few (or more) words. Dan Stoner introduced the 20-year, Class of 1999. Jerry Pursifull spoke for the 30-year, Class of 1989. The 40-year, Class of 1979 sent Christie Ice to the podium. The Class of 1969, celebrating its 50-year reunion, was represented by Allan Smith, who entertained the crowd with his reminisces, and Sally Holland, who read the role of members present. Smith addressed the concerns about how difficult the world appears to be for today’s graduates, and pointed out that things were not rosy for the Class of ’69 when they graduated. The 60s were a decade of assassinations, nuclear war scares, and the Vietnam War and the draft. Smith’s point was that the threats facing today’s grads aren’t insurmountable. “If we made it through it, they can,” Smith assured.

Herman Hall introduced the class of ’64, celebrating its 55-year reunion. His description of he and his classmates included the comment, “If it ain’t hurtin’, it ain’t workin’!” Bobby Collins presented the 60-year class of 1959. The class of 1949, in its 70-year reunion, sent Hoyt Davis to the podium. One of their members, Betty Collier, was a long-distance traveler to the event, coming from Butte, Mont. Other individuals from classes attended, either as guests of the honored classes or in order to see old friends from other years. Morris Lay was the guest from the earliest class, having graduated 77-years ago in 1942.

Brian Friend presented the Treasurer’s Report and reported on the Alumni Scholarship fund. Funds for scholarships were collected by passing the donation buckets from table to table. Since the fund was first established in 2011, 22 scholarships of $500 each have been awarded. Graduates receiving the award in 2018 were Kendra Freeman and Wayne Sullins.
The relaxed atmosphere at the banquet led to much interaction between people at their own and at other class’ tables. Emcee Brian Friend needed multiple attempts to be heard over the crowd to begin the event.

Classmates spent the evening sharing memories and catching up. Unfortunately, banquet planner and Class of 1969 member Sharon Stephens was unable to attend the banquet. The work she put into the evening was so obviously appreciated by the alumni, and the presence of she and husband Jim Stephens was missed, with well wishes for healing sent Jim’s way after a tragic accident Friday.

Approximately 160 tickets were sold, which Linda Friend reports is on par with the attendance for more recent years. The 40-year class was the best represented, and the 50-year, 55-year, and 60-year classes were about equal in their attendance. The 55-year class held a reunion at Fox Fire Station Community Room prior to the banquet and invited all alumni to return with them to that venue after the banquet for food and music.

The tone of the banquet was relaxed and friendly. Judging from the laughter, smiles, warm greetings, and hugs shared throughout the evening. Those who did not attend the 2019 Alumni Banquet missed out on a great event. If you graduated from LHS in a year ending in “0” or in another year and want to have your class included in the celebration, watch for the notifications next March and April and make plans to attend the 2020 Alumni Banquet.



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