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100th and last alumni reunion already percolating for 2015

Charlotte Bell of Ogden, Utah, has gotten the message.

If the PHS Alumni Association is going to make its 100th anniversary all-class reunion its last in 2015, the 1958 graduate of Powell High School wants to be there. Bell is rallying her class to come together in what would be a 57-year reunion — not a year that would normally be cause for celebration.

And she wants to encourage the classes of 1957 and 1959 to join in for one last hurrah.

That’s the sort of thing that reunion planners are starting to hear, said alumni board members Nancy Hall and Susan VandenBoom. Their response? To gear up for a 2015 alumni weekend that carries the tradition out with a bang.

“We want it to be a buzz, a real big to-do,” VandenBoom said.

The Powell High School Alumni Association has been holding an annual all-class reunion event consecutively since 1916. Next year’s 100th anniversary reunion is scheduled for June 26-27.

Planning is already underway. The alumni board has been able to enlist some additional helpers to beef up the committee to 15 members to prepare for the finale.

“And we may need more,” said VandenBoom. 

The next planning session is at 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 18, in the board room of the Powell Valley Chamber of Commerce building.

One of the first steps has been to identify two contact persons for each graduating class, representatives who can assist with mailing Save the Date postcards to class members in October. PHS classes can assist in the process to give class contact information by emailing VandenBoom at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

At the same time, expanded program offerings for the 100th anniversary are in the idea stage.

VandenBoom emphasized that the outline of two days of reunion events is just tentative at this time. “We want others to give us their ideas, too,” she said.

There was no alumni golf tournament in 2014. The preliminary thinking for 2015 is a Friday, June 26, golf tournament, either a scramble or a tournament with men’s and women’s divisions, or perhaps divisions by the decades.

The possibility of a Friday horseshoe tournament at the fairgrounds is also being investigated. If there is interest, a softball tournament for classes from the 1990s and 2000s could be staged.

For classes which may not have individual reunion gatherings set for Friday night, the committee is considering a Friday night mixer with band music in one or more areas to allow alums to mingle with graduates from  other classes.

Bands could play a big part in the 2015 get-together. The alumni committee is hoping to encourage a competition among bands with prize money in the picture. To qualify as an “alumni” band, a group would only be required to have at least one PHS alum in the playing group.

The band competition is envisioned as part of a big Saturday, June 27, at the fairgrounds. 

The day would start with an alumni parade — not necessarily elaborate floats, but flatbed trucks or trailers featuring different classes. The parade from downtown is seen as a 9:30 a.m. event to lead to the fairgrounds where an alumni brunch would be served from 10 to 11 a.m.

The Lions Club has been approached about moving its classic car show from the end of May to the alumni weekend. Cars would participate in the alumni parade to the fairgrounds, then be displayed there.

The band competition would follow in something of a day-long jam. Or along the lines of “PHS Has Talent,” alumni would be encouraged to entertain with singing or piano, etc. on the free act stage at the fairgrounds during the day.

A late afternoon barbecue would also be catered at the fairgrounds.

“This not a banquet,” Hall emphasized. “Banquet is a bad word,” reflecting the memory of hot evening venues of years past when more and more people stayed away from the dinner event.

The committee is contemplating selling wristbands that would provide entrance to the grounds for the entertainment and include two meals.

These ideas are all preliminary, the alumni board members stressed. If anyone has ideas or suggestions to add, please contact Nancy Hall at 754-0753 or Susan VandenBoom at 754-8408.

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