Archive for Thursday, June 14, 2007

Reunion to be 1 day next year to attract more alumni to event

June 14, 2007

This year's De Soto High School reunion marked the end of a tradition -- it was the last time the event would include two days of activities.

The decision was made after many alumni decided it was too hard to get people together for two days. At Saturday night's dance, about 23 people out of about 42 were there for their 50th reunion. However, only a handful of them were present for the potluck luncheon Sunday.

Lifelong friends Margaret West-Dierolf and Doris Haslwanter hug and
chat about the past at the De Soto High School Reunion luncheon
Sunday. Haslwanter travels from California for the reunion each
year to visit with Margaret and other friends and family.

Lifelong friends Margaret West-Dierolf and Doris Haslwanter hug and chat about the past at the De Soto High School Reunion luncheon Sunday. Haslwanter travels from California for the reunion each year to visit with Margaret and other friends and family.

Jim Carpenter, organizer of this year's event and 1957 alumnus, proposed the idea after the luncheon and all present agreed.

Alumni also voted on catering the event next year.

"It's hard for some of the older people and the out-of-town people to bring a dish, so we wind up with a lot of KFC," Carpenter said.

In years past, the class celebrating their 25-year reunion would organize the event and make all of the arrangements in order to honor the 50-year reunion class. However, in the past couple of years, the 25-year reunion class hasn't been involved or has done very little, Carpenter said. None of them were present at this weekend's events, and Carpenter said he and his wife, who celebrated her 49-year reunion, along with others were left organizing the event and doing all the work.

"It's just really disappointing," he said. "We really want the younger people to get involved again."

The event is open to anyone who has been out of high school about 10 years, Carpenter said, but this weekend the youngest alumna was Rita Jones who graduated in 1973.

Hopes are that next year, the younger alumni will be more informed about the event and more willing to be involved.

As for this year, alumni still had a good time while joking with Leon Coker saying he was "older than dirt." Coker was the oldest graduate present celebrating his 71st reunion. He is one of two people living from his graduating class of 17 students.

His sister-in-law was the person who traveled the farthest. Doris Haslwanter came in from San Juan Capistrano, Calif., about 40 miles from San Diego.

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