Alumni Banquet

Sunday, June 10th update.  Our class was one of the 15 classes honored today.  They asked me to speak and I thought you would like to see the message I gave.  I love talking about you and just so you know, you got a round of applause.  

"The class of 1968 is thankful to be honored along with the other 14 classes here today.  Five years ago our class used our 45th reunion to initiate an idea you might find interesting.  Along with the opportunity to reconnect, remember and have fun, we decided to call our reunion a "party with a purpose or a reunion for a reason."  Classmates talked about participating in a charity event during our reunion weekend.  We ultimately decided we wanted to donate to the place that had brought us all together - Plainfield High School.  So we asked that anyone who wanted to pay more than the reunion registration fee, we'd donate that money to the Student Assistance Fund.  The fund has existed for many years and through discussions with Justine Thompson and Christa Detzel, the Licensed Clinical Social Workers at the high school, they were able to  identify students or families in need.  It could be the cost of a cap and gown, fees for books or classes or even a pair of shoes that might be needed or too challenging for families to afford.  So in September 2013, after donations were totaled along with money from our 50/50 raffle, we presented PHS with a check for $2400.  But the story didn't end there.  Classmates wanted to use the SAF to give in memory of classmates and sadly, in October 2014, we donated $5400 in memory of our classmate, Charlie Nelson.  But the story didn't end there.  We have continued to make donations in memory of loved ones, siblings, classmates and for celebrations, so in the 4 1/2 years since our idea was initiated, we have donated $63K to the Plainfield High School SAF.  As Margaret Mead said, "never believe that a few caring people can't change the world.  For indeed, that's all who ever has."  In our case, the world we would like to impact is that of a Plainfield High School student or family who is struggling.  Like you, we all give to our families, faith, friends and our causes and charities that are near and dear to our hearts.  As a class, we have chosen to collectively give to those who may be forgotten.  Honestly, 4 1/2 years ago we had no idea how this idea would be received.  The class has continued to drive this initiative and as we remember the place where we strolled the halls together, it's now 50 years later and in our own small way we want to walk back through the doors with a donation that gives back or pays it forward.  Some of the most heartfelt thank you notes have been sent to our class.  We try to remain anonymous and as one student wrote, "To whom it may concern:  This is an incredible gesture that not many would do for someone they barely know."  Another said, "I won't forget how appreciative I am, and I hope someday to be able to do this for someone, like you have helped me" and yet another wrote, "thank you for the future you have given me."

We don't know where our story may end, we just know the need will continue.  I am humbled to represent the class of 1968.  Thank you for listening."