The 64th Big Walnut Alumni Banquet was held Saturday, May 17, at Big Walnut Middle School located at 777 Cheshire Road in Sunbury.
The Fellowship Hour got underway at 5 p.m. with Mark Bryant welcoming guests followed by Donna Evans giving the Invocation. Dinner was served by Autumn Lakes Catering assisted by the St. John Neumann Youth Group which helped with serving. Guests were reminded that tips would be appreciated to help with the youth group’s summer project. Class pictures were taken by Steve Stiverson.
Following the delicious meal, Glenn Evans, serving as the evening’s master of ceremonies, reminded everyone that the price of the ticket included pictures for the honored classes at no additional cost.
Robert Moreland, president of the Class of 1964, recalled their school years when there were a total of 400 students in the entire school. He quoted Bill Cosby as saying “You know you are getting old when MC follows many names in your address book”. Bob recalled some of their teachers, including Mrs. Lola Dell Searles, Mrs. Peregrine, and Mr. Lakeman, who also served as football coach aas well as physical education teacher. “It was an exciting time to be a teenager,” Bob said noting that he Beatles came to the USA.
Robert Richardson, president of the Class of 1954, also recalled the same good quality of teachers during their high school years. Members of the class continue to meet on occasion, reminisce and enjoy one another’s fellowship.
Glenn recalled some memorabilia from the era. Songs popular in 1944 period included “Is You Or is You Ain’t My Baby”, “Don’t Fence Me In” by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters”, and “I’ll Walk Alone” by Dinah Shore. In the 1954 era, songs included “Shu-Boom” by the Crew Cuts and “Papa Loves Mama” by Perry Como. In 1964 it was “She Loves You” and ” I Wanna Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles and “Rag Doll” by the 4 Seasons.
Glenn then recognized the Graduate Who Traveled The Furthest to attend the banquet, Bob Richardson from Fort Myers, Florida; the Most Recent Graduate, Mark Bryant class of 1979; the Most Un-Recent Graduate, Bernard Stockwell, Class of 1944 from Harlem; and the Family With The Most Family Members Present, the Dale Price Family. Those who served in the military were also recognized.
The 50/50 Drawing for $206 was won by Donna Evans, congratulations Donna. The other half is donated to the Scholarship Fund.
Many door prizes were handed out from the following generous businesses: Advertising Products for You, Big Walnut Grill, Donatos of Sunbury, Fracasso’s Village Pizza, Galena Diner, Jets’ Pizza of Sunbury, Kroger of Sunbury, Linda’s 3 On The Square, Sunbury Ace Hardware, McDonald’s of Sunbury, MiSombrero Restaurant, Molly’s Flowers, Mudflats Bar & Grill, PJ’s Pizza, Saturday’s Hair Salon, Washington Auto Parts, Subway of Sunbury and Wendy’s of Sunbury.
This year’s officers and committee members worked hard and diligently, as usual, to bring the evening to Big Walnut graduates and guests, with the exception of secretary Marsha Garee who was present for the evening.
“Having served beginning in 2000, I am ready to give up the secretary office, so if there is anyone willing to step up, please give one of the committee members a call,” Garee said. “It just requires a few meetings which are held at Karen DeBolt’s who everyone knows is a great cook and always has a delicious treat.”
BW Alumni officers include Sue Butterfield, President, 614-562-7009; Mark Bryant, Treasurer, 740-965-5336; and Committee Members Karen Debolt, 740-965-1100; Julie Johnson, 740-965-1214; and Marlene Sheets, 740-524-4684.
Your help is needed if you want the Big Walnut Alumni Banquet to continue.