Reunion events are taking shape

by Tom Coombe

With just about three months to go, the 2004 Ely Memorial High School All-Class Reunion is falling into place.<BR><BR>Registrations are coming in daily, anticipation is building and a full slate of reunion events are taking shape.<BR><BR>Ely’s first all-class event in nine years is set for June 30-July 5, and organizing committee member Pat Koski said last week that more than 100 graduates have already paid their $40 registration fee.<BR><BR>Registration packets were mailed to those who graduated from Ely High as recently as 10 years ago, and alumni dating back to classes in the late-1920s and 1930s.<BR><BR>They’re all invited to take part in what’s shaping up to be an almost full week of fun and festivities.<BR><BR>The schedule of events kicks off June 30 with registration at the JFK Cafeteria, and the reunion begins in earnest the following day, with an open house at the high school<BR><BR>Alumni can tour the school and obtain a copy of their transcripts. Displays of old Hi-Lites newspapers and Timberlane yearbooks are planned, and a school lunch will be available.<BR><BR>And the day at school isn’t just limited to former students.<BR><BR>Retired teachers Ben Mauser, Eldon Foster and Gordy Jacobson are hoping that former Ely instructors will also return for the event.<BR><BR>They’ve tracked down many retirees and are looking for others who taught here but left before reaching retirement age.<BR><BR>“We’re trying to round them up to be here at the open house,” said Mauser. “They’ll have a place at the banquet also. If there’s anybody who taught here and wants to take part they should contact the reunion committee (PO Box 232, Ely, 55731) and they will be in contact with us.”<BR><BR>Following the open house, a banquet buffet is scheduled at the Ely Arena. <BR><BR>Registration continues throughout the week at the school, and the pre-weekend events include the open house, a street dance (either July 1 or 2) and a pep rally and snake dance on July 2.<BR><BR>Graduate Renee Lassi is organizing the pep rally, and former cheerleaders, majorettes, poms, pep club and dance team members are invited to take part.<BR><BR>July 3 includes a Lincoln School reunion at the Ely-Bloomenson Nursing Home and a Pioneer School reunion at Pioneer Apartments.<BR><BR>That evening, a major entertainment extravaganza is in the works at Washington Auditorium.<BR><BR>On Sunday, July 4, Ely will hold an expanded Independence Day parade and reunion festivities piggybacked with the community’s annual Fourth events at Whiteside Park.<BR><BR>An alumni band and choir concert is tentatively set for 7 p.m. July 4 at Washington Auditorium, to conclude in time for the fireworks display.<BR><BR>The reunion ends with an all-class memorial service July 5 at Washington Auditorium.<BR><BR>Any Ely graduate who didn’t receive a packet may contact the reunion committee by mail (or Koski by phone 365-5630) and provide their address.<BR><BR>The reunion is Ely’s first since 1995, when about 900 alumni participated.