Wise men have said, if you’ve made two or three true friends in life, you’re a lucky man or woman. We all must be lottery winners if that’s true, because we just spent an entire weekend with 78 true friends, plus their spouses and dates … in what will always be remembered as an incredible weekend of friends, fun, and events … and now memories both old and new. Thank you all for making our 25th Reunion such an incredible success!
From the foul-weather football game Friday night when FHC trounced Northview 49-13, and the victory party at the bar that followed, to one of the most beautiful of Saturdays and Sundays ever in Michigan at the Pig Roast, the Class Reunion, the Brunch, and the Golf Outing, it was a greater weekend of events than ever imagined. Everything was gorgeous … from the weather, to the events, to us. Heck, we could’ve been celebrating our 10th Reunion … we’re all looking pretty good at 43, people … pretty, pretty good!
More impressively, over a third of our classmates flew in from out-of-state to be with us … coast-to-coast from California to New York, border-to-border from Texas to Wisconsin. Thank you all for your time and effort getting there and for being part of our 25th — the largest Reunion we’ve ever had. And Reunions are great because of the people … the live bands, shot luges, kegs, champagne toast, valet service, sliders, appetizers, pasta bars, pig roasts, football games, brunches and golf outings are all there just to enhance the effect. And with our class, we could spend around $8,000.00 as we did this weekend, or just spend $500 bucks on kegs in a barn — and we’d have just as great a time. It’s just who we are.
On top of everything else, more extras were added right up until the Reunion itself — and during it — trying to spend all the money that continued to pour in even as the Reunion was going on. Incredible. But it all couldn’t be spent … even at the end there were still extra kegs to be tapped, appetizers and sliders to be eaten … even Trilogy was paid more to play further into the wee hours (the last reunioneer to officially leave was at 2:40AM). So long story short, after nearly $8,000.00 in expenses, we still ended up with (you know me) a profit… 🙂 All thanks to you. More than eleven hundred dollars, now anxiously waiting to be spent the next time we meet.
Everyone’s contributions were so incredibly fantastic. Kent Country Club looked great with all the decorations, globes, photo confetti, the memory board (that brought a tear to many), the extensive memorabilia table, and all the banners, balloon bouquets, trivia sheets and more. A huge thank you to Kim Fletcher, Barb Manus, and Wendy Sims for putting all that together. Another major thank you to Tami Swanson, Dawn Wiggerman, and Debi Mlnarik, who all sacrificed the first hour and a half of their night to greet, sell Reunion and drink tickets, and collect 50/50 raffle money — they did a fantastic job. Karl Baltutat already had done his job in collecting the most email addresses, and won a bottle of Dom Perignon — thanks again to Karl and his wife Lynda for all their work. Marion Kish’s quilt donation and auction was a great success, as Marc VanderWal walked away with that and the 50/50 raffle total of $170.00 … $100.00 of which he immediately turned around and donated to the class. Thanks to Chuck and Al for being the auctioneers and comedy duo at the microphone. Thanks to John Westerhuis for negotiating room rates at the Crowne Plaza. And thanks to Jill Collins, again, for donating the entire cost of the bio books … wow … and to Dave Murray, who couldn’t attend because of his shattered leg, but for all he did in arranging football game seats and the Pig Roast … where Jamie Berlin ran out and bought all the hot dogs, buns and fixin’s for the kids as his donation. And thanks, Shawn. I had to say it. Of course, a warm thank you as well to my wife, Heather, who put up with me these past five months, and who had such a great time with all of you — thanks for making her feel so welcome and a part of our class, as all our spouses are.
For a weekend, time stood still. No matter what our accomplishments, we were briefly once again the classmates we once were, back in a simpler time. No matter what we’ve done in life since, a small part of us will always remain that teenager from high school, even though many of us now have teenagers of our own, and we now have titles such as doctors, lawyers, teachers, homemakers, State Supreme Court Justice, Lt. Colonel at the Pentagon, or leading the world’s most successful companies. And we all have been successful — in our families, careers, travels, and experiences. Those of you I talked with — which was (at least briefly) all of you — were best of all, extremely happy.
People joked at the Sunday Brunch there would be a big “void” now that all the Reunion planning was over. I laughed — but they were right. But the void isn’t the work, planning, or daily website updates, it’s simply the void of what was a constant interaction with all of you. It was great being in touch daily or weekly as we once were so long ago, or via even just a short note along with checks you sent. No matter how much work went into this Reunion, it was rewarded a thousand times over seeing everyone together again — reconnecting — laughing — and promising each other not to let the next five years go by, without more contact and getting together more often. There’s even talk of an “unofficial” 27 1/2 year Reunion, aboard a cruise ship or at a “destination locale” somewhere in 2009.
The only regret from the weekend, as with every Reunion, was not being able to have enough time for longer conversations with everyone. After 25 years, we still miss each other. We still need more time to catch up. We still want more time to be together. Maybe an unofficial 27 1/2 year Reunion is just the answer to that.
For those of you who traveled so far to be there this weekend, thank you for your time, your effort and the expense of getting and staying there. For local classmates, thank you for welcoming “home” the rest of us. For those of you who couldn’t make it, forgive me for rubbing salt in the wounds, but it was a terrific weekend … and we truly did miss you.
I look forward to our next gathering … wherever, and whenever, that happens to be. Until then, keep in touch, stay well, and thank you for making the 25th Reunion of the Forest Hills Central Class of 1982 such an incredible weekend of events … yet another memory for our Class to cherish … and as the old IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch always said, “the best Reunion ever!” (okay, he always said “the best Olympics ever,” but whatever…!)
All the best — always –and God bless.
– Tim Jackoboice.
Now, on to more updates…!
As mentioned above, a big thank you to James Berlin on Saturday afternoon at the Pig Roast. While we had a great spread for the adults — including a succulent pig, kielbasa, and all the fixins’ — Jamie ran out and purchased additional hot dogs, buns, condiments, etc. for all the kids — and a few adults! Thank you, Jamie!
Another big thank you goes out to Marc VanderWal, who, immediately after winning the 50-50 Raffle and the quilt Marion Kish made and donated, Marc turned around and donated $100.00 to the Class then and there on the dance floor. Thank you, Marc!
And again, thanks to Jill Collins who donated the entire cost of the Bio Books, distributed free to everyone that attended Saturday night. Those of you who couldn’t attend and send in a check, yours will go out this week.
Many of you have left comments throughout the website, and I recently realized it’s hard to find them all. So, I added a “Comments” tab above on the website, where all comments could be consolidated. Click on the Comments tab above, or click here.
Wall Hanging Raffle
As you know, we had two drawings Saturday night — the 50/50 money with Marion’s quilt, and another for an additional wall hanging she made and donated. If anyone can produce their raffle ticket — #731002 — you win! Let us know!
Class Reunion Photo
Remember being herded into that small room for two class photos? To order a color 8×10″ FHC Class of our 1982 25th Reunion Photo, please return the slip given to you at our Reunion, or mail a check for $15.00 and your:
First and Last Name
Address, City, State, ZIP
— to —
2386 Randall NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534
Orders received later than October 27 will cost $19.00.
Here’s a sample of the 8×10″ you’ll receive, including an ID page. (By the way, this is the FHC Class of ’77 … their 30-Yr Class Reunion photo:
Other Reunion Photos
To view photos from the Reunion, click here. This is currently a link to Flickr, and the photos I (and Betsy Merrill from FHC ’84) uploaded. I couldn’t take many shots due to running around all weekend, so any you have would be greatly appreciated. For now, send them to me … as I write this, Paul Moore is working on a way to allow everyone to upload photos themselves to Flickr, setting up a group pool and instruction for everyone how to do this.
Great to see You!
The reason for scheduling six events over the course of 3 days was for a few reasons … one, to make it an overall great weekend in general; two, to provide many gatherings and events for people from out of state; and three, for people to be able to attend at least some events, if they couldn’t attend the main Reunion party. This was true for several people, and though they couldn’t make the Reunion, a big thank you for showing up, and great to see Tim Lane, Dave Deering and Dave Rash on Friday night at the Cascade Sports Grill, and Michelle Strauss and Dave Murray at the Saturday Pig Roast.
Credit Card Payments
Remember, if you paid for any Reunion events by credit card, it will be reflected in your next statement as a charge under “Property Pulse LLC.” It’s not a bogus charge; it was just easier using my existing credit card processing system I already had set up, than putting together a whole new system for the Reunion.
We officially had 80 classmates attend events this weekend. Of those, 75 attended the Reunion itself, along with 37 significant others, totaling 112 people. Of those, 65.8% were from the state of Michigan (48), followed by 4.1% from Florida and Indiana (3 from each state), 2.7% from California, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia (2 from each state), and 1.4% from Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, Tennessee and Wisconsin (1 from each state).
We ended up with 178 current, valid emails for the class, or 73.6%. Adding current, valid addresses, we ended up with 228 total current contacts, or 89.4% of the class. Pretty darn good numbers. As a result, we had 13,000+ class website hits from inception on June 13, through today, October 25, 2007.
The band absolutely loved playing for us, and seeing us all again Saturday night. They also said they have never played “Ridin’ the Storm Out” so many times in a week, let alone one night (three times for us!)
That’s it for now … more later with information on how to upload Reunion photos yourself. Until then, just send them to me. Talk to you soon.