Fall greetings to my fellow Stevens Alumni,
As you all know, for the first time in alumni history, we had to cancel alumni weekend, 2020. This was a difficult decision to make and many thought we were acting to soon, but we had to think about the travel involved for members coming from across the country. We had to contact the caterer and bands to give them notice. As it turned out, it was the right thing to do. By April, functions and class gatherings were being cancelled one after another. There was no traditional parade, no parties, no class reunions; a very sad time for this great alumni association. Through no fault of any of us, we were hit with the Covid-19 virus which still affects how we go about our everyday lives. Schools all over this country are in various stages of either going back to in school learning, on line, or home schooling. It would seem we are starting a new “norm” which is far different from a year ago.
Graduation was different this year for the seniors, but with creativity by the school district, and students’ input, plans were made to have their special 2020 graduation event at the Claremont Motorsports Speedway followed by a parade of cars and graduates, after the ceremony, make their way up through Broad Street, to be honored and recognized by family and friends. Alumni members and officers were invited to take part and displayed the revered Alumni Emblem near the front of the parade atop a red truck bed. We had huge banners made congratulating the class of 2020 and displayed, one on Charlestown Road and one in front of Golden Cross Ambulance Services on the corner of North and Washington Streets. Banners were placed on the gazebo in Broad Street Park as well as the Alumni office. We presented individual gift cards to each senior which were good for free pizza and sponsored in part by Tremont House of Pizza and Dominos Pizza. Our endeavor was to assist the class of 2020 in having a memorable ending to this SO important chapter in their young lives.
We also presented $88,750 in scholarships to 84 seniors and 2nd 3rd and 4th year students. All scholarships were mailed this year, and each student was recognized and listed in the on-line E-Ticker News web site.
As we move forward, we have our 150th alumni celebration to plan. We would like to make June 12, 2021, a celebration to remember. At our first scheduled monthly meeting in September, the motion was made and passed, to leave the slate of officers as is until our next annual meeting on June 12, 2021. The theme of “SHS Alumni Association. Proudly Presents our 150th Reunion Celebration” was made official. This year’s theme of “Board Games” is still an option for both 5 year classes of 2020 and 2021. So, two themes? Yes, it should make for an interesting parade with twice as many floats. In anticipation of a much bigger parade, Dick Girard met with the police chief to work out a longer route. He will post the parade route when it is finalized. He has been working with Amy Putnam to get the parade registrations upgraded and on the website.
Tonya Gibbs who worked with Country Kitchen as caterer for the banquet cannot guarantee that she will be available to cater the banquet next year so Elyse Crossman has offered to put feelers out for a caterer. She has received a few quotes, but the price of a meal is much higher than we have had in the past. Please let us know if you, as members, are willing to pay more than $40 per plate. This is on hold pending further review and other options.
Amy Putnam is upgrading the website to make it more user friendly. If anyone has any thoughts or ideas of things they would like to see added, please let us know. We are working on upgrading the website so members will have the opportunity to pay dues and donations on line.
At the meeting, we also discussed initiating an email address list; another way to get information to members and possibly the annual newsletter. We have discussed a “Zoom” open house meeting so if members can’t make a meeting, they can still participate. The winners of the parade fund raiser were drawn at the meeting and the checks have been sent. Names have not been posted yet as we hesitate to post winners due to privacy issues.
In ending, the bad news is that our dues, donations and parade fund raisers are down by about half of what we usually get, so even though we have some money in reserve, I urge you all to pay your $10 yearly dues and think about including any donation amount for the 150th parade celebration. We welcome your support!
With our 150th less than a year away, we are looking for ways to raise money. We will still have the Poinsettia Fund Raiser. Another option is a 150th t-shirt. We would work with the Ink Factory and could have all shirts with same logo or different classes could pick their own theme. The Alumni Association would make a portion of the sales. Anyone have an idea for a design? Let us know.
In ending, I hope you are all staying positive with this Covid-19 pandemic. We will all get through this difficult time of our lives and we will put this behind us. Stevens High School Alumni Association will be stronger than ever.
On behalf of Stevens Alumni Association, I extend our sincerest condolences to any of you who have lost loved ones due to this pandemic.
Doug LeBlanc, President,
Proud member of the Class of 1963
And Stevens High School Alumni Association