BLANCHESTER —The Blanchester Alumni Association held their annual reunion dinner on Saturday evening, May 28 at the Blanchester Middle School Auditorium, with 76 guests present.
The social hour entertainment included ’70s music, a slideshow of photos of Wildcat Alumni who have passed in the last year produced by Bruce Cadwallader (’79), a display of Blanchester memorabilia organized and presented by Miriam Florea (’56), a table dedicated to veterans displayed by Mary Crone Murphy (’72) and Krista Tolliver (’98), and photographer Julia Tolliver capturing candid moments of long-time friends reuniting.
The auditorium was festively decorated with school colors of blue and white tablecloths, balloons, and fresh cut floral centerpieces adorning each table.
President Ellen (Binkley) Hill, Class of 1978, opened the evening by welcoming everyone. The Blanchester American Legion posted the Colors and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Patricia Williams (’73) shared her beautiful voice with us by singing the National Anthem. The invocation was offered by Pastor Jim Rankin (’79).
Dinner was served and everyone enjoyed a delicious meal by Beaugard’s Southern Bar B Que of Wilmington.
Ellen kicked off the business portion of the banquet by announcing the 2022 Alumni Scholarship Recipients. The Alumni Executive Board presented two scholarships of $1,000 each to graduating seniors Madison Pembleton and Bryan Bandow.
The Class of ’72 gave a scholarship to Mariah Lanham in the amount of $300. Proud family members and friends, who have helped these students along the way, were present to celebrate the scholarship recipients.
In honor of our fallen, missing, or imprisoned military service members, Bruce Cadwallader (’79) presented the Missing Man Table by explaining the significance and symbolism of this table as the focal point of ceremonial remembrance of prisoners of war, missing in action, and fallen comrades. We are proud to honor our classmates who served and are now serving in the U.S. military.
Bruce also shared a History Moment on the chronology of Blanchester Schools.
Ellen offered a special welcome to the Class of 1972 in honor of their 50th reunion, and gave attendees an opportunity to share. Other classes recognized were from 1952, 1962, 1982 and 1992.
After asking if there were any nominations for the Alumni executive committee, Patricia Williams (’73) motioned that the current members would continue serving, and Harry Snyder (’78) seconded the motion.
The President is Ellen (Binkley) Hill (’78), Ida (Sells) Miller (’81) continues to serve as the Vice President, Laura (LeMaster) Summers (’64) holds the position of Treasurer, Bruce Cadwallader (’79) is the Historian, and Beth (Snyder) Porter (’79) serves as Secretary.
Fun awards were given out for various categories:
• Jeffrey Allen (’92) received the award for traveling farthest to attend the banquet.
• The award for the alum from the earliest class was given to Harold “Mac” McCall (’44).
• Victor Dubois (‘71) received recognition for making the first donation to the Scholarship Fund.
• Ronald and Phyllis Kidd (’54) received an award for being the longest married high school sweethearts.
The business meeting was closed. Guests enjoyed time to visit and reconnect after the banquet.
Many thanks go out to the Blanchester Girl Scout Troop 45988 and the Boy Scout Troop 47 for helping to set up, greeting alumni, and cleaning up after the banquet.
The committee asked attendees to complete a survey with suggestions for future banquets.
If any Alumni have ideas for improving banquet attendance, please send your suggestions to [email protected]
We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at the next Blanchester Alumni Banquet in 2023.