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Planning the class reunion

June 19, 2018 - Tiffany Larson
I'm a planner. Well, at least I try to be. Those that know me are aware that I lug around my trusty planner wherever I go. It is even color-coded. It's broken down by work programming and personal commitments, volunteer and community events, church meetings, and other various deadlines. Clearly I like to be involved, and for the most part organize things. People that take a glimpse at said planner often gaspe with anxiety at first glance. Clearly it seems overwhelming for them, but for me it works. The visual reminders work more effectively than plugging into a calendar on technology.

Being involved is just part of my nature. I have a horrible record with saying no to committees, groups, and activities. Call it FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), or call it passion. It is just who I am. For the last umpteen years of my life I have managed to function through the chaos, sometimes with the help of some caffeine, to stay as involved as I can. It only stands without reason that I would jam-pack my summer with work and events, including planning a high school reunion.

For those that have been part of a class reunion planning committee, you know it is a lot of hard work. You also know that the planning and organizing starts well in advance of the big event. I am not quite sure how exactly I got myself in this role as one of the main contacts for the event. Wait, yes I do (refer back to my inability to say no). All joking aside, I do it because I love opportunities for social connections, and my passion for being involved. I love the opportunity to bring together classmates every five to ten years. I know that we live in a wired world where we are connected via various social media platforms. People can post updates on their jobs, their family, their pets, and other life travels. However, I feel like there is something beneficial about reuniting face-to-face. It is even more sweet to celebrate those connections in the place we grew up and called home for so many years. Thus, I have been part of a planning committee to do just that, provide an opportunity to bring together the Class of 1998 for our twenty-year reunion.

With our reunion just over a month away (and still time to RSVP) I wanted to share a few things about planning a class reunion and why I encourage individuals to attend them. More specifically, why I encourage my class to attend ours. 1. Everyone in the class is invited, and no one is intentionally left out. It's a class reunion. By definition, that means everybody. Things happen, people move, life gets busy, and planning can get overwhelming. Please give the committee the benefit of the doubt. This year our class opted to go paper-free on invites. We tried saving funds by reaching out solely on social media, emails that we had access to, and via word of mouth. Even if you have lived in the Hamilton County area for the past 20 years (about 50-plus of my classmates by the way), live on the east or west coasts, or live on another continent, please know that you are invited. Everyone from the Webster City High School Class of ’98 is invited.

2. I now have a new found respect and understanding for RSVPs to weddings and other social events. Trying to plan and anticipate the amount of food to have the venue cater can be a doozy. This is especially harder when you are on a budget. The numerous amount of reminders in the class groups aren’t to annoy or pester you. It simply is to encourage you to submit “yes or no" for attending with a number of RSVPs to help know how much grub to have ready to serve up on the night of the main event. We want to make sure that there are full bellies when it comes time to dancing the night away with our booked entertainment.

3. The planning committee that is organizing the reunion are volunteering their time and talents. They have jobs, families, and other obligations. They choose to devote their time to this cause because they want it to be a successful event where classmates can come and enjoy time catching up. They want it to be a positive experience where the class can celebrate all of the awesome and positive things we've all encountered the last 20 years, and maybe even share some of the hurdles. Didn’t like high school? Weren’t really involved in activities? Regret the way you were in high school? Didn’t like the way you were treated? That's ok. We can't change the past. It has been twenty years since graduation. You are probably not then same person you were back then, and hopefully others have changed for the better too. This is an opportunity to come together to reflect on our past experiences (the good and bad), let go of grudges, but most of all make new positive memories together. The committee sees value in the reunions, and hopefully you do too.

4. Reunions can be fun. I personally have had a blast at the five, ten, and fifteen-year events. From feedback I have heard, most others that have attended have agreed. The committee has put together a line-up of activities for the entire weekend in late-July. Friday night kicks-off with an informal social gathering at the Seneca Street Saloon. This is a common theme for most classes, as it is a chance to enjoy some casual conversation and enjoy pizza and other good eats. The committee then wanted to do something to “give back" to the community that we all grew up in. The crew came up with two service-projects that classmates can choose to partake in. On Saturday morning individuals can meet downtown to help with a community clean-up project. The other is collecting items for the local Hamilton County Upper Des Moines Opportunity, Inc. (UDMO) Food Pantry. Those not attending that morning can also bring donations to the main event that evening. After an optional lunch gathering at Leon's, classmates are invited for a tour of the updates to the Webster City High School and Competition Gym. The Saturday activities wrap-up with our main event at The Webster City Links Golf Course. A social hour, class photo, meal, and booked entertainment are all planned. For those sticking around on Sunday, the committee has classmates selecting options focused around the Boone River, golf courses, trails and parks. These will be up to interested individuals to coordinate, but a family-friendly picnic is in the works for all to enjoy. All in all, a weekend of celebrating and enjoying our Webster City area community is in store for those in attendance .

5. If you receive the invitation to a reunion, don't automatically put it in the trash bin (electronic or other). Consider the nostalgia. By attending, you are carrying on the tradition of school and community pride. High school was an important part of our lives. It may have been a rollercoaster ride for some, but graduating was an important milestone that we all can share. Not only did we receive an education with a diploma from Webster City Schools, but we grew up in a community that celebrates a sense of pride. Lynx Pride. For that reason we are breaking out the purple and gold for this year’s event. We hope that you join the committee members in celebrating our L-Y-N-X spirit. Whether it's your five, twenty, or sixty-year reunion, consider attending. In addition, show gratitude to those rallying to step-up and carry on the lynx tradition by organizing the reunion, and embrace the opportunity to make new memories with classmates!


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