BRATTLEBORO -- Brattleboro Union High School's Class of 1964 will be celebrating all weekend as it's their 50th anniversary reunion, making them the oldest group of Baby Boomers to graduate from the school.
"We have over 60 classmates registered. We'll probably have a few walk-ins and we're expecting 110 for dinner on Saturday night," said Susan Avery, a member of the reunion planning committee. "We're inviting some guests, retired teachers who walked the hallways with us back in 1964."
Those who are celebrating will travel from 13 different states, from Vermont to California.
The class of 1964 was challenged by the class that graduated a year before, which raised enough money to provide two $2,500 scholarships.
"They posted a challenged to beat them. We certainly have done that," said Ray Puffer, head of the reunion planning committee. "So far, we raised more than $20,000."
As a result, Puffer's class will give out a maximum of two scholarships a year until the fund is depleted. The efforts began when he addressed his class in 2009 at the 45th anniversary.
A survey was sent out to classmates and there was a lot of support for giving scholarships to students who may not be able to afford further schooling without some assistance, said Puffer. Since then, fundraising continued and the class will present scholarships to graduates next year.
"We've really worked hard at making contact with all our classmates, personally making phone calls and sending out letters," said Puffer, adding that close to 45 percent of the 153 living graduates from the class have contributed to the memorial scholarship fund.
The scholarship will be open to any student pursuing education beyond the high school level. It could for a student going to a four year college, a trade school, community college or prep school.
"What we don't want to do is give one more to the top graduate in the class. Those students clearly are going to get all the help they need," said Puffer. "What we're really focusing on is helping out those students who otherwise might not be able to afford further schooling, to give them the training and education they need to get really productive, beneficial jobs. We see that as a missing link in many programs. Many focus on the top achievers in the class."
On Saturday night, there will be a raffle to raise money for the scholarship fund at the dinner and dance that starts at 5:30 p.m. at the School for International Training, located at 1 Kipling Road in Brattleboro. Members of the class donated items for the raffle worth over $5,000 combined. Artwork, gift packages and handcrafted items are among the prizes.
Puffer told the Reformer the weather looked great for the weekend, which will involve a class golf outing on Friday starting at noon at the Brentwood Golf Course in Keene, N.H. A meet and greet social will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the New England House in West Brattleboro.
On Saturday, there will be an alumni golf tournament at the Brattleboro Country Club beginning at 8 a.m. with a tour of Brattleboro Union High School at 10 a.m..
On Sunday, there is a send off social at the Hodgdon residence located at 70 Meadow Brook Road in West Brattleboro. It starts at 10 a.m.
To learn more about the scholarship or contribute to the fund, contact Puffer at 518-272-6421. More details on the application process will be released.
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.