Putney grade school reunion deadline is Thursday

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PUTNEY — Whether they went to the small grade schools in Putney that closed long ago like the Washburn School, or attended the Putney Central School, students who once went to school in Putney will have a reunion on Saturday, Aug. 31. As they enjoy hearing stories and reminiscing, the former students will also be contributing to a fund that gives an award every June to a male and female eighth grade graduate.

"We hope to see as many people as possible in order to fund the awards for the coming year," said one of the organizers, Barbara Taylor.

Because the dining room at the former Putney Inn is now closed for business, the reunion dinner has been relocated to the Carl M. Dessaint VFW on Black Mountain Road in Brattleboro.

Meet and greet begins at 5 p.m.; dinner at 6 p.m. Registration is requested by Thursday, Aug. 15 for planning purposes. Anyone who ever attended a grade school in Putney, even if for only a year, as well as former teachers and staff are welcome.

"Please bring your short stories and any memories to share," said Carolyn Handy, another organizer. "They can be funny, serious or in between." Handy plans to tell a story about a former teacher, Mrs. Osborne.

At each reunion, businesses in Putney contribute a variety of gifts for the door prize table, and some contribute to the student award fund instead. Several door prizes have already been collected. This year for the first time, the reunion group has become a non-profit organization called Putney Grade Schools Reunion Ltd. A small portion of the reunion dinner price is deposited into the non-profit funds.

More than 500 registration forms were mailed out this year but some former students may have been missed or moved from their last location. If anyone needs a form or more information, they can call Anita Coomes at 802-387-5715. Coomes has been organizing the reunions every three or four years. "The first one was in 1995 and we had more than 200 people," Coomes said. "At the last reunion in 2015, we had more than 140 attend."

So far, the number of registrations for this year is less than 100. Organizers are hoping that number exceeds 100 this week, to make the reunion more fun and memorable.

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