Latino HS alumni from Macomber, Libbey invited to Labor Day weekend reunion
By Kevin Milliken, La Prensa Correspondent
Two Toledo high schools may remain in name only, but local Latinos who graduated from Macomber-Whitney and Libbey are invited to two, separate all-class reunions scheduled to be held Labor Day weekend and late September.
Libbey High School alumni will gather for a weekend schedule of events Friday through Sunday, Aug. 30 to Sept. 1, 2013 at Maumee Bay State Park. A crowd of nearly 1,000 people is expected throughout the weekend.
The gathering of Libbey High School alumni is being dubbed “A Reunion to Remember” and will feature a meet-and-greet in cabins 10 and 11 at Maumee Bay State Park Fri. evening from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Check-in and registration run 4-8 p.m. Advance tickets for that event are $15.
“We wanted to do something that hadn’t been done before and we just wanted to go all out for our alumni—especially due to the situation where the school has been closed,” said Cassandra Day-Moore, chairperson of the reunion organizing committee. “A lot of people are heartbroken. When you drive by the school-grounds, you just feel empty.”
Saturday’s events include boat and bike rentals, fishing, and line dancing. The evening culminates with dinner and dancing at Cambridge Hall, 1801 W. Alexis Rd., from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Individual tickets to the dinner-dance are $50 in advance.
“We’re just going to do it up this time and bring everyone together. Even though the school’s closed, the spirit is still there and we love each other,” said Ms. Day-Moore. “This is not just for the older people. This is for everybody.”
Sunday’s events feature a Blue and Gold Beach Party and Picnic at Maumee Bay State Park’s number two and three shelters. The picnic will include karaoke, horseshoes, volleyball, kickball, cornhole, and card games from noon to 8 p.m. The picnic costs $10 for adults and $5 for children.
“We hope to fill up the park—all the cabins, the hotel,” she said. “There’s so much to do out there. It’s like getting away on vacation—but you’re not really going that far.”
The Libbey All-Classes Reunion committee is encouraging people to make hotel or cabin reservations as soon as possible by calling 1-800-282-7275. The deadline for ticket purchases is Aug. 15. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Powell’s Beauty and Barber Supply, 901 Nebraska Ave.; Jack’s Mens Wear, 3414 Dorr St.; and Esther’s Alterations, 1831 Eastgate (near Glendale Ave.). Questions can be directed to Ms. Day-Moore by calling 419-450-7227. Tickets will be available at the door for each event, but will cost $10 more.
Nearly 700 people are expected to attend the Macomber-Whitney all-class reunion, which will be held Friday and Saturday, Sept. 20 and 21, 2013.
The reunion committee recently went through an alumni book and was surprised to realize the diversity of students who attended the two schools over the course of 60 years.
“We came across quite a few Hispanics over the years. I was quite surprised,” said Elana Echols, one of the reunion committee members.
This is the first attempt at an all-classes reunion for the committee, which put together a family-friendly carnival last year on the grounds of the former Whitney High School. That event included games, food vendors, and inflatables. The group also had a dinner and dance aboard the Jet Express as a fundraiser.
A meet-and-greet event is planned Friday night, 6-9 p.m., aboard the Jet Express, which will be docked in the Marina District at 1701 Front St. Music and food will be available on one level of the boat, while dance music will be played on an upper level. Tickets for that event are $40.
The following night, a dinner and dance is planned, 6 to 11 p.m., at the Parkway Plaza Banquet Hall in Maumee. There will be a silent auction of more than 150 trophies and plaques rescued from the Macomber Building. A portion of the proceeds from the reunion auction will be donated to the Cherry St. Mission as well.
“We cleaned and polished all of them up very nicely. Some of them were broken but they look brand-new now,” said Ms. Echols.
Door prizes and gift bags will be awarded to attendees. Tickets for the Sat. event are $50.
A special presentation will be made to the oldest graduate in attendance that evening. 93-year old Walter Rawski, from the Class of 1937, will be accompanied by several family members for the special recognition. A 1979 Macomber graduate who now resides in Hawaii is traveling the farthest distance to attend the reunion.
But the weekend of events also will include a Saturday 10 a.m. tour of the Macomber Building in downtown Toledo, which was recently purchased by Cherry St. Mission Ministries. The homeless shelter and advocacy agency plans to consolidate most of its operations in the building once renovations take place.
The building’s gym is being dedicated to honor Macomber alumni who attended there from 1931 to 1991. Alumni are being urged to bring non-perishable food donations, which will be given to the Cherry St. Mission pantry to restock its shelves.
Macomber and Whitney alumni are urged to purchase tickets by Sept. 10 by calling Ms. Echols at 419.450.8085.