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Fort Macleod 70s Reunion committee on home stretch

PENNY CRAIG – GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR
It’s been a year and a half in the making, but the Fort Macleod 70s Reunion is just two weeks away and organizers are breathing a sigh of relief at the number of registrations confirmed.
“We’re almost at the 300 mark,” reunion committee member Clarence Vos said. “As most people know, we extended the registration deadline to Aug. 31, which will allow us to give the caterers, suppliers and volunteers more accurate numbers for the event. We’re all getting more excited as the reunion weekend gets closer!”
The event is being held from Sept. 11-13 at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall. It kicks off with a wine and cheese reception on the Friday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. Registration costs $35 per person, which covers all three days of the event.
Several of the key organizers are on their second reunion, bringing valuable lessons learned around the first one in 1999.
“It was an exciting time for the organizers and for the people of Fort Macleod,” committee member Sherry Hirsche said.
Hirsche spent many long hours planning programs, arranging photographers, collecting names and addresses and then contacting 10 years’ worth of F.P. Walshe school grads, students and teachers.
“Somehow we’ve lost track of the original list of attendees, but there were between 350 and 400 people at the last one,” Hirsche said. “We won’t be able to reach 400 registrations this time, but that’s only because the community hall can only accommodate 350 people.”
Debbie (Eagleson) Keehn is another invaluable resource for this year’s committee. Although she no longer lives in Fort Macleod, Keehn comes to all the meetings and does much of the behind the scenes work for her class year.
“It’s hard to believe we accomplished what we did in 1999 without the benefit of e-mail or Facebook,” Keehn said, laughing. “It’s pretty amazing how much technology has changed in only 16 years. It’s made our job a whole lot easier when it comes to contacting classmates.”
Dianne (D’Andrea) Sullivan agreed. She’s not only one of the “repeat” reunion organizers, but as a former member of Fort Macleod’s beloved Centennial Singers, she’s also working with Marj Hart, retired music teacher and Centennial Singers advisor from 1967. Watch this space for details on the “reunion within a reunion” for all former Centennial Singers, which is being held at the Fort Macleod Legion (daytime) on Sept. 12.
Joyful occasions like a school reunion are sometimes tinged with sadness, and this event is no different.
“We’re finalizing a tribute to our classmates and friends who have died since 1969,” Gloria Schwindt said.
Schwindt and the committee have been updating information for months now.
“While we’ve gathered information from many ’70s alumni, we don’t want to miss any names of those classmates who have passed on,” Schwindt said. Anyone with updated information is asked to contact committee member Penny Craig at pennylc@telus.net.
Long-time reunion volunteers Coreen (Field) Herring, Bonnie (Eagleson) Volk and Ronda (Ducharme) Reach have had a variety of “jobs” over the past year: gathering alumni names, finalizing menus for the catered dinner, booking facilities, entertainment and even finding enough chairs for the event.
Committee member Barb (Moorey) Norgard has spent months recruiting support from various local businesses and organizations to provide some of the extras associated with such a large event, things like goodie bags and door prizes. She’s also been instrumental in putting together accommodation and restaurant listings to provide to guests arriving from out of town.
All members of the reunion committee have indicated how pleased and grateful they are for the level of support this event is receiving from Fort Macleod — individuals, organizations and local businesses.

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