A few little showers could not dampen the spirits of the 155 graduates, guests and friends who attended the 125th Patriot Alumni Meeting held on Saturday, May 26th at Switzerland County Elementary School.
The honored class of 1968 had 12 members present. They received their 50 year pins, accompanied by amusing and humorous stories of the past recalled by Kerry Craig and Channie Smith. In addition to the pins, an 11 by 14 photo of the class picture was also presented. This extra gift was made possible by an anonymous donor.
Cindy Welch and her catering group served a wonderful meal with friendly smiles. Switzerland County Elementary School personnel and maintenance crew, as always, were a big help in making this evening possible. Thank you to all.
Alumni President Roberta Koons Young welcomed attendees before turning the program over to the ‘RSVP Kitchen Band’, who led in the Pledge of Allegiance and singing of the National Anthem. A musical salute to our veterans followed.
Alice Evans Craig gave a touching rendition of memorial remembrance for the 10 classmates that the Patriot Alumni had lost since its last gathering.
McKenna Edwards was the recipient of the Guy Harris Scholarship Award.
The earliest classmate attending was Lura Smith from the class of 1942. Travelers from Florida, South Carolina and Kansas made the trip back for the event.
Musical entertainment, once again provided by the ‘Kitchen Band’, allowed a trip down memory lane before a rousing finale of the Patriot fight song. Audience participation was at a premium.
After a brief business meeting and the “election” of officers (or drafting — as the four current officers were begged to stay one more year), Jean Burgess gave the benediction.
There will be no 50 year class honored next year, but the 126th alumni will be held as usual.
Guests left the building to the tune of “Happy Trails” — complete with a couple of “horseback” riders weaving throughout the crowd.
The 50th year class celebration chapter is closed. But, a new chapter of school-wide celebration continues. It was with great pride, and timing, that Darlene Hankinson Green, class of 1968, was nominated for the Switzerland County Athletic Association Hall of Fame. For those of you who do not know, Darlene was on of the first female jockeys to break through the male dominated sport of thoroughbred racing. She continues to run Green Racing Stables in Fairland, Indiana.
Memorial balloons were then released to conclude the evening.
— Channie Smith