Baldwin Class of 1972 invites classes '70 and '71 to reunion

Organizer: 'The mega-reunion was beyond my expectations'

BALDWIN — One thing Baldwin High School alumni can attest to is how well the community sticks together with the Class of 1972 inviting graduates from 1971 and 1970 to have a mega reunion, as the COVID pandemic interrupted the milestone occasion for the former two classes. 

In what has been described by 1972 graduate Susie Bradford Tripp as a "magical evening," the three classes not only caught up with each other and reminisced good times Saturday at AMVETS Post No. 1988, they also reached out to support current and future Baldwin seniors by donating to the Baldwin Promise. The Baldwin Promise provides funds to help pay tuition for higher education for students who graduate from Baldwin High School.

As one of the organizers of the reunion, Tripp was thrilled with the outcome, with nearly 90 people in attendance. 

"The mega-reunion was beyond my expectations," Tripp said. "Really, Luman 'Buck' Williams and Linda Drilling and I began meeting last spring to plan. We were able to get AMVETS, because Herb Cross, a veteran from the Class of 1970, was able to sponsor half of the cost."  

Among others meeting for planning sessions were Pam (Tripp) Simmons, Berneita Childress and Barbara Finch with the Class of 1971 and Ava (Wogatzke) Grover with the Class of 1970. During setup, more classmates arrived to help. 

With the Class of 1972 working with classes of 1971 and 1970, money was collected to pay for meals, and the alumni decided, as Baldwin graduates, it would be fitting for the money left over to be donated to the Baldwin Promise fund. 

"Even at the event, Buck Williams asked if people would donate toward the Baldwin Promise, and $750 was raised, and with money left over, the donation will exceed $1,000," Tripp explained. "It was wonderful for all of us to be together and to honor and give to the Baldwin Promise. This puts an exclamation mark on everything." 

Simmons said the event was a success because many people pitched in to make it memorable. 

"Tina (Fincannon) Brown, chef for the AMVET organization cooked the delicious meals, a choice of half pound baked chicken, lasagna or fish with salad," said Simmons. "Lots of hors d'oeuvres and beverages were provided by committee members and a cash bar was made available. Decorations were split between Berneita and I, she provided 10 table centerpieces and cloths, and I provided the other 10." 

Baldwin alumni and musician Torrey Warren added to the enjoyment  of the evening by performing live-music. Drilling made name tags with everyone's yearbook picture and included maiden names. 

"We wouldn't have had all these wonderful touches without everyone coming together," Tripp added. "This was not like a class reunion, but more like a family reunion."