Two decades ago graduates of the Plainville High School Class of 1962 decided seeing each other just at their class reunions wasn’t enough.
As former students from a small, close-knit community, they agreed most of those who attended the town’s only high school usually also had friends from other classes in the school at the same time.
And so a new kind of reunion was born.
This year, Friday, Sept. 14 will mark the 20th anniversary of the first PHS Alumni Dance. The annual reception/dance-turned-tradition will be held at the VFW on Northwest Drive in Plainville and is open to those who graduated or attended Plainville High School, and their guests.
“Everybody had friends in Plainville who graduated ahead of them or behind them because it was a small school,” said 1962 grad Earle Jackson, an All-State high school athlete who went on to become a vice president at the former Heublein Inc. “So many were traveling to Plainville for our own class reunions that we thought why not also have a party where everyone could get together.”
The event, which draws hundreds from classes ranging from the 1940s to present day, has now become part of each class’s 50th reunion weekend. This year the alumni bash, which begins at 7 p.m., will be hosted by the Class of 1968. That class is celebrating its 50th reunion the following evening, Sept. 15, at Southington Country Club.
“When our class started talking about it, it just seemed it made sense to hold an all-class get-together on the night before a reunion,” said Ken Laska, also a 1962 graduate and an attorney in Bristol. “It’s BYOB and the tickets underwrite the cost of pizza and coffee and any of the hosting class reunion expenses that might need to be covered.”
For this year’s hosting class, it is an opportunity to get its own 50th reunion weekend off to a stellar start.
“It’s an informal and fun way to make connections not only with your own class members but with classes from the same era,” said Class of 1968 alum Jane Wood Wilson, whose father, the late Ivan Wood, was high school principal for many years. “My father introduced me to the PHS Friday get-together some years back,” she said. “You find that although a lot of time has passed, you’re ‘remembering when’ with old friends.”
The PHS Alumni Dance is $10 per-person and includes music, dancing, pizza, coffee and raffles. Those planning to attend are invited to bring beverages and snacks. Dress is informal. Tickets are available at the door.
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-- Press Release