Fun begins Thursday, October 3; continues through Sunday, October 6
by Carrie Steinweg
LANSING, Ill. (October 1, 2019) – Members of the Thornton Fractional South Class of 1969 will commemorate 50 years of friendship at a banquet Saturday night at Villa Cesare in Schererville, Indiana.
A number of other reunion activities are scheduled for classmates to enjoy, including an architectural boat tour of Chicago on Thursday. “Friday is a triple-fun day with a morning golf outing and afternoon tour of TF South—some members may break out into cheering ‘Ooh, aah, who’s the best? T – T – F – S!’—followed by a pre-reunion gathering at Lencioni’s Pub in Lynwood with music by our very own classmates’ rock band, Lake Effect,” said reunion committee member Marilyn Rea Beyer.
Saturday will kick off with a self-guided Magical Mystery Tour of Lansing starting at the Lansing Historical Society located in the Lansing Public Library.
“Celebrations continue into Sunday morning at Lan-Oak Lanes for the Grade Skool Bowl-er-ama farewell event to evoke all the best memories of childhood in Lansing,” added Beyer.
“The class remembers Cheryl Ridder Woldhuis as relentlessly positive and energetic. Things haven’t changed much as she has led the charge toward the reunion for an entire year chairing the reunion committee,” said Beyer. The 19 reunion committee members come from all over the country and beyond, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas, California, and Ontario, Canada. Nine of the committee members still reside in the Calumet region.
Lansing Chamber of Commerce Treasurer Carolyn “Inky” White Scofield has hosted most of the meetings at her business, Water’s Edge Gift, Garden & Pond Center on Wentworth Avenue.
“More than 100 classmates and 50-plus spouses and guests will enjoy dinner, share lots of poignant and hilarious memories, and hit the dance floor as a DJ cues up favorite tunes from a playlist compiled from their requests,” said Beyer. “At the banquet, we will thank our classmates who have served in the military. We will also remember those who we lost, on an ‘In Memoriam’ board.”
Beyer said there will be golf awards and prizes for completing the Magical Mystery Tour of Lansing that will be handed out “with good humor” at the banquet.
“For reasons that remain murky, the Class of ’69 class gift to TF South never materialized. So there will be a 50/50 raffle at the banquet to fund a class gift,” Beyer explained. “The committee has managed its finances tightly and will pass along any leftover funds to the class gift as well, in addition to profits from reunion T-shirt and sweatshirt sales.”
“The enthusiasm for getting together was sparked 10 years ago after our hugely successful 40th reunion, and it’s just continued since then,” said Woldhuis.
Informal annual gatherings, a class-wide 60th birthday party, and social media have kept the group connected. “The class solidarity has been cemented, in large part, by a monthly newsletter, ‘The Life & Times of the Rebels of ’69,’ which comes complete with stories, photos, and news of class members,” said Beyer.
“Our counselors and teachers said even at the time that we seemed especially ‘together’ as a class,” Woldhuis shared.
Beyer noted how unique it is that a high school class keeps up with a continuing monthly newsletter. “At one committee meeting this summer, the planners paused to reflect that such class spirit is unusual, if not one-of-a-kind,” she added.
“Everyone gathered Villa Cesare on Saturday night will be saying what everybody in Lansing knew 50 years ago, ‘We are mellow, we are fine. We’re the class of ’69!’” said Beyer.
TF South High School is located at 18500 Burnham Avenue in Lansing, Illinois. Details about the Class of ’69 50th Reunion activities can be found at the class website: tfsclassof69.weebly.com/.