The Germantown ’76 Reunion proved after 35 years these 50-something year old alums are moving forward.
With their graduating class theme “Stepping into Tomorrow” more than 100 of the 800-member class gathered at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Ballroom on City Avenue on Saturday.
After the three-hour banquet they were joined by dozens of other Germantown graduates for an “All-Alumni Party” that had them dancing well after 1 a.m.
For the Germantown ’76 Reunion Committee the gala was a success. It’s been something that they have coordinated every five years since 1988 when they held their first “10 plus Two” reunion.
Committee members are Marlene Bailey, Stephen Kinsey, Darlene Roberson, and Marcia Willis, who all still reside in the Northwest Philadelphia area.
“I heard about the reunion on the radio,” said Marcella Williams of Northeast Philadelphia.
Michael Harris of Southwest Philadelphia said he’s been to at least four of the class reunions and plans “to continue to give our class shout outs” on the airwaves.
“This is my first time being here and it feels great,” said Sandra Derry of Germantown. “Since I never left Germantown I do see a lot of the class all the time. But, I think this is needed to see those faces that you will never forget.”
For Nadene Edwards Parlow of Germantown attending the gala reminded her of the talented and gifted programs at her alma mater. Harry Hall, also of Germantown, shared memories of playing on the Cougars football team and later meeting and marrying his wife Helene. She is a member of the Germantown Class of 1974 and had a brother who played alongside her husband of 24 years.
“I knew I had to be here because in another five years when the class turns 40 I may not be here,” said Harry Hall. “I am now disabled and you just don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I’m just glad to be here.”
During the brief awards ceremony many were honored. Prizes were given to the alumni who traveled the greatest distance. “Minnesota Joe” and Cheryl Ray of Atlanta walked away with these accolades. Members of the class who are members of the clergy were also recognized.
On a more somber note, there were 36 members of the class who had passed and were listed in the program. After lighting of white candles in their honor audience members called out the names of three additional classmates who died recently. Prayers were then offered up for the deceased alumni.
The sponsors the 1976 reunion gala included businesses owned by alumni and other supporters. They included Northwest Futures PAC, the Green Thing, Executive Event Planners, “She’s My Lady” recording artists Sirenity, Emmanuel Johnson Funeral Home, Clark’s Tires, Jim and Rita’s Fine Cuisine, J&K Roofing LLC, and Senior Helpers.
In addition, Lubels House of Learning Christian Academy, Moody & Shields Group LLC, Silk Designs by Toni, Crosswalk International, evangelist Deborah Murphy, and Derrick Wade. Furthermore, Expert Exterminating, Images by Robert, and Germantown Class of ’76 alumnus actress and singer Joilet F. Harris were sponsors.