By BRENNA KNOWLES
Of the Baker City Herald
Internet sites and dedicated classmates are helping reunion committees contact alumni and plan activities for Baker High School reunions this summer.
Two reunions are planned for Miners Jubilee weekend. The class of 1951 will meet July 20-22. The class of 1991 will meet July 20-21.
Stephanie Elms was the 1991 senior class president and is helping organize the reunion for her class. She said two web sites, www.highschoolalumni.com and www.classmates.com, have helped her committee locate their class members.
Elms said she and her reunion committee are keeping things simple. Alumni will meet at the downtown events of the Jubilee on Friday. Saturday after the parade they will enjoy a picnic in Wade Williams Park. Saturday evening a dinner is being held at the Community Connection of Baker County senior center. Elms estimated 75 class members and their spouses will attend.
Elms said a successful reunion includes a group of classmates who are interested in getting together and an organized committee to get the word out.
The way I would recommend organizing a reunion is using the web sites, she said. Its really the easiest way. Most people have access to the Internet through their home, work or library and it is a lot easier than folding letters and paying postage.
We even found people who went to school with us but didnt graduate with the class because they moved or other reasons and theyre coming, too.
Elms said on the high school alumni site, alumni register their state, city, high school and year. Elms said her committee even contacted foreign exchange alumni from England and Germany through the site.
Elms was a member of the Baker High School tennis, basketball and volleyball teams as well as the Lettermans Club and Honor Society. She now works for Sunfire Real Estate and coaches basketball and tennis for the Baker Middle School.
Class of 1951
Anne Whiteley said 1951 graduates of Baker High school as well as graduates from the St. Francis Academy will also meet during Jubilee weekend. Their banquet will be held at the Geiser Grand Hotel and Restaurant. Whiteley expects 70 to 80 alumni will attend from Oregon, Idaho, Washington and California.
Alumni from the class of 1951 will ride on a float in the Miners Jubilee parade.
Whiteley said the reunion committee that she is involved with uses letters instead of the internet to keep track of everybody.
Sometimes we have to do some hunting but not many have computers and letters add a personal touch, Whiteley said.
Whiteley is now retired after working in retail. In high school she participated in the glee club, speech and drama.
Class of 1981
The class of 1981 gathered June 29-30. Class member Julie Bailey said the organization committee, led by Karen Phillips, used the web site classmates.com to find their group as well as people searches through the excite and yahoo web sites.
Bailey said her class members were encouraged to register on the site to help for future reunions. She said registration on the site is free.
Bailey said Nels Dielman, who now lives in Los Angeles and works as a graphic artist, took over 500 pictures at the reunion. The pictures are online at the classmates site for alumni to enjoy.
The pictures were a follow up we hadnt anticipated, Bailey said. I am e mailing people who I met at the reunion, who I never spoke to in high school. Weve all grown up and we are nice people now.
Nearly 250 classmates, spouses and children attended the two day event which included an evening at the Geiser Grand Restaurant and Hotel and a barbecue at a private home.
Alumni came from Tennessee, Utah, South Dakota, Washington, Oregon and Virginia.
Bailey said alumni stayed at the Best Western Sunridge Inn and the Super 8 Motel for discounted reunion rates.
Awards were presented at the barbecue. Bailey received the least changed award, Billie Hutton was most changed, Clay Brown traveled the farthest, Allen Davis had the most children and Steve Nichols received the longest married award.
Bailey said her class members received a reunion book, full of biographical information, current pictures and addresses. The book was printed at the Union-Baker Education Service District.
Class of 1966
The class of 1966 gathered July 13-14. Members met at the Sunridge Inn on Friday night and went golfing Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon, alumni drove the Elkhorn Scenic Byway.
Reunion registrar George Haight said 100 spouses and guests attended. The organizing committee used internet searches, letters and phone calls to reach their classmates. Alumni stayed at the Sunridge Inn for a discounted rate. Jeanne Hasher Talich from Clemmons, NC traveled the farthest.
Haight said the reunion committee chose golfing and the Elkhorn Scenic Byway drive because, over structuring group activities seemed not to fit the relaxed atmosphere of Baker.
More information for the class reunion of 1991 is available from Stephanie Elms at 523-2251. Those interested in the 1951 class reunion can contact Jewel Pilcher at 523-4825 or Anne Whiteley at 523-7977.