More than 200 people turned out for the 46th annual Zephyrhills High School Alumni, Teachers & Friends Reunion on June 26, according to Clereen Morrill Brunty, one of the organizers.
The event was at the Zephyrhills Lions Club, 5827 Dean Dairy Road.
Anyone who attended or worked at a school in Zephyrhills, from elementary through high school, was welcome — and their families were there, too.
The event featured a covered-dish luncheon, with participants bringing a dish to share.
Zephyrhills Mayor Gene Whitfield did the honors of leading the Pledge of Allegiance at the gathering.
The event began with registration at 11 a.m., followed by a covered dish luncheon at 1 p.m., and announcements and recognitions at 2 p.m.
The youngest and oldest alumni present were Casey Harrison, a member of the Class of 2016, and Bernice (Curtis) Rooks, a member of the Class of 1940. Rooks also is a retired Zephyrhills teacher.
JoAnne (Hile) Randall, a member of the Class of 1972, made the longest trip to attend the reunion. She traveled all of the way from Salem, Oregon.
The King family won the bragging rights for turning out in the greatest number. Thirteen of them joined in the festivities.
“It’s always the last Sunday in June,” said Brunty.
There’s no admission, but donations are accepted to defray the expenses of renting the hall, table service, iced tea and other incidentals, said Brunty, who has been involved with the event for about 30 years.
The event has been held at various locales over the years, Brunty said, noting it has been at the Lions Club for the past 15 years.
The reunion committee was made up of Jerry Pricher, president, class of 1969; Lenora (Pollock) Stokes, vice president, class of 1969; Clereen (Morrill) Brunty, secretary and treasurer, class of 1973; Lisa (Bruce) Cooksey, historian, class of 1986; Gail Fisher and crew, kitchen chair; Nancy Lail, scholarship chair, class of 1974; and, Cynthia Craig, 50/50 chair. Brunty also is chair of the registration committee and the alumni contact.
The event gives alumni a chance to mingle with old friends and introduce their families to their former classmates, Brunty said.
Delaney Copeland, of the Class of 2016, also received the Community and Alumni Providing Scholarship, in the amount of $500. The number and amount of scholarships vary from year to year based on donations that are received to support the scholarships, Brunty said.
Another special event took place the previous day at Zephyr Park, when Ron Cherry, a retired teacher and administrator at Zephyrhills High, was surprised by the dedication of a park bench in his honor near the park’s tennis courts.
Planning for the surprise has been going on for a couple of years, Brunty said. “And, he still didn’t know anything about it.”
“There was about 50 people,” Brunty said, including past and present teachers.
He was clearly touched by the honor, she said.
The family said “they’d rather give him something while he’s alive … Why do it in the memory of somebody? Do it in the honor of somebody.”
Published July 6, 2016