With the first annual Community Homecoming now a fond memory, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank so many people for helping make the event such a success.
Congratulations to Dale Kuglin and company for a well-attended and successful BAY Rally on Wednesday. Tornstrom was rocking!
Thank you to the countless Brainerd graduates who were so forthcoming with Warrior memorabilia. The display was magnificent, but wouldn't have been without the cooperation of so many individuals. A special thank you to the Class of 1954 for their contributions of memorabilia from the 1954 state championship basketball team and for helping to staff the display throughout the day on Friday. Thank you to Roger Adair for allowing us the use of the audio reel from the state championship game and to BL Broadcasting for working their magic on the reel and playing it back on Saturday morning so many could relive that wonderful day from 53 years ago.
Friday night was fantastic! The chili feed was a hit! Thanks to Heidi Funk (United Way) and Kevin Thesing (Education, Agriculture and Technology group) for all the work they put into making this possible. Thank you to Colette Pohlkamp and the ISD 181 Food Service staff for preparing the chili. And thanks to Ed Jackson, Jean Volkmuth and the rest of the Washington Educational Services Building crew for set-up, tear-down and everything in between.
Diane Peterson put on one heck of a show! The pep fest was fantastic! There was a tremendous level of energy in that old gymnasium. Young and old were there cheering together and it was so exciting to feel the connections being made. Congratulations to Yibby Knudsen, our eldest alumnus in attendance at the pep fest!
Kathy Johnson and Mary Gottsch should be so proud of the work they did in organizing decade gatherings. We received feedback that each of these gatherings was very well attended and provided a wonderful opportunity for former classmates to reconnect. Thank you to each of the establishments that hosted a decade gathering for your hospitality and to each of the local businesses who served as a button sales site for your generosity.
A hearty thank you to whomever ordered the fabulous weather on Saturday! Who would've guessed it was October? Nancy and Rachel Cross deserve many thanks for the parade that just kept growing and going! The Cross family put much work into helping ensure this parade was a success.
Thank you to Shelley Kennedy for reaching out to all our schools and coordinating their involvement. It was so exciting to see all of those adorable faces marching so proudly and representing their schools! And thank you to the staff and students at each of our district's eight elementary and two secondary schools and to all the businesses, organizations and individuals who chose to participate in the parade - whether it was with a float or just by attending with family. Thank you to Kala Henkensiefken with the district transportation office and Curt Baier at Reichert Bus Service for their work in coordinating transportation for our students to and from the parade.
Thank you to Brian Skogen and the entire Sports Boosters organization for helping make the pre-game party a success. And thank you to each of our vendors for your time and energy. Thanks to Rich Berggren and the BHS Pep Band for a wonderful display of your musical talents and to the BHS Cheer Team for keeping the spirit moving.
The game was nothing short of a prime example of Warrior Pride, including the a cappella alumni led by BHS graduate Andrew Miller, and the halftime events recognizing our eldest alumni. Thank you to Todd Selk for all he did to coordinate the festivities! Thank you to the Sunrise Sertoma group for donating the Warrior hankies and to Noon Sertoma for the display of American flags around the football field. Thank you to the local representatives who made up the color guard and helped us to honor our country during this time of celebration and remembrance.
Thanks to Steve Shellum and the buildings and grounds crew at Brainerd High School for all of their work in, not only preparing the game field for Saturday's event, but also in helping set up for the pre-game party. Thanks to Eryk Haapajoki and the Brainerd Jaycees for their financial support that was put toward use of a sound system for the pre-game festivities.
Thanks to the eight school district employees/musicians for sharing their talent and providing entertainment during the pre-game event.
The beautiful weather held out for the outdoor movie at Central Lakes College. Thanks to Colin Beachy for coordinating the event that provided a fun way to wrap up the day for families. And to Diane Scearcy and CLC staff - thank you so much for joining together and integrating college festivities into the mix. The college and school district have such a wonderful relationship and this was just another example of that.
We are convinced that Steve Augustinack has a twin because he was everywhere filming all aspects of Homecoming week and weekend. And thank you to Dave Henschke and his TV productions crew for also getting out and recording these precious memories on video. It will be fun to sit back and relive it all by watching it on TV in the coming weeks and months.
Thank you to Mike Bialka and all the newsroom staff at the Dispatch for ensuring the tremendous coverage leading up to this weekend. You were instrumental in drawing such attention to the debut of Community Homecoming. Thank you!
Thank you to Nancy Evans for the Web upkeep in promoting Homecoming and for donating Brainonians from so many years to be included in the memorabilia display. They were a hit and helped so many people reconnect to their days at Washington and Brainerd high schools!
Congratulations to Evelyn Matthies, Mary Lou Moudry and all of The Crossing Arts Alliance members for a world-class musical performance by our very own Peggy Kriha-Dye. And, of course, thanks to Peggy for being a part of our first ever Community Homecoming. Thank you to Brian Stubbs and the a cappella choir for being willing to participate in this once in a lifetime event.
And last, but certainly not least, to Superintendent Jerry Walseth: thank you for your vision! Thank you for helping to create the vision of what a Community Homecoming really should be! You had amazing foresight and we appreciate you allowing us to all be a part of making that happen here!
With so many people involved, there's always a danger in singling people out to thank and forgetting someone in the process. If we have failed to mention individuals by name, please understand we appreciate the work and involvement of so many for helping make this first Community Homecoming such a success. Our apologies for not mentioning you by name.
And, finally, thank you to all of you who chose to attend any one of these great events. We are humbled and awed by the outpouring of support and enthusiasm from our community. Planning is already under way for the 2008 Community Homecoming.
JENNY HOLMES AND TODD LYSCIO were the Community Homecoming co-chairs.
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