Every five years the students who attended the former Childress High School, located just north of Monette, gather in an all class reunion. The 2002 reunion was held on Aug. 31 at the Buffalo Island Central Elementary in Monette.
Festivities began at 10 a.m. with a luncheon and fellowship in the school cafeteria. Tables of sandwiches, chips, cookies, finger foods and soft drinks were served.
Individual classrooms were numbered, according to class years, so that friends would have a private place to gather and visit. Class photos were taken on stage, using the large Childress High School billboard size photo, for a backdrop. Danny and Ann Nuckles designed and constructed the backdrop, which was accented by long red, white and blue drapes along each side.
The 1997 CHS Reunion video, taken by Nan Snider, was played on a big screen television.
Volume five of the Childress High School Yearbook, were on sale in the lobby. This year's 85 page book contained 52 old photographs. Known names, addresses and phone numbers of former CHS classmates, teachers, superintendents, secretaries, principals, school board members, cooks and custodians and bus drivers plus were contained in the book Devane Baldridge served as the 2002 CHS reunion chairman, with Raye Craig Finley serving as reunion treasurer.
A well-rounded ham and roast beef banquet meal and complete salad bar was served for the evening meal, beginning at 6 p.m. BIC FBLA members, under the direction of advisor Monda Hutchison worked as servers, greeters, and sound technician, during the meal and program that followed.
The evening banquet began at 7 p.m. The banquet hall was decorated with colorful table coverings with flags. Flag stands were made by Devane Baldridge, from school study hall lumber obtained from the old CHS High School building.
Roy Glenn Harrell served as master of ceremonies. Presentation of the colors and pledge was led by Larry Drummond, American Legion Post Commander, with Bill Craig and Bob Hout presented the American and Arkansas flags.
Raye Finley reviewed the 1997 through 2002 reunion treasury report. Fifteen CHS scholarships have been given to graduating seniors, who are direct descendants of a Childress student. All seniors are eligible, regardless of where they graduate.
Ernestine Harrell gave an update on the Monette antique street light, which has been placed on the northwest corner of the downtown stop light, where Highway 18/Highway 139 meet. The light plackard reads, "In memory of CHS classmates and teachers."
Clyann Ellis awarded recognition and special awards. Lillburn Taylor and Era Clyatt Swetnam won the longevity awards, being the oldest Childress resident present and the oldest CHS graduate present. Other awards included, oldest teacher, Vauna Fryer Clark, traveled the farthest, Tressie Ladd Williams, person wearing the most hats, Devane Baldridge, and an
appreciation award for Raye Craig Finley for keeping the reunion going. Each person recognized received gold eagle (the CHS mascot) commemorative trophies.
William Piercy presented a candle light memorial service, for deceased classmates.
Special entertainment for the evening included: Casey Bibb Hammond, Jordan Miller and the "Poodle-ettes," which consisted of dancers Raye Finley, Pat Hawkins, Ann Nuckles and Louise Robertson.
Bill Harrell served as auctioneer to raise money to increase the annual CHS scholarship to $500. Harrell auctioned off golden eagle trophies, two ceiling lights from the old CHS library, and flags on stands from CHS school wood. Those making purchases were very generous. A special box was also passed around for additional scholarship donations.
Terry Parnell was recognized in appreciation for his establishing and maintaining the CHS webpage: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Pantheon...
Roy Glenn Harrell, Raye Finley and Nan Snider led the group in singing the school Alma Mater, at the close of the program. Special recognition was given to Barbara Hinson, the writer of the school Alma Mater.
The next reunion is planned for the year 2007.