Manila alumni vote to meet every year

Thursday, June 5, 2008
Roxie Smith Clark, Benetta Rayder Gilbert, Linda Edwards Hackworth and Marti Ellis Fleeman, members of the Class of 1955, enjoyed the 2008 reunion and sharing their memories of Manila High School.

Members of the Manila Alumni Association, by a large majority vote, decided to continue holding a reunion on an annual basis.

Vada Atkins, committee member, welcomed everyone and conducted a short business meeting before the banquet held at the Manila Airport Center on Saturday, May 24.

She thanked all of the committee members who help with the reunion, encouraging others to become committee members for future reunions.

Members of the Class of 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941 and 1942, were the earliest graduates of MHS attending the 2008 reunion.

"If it was not for our committee members, we would not be here," Atkins said. "They work hard all year."

Adkins said the Alumni Association was able to give three $500 scholarships.

"Each year a part of the dues are used for scholarships and to a student aid fund to assist with the needs of students attending Manila Public Schools," Adkins said. "This year we were able to give $1,500 to the student aid fund. We have a group of teachers who oversee the distribution of the money.

She introduced Ann Wells, former Manila graduate and high school teacher, to report on the student fund.

"I want to thank you for the fund," Wells said. "It helps a lot of young people throughout the year. They are very grateful. We make sure all kids have the money to go on class trips. This year we also helped with two funerals, and two students whose homes were destroyed by a tornado. We helped one student go to the dentist. We replace shoes and provide coats and sweaters when needed. These kids are very appreciative of what you do. It is a pleasure for me to serve on the committee and it is a good thing you do for these students."

Manila High School Class of 1948 celebrated their 60th anniversary reunion on Friday, May 23, at Ryan's Steakhouse in Jonesboro. Pictured are, from left: front - Freda Gaye (Wagner) Gray, Zetta (Jackson) White, Waunell (Vastbinder) Walton, and Betty (Williams) Walker. Back - Joe Reed Threlkeld, Virginia (Fleeman) Burgett, Paul Dean Davis, Madeline (Bourland) Huff, Ruby (Sales) Rayder, and Kenneth Gammill. (photo provided)

Calvnita Halfacre, Nina Malloy, Joann Bennett and Louise Williams decorated the community center.

Approximately 165 people attended the reunion from several states including Texas, Alabama, and California.

Dinner was prepared by a former Manila graduate and teacher, Dale Poag. The Manila cheerleaders served for the banquet.

The community center was open throughout the day for people to visit and reminisce.

Among the earliest graduates attending the reunion were Lucille McCann, Class of 1938; Omega Decker, Class of 1939; Janella Caraway, Class of 1940; and Jewell White, Class of 1942.

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