Friday evening, July 19, alumni of 27 graduating classes of Ellicottville Central School gathered at Tannenbaum Lodge at Holiday Valley for their annual class reunions.
The event was well attended by 141 alumni from the one-year (2013) class to 70-year (1943) classes, as well as family members who attended the combined alumni reunion banquet. Classes are given special recognition each five years.
Alumni came from all over the country to attend this rite of renewal. Hugs and exclamations filled the room as everyone enjoyed the opportunity to get together, reminisce about old times and catch up on what they are doing.
“I am so grateful to be able to come. It is wonderful to see old friends again from Ellicottville Central High School. I’m having a wonderful time,” said Ann Eysaman, a 70-year alumna who has been a highly respected member of the Ellicottville community all her life.
“The classes are so small everybody gets to know everybody. That’s the glue that makes it as successful as it is,” said Pete Widger, class of 1955.
Officers of the Alumni Association are John Burrell, president; Nancy Rogan, vice president; Margaret Eysaman O’Brien, secretary; Pete Widger, treasurer; and Nancy Adams Brown, historian.
Yearbooks for each year, starting with 1940, were displayed as part of the ECS Alumni Association’s hard work to make it a memorable evening
“We like everyone to come because we have friends in classes ahead of and behind us,” said Steve Crowley.
President John Burrell, class of 1963, presented a check to the Alumni Association Treasurer Pete Widger for $2,150 from members of the 1963 graduating class. Twenty-six members of the class were present. Photographs were displayed in memoriam to the 10 class members who have passed.
This year’s Alumni Association Scholarships of $300 were presented by one of last year’s winners, Connor Hellwig, to Shannon Wilson and William Murphy. The scholarship is based upon the student being academically motivated, pursuing further education, having good character and most importantly, community involvement.
Shannon Wilson graduated fourth in her class and will be attending D’Youville College majoring in dietetics. William Murphy, president of the class of 2013 and star football player, will be attending Jamestown Community College this fall majoring in engineering.
“It is nice to be recognized by such a prestigious group from the community and school,” said Will.
Each year as the scholarship fund grows, so does the dollar amount of the scholarships. Anyone wishing to contribute to the Alumni Association Scholarships is encouraged to do so by contacting John Burrell.
“I feel bad so many of my class are gone,” said Jo Milligan, member of the class of 1943, now living in Silver Creek, “but it is good to be here and renew old friendships.”