(Posted May 18, 2022)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
A new alumni group is planning its first banquet for this fall.
The MPHS Alumni Association was formed in 2019 with Madison-Plains High School graduates in mind. The group is the outgrowth of what started several years ago as some Class of 1981 graduates getting together periodically for lunch.
“We would set a time, day and place, and you never knew how many were going to show up,” said Judy Gallimore who, with her fellow graduate, George Kirk, helps to organize not only the lunches but also the formal Class of 1981 reunions.
They got to talking about how it would be nice to reunite with graduates from other classes, too. The idea of holding a big shindig for graduates of all classes (1972 to present) entered the conversation. As they were looking into possibilities, they discovered no alumni group existed for Madison-Plains High School.
While there have been alumni groups for the schools that existed prior to the school district’s consolidation, there hasn’t been a group dedicated strictly to Madison-Plains graduates. So, with help from his classmates, Kirk decided to form one.
The paperwork to formalize the new association was finalized in October 2019. Kirk created a Facebook page (“MPHS All Class Reunion Group”) to spread the word. In less than two weeks, the page had 2,000 followers.
“It blew up real quick. We have over 2,600 now,” Kirk said.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020 put a hold on the new association’s plans for a banquet. Those plans are back on now.
The MPHS Alumni Association will hold its first banquet on Sept. 17 in the Della Selsor Building at the Madison County Fairgrounds in London. The evening will include dinner, information about the new association’s focus and goals, and special recognition of the Class of 1972 which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Teachers and military personnel also will be recognized. All Madison-Plains graduates are invited to attend. Ticket information will be available soon.
“The more this keeps going on, the more I get excited about it,” Kirk said.
In addition to holding an annual banquet, the group is dedicated to awarding scholarships to Madison-Plains graduates. They awarded one in 2021 and another this year. They also hope to participate in an annual community service project that benefits children.
To fund the scholarships and cover costs for the banquets, the association is offering memberships. The cost is $50 for an annual membership or $500 for a lifetime membership.
As they continue to work on plans for this year’s inaugural banquet, the group is asking that organizers for each class year’s reunions share their contact information so they can spread the word about the new association and banquet.
Class contact info can be shared via the association’s Facebook page. Anyone with questions about the new association or interest in memberships can contact organizers via the Facebook page.
George Kirk (Class of 1981) serves as president. Gallimore (Class of 1981) is treasurer. Ginny (Spears) Johnson (Class of 1983) is secretary. Other board members include John Kirk (Class of 1983), Robin (Perry) Dunlap (Class of 1983), Toni (Whited) Daniels (Class of 1978), and Mary (Snyder) Gilkerson (Class of 1980). Tim Wilson (Class of 1983) also was instrumental in getting the association started.