This year’s Hebron High School and Thayer Central Alumni Banquet, an annual tradition recorded as early as 1889 for all graduated seniors, has been canceled because of concerns with the coronavirus.
“Even if social distancing is lifted, attendance would be limited and alumni would still be afraid to travel,” stated the alumni committee. “It was not an easy decision, but because of the virus, it is the right thing to do.”
The committee encourages the honor classes of this year to hold their gatherings in 2021, and attend the banquet, where honor classes for 2020 and 2021 will be celebrated.
The theme this year, “150 Years of Education,” marks 150 years since the first school opened in Hebron in 1870.
The alumni banquet has always been held over Memorial Day weekend, and on Sunday until 2015 when a group of graduates requested the banquet be changed to Saturday evening. In 2016, the Stastny Community Center was the scene of the annual banquet.
Attendance used to be a priority with more than 200 people at the 2007 event.
That number has dwindled, and now, the committee hopes 135 people will attend and considers more a bonus.
Entertainment in the past has included a comedian/magician, ventriloquist, skits and music performances. A big draw was after the banquet, alumni headed to the Legion Hall for a live band and dance, and to mingle with their class and others.
The honor classes had speakers, one for each class. That was discontinued in 2011, however, the honor students are still recognized each year. The committee assembled highlights and photographs from each honor class for power point presentations.
Alumni newsletters, scheduled to be mailed soon, have kept past and current graduates informed via volunteers.
“It gets difficult to keep up with changing addresses and contact information, but volunteers do a good job,” Yvonne Long of the committee, said. “Every newsletter has business sponsors, which enables the printing and mailing of the newsletters. If not for their support, we would not be able to have it.”
Also on the committee are Connie Rizek OHanlon; Becky Rizek Hergott; De Templin Rizek; Jeremy Wiedel; Tori Widler Hergott; Alice Baden; Jeanette Wiedel Else; Karen Becker; Nancy Day Elting; and Susie Timmerman Wiedel.