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WANTED: Friendship Stories

Which friendships from Orrville High have you held fast to over the years? What are your most cherished memories of a friend or group of friends from Orrville High?

The theme of the Saturday evening program at the OHS Alumni Reunion Weekend (June 25-27, 2010) is Hold Fast to Friendships Made Here and we’re going to tell the stories that OHS Alumni send us about the most memorable friendships from their high school years. We want your story – inspirational, humorous, or poignant – about those special friendships that make your high school memories so sweet.

You can send them to the OHS Alumni Association via email to orrvillehsalumni@gmail.com or via postal mail to PO Box 422, Orrville, OH 44667.

Please submit your story by April 1, 2010. Then be sure to plan to attend the program on Saturday, June 26, to hear these stories read and share in the fun of remembering those great high school friendships.

Orrville High Sweethearts – Still Sweet

True love is a rare thing, but Orrville High School sweethearts are proof that first love can last a lifetime.

“Our first date was to the Orrville High School Christmas Dance in 1959,” reminisced Vicki Wolgamot Dreher, OHS Class of 1962. “I thought Don was so cute and he says he thought I was HOT. Today we still think the same way.”

Orrville school children did not used to begin kindergarten with their class and stay together through senior year like they do today. Orrville alumni had a different experience. Students attended their neighborhood elementary school and did not connect with their full class until entering Junior High in the seventh grade.

“Our marriage goes to prove that a kid from Maple can marry a kid from Oak,” stated Dave Tibbitts, OHS Class of 1976 who married Linda Liddle, OHS Class of 1977.

Red Riders are naturally drawn to high school sporting events as the venue for a first date. Steve Tschiegg, OHS Class of 1984 and Stacie Schmidt, OHS Class of 1985 attended a Red Rider Basketball Tournament game in Canton for their first date in 1983.

“Stacie and I have lived the best life one could ever hope for…and after nearly 30 years we still have the same feeling we had when we first met,” remarked Tschiegg.

Young alumni continue to prove that high school romance is more than a fleeting flame.

“We are so excited about our growing family and all the memories we are making,” shared Amanda Galehouse Richardson, OHS ’03 who married her high school sweetheart, Aaron Richardson, OHS ’02.

“No matter where we are or what we are doing, when we think of one another it makes us happy.” stated Maria Rhinehart, OHS ’02. Rhinehart is engaged to be married to Craig Hostetler, OHS ’05 in August.

At the Orrville High School Alumni Reunion in 2000, Kevin Landers, OHS ’74 and Beth Scott Moomaw, OH ’73 renewed their friendship. Although they had not seen each other in over 26 years they enjoyed a moment together painting the bridge at the downtown street party.

Following the reunion they began to exchange emails and phone calls. Landers was currently living in Wisconsin and made several trips back to Orrville to visit family and Beth.

On March 3, 2001, Kevin and Beth were married.

“Fate may have brought us together, but there is a very good chance it wouldn’t have happened if the Reunion hadn’t taken place,” remarked Landers. “Thank goodness for that weekend!”

The next OHS Alumni Reunion Weekend will be held this summer, June 25-27. Visit http://www.orrvillealumni.com/ to view the Schedule of Events and to register. There is no charge to register for the reunion. Just let us know you plan to attend.

Perhaps this summer is your chance to renew an old flame or ignite a new one.

Guess who was the first to register for the Reunion?

The spirit that alumni found at Orrville High School returns June 25-27 at the Old OHS Forever Alumni Reunion Weekend. Registration began Jan 25 and will continue through June 20.

“I am excited to attend the reunion,” commented Chris Henricksen, OHS Class of 1990. “I have been “reuniting” with former Orrville classmates on Facebook.”

Henricksen was the very first person to register for the reunion. This summer will mark 20 years since his graduation from Orrville High School.

Henricksen currently teaches fourth and fifth grade science at Mark Twain Elementary in Westerville, OH and serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Education at Capital University.

Pictured here with wife Amy, son Benjamin, 21 months and daughter Madeline, age 5.

An important change from previous reunion weekends is the elimination of the registration fee. “There is no charge to register for the reunion as there was in 2000 and 2005,” stated Lori Reinbolt, reunion coordinator.

“It is important for all alumni planning to attend to register so that plans can be made to accommodate everyone, “reminded Reinbolt.

An impressive schedule of events has been planned for Alumni Reunion Weekend including an alumni football game complete with cheerleaders, marching band and majorettes. A tennis mixer and sports memorabilia displays.

Downtown street party includes a variety of food vendors, and live music by Special Request, featuring OHS grad Chris Conway and Downforce, featuring OHS grad Will Armentrout. A fun new addition to the party will be a review of high school fads and fashions hosted by OHS grad, “Keith Kennedy” from WKDD radio and a Corn Hole Tournament.

“Hold Fast to Friendships Made Here” will be the theme to the Sat night show and pay tribute to cherished high school friends. The very popular downtown Block Party and Beer Garden will return to W Market on Sat evening.

A Sunday morning ecumenical worship service will once again conclude the weekend events.

Several new activities have been added to the schedule this year including an Alumni Luncheon where the Outstanding OHS Alumni Awards will be presented, Alumni Baseball game to be played at Fleet Brenneman Field, a Visual Art Exhibit featuring alumni artists, open houses at the old and new Orrville school buildings and the Orrville Rotary Club will offer a Pancake Breakfast at the high school on Sat morning.

The Old OHS Forever Alumni Reunion Weekend is being coordinated by the Orrville High School Alumni Association. Registration form and a complete schedule of events can be found at http://www.orrvillealumni.com/.

The Reunion Planning Committee still needs volunteers. To get involved or to request additional information contact orrvillehsalumni@gmail.com.

Seeking Nominations for Outstanding Alumni

The Orrville High School Alumni Association requests nominations for the 2010 Outstanding Alumni Awards.

Outstanding Alumni Awards have been presented bi-annually to recognize the accomplishments of Orrville High School graduates. Past recipients were: Alan Auble, Nancy Brest, Pete Curie, Ellis Fields, John Kropf, Pat Lorson, Darlene Morrision, Louis Prechtel, Jenni Reusser, Paul Seifried, Bob Shonk, Kent Smith, Tim Smucker, Howard Wade, and Tony Yonto.

This year, the award will officially be presented by the newly established Orrville High School Alumni Association at a special luncheon to be held on June 25 in conjunction with the Old OHS Forever Alumni Reunion Weekend.

Nominees must be graduates of Orrville High School, but do not need to currently reside locally. Award recipients will be evaluated based on a lifetime of excellence, accomplishments and recognition in their careers, communities and/or for their continuing contributions to the Orrville City School District.

Nomination forms are available here or may be picked up at Heartland Point. Forms and a letter of support must be submitted by April 1 to the OHS Alumni Association, PO Box 422, Orrville.

The Orrville High School Alumni Association strives to support the strategic plan of the Orrville City Schools; preserve historical school records and memorabilia; maintain an alumni database; provide channels of communication among alumni; and coordinate events that serve to connect and engage the alumni of Orrville High School.

Make a reservation for the Orrville High School Alumni Awards Luncheon or the 2010 Orrville High School Alumni Reunion Weekend (June 25-27).

Young Alumna Builds a Bridge

An energetic, extremely busy college senior jumped on the opportunity to combine a graduation requirement with community involvement in her hometown.

Halle Runion, 2006 graduate of Orrville High School, immediately saw a beneficial partnership between her required senior project at The University of Cincinnati and the 2010 Orrville High School Alumni Reunion.

“It was perfect timing. I had already committed to chairing a committee for the 2010 [OHS Alumni] reunion and it seemed like an experience that would also work well for my senior project” explained Runion.

This is not the first time Orrville provided Runion with an educational opportunity. In the spring of 2009, she interned with the Orrville Historical Society focusing on developing programming at the Smith Orr Homestead.

“Everyone in my family is involved [in Orrville” stated Runion. “It just seems natural for me to give something back.”

In addition to serving as the event chair for the Joy and Memories SWEET Block Party that will be held from 9pm – 1am on Sat, June 26, Runion will also be researching ways to use emerging social media technology to attract the attention of young alums with the hope of increasing the number that attend the reunion.

Runion defines “young alumni” as those who graduated from high school in the last 15 years (1996 – 2010).

“As college students and young professionals the reunion is a perfect networking opportunity.” stated Runion. “Not only can it help you reconnect with classmates, but with older alumni who may be in the position to hire you.”

Connecting with younger alums requires the OHS Alumni Association to meet them where they are. OHSAA already has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and You Tube. Email communication, increased website traffic and online event registration have already saved the OHSAA thousands of dollars in printing and mailing costs.

“I welcomed Halle’s involvement as a young alumna on Reunion Planning Committee. This project helps to engage her even more. I value her insights,” stated Lori Reinbolt, OHS Alumni Reunion Weekend Coordinator.

Another aspect of Runion’s project will be to create a trade show type booth display showcasing Red Rider spirit to an audience that is not familiar with Orrville. Runion selected the tradition of painting “the bridge” as the focal point of her display.

“It’s not just about planning a party. I need to be able to demonstrate the pride of Orrville across generations of high school grads.”

While painting “the bridge” is not an activity endorsed by the school, it is something that Runion felt connected Orrville alumni. Regardless of age, memories of painting the bridge are ones that many can vividly recall.

Orrville alumni are encouraged to email pictures and stories about their bridge painting escapades to halle.runion@gmail.com or send them to OHS Alumni, PO Box 422, Orrville, OH, 44667.

Halle Runion, is the daughter of Jack and Linda (Volpe) Runion of Orrville. She will graduate from the University of Cincinnati in June with a Bachelor of Science degree in Facilities and Hospitality Management as well as an Associate Degree in Business Management. Her sights are set on a job in the hospitality industry.

The Orrville High School Alumni Association strives to support the strategic plan of the Orrville City Schools; preserve historical school records and memorabilia; maintain an alumni database; provide channels of communication among alumni; and coordinate events that serve to connect and engage the alumni of Orrville High School.

For more information about the Orrville High School Alumni Association and the 2010 Old OHS Forever Alumni Reunion Weekend visit orrvillealumni.com