Welcoming Remarks on the Occasion of Reunion'99

Good evening everyone:

I would like to welcome you all to the reunion. The one that we thought would never, ever happen! My name is Lewis Meyerson, I graduated in 1972, part of the last graduating class of Cherry Lawn School. I am the President of the Cherry Lawn Reunion'99 committee. When I was asked to serve as President, I distinctly remember being promised an intern as incentive, well, that never happened!

It is obvious from the huge number of people who responded to our fundraiser for the plaque, and attendance tonight at this banquet, Cherry Lawn was, and still is, a big part of our lives. Without the considerable time commitment, and sustained, laborious efforts of our committee, this reunion simply couldn't have happened. They should all be commended for the hundreds of hours of work they have contributed to this undertaking. Let me introduce them:

Our VP, give him a task and he's off to the races! He gets things done, cuts right to the bottom line. You've got to have someone like him on your committee. He pulls no punches and tells it like it is, or how it should be, or how he thinks it should be. Never a dull moment with him around. "The world according to Mike!!!!!" The Bulldozer, Michael Manners, '72'.

Our treasurer, She took on what turned out to be one of the toughest and most time consuming tasks of all. I think if she had known then what she knows now, she would have run screaming in the opposite direction when we approached her. To be honest, we didn't know how tough her job would turn out to be either. She got on the committee by telling Mike, "If you have something I can do to help, I don't care what it is, I'll do it!" That was an offer we just couldn't refuse! We would get updates on a daily basis, whether we wanted them or not. Detailed lists of who had sent funds for the web page, the plaque, the reunion, and a running tally of all incidental costs incurred. She kept us awake and laughing throughout. She was constantly questioning us. "Is this a necessary expense? Does anyone remember what we decided? What was the name of that person who said this or that?" There was no question she didn't address, no issue that she didn't have a question, or 12 questions about. No issue arose where she didn't voice her opinion, or 12 opinions... Sylvia Gabe,'73'.

Our Secretary: She was like our English teacher, always correcting our emails. If we needed anything written, from the original fundraiser letter to the reunion announcement, to the confirmation letter, she was there for us. She wrote some of the longest emails you have ever seen!! I would print the mail, bring them home, start to read them, fall asleep and pick it up the next night to finish it. She should get a new job because she is probably going to be fired for spending most of her time on this reunion and neglecting her work. And as she put it so eloquently, "Can't anybody here spell worth a damn??????" Laura Schoen, '69'.

Our artist extraordinaire, He was the one who stepped up to the plate to create a design for the bronze memorial plaque. Handled it from beginning to end. Going to the foundries, making the wax molds, redesigning when necessary. He was also involved in the mug and acrylic plaque design. He has this one little flaw though. He's got this weird "hangup" about the phone, he won't use the damn thing. Hey Peter it's almost the year 2000, the phone won't hurt you, it's been perfected...Petros Phobias Petros... Peter Lewis, '71'.

Our Jill of all trades, She jumped in where no one else dared to, mailing the letters, buying the postage, making the name tags. She used all the resources at her disposal to make this happen. Another case of volunteering to do anything that was needed, regardless of what it was. She's sometimes like the children's book, Where's Waldo. Where's Hope? Anybody heard from Hope this week?, this month?, this decade? ... Hope Americo Tinsley, '71'.

Our Conscience, If it wasn't for this man none of us would be here tonight. He spent 4 years getting his baby (the web site) up and running. He started with 25 names and addresses, and it has grown to over 400. It is still growing at a steady clip. He kept us grounded when we were tearing our hair and each others hair out. His calming influence kept us focused on the final goal of pulling off the reunion of a lifetime. The web master and eminence internet guru himself, Stu Varden, '56'.

And finally your toastmaster, Here's a guy soooo laid back he should be living in the Rocky's somewhere. He would reach out and find 25 people and forget who lived where. He's also a little like Waldo!! He'd fade in and out depending on what was going on in his life at the time. A surprise wedding, his traveling, his mortgage business but he was always out in front trying to pull off the reunion of the century. Who else could we get as the front man for this party, someone who feels comfortable in the spotlight. Your toast master for tonight and tomorrow morning...George Clarke, '68'.

Lew Meyerson, '72'
President, CLS Alumni Association