Springdale High's all-in reunion returns
When Frank DePoli started to float the idea in 1998 of a Springdale High School reunion for all graduates, regardless of their year of graduation, many said it couldn't be done.
Fifteen years later — and getting ready to host the fourth reunion of its kind — DePoli and fellow members of the Springdale Alumni Association proved the doubters wrong.
“We had our first meeting in February of 1999, and it just grew and grew,” said DePoli, a member of the Class of 1968. “In 2000, we had our first reunion.”
Events for the fourth-ever Springdale All-Class Reunion will take place July 5 and 6.
DePoli said he never thought the reunions, which also took place in 2004 and 2007, would become so popular.
“My wife Suzanne graduated in 1970, so I thought maybe we'd do one for classes from the '60's up to 1970,” he said. “But, then it blossomed into every class.
“I thought we'd probably have one,” he added. “(But) when we first started, I didn't even know if we'd have 100 people.”
The first reunion drew about 1,500 Springdale alumni. DePoli said he expects this reunion to draw about 900 graduates.
DePoli said this year's reunion won't be short on activities.
There will be tours of the high school on Friday, July 5. That night, there will be an icebreaker social at the Springdale Veterans Association.
The reunion takes place the next day from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Syria Shrine in Harmar. DePoli said the actual reunion will be catered by Don's Catering.
DePoli said people from all over the world return for the reunions.
“There was a lady that came from Peru for the last one,” he said. “We've had people from California and all over.
“I'm sure that won't change this year, either.”
Any Springdale graduate, young or old, is welcome to attend the reunion, according to DePoli.
“The school opened in 1927 and had its first graduating class in 1928,” he said. “If anyone from that time is still around and wants to join us, they're more than welcome.
“We do this so people can reconnect with the past,” he said. “When you're in high school you make so many friends and people scatter. This is a way for people to go back and reflect on how things were when they were younger.”
The Springdale Alumni Association was recognized as a nonprofit organization in 2001. The all-class reunions are one of many programs the association helps fund and organize.
DePoli said the association awards seven $1,000 scholarships to Springdale seniors every year.
R.A. Monti is a freelance writer.