The 1,100 or so members of the George Washington class of 1978 remember their high school days fondly.
Back then, the tight-knit group had as its symbol, “We’ve got class. The teens conducted food drives, dressed as Santa Claus during visits to nursing homes and children’s hospitals and “adopted” and provided for three needy kids.
“We literally passed the hat in an assembly,” Roger Price recalled.
Graduates have gotten together every five years since then for reunions. One highlight came at the 10-year reunion in 1988, when the grads presented a $10,000 check to Trevor Ferrell, a prominent young homeless-rights activist who used the money to buy a van for his cause.
The class will soon celebrate its 40-year reunion on Saturday, May 5, from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Buck Hotel in Feasterville. Tickets cost $58, and payment is due by April 1.
Reunion information is at GW78cares.org or by calling Roger Price at 267–207–0212. Price, the class president during his sophomore through senior years, is organizing the reunion with the help of Rhonda Dobin-Silver and others.
“We’re pretty excited about it,” Price said.
Price began thinking of making the upcoming reunion extra special when he learned that Joe Brooks, a former football teammate, had hit hard times after a cancer diagnosis.
“He didn’t have two nickels to rub together,” Price said.
Fortunately, Brooks is back on his feet and will be at the reunion.
Still, the grads wanted to help out in some way and learned that another classmate, Jim Hildesheim, had suffered significant injuries when he was hit by a car last year while walking on the shoulder of Route 611 near his home in Ottsville, Bucks County.
Hildesheim will be at the reunion, and his former classmates will present him with a check to help with medical bills.
“It’s ‘78ers helping ‘78ers,” Price said. “We had a great class and a great amount of spirit.”
The grads don’t want GW78 Cares to be one-night only. They want to continue helping fellow grads and encourage other Washington graduating classes and grads from other schools to take the initiative.
“The ultimate goal is to spread it as far as we can,” Price said.
Price, who lives in Bustleton, credits the late teacher and class sponsor Harry Joe Brown with being a positive influence.
“We’ve always been a very tight class,” he said.
The Washington class of ’78, the school’s 14th graduating class, has earned its nonprofit status, and one grad has already donated $5,000. An artist who graduated that year is selling some of her paintings to raise money.
To make a donation, use PayPal or send a check to GW78 Cares, P.O. Box 1036, Quakertown, PA 18951. ••