WILLIAMS, Ariz. - A decade's worth of Williams High School graduates will come together this summer for a combined class of the 1980s reunion July 4 and 5.
Event organizer Pimi Bennett said the class of 1984 was initially planning to put on a 30-year reunion for just their class. However, many people remembered a similar class of the 1980s reunion that took place 10 years ago.
"There was feedback from other classes that said, 'Well how come you're not going to do that again?'" Bennett said. "So we just did it."
Each class in the 1980s had about 45 students, and Bennett said the combined reunion will be fun because the different classes interacted with each other.
"When you were freshmen you knew who the seniors were and the seniors knew who the freshmen were. It was such a neat era at that time," she said. "We're not only the tight knit community, we were a tight knit school."
The reunion events kick off with a meet and greet in the school lobby from 6 to 8 p.m. Attendees can mingle with their old classmates, enjoy punch and cookies and get a schedule of events souvenir program.
Then at 6:30 p.m., the classes of the 80s will march in the Small Town Fourth of July Parade down historic Route 66. Organizers encourage participants to dress in 80s clothing.
On Saturday, a family get together will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Williams Recreation Center. Organizers suggest attendees purchase a brown bag lunch from a local restaurant and bring it to the picnic. No alcoholic beverages will be allowed.
Then from 7 to 11 p.m., a mixing and mingling event will take place at the Sultana Theater for alumni and their spouses. DJ Joe will play 80s music at the event, which will feature appetizers, a no-host bar and raffles.
"Another good thing we're going to add on Saturday night is a moment to remember those classmates that we've lost along the way, that they're always still with us and they're a Viking forever," Bennett said.
The cost for the two-day event is $25 per adult and free for children. Each paid entry comes with one raffle ticket for Saturday's prize drawings. Additional raffle tickets will be $1 each or $5 for six at the door. Those interested in donating a raffle prize should contact Bennett. Besides the different raffle prizes, one ticket holder will win half of the money collected.
A portion of the raffle funds will go back to Williams High School, either to buy a banner for the gym with the school's fight song or to help pay for new bleachers in the gym.
"Anything that we can do to also give back to our school we'd love to do that too," Bennett said. "That's what it's about-the old trying to take care of the new."
Bennett said she's looking forward to catching up with her old classmates at the reunion.
"It's been such a long time since I think a lot of us have seen each other," she said. "And it's just a time to reconnect and meet their families and they can come back to their hometown and see how things are now and reminisce about the old memories and make good new memories and to carry on that tradition."
The reunion's next committee meeting is May 10 at noon at the Tavern Grille in Cottonwood. All are welcome to attend.
Organizers ask attendees to RSVP and pay for the reunion by June 1. Payments can be sent to Shawna Standal at 1951 S. Bonita Circle, Cottonwood, AZ 86326.
More information is available from Standal at (928) 486-7840 or Bennett at (928) 853-7784.