10 Year Reunion / 20 Year Reunion / 30 Year Reunion / 2002 / 100 Year Grand Reunion /
After Party 5/09
50th Birthday Party / 35th Reunion

35th Reunion

Thirty-Five years ago, Orchard Park Class of 1974 crossed a stage (the first class to use Kleinhans Music Hall for graduation ceremonies) and received high school diplomas, applause and well wishes from friends and family, and found ourselves in an uncertain future- not very different from today’s 2009 graduates. We emerged, some grayed to be sure, with a few already retired from work, but a long way from being tired of living. I believe we feel ourselves fortunate to have grown up and gone to school with Orchard Park’s Class of 1974. What we learned in high school has silently guided us through the past 35 years.

On July 17 & 18, 2009, many of us baby boomers left our aches and pains (that have started to emerge as we sail through our glorious middle aged years) behind and celebrated our 35th high school reunion. Friday night’s party was held at Mia’s Restaurant- known to us 1974 former teeny-boppers as the old Rappel’s Bar! Over 150 classmates joined us for an informal mixer- where we shared Mia’s with another OP Class celebrating a reunion- OP ‘59’s 50th! Despite the hot, steamy, rainy evening, OP ’74 friends partied throughout the night. The next evening, our 35th reunion dinner was held at Root Five Waterfront Restaurant, overlooking Lake Erie. Our evening included great conversation, lots of fun, dinner, drinks & a memorial service for our 15 classmates sadly no longer with us. Door prizes were given out (everyone received a golf umbrella!), memorabilia displayed, including a girl’s striped maroon & white bathing suit that we had to wear 1974, and some continued to visit right through breakfast, not ready to say goodbye after only 2 evenings together.

Some classmates were attending their first reunion ever- thanks to FaceBook. We used FaceBook (which is FREE) to reconnect with many friends and plan the festivities, while keeping everyone updated on ideas & decisions as they were made. What fun we had hearing from our extended reunion committee! For a class of over 500 students, FaceBook was extremely helpful & fun!

Be sure to visit us at our op74.com website, which is paid for with class donations. We always make sure we have start-up funds for our next celebration- again, thanks to donations from many classmates. We’re already planning our next party for 2011, as OP ’74 classmates turn “double nickels” at our 55 year old Birthday Bash in two years! We threw ourselves a 40 & 50 year old birthday party in the past & decided to keep celebrating our birthdays! (not that OP ’74 needs a reason to party!)

Hope to see you next time!

Yours in friendship,
MaryAnn Caserta Suda & the OP ’74 Reunion Committee

In Memory of…

Thomas Bell, John Bieger, David Booth, Laura Eaton Langejans, James Grady, Thomas Haid, Kathy “Hank” Hanrahan Mecseji, Norm Hetzel, Paul McMahon, James Snyder, Geraldine Stachewicz, Donna Staebell Reeves, Barbara Breidenstein George, Rosemary Schwartz Gaeta, Marie Benzinger

"one is always at home in one's past"