See you at the next GREAT AHS Holiday Gathering
The All Class AHS Holiday Gathering is held the Friday between Christmas and New Year's. If the holidays hit that day (as it did in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2020 and 2021) then we pick a different date
Message from Perry Beeman:
Originally started by late 1970s and early 1980s AHS Alumni, there is always a strong mid 70s to early 80s contingency, and the AHS classes of 2007 and 2008 AHS have discovered us too! Need more 50s, 60s, early 70s + more 90s and 2000s AHS Alumni to discover this great get-together. The idea for an informal All Classes AHS reunion came out of years of discussions among Perry Beeman, Julie (Anderson) Larson, Bill Nutty, all 3 from the AHS Class of 1977 and others. Why not catch people while they were back in town for the holidays, and to have an informal, relaxing, annual fun gathering / reunion, for those of us who love seeing classmates before the 5 or 10 years for our own class gatherings to roll around. The trio of big talkers backed it up by actually planning and having the first event, 25 years ago! The idea was to keep it simple: show up, buy your own refreshments, no tickets, no fees, no fuss. Along the way, fellow Ames High grads Bill Nutty and Heidi Conis helped build the turnout, which now often is bigger than some formal reunions. "We began with 30 or so, mostly from '77, but it continued to build," Beeman said. "Let's just say I gained a lot of Facebook friends when word got around I was one of the organizers."
It's simple, we set the date, you show up, buy your own food or drinks, and, if you're a big spender, for your friends. Then drink up (in moderation of course and we encourage soda pop or water), chat, and get caught up. This has been a meaningful, wonderful reconnection for many people, and we've had classmates from New York, California, Florida, Minnesota, Nebraska, Illinois and elsewhere attend. The holiday gathering got off the ground in a small way and mostly involving the AHS Class of '77, but has become much more. "Started out with 30 people, but in the last few years, this has really taken off," Beeman said. "I rely heavily on the this alumni site for email addresses - and beg people to update theirs -- and that helps. What really got this going, though, is the simple act of friends letting their friends know about it through personal email address books and phone calls. The alumni newsletter and the website also carry notices.
100 AHS Alumni turned out for the
2006 AHS Holiday event, and a record 110 turned
out in 2007 from the AHS classes of 1967 to 2003.
Foggy weather caused
attendance to drop to 50 in 2008, there was a good turnout in 2009, 2010
wasn't the largest turnout we have ever had, but there was a respectible
showing of 60 AHS alumni. Perry says a lot
of younger classes are showing up now too and it is harder for him to know
who the AHS grads are, so maybe there were more
than 60 classmates at the gatherings in 2010, 2011 and 2012. 2013 set the
record for the largest attendence ever at 150+ alumni, with
representatives from the AHS class of 1972 thru
2008. The AHS classes of 2008 and 1998 had big
reunions the previous summer, they both opted to have Holiday
mini-reunions and piggy-backed onto our event! 20 from the class of 2008
and 20 from the class of 1998. In 2014 There was again another strong
crowd of happy holiday classmates for the 20th anniversary of this great
event with 110+. 2017 had inclement icy weather but still nearly 100 attended,
and 2018 had a respectable 100. Maybe 2019 will be another record?
Still confused? Email Beeman at p e r r y b e e m a n @ g m a i l . c o m.