GUILDERLAND Guilderland High School graduates are reuniting 35 years after commencement to reconnect and reminisce, but some are also using their artistic talents to help children’s wishes come true.
The Guilderland Class of 1978’s reunion on Saturday, Oct. 12, will honor more than 20 deceased classmates through an online auction benefitting the Northeast New York Make-A-Wish Foundation. There will also be a silent auction during the event at the Pinehaven Country Club in Guilderland exclusively for the class reunion. Auction items include original items from class artists, craftspeople and entrepreneurs, along with items donated by area businesses.
“We have a lot of very artistic classmates and initially we talked about trying to raise some money through our donations from artists and craftspeople that are class members,” class reunion committee member Terri Knapp Ramos said.
Knapp Ramos, of Waterford, said fellow committee member Sylvia Aronson, of Saratoga, spearheaded the idea for the auction, which grew to include items donated from businesses. She said the class wanted to do something to honor deceased classmates.
“We all thought what a wonderful tribute to the classmates that have passed away,” she said. “As we were trying to locate classmates to let them know about our upcoming 35th reunion, we sometimes would hear of ones that had passed away.”
There are 22 classmates she knows that have died since graduation, with the youngest dying a year after the class received their diplomas and the most recent passing away around a year ago.
She said the families of those classmates being remembered were notified to let them know a loved one is being honored.
“They are really so pleased to know their loved ones are being remembered all these years later,” Knapp Ramos said.
Make-A-Wish uses donations to help grant wishes to children with life-threatening or terminal illnesses.