By SHERIDAN CYR
The Town of Plainville is known to residents as being a small, tight-knit community, where everyone knows each other and bumps into one another frequently. Because of its nature, Plainville High School alumni created something rather unique.
This year, Sept. 14, will mark the 20th anniversary of the first PHS Alumni Dance. Held at the VFW on Northwest Drive, the annual event has always been open to any and all who graduated or attended PHS and their guests.
“Everybody has friends in Plainville who graduated ahead of them or behind them, because it was a small school,” said 1962 graduate, Earle Jackson, an all-state high school athlete who went on to become vice president at the former Heublein, Inc. “So many were traveling to Plainville for our own class reunions that we thought, why not also have a party where everyone could get together.”
Each year, the PHS Alumni Dance is hosted by the PHS class celebrating its 50th reunion that current year. It is held the day before the 50th reunion. The event now draws hundreds of attendees ranging from 1940s graduating classes to current classes. This year’s dance will be hosted by the class of 1968, who will attend their reunion Sept. 15 at the Southington Country Club.
“The event started from the heart,” said Mary Ellen Wazorko, class of ‘68. “PHS is a small school, and friends overlapped between classes. And that friendship extended to families. I know it might sound trite, but everyone is just happy to see each other and catch up with everyone, even people you may not have been close to in high school.”
The event features music, dancing, pizza, coffee and raffles. Dress is informal, and attendees come to have a little fun. “When our class started talking about it, it just seemed it made sense to hold an all-class get-together on the night before the reunion,” said Ken Laska, class of ‘62 and an attorney in Bristol.
Wazorko said all PHS graduates were part of the same community at some point, and no matter where life took them, there will always be special feelings for their hometown.
“I think the fact that this is the 20th year for the All PHS Class event is testimony to that bond. Life goes on but there is always tht little piece of you that belongs to your high school days,” Wazorko said.
The event begins at 7 p.m. at the VFW and is $10 per person. Tickets are available at the door. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.