By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
At the last meeting of the Shinnston High School Alumni Association (SHSAA), there was a discussion on whether or not to continue with plans for the SHS Homecoming Reunion to be held in July. They also considered perhaps postponing the event until early fall when the weather would likely still be suitable. The debate evolved due to the risks of the current COVID-19 crisis.
SHSAA President Debbie Malone said that two members in attendance at the meeting that evening were in the healthcare field and noted that they did not see this situation disappearing quickly. In fact, they had heard that the threat could possibly last clear into the fall season.
As the dilemma came to a vote, it was decided to cancel the event for this year and reschedule for next year in July of 2021 on the traditional third weekend of that month.
“I am happy to report that after contacting the Gateway Clipper, they were kind enough to refund the two deposits we have already made to them in the about of $5,400,” Mrs. Malone stated. “We still had two deposits left to make so we were very pleased that they understood our wariness to follow through with the dinner cruise this year. However, after contacting the company that was going to provide us with bus transportation to and from Pittsburgh on our event night, they would not give our money back. They were, however, willing to hold the $300 deposit for a rescheduled date. At this point, I’m not sure if they will hold it for an entire year or not, but I’ll be reaching out to them soon to find out.”
Malone said that while many had said they were going to participate in the dinner cruise, no firm reservations had been made at this point. Some, though, had paid their dues in advance.
“We would still like to encourage those who may have moved within the past four years, to let us know of any address changes so that we can keep accurate records of our contacts and keep them on our mailing list for future SHS notifications,” she added.
The association’s intention is to keep plans for July 2021 the same as the plans that were set for this year – trolley tours, Alumni Room visitation, Friday evening ‘street party’ in the downtown area as opposed to a parking lot party at Lincoln High School, etc. They will be touching base again with the Gateway Clipper to see if the July 2021 date is available, and further details will be given when possible.
“Some of our attendees are locals, but some travel from quite a distance to join us. Since we can’t predict what the situation may be that far in advance, we decided to act out of caution for the sake of everyone,” Mrs. Malone concluded. “We hope that former SHS grads will mark their calendars in advance and plan to join us on the third weekend of July next year.”