BY CONNIE WILLIAMS, GUEST WRITER TO THE TIMES
SANFORD – The Crooms High School Class of 1970, the last graduating class of “Historic” Crooms High School, now, Crooms Academy of Information Technology, chose their former high school as the site for the 50th Plus Reunion and 70th Birthday Celebration.
The Reunion Banquet /Birthday Celebration, took place on the evening of May 21, 2022. Starting with a Meet And Greet, classmates and guest were able to mingle and catch up with ones they hadn’t seen since graduation on June 8, 1970.
The cafeteria was decorated with a banner of the school’s mascot, “The Mighty Panther” and a large backdrop for photo-ops. At check-in, classmates were directed to tables, with displays of the s
enior yearbook, pictures and memorabilia from past reunions, cruises, picnics, class trips, birthdays, etc.
Reverend Dr. Cynthia Butler presided as the Mistress of Ceremony for the occasion. The event started with the singing of The Negro National Anthem, followed by the Invocation by Edward Brown, Class Busin
ess Manager (1969-1970) and Welcome by Louise Perkins, Class Vice President, (1969-1970). Following a duet by Don Brown, Class President (1969-1970), and Marshall Holloway, (When Something Is Wrong With My Baby), Annie Anderson, gave a Prayer of Thanksgiving.
A video presentation was shown, highlighting class events and activities. The Class of 1970 has held class reunion activities every five years, except for the year 2020, when activities were cancelled due to the pandemic.
Reginald Holloway, introduced the Speakers, who shared stories, during a “Walk Down Memory Lane.” Some classmates came to Crooms, in 7th grade from the Goldsboro, Lockhart, Bookertown and Georgetown communities. Other classmates came in 9th grade from Midway, and Oviedo. The Speakers were, Reverend Dr. Charles Harris, Janet Baldwin, Bernard Harden and Belinda Murrell. Don Brown, Marshall Holloway and Reginald Holloway entertained the guest with songs, “Wildflower” and “Dance with My Father.”
During the Candlelight Memorial, Sharon Stevens read a tribute for deceased classmates, followed by a moment of silence. Dr. Benita Tillman Brown, Belinda Murrell and Evelyn Duhart, each received a special presentation from Sharon Blake. Special guest for the evening, (former teachers of the class of 1970) Mrs. Katherine Alexander, Mr. Stewart Baker, Mr. Lamarr Richardson and Mr. Lemuel Stallworth, were acknowledged and introduced by Turner Clayton.
Dr. Benita Tillman Brown, gave remarks, followed by closing remarks from Evelyn Duhart, Crooms Class of 1970 Alumni Committee Chairperson. The banquet /reunion ended with the singing of the School Alma Mater and Closing Prayer by Reverend Dr. Richard Johnson. All program participants are classmates of the Crooms High Class of 1970.
Special Thanks to the Class Of 1970 Planning Committee. To The Class of 1970, A Very Special Happy 70th Birthday.
Thanks and appreciation, to the following: Decorations and Set -Up: Affair2Remember, D J and entertainment : Billy Boy Productions, LLC, Catering: B-12 Catering, Program Design and Printing: Samatria Quinn, Video Presentation: Jonathan Harden.
Special thanks for their support to: Dr. E. Terrell Tillman, Emory Green, Jr., Crooms Academy of Information Technology and classmates, Sharon Blake and Anthony Williams.
Due to the pandemic, the Crooms High Class of 1970 has been holding regular zoom meetings. All classmates are welcome to join and participate in all class activities.