Life after high school

Bishop Ludden and Bishop Grimes
Junior/Senior High Schools plan reunion celebrations

By Claudia Mathis
SUN staff writer

lifeafterschool Bishop Ludden and Bishop Grimes Junior/Senior High Schools are inviting all alumni to a reunion the weekend of Oct. 9-11.

Alumni weekend provides an opportunity to renew friendships and relive memories.

Bishop Ludden’s celebration, Ludden Fest ’09, will begin with a family tailgate party on Friday, Oct. 9, which will take place before a varsity football game at which Bishop Ludden will be pitted against LaFayette High School.

On Saturday, Oct. 10, the celebration will begin with an alumni soccer game followed by a women’s varsity soccer game and a men’s varsity soccer game.

Father Daniel Muscalino, who has taught at the school for over 20 years, will celebrate a Mass following the games. The Mass will honor Father George Hartnet (class of 1966) and the alumni classes.

At 5 p.m., all Bishop Ludden graduates and their friends and families are invited to a reunion party which will feature live music from Steve Zbikowski (’92) and his band “Ate Eleven.” Other musicians performing at the event include Tom Connors (’93) and Brian McArdell and Mark Westers (’84). There will be food, beer, wine, soda and water for sale at the free-of-charge event. Area restaurants will be offering their specialties for sale. Door prizes will be available as well as memorabilia and tours of the school.

It’s possible to develop friendships that last for a lifetime while attending high school. Such is the case of nine 1997 Bishop Ludden graduates who still get together at least once a month to catch up with one another and to have fun. Throughout the years, they have shared memories of their high school days, births of their children, trips taken together, luncheons and parties. Together, they have endured deaths of their friends’ parents and even deaths of their own. Their friend, Susan Smith Williams, also a Bishop Ludden graduate, passed away in 2001 after a brave fight with melanoma. Her nine friends were there to assist her throughout her illness. The 10 women had formed a deep, impenetrable bond.

Each year, Bishop Grimes’ alumni find their way back to East Syracuse for a gathering. Although there is an all-inclusive alumni weekend that is celebrated each year and highlighted with the homecoming football game, it’s up to the individual classes to choose the dates for their class reunions.

This year, the class of ’89 met in early August for a reunion weekend which 70 classmates attended.

This fall, the alumni weekend will pay special attention to the classes of ’79, ’84, ’99 and ’04.

“This is going to be a great get-together,” said Joanne Cates (Sobol), chair of the ’79 event. The itinerary includes a Friday night cocktail party at the Craftsman Inn in Fayetteville, a picnic on Saturday and a trip to Pratts Falls on Sunday to enjoy the foliage.

Sarah Gilliam Redmore, chair of the class of ’84, expects a great turnout. “We had 100 or so at our 20th, so I’m looking for another year with great numbers,” she said.

Peter Caponni (’04), religion teacher at Bishop Grimes, is looking forward to hosting 15 of his classmates at a party after the homecoming game. It will be the first reunion for that class.

“Generally, the reunions bring 50 to 150 people together for a great Syracuse/Grimes-style weekend,” said Cates.

Last year, the class of ’78 had a great turnout to celebrate its 30th reunion. The alumni gathered at Barbagello’s Restaurant on Friday evening, and on Saturday enjoyed a picnic along the sidelines of the homecoming football game playing field. They also toured the school to see classroom improvements and to view the Sheehan Sports Complex, the school’s new auxiliary gymnasium.

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