The Poly High School Centennial Celebration was a huge success with estimates of 2300 attending. Scott Ausburn of the class of '68 took a bunch of great photos, which can be viewed on his Shutterfly page here - http://musicinpictures.shutterfly.com/thenotmusicpage/5552?eid=112. Thanks, Scott for sharing your photos with us. A special thanks to Ruby Smithers-Bressman for compiling information about 100 Years of Poly Teachers and Staff. See the complete list here.

In case you missed it, click here to see a copy of the Memories Program that were handed out at the event.

Some Facts and Figures

We had 43 alumni cheerleaders (from 6 decades) and 14 current cheerleaders (a 7th decade.)

The stage band was phenomenal. One student, a drummer, Morris Grundy, played with them.

We had 124 people total on stage in the Memories Program: 102 performers and 22 presenters. Of those, 98 were alumni and 20 were students, 6 were guests and school officials. We had 261 additional people involved in other ways on Saturday: 102 alumni (including 40 vintage car owners and 55 table volunteers), 136 students (9 media tech, 55 mariachi and band, and 72 tour guides), 8 faculty and staff, and 21 other (11 security + 6 bus drivers). That totals 385 people actually involved in performing tasks on the day of the event.

The estimated attendance total of 2,300 is a pretty solid (conservative) figure. The auditorium had 1,156 numbered seats. It was full 30 minutes before the first show--people were having trouble finding two empty seats together. By show time, It was packed with people standing along all three walls. Near the end of the second show, Tobi Jackson counted 800. Of the 261 people who were working outside the auditorium, some got to see the program, and some didn't.

We had 884 parking spaces arranged for Poly parking that day. 5 lots in walking distance and 9 lots served by 6 free shuttle buses from noon to 7 p.m. All lots were used, and there were enough spaces to accommodate the attendance. We advised people to arrive early to allow for parking arrangements, and they did!

The Centennial Celebration planning committee had 40 members. The very first planning meeting, Oct. 14, 2011, called by Carolyn Tennison of Poly's PTO, was attended by 8 people, two of whom, Judy Simpson and Rita Vinson, became its co-chairs. The committee met every month beginning in January 2012. It was made up of 29 alumni (from 4 decades), 1 alumni's relative, 9 school officials/staff, and 1 PTO representative.

The Poly Alumni Association was not responsible for the event but supported it. It provided $1,000 seed money, which was paid back by the CD fundraiser sales of The Poly Blues and Alma Mater. Future sales will benefit the school music department. The event was absolutely free to the attendees, which we think is a significant accomplishment, and no reservations were required. A donation jar was set out to collect funds for a $1,600 Poly Parrot mascot costume for the sports events, and $1,074 was collected. Poly's media department (10 of the students) handled all of the audio/video aspects of the Memories Program and is taking orders to sell a DVD for $20 as a fundraiser for their department. (I can provide details on how to order.)

Judy Simpson began developing a list of class contacts for the PAA in January 2011, long before the centennial idea cropped up. Phil Vinson became editor of the PAA's bimonthly newsletter the month before, and he published her list in his first issue of The Parakeet: Jan./Feb. 2011. It had one (or two) class contacts for 13 years, spanning the 1950s and 1960s. Judy and Rita worked continually after that to expand the list of contacts. We now have contacts for 43 class years (1940s thru 2000s) and expect to derive more from the centennial exposure.

Co-chairs: Judith Simpson is class of 1959, and Rita Morris Vinson is class of 1960.

The PAA hosted its own event the night before, Friday, and had 575-600 people at a Meet 'N' Greet at the Radisson Hotel Fort Worth-Fossil Creek on Meacham Blvd. It was also free, plus cash bar, but it required reservations. Attendance far exceeded their expectations.

Saturday night there were at least three spin-off parties of specific classes or groupings of classes:
      Classes of 1958, 1959, & 1960 had about 125 at Cooper's BBQ in the Stockyards
      Classes of 1963, 1964, 1965, & 1966 had from 150-170 at Angelo's BBQ
      Class of 1969 had 61 at the Red's Roadhouse in Kennedale
      Class of 1992 had ?? at the Brickhouse Lounge in Arlington (I'm waiting on a number)

On Thursday, Oct. 4, all of the classes of 1950 and earlier had their annual "No Frills" reunion at Travis Avenue Baptist Church. Reservations totaled 98, and 74 attended.

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