Bremen High School
Class of 1962 - 50 Year Reunion "Continued"
 

2016 Breaking News History...

December 1, 2016 (added to the November 20 update)
A SPECIAL NEWS FLASH!  If you have had any doubts about the value of our Scholarship Program I encourage you to read about one of our 2016 scholarship recipients who has just made news -- Javier Covarrubias!  Read all about it by going to the page on the left menu.

November 20, 2016
A time for thanks and reflection...
It's not only a good time to give thanks for what we have, but also a good time to remember those who are no longer with us.  I am very sad to report that we recently heard of the passing of Marilyn (Kienle) DeNunzio on October 7th after she lost her battle with cancer.  She was living in the Atlanta area of Georgia at that time.   May she rest in peace and we send our deepest condolences to her friends and family.

Bremen Hall of Fame...
As promised, we have added a new page to the website (on the left) for the Bremen Hall of Fame.  Check it out to learn what the Hall of Fame is all about and see who from the Class of '62 has been inducted since its inception.  In our next website update, we will be providing biographical profiles for each of our recent inductees.
 
STAY TUNED FOR NEXT YEAR'S EVENT...
Mark your calendars for mid-September 2017 and keep your options open!  Next year is our 55th anniversary and is likely to be our last "structured event". Therefore, we are planning "something special" that we believe will be attractive to all -- both near and far!  We will be posting the details of what we have in mind in January!

Our Scholarship Program keeps chugging along -- please remember to submit your payments by December 31st to make them tax deductible for 2016!

Once again, a big thanks to all who have pledged and contributed.  We can "chalk-up" our 2016-2017 goal -- we did it!  Now, we're "chipping-away" at our 2017-2018 goal!  That's remarkable!

Remember, it's not about the amount anyone gives, but rather it's all about the fact that "we care" about the future of Bremen students, as other have cared about us when we were students.  Therefore, we encourage every classmate to reach deep into their hearts and contribute within their means -- any contribution (large or small) will make a difference.

Please checkout the website pages on the left for more information about this year's award and the program in general.

By the way, in January we will be publishing a list of scholarship contributors for 2016, so there's plenty of time to get listed on the roll!

October 9, 2016
The 2016 Annual Event

While many of you could not make it this year, those who did had a great time -- as usual! 
Also, we had several VIP guests -- Dr. Kibelkis (Bremen's Principal) and Javier Covarrubias and his Parents.  Javier is one of our Class of '62 Scholarship recipients.  

Mary Lou (Daly) Pisone's daughters (Diana and JoEllen) joined us for dinner.   They also attended the Bremen Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Mary Lou on Friday at the Homecoming Pep Rally.  By the way, in November we will be posting a special section all about the Bremen Hall of Fame, so "stay tuned".

As part of our Reaching Out Program, several of us visited Rich Youngberg at his new long-term care facility in Country Club Hills (Windsor Estates).
On our traditional "school walkabout", several Bremen teachers and staff greeted us as we roamed the halls of Bremen.  They also “filled us in” on “what’s going on” – for example:

  1. A new Bremen sports field house is in the works along with many other site improvements thanks to a $50 Million Quality School Construction Bond secured by District 228!
     
  2. Bremen now has a girl's competitive swim team!
     
  3. No more diving board in the Bremen pool – depth doesn’t comply with new codes, so the Bremen divers practice and compete at another District schools.
     
  4. French is becoming a popular second language since many Bremen students can already speak fluent Spanish!
     
  5. Bremen is “at capacity” with more than 1,400 students
     
  6. Faculty and staff morale and enthusiasm are very high!

For more information and pictures about our annual event, please click-on the menu on the left (2016 Annual Event Photos). 
 
SNEAK PREVIEW -- NEXT YEAR'S EVENT...
Mark your calendars for mid-September 2017 and keep your options open!  Next year is our 55th anniversary and is likely to be our last "organized" event.  Therefore, we are planning "something very special" that we believe will be attractive to all -- both near and far!  We will be posting the details of what we have in mind in January -- so "stay tuned!


Our Scholarship Program is off to a spectacular start!

First, I want to thank all of you who have made a pledge so far!  Words alone cannot describe the positive impact that our scholarship program has had on the recipients, their families, and our school.  Please checkout the menus on the left 2015-2016 Award and the Class of '62 Scholarship Program for more information about this year's award and the program in general.

It's not about the amount we give, but rather it's all about the fact that "we care" -- that is, we care about future generations and we are willing to help them in whatever small way we can.  

Our efforts also demonstrate that the Class of '62 is appreciative of what Bremen has given it.  Also, by showing our appreciation in a tangible way, we are setting an example for other classes to do the same.

Therefore, we encourage every classmate to contribute within their means -- any contribution (large or small) will make a difference.
In January, we will be publishing a list of scholarship contributors for 2016, so there's plenty of time to get listed on the rolls!

"Reaching Out"
While many good things are happening for most of us, we are all at an age where we never know what tomorrow may bring.  Therefore, as our classmates, families, friends, and/or former teachers go through "hard times", we feel it's important that we support them as best we can -- via our thoughts, prayers, and/or deeds.  
This is what our Reaching Out Program is all about.  While many of our reaching-out efforts go unannounced for privacy reasons, some of our classmates have given us permission to discuss their issues, namely Ken Webster and Rich Youngberg. 
Rich Youngberg has been a victim of MS for more than 30 years and resides in a health care facility in Country Club Hills (Windsor Estates).  Ken was recently diagnosed with a serious brain tumor and is undergoing treatment as we speak.  We are "reaching out" to both of them.
If you would like to support this program, please contact Sandie (Stephens) Jordan by completing a "Stay in Touch" form (on the left).

September 22, 2016
Things to come!
 
In October look for...

A recap (with pictures) of our 2016 Informal Homecoming Event -- who was there, what we did, and where we did it!  Unlike Vegas, what happens in Midlothian doesn't stay in Midlothian!
 

An update on our Class of '62 Scholarship Program -- it's off to a running start (and then some) thanks to those of you who already made your pledge!  There's still plenty of time to get your tax deductible gift in before year-end.

 
In November look for...
A new section about the Bremen Hall of Fame -- what it is, its history, how it works, who's in it, and why we support it!
 

In January look for...

Our cool plans for celebrating our 55th Reunion.  Since this may be our last "organized" reunion event, we want to make it attractive, affordable, and fun for all.  Stay tuned!
 
September 1, 2016

Introducing the Bremen Class of ’62 Scholarship Program – our Class legacy to Bremen!

As most of you know, on May 12, 2016, Mary Lou and I had the honor of presenting two students with a $600 scholarship each.  The deserving recipients were Javier Covarrubias (Stanford University) and Sarah Smith (University of Iowa).  I wish you could have been there. 
 
It was great seeing the top seniors and their proud parents receive their recognitions and awards.  However, it was especially rewarding for Mary Lou and me to represent the Class of ’62 and to be a part of the ceremony -- and, in a small but meaningful way, to be able to contribute to the future success of two very bright and accomplished students. 
 
As a result of this very positive and inspiring experience, several members of the Class of ’62 Reunion Committee feel that this is something we should continue.   Take a look at what others feel.  I believe you will find many reasons to participate. 
 

Dr. David Kibelkis: “As Principal and Bremen Graduate class of 1984 it makes me very proud to know that the class of 1962 is giving back to their school and its current students.  I hope you understand what a difference your donation in the form of a scholarship makes to our students at BHS.  For a student to be honored is exciting and allows one to know that you have achieved at a high level.  Thanks for making a difference at BHS and showing your Pride!”

 
Sarah Smith: “Receiving the [Class of ‘62] scholarship was such an incredible honor.  As now a part of the Bremen brave alumni, it is so reassuring to know that Bremen offers scholarships like these to deserving, hardworking students looking to further their education.  I was overjoyed to have received this award and filled with so much gratitude for this honor.”
 
Javier Covarrubias: “Being one of two recipients of the [Class of ‘62] Scholarship from Bremen High School is truly an honor, and I am extremely thankful for it. It is a great step forward in funding my education at Stanford, which isn't exactly cheap.  I hope to make the Class of 1962 proud in the near future by living up to the expectations of being the recipient of this very generous grant.”
 
For me, the reasons for giving are:
 
  1. I feel that education is the key to the future of America and that a scholarship program like this is tantamount to an investment in America.
     
  2. I also like to invest in “winners” -- and in my book “Bremen is a winner”.  Those of you who have visited the school in recent years will understand.  This school is turning-out top-notch students in an extremely challenging economic, social, and demographic environment.  In my book, they are more than deserving of our support.
     
  3. While it’s difficult to pin one’s success on any one thing, there is no doubt in my mind that Bremen set me on the “right path” to success.
     

Well -- enough evangelizing for now!  If you feel you would like to learn more – or, better yet, be part of this program, please go to the menu item on the left – “The Class of ’62 Scholarship Program”.  There you will find the details of the program, including how your contributions will be protected and distributed.  

 
Just below the The Class of ’62 Scholarship Program” menu item, you will find a “Scholarship Pledge Form” for making your pledge or just asking questions about the program.  
 

Finally, this program is being coordinated and administered by Denny Day, with the help of Mary Lou (Daly) Pisone (our newest Bremen Hall of Fame representative) and Rich Kieffer (me).  I’m pleased to report that we already have $1,400 in tax-deductible pledges for this year! 

 
Please join us and let’s make this program a resounding success!
 
August 9, 2016
Our informal annual get-together is only one month away! 
 
As in the past, there are no up-front costs or commitments.  Just "show-up" and "pay as you go"!  On the left ("2016 Annual Event Activities"), is a list of activities from which you can choose.  What you do or don't do is entirely up to you, but those who have "done it all", have always had a great time!
 
However, we do need a rough estimate of how many of you and your guests plan to attend dinner at Granite City in Orland Park on Saturday, September 10th at 6:00 PM
 
By the way, there is no need to respond to the event on the Classmates.com website.  We post the event announcements there since a few of our classmates do not have public email addresses that they choose to share.
 
Please be so kind as to complete the short dinner survey on the left so we can make sure that we reserve enough tables: "2016 Annual Dinner Survey" -- thanks!  Also, if you do register, there is no need to cancel if your plans change -- and "walk-ins" are welcome!
 
Hope to see you there!
------------------------------------------------
DISCOUNTED ROOM RATES! For those of you who may be coming in from out-of-town or prefer not to make a long drive home, we have arranged for up to 10 discounted rooms at a local Holiday Inn Express (5 Kings and 5 Doubles):
 

HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS

13330 CICERO AVE, CRESTWOOD, IL  60445

PHONE 708-597-3330 - FAX 708-597-3691

 
Our special rate is $119 per night until August 19th, after which the normal rate of $189 will apply -- so book early!  The Group Booking Code is -- "BHS"
 
IMPORTANT NOTE: Once you make a reservation, you can cancel it at any time with no penalty up to 24 hours before the arrival date.  Therefore, be safe -- book early! 
 

Class of '62 Scholarship Program
Phase 2 - Onward & Upward!
 

Hopefully, you have read our previous posts about the success of our first scholarship grant and the positive impact it had on the students, the school, and the district.  For these reasons, we are continuing the program on behalf of the Class of '62.

 

We will officially launch our new program on September 1st, at which time we will be providing you with details concerning how you might participate. 

 
However, I'm pleased to announce that we already have $1,400 in pledges with a goal of reaching $2,000 for this year's grant to be awarded at Senior Honors Night in May, 2017!  
 
Stay tuned for more details on September 1st! 
 
July 9, 2016

“An Honors Night to Remember”

On May 12, 2016, Mary Lou and I had the honor of presenting two students with a $600 scholarships each.  The deserving recipients were Javier Covarrubias (Stanford University) and Sarah Smith (University of Iowa).  Though this scholarship bore my name, Mary Lou and I presented it on behalf of the Class of ’62, whose generous contributions made it possible -- thanks to the hard work and efforts of Reunion Committee members, both past and present.
 
I wish you could have been there.  It was great seeing the top seniors and their proud parents receive a plethora of recognitions and awards.  However, it was especially rewarding for us to represent the Class of ’62 and be a part of the ceremony -- and, in a small but meaningful way, be able to contribute to the future success of two very bright and accomplished students.  Overall, we were impressed by the number of honor students and the highly-rated colleges they will be attending.  Bremen continues to do a fantastic job – Bremen pride rings true!
 
What next?
As a result of this very positive and inspiring experience, several member of the Reunion Committee feel that this is something we should continue.  OK – we all have our own families to support and the economy is still unsettled – Why should anyone consider contributing to a Bremen scholarship fund?  This is a topic we discussed and debated extensively.  Additionally, we solicited feedback from Dr. Kibelkis and the recipients – you be the judge:
 
Dr. David Kibelkis
“As Principal and Bremen Graduate class of 1984 it makes me very proud to know that the class of 1962 is giving back to their school and its current students.  I hope you understand what a difference your donation in the form of a scholarship makes to our students at BHS.  For a student to be honored is exciting and allows you to know that you have achieved at a high level.  This can help to motivate and give some extra confidence as you embark on your next journey (college).  Your award has helped our students to realize their goal of going to college.  It also gives them another group of people in their corner supporting them.  I hope this tradition will continue with the class of 1962 and hopefully branch out to other classes as we work to help students at BHS!  Thanks for making a difference at BHS and showing your Pride!”
 
Sarah Smith
“Receiving the Richard Kieffer [Class of ‘62] scholarship was such an incredible honor.  As now a part of the Bremen brave alumni, it is so reassuring to know that Bremen offers scholarships like these to deserving, hardworking students looking to further their education.  I was overjoyed to have received this award and filled with so much gratitude for this honor.  This award motivates me to make the most out of my time in college and work to be the best student possible.  I also am so impressed with the amount of help other families and organizations like the Kieffer [Class of ‘62] family offer to our graduating students at Bremen.  As the majority population of Bremen does not come from very affluent backgrounds, it becomes important and in some cases even necessary that outside help is needed in order for us to become successful. I am proud to belong to a community that understands this concept and goes above and beyond to offer help and assistance to our students at such an important time in our lives. Let the tradition continue! Go braves!”
 
Javier Covarrubias

“Being one of two recipients of the Richard Kieffer [Class of ‘62] Scholarship from Bremen High School is truly an honor, and I am extremely thankful for it. It is a great step forward in funding my education at Stanford, which isn't exactly cheap.  I hope to make the Class of 1962 proud in the near future by living up to the expectations of being the recipient of this very generous grant.

 

In closing, here is a perspective that was offered to the Committee that reflects our general feelings:

 

 Gratitude for the help and kindness we've have all received throughout our lives, which includes our time at Bremen, cannot be adequately repaid.  The only way to go is “forward”.  One way to do this is by giving a “hand-up” to those who follow us. 

 

We speak so often, and with such fondness, of this Bremen teacher or that one, this learning experience or that one.  Those are moments that shaped our lives for the better - and then we realize that those opportunities mustn't go unrecognized.  What better way to recognize their value than by doing our part to see that future generations have access to the same opportunities we had!

 
With the above as a guiding principle, next month we will present a “path forward” for continuing our “Class of ‘62 Scholarship Program” – a program where anyone who is so motivated can participate to whatever level they feel is doable and/or appropriate. 
 
Coming soon -- Our 2016 Annual Event!
As noted previously, we will have our informal annual "get-together" on Homecoming Weekend -- starting with the Varsity Football Game on Friday evening and culminating with a dinner on Saturday evening at Granite City in Orland Park -- with a lot of ad hoc activities in between.  

Homecoming Weekend starts on Friday, September 9th!
 
Click-on the left menu item ("2016 Annual Event Activities") for more details of what to expect.  It's a "do what you want, when you want to do it" weekend, but there is a lot to do, if you want to do it! :-)

DISCOUNTED ROOM RATES! For those of you who may be coming in from out-of-town or prefer not to make a long drive home, we have arranged for up to 10 discounted rooms at a local Holiday Inn Express (5 Kings and 5 Doubles):
 

HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS

13330 CICERO AVE, CRESTWOOD, IL  60445

PHONE 708-597-3330 - FAX 708-597-3691

 
Our special rate is $119 per night until August 19th, after which the normal rate of $189 will apply -- so book early!  The Group Booking Code is -- "BHS"
 
June 13, 2016
One week to go!  Did you know?  
In 2016, Summer begins in the Northern Hemisphere with the Summer Solstice on June 20th at 5:34 PM CDT. The timing of the Summer Solstice depends on when the Sun reaches its northernmost point of the equator giving us the longest day of the year.
 
Next Month! A Recap of 2016 Senior Honors Night...
Next month, we will be featuring a complete recap of Bremen's "2016 Senior Honors Night" where, on behalf of the Class of '62, Mary Lou (Daly) Pisone and I presented a $600 scholarship to two well-deserving students.  It was an inspiring evening -- arguably, one that deserves further discussion.  In fact, Denny Day will be sharing some thoughts with you about the possibility of continuing this noteworthy effort.

What's next? A preview of our 2016 Annual Event...
As noted previously, we will have our informal annual "get-together" on Homecoming Weekend -- starting with the Varsity Football Game on Friday evening and culminating with a dinner on Saturday evening -- with a lot of ad hoc activities in between.  

This year, Homecoming starts on Friday, September 9th -- so mark your calendars!
 

As in past years, it will be a "do what you want", "pay as you go" venue so there is no need to commit early -- and late-comers are more than welcome since we always pad our dinner reservations.  By the way, past participation for the Saturday dinner has consistently ranged from 25 to 45 -- and the evening has always been long & lively!

Though Granite City has served us well over the years -- several of you expressed a desire for a more "private space".  Since Granite City doesn't have a private room, we searched the area for other options and discovered that "privacy has a price"! Unfortunately, private rooms have a room fee (or minimum spend) and a fixed-menu requirement.  Given that our goal has always been to offer you flexibility of choice, we have concluded that the "private space" option is not practical.  

However, our friends at Granite City have offered to place us in a more isolated area of the main restaurant where we can still order off the regular menu -- and also have an area that allows Sue (Vaughan) Nelson to setup her memorabilia table, which has stimulated many a discussion over the years.  Therefore, we will continue to use Granite City this year and hope that our new seating arrangement will partially address your desires. 

In early to mid August we will be taking a tally (survey) to see who is likely to attend.  Once again, there is no commitment involved, but we do need a "rough estimate" of potential attendees to finalize the reservation.  Mary Lou (Daly) Pisone has talked to Granite City management and we already have a "tentative hold" on the space.

That's it for now!

May 2, 2016
Sad news...
There are times when certain events transcend boundaries -- and this is one of them.  We just learned of the passing of Cheryl (Gardner) Youstra.  Cheryl was a member of the Class of '61, but a well-known classmate in our extended Bremen community.  She was also our school mascot "Little Joe" in 1960 and 1961. 
 
Additionally, Cheryl was involved in numerous other school activities, including being elected Senior Vice President and Queen of the B-Hive Ball in 1961.  After graduating, she was instrumental in organising Class of '61 reunions every 5 years, the latest being their 50th in 2011.  Our sincere condolences go out to Cheryl's family and friends. 
 
You can visit the following website for more information: http://www.simkinsfh.com/obits/obituary.php?id=596672 
 
April 18, 2016
Happy Spring - finally! Cool 
 In Chicago, the weather has been an absolute roller coaster with temperatures ranging from 65 to 25 on any given day/night.  Yesterday was the first day I actually "broke sweat" working in the yard.
 
Recent news...
 2017: "How about "something special" for our 55th? 
The results are in!  We don't have sufficient interest to justify a formal event.  Thanks to all of you who responded to the survey. 
 
However, there is a "core group" of classmates who still want to participate in our annual events, so here's our "going forward" game plan for 2016 and beyond!
 
  1. We will continue to have our informal annual "get-togethers" on Homecoming Weekend -- starting with the Varsity Football game on Friday evening and culminating with a dinner on Saturday evening.  This year, Homecoming is the week of September 9th -- so mark your calendars!
     
  2. As always, it's a "do what you want", "pay as you go" venue so there is no need to commit early -- and late-comers are more than welcome since we always pad our reservations.  Past participation for the Saturday dinner has consistently ranged from 25 to 45. 

  3. Though Granite City has served us well over the years -- most of you felt that "it's time for a change" -- and we agree!  We will be looking for a new place for 2016 that will provide us with a little more privacy for socializing -- of course, this is not to suggest that we are a raucous group, let's just say "highly spirited"!

 

For the remainder of the year we will only be updating the website and sending email notices for major news and event items. 

 
Stay safe and "Stay in Touch" since we always like hearing from you, especially if you change your contact information!
 
February 17, 2016
Sad loss of another Classmate...
We recently received word that on September 12, 2015, Robert (Bob) Bateman passed away.
 

During our high school years, Bob was an active member of the Bremen band. He served as first chair, percussionist and received several awards for his outstanding accomplishments.

 

In his senior year, Bob received 1st place at the state competition for his exceptional tympani playing. He also received special recognition from the music department at our graduation ceremonies for his dedication and many achievements in the field of music.

For more information about Bob's passing, please visit "A Tribute to Bob Bateman" on the left.
 
Recent news...
2017: "How about "something special" for our 55th?
 
To date, we have received 9 responses to the survey -- thanks much!  
 
As I mentioned before, we can't plan effectively without your feedback.  We need your responses ASAP in order to have a provisional plan in place by June 1st.  We are not asking for any commitments -- just your general "level of interest" -- one way or another.
 
Why the rush? We need time to explore options.  Also, past experience has told us that desirable places book at least a year in advance.
 
What can you do?   PLEASE TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO COMPLETE THE SURVEY ON THE LEFT -- WHETHER YOU'RE INTERESTED OR NOT!
 
January 24, 2016
Thank you!
Before we get into new business for the new year, I'd like to give another "shout-out" to our Reaching Out team!  The details are not important, but the positive effect that their efforts are having on "classmates-in-need" is.  If you would like to participate in the program, checkout the "Reaching Out" link on the left.
 
We have some ideas for 2016, but we need your input!
For 2016: By popular demand, we will repeat our now traditional Homecoming Weekend Event.  This is an informal get-together with an entire weekend of optional activities starting with the Varsity Football game on Friday evening and ending with dinner on Saturday or breakfast on Sunday.
 
For 2017: How about "something special" for our 55th?  This is where we really need your feedback and ideas.  On the left you will find a survey form so you can share your ideas and express your interest in participating.  PLEASE TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO COMPLETE IT!