In the past we've had hotdogs, drinks and snacks, but this year we were fighting time. We only had a few weeks to continue with the bonfire. I called and pestered everyone I could think of for donations of food, drinks, snacks, coffee pots, crock pots, hot coco, and cups. Again a number of supporters came through.But this year we didn't have hotdogs. We had nachos and Frito pies. Also chips and candy along with coffee, cocoa and cold drinks. What I didn't get donated I bought. Ron and I also bought several items for the live auction. Out pounding the pavement I got several more items donated for the raffle. Things started taking shape.
I was talking to Kitty one evening about what we were going to do and she mentioned a DJ. I told her the alumni association just didn't have the funds for that, but would be great. Kitty called Sheryl and Tom Kling '66 and they donated their time as DJ's to help us out. We were able to use their PA system for announcements. They do wedding, reunions and other events so please utilize our alumni! Not only the photographer, and DJ but the businesses that advertise in our program book.
Things really heated up. Ron Eller spent many hours working on the program booklet. Normally we take donations for the advertisements. But this year Ron wanted to help honor YOU, the alumni and the alumni supporters by including the ads for free. And to help supplement the cost, we asked only one dollar donation for the sale of the program booklet.
Time was closing in and as Saturday approached, we never slowed down.
W. L Pate put a bug in my ear about a proclamation and with Ron's help a proclamation was written and faxed to Mayor Lords office.
It became Official that February 21, 2004, was FHS Day!
WOW, this was so nice and I was so proud. I wanted this year to best ever! I spent hours on the phone trying to line this out to be a special announcement at the bonfire.
We still needed to advertise. Even though Big Bill was seen all over Beaumont, we still needed to reach everyone. I emailed everyone on my website. I faxed, emailed and called over 26 papers. Then one evening I was looking at the Examiner. And it hit me! I called the Examiner and told Melinee my idea for advertising and a new twist for their reoccurring "Look Who's reading the Examiner", *lol*. She thought it idea was great and Steven came to the FHS office to do a photo shoot with BIG BILL! On Feb. 19th, Big Bill could be seen reading the Examiner. That was a hoot! Big Bill made his debut on Channel 4 with Aimee Fuller to help get the word out. Big Bill (Beth), Pegi, Kitty, Benny with granddaughter Brianna, and Kent talked about the bonfire.
Ron and I headed to FHS at 7:00am to put on coffee and be there for the delivery of the wood and the tents. Glen got there with the Apache trucks and forklift. Now we were ready to build the fire. But the bulldozer wasn't there to dig the hole. The one that was suppose to be delivered was tied up, so Phil with offered to get one of theirs. WHEW! What a life saver. They got back, Big John dug the hole and Glen started moving the pallets.
While waiting for the tents and tables, Carol, Patsy, Kitty, Benny, Ron and I started to unpack some of the boxes. Ellen got there to finish the cut-outs and help. Bradley Binks men came with the tents and things started looking GREAT. The DJ, Tom and Sheryl, came early to provide us with music while we set up. Ron and Benny worked on the lighting, coffee pots, food, and other items were being set up. Gifts, program booklet and trophies were being unpacked. Glen Morrison was working on the photo set. The Scholarship Table was set up. Lighting was still being taken care of and cords were being taped down for safety.
People started leaving to clean up and things were going good. Ron was working on the cut out stands. I was still running around seeing to things. 6:00pm was closing in! There was still at lot to see to. Everyone was working franticly to get things ready for 6pm. I started setting out the food. Rhonda, Kent's wife was there helping me. Liska, his mother came to help too.
Councilman at Large Andrew Cokino's got there really early and I talked to him about the Proclamation. He sat with Sheryl and got her to play some oldies music for him.
We tried to turn the coffee pots on but they didn't seem to work. Things still needed to be set up. Breakers were still being tripped! Would we ever be ready by 6pm?
I really don't know what happened after that. I was so busy running back and forth.
But as day turned to night so our program turned from good to "bad". (in our eyes) Lights kept tripping the breakers. I was still running around making sure things were taken care of. (change, lights, just general needs)
In addition, with the fall of darkness we saw that the lighting around the DJ was nonexistent. This caused the reading of the Proclamation to be a struggle for Councilman Cokinos and myself. When he handed it to me I couldn't read it! It's hard enough for me to read and write, much less read aloud in a crowd. Words and sentences run together, specially when I'm tired or nervous. I was both. I was very embarrassed and hurt that something very special that I worked on for YOU, the Alumni, was lost.
James Patton was the only one to partake in the scavenger hunt and had an awesome table full of the items on the scavenger hunt list. He had the old phone book, paper airplane, goodness! He had it all, plus more. Alumni were enjoying his table. Wish I had gotten a picture of his awesome display of FHS/Bmt. Memorabilia.
We had a South Park "Greenie" Patsy, out there working, Becky England came out to help Saturday morning. Big John Taylor and many others pitched in to help Saturday night.
The work is hard and we needed more men for the heavy work and seeing to the wood. We needed workers to help man the tables. We need to get more classes involved.
I fought the BISD single handedly to continue to have the Bonfire's on school grounds. I researched the Scholarship Fund. And worked on the Proclamation. These things seemed to have gotten lost in the shuffle. On top of that, the whole night I was so busy I didn't have a chance to just visit.
I looked at the sign in sheets and said WOW, they were here? I missed seeing so many of you. For that I'm sorry
It TAKES A LOT OF PEOPLE pulling together to make it a success. This year was so much fun working with Ron, Benny, Kitty, Carol and Pasty, going all over town in the Big Bill suit. I loved every minute of it. But I want to do other things too. I would like to do more fundraisers, work on the Scholarship Fund and take Big Bill to class reunions and do more work on my webpages.