North Tama Class of 1978 is GREAT!

Reunion class sets ‘Dollars for Scholars’ fundraising record

Members of the North Tama Class of 1978 ride in last year’s Winding Stairs Festival parade on Aug. 12, 2023, as the parade makes its way down the Walnut Street hill toward downtown Traer. PHOTO BY RUBY F. MCALLISTER

TRAER – North Tama’s Class of 1978 is a group with a reputation for close friendships, fun, collaboration, generosity and accomplishment. Keeping up this tradition the class members donated $5,000 to North Tama Dollars for Scholars at their 45th Class Reunion last August (2023). This amount was increased by matching funds from both Jared and Marilyn Bauch ($2,500) and Gary Dinsdale ($500) for a total contribution of $8,000.

This was not accomplished in one reunion weekend, but an effort of several months. When the reunion letters were sent with Dollars for Scholars Fundraising information, class member Julie (Peterson) Conrad quickly responded and took the lead.

Sending her own letter to each of her classmates, Conrad stated she was contributing $200 toward the North Tama Dollars for Scholars fundraising in memory of her close friend and classmate, Bobby Novotny. She encouraged others to do the same. The challenge was heartily accepted from this class who remain in close contact despite many years since graduating from North Tama in 1978. Conrad continued to send frequent reminders, solicitations and progress reports of how much the class members had raised. Conrad worked with her close friend and classmate, Sandy (Pohlman) Dengler who is a North Tama Dollars for Scholars Board Member serving as the treasurer for the board. Together they canvased the reunion weekend with updates on the amount raised plus more encouragement for their classmates to donate. They achieved success! With the matching funds, the Class of 1978 donated not only in memory of their classmate Novotny but $1,000 in memory of each of the deceased classmates of 1978; Tracey Bandfield, Francis Hayek, Doug Kalvig, John Krutzfeldt, Dan Morrison, and Mitch Parizek. These names were all recognized during the Senior Awards Night this past May 8, 2024.

Because the yearly scholarships are given in smaller increments, the remaining balance of the $8,000 raised was added to the endowment which assures the future of the North Tama Dollars for Scholars program will continue to assist students.

The North Tama Class of 1978 has a reputation for teamwork and generosity and now holds the record for the most money raised of any class for North Tama Dollars for Scholars. As this enthusiastic group is known to chant, “78 is great,” their fundraising efforts certainly are evidence.

With upcoming class reunions set to take place this summer from August 9-10 as part of the Winding Stairs Festival, North Tama Dollars for Scholars encourages and appreciates the continued generosity of the reunion classes.