ESPANOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico graduating class from 50 years ago is asking for help as they move forward with their plan to try and pay it forward. It’s all taking place at their big reunion coming up this summer as they hope to help future students pursue their dreams.
Members of the Española High School Class of 1969 are creating a scholarship fund to help deserving seniors go to college. They need help from fellow classmates to make it happen.
“Our world, our responsibility,” said Nancy Everett-Williams, a member of the class of ’69, reading from a class book. “Fits with what we’re trying to do.”
Scrapbooks filled with newspaper clippings and photos quickly bring these classmates back to the halls of Española High, reminiscing about their favorite memories of 1969. The class of ’69 is a tight-knit group, keeping the memories alive in decades of reunions — like 1989’s reunion basketball game with rivals Santa Cruz.
“We won in overtime 69-64, I believe. It was a great game, great memories,” said Ruben Lujan, a member of the class of ’69. “I’m very fortunate to be a part of this class that does have this camaraderie.”
Now, as they celebrate 50 years, the group is making a new memory. They hope it will live on in generations to come.
“We’re getting ready for our 50th, and with our 50th, we’re doing a scholarship. That’s our way of giving back to the community and the school,” said Cathy Archuleta-Guillen, a member of the class of ’69. “We’re really excited and hoping we do raise some money so we can give back to some of the students at the high school.”
With this reunion, the group is raising funds to help fellow Española students pursue higher education and further give back to the community.
“We’ve got students here that maybe they’re not in the top 10-percent of the classes, they don’t make the high-high grades, but they still have a yearning to go on and do something with their lives,” said Everett-Williams. “I believe that a lot of them will be back and they will work in our community.”
It’s a small token of appreciation for the school that brought these four and countless others together. They hope fellow classmates will follow suit.
“We would like to give back to the school that really was an important foundation for us,” said Roberta Trujillo-Diaz, a member of the class of ’69. “And our hope is, is our class was very good but all of the classes before and after us have been just as good and we’re hoping that they will become encouraged to donate to our silent auction, to the scholarship.”
The class reunion will be held Aug. 24 at the Santa Claran Hotel, starting at 5 p.m. The fee is $75 per person and can be mailed to 520 Camino Rio Vista in Española. There will also be a silent auction at the reunion to raise funds for the scholarships that will be awarded to students of the now-Española Valley High School. Those unable to attend can also mail in a donation to the address listed above. The committee can also be reached on Classmates.com.