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Hartford's Weaver Class of 1980 Planning Costume Ball For 50th Birthday

By VANESSA DE LA TORRE

August 20, 2012

HARTFORD Members of Weaver High's class of 1980 have organized six reunions since leaving the North End school with their diplomas.

"We've pretty much been the champions of reunions from that era, back in the '80s," said Valerie Donar Wilson, the class president and a career counselor at the University of Saint Joseph.

Now the Weaver Beavers have another milestone to celebrate: Many class members were born in 1962 and turn 50 this year. How about a historical costume ball in downtown Hartford to mark the occasion?

The Oct. 5 event at the Bond Ballroom honors black history with a spotlight on 1912 to 2012, organizers said. Party-goers can pay homage to the Harlem Renaissance, for example, or figures such as Jackie Robinson, Malcolm X and Michelle Obama.

Class of 1980 alumni from Hartford Public and Bulkeley high schools, as well as the general public, are also invited.

A Weaver class photo is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday in front of the school, 415 Granby St.

Winifred "Winnie" Billington, a board member for the John E. Rogers African American Cultural Center in Hartford, said Monday that she suggested the historical link to "go beyond just a party and bring in the culture."

"I said, 'Let's try it and see what happens ... what people will come up with,'" said Billington, a former Weaver athlete who acted in a few high school dramas back in the day. "So we're going for it."

Classmates last gathered in 2010 for their 30th reunion. They've also had parties for the 5th, 10th, 20th and 25th reunions and a decade ago, a 40th birthday celebration that set the precedent.

"We're not getting any younger," said Wilson, who attributed the frequency of their gatherings to "the camaraderie we've had over the years and the respect we have for one another."

Notable Weaver alumni from 1980 include the actor Eriq La Salle, who has attended several reunions; Bishop Victor Rush of Ebenezer Temple in Hartford; and city Councilman Kyle Anderson, the class vice president.

"Would not miss it," Anderson said of October's reunion. "Would not miss it for the world."

Tickets are $50 per person before Sept. 1; after is $60. Deadline is Sept. 21. Payment can be sent to WHS Class of 1980, P.O. Box 8109, Manchester, CT 06040. For more information, contact Valerie Donar Wilson at weaverclassof1980@aol.com.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
     
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