EHS-100 Reunion Launch Party

Ephrata High School

April 12, 2013
Update October 1, 2014

This Launch Party report has been updated and expanded to include information occurring after the party, but pertaining to the various individuals, subjects and activities celebrated during the party. The EHS-100 Reunion committee proudly acknowledges all of the success that was generated at this time.

Ephrata High School Principal Dan Martel welcomed alumni, teachers, administrators, and support staff who gathered to celebrate the official beginning of the 2014 EHS-100 Reunion celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first graduating class from Ephrata High School. He expressed his gratitude to the reunion committee and confirmed the commitment of the school’s staff and students to work with the committee to put on a memorable event in June 2014.

Ephrata School Superintendent Jerry Simon addressed the launch party audience; unveiling some of Ephrata School District’s plans for educating the attendees at the 2014 reunion on the progress and success that the district has achieved in its years since 1902. The reunion, celebrating 100 years since the first graduation, is being looked upon as a very important occasion in the history of the Ephrata Schools. Pictured with Superintendent Jerry Simon were Committee Chair Beverly Elshire Mayer, Vice-Chair Gail Mason Smith, Treasurer Denver Morford, and Secretary Barb Anderson Deycous. Other executive board members include Ephrata Alumni Association representative Michael Lehmann, Ephrata High School Librarian/Liaison Kathleen Allstot, student representative Hunter Sears, and Webmaster Greg Folsom.

For past superintendents and principals, click here:

Honored guests at the party were to have been Elaine Daling Porter and William “Bill” Robinson, graduates of Ephrata High School Class of 1938. Bill was not able to attend, nevertheless he was honored along with Elaine.

Elaine is shown looking over a photo of 1938’s nineteen –member class which attended the “green, two-story skyscraper”, the Lincoln School, located in the current school’s parking lot.

To view photo, click here:

Elaine moved to Ephrata during her high school years. She was active in the school’s art department and school plays; she earned a school letter for her activities (which she still has). Elaine married her high school sweetheart Jack Porter who was also a member of the class and they made their home in Ephrata.

Most high school students in the 50s, 60s, and 70s remember Elaine as the lady who ruled over the luncheon-fountain at the Ephrata Drug where she was famous for her wide variety of aprons, one for each day of the work week. From 1950 to 1975 she served up the lime-cokes and chocolate shakes to students looking for a treat after a day at school. She said she was “usually treated with respect” and “had fun”.

Bill Robinson is familiar to many people in Ephrata. He has spent all but five years of his life living in the city. Bill’s time was limited for extra-curricular activities during his high schools years; he spent a lot of time helping out at his father’s meat market. The school annual identified him as “the best butcher in town!” He has wonderful memories of growing up in Ephrata.

Bill has always been involved in civic activities; he is the go-to man if a question comes up about the history of Ephrata. He has always connected to the local young people; serving on the Ephrata School Board for 15 years and as KOVE chaperone for many years.

Elaine and Bill are two valued citizens in the Ephrata community and they are special in the history of Ephrata High School. They are the first, and only, Ephrata High School graduates to reach their 75th class reunion year. The EHS-100 Reunion Committee was pleased to be able to celebrate the history of Ephrata High School by honoring the graduates of the Class of 1938.

During the launch party Elaine was honored by the Ephrata High School Chamber Choir with their rendition of the 1911 school song “Orange and the Black”. The choir was directed by Tim O’Donnell. Hearing this song after 75 years brought back many happy memories for Elaine of her days as a student at Ephrata High School.

Clarence B. Mitchell - 1911

Although Quincy’s always favored, the violets dark blue,
And the gentle sons of Hartline, to the crimson rose are true,
We will own the lilies slender, not honor shall they lack,
While the tiger stands defender of the Orange and the Black.

Thro’ the four long years of high school, midst the scenes we love so well,
As the mystic charm to knowledge, we vainly seek to spell;
Or we win athletic vict’ries on the football field or track,
Still we work for dear Ephrata, and the Orange and the Black.

When the cares of life o’er take us, mingling fast our locks with gray,
Should our dearest hopes betray us, false fortune, fall away,
Still we banish care and sadness as we turn our mem’ries back,
And recall those days of gladness, ‘neath the Orange and the Black.

For musical version, click here:

The school colors of orange and black and the Tiger as mascot were designated in 1911. In the 1910-1911 school year there was only a freshman class in Ephrata High School. For the next three years a class was added – sophomore class in 1911-1912, junior in 1912-1913, and finally a senior class in 1913-1914. In the 1949 Tiger Tracks annual the “Fight On!” song appeared as it was written by Doris Correll (Matlock). Over the years a few words have been changed, but in general it has retained its original wording.

For school song, click here:

EHS-100 Reunion Committee Treasurer Denver Morford awarded Ephrata High School freshman Krista Claussen her cash prize of $100.00 for creating the winning poster design in the contest sponsored by the EHS-100 Reunion Committee. The cash award was generously provided by Denver and his wife Sarah of Barry’s Chrysler in Ephrata. Krista’s poster, along with nine other of the top poster designs, were on display during the launch party. Posters were also displayed in businesses around Ephrata and were offered for sale in order to help generate funding for the reunion.

For poster design finalists, click here:

Krista is a life-long resident of Ephrata, “I went to St. Rose of Lima Catholic School from preschool through sixth grade, then Ephrata Middle School and now I am a freshman at Ephrata High School.” She is a three-generation Ephrata High student, “My parents Jim and Natalie Claussen both graduated in 1989 and my grandma Donna Gudmunson Huesties graduated in 1969.”

Krista said she has “always been intrigued by photography and that led me to Visual Communications class with Mrs. Vasquez. I’ve enjoyed learning how to use Photoshop and am amazed by what you can do with it.”

With regard to financing the reunion activities, Chairperson Beverly Mayer reported that the reunion committee was associated with the Ephrata Alumni Association. Because of the association’s support the committee was able to develop income-generating projects, but the majority of operating expenses was dependent upon new membership in the alumni association and cash donations from alumni and friends of Ephrata High School. There was no fee collected for attending the reunion so memberships and donations proved to be important. Excess funds collected by the reunion committee remained with the alumni association in support of their scholarship program. Michael Lehmann and Grace Lampman Nelson, alumni association members, promoted and signed up new alumni association members during the Launch Party.

Michael Lehmann, representing the reunion committee, is shown thanking Judi Pfeifer Woods and Jan Southern Barr for their contribution to the reunion’s funding. Jan, Judi, and Melinda Tomlin Farmer provided a beautiful quilt for a raffle. All three women are members of the Ephrata High School Class of 1958. Raffle tickets went on sale in September 2013 with the drawing for the winner taking place during the EHS-100 Reunion in June 2014. Appropriately, the quilt was created 100” x 100” in size; it featured a wide variety of fabrics in black, white and dark red. Gail Mason Smith and her brother Harold Mason created the raffle tickets on the old printing press of their parents early-day operation, Ephrata Printers. Gail served as chairman of the quilt raffle project.

The success of the Launch Party was due in part to student participation. School leaders, attired in bright orange reunion-designed tee-shirts, assisted with set-up, serving refreshments, and acting as tour-guides. The most appreciated was the speedy clean-up crew! The students and their advisor Kathleen Allstot displayed a lot of enthusiasm for the up-coming reunion celebration. The school mascot assisted honored guest Elaine Daling Porter in greeting party goers.

Party assistants included: Associated Student Body officers Hannah Gunderson and Hunter Sears shown setting up the sound system. Other officers were Monae Hendrickson, Astride Hamm, Freddie Hamm, Chance Flanigan, Kristin McDonnell, Evan McMartin, Lana Sween, and Matt Mortimer. The members of this group of students are high academic achievers and have chosen to serve their school with positive actions.

Throughout the planning process the reunion committee called upon this group of young people for assistance with various projects. In particular was Chance Flanigan who served as the student representative to the reunion committee. He contributed greatly to the projects that the committee embarked upon; he set the homecoming tent party in motion, was instrumental in acquiring the Celebration Bell as a commemorative gift honoring the EHS-100 Reunion and participated at committee meetings.

Guests enjoyed a variety of activities and displays. The top ten poster-design entries were on display as well as the raffle quilt, there was an Ephrata High School Alumni Association information table, student’s historical display, Kove information board, PowerPoint demonstration, and student-led school tours; which made for an enjoyable evening. Thanks to office staff member Sandi Black every party-goer had the opportunity to go to the school’s office and obtain a copy of their grade transcript from their days at the school.

Garner Sears, Ephrata High School freshman and fourth-generation student, provided a PowerPoint demonstration show-casing the reunion’s website, Webmaster Greg Folsom, Class of 1962, was responsible for maintaining the website. He was aided by Beverly Mayer who served as the website data developer, providing information that Greg developed into a very user-friendly website.

Chairman Beverly Mayer reminded alumni and school supporters that, “it is important that all alumni, former administrators, teachers and support staff are made aware of the June 2014 event. The reunion website is a big help in spreading the word, but the established network of class leaders needs to do its part in making sure all of their classmates are aware of, and have the opportunity to attend the 100th anniversary reunion.”

The KOVE Club poster board drew a lot of attention since many of the attendees had no idea that students in the 1940s to 1960s had a club which was designed strictly for the enjoyment of students during after-school hours. Many of the students of today were impressed with this type of opportunity early-day students had for having fun. The KOVE Club was managed by students with adult supervision. Dancing to the juke box was the main activity.


Ephrata High School students prepared a story board, pictures, and memorabilia display. Shown on the left is Marj Matthews Burkhart and to the right Anna Key Canet with Ephrata High School Principal Dan Martel enjoying the display. The oldest artifact of the school is a bronze tablet with the words, “Set a High Price on Your Leisure Moments” neatly engraved. It was presented to the school by the Ephrata Women’s Study Club at the dedication of the first high school in March 1915.

After the evening’s program guests enjoyed refreshments and visiting. Sharon Rood Spofford and Barb Anderson Deycous, reunion committee members, served orange and black decorated cupcakes, coffee, and punch. Alumni provided the cupcake refreshments. Sharon, left, and Barb, right, were joined in this picture by Sheri Martin Patterson and Linda Wanke Ebberson.

Just over 100 people were signed in to the EHS-100 Launch Party by greeters Janet Jenkins Nelson and Marj Matthews Burkhart Among those were the sisters Joan Burd Archer, Class of 1943, and Norma Lee Burd Scheib, Class of 1946. They have been life-long area residents and supporters of Ephrata High School. They came to the party, “to find out what was going on.”

With the support and encouragement of Ephrata alumni such as Joan and Norma Lee, the EHS-100 Reunion committee was able to keep in mind three ways to properly recognize this momentous occasion, the 100-year reunion. First was to honor the history of Ephrata High School. Second, celebrate the present-day Ephrata High School. And third, show the future graduates of Ephrata High School how fortunate they are to be an Ephrata Tiger. Through a variety of projects and events the committee put on a celebration that reached across the generations and brought pleasure to all who returned to Ephrata in June 2014.

Appreciation to Ephrata alumni Randy Bracht, Grant County Journal, for photos.

© 2014 - Ephrata Alumni Association
Ephrata High School, 333 4th Avenue NW, Ephrata, Washington 98823