What do you call a gathering of high school students 50 years or more after they graduated? In Vero we call it the Vero Beach High School Golden Grads picnic. The event was held April 7 at the County Fairgrounds and drew 635 former VBHS students/spouses who attended the school before 1969. It was the fourth annual picnic and brought attendees from as far away as Germany and as long ago as Class of 1943. Most however, live in Vero or the surrounding area.
Class reunions usually happen every five or ten years, but four years ago a group of representatives from most classes of at least 50 years ago, decided to hold an annual one day picnic for everyone. The response was overwhelming because so many local grads of all ages know each other now even if they didn’t know each other then.
The picnic was held from 9-5 with a barbecue buffet catered by 14 Bones Restaurant. Tables were grouped by decade and within that by year. The original event was chaired by Buddy Provost (Class of 1963) and this year’s picnic was hosted by Steve Hayes (Class of 1968).
Indian River County only came into existence in 1925 (it was part of St. Lucie County before then) and the most senior representative at the first two picnics was Gladys Phillips, Class of 1932! Only a small number graduated with Gladys at that time. In fact it was well into the 1950s before any graduating class numbered 100.
Organizing the picnic falls to a group of class representatives, some of whom make all the arrangements, but all of whom are responsible for contacting fellow classmates either by email, snail mail, Facebook, Classmates.com or other social media.
If you are interested in attending next year’s picnic, have attended Vero Beach High School at least 50 years ago, and have not been contacted in the past, please notify Milt Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 772-696-5710.