Bentley Community News: overwhelming support for Jog For Justin

Once again the Bentley community has stepped up to the plate to help relieve the stress on a local family. The school fundraiser for the Bickford family was a huge success.
Pledges gathered by students from ECS to Grade 7 for the school’s annual Turkey Trot, designated the Jog for Justin this year, raised just short of $17,328.

Pictured above are some of the former pupils of the Bentley Class of 1958 who attended a school reunion after 50 years

Pictured above are some of the former pupils of the Bentley Class of 1958 who attended a school reunion after 50 years

Once again the Bentley community has stepped up to the plate to help relieve the stress on a local family. The school fundraiser for the Bickford family was a huge success.

Pledges gathered by students from ECS to Grade 7 for the school’s annual Turkey Trot, designated the Jog for Justin this year, raised just short of $17,328. It was presented to the Bickfords on Sept. 25 to help with expenses including a family trip to Disney World for two weeks to give the family a great experience with Justin while all can enjoy it together.

The school’s annual Pancake Breakfast on Friday, Oct. 3 added another $2,400 to the Bickford Family Fund.

More donations were also being accepted at the local Community Savings branch towards the Bickford Trust Fund.

Due to the recent canvassing of the community and the great support, the school has decided not to hold a UNICEF Halloween drive and bother the community with another fundraiser and student canvassers at their doors again, so don’t look for the UNICEF fundraiser this year.

All who collected and donated to the Bickford family fundraiser are to be commended for their efforts.

Class of ‘58 holds reunion after 50 years

Some people had not seen one another for 50 years or more. That was a common scenario when the Bentley Graduation Class of 1958 held a 50-year reunion at the Gilby Community Centre in August. It was the first time that group had ever staged a class reunion.

It included former classmates that had been part of the class throughout the years spent in Bentley School, and some teachers as well. After 50 years 23 students out of the 37 that were in Grade 8 together attended, with 12 out of the 18 graduates attending.

Some people drove out for the day, or both days, and some camped in the community centre campground. There was lots of ‘catching up’ to do.

There was a catered roast beef supper the Saturday evening with almost 50 attendees, and a catered breakfast on the Sunday morning with over 30 attending. Silver, white, and yellow – the old school colors, decorated the tables.

Sometimes name tags were a saving grace when a name for a face did not come to mind quickly. Others knew right away who their old friends were, even after so many years.

Many still live in the Bentley/Rimbey area. Most still are in central Alberta, or at least Alberta, but some did travel quite a distance to attend. Some came from Kelowna, Vernon, and Valemont, B.C. One now living in the United Kingdom and also Patricia (Weatherill) Young, who had helped with the choir, sent their regards.

School Principal at the time the class was going to school was August “Gus” Bruns. His wife Ann was able to attend. Former teacher John Predy, with wife Marion, and daughter Jill, also attended.

Almost all classmates that were a part of the class over the years were tracked down. Some classmates were deceased and it was also noted that a couple local ones had recently passed away.

Lots of photographs and class pictures had been collected. A ‘Snowball’ program, an original graduation program and official grad photo, and even an old school jacket and hockey jersey were on display.

One former student, Ross Schmidt, even donned his old gray/black/gold school sweater!

Booklet keepsakes had been put together for each class member that had pre-registered and attended. The booklets included many old class pictures and the personal histories some had submitted since being contacted for the reunion. Current photos were shared on a computer slide show.

The organizing/planning committee consisted of Gale Skjonsberg, David Carlyle, Mavis Huhtala, Ross Schmidt, Carol McKean, and Shirley Piro. They (mostly Gale) had being working on the event since March /07 when a date was set and she booked the hall.

Almost 60 invitations were sent out including about eight to former teachers.