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2015 Minutes of the MHS Alumni Banquet



The 67th annual Morocco High School banquet was held in the Morocco

School gymnasium Saturday May 23rd, 2015.


The Morocco Alumni Association held their annual Banquet at the Morocco Gymnasium.  There were approximately 160 alumni and guests attending the banquet served by Devon’s Catering of Rensselaer.  Since the Morocco gym is now air-conditioned, we were all very comfortable to visit with former classmates and friends at the “Old Gold & Black” social hour preceding the banquet.


President Woody Hammel ’65 welcomed everyone back to the gym where we graduated so many years ago.  Woody assured us that the program would be very short this year.  He thanked Matt Kalita, our magician, for being here and entertaining us during our banquet.


President Woody Hammel ’65 read several quotes: “ It would not be the land of the free if it wasn’t the home of the brave.   We remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and honor those who have served to protect and defend our country and freedom.”   He then had all the men and women who had served in the U.S. Armed Forces stand up and they were honored with a round of applause.  Woody then led all of us in the “Pledge of Allegiance” and Bonnie Barnett Storey ’57 gave the invocation preceding the banquet.  This year we had Bev Sherman Bingham’s ’64 daughter, Mindy Mathis, and grandchildren, Hanna, Sarah, Katie, and John Mathis come to give assistance to anyone that might need some extra help during our banquet time and they also helped clear the tables which was a big help.  We want to thank all of them for coming, it was very much appreciated.


President Woody Hammel ’65 introduced Barb Rice Greenburg, Betty Hagen Kessler’s ’35 niece, to introduce the special award that Betty received from Butler University.  She received an Honorary Doctorate Degree for the many wonderful  accomplishments she has done in her life through her teaching and community.  Barb Greenburg told the stories of Betty when she first started teaching in 1937 until retiring years.  After retiring, she opened the “Lunchbox” restaurant uptown Morocco until she was 86 yrs. old and had to sell because of health reasons.  One year later, she opened a “Tea Room & Art Center” uptown Morocco to show off the talent from the community and to socialize.

Worked with the Project Unlimited group in Morocco on many projects for the community and they made a small park in Morocco in honor of Betty.  If anyone would like to see this award that was given to Betty Hagen Kessler’35, there is a video on the Morocco High School Alumni Homepage that is listed under “Latest News”.  You will see all of it on that listing with several pictures with Betty and her niece, Barb and them sharing their memories.


The Secretary/Treasurer Connie Ackors Sell ’63 received a letter from Marjorie Jackson Henry ’33 who talked about what has been happening in her life.  She is 93 yrs. old now and her husband and her now live in an apt. at a Nursing Home.  She will turn 100 yrs. in August.  Connie also told us about Gartha Hanger Clark ‘ 33 who will also turn 100 yrs. in June of this year.  Connie gave her treasurer’s report and was approved by the alumni as read.


President Woody Hammel ’65 reported that the 2015minutes, written by Recording Secretary, JoAlice Warne Belt ’65 were posted on the alumni web-site.  Please feel free to read them and if there are any additions or corrections, please make that known by e-mail.  We encourage everyone to access the web-site and also to notify Connie Ackors Sell ’63 or the web-master David Dekoker, if someone has passed away.  Connie does not know if the address is incorrect or if the person is deceased when she gets an invitation back in the mail.


President Woody Hammel ’65 talked to us about the Ruth Corbin Scholarship now known and maintained by the Newton Community Foundation.  To keep our scholarship fund going, he had baskets passed around for the free will donation.  With the money Connie Ackors Sell ’63, treasurer, had already received and what we collected at the alumni, the total was $1,054.00 which will be turned over the Foundation.  We want to thank everyone for their donations.


The slate of officers for the 2016 MHS Alumni Association was presented by President Woody Hammel ’65:  President, Tim Geller ’66; Vice-President, Roger LaCosse ’67; Secretary/Treasurer, Connie Ackors Sell ’63; Recording Secretary, JoAlice Warne Belt ’65; Historian, Judy Cupp Schultz ’58.  The alumni members voted and excepted the nomin-ations for officers for 2016.


President Woody Hammel ’65 received a message from the North Newton School Corporation.  They had a Strategic Planning Committee composed of staff, community members and business men.  This committee worked and met for 5 months to plan the direction of the corporation.  One of their suggestions is that all 4 schools be called Spartans to motivate the children early about their school since the alma motter will be Spartans.  There will be no more Beavers, Tigers, or Eagles.  This will probably take place  starting next year.


President Woody Hammel ’65 introduced two alumni who were one of the honored classes and also the oldest members in attendance.  They were:  Betty Hagen Kessler ’35, and Florence Mashino Storey ’35.  Betty said “Hooray” for the class of 1935.  They both received flowers  and a great applauce!

Some of the other honored classes were:  1940, 1945, & 1950.


Vice-President, Tim Geller ’66 introduced Florence Augustine Bunning who spoke for the class of 1955.  There was 38 students who graduated in their class and 8 of them has now passed away.  Mrs. Ann McPhail was their class sponsor and they went to Washington DC on their senior trip.  We have 9 of our classmates here tonight and you can see more about our class on the web-site.


Stewart Hammel spoke for the class of 1960.  There were only 4 classmates who came to the alumni this year so Stew didn’t have too much to say, only that we might be weak in numbers, but we’re strong!

JoAlice Warne Belt spoke for the class of 1965.  We had so many that came to our reunion that it was wonderful!  There were 35 classmates who came and we were so proud of each and everyone of them for making our 50th the greatest we have ever had.  We had a lot of classmates who came from a great distance and some close by.  We had a great party at the Lucus House here in Morocco where we just visited and told stories and just got to know each other again.  We also invited some of our teachers back with us to visit and it was great to see all of them.  We had 75 students in our class and 14 of them have passed away. We just want to thank everyone for making this year a great one!


Ruth Ellen Blaney Hayworth spoke for the class of 1970.  She was sorry she was the only one here this year, but she will try to get more to come next year.


President Woody Hammel ’65 asked all former cheerleaders to step forward and lead us in the school song.  Cheerleaders were:  JoAlice Warne Belt ’65; Betty Hagen Kessler ‘ 35; Carolyn Holley Geller ’67; Jill Anderson Hammel ’68; and Linda Mashino Gibson ’57.


Motion was made to adjourn and seconded. Passed.


The day before the Alumni is when the preparations begin for our Saturday banquet.  Soon after school on Friday, some of the students from the sophomore class from North Newton and their sponsor, Mr. Jim Speck, transported tables from NN.  They set-up the tables & chairs and patiently moved them around for us.  A big thank you to these young people, their sponsor and the NN School Corporation.  At this time, the table coverings are placed and decorations are added.  Many hands make this an easy task.  This year those who arrived and worked to get this all done were:  Bill & Donna Smart, Woody & Jill Hammel, Barney & JoAlice Belt, Tim & Carolyn Geller, Connie & Dave Sell, Mike & Karen McClatchey, Kathleen Yoder Rotert, Susan Plaster Pantos, and Stewart Hammel.


After the banquet and the guests have left, is when the gym has to be cleared and ready for school on Monday.  A big thank you to the young people who came in, folded up all the tables and chairs, and carried grade school tables and chairs to the storage area.  The tables from the high school are picked up early Monday morning and returned to the high school by the students.


Again, a “thank you” to all who helped with the 2015 MHS Alumni.


-- JoAlice Belt, MHS Recording/Secretary



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