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2017 Minutes of the MHS Alumni Banquet



The 69th annual Morocco High School banquet was held in the Morocco

School gymnasium Saturday May 27th, 2017.


The Morocco Alumni Association held their annual Banquet at the Morocco Gymnasium.  There were approximately 150 alumni and guests attending the banquet served by Country Table of Kankakee, IL.  We had a very good turnout for our “Old Gold & Black” social hour preceding the banquet.  Everyone was visiting and catching up with former classmates and having a great time.


President Roger LaCosse ’67 welcomed everyone back to the gym where we graduated so many years ago.  Roger also thanked Charis Vander Plaats for providing music for us during our social hour and banquet. She did a wonderful job.


President Roger LaCosse ’67 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.  Roger then led all of us in the “Pledge of Allegiance” and Sarah Snell gave the invocation preceding the banquet.  The honored classes got to go first, then all the other tables went to enjoy our wonderful meal.


Last year’s minutes and Treasurer’s report can be read on the Morocco High School Website.  David DeKoker, Webmaster got up and spoke about the web site.  Our hits are staying about the same this year and we have about 212 names on our list.  We have around 396 Veterans on our list and if your name is not on our list, please let us know or fill out a form with all your information on it so we can add them to our list.  Judy Cupp Schultz ’58, our Historian does a great job keeping us informed with all the history that comes with MHS.   Please go to our web-site and see it for yourself.  Very interesting!


John Kessler got up and gave us some new information on a project that he is working on.  Coach Jim Lods was a basketball coach here in Morocco from 1953 to 1958.  He was a very good coach and we hated to see him go.  Just recently Coach Lods passed away and we would like to do something in his memory.  We have decided to re-vamp the basketball court that is located behind the Morocco Swimming Pool.   So far we have donations from the Beaver Township Trustee, McClellan Township Trustee, Lions Club, DeMotte State Bank and ex-players from the Alumni.  We have collected $6800 dollars, but we do need a little more to make this happen.  If you are interested in donating to this project, you can go or call the DeMotte State Bank (Morocco Branch) at 219-285-2255.  They have an account there for “Jim Lods Court”.  Thank you so much. 


President Roger LaCosse ’67 handed the microphone over to Dan Blaney who 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 that Connie Ackors Sell ’63, treasurer, had already received in the mail, which was $970.00, and what we collected at the alumni, which was $679.00,  the total was $1,649.00 which will be turned over to the Foundation.  We want to thank everyone for their generous donations!  This year’s 2017 Scholarship Award went to Skylar Belt, the parents of Doug & Jennifer Belt and great, granddaughter of Alumnus Laverne “Tuffy” Merriman.  She will be attending the International School of Business, Vet Tech Institute this fall.


Before President Roger LaCosse ’67 presented the elected officers for next year, he talked to the alumni about how hard it was to fill these officer’s positions.  He asked everyone to please step up and volunteer to fill some of these positions, especially the vice-president and president positions that change every year.  It is not that hard to do especially when they have it all mapped out for you to do.  It does take a little bit of time, but not hard.  Roger then presented the new officers:  President, Carol Potts Warring ‘63;  Vice-President Mike Shireley ’68; Secretary/Treasurer, Connie Ackors Sell ’63; Recording Secretary, JoAlice Warne Belt ’65; and Historian, Judy Cupp Schultz ’58.  The alumni members voted and accepted the nominations for officers for 2018.


President Roger LaCosse ’67 introduced Hettie Bailey Abbitt, class of 1938 who was the oldest member in attendance.  She received flowers and a great applauce.


Some of the other honored classes were: 1937 and 1942.


President Roger LaCosse ’67 introduced Marjorie Carlson Garrard who spoke for the class of 1947.  She introduced her 3 classmates that were here to celebrate their 70 years from MHS, Doris Merchant Miller, Delbert Purdy, and herself of course.   She talked about her memories from her 1st to 12th grades and had a lot of stories to tell along on her journey.  She also talked about how kind and great some of her teachers were and of course she had her favorites.  She made a lot of friends here at good old MHS.


Verille Sypult spoke for the class of 1952 and there were 5 classmates present.  He spoke about all the memories, class color, class motto, and stories along the way.   He read all the names of his classmates that had passed away and said maybe we would remember some of them.  He said there were 19 girls and 19 boys in their class.


Linda Mashino Gibson spoke for the class of 1957.   Linda said they had 37 in their class and 24 of them are still living.  There are 10 of them here tonight to celebrate our 60 years from MHS.  She said she was so blessed to live in this wonderful little town with  lots of love at that time and she thanked all the officers for keeping the alumni going so we could gather with our classmates and visit with other friends that came as well.  It is very much appreciated.


Dennis Deardurff spoke for the class of 1962.  He wanted to thank the alumni for giving us this 55 years here.  There was 49 that graduated in our class and 7 are here tonight to celebrate.  We have enjoyed the weekend, visiting and having fun seeing some of our classmates again.  Thanks again.


Tom Kocochis spoke for the class of 1967.  There was 61 that graduated from our class and we have lost 10 classmates along the way.   Tom then read all 10 names that had passed.  The class had met at the American Legion for their get-together at 3:00 pm before the alumni.  They had a wonderful time visiting with each other again and catching up.  There were 27 classmates present and 13 guests.

President Roger LaCosse ’67 asked all former cheerleaders to step forward and lead us in the school song.  Cheerleaders were:  Nancy Shuey Coon ’57, Linda Mashino Gibson ’57, Carol Potts Warring ’63, JoAlice Warne Belt ’65, Carolyn Holley Geller ’67, Jill Anderson Hammel ’67, and Jena Anderson Rensinger ’68.


Motion was made to adjourn and seconded.  Passed.


The day before the Alumni is when the preparations begin for our Saturday banquet.  On Friday in the afternoon, some of the students from the sophomore class from North Newton High School and their sponsor Lisa Kazmerski, transported tables to us from NN.  A big thank you to these young people, their sponsor and the NN School Corporation.  At this time, the tables are moved around where we want them, and the coverings and decorations are added.  Many hands make this an easy task.  This year those who arrived and worked to get this all done were:  Tim & Carolyn Geller, Pat James, Cheryl Hatten Hale, Denny & Shirley Deardurff, Mike & Karen McClatchey, John & Carol Warring, Roger & Linda LaCosse, JoAlice Belt, Frank Moody and Dave & Connie Sell.


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 everyone who helped to get this accomplished.  It is a lot of heavy work taking down tables and folding all the chairs, then putting them away.


Again, a “thank you” to all who helped us make our 2017 MHS Alumni a success.


JB, MHS Recording/Secretary



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