Roosevelt’s class of 1966 prepares to celebrate 50th reunion


By Carmen M. Woodson-Wray

Gary Roosevelt’s Class of 1966 will be celebrating 50 years since their graduation at the Radisson Hotel in Merrillville beginning August 4-7. Some of their notable graduates such as Gerald Irons, former NFL football player for the Oakland Raiders and the Cleveland Browns and legendary television, theatre and movie actor Avery Brooks, are just two of the hundreds of classmates preparing to be a part of the celebration.

Chairman of the reunion committee is Ronald B. Hanley, along with the class’ steering committee consisting of Joyce Williams, Steve Mulligan, Gerald Irons and his wife Myrna, Dennis Bassett and Kay Behn.

Hanley said so many of the classmates just like Irons and Brooks have reached the pinnacle of success over the years. The class valedictorian, Rebera Elliott, has a PhD. in ministry and has authored several books. He said, “They are role models of our class.”

The projected activities of the reunion will start on Thursday, August 4 with a golf outing at Turkey Creek Golf Course in Merrillville. On Friday, August 5 there will be a luncheon at Hidden Lake Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Merrillville. That evening from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. will be a White Party Meet & Greet at the Radisson Hotel in Merrillville.

On Saturday, August 6 at 10 a.m. at the Radisson guest speakers Gerald and Myrna Irons will conduct a seminar on “Retire Inspired,” It’s Not an Age – It’s a Financial Number.” Following will be a seminar by Tonya Harvey, RN on “Manage Your Health” beginning at 11 a.m. That evening at 6 p.m. will be a Formal Black Tie Affair also at the Radisson Hotel.

Sunday morning the classmates will have breakfast at the hotel from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and then attend worship service at First AME Church of Gary beginning at 11 a.m.

Hanley said their 45th year reunion was held in Las Vegas, but classmates were adamant about bringing the 50th back home to Gary. He said, “We are definitely sure more of the class will come out to this one. So far 150 of them have signed up to attend.”

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