The Wheatley School 60th Anniversary Celebration
Dear Wheatley Administrators, Faculty, Staff, Students, Parents, Alumni, and Neighbors,
You, your friends, and family are hereby invited to The Wheatley School 60th Anniversary Celebration, co-sponsored by The Wheatley School and The Wheatley School Alumni Association.
This festive event will take place over the weekend of October 14-16, 2016, at and around The Wheatley School, 11 Bacon Road, Old Westbury, NY 11568.SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Doors open at Wheatley on Saturday, 10/15 at 1:00. Limited parking will be available at The Wheatley School; overflow parking will be available at the I. U. Willets Road School. Shuttle busses will run as needed.
Roast Beef, Corned Beef, Pastrami, or Turkey on Rye, or Tuna Salad on Whole Wheat, or Grilled Vegetable Wrap (all with two side salads), or Salad Orientale with Chicken; Dessert; Coffee; Tea.
Hotels that have promised special rates October 13-17:
To obtain preferential rate you must mention “Wheatley 60th Celebration” when reserving . Sales tax of 11.625% not included in rates noted.
(Note – We don’t want anyone to miss out on this event for lack of funds. Please e-mail confidential requests for reduced fee or no fee to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Any surplus funds will be donated to the East Williston Education Foundation.
The Wheatley School 60th Anniversary Celebration Planning Committee c/o The Wheatley School Alumni Association, WWW.WHEATLEYALUMNI.ORG, 646-872-4833
60th Anniversary Celebration Scheduled: October 14 - 16, 2016 at The Wheatley School.
Minutes of the Fourth Meeting - 10/13/15
(Next Meetings: Wednesday 1/13/16 and Thursday 3/10/16)
Committee Meeting Notes June 24, 2015.
(The next meetings are 10/13/15 and 3/10/16)
In Attendance: Janet Hart Entine - 1958 Michael Jablon - 1961 John Rigrod - 1961 Jeanne Messing Sommer - 1961 Jon Bagdon - 1962 Joe Iannotti 1962 Marianne Lamitola Downey - 1963 Ellen Solow Holzman - 1964 Alison Kent Bermant - 1966 Ken Distler - 1966 (by significant other) Suzanne Stone - 1966 Art Engoron 1967 Scott Frishman - 1967 Lynn Greenbaum - 1969 Danny Reich - 1971 Robin Hack Silverberg - 1971 Mae Kurman - Parent (David 1971; Janet 1972; Ellen 1973; Amy 1977) Gail LaPasta Gannotti - 1974 Corinne Cassely Cutrone - 1978 (Minutes by Lynn and Art)
Robin suggested that “Walk-a-Thons” are “petering out.” Perhaps Sunday morning should be a picnic, with bagels and coffee, etc.. Art said he likes picnics but that generating attendance at them is problematic in his experience. Danny suggested that more younger/recent graduates should be involved in the 60th. Art said he would try to do a better job of “keeping them in the loop.” Ellen and Art agreed to reach out to retired teachers. (Queries:, Were they asked to pay to attend the 50th? Should they be asked to pay to attend the 60th?) Marianne suggested that a bicycle ride be organized as an event. Someone suggested commemorative T-shirts. Alison suggested mini-reunions of clubs, teams, and other “affinity groups.” Photography should be better organized; many people missed being in their class photos. A schedule of “which classes when” should be posted around the school. John suggested having photo booths (which are all the rage at weddings and similar events). Food should be better organized (long lines plagued the 50th). The prevailing sentiment was “KISS” (keep it simple, stupid). Pizza, hot dogs, finger food were mentioned. (Please, no food fights!). The following committees exist: Food - Scott, Jeanne, Suzanne Career Panels - Ellen and Janet Decorating - Merrie Sesskin (1971) T-shirts - Marianne Lanyards - Corrine Finance - Marianne, Art, Corinne Facilities - (committee in formation) Program - (committee in formation) Fund-raising - Robin, Janet, Corinne
Committee Meeting Notes March 16, 2015.
Present at the meeting:
October 14, 15, 16, 2016 were confirmed as the official dates.
Possible schedule (modeled mostly on the 50th):
Friday Afternoon - Career Panels/Seminars at Wheatley
Friday Night - Each Class or group of classes to arrange get-togethers on their own. Suggestions welcome for possible venues (restaurants? bars? houses of alumni?).
Saturday Morning - Perhaps summer-recreation-style games or tournaments, such as chess, checkers, and/or ping-pong.
Saturday Early Afternoon - The Main Event. In the Gym (the auditorium is too small, with a capacity of 686). Speakers should be encouraged to be brief (several 50th attendees criticized what they considered to be the excessive length of the speeches and the program). The Wheatley Orchestra and/or band should perform, along with alumni musicians (sent sheet music/scores beforehand). Video of Wheatley history (perhaps the one from the 50th?).
Saturday Late Afternoon - Individual Classes in Individual Classrooms. As much as possible, contiguous graduation years should be near contiguous classrooms,
Saturday Early Evening - Dinner. Criticisms of last year included that the two food lines moved too slowly (over 1,000 people attended); and the food itself seems to have been unmemorable. Robert Abramowitz strongly suggested pizza and/or other informal food. Suggestions - heroes; salad; bagels. Food trucks in the parking lot were suggested by some, opposed by others. Query - How many pizzas would we need for 1,000+ people? Suggestion - seating should be “open” rather than by class. Query - Would pepperoni pizzas significantly increase our incidence of cancer because of the sodium nitrite content?
Saturday Late Evening - All agreed that the “Bands in the Gym” program at the 50th was less than a smashing success: few people attended; the music was too loud to allow talking; there was very little (if any) dancing. Suggestions include an acoustic jam session (“a hootenanny”) in the gym, or just a continuation of dinner in and around the cafeteria. Robert Abramowitz strongly advised against a D.J., on the grounds that they are always too loud.
Sunday Early - Annual charity walk-a-thon, ending at Wheatley, with a program outside the gym (weather permitting; or inside if not).
Provisional Committees and VolunteersFood - Camille Napoli; Scott Frishman
Career Panel - Ellen Solow Holzman (who taught at Wheatley for several decades)
Decorating - Merraine Sesskin
Finances - Art Engoron
Lanyards, nametags, T-Shirts and other giveaways - Corinne Cassely Cutrone (1978); Marianne Lamitola Downey (T-Shirts)
Miscellaneous Thoughts and Suggestions
People treasured the lanyards (two even brought them to the present meeting). These may have been supplied by Arthur Brown, 1967. The nametags should be large enough to read easily (we’re not getting any younger).
The photographing of classes was not well-organized last year; many people missed out. Perhaps people should be encouraged to bring cameras. Many people will bring “smart phones” with photographic capability.
Perhaps there should be a tent on the grounds, perhaps with a dance area.
Perhaps other committees should be organized.
Recent graduates should be encouraged to attend in greater numbers. Art Engoron said he will attempt to increase the size of the e-mailing list for recent grads. Perhaps recent (and older) grads can be communicated with via Facebook and other social media. Older grads may consider the 60th an opportunity to see each other one more time.
Do we need to address any privacy concerns?
Perhaps the TWSAA website should include more information.
Would Carol Leifer, 1974, be interested in acting as MC, or performing? ("I recently became vegan because I felt that as a Jewish lesbian, I wasn’t part of a small enough minority. So now I’m a Jewish lesbian vegan.")
Should we attempt to run a surplus, to be used for the scholarship fund, or a permanent physical gift to the school? Comment - Despite community demographics, Wheatley still has a significant number of needy students.
Should T-shirts be made? Ask Marianne Lamitola Downey of the Class of 1963, email@example.com, (Subject line “WHS tee shirts”) who recently did this.
Should the Wheatley Sports Hall of Fame be highlighted or acknowledged somehow?
Retired Administrators, Faculty and Staff should be invited. Art Engoron and Ellen Solow Holzman both have (or have access to) contact information for some of them.
At the other end of the age spectrum, Gail LaPasta Gannotti suggested inviting current students to join the organizing committee. (Editor’s Note - Excellent idea; and let’s make sure that we invite them to the event itself!)
Nobody was sure how much attendees were charged for the 50th. (Art Engoron’s Quicken records indicate that on 2/5/06 he wrote out a check to “The Wheatley School” for $100. This was probably for two people). Assuming it was $50 per person, should we charge $60 for the 60th? Principal Feeney previously indicated that the school does not want to “play banker” or be involved in financial matters. Could the Wheatley Scholarship Fund set up a separate account? Should an Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) “charitable” organization be set up? Should we just set up a bank account under the name “Wheatley Sixtieth Committee”? Can payment be made on-line, by credit card or Paypal or EventBrite?
Some people think a private event organizer should be hired. Some people disagree.
Do we need a nurse present? Insurance? Do we need to notify local police?
How about an art show in the reception area (or elsewhere)?
We will have to coordinate with the School about custodial services and parking.
Minutes of the First Exploratory Planning Meeting Held December 15th, 2014
December 15, 2014: