reunited…and it feels so good…

The Lebo Class of ’95 will hold its 20th Reunion over the weekend of July 24 to 26. As one of the event’s planners, I must say that we’ve pulled together a pretty swell weekend full of activities: 1) the Kick-off Party/Early Arrivals Social on the deck of (none other than) The Saloon on Friday night; 2) two different time options for tours of the new high school during the day on Saturday; 3) the main event on Saturday night at the super-chic rooftop lounge of Uptown, across from CONSOL Energy Center in the city; and 4) a daytime Pirates game for alumni and their children on Sunday. Whew!

I have been one of the planners for each of the reunions we have held thus far (10, 15, and now 20) and can honestly say that each one holds its own unique set of challenges:

In 2005, tracking down physical mailing addresses for a bunch of young professionals was a gargantuan assignment. It sometimes meant calling the same phone numbers we used to call in high school, but instead of reaching out in hopes of making plans for a Saturday night, we were hoping that a parent still lived in that same childhood home and could help us find our friends. Facebook, who?

Lebo 10 year reunion in 2005 (1)
10-year reunion attendees at PNC Park in 2005

By 2010, female classmates were highly likely to have new last names. Harder still, some friends already had children, making flying back to Pittsburgh (or even finding a babysitter) a challenge for attending the event. Also, holding the reunion (for the second time) over Thanksgiving weekend proved difficult, as many classmates were flying to the homes of their in-laws for the holiday and not back to Lebo.

Lebo 15 year reunion in 2010 late-night stragglers
Emily with the other end-of-night stragglers after the 15-year reunion at Olive or Twist in 2010

Sadly for 2015, we have grown entirely reliant on Facebook it seems, likely causing us to miss out on any people who opt not to engage in social media. But with increasingly more stressful jobs, parents or relatives to take care of, a slew of children’s [gymnastics, soccer, Boy/Girl Scouts, camp] schedules to coordinate, and life in general, taking the easy route was just about all we could do to at least pull something off to celebrate this milestone year.

Sadder still was the (surprisingly long) list of classmates who had passed away. The discussion on the Class of ’95 Facebook page was filled with a hefty dose of shock and so many unanswered questions.

It will never be a perfect process. We’ll never reach EVERYONE (and believe you me, some people prefer not to be reached) and we’ll never be able to pick a date that works universally. But, perhaps another five years will bring older/more self-sufficient children, more permanent addresses, more financial and job stability, and more nostalgia – making the attendee list for the 25th a little bit longer.

Lebo Class of 95 yearbook photo
The senior class photo from the 1995 Mt. Lebanon Log yearbook

But no matter what lies ahead for our Class of ’95 reunions, I know that I’ll always be glad I helped make these events happen, regardless of size or scope, because it’s always good to come home, and I want my dear old friends to have that option.


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