As they prepare to mark half a century since they received their high school diplomas, members of the Shawnee Mission East class of 1968 are also hoping to raise funds for a cause that’s becoming more and more relevant for many members as they enter their senior years.
Earlier this year, the reunion committee decided to organize a fundraiser in conjunction with the celebration, which will be held in October.
“I never really thought I would grow up, and in some respects, I am not sure I have completely done so,” wrote organizer John Smith in a letter to fellow members of the class of 1968. “I don’t mind it too much, some aches and pains, and now facing “Grown Up” issues. If you haven’t had to deal with illness/loss of parents, or financial worries, or perhaps struggles with siblings/spouses/children, consider yourself to be in the very fortunate minority. It is in the spirit of having reached the “Grown Up” stage that The Reunion Committee wants to make our 50th reunion extraordinary. We have decided to raise funds for Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care.”
The group is selling t-shirts designed by class member Jere Hanney with the proceeds going to the organization. The shirts, which cost $25, are available for purchase to the general public as well as class members. You can find information on how to order a shirt here.
Elaine McIntosh, another member of the organizing committee, was CEO of the organization for 30 years.
And other members of the class have seen the group’s work up close as well.Leslee Price recalls how Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care helped her stepmother, Delores Bush, with whom she was very close, in her final days.
“Once she entered Hospice, she…entered into a painless, peaceful road to her death,” Price said. “She was there two and a half weeks and I’ll never forget the caring and thoughtfulness of the Hospice staff. We were treated as if she was the only one there.”
The reunion itself will be October 6.