Your Legacy.
Their Opportunity.

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Welcome to Rise

Welcome to the March 2019 edition of “Rise Grand Island” the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation...

Grand Legacy Update

so many ways to give

After all of the snow and chilly temperatures in the last month, it is hard to believe that spring is just around the corner (hopefully) and that May will be here before we know it...

At the Top

GROUNDBREAKING FOR “OUR GRAND LEGACY” TAKES PLACE

Several hundred members of the Grand Island community — many of them proud members of Islander Nation— showed up at Senior High’s west gym on a cold January 21 to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Memorial Stadium Project...

I've Been Thinking

During my 20 plus years as a newspaper columnist, I’d occasionally warn my readers that was about to sound like my father. Then I was off and running with some sort of get-off-my-lawn rant straight from the crabby old guy files...

Alumni Reunions

current reunion information

 

Pushing On

Milestones

This month we bring you the new inductees to the Athletic Hall of Fame and we also share the story of Lindsay Zana, 2006 alum and her journey in L.A.

Shaking the World

Go Big Give with the Purple and Gold Fund or Our Grand Legacy Memorial Stadium

It is almost time for Grand Island’s Day of Giving, Go Big Give! This year we have listed both the GIPS Foundation and the Our Grand Legacy Memorial Stadium Campaign in the Go Big Give platform. There are so many great ways to ...

Your Legacy. Their Opportunity.

2018-19 Purple & Gold Fund Grants

Thanks to your support, the following projects were funded through the Alumni Purple & Gold Fund....

A Distant Mirror

Poetry in Motion

When my good friend and fellow scribe George Ayoub first spoke with me about writing for the GISH alumni newsletter, he mentioned a vision that included some fiction, some reminiscences, and some poetry. In this piece I want to discuss some poetry that I love...

In Memoriam

January and February memorial list of GISH Alumni...


Welcome to Rise

Welcome to the March 2019 edition of “Rise Grand Island” the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. “Rise” is where we connect with thousands of Islanders across the globe, keeping you and them informed on what’s happening in Purple and Gold land, and reminiscing a little bit as well.

This is Volume 4, Number 2, the second edition of Rise this calendar year, our fourth year as the official publication for alums of Islander Nation. Thanks for reading us and for your comments and support.

We really enjoy hearing from those of you who find “Rise” in your in-box every other month. Give us a shout, especially if you or a GISH alum you know has a done something new, newsy, or newsworthy. You can reach us at the email addresses on the front page.

Our “At the Top” story this time around is a look back at the groundbreaking ceremony and celebration in January for the Memorial Stadium Project, “Our Grand Legacy.” We’ve provided the day’s details and a link to more information and lots of good photos of the festivities.

Foundation Executive Director Traci Skalberg, writes in this edition about Go Big Give, which will be upon us later this spring. Go Big Give is a single day effort to raise money and awareness of the great work being done by Grand Island’s non-profits.

Leigh Lillibridge’s Grand Legacy Update keeps us appraised about the stadium project’s progress and also touches on the aforementioned Go Big Give’s role in that focus.

Our Class Reunion Update lets you know who is going to party and when, in case your class is on deck or maybe you just want to crash another class’s soiree and see a few old friends.

Our Milestones section has two compelling stories: The first story introduces you to the second class of inductees in Senior High’s Athletic Hall of Fame. The second story is about Lindsay Zana (2006), who is hard at work in Los Angeles trying to build a career in the film and entertainment business you and I simply refer to as “Hollywood.”

Our “Distant Mirror” correspondent, Mike Monk, Class of 1967, introduces you to three of his favorite poems and makes the case for you to perhaps give poetry a try.

My “I’ve Been Thinking” column details the push/pull, inner conflict the editor of an alumni newsletter has when the school district in question is moving nicely into the future. One looks back, the other ahead. I’m so confused!

As usual we’ll see what songs were popular on the radio, what movies were wooing us on the big screen, what novels we were reading, and what television shows kept us from our homework each decade during March.

We hope you find this “Rise” to your liking as we continue to dig out from a truly snowy Nebraska winter. Spring, and our May issue, can’t get here soon enough. Please enjoy this installment of “Rise.”

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot: Remember to keep pushing on.

George Ayoub, Class of 1968
Editor, “Rise Grand Island”

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Grand Legacy Update

So Many Ways to Give

After all of the snow and chilly temperatures in the last month, it is hard to believe that spring is just around the corner (hopefully) and that May will be here before we know it.
Each May the GIPS Foundation looks forward to participating in Go Big Give, a day of giving that brings Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick Counties together as one community, raising money and awareness for local nonprofits.
Thursday, May 2, is this year’s date and we are excited that both the GIPS Foundation and “Our Grand Legacy Stadium Project” will be participating this year!
We need your HELP! We have $2.8 million to go to be able to fund the Stadium’s Expanded Project and $1.1 million on the Primary Project.

Wondering what the difference is? Find project descriptions here: https://www.gimemorialstadium.org/who-we-are/description.html

To visit “Our Grand Legacy Stadium Project” page on the Go Big Give website: https://www.gobiggive.org/gimemorialstadium

To visit the GIPS Foundation page on the Go Big Give website: https://www.gobiggive.org/gipsfoundation

We will send you an email closer to the date in case you want to pre-give through Go Big Give before May 2. If you would like to give directly to the Stadium Project, you can do so now at: https://www.gimemorialstadium.org/how-to-help/ways-to-give.html

Donations can also be mailed to:
GIPS Foundation
Attn: Memorial Stadium
P.O. Box 4904
Grand Island, NE 68802

P.S. A full list of Donors to the Memorial Stadium project will be coming soon at www.gimemorialstadium.org

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At the Top

Groundbreaking for “Our Grand Legacy” Takes Place

Several hundred members of the Grand Island community — many of them proud members of Islander Nation— showed up at Senior High’s west gym on a cold January 21 to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Memorial Stadium Project, “Our Grand Legacy.” Nine dignitaries and project leaders took to shovels on the track during a mercifully short presentation outdoors in frigid temperatures. Included in that group was Lanny Martin, Class of 1964, whose $10 million lead gift is the solid foundation on which the project is being built.

Back inside the west gym Martin spoke to the crowd about growing up in Grand Island and his father, Jack Martin, who was a high school teacher, mayor of Grand Island, constant and committed community leader, and timekeeper for Islander home football games. The field at the renovated stadium will be called Jack Martin Field.

Honorary chairs for the project are Senior High alums Tom Rathman and his wife, Holly Yencer Rathman. Co-chairmen are Jim and Maureen Kahrhoff, and Jeff and Jane Richardson. Karhoff reminded those gathered that the project — a new west grandstand, press box, locker rooms, concession stand, concourse, and field, and a renovated east grandstand with new seating, locker rooms, and concession — will continue to honor local veterans with its iconic facade on which the names of battle sites run across the top of east stadium exterior.

Also speaking were high school football players from Senior High and Central Catholic (which plays its home games at Memorial Stadium), superintendent Dr. Tawana Grover, Jeff Richardson, and Grand Island Public Schools Foundation Executive Director, Traci Skalberg. The Foundation is leading the campaign to raise money for the project, as alumni and supporters across the country continue to send donations in support of “Our Grand Legacy.”

For more photos and links to media coverage of the groundbreaking celebration, go to Grand Island Memorial Stadium Newsroom.

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I've Been Thinking

During my 20 plus years as a newspaper columnist, I’d occasionally warn my readers that I was about to sound like my father.

Then I was off and running with some sort of get-off-my-lawn rant straight from the crabby old guy files. The problem with the warning and the observation was that my father was not a crabby guy, and I’m more likely to be in a good mood than not.

Still, the iconic image of me as John Q. McGeezer, plaid pants hiked up to my sagging pecs, striped shirt misbuttoned, and two glaring eyeballs peering over glasses popular when Truman was president worked, albeit in a cartoonish sort of way.

The literary schtick reminded me of the internal conflict I have as editor of an alumni newsletter every time the Grand Island Public Schools steps smartly and farther into the 21st Century.

Which, by the way, they keep doing.

Alumni, by their very nature, are remembering, considering, weighing, judging, and in some instances, rewriting history. It’s their … er … our job. The viewfinder of the past neither precludes a good look at the future nor stands in its way. It’s simply a perspective. It’s what puts the “good” in the good old days … even if we have to fudge a few numbers and buff up the patina of our memories from time to time.

I felt a tug in both directions — forward and backward — at the groundbreaking ceremony for the “new” Memorial Stadium held January 21. After about a dozen project leaders and dignitaries braved the Nebraska winter, the west gym (Remember when we only had two or one gym?) was bustling as a crowd gathered to celebrate the new and remember the old. Lanny Martin, whose stunning $10 million lead gift set the ball rolling for the stadium project, spoke to us about the future. (See the “At the Top” story in this edition of Rise for more details on the groundbreaking ceremony.)

I ran into lots of Senior High alums, all of whom are supporting the “new,” but were quick to tell stories and reminisce about the “old.” Also on hand were dozens of current Senior High students, a few of whom may be young enough they will still be there as current Islanders when the Memorial Stadium is rededicated next year.

When alumni from any school gather, the past is always at the top of storytelling agenda. Memories and more are tossed around, tweaked for effect, and tailored to meet the situation, but usually an undercurrent of satisfaction runs through each of the you-remember-the-times stories?

Still, a high school’s plan for the future and success in the present should also be point of interest and a source of pride in its former students. That’s the thread running through Islander Nation — a connective tissue of purple and gold.

At my 50th class reunion last summer, I could see my classmates were happy to catch up and renew friendships from decades past. I know I was.

One of the highlights of our weekend, however, was the tour of the “new” Senior High, where the future and future alums are preparing to change the world. My classmates who went on the tour raved about the building and the programs —looking ahead on a weekend where they had gathered to look back.

So I guess it’s really not a conflict after all, just a sense of perspective. And time.

The good old days seems to get better every year. But then, so do the years ahead for Grand Island Senior High.

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Are you planning a class reunion?

We can help get you started!

Contact us for your class list and send us information about your reunion. We will post it to our webpage.

Kare Price, Alumni Coordinator

308.385.5900 ext. 1148

 

Class of 1956

The Class of 1956 wishes to extend an invitation to fellow classmates to join them at their monthly gathering. They meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Midtown Holiday Inn at 6:00 pm.

Class of 1959

The class of 1959 is planning a 60 year Class Reunion on September 27-28, 2019 at the Riverside Golf Club. 

Class of 1969

The class of 1969 is planning their 50th Class Reunion on October 18-19 at Riverside Golf Club.

Class of 1966

The Class of 1966 wishes to extend an invitation to fellow classmates to join them at their monthly lunch gathering. They meet the 3rd Wednesday of each month at the Platt Duetsche at 1:00 pm. 

Class of 1979

The Class of 1979 is planning a 40 year class reunion on July 19-20, 2019. July 19 - At 5 pm doors open at Platt Duetsche, 1315 W. Anna Street. July 20 -  Tours of Grand Island Senior High (meet on the west side of the school) at 1 pm; At 5 p.m. doors open at Platt Duetsche; At 6 pm will be the meal (steaks and all the fixings); And the dance will begin at 7 p.m.

Registration Deadline is June 1, 2019. One price for both days. 
Pay online at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gish-1979-class-reunion-tickets-56458097690 
$75.89 (couple) $44.06 (single)

Pay by mail:  $70 (couple) $40 (single) 
Class of 1979" 822 Pleasant View Dr., Grand Island, NE 68801 http://www.gish1979.com/class_classmates.cfm

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Pushing On

Milestones

Senior High Athletic Hall of Fame Adds Second Class

Sixteen athletes and coaches and two teams were inducted into the Grand Island Senior High Athletic Hall of Fame in February. They were the second class of honorees to go into the hall, which is designed to “recognize and honor former student-athletes, coaches, teams, administrators, and significant contributors for their outstanding accomplishments and contributions to Grand Island Senior High’s rich athletic history.”

Among this year’s inductees were Senior High football legend Bobby Reynolds, who is also a charter member of the school’s Football Hall of Fame. The list also includes …

Efrain Ayala — wrestling
Randy Butts — track (also in GISH Football Hall of Fame)
Johnny Dorn — baseball
Andrea Dunagan-Carlson — golf
Janet Gnadt-Ringel — volleyball
Tex Harvey — contributor
Lynne Miller — basketball
Chris Murrell — track
Kim Oden — track
Abby Penas- Sturgeon — soccer
Bobby Reynolds — all around athlete (also in GISH Football Hall of Fame)
John Sanders — all around athlete (also in GISH Football Hall of Fame)
Mike Schadwinkel — coach (wrestling)
Ann Swanson — tennis
Stacy Swanson-Swiggart — tennis
Bart Wilkins — cross country
2004 Girls Golf team
1962 Boys Track team

To learn how to nominate someone for the Senior High Athletic Hall of Fame, please go to: GISH Athletic Hall of Fame.


Lindsay Zana

Lindsay Zana, Class of 2006, is learning the subtle difference between being able to do it all and finding a way to be able to do it all.

The versatile actor, singer, voice over artist, and more is in Los Angeles pursuing her dreams of working in the film and entertainment industry. She knows the path to doing all those things professionally requires perseverance, talent, auditioning, practice, more perseverance, study, more auditioning, and some luck.

All of which Zana is using to navigate the entertainment world that is Hollywood.

After gracing the Senior High stage in theater and music productions, Zana graduated summa cum laude from Oklahoma City University in 2009. She had hoped to pack her B.F.A. in acting and English and head for Chicago to find roles on Windy City stages. But a funny thing happened on the way to the southern shore of Lake Michigan. Well, it actually happened several months before she was to leave.

“My roommate had studied film and was heading for Los Angeles,” Zana said. “I went out to L.A. with her when she went to look for a place to live. I liked it. I’d never really studied film acting, so Los Angeles was a little bit of a surprise.”

She admitted she really didn’t have a plan either, but settled in to auditioning as much as possible, reading for parts in feature films, stage plays, commercials, web series, and voice overs. She also took a film acting class.

“Film acting is more subtle, more intimate,” she said.

Zana landed a couple of roles, one in a short film and another in a student film. But life in La La Land was not easy. “The first year was pretty rough for me,” she said.

Undeterred, she eventually found the Long Beach Shakespeare Theater Company where she could hang her  hat, a place she could call her creative home. “I love Shakespeare so it was great,” she said.

She also had an epiphany of sorts in the summer of 2011 after she was cast in the role of the ailing “Fosca,” who falls in complete and devoted love with the inaccessible Captain Giorgio Bachetti in Stephen Sondheim’s musical, “Passion.” The play was produced by the DOMA Theater Company in Hollywood.

“Playing Fosca was not only was my dream role, it really helped cement into me the idea that I had the talent to do this,” Zana said.

She has added voice over work to her repertoire of talents and hopes to go further into dubbing for anime, an animated art form from Japan, which obviously requires English-speaking actors to dub in dialogue. She’s also taken a class to improve her voice over skills.

Of course, to make ends meet Zana has a “day job.” Actually she’s had several.

“I’ve done a lot of things, worked at a cafe, at Macy’s. I was even personal assistant for a month.”

She finally found some permanence with Kush Audio, an online company that sells sound mixing equipment. Zana works from home where she takes care of customer service, answers emails, places orders, and tends to the shipping.

The job allows her the flexibility she needs to make it to auditions or rehearsal.

She needs the time, too. Zana recently added singing with an a cappella group, Top Shelf, to her growing showcase of talents. She found them on social media and connected with “great people who sing really great songs.” Here’s a link to one of them featuring Zana as the soloist: 

Zana knows the challenges of her pursuit but “feels really good about everything” in her quest to be an actor, singer, voice over artist, or frankly anything she sets her mind to do.

Still, the process can be daunting. “There’s a lot of rejection. You go to an audition and there’s a ton of people that look like you. You start to compare yourself,” she said.

Clearly, Lindsay Zana has talent and perseverance.

Now she has to find someone willing to let her use them.

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Shaking the World

Go Big Give with the Purple and Gold Fund or Our Grand Legacy Memorial Stadium

It is almost time for Grand Island’s Day of Giving, Go Big Give! This year we have listed both the GIPS Foundation and the Our Grand Legacy Memorial Stadium Campaign in the Go Big Give platform. There are so many great ways to give back to students!

It has been a lot of fun to see the alumni purple and gold fund make its mark on this day too. We are going to run our Decade Challenge contest again. We will count your gift to either the GIPS Foundation or the Our Grand Legacy Memorial Stadium Campaign towards the Decade challenge. The last two years have been dominated by the 1970s decade. But, it is clear that the 1960s are showing up to play. And, just maybe this will be their year! My friend George Ayoub would like to see that! He is really hoping to win that ‘street cred’ thing.

Even though the 70’s won the street cred for 2018, seven decades were represented. That is very impressive. In all, alumni gave over $9,000 that day. $4,752.75 was unrestricted and therefore designated to the Purple & Gold Fund.  

The GIPS Foundation gave away a scholarship and several classroom grants this year that were funded with help from the Purple & Gold Fund. The grants were awarded for five projects at Success Academy, Skills Academy, and Walnut Middle School. A detailed description of these grants is available in the "Your Legacy. Their Opportunity." section.

Let’s do this again!

On May 2, 2019, the GIPS Foundation will again participate in Grand Island’s annual day of giving. This is online giving day makes it easy for anyone in the world to give to their favorite Grand Island charities. All unrestricted gifts from alumni who give to the GIPS Foundation through the Go Big Give platform will be credited to the Purple and Gold Fund. This fund will be used to offer grant opportunities to fund programs, projects and scholarships that benefit individual students, classrooms of students, or the entire campus/district. When awards are made from this fund, this newsletter will feature them.


 
Decade Challenge

Just to make sure that other decades get a crack at this “Street Cred” thing, we will offer the decade challenge again. We will record how many gifts and how much was raised for the Purple and Gold Fund by decade. So, if you are a member of the class of 1956 for example, your gift will be attributed to the 1950s decade.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

If my decade has the most gifts or gives the highest amount, what do we get? The answer is street cred. We will highlight the decade winners in the May newsletter and give your decade the coverage it deserves.

How will you know who belongs to which decade? When you give to the GIPS Foundation through Go Big Give, we get a list of donors. We will match this list with our database and credit the proper decade. Please be sure to list your name as you give to Go Big Give. If you give anonymously, we don’t get your identifying information, and therefore would not be able to credit the gift to your decade.

Can I send a check instead? Yes, but to be credited to this challenge, your check needs to be made out to Go Big Give and sent to our office by April 24. Our office address is: GIPS Foundation; PO Box 4904; Grand Island, NE 68802.
The physical address is: 123 South Webb Road.

How do I give? – The Go Big Give online portal will open for pre-giving on April 25. The day of giving is May 2. The direct link to the GIPS Foundation Go Big Give page is: 
https://www.gobiggive.org/gipsfoundation

The direct link to the Our Grand Legacy Memorial Stadium Campaign Go Big Give page is: https://www.gobiggive.org/gimemorialstadium

We will send a reminder e-mail blast on April 25 and again on May 2 with this link. 

Why are you asking alumni? We could really use YOUR help with this effort. Charities that participate in the Go Big Give campaign are eligible for prizes and matching gifts based on number of unique givers, total dollars raised, and number of gifts raised per hour. Talk about a way to broaden our impact! We know there is power in numbers. This Go Big Give Day maximizes the collective impact concept to generate real dollars that in our case, translate into opportunities for the 9,900 students who attend our schools. We are excited to participate in such an impactful fundraiser. 

5,599: the number of alumni receiving this e-mailed newsletter. Just think about the results, if YOU and each of your fellow 5,598 alumni and friends gave $10 or more to the GIPS Foundation through the Go Big Give effort. The collective impact of your gift, not counting the matching gifts or prizes earned that day would add up to $55,990 for students! That is 100 more scholarships, or 50 more grants, or 200 more individual opportunities funded. It would be amazing to see this number. We want you. We need you. We hope that you will consider the power of your gift to students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Your Legacy. Their Opportunity.

2018-19 Purple & Gold Fund Grants

Thanks to your support, the following projects were funded through the Alumni Purple & Gold Fund.

 Purple and Gold Scholarship, Myah Keenportz, Class of 2018

 

 

Skills Academy, $499, “Foosball Table for Skills Academy Honors Room at Success Academy.” The Honors Room within the Skills Academy is designed to include a variety of highly reinforcing, engaging, and pleasurable activities that motivate the students to exhibit the desired, expected behaviors and create a behavioral contrast from the classroom. This room allows staff to work with students to increase student motivation and reinforce appropriate social-emotional skills. This grant will benefit 16 students in grades 9-12.

Success Academy, $850, “Weighted Blankets.” Weighted blankets are a powerful tool for helping students who are anxious, upset, and possibly on the verge of losing control. Teenagers can benefit from weighted blanket therapy, and they are considered a non-drug therapy for anxiety, stress, and relaxation. The weighted blankets will help students at Success Academy by helping them feel secure, grounded, safe, and allow them to relax during escalated times. This grant will benefit 60 students in grades 9-12.

                                               

Success Academy, $550, “Elementary Little Free Libraries.” Success Academy students will plan, build, and install Little Free Libraries at Wasmer and West Lawn Elementary schools. In an effort to foster collaboration within the district, students from Success Academy will build and install the Libraries while consulting with students from each building that will help design the exterior artwork and select books to be placed in the Library. This grant will benefit 700 students in grades K-5 at Wasmer Elementary and West Lawn Elementary, and grades 9-12 at Success Academy.  

Walnut Middle School, $2,000, “Jr. Islander Power - Wildcat Edition (JIP-WE).” 'Jr. Islander Power - Wildcat Edition' is looking to fulfill equipment shortfalls that have risen at Walnut Middle School. With this grant, we will purchase new equipment and supplies that will help teach kids the proper form and technique of lifting. Not only will new equipment help, 'Jr. Islander Power - Wildcat Edition' it will help build student confidence within themselves and with their peers. 'Jr. Islander Power - Wildcat Edition' also looks to help students’ transitions smoothly from the middle school level to the high school level in strength and conditioning. This grant will benefit 100 students in grades 6-8.

Walnut Middle School, $575, “Cycle Works.” Participants of Cycle Works will learn the principles of bicycle mechanics, parts and operation. Students will experience hands-on disassembly and reassembly of single and multi-speed bicycles and tune them to good working order. Refurbished bikes will be used in Walnuts cycling club or donated. This grant will benefit 15 students in grades 6-8.

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A Distant Mirror

Poetry in Motion

When my good friend and fellow scribe George Ayoub first spoke with me about writing for the GISH alumni newsletter, he mentioned a vision that included some fiction, some reminiscences, and some poetry. In this piece I want to discuss some poetry that I love.

In high school, and even college, until I studied the Romantic poets, I was much more a fan of prose than poetry. Poetry sometimes seemed artificial and pretentious to me. And indeed sometimes it still does. But after four years studying English Literature, I completely came around. The best poetry not only has pleasing meter, cadence, and often rhyme, but also wonderful thoughts, expressed with grace and charm. In this piece, I quote three poems and share some of the reasons I love them. Since I believe the meter, or cadence of a poem is integral to a good poem, I encourage the reader to read the poems below out loud, or at least quietly to yourself.

Since the “Distant Mirror” looks deep into the past, I begin with poetry from William Shakespeare. The following is from Act IV, Scene 2  of his 1610 play “Cymbeline,” and it reflects upon death.


“Fear no more the heat o' the sun”

Fear no more the heat o’ the sun,
Nor the furious winter’s rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust. 

Fear no more the frown o’ the great;
Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke;
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The scepter, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust. 

Fear no more the lightning flash,
Nor the all-dreaded thunder stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan:
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust. 

No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee!
Quiet consummation have;
And renownèd be thy grave!


These beautiful, yet very sobering, lines remind us that all the troubles of life are behind us when we die. Death, for all its gruesome reality, does free us from all our worldly cares. Several things are interesting in this poem. Shakespeare does not promise or discuss an afterlife or what exists when life is over. Indeed he notes only the cold reality of coming “to dust.”

But the unstated thought is that most of us would choose life over death even with the “tyrant’s stroke,” the “lightning flash,” and the “slander and censure rash,” since with them also come the joys and pleasures of life. Maybe when living, we should be willing better to tolerate the vicissitudes of life, given the joys that accompany them.

Next is a wonderful an 1859 poem by Emily Dickinson.  It talks about success and who prizes it most.


“Success is counted sweetest”

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need. 

Not one of all the purple Host
Who took the Flag today
Can tell the definition
So clear of victory

As he defeated – dying –
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Burst agonized and clear! 

Our successes are at times taken for granted, and Dickinson posits that success is most valued by those who fail to succeed. The dramatic vision of the soldier “defeated – dying” reflects that he, more than anyone, knows the true value of the victory in battle.  The wonderful phrase “To comprehend a nectar requires sorest need” also appreciates only with great need of food, and perhaps with little experience with a “nectar” can one comprehend its value.  

As a final note on Dickinson, I learned long ago that this poem, and indeed most of her poems, can be sung to the tune of “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” If you do not know the song, You Tube it and then you will find the words of this poem fit perfectly.

Lastly, while many of us love music and can sing the words of our favorite songs, we may lose sight of the fact that this is poetry, too. While often less formal, the message can still be inspiring and uplifting.  

As an example, consider the 1964 song by Chuck Berry, “You Never Can Tell.” You may recall this song in the dance contest in the movie “Pulp Fiction.”

“You Never Can Tell”

It was a teenage wedding, and the old folks wished them well
You could see that Pierre did truly love the mademoiselle
And now the young monsieur and madame have rung the chapel bell
"C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They furnished off an apartment with a two room Roebuck sale
The coolerator was crammed with TV dinners and ginger ale
But when Pierre found work, the little money comin' worked out well
"C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They had a hi-fi phono, boy, did they let it blast
Seven hundred little records, all rock, rhythm and jazz
But when the sun went down, the rapid tempo of the music fell
"C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They bought a souped-up jitney, 'twas a cherry red '53
They drove it down to Orleans to celebrate the anniversary
It was there that Pierre was married to the lovely mademoiselle
"C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell 

These lyrics from one of the giants of 1950’s rock and roll are delightfully positive. Just a few lines of the song give a great sense of the life of two teenagers who just married. Two rooms furnished with Sears and Roebuck furniture. A “coolerator” filled with TV dinners and ginger ale. A “hi-fi phono” to play rock, rhythm, and jazz.  And they were respectful citizens, since, “…when the sun went down, the rapid temp of the music fell.”

But the most upbeat aspect of the song is that the “old folks wished them well.”  In a time when young marriages were more common, the old folks would still have reservations. But they were comforted because “Pierre did truly love the mademoiselle.” And the fears of a young marriage do not always have merit, since “it goes to show you never can tell.”

So, fear not the poem that may come onto your path.  Indeed, go hog wild and read some Dickenson, some Frost, some Whitman. You might even find you like it.
I can be reached at .  

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In Memoriam

January and February memorial list of GISH Alumni...

LINDA (BOEHNKE) BROCKMANN, Class of 1959, died Sept. 28, 2018, in Sanborn, Iowa. Linda had lived in Pauline, Iowa. She was 77.

ELLEN ( THORPE) SCHRITT, Class of 1958, died Jan. 3, 2019, in Grand Island. She was 77.

LYNN (STUBBS) AHRENDS, Class of 1967, died Jan. 5, 2019, in Aurora. She was 70.

LYLE FISHER, Class of 1948, died Jan. 7, 2019, in Litchfield Park, Ariz. Lyle lived in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 88.

ROBERT TAYLOR, Class of 1941, died Jan. 7, 2019, in Concord, Calif. He was 94.

ROBERT KRUSE, Class of 1945, died Jan. 8, 2019, in Sioux Falls. S.D. He was 91.

CAROL (SPAHR) MCCUE, Class of 1966, died Jan. 9, 2019, in Grand Island. She was 70.

PHILIP RASMUSSEN, Class of 1970, died Jan. 18, 2019, in Omaha. He was 66.

DONALD RAUERT, Class of 1939, died Jan. 18, 2019, in Odessa, Texas. He was 96.

MARK LOPEZ, Class of 1986, died Jan. 22, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 51.

RALPH WILHELMI, Class of 1958, died Jan. 22, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 79.

HAROLD ‘RED’ AHRENS, Class of 1943, died Jan. 25, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 94.

JON D. BRUHN, Class of 1987, died Jan. 26, 2019, in Hastings. Jon lived in Grand Island. He was 49.

LEON MATHIS, Class of 1959, died Jan. 30, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 77.

ALICE (LUEBBE) OLSON, Class of 1934, died Feb. 2, 2019, in St. Paul. Alice lived in Grand Island. She was 103.

TODD STINSON, Class of 1974, died Feb. 7, 2019, at his farm near Waverly. Todd lived in Lincoln. He was 62.

ROLLIE STROH, Class of 1948, died Feb. 9, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 88.

GARY CAUDILL, Class of 1964, died Feb. 10, 2019, in Lincoln. He was 72.

GLORIA (SATTERLY) ENYEART, Class of 1949, died Feb. 11, 2019, in Grand Island. She was 87.

KEN MADDOX, Class of 1941, died Feb. 14, 2019, in Falls City. Ken lived in Grand Island. He was 95.

T. JEAN ‘T.J.’ (GOWLOVECH) LUEBS, Class of 1969, died Feb. 17, 2019, in San Antonio, Texas. She was 68.

WILMA (ANDERSON) STUBBENDICK, Class of 1944, died Feb. 19, in Lincoln. She was 92.

JAMES ‘JIM’ BERZINA, who taught industrial arts at Senior High, died Feb. 21, 2019, in Omaha. He was 71.

DON SCHWIEGER, class of 1962, died Feb. 22,2019, in Grand Island. He was 75.

JOEL SEYMOUR, Class of 1990, died Feb. 22, 2019. Joel lived in Omaha. He was 46.

HOWARD SPANTON, Class of 1955, died Feb. 23, 2019, in Omaha. He was 82.

JAMES WIEGERT, Class of 1962, died Feb. 24, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 75.

GLADYS (BOHNER) DENMAN, Class of 1941, died Feb. 24, 2019, in Grand Island. She was 96.

ROGER ANDERSON, Class of 1965, died Feb 26, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 71.

To report an alumni death since February 28, 2019, please send an email with the first name, last name, class year and maiden name if applicable to

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Media Inquiries
Jack Sheard, Marketing & Communications
308-385-5900 Ext. 1127
Your Legacy.
Their Opportunity.

Enhancing opportunities by seeking and securing resources for projects, scholarships and programs.

Access digital copies of our district flyers.

Improving school-to-home communication by distribute school flyers directly to families digitally.


Click on Section to read more:

 

Welcome to Rise

Welcome to the March 2019 edition of “Rise Grand Island” the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation...

Grand Legacy Update

so many ways to give

After all of the snow and chilly temperatures in the last month, it is hard to believe that spring is just around the corner (hopefully) and that May will be here before we know it...

At the Top

GROUNDBREAKING FOR “OUR GRAND LEGACY” TAKES PLACE

Several hundred members of the Grand Island community — many of them proud members of Islander Nation— showed up at Senior High’s west gym on a cold January 21 to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Memorial Stadium Project...

I've Been Thinking

During my 20 plus years as a newspaper columnist, I’d occasionally warn my readers that was about to sound like my father. Then I was off and running with some sort of get-off-my-lawn rant straight from the crabby old guy files...

Alumni Reunions

current reunion information

 

Pushing On

Milestones

This month we bring you the new inductees to the Athletic Hall of Fame and we also share the story of Lindsay Zana, 2006 alum and her journey in L.A.

Shaking the World

Go Big Give with the Purple and Gold Fund or Our Grand Legacy Memorial Stadium

It is almost time for Grand Island’s Day of Giving, Go Big Give! This year we have listed both the GIPS Foundation and the Our Grand Legacy Memorial Stadium Campaign in the Go Big Give platform. There are so many great ways to ...

Your Legacy. Their Opportunity.

2018-19 Purple & Gold Fund Grants

Thanks to your support, the following projects were funded through the Alumni Purple & Gold Fund....

A Distant Mirror

Poetry in Motion

When my good friend and fellow scribe George Ayoub first spoke with me about writing for the GISH alumni newsletter, he mentioned a vision that included some fiction, some reminiscences, and some poetry. In this piece I want to discuss some poetry that I love...

In Memoriam

January and February memorial list of GISH Alumni...


Welcome to Rise

Welcome to the March 2019 edition of “Rise Grand Island” the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. “Rise” is where we connect with thousands of Islanders across the globe, keeping you and them informed on what’s happening in Purple and Gold land, and reminiscing a little bit as well.

This is Volume 4, Number 2, the second edition of Rise this calendar year, our fourth year as the official publication for alums of Islander Nation. Thanks for reading us and for your comments and support.

We really enjoy hearing from those of you who find “Rise” in your in-box every other month. Give us a shout, especially if you or a GISH alum you know has a done something new, newsy, or newsworthy. You can reach us at the email addresses on the front page.

Our “At the Top” story this time around is a look back at the groundbreaking ceremony and celebration in January for the Memorial Stadium Project, “Our Grand Legacy.” We’ve provided the day’s details and a link to more information and lots of good photos of the festivities.

Foundation Executive Director Traci Skalberg, writes in this edition about Go Big Give, which will be upon us later this spring. Go Big Give is a single day effort to raise money and awareness of the great work being done by Grand Island’s non-profits.

Leigh Lillibridge’s Grand Legacy Update keeps us appraised about the stadium project’s progress and also touches on the aforementioned Go Big Give’s role in that focus.

Our Class Reunion Update lets you know who is going to party and when, in case your class is on deck or maybe you just want to crash another class’s soiree and see a few old friends.

Our Milestones section has two compelling stories: The first story introduces you to the second class of inductees in Senior High’s Athletic Hall of Fame. The second story is about Lindsay Zana (2006), who is hard at work in Los Angeles trying to build a career in the film and entertainment business you and I simply refer to as “Hollywood.”

Our “Distant Mirror” correspondent, Mike Monk, Class of 1967, introduces you to three of his favorite poems and makes the case for you to perhaps give poetry a try.

My “I’ve Been Thinking” column details the push/pull, inner conflict the editor of an alumni newsletter has when the school district in question is moving nicely into the future. One looks back, the other ahead. I’m so confused!

As usual we’ll see what songs were popular on the radio, what movies were wooing us on the big screen, what novels we were reading, and what television shows kept us from our homework each decade during March.

We hope you find this “Rise” to your liking as we continue to dig out from a truly snowy Nebraska winter. Spring, and our May issue, can’t get here soon enough. Please enjoy this installment of “Rise.”

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot: Remember to keep pushing on.

George Ayoub, Class of 1968
Editor, “Rise Grand Island”

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Grand Legacy Update

So Many Ways to Give

After all of the snow and chilly temperatures in the last month, it is hard to believe that spring is just around the corner (hopefully) and that May will be here before we know it.
Each May the GIPS Foundation looks forward to participating in Go Big Give, a day of giving that brings Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick Counties together as one community, raising money and awareness for local nonprofits.
Thursday, May 2, is this year’s date and we are excited that both the GIPS Foundation and “Our Grand Legacy Stadium Project” will be participating this year!
We need your HELP! We have $2.8 million to go to be able to fund the Stadium’s Expanded Project and $1.1 million on the Primary Project.

Wondering what the difference is? Find project descriptions here: https://www.gimemorialstadium.org/who-we-are/description.html

To visit “Our Grand Legacy Stadium Project” page on the Go Big Give website: https://www.gobiggive.org/gimemorialstadium

To visit the GIPS Foundation page on the Go Big Give website: https://www.gobiggive.org/gipsfoundation

We will send you an email closer to the date in case you want to pre-give through Go Big Give before May 2. If you would like to give directly to the Stadium Project, you can do so now at: https://www.gimemorialstadium.org/how-to-help/ways-to-give.html

Donations can also be mailed to:
GIPS Foundation
Attn: Memorial Stadium
P.O. Box 4904
Grand Island, NE 68802

P.S. A full list of Donors to the Memorial Stadium project will be coming soon at www.gimemorialstadium.org

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At the Top

Groundbreaking for “Our Grand Legacy” Takes Place

Several hundred members of the Grand Island community — many of them proud members of Islander Nation— showed up at Senior High’s west gym on a cold January 21 to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Memorial Stadium Project, “Our Grand Legacy.” Nine dignitaries and project leaders took to shovels on the track during a mercifully short presentation outdoors in frigid temperatures. Included in that group was Lanny Martin, Class of 1964, whose $10 million lead gift is the solid foundation on which the project is being built.

Back inside the west gym Martin spoke to the crowd about growing up in Grand Island and his father, Jack Martin, who was a high school teacher, mayor of Grand Island, constant and committed community leader, and timekeeper for Islander home football games. The field at the renovated stadium will be called Jack Martin Field.

Honorary chairs for the project are Senior High alums Tom Rathman and his wife, Holly Yencer Rathman. Co-chairmen are Jim and Maureen Kahrhoff, and Jeff and Jane Richardson. Karhoff reminded those gathered that the project — a new west grandstand, press box, locker rooms, concession stand, concourse, and field, and a renovated east grandstand with new seating, locker rooms, and concession — will continue to honor local veterans with its iconic facade on which the names of battle sites run across the top of east stadium exterior.

Also speaking were high school football players from Senior High and Central Catholic (which plays its home games at Memorial Stadium), superintendent Dr. Tawana Grover, Jeff Richardson, and Grand Island Public Schools Foundation Executive Director, Traci Skalberg. The Foundation is leading the campaign to raise money for the project, as alumni and supporters across the country continue to send donations in support of “Our Grand Legacy.”

For more photos and links to media coverage of the groundbreaking celebration, go to Grand Island Memorial Stadium Newsroom.

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I've Been Thinking

During my 20 plus years as a newspaper columnist, I’d occasionally warn my readers that I was about to sound like my father.

Then I was off and running with some sort of get-off-my-lawn rant straight from the crabby old guy files. The problem with the warning and the observation was that my father was not a crabby guy, and I’m more likely to be in a good mood than not.

Still, the iconic image of me as John Q. McGeezer, plaid pants hiked up to my sagging pecs, striped shirt misbuttoned, and two glaring eyeballs peering over glasses popular when Truman was president worked, albeit in a cartoonish sort of way.

The literary schtick reminded me of the internal conflict I have as editor of an alumni newsletter every time the Grand Island Public Schools steps smartly and farther into the 21st Century.

Which, by the way, they keep doing.

Alumni, by their very nature, are remembering, considering, weighing, judging, and in some instances, rewriting history. It’s their … er … our job. The viewfinder of the past neither precludes a good look at the future nor stands in its way. It’s simply a perspective. It’s what puts the “good” in the good old days … even if we have to fudge a few numbers and buff up the patina of our memories from time to time.

I felt a tug in both directions — forward and backward — at the groundbreaking ceremony for the “new” Memorial Stadium held January 21. After about a dozen project leaders and dignitaries braved the Nebraska winter, the west gym (Remember when we only had two or one gym?) was bustling as a crowd gathered to celebrate the new and remember the old. Lanny Martin, whose stunning $10 million lead gift set the ball rolling for the stadium project, spoke to us about the future. (See the “At the Top” story in this edition of Rise for more details on the groundbreaking ceremony.)

I ran into lots of Senior High alums, all of whom are supporting the “new,” but were quick to tell stories and reminisce about the “old.” Also on hand were dozens of current Senior High students, a few of whom may be young enough they will still be there as current Islanders when the Memorial Stadium is rededicated next year.

When alumni from any school gather, the past is always at the top of storytelling agenda. Memories and more are tossed around, tweaked for effect, and tailored to meet the situation, but usually an undercurrent of satisfaction runs through each of the you-remember-the-times stories?

Still, a high school’s plan for the future and success in the present should also be point of interest and a source of pride in its former students. That’s the thread running through Islander Nation — a connective tissue of purple and gold.

At my 50th class reunion last summer, I could see my classmates were happy to catch up and renew friendships from decades past. I know I was.

One of the highlights of our weekend, however, was the tour of the “new” Senior High, where the future and future alums are preparing to change the world. My classmates who went on the tour raved about the building and the programs —looking ahead on a weekend where they had gathered to look back.

So I guess it’s really not a conflict after all, just a sense of perspective. And time.

The good old days seems to get better every year. But then, so do the years ahead for Grand Island Senior High.

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Are you planning a class reunion?

We can help get you started!

Contact us for your class list and send us information about your reunion. We will post it to our webpage.

Kare Price, Alumni Coordinator

308.385.5900 ext. 1148

 

Class of 1956

The Class of 1956 wishes to extend an invitation to fellow classmates to join them at their monthly gathering. They meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Midtown Holiday Inn at 6:00 pm.

Class of 1959

The class of 1959 is planning a 60 year Class Reunion on September 27-28, 2019 at the Riverside Golf Club. 

Class of 1969

The class of 1969 is planning their 50th Class Reunion on October 18-19 at Riverside Golf Club.

Class of 1966

The Class of 1966 wishes to extend an invitation to fellow classmates to join them at their monthly lunch gathering. They meet the 3rd Wednesday of each month at the Platt Duetsche at 1:00 pm. 

Class of 1979

The Class of 1979 is planning a 40 year class reunion on July 19-20, 2019. July 19 - At 5 pm doors open at Platt Duetsche, 1315 W. Anna Street. July 20 -  Tours of Grand Island Senior High (meet on the west side of the school) at 1 pm; At 5 p.m. doors open at Platt Duetsche; At 6 pm will be the meal (steaks and all the fixings); And the dance will begin at 7 p.m.

Registration Deadline is June 1, 2019. One price for both days. 
Pay online at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gish-1979-class-reunion-tickets-56458097690 
$75.89 (couple) $44.06 (single)

Pay by mail:  $70 (couple) $40 (single) 
Class of 1979" 822 Pleasant View Dr., Grand Island, NE 68801 http://www.gish1979.com/class_classmates.cfm

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Pushing On

Milestones

Senior High Athletic Hall of Fame Adds Second Class

Sixteen athletes and coaches and two teams were inducted into the Grand Island Senior High Athletic Hall of Fame in February. They were the second class of honorees to go into the hall, which is designed to “recognize and honor former student-athletes, coaches, teams, administrators, and significant contributors for their outstanding accomplishments and contributions to Grand Island Senior High’s rich athletic history.”

Among this year’s inductees were Senior High football legend Bobby Reynolds, who is also a charter member of the school’s Football Hall of Fame. The list also includes …

Efrain Ayala — wrestling
Randy Butts — track (also in GISH Football Hall of Fame)
Johnny Dorn — baseball
Andrea Dunagan-Carlson — golf
Janet Gnadt-Ringel — volleyball
Tex Harvey — contributor
Lynne Miller — basketball
Chris Murrell — track
Kim Oden — track
Abby Penas- Sturgeon — soccer
Bobby Reynolds — all around athlete (also in GISH Football Hall of Fame)
John Sanders — all around athlete (also in GISH Football Hall of Fame)
Mike Schadwinkel — coach (wrestling)
Ann Swanson — tennis
Stacy Swanson-Swiggart — tennis
Bart Wilkins — cross country
2004 Girls Golf team
1962 Boys Track team

To learn how to nominate someone for the Senior High Athletic Hall of Fame, please go to: GISH Athletic Hall of Fame.


Lindsay Zana

Lindsay Zana, Class of 2006, is learning the subtle difference between being able to do it all and finding a way to be able to do it all.

The versatile actor, singer, voice over artist, and more is in Los Angeles pursuing her dreams of working in the film and entertainment industry. She knows the path to doing all those things professionally requires perseverance, talent, auditioning, practice, more perseverance, study, more auditioning, and some luck.

All of which Zana is using to navigate the entertainment world that is Hollywood.

After gracing the Senior High stage in theater and music productions, Zana graduated summa cum laude from Oklahoma City University in 2009. She had hoped to pack her B.F.A. in acting and English and head for Chicago to find roles on Windy City stages. But a funny thing happened on the way to the southern shore of Lake Michigan. Well, it actually happened several months before she was to leave.

“My roommate had studied film and was heading for Los Angeles,” Zana said. “I went out to L.A. with her when she went to look for a place to live. I liked it. I’d never really studied film acting, so Los Angeles was a little bit of a surprise.”

She admitted she really didn’t have a plan either, but settled in to auditioning as much as possible, reading for parts in feature films, stage plays, commercials, web series, and voice overs. She also took a film acting class.

“Film acting is more subtle, more intimate,” she said.

Zana landed a couple of roles, one in a short film and another in a student film. But life in La La Land was not easy. “The first year was pretty rough for me,” she said.

Undeterred, she eventually found the Long Beach Shakespeare Theater Company where she could hang her  hat, a place she could call her creative home. “I love Shakespeare so it was great,” she said.

She also had an epiphany of sorts in the summer of 2011 after she was cast in the role of the ailing “Fosca,” who falls in complete and devoted love with the inaccessible Captain Giorgio Bachetti in Stephen Sondheim’s musical, “Passion.” The play was produced by the DOMA Theater Company in Hollywood.

“Playing Fosca was not only was my dream role, it really helped cement into me the idea that I had the talent to do this,” Zana said.

She has added voice over work to her repertoire of talents and hopes to go further into dubbing for anime, an animated art form from Japan, which obviously requires English-speaking actors to dub in dialogue. She’s also taken a class to improve her voice over skills.

Of course, to make ends meet Zana has a “day job.” Actually she’s had several.

“I’ve done a lot of things, worked at a cafe, at Macy’s. I was even personal assistant for a month.”

She finally found some permanence with Kush Audio, an online company that sells sound mixing equipment. Zana works from home where she takes care of customer service, answers emails, places orders, and tends to the shipping.

The job allows her the flexibility she needs to make it to auditions or rehearsal.

She needs the time, too. Zana recently added singing with an a cappella group, Top Shelf, to her growing showcase of talents. She found them on social media and connected with “great people who sing really great songs.” Here’s a link to one of them featuring Zana as the soloist: 

Zana knows the challenges of her pursuit but “feels really good about everything” in her quest to be an actor, singer, voice over artist, or frankly anything she sets her mind to do.

Still, the process can be daunting. “There’s a lot of rejection. You go to an audition and there’s a ton of people that look like you. You start to compare yourself,” she said.

Clearly, Lindsay Zana has talent and perseverance.

Now she has to find someone willing to let her use them.

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Shaking the World

Go Big Give with the Purple and Gold Fund or Our Grand Legacy Memorial Stadium

It is almost time for Grand Island’s Day of Giving, Go Big Give! This year we have listed both the GIPS Foundation and the Our Grand Legacy Memorial Stadium Campaign in the Go Big Give platform. There are so many great ways to give back to students!

It has been a lot of fun to see the alumni purple and gold fund make its mark on this day too. We are going to run our Decade Challenge contest again. We will count your gift to either the GIPS Foundation or the Our Grand Legacy Memorial Stadium Campaign towards the Decade challenge. The last two years have been dominated by the 1970s decade. But, it is clear that the 1960s are showing up to play. And, just maybe this will be their year! My friend George Ayoub would like to see that! He is really hoping to win that ‘street cred’ thing.

Even though the 70’s won the street cred for 2018, seven decades were represented. That is very impressive. In all, alumni gave over $9,000 that day. $4,752.75 was unrestricted and therefore designated to the Purple & Gold Fund.  

The GIPS Foundation gave away a scholarship and several classroom grants this year that were funded with help from the Purple & Gold Fund. The grants were awarded for five projects at Success Academy, Skills Academy, and Walnut Middle School. A detailed description of these grants is available in the "Your Legacy. Their Opportunity." section.

Let’s do this again!

On May 2, 2019, the GIPS Foundation will again participate in Grand Island’s annual day of giving. This is online giving day makes it easy for anyone in the world to give to their favorite Grand Island charities. All unrestricted gifts from alumni who give to the GIPS Foundation through the Go Big Give platform will be credited to the Purple and Gold Fund. This fund will be used to offer grant opportunities to fund programs, projects and scholarships that benefit individual students, classrooms of students, or the entire campus/district. When awards are made from this fund, this newsletter will feature them.


 
Decade Challenge

Just to make sure that other decades get a crack at this “Street Cred” thing, we will offer the decade challenge again. We will record how many gifts and how much was raised for the Purple and Gold Fund by decade. So, if you are a member of the class of 1956 for example, your gift will be attributed to the 1950s decade.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

If my decade has the most gifts or gives the highest amount, what do we get? The answer is street cred. We will highlight the decade winners in the May newsletter and give your decade the coverage it deserves.

How will you know who belongs to which decade? When you give to the GIPS Foundation through Go Big Give, we get a list of donors. We will match this list with our database and credit the proper decade. Please be sure to list your name as you give to Go Big Give. If you give anonymously, we don’t get your identifying information, and therefore would not be able to credit the gift to your decade.

Can I send a check instead? Yes, but to be credited to this challenge, your check needs to be made out to Go Big Give and sent to our office by April 24. Our office address is: GIPS Foundation; PO Box 4904; Grand Island, NE 68802.
The physical address is: 123 South Webb Road.

How do I give? – The Go Big Give online portal will open for pre-giving on April 25. The day of giving is May 2. The direct link to the GIPS Foundation Go Big Give page is: 
https://www.gobiggive.org/gipsfoundation

The direct link to the Our Grand Legacy Memorial Stadium Campaign Go Big Give page is: https://www.gobiggive.org/gimemorialstadium

We will send a reminder e-mail blast on April 25 and again on May 2 with this link. 

Why are you asking alumni? We could really use YOUR help with this effort. Charities that participate in the Go Big Give campaign are eligible for prizes and matching gifts based on number of unique givers, total dollars raised, and number of gifts raised per hour. Talk about a way to broaden our impact! We know there is power in numbers. This Go Big Give Day maximizes the collective impact concept to generate real dollars that in our case, translate into opportunities for the 9,900 students who attend our schools. We are excited to participate in such an impactful fundraiser. 

5,599: the number of alumni receiving this e-mailed newsletter. Just think about the results, if YOU and each of your fellow 5,598 alumni and friends gave $10 or more to the GIPS Foundation through the Go Big Give effort. The collective impact of your gift, not counting the matching gifts or prizes earned that day would add up to $55,990 for students! That is 100 more scholarships, or 50 more grants, or 200 more individual opportunities funded. It would be amazing to see this number. We want you. We need you. We hope that you will consider the power of your gift to students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Your Legacy. Their Opportunity.

2018-19 Purple & Gold Fund Grants

Thanks to your support, the following projects were funded through the Alumni Purple & Gold Fund.

 Purple and Gold Scholarship, Myah Keenportz, Class of 2018

 

 

Skills Academy, $499, “Foosball Table for Skills Academy Honors Room at Success Academy.” The Honors Room within the Skills Academy is designed to include a variety of highly reinforcing, engaging, and pleasurable activities that motivate the students to exhibit the desired, expected behaviors and create a behavioral contrast from the classroom. This room allows staff to work with students to increase student motivation and reinforce appropriate social-emotional skills. This grant will benefit 16 students in grades 9-12.

Success Academy, $850, “Weighted Blankets.” Weighted blankets are a powerful tool for helping students who are anxious, upset, and possibly on the verge of losing control. Teenagers can benefit from weighted blanket therapy, and they are considered a non-drug therapy for anxiety, stress, and relaxation. The weighted blankets will help students at Success Academy by helping them feel secure, grounded, safe, and allow them to relax during escalated times. This grant will benefit 60 students in grades 9-12.

                                               

Success Academy, $550, “Elementary Little Free Libraries.” Success Academy students will plan, build, and install Little Free Libraries at Wasmer and West Lawn Elementary schools. In an effort to foster collaboration within the district, students from Success Academy will build and install the Libraries while consulting with students from each building that will help design the exterior artwork and select books to be placed in the Library. This grant will benefit 700 students in grades K-5 at Wasmer Elementary and West Lawn Elementary, and grades 9-12 at Success Academy.  

Walnut Middle School, $2,000, “Jr. Islander Power - Wildcat Edition (JIP-WE).” 'Jr. Islander Power - Wildcat Edition' is looking to fulfill equipment shortfalls that have risen at Walnut Middle School. With this grant, we will purchase new equipment and supplies that will help teach kids the proper form and technique of lifting. Not only will new equipment help, 'Jr. Islander Power - Wildcat Edition' it will help build student confidence within themselves and with their peers. 'Jr. Islander Power - Wildcat Edition' also looks to help students’ transitions smoothly from the middle school level to the high school level in strength and conditioning. This grant will benefit 100 students in grades 6-8.

Walnut Middle School, $575, “Cycle Works.” Participants of Cycle Works will learn the principles of bicycle mechanics, parts and operation. Students will experience hands-on disassembly and reassembly of single and multi-speed bicycles and tune them to good working order. Refurbished bikes will be used in Walnuts cycling club or donated. This grant will benefit 15 students in grades 6-8.

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A Distant Mirror

Poetry in Motion

When my good friend and fellow scribe George Ayoub first spoke with me about writing for the GISH alumni newsletter, he mentioned a vision that included some fiction, some reminiscences, and some poetry. In this piece I want to discuss some poetry that I love.

In high school, and even college, until I studied the Romantic poets, I was much more a fan of prose than poetry. Poetry sometimes seemed artificial and pretentious to me. And indeed sometimes it still does. But after four years studying English Literature, I completely came around. The best poetry not only has pleasing meter, cadence, and often rhyme, but also wonderful thoughts, expressed with grace and charm. In this piece, I quote three poems and share some of the reasons I love them. Since I believe the meter, or cadence of a poem is integral to a good poem, I encourage the reader to read the poems below out loud, or at least quietly to yourself.

Since the “Distant Mirror” looks deep into the past, I begin with poetry from William Shakespeare. The following is from Act IV, Scene 2  of his 1610 play “Cymbeline,” and it reflects upon death.


“Fear no more the heat o' the sun”

Fear no more the heat o’ the sun,
Nor the furious winter’s rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust. 

Fear no more the frown o’ the great;
Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke;
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The scepter, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust. 

Fear no more the lightning flash,
Nor the all-dreaded thunder stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan:
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust. 

No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee!
Quiet consummation have;
And renownèd be thy grave!


These beautiful, yet very sobering, lines remind us that all the troubles of life are behind us when we die. Death, for all its gruesome reality, does free us from all our worldly cares. Several things are interesting in this poem. Shakespeare does not promise or discuss an afterlife or what exists when life is over. Indeed he notes only the cold reality of coming “to dust.”

But the unstated thought is that most of us would choose life over death even with the “tyrant’s stroke,” the “lightning flash,” and the “slander and censure rash,” since with them also come the joys and pleasures of life. Maybe when living, we should be willing better to tolerate the vicissitudes of life, given the joys that accompany them.

Next is a wonderful an 1859 poem by Emily Dickinson.  It talks about success and who prizes it most.


“Success is counted sweetest”

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need. 

Not one of all the purple Host
Who took the Flag today
Can tell the definition
So clear of victory

As he defeated – dying –
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Burst agonized and clear! 

Our successes are at times taken for granted, and Dickinson posits that success is most valued by those who fail to succeed. The dramatic vision of the soldier “defeated – dying” reflects that he, more than anyone, knows the true value of the victory in battle.  The wonderful phrase “To comprehend a nectar requires sorest need” also appreciates only with great need of food, and perhaps with little experience with a “nectar” can one comprehend its value.  

As a final note on Dickinson, I learned long ago that this poem, and indeed most of her poems, can be sung to the tune of “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” If you do not know the song, You Tube it and then you will find the words of this poem fit perfectly.

Lastly, while many of us love music and can sing the words of our favorite songs, we may lose sight of the fact that this is poetry, too. While often less formal, the message can still be inspiring and uplifting.  

As an example, consider the 1964 song by Chuck Berry, “You Never Can Tell.” You may recall this song in the dance contest in the movie “Pulp Fiction.”

“You Never Can Tell”

It was a teenage wedding, and the old folks wished them well
You could see that Pierre did truly love the mademoiselle
And now the young monsieur and madame have rung the chapel bell
"C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They furnished off an apartment with a two room Roebuck sale
The coolerator was crammed with TV dinners and ginger ale
But when Pierre found work, the little money comin' worked out well
"C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They had a hi-fi phono, boy, did they let it blast
Seven hundred little records, all rock, rhythm and jazz
But when the sun went down, the rapid tempo of the music fell
"C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They bought a souped-up jitney, 'twas a cherry red '53
They drove it down to Orleans to celebrate the anniversary
It was there that Pierre was married to the lovely mademoiselle
"C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell 

These lyrics from one of the giants of 1950’s rock and roll are delightfully positive. Just a few lines of the song give a great sense of the life of two teenagers who just married. Two rooms furnished with Sears and Roebuck furniture. A “coolerator” filled with TV dinners and ginger ale. A “hi-fi phono” to play rock, rhythm, and jazz.  And they were respectful citizens, since, “…when the sun went down, the rapid temp of the music fell.”

But the most upbeat aspect of the song is that the “old folks wished them well.”  In a time when young marriages were more common, the old folks would still have reservations. But they were comforted because “Pierre did truly love the mademoiselle.” And the fears of a young marriage do not always have merit, since “it goes to show you never can tell.”

So, fear not the poem that may come onto your path.  Indeed, go hog wild and read some Dickenson, some Frost, some Whitman. You might even find you like it.
I can be reached at .  

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In Memoriam

January and February memorial list of GISH Alumni...

LINDA (BOEHNKE) BROCKMANN, Class of 1959, died Sept. 28, 2018, in Sanborn, Iowa. Linda had lived in Pauline, Iowa. She was 77.

ELLEN ( THORPE) SCHRITT, Class of 1958, died Jan. 3, 2019, in Grand Island. She was 77.

LYNN (STUBBS) AHRENDS, Class of 1967, died Jan. 5, 2019, in Aurora. She was 70.

LYLE FISHER, Class of 1948, died Jan. 7, 2019, in Litchfield Park, Ariz. Lyle lived in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 88.

ROBERT TAYLOR, Class of 1941, died Jan. 7, 2019, in Concord, Calif. He was 94.

ROBERT KRUSE, Class of 1945, died Jan. 8, 2019, in Sioux Falls. S.D. He was 91.

CAROL (SPAHR) MCCUE, Class of 1966, died Jan. 9, 2019, in Grand Island. She was 70.

PHILIP RASMUSSEN, Class of 1970, died Jan. 18, 2019, in Omaha. He was 66.

DONALD RAUERT, Class of 1939, died Jan. 18, 2019, in Odessa, Texas. He was 96.

MARK LOPEZ, Class of 1986, died Jan. 22, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 51.

RALPH WILHELMI, Class of 1958, died Jan. 22, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 79.

HAROLD ‘RED’ AHRENS, Class of 1943, died Jan. 25, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 94.

JON D. BRUHN, Class of 1987, died Jan. 26, 2019, in Hastings. Jon lived in Grand Island. He was 49.

LEON MATHIS, Class of 1959, died Jan. 30, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 77.

ALICE (LUEBBE) OLSON, Class of 1934, died Feb. 2, 2019, in St. Paul. Alice lived in Grand Island. She was 103.

TODD STINSON, Class of 1974, died Feb. 7, 2019, at his farm near Waverly. Todd lived in Lincoln. He was 62.

ROLLIE STROH, Class of 1948, died Feb. 9, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 88.

GARY CAUDILL, Class of 1964, died Feb. 10, 2019, in Lincoln. He was 72.

GLORIA (SATTERLY) ENYEART, Class of 1949, died Feb. 11, 2019, in Grand Island. She was 87.

KEN MADDOX, Class of 1941, died Feb. 14, 2019, in Falls City. Ken lived in Grand Island. He was 95.

T. JEAN ‘T.J.’ (GOWLOVECH) LUEBS, Class of 1969, died Feb. 17, 2019, in San Antonio, Texas. She was 68.

WILMA (ANDERSON) STUBBENDICK, Class of 1944, died Feb. 19, in Lincoln. She was 92.

JAMES ‘JIM’ BERZINA, who taught industrial arts at Senior High, died Feb. 21, 2019, in Omaha. He was 71.

DON SCHWIEGER, class of 1962, died Feb. 22,2019, in Grand Island. He was 75.

JOEL SEYMOUR, Class of 1990, died Feb. 22, 2019. Joel lived in Omaha. He was 46.

HOWARD SPANTON, Class of 1955, died Feb. 23, 2019, in Omaha. He was 82.

JAMES WIEGERT, Class of 1962, died Feb. 24, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 75.

GLADYS (BOHNER) DENMAN, Class of 1941, died Feb. 24, 2019, in Grand Island. She was 96.

ROGER ANDERSON, Class of 1965, died Feb 26, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 71.

To report an alumni death since February 28, 2019, please send an email with the first name, last name, class year and maiden name if applicable to

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