Donna Brown and Rhonda Maimone graduated with Hammonton High School's Class of 1970, in the days of peace, love and rock 'n' roll.
And, like the 18-year-old idealists they used to be, the 61-year-olds are taking a simple approach to the 43rd class reunion they are organizing.
Instead of throwing an expensive, self-indulgent party for their 117 classmates, they are focusing on honoring their teachers. And the casual-clothes event will be free of charge, held July 19 at their old high school, which became the Hammonton Middle School in 2002.
"A lot of the teachers were in their first year of teaching and only four or five years older than we were," Maimone said. "We started saying, 'I wonder what happened to this one, or that one.'"
Committee members have contacted as many former teachers as they could find. More than 20 will be there.
Maimone's home economics teacher, Rose Rita Gurere, will attend. She lives in Hammonton and helped Maimone with her prom dress in 1970. In 2000, Maimone started the Kids' Kloset at the Hammonton Women's Civic Club to provide clothing to kids in need. Maimone and Cindi Craig, of Hammonton, expanded it to include gowns, tuxedos and prom tickets. Gurere's daughter, Joanne Pullia, volunteers with them.
Brown, of Winslow Township, became a Hammonton sixth-grade teacher and taught in the building. She is happy her former math teacher, Anna Marie Codario, of Buena, and history teacher Gordon Strycula, of Hammonton, will attend.
Committee members include Ginger Rathgeb, Maria DelaPeruta, Nancy Taylor, Sandy Wetherbee, Theresa Interlante, Gloria Giacobbe and Cathie Leeman. All but Leeman, who lives in Texas, are still local residents.
'Shorelines' in Bivalve
Cape May Artists Cooperative member Patricia Neville will exhibit paintings and Tuckahoe resident Merry May will exhibit quilted images in a new exhibit titled "Shorelines," for Bivalve's Second Friday event, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. July 12 at 2800 High St., Port Norris.
Neville is a high school art teacher active in many Cape May County art organizations. May has been a quilter since the early 1970s, and has taught quilting and been a quilt historian and appraiser since 1988.
Contact Michelle Brunetti Post:
If you go
Hammonton High School Class of 1970 Reunion, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. July 19, Hammonton Middle School, 75 N. Liberty St., Hammonton. Admission free. Donations accepted for the Hammonton Education Foundation.