Education

Back-to-School Special for Somers High's Classes of '62 to '72

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An icon makes an appearance. Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
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Lisa Volmar-Logan, Class of 1974, Dominic Agostino, Class of 1972, and Paul Harold, Class of 1974, flip through old yearbooks. Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
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Lisa Volmar-Logan with Ricky Mancini, Class of 1973, Dennis O'Herlihy, Class of 1972, Debbie Osborne-Migliaccio, Class of 1968 and Jay Hansmann, Class of 1969 Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
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A group of graduates, from the 100 plus that were present at the picnic, pose for a picture to commemorate the visit. Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
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A photo provided by the Somers Historical Society, which was instrumental in organizing the activities for the reunion. Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
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Isabella Gomez, 10, whose grandmother, Carol Vartuli, attended as a member of the Class of 1968, prepared this elephant float prior to its big reveal. Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
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SOMERS, N.Y.--More than 100 Somers High School graduates gathered in Reis Park for the culmination of a three-day reunion of more than 10 graduating classes.

“This was really special because we had a span of 1962 to 1972,” Lisa Volmar-Logan, Class of 1974, said. Volmar-Logan now lives in Maryland, but made the long drive up just for the event.

The reunion kicked off Friday, July 28, with a meet-and-greet at the Centennial Gold Club. The weekend included tours of Somers High School and the Elephant Hotel, a Saturday night dinner-dance at the Salem Golf Club on Saturday evening and a Sunday afternoon picnic wrapped up the affair.

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“It was the best reunion yet,” Volmar-Logan said. “Debbie made a three-day event that was wonderful,” she said, referring to Debbie Osborne Migliaccio.

The event organizer, Osborne Migliaccio, said about 200 people came to the meet-and-greet on Friday, 132 attended the dinner-dance and as many as 170 came Sunday afternoon—numbers far exceeding the 82-member class she graduated with in 1968.

“As you get older, the classes get smaller,” she explained. “In order to have a decent reunion, you have to invite more and more people.”

Some brought memorabilia from their years at Somers High, offering fellow classmates a walk down memory lane and the opportunity to learn some surprising tidbits.

One 1968 graduate was accompanied to the picnic by her 93-year-old mother who was among the first students to graduate from Somers High in 1942, Volmar-Logan said.  She has been friends with the woman’s daughter since childhood and never knew until then.
 

Volmar-Logan, whose mother, Margaret “Peggy” Volmar, worked in various capacities at the town center, or the Elephant Hotel, for 23 years, came to the event with a few knickknacks of her own, including an afghan with all of the town’s historic landmarks embroidered onto it.

Others brought old yearbooks. One 1968 graduate brought an original set of pom-poms.

Another antique also made an appearance. The Somers Historical Society, with the help of 10-year-old Peekskill resident Isabella Gomez, dusted off the elephant float that appeared in the 1966 Circus Parade held in Queens.

Gomez accompanied her grandmother, Carol Vartuli, Class of 1968, during the weekend, assisting the Historical Society not only with cleaning up and decorating the elephant float but in leading other children through old-fashioned games at the Wright Reis homestead.

“Many of these people were also participants in [that parade],” Grace Zimmermann, vice president of the Somers Historical Society, said, adding that many were happy to see the iconic float.

“My experience [this weekend] has been terrific,” said Dominic Agostino, Class of 1972. “It was a really good time, I saw a lot of old friends–it was really great.”

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