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Celebrating 25 years with more than 60 years of Brainerd High School classes

It’s a safe to say that the Brainerd High School (BHS) graduating class of 1945 is vastly different than this year’s Class of 2012. The same can be said about every decade of classes to come out of BHS, each one with their own memories and impressions of what high school is like.

And while the Brainerd Public Schools Foundation (BPSF) gets set to celebrate its 25th year of working toward bettering Brainerd Public Schools, its spearheading a multi-decade alumni effort, bringing more than 60 years of BHS alumni together.

“I think it’s an incredible outpouring of support for our schools and it shows the legacy we have here, too,” said Jill Neumann, BPSF executive director, who began organizing the Class Challenge Fundraising Campaign when she started working with BPSF just two months ago along with 58 different class leaders and representatives. “I had lunch with someone who is 80 years old who wants to help out, and then I’ve had 17-year-old kids looking to help out, too.

“Then there are donations (to BPSF) from the Class of 2026, the class that will be starting kindergarten. It’s really something to see all these different ages and classes across the board come together and try to help our (Brainerd) schools.”

Neumann said the Class Challenge Fundraising Campaign will run until October 2012, raising funds with their class members with 100 percent benefitting the 4A (academics, activities, arts and athletics) grant program in ISD 181.

“We (BPSF) wanted a way to do scholarships (for BHS seniors) and now we are trying to find a way to get money in to the classrooms and help the students that are here now,” said Neumann, who added that this year BPSF will award $40,700 in scholarship money at the Senior Recognition Awards Ceremony Sunday at Tornstrom Auditorium. “We get a lot of requests for books, all levels of reading, special projects, field trip money, stuff like that.

“Anywhere we can help out we want to fill where we can.”

And furthering efforts to help are a number of members in the BPSF Pacesetter group, like the Brainerd School Board, who recognized BPSF during Monday night’s school board meeting.

“I want to thank Brainerd Public School Foundation for their support in grant money in the classrooms and scholarship money for our students," said Superintendent Steve Razidlo. "It's making differences in classrooms all across the district with special projects and are really very excited to see that."

Doing it together, one class and decade at a time, Neumann said.

"It's an effort that will showcase our public schools and show what a legacy there is and at the same time rasie some funds and help out where we can in our schools," said Neumann. "It's a way to celebrate our public schools and any money that is raised while we do that is wonderful."

JESSI PIERCE may be reached at 855-5859 or Follow her on Twitter at (@jessi_pierce).