The Madison West High School Class of
'61 Education Foundation, Inc. was formed just after our 40th Class
Reunion. Read why ... then make a contribution.
Follow the links at the left to more photos and
by efg for clarity and brevity.)
From: Robin Allin Jr <RobinAllinJr@comcast.net>
To: Bartell, Jeffrey B. <email@example.com>
Sent: Wed Dec 27
Subject: Transfer of Funds to Madison Public Schools-FYI
Both Certificates of Deposit ($16,000 plus about $300 interest)
and Cashiers Check ($873) were sent to Madison Public School
Foundation today in express mail. All financial transactions
are complete in 2006.
Further contributions should be made to:
Foundation for Madison's Public Schools - Madison West Class of '61 Education Fund and mailed to:
Foundation for Madison Public Schools
Madison West Class of '61 Educational Foundation
101 Nob Hill Road Room 300
Madison WI 53713
August 30, 2003
Our reunion on August 17-18, 2001 seems like yesterday, yet many
historic events have taken place in that short time to forever
change our lives. In the forty-one years since our graduation from
Madison West in 1961, we have witnessed those events and countless
others, each having its special significance to us. The past is
behind us, leaving memories. The future is before us, bringing
hope. We have the opportunity to make some of that hope reality.
I hope you were able to attend that special 40th reunion in
Madison. There were classmates who had been to every reunion and
there were many who were attending for the first time. The overall
atmosphere was the most positive, open, spontaneous and friendly
of any previous gathering. Old acquaintances were renewed and new
acquaintances were made.
That two-day party energized an idea to join together and create a
memorial to our class. Several classmates made personal and
financial commitments ($25-$1000) to start the process, which has
now become the Madison West High School Class of ’61 Education
After deciding on an opportunity and gaining agreement from
Madison West, our inaugural pledge is to pay the expenses of four
students at the Anytown Wisconsin summer camp, June 10-15. The
camp is run by the National Conference for Community and Justice,
whose theme is “Educating Leaders for the 21st Century.” Created
in 1957, Anytown is recognized as a premier human relations and
leadership program for young people. Based on our current world
environment, what better way could we build the hope we have for
the future, than to lay a foundation for communities based on
inclusivity, respect and understanding?
Please read Sue Nelson Goldsmith’s personal experience at the
Anytown camp in Arizona. The West High students will have similar
experiences impacting the rest of their lives and to share with
fellow classmates. Madison West will be the first high school in
Madison to send participants to this program; we hope it sets a
precedent with the Class of ’61 leading the way!
Future projects will be based on suggestions from you. The
Foundation will keep you advised on annual meetings, elections and
You are the key. We can put together a committee, find a worthy
cause and select the students, but we can’t fund any of these
causes without your support.
Our goal is to create a trust
generating sufficient interest to provide various forms of support
to students and/or teachers.
We are committed to keeping the spirit alive…the spirit of ’61, to
celebrate the memory of our departed classmates and our entire
Please fill out the form at the bottom of this letter. Vote on a
name for our fund; include any ideas for next year and beyond; and
send it along with your tax-deductible contribution. You may also
chose to give a certain amount over a period of years; we will be
happy to send a reminder. Your generosity is not measured by the
amount, only your thoughts.
If you have any questions, please call Peggy Ahlgren, Jeff Bartell
or myself. Our current volunteer committee members, Sue Nelson
Goldsmith, Bob Buran, Don Mowry, Fritz Ragatz, Paul Glass, Ralph
Farmer and Kari Darbo Marretta join us in thanking you for
Robin Allin, Jr.
Officers for 2002-2003
President -- Robin Allin, Jr.
420 Farnsworth Circle
Barrington IL 60010
847-462-1013 email: RobinAllinJr@msn.com
Vice President -- Peggy Ahlgren
E6101 County Road WC
Spring Green WI 53588
Treasurer/Secretary -- Jeffrey Bartell
3959 Plymouth Circle
Madison WI 53705
Director -- Don Mowry
12648 West 82nd
Lenexa KS 66215
Dear Classmates -
What a great reunion we had last August - I hope the spirit of it
lives on for all of you. I heard more than one of us say something
on the order of "Why does it take 40 years to figure out that we
are more alike than different? To break down the cliques? To get
to know a whole bunch of people we never knew?" Why was high
school so wonderful for some of us, and so terrible for some of
us? Those of us who have had our own kids go through high school
know that in many cases, the same kind of divisions, cliques, and
"ins" and "outs" still occur. Anytown is the kind of program that
breaks through boundaries and changes lives.
Since I've had the experience of participating in an Anytown camp
(in Arizona, not Wisconsin), Robin asked if I'd share some of that
with all of you. It's one of the most powerful and positive
experiences I've had in the last 20 years, so it's not hard to be
In the early 90's I was lucky enough to help plan several camps
for the high school kids in our school district (since it was just
our district we called it Unitown, but it was run by people who
have been doing Anytown for years). I attended one five-day camp
where I got to work along with the kids on the issues of
acceptance, diversity, understanding, honesty, caring - about the
things we all want our kids to really know at the core of their
beings. Students are chosen specifically to create a diverse group
at camp - it's not just about student leaders. Diversity is more
than ethnic -- it's about jocks and geeks, about student
government leaders and theatre types, about kids who don't seem to
be in any group; it's about religion, ethnicity, gender, about who
"gets no respect" and who doesn't give any respect, about all the
ways that we find to divide us rather than unite us and about how
needless the divisions are.
The students and the adults have an opportunity to really talk
about issues that matter - in ways that don't happen when the goal
is to learn English or math. We talked about what it means to be a
good human being, about mental health, about politics, about
parenting and partying and drinking and violence, about being
young and being old - and on and on.
There are small group settings, whole group events, and late, late
night conversation that stay with you forever. I laughed and
cried, was shocked by the lives some students live and was deeply
impressed by the readiness of these kids to live intentionally
inclusive lives. Everyone leaves camp knowing that it's not only
possible, it's fabulous, to get to know others.
If anyone wants to know more, feel free to call me (602-840-8229)
or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This experience has a lasting impact on kids' lives. In the long
run, it can have a great impact on an entire school. Let's worry
about the long run next year or the year after. This year, I hope
you'll join me in making a contribution to send a few West High
kids to Anytown.
Sue Nelson Goldsmith
August 30, 2003
I am taking this important day to let you know of the difference
the Class of 1961 has made in the lives of four students and
hopefully many others through contact with them now and into the
future. The events of a year ago, in conjunction with our 40th
Class reunion, gave impetus to finding a way to help understand
diversity and bridge the gaps created by religion, race and
cultural experiences. Through the generosity of many classmates,
we were able to send four students to ANYTOWN Wisconsin for a
one-week program. The results were gratifying and I would like to
share some of their thoughts with you.
First, the comments of Gary Tuma, ANYTOWN Director, on our
“…Thank you so much for providing an opportunity for Matt, Abdul,
Serena and Fatima to attend Anytown. They were sensational
delegates—smart, talented, conscientious and thoughtful. They were
the best delegation from any one referral source this year.”
Matt Carter wrote….
“…thank you for permitting myself as well as the other three
students…to attend such an amazing and life changing camp.” Matt
visited Durban, South Africa (where he lived in 1998) and met many
old friends. “I found the racism and prejudice…to be horrendous. I
explained the problems with their manner of thinking about
different people…I did so by using many of the tactics I learned
at Anytown…Had I not gone to Anytown, I would not have commented
on (their) remarks. Anytown gave me the confidence to stand up for
what I believe in. Anytown seems to me to be a near perfect
society, one in which everyone is equal and treated as such…no
trip has ever had such a great affect on me. …I would return in a
heartbeat and I hope to someday do so as a counselor.”
“I hope you will continue affording West students the opportunity
of a life time at Anytown.”
Abdul Abdelrahman wrote…
“I cannot thank the Foundation enough for giving me the
opportunity to go to Anytown. Thanks to you and the Foundation, I
left the camp with 77 new friends and learned the importance of
equality in our society. It was (an) eye-opening experience in
learning how to embrace differences and have fun while doing it.
…it helped me grow as a person and change my ways with
…sensitivity to others and their situations and feelings.”
This is an incredible start to “Celebrate ‘61” and build a legacy
for our class. If you have contributed, thank you! If you haven’t
been able to or have simply been too busy, we certainly
I believe you will agree this is a great idea that has been
started and can be a lasting tribute to the Madison West Class of
1961. As a Class, we may choose to support other causes, student
or school endeavors in the future…it is up to you. It is only
important to do something…to keep the light burning. Don’t forget
to visit our website madisonwest61.com (created and maintained by
Bob Buran). Take a moment to think of our departed classmates.
Please take a moment, fill out the form below, attach your
contribution (we are officially a tax exempt organization – your
gift(s) are tax deductible) and send to my attention.
In the near future, a classmate will be in contact with you to
update our progress as we build for future projects. All of your
ideas are important; contact any of the officers listed to have
them considered for 2003 and beyond.
Robin Allin, Jr.