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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 information.

New

(Edited by efg for clarity and brevity.)
From: Robin Allin Jr <RobinAllinJr@comcast.net>
To: Bartell, Jeffrey B. <jbb@quarles.com>

Sent: Wed Dec 27 11:09:41 2006
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.

Robin

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

Dear Classmate:
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 Foundation.

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 finances.

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 class.

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 “Celebrating ’61.”

Sincerely,
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
608-588-2195 email: pahlgren@merr.com

Treasurer/Secretary -- Jeffrey Bartell
3959 Plymouth Circle
Madison WI 53705
608-283-2432 email: jbb@quarles.com

Director -- Don Mowry
12648 West 82nd
Lenexa KS 66215
913-888-5242 email: mowery_d2003@hotmail.com


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 enthusiastic.

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 (sgoldsmith25@cox.net).

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

Dear Classmates:

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 delegates…

“…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 understand.

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.
Sincerely,
Robin Allin, Jr.