ECHS Class of ’66 donates to POA

Inside the Strand, at the presentation, from left, Foster Kizer, Bub Gideons, Rita Salter, Mary Jane Schrock, Regina Gohagan, Judy Barnes

News Publisher

The Escambia County High School Class of 1966 made a generous donation to the Pride of Atmore Friday, October 7. The class raised $2,500 to purchase five seats in the Strand Theater which is being renovated.
This class saw the Class of 1962 donate money for a chair and decided they could do that and challenge other classes to follow suit.
In presenting the check, class member Rita Salter thanked the POA Committee for their work and time.
Salter said the five chairs were presented as follows:
First chair – In memory of classmates who have gone on to glory.
Second chair – In honor of and thanksgiving for all the Class of 1966’s educators
Third and fourth chairs – In honor of the Class of 1966
Fifth chair – The announcement of this chair was a surprise – even though the classmate being honored could not be present. Salter said this chair is in honor of the “glue that holds our class together” – Bonnie Bartel Latino.
In fact, Bonnie Latino and Emilie Mims were the fund-raising team behind the donation.
“Emilie Mims came to me with the idea for a fundraiser for chairs after she saw the Class of ‘62’s challenge,” Latino said “Next I figured how much each of the 30 needed to donate for our class to fund two chairs. It was just under $35.
“Emilie became Donor #1. With one email, 27 of our classmates answered the call. Then one of our former teachers, Brenda Gruetzmacher Archibald, who has become an honorary member of our class over the years, became donor #29, and I made 30. Our fifth chair was secured with over $100 left over to go into our class flower fund.
“Our group was exceptionally generous with no coercing. Within two weeks we had all the money, deposits were made, and our check for $2,500 to the Pride of Atmore was written.”
Accepting the donation on behalf of Pride of Atmore were Foster Kizer and Bub Gideons. Classmates attending were Judy Barnes, Regina Gohagan, Rita Salter, and Mary Jane Schrock.