All-school reunion adds something extra in Balaton

BALATON – Everyone is invited to be a part of the Balaton Fun Fest, which, from start to finish, covers nearly a week.

“It is so fun to see everyone who comes to our Fun Fest days. They look forward to seeing all of their friends, and this is where they can do that,” said Betty Chandler, who has been preparing for Fun Fest days for some time.

The all-school reunion is going to be a major part of the festivities this year. Three committees have been working hard to put everything together: the Fun Fest Committee, the Fire Department and the All School Reunion Committee.

“We plan every seven years for a reunion. We send out two letters to every single Balaton graduate within a year of the celebration,” said Mary Mattson, a member of the All School Reunion Committee.

“Facebook and e-mail have made the process a lot easier. We hope to be able to get everyone’s e-mail at this all-school reunion so we don’t have to send out so many letters next time. It would be more convenient and cheaper that way,” Mattson added.

The members of the All-School Reunion Committee dedicate a large portion of their time into the festival for 12 months before it actually happens. One of the projects they have taken on is an All-School Cookbook. Cheryl Peterson is the head of the Cookbook Committee.

“We haven’t had a community cookbook since 1992,” Peterson said. “Everyone wanted that one, and we ended up selling all we ordered, ordering again, and selling out of those. We wanted to order once more, but the place burned down and our plates were destroyed. We decided that we would try again to make another cookbook since that one was such a big hit.”

Peterson said the response was slow to begin with, “but then the recipes wouldn’t stop coming. We had four separate deadlines and eventually had to just cut it off. We ended up with over 1,000 recipes from all over the country. It was an awesome response, and this time we won’t run out.”

“There are over 400 pages in the book. We ordered 1,000 of them. This is one of our only fundraisers, and money determines what we can and cannot do for the next year,” Mattson said.

The other two fundraisers they have are the Balaton Warrior card decks that are being sold for $6 and the banquet at the community center. Tickets for the banquet are $25, but they also pay to get into the fireman’s dance.

“All three committees have to cooperate with each other for this to be a success,” Mattson said.

The first carnival in 40 years will appear in Balaton for the Fun Fest. It will be located near Main Street.

“You can buy your tickets ahead of time at KirPatrick’s, Benson’s, the bank and Balaton Specialties until noon on the 4th,” Mattson said.

There will be 23 different class reunions on Friday in Balaton at different homes. It appears as if everyone is coming home for this event.

The All School Committee is planning for a float in the parade, with eight people riding on it. Among them are 1937 graduate Alma Scherbert and 1938 graduate Frankie Johnson.

“It has been so much fun to watch everyone come together as a community to work for a common goal,” Mattson said.

“Julie Erickson, the head of the Fun Fest Committee, and Randy Miller, the head of the All School Reunion Committee, have been a great help through it all. Also, we are all so proud of the fire department and what they have been doing to contribute,” Mattson said.