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2016 VFHS Alumni Newsletter

Join us at our weekend extravaganza...The 17th Annual VFHS Memorial Weekend Reunion

May 28th – Parade/BBQ/Social – May 29th – Covered Dish


Reunion 2016 Classes of Honor

 5th Anniversary…2011             

10th Anniversary…2006

15th Anniversary…2001             

20th Anniversary…1996

 25th Anniversary…1991             

30th Anniversary…1986

35th Anniversary…1981             

40th Anniversary…1976

45th Anniversary…1971             

50th Anniversary…1966

55th Anniversary…1961             

60th Anniversary…1956

65th Anniversary…1951             

70th Anniversary...1946

75th Anniversary…1941

We hope you’ll organize some additional reunion activities and join us for the BBQ and Social on Saturday and/or the Covered Dish dinner on Sunday.

This year’s theme is:   Reality TV – Retro Style

  THEN                               NOW

Golden Girls                                     Keeping up with the Kardashian’s

Gilligan’s Island                               Survivor

The Dating Game                            The Bachelor

Dick Van Dyke Show                       Modern Family

Cheers and Friends                         Real World

All in the Family                               I am Cait


Today it feels like TV – and life – centers on controversy and divisiveness.  Frankly, we are tired of that!  (That’s why we prefer THEN!) 

Those were the days….

2016 Reunion Challenge

Come home – where everyone knows your name.  And THANK YOU for being a friend.



The Valley Falls Community Trust Fund is up and running!  (Thanks Joe Heinen and crew!)

So….If you are interested in making a TAX DEDUCTIBLE donation to the scholarship fund, please make a check payable to VFCTF and write Alumni Scholarship Fund on the memo line.  (These checks can be sent to Jan and she will forward them to the Community Foundation treasurer, or to the address listed at the end of the newsletter.)


If this is confusing, we apologize.  If you have questions about how to pay for your Reunion reservation AND make a tax deductible scholarship donation, call Roz Jackson (945-3877) or Mary Jane Burns (945-3790).

Sorry you missed last year’s celebration?

Here’s all you need to know to make sure you don’t make the same mistake this year…

The details:

Saturday, May 28, 2016

5:15 p.m.: Parade lineup at the Catholic Church parking lot.  (We came up with the time and the place.  It’s up to YOU to come up with parade entries!  Be creative!  Have fun!

5:30 p.m.:  Parade begins.

5:35 p.m.: Parade will most likely be over. (Spectators should really try to show up before 5:45 this year.)

6:00 p.m.: Dinner served – Kendall Bank Hall

7:15ish we’ll have a “program”.  If you’ve seen one you know you don’t ever want to miss another.

Cost: $15 per individual / $40 per family

Since the BBQ is a “catered” event, (we use that term loosely!) reservations are requested.  Complete the enclosed registration card and return it to Jan McKnight, preferably by May 16th. 


Sunday, May 29, 2016


Covered Dish Dinner at the Delaware Township Hall

Cost: As always, the cost of admission is a Covered Dish.

No prior reservations are required to attend the Covered Dish dinner on Sunday.


VFHS Alumni award 18 students with $5,314 in scholarships

2015 marked the 15th year that VFHS alums were able to award scholarships to VFHS grads.  Six of those scholarships were awarded in memory of VFHS alums –

Leona Davies (1919), Viola Reichart (1927), Paul Burns (1959), Beth Hibbs Brooks (1960), John McLeod (1973), Rex Kearney (1977), and Brad Hisey (1977).  And John Gutschenritter, class of 1951, sent us $64.  He asked us to award the $64 to a member of the class of 2015 – a dollar for each of the 64 years since he graduated from dear, old, Valley High.

You can honor an alumni by sponsoring a scholarship in his or her name. Graduation is right around the corner!  Send your scholarship contributions to Jan Jackson McKnight.

Class of 2015 recipients were:

Suvanna Badgett, daughter of Lynn Hanson (1987) was the recipient of the Leona Davies Memorial Scholarship.

Ty Jobbins, son of Russ and Kelly Jobbins was the recipient of the Viola Reichart Good Citizenship Award AND the John Gutschenritter ‘I give a $1 for every year I’ve been out of high school’ award.

Reid Bunde, son of Rod and Ruby Bunde was the recipient of the Paul Burns Memorial Scholarship.  Reid’s dad Rod has been a long time teacher and coach at VFHS.

Kacey Herring, daughter of Becky (Jennings) and Tim Herring (1988) was the recipient of the Beth Hibbs Brooks Memorial Scholarship.  Kacey is also the granddaughter of Mary (Heinen) and Lee Herring (both 1963). 

Emily Nottingham, daughter of John and Becky Nottingham was the recipient of the John McLeod Memorial Scholarship.

Kendra Gatzemeyer, daughter of Kelly (1992) and Angie Gatzemeyer.  Kendra was the recipient of the Rex Kearney Memorial Scholarship

Noah Schmeissner, son of Chris and Baretta Billings (1978) Schmeissner, was awarded the Brad Hisey Memorial Scholarship.  Noah is also the grandson of Jim and Dorothy Cummings Billings (both 1953).

Andrea Schmeissner, is the daughter of Chris and Baretta Billings (1978) Schmeissner.  Andrea is also the granddaughter of Jim and Dorothy Cummings Billings (both 1953).

Justine Frakes, daughter of Rick (1983) and Jeanie Billings (1984) Frakes.  She is also the granddaughter of Jim and Dorothy Cummings Billings (both 1953) and Betty Lou Bryant (1964) McCall and the late Ron Frakes (1959).

Emily Lane, daughter of Brian Lane and Tracy Brown (1987).  Brenna is also the granddaughter of Joyce (Logsdon) (1963). 

Paige Hale, daughter of Amy Weishaar and Steve Hale.

Christian Liewer, son of Jerry and Pam Liewer

Katie Haybarker, daughter of Tonya and Brad Heinenken and the late Keith Haybarker.

Alyssa Wistuba, daughter of Tammy and Robert Wistuba.

Grant Haag, son of Steve Haag and Shelly Gatzemeyer.

Sequoia Ross, daughter of Rick and Tammy Ross

Trey Wilson, son of Danny Wilson and Jamie Pettit.

Matthew Hamon, son of John (1987) and Lisa Hamon.  He is also the grandson of Charles (1956) and the great grandson of John (1929) Hamon.


Contact Information

To reminisce old times, catch up on the latest gossip going around Valley Falls, or to complain about your health, contact one of our mothers.  But if you’d like to volunteer to help at this year’s reunion, provide updated addresses for yourself or other alumni, or send a donation, contact:

Jan Jackson McKnight                             Dawna Edmonds

302 Oak                                                       8904 170th Street        

VF, Kansas 66088                                       VF, Kansas 66088       

(785) 817-1277                                            (785) 640-0954          

Jan’s e-mail: janetlmcknight@hotmail.com

Dawna’s e-mail: dedmonds@usd345.com

We promise to have time for idle chit chat by the end of May!




In a letter dated 10/30/2015, the IRS notified us that the VFCTF is now exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). The exemption was made retroactive to 12/9/2013.

The Board would like to thank Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins and her staff, including Melissa Underwood, and Roger Vance, IRS Director, Exempt Organizations, for their assistance in this process.

The Board will be compiling a list of projects to which donations can be funneled for the good of the community.  Contributors are encouraged to submit projects that they would like to be considered for funding.

Tax-free donations can be mailed to the VFCTF at PO Box 124, Valley Falls, Kansas 66088.

The Third Annual Meeting of the VFCTF is set for May 28, 2016 immediately at the close of the 2016 Alumni Reunion at the Kendall State Bank Community Hall.

VFCTF President, Hollie (Heinen) Area will entertain any business that alumni bring to the meeting. Additionally, two Board positions (with 3 year terms) are up for election. Buffy Coleman and Jeff Brown currently hold these positions.

Any person interested in the future of Valley Falls is eligible vote at the annual meeting and to run for the Board of Directors.  (Representation at Board meetings can be done via Skype or speaker phone.)

Questions concerning the VFCTF can be directed to Joe Heinen, initial Trust Fund President, at (785) 817-3842 or by mail at 7384 154th Street, Valley Falls, Kansas 66088.



Hollie Heinen Area (President)

Dean Lederer (Treasurer)

Mary Jane Burns (Secretary)

Jeff Brown

Buffy Coleman

Linda Arthur Stansell


2016 VFHS Alumni Reunion 

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