It is a love of the iconic school on Hamilton Street that drives the Roanoke Rapids High School Alumni & Friends Association, said its president, Phil Hux.
And on homecoming weekend next week, the association will thank those who have contributed to its success and the projects it has done on behalf of their beloved school with a series of activities that even includes an event set for later in December.
On September 29 the annual homecoming parade is set for soon after the school day ends and the association is honoring past cheerleaders.
Then there is the homecoming game which will feature the home team taking on Northern Nash. After the game there will be a concert on the softball field as fireworks are rocketed into the air from the former Patterson Mill site.
On September 30 there will be an all-class gathering from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the high school cafeteria and the class of 1973 will host a reunion from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn.
Going into December 19 there will be a Christmas at the Castle event as all the front windows of the high school are lighted and the high school band and chorus perform Christmas carols. There will be a visit from Santa Claus as well during the event which begins at 6 p.m.
The association has been responsible for many projects at the high school, Hux said.
The current project is one in which the 120 windows in the senior building will get new blinds. The current blinds are over 50-years-old, Hux said.
The cost of the new blinds is $250 each and will include a brass tag on the windows to recognize the donors.
Other projects include:
The lighting at the front of the senior building
Repair of the front railing
The upgrade of the auditorium sound system
The painting of the wood on the exterior of the building, the rails in front of the building, and the front step area inside the senior building
New rugs were placed to complement the design and era of the historic building
Rewired the auditorium stage for new lighting
Purchased the 100th anniversary plaque
In addition to those projects, the sound system of the football field has been updated, there will be new carpeting placed in the auditorium and the association is getting ready to replace the curtains of the stage.
All these projects have been done through the help of alumni and friends, Hux said. “Everybody I call to help out always helps out. And a lot of people who help didn’t go to the school.”
Since the inception of the association, the group has raised more than $250,000, Hux said.
As homecoming events begin on September 29, the Roanoke Rapids High School Sports Club will be cooking barbecue and selling Boston butts with Ed Liverman and Scott Hall at the helm, Hux said.
The barbecue plates will be available for tailgating meals before and during the game.
Liverman said the plates are $10 and the butts are $45.
“Our mission is to take care of the student athletes through uniforms and equipment,” Liverman said. “It’s our way of giving back to an institution that gave so much to us, our children, and grandchildren.”
The barbecue plates will include string beans and boiled potatoes and advanced orders are recommended by calling Liverman at 252-536-6962, Hall at 252-203-3232 or any other member of the sports club.
Hux said thus far there have been 78 former varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders who will be honored. Those who want to participate can call Lori Medlin at 252-536-1721 or Melanie Lockamon at 252-578-3354.
Commemorative T-shirts at $16 will be on sale. Call Randy Wrenn at 252-673-1480 to purchase a T-shirt.
Meanwhile, following the homecoming game, Brian Bohanon’s band will perform on the softball field in what Hux described as a family-friendly event as the fireworks show sponsored by Oscar’s and Big Time Pawn commences.
For information on whether lunches, provided by Exquisite Occasions, can still be reserved for the September 30 all-class reunion call Joan DiAngelo at 252-532-3208.
The all-class reunion will allow alumni and visitors to tour the campus and see the improvements that have benefited from the association.
The cost of the 1973 class reunion is $45 if paid before August 15 and $50 per person after this date.
There will be a DJ, photographer for candids, cash bar, free non-alcoholic drinks, appetizers and raffles to help the next class event.
Call Lana Clary Balltzglier at 919-696-2346 or Patty MacKenzie Little at 252-532-3800.