Thank You and Review from The Committee

THANKS doesn’t seem like a big enough word to express our gratitude to the community for all your help with the Homecoming 2015! The committee is so pleased with the attendance and how the weekend went. Several people told us not to worry, that people would just jump in and start helping. They were right – people mowed grass that they didn’t own, streets got cleaned, the stage got built and on and on. Thanks to all previous committee members and others that just “knew what to do” and did it. We could not have done it without the support of the town – everyone came together to clean up and decorate the town to help us Celebrate the Alumni Home.

There is a list of those who chaired sub-committees along with our thanks to them in the Homecoming book, which are available for sale at the Big Sandy Library. We’d like to highlight some of the weekend events here as well as thank folks who made a tremendous impact but were not on our committees.

Mr. Moore, Walt, Sherri, Brianna and the summer staff at the High School were awesome to work with. You all made our job so much easier. Your support and assistance was far and above anything we could have asked for.

There were 855 registered for the meals and program. When we looked at the Main Street during the parade the number of people in Big Sandy was several times that! There are always a large number of people who attend but don’t register.

There were new events this Homecoming: Color Run, Bike Race, Paint Ball Tourney, Video Tourney, Memorabilia Room, New Caterer, and Bouncy House. There were also LOTS of vendors – school classes, alumni, and miscellaneous vendors from the area. We hope everyone had a great day. The Pioneer Bike Race hosted by Mike O’Malley didn’t really have “winners” listed, but they were pleased with the participation of 20 for the first ever. The Pioneer Color Run hosted by Barracuda Swim Team had over 450 participants! No times were kept but Geno Menard and Caleb Kriser were the first two to cross the finish line. Thank you to the Big Sandy Community Church of God for sponsoring one of the tents in the park and for the set up and tear down of both tents as well as sponsoring the Bouncy House and returning it to Great Falls.

There were a ton of entries in the parade and it was so much fun. Keith Danreuther was our Parade Marshall, assisted by Brad Weaver. Rob Gregory made sure we had all the permits we needed. Five judges were picked randomly from the crowd and had a difficult job voting among the fantastic floats. Grand Prize – Darlington Midway; High School – Class of 2020; Aumni – 1st place Class of 2010, 2nd place Class of 1965; Business/Organization/Groups – 1st place Catholic Church, 2nd place Bagpipes; Individuals – 1st Place Jim Trepina/Huber Tractor, 2nd Place  Ron Beeler/Ford Car. In the Pet & Doll Parade: Best Theme – Anna Allderdice; Cutest – Kassidy Pursley; Most Creative – Brooke DiSalvo; Best of Pioneer Pride – Jayton Ophus.

The auctions on Main Street were a fun addition to the day. Thanks to Shane Ophus for auctioning: Homecoming Quilt, made for the Committee by Brenda Yirsa – purchased by Glenn Ophus ’64; Homecoming Knife, made & donated by Duke Pursley in honor of the Class of ’54 – purchased by Senator Bruce Thompson ’83; Leather Jacket, donated by Fiveheads with the proceeds donated to the BSHS Music Department – purchased by Bonnie Morgan Reichelt ’61.

Thanks to Robert Williams for heading up the Car Show – there were over 40 entries!
Bomgardner Catering from Loma MT was the new caterer. Thanks, Chandee – it was delicious!!

Chris Myers was dedicated in planning the music for the program. His band included 16 other musical graduates and 2 teachers: Nathan Merrill, Josh Danreuther, Matt Myers, Aaron Myers, Verlin Reichelt, Larry Myers, Glenna Branagan, Roger Hagen, Kyle Sorenson, Jack Sivertson, Steve Moes, Judy Bush Pleskac, Jeff Ament, Billy Pierce, Susan Walker, Larry Brumwell, Gage Brumwell, Blake Brumwell, and “Garth Brooks”! We think all would agree that the program was awesome. During the program we showed a small portion of a video from a retirement party honoring Hal Sherbeck ’46, an outstanding athlete at BSHS and lifelong coach. That DVD is available to check out at the library if you would like to watch the entire event.

Techies we are not! We so appreciate the talents of Corinna Ophus Sinclair on the website and Facebook, Scott Drga for the photo loop playing at registration, Eric Schwarzbach on the videos for the program as well as the microphones and lights during the program, and Craig Edwards and Jimmy Griffin for making the video of the program. You can look for the video soon on Craig’s website,

We appreciate the assistance of four couples during the weekend who helped greet guests at the meals and the Saturday night program. Gene and Cora Lee Welty, Nancy and Len Jappe, Doris and Francis Gasvoda, and Skip and Lil Foussard have not served on previous Homecoming Committees and it was great to have them help us this year.

Fiveheads of Havre donated remaining t-shirts to the Barracuda Swim Team. You can purchase them from the team by donation. (At this writing they have Medium & XL shirts.)

Other Special Celebrations were observed this Homecoming: Margaret Balazic Grubb ’37 was the oldest registered alumni; Virginia Pearson Ophus ‘33 just turned 101 in April 2015 – we believe she is the oldest living graduate. The Big Sandy Medical Center is celebrating 50 years in 2015. The Pearl & Anton Ophus family is celebrating 100 years. The Richter Family had a big reunion. The Class of 1965 was celebrating their 50th reunion. Were there others? Let us know by phone or on Facebook.

Lost & Found has been moved to the high school office. Found: one eyeglass lens on main street Sunday AM; one set of vehicle keys found Sunday at the Paul Williams Memorial Park; one earring. Lost: new lipstick & liner at the food hall.

Thank you to all those who donated, advertised in the book, and sponsored. Homecoming is a non-profit organization and event so it is nice to be able to pay all the expenses and leave some to the next committee for start-up. Registration fees cover the meals and book for each registrant, but in order to keep the registration fees reasonable and the event exciting and worth traveling for, we rely on the donations, ads, and sponsorships to help with expenses such as postage (which is a huge expense), table & chair rental, portable toilets, etc. If you have not been personally acknowledged in the book or this article, it is certainly not intentional. Please know that we sincerely appreciate the help from everyone who contributed to the successful Homecoming weekend.

Thanks again to the advertisers in the book:
ADM/CHS AgriPrairie Insurance Bear Paw Deli and Bakery
Big Sandy Activities Big Sandy Chamber Big Sandy Meat Shop
Big Sandy Medical Center Big Sandy Pharmacy Big Sandy Senior Citizens Center
Big Sandy RV Park Big Sandy Supply Big Sky Auto
Boulder Designs Cornerstone Contracting Craig Edwards Photography
Denning Construction Ezzie’s Wholesale The Grocery Store
Golden Harvest Seeds H & R Block Hair I Am
Hi-Lo Fencing J & B Contracting Little Sharps Rifle Manufacturing
Live Wire Electric Mint Bar The Mountaineer
Mountain View Co-Op Myers Prairie Craft Construction
Neil Kulbeck Construction Ophus Tax Service Pep’s Bar
Pleninger Plumbing Prairie Blossoms Floral Q’s Motel
Sheehy Law Firm StrutzOn Therapy The Oil Barn
T-Tech Town of Big Sandy Virgelle Mercantile
Waddell & Reed Wells Fargo Bank

Thank you sponsors of the parade prizes, new banners, and music:
ADM/CHS AgriPrairie Insurance Baldwin Insurance
Bear Paw Deli Becker, Rick Big Equipment
Big Sandy Pharmacy Clausen & Sons Columbia Grain
CPS Ezzie’s Wholesale Golden Harvest Seeds
Homestead Insurance Independence Bank IX Ranch
Kamut International Mid State Signs Milk River Co-Op
Mountain View Co-Op NorthWest Farm Credit Pep’s
Pioneer Insurance Quinn Farms The Mint
The Oil Barn Tilleman Motor Co. Torgerson’s
Vic Velk Williams Brothers Big Bud

Congratulations to the New Committee!
Don Weaver ’73 & Dolly Silvan Weaver ’79
Calvin Danreuther ’80 & Michelle Vielleux Danreuther ’80
Jeff Herzog ’86 & Barbie Butler Herzog ’89
Darin Genereux ’83 & Lisa Grasdock Genereux ’85

We know you will do a fantastic job in 2020!