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AHS class of '88 gives back

The Ashland High class of 1988 raised more than $10,000 for the Ashland Schools Foundation during its 30th reunion in July.

According to one of the organizers and Ashland native, Kenneth Cameron, the highlight of the three-day event was a casino night organized in collaboration with many local businesses. The event, titled “Gambling for Good,” was held in the Historic Ashland Armory and open to the public. It brought in more than 100 participants including other AHS graduating classes ranging from the ’60s to the ’90’s, Cameron said.

A planning committee of six volunteers spread out all over the country began preparing in September for the event, Cameron said.

“One of the things we wanted to do for our 30th reunion was to do something to be able to give back to the Ashland schools community and so we opened it up to the wider community for anyone that wanted to come out to support the schools,” Cameron said.

They partnered with local organizations to sponsor the event, so more money could be donated to ASF. Organizations such as local Butler dealerships, the Ashland Armory and Remax Platinum sponsored the event. Organizations and businesses including Caldera Brewing, Mt. Ashland and Sean Bagshaw Outdoor Exposure Photography donated raffle prizes.

“Funny money” won through gambling could be exchanged for raffle tickets to win prizes. There was also a live auction for some of the prizes.

Cameron said the graduates’ group wanted the donation to ASF to be unrestricted, so the foundation could get the best use out of it.

“I work on the board of another foundation and I know that sometimes when you have specific gifts, they don’t meet the needs of the foundation, so we decided to have it be an unrestricted gift, so the foundation could use it for whatever is the most pressing need,” Cameron said.

Cameron said the remainder of the three days was filled with good food, wine and adventures in Southern Oregon. Participants of the reunion went rafting, golfing, mountain biking and wine-tasting while in town.

According to David Wright, one of the reunion planners and an Ashland native, $10,000 was a number they were hoping for, but couldn’t have expected.

“We decided we wanted to do something more because we all had a great experience in the Ashland public schools,” Wright said. “I’m very proud of it.”

“We would like to challenge other AHS classes to try to do something similar for their 30th anniversary to give back to the Ashland schools and community,” Cameron said.

Contact Daily Tidings reporter Caitlin Fowlkes at cfowlkes@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4496. Follow her on Twitter @cfowlkes6.

Submitted photoFrom left, Scott Harth, Poppy Harth, Beth Selzer-Ohringer and Joel Calhoun enjoy casino night.