Crooms Reunion-The Orlando Times
Historic Crooms High Grand Reunion
“We Are Family, Honoring Our Legacy”
“My memorable days at Crooms are unforgettable. We had teachers that were special and made even greater contributions in our lives that helped us to be who we are today. We had opportunities to interact with one another through campus activities, such as Varsity Chorus, Home Economics where we learned to cook and sew. Such great memories will last forever. I’m glad to have been a student at Crooms Academy”. – Lillian Merthie Hamilton
“Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.” - Dr. Carter G. Woodson (December 1875-1950)
SANFORD – In the beginning of 2007 it was an idea formulated to establish a Grand Reunion of Crooms Academy/High School alumni to celebrate our alma maters history and classes of 1931 thru 1971. This has been done successfully every 3 years under the capable and visionary leadership of Mrs. Katheryn Alexander (class of 1947), Mrs. Sheralyn Brinson (class of 1963), Mr. Wilbur Hawkins (class of 1966) and currently Dr. Barbara Kirby-Bentley (class of 1965).
Each year the Grand Reunion rises to new heights with a myriad of activities stemmed from the desire to entertain, have fun, cultivate new ideas, renew acquaintances and above all be thankful for the many blessings and opportunities that have been afforded to classmates.
Not only did locals participate with their families but registrants also arrived from South Carolina, Maryland, Texas and Arizona to attend the ‘Jazz on The Lake’ banquet at the beautifully adorned Lake Mary Event Center. Guests were greeted with a saxophonist upon arrival, a jazz combo during the white gloved reception and much camaraderie before entering the eye dropping inspired main ballroom where special recognition was afforded past educators and introduction of scholarship recipients. Then the night was filled with fine dining, dancing, door prizes and outdoor fireworks with the singing of the school’s alma mater.
Many took advantage of the complimentary 3 hours bus tour of Sanford/Seminole County to witness firsthand the community changes and improvements from areas they travelled to get to Crooms; such as Midway, Booker Town (Lake Monroe), Geneva, Snow Hill, Altamonte Springs, etc. with a special tour of the downtown Sanford Museum. Time was allocated for individual class activities for fish fry gatherings, old school sock hop, lunches and party inspired dinners. The highlight was the much anticipated Saturday morning parade. Even with balmy skies, the sun came out in time for high stepping majorettes, parade grand marshall, a vintage fire truck, Bo-Key Riders, former school queens, Young Blacks in Action, former Football, basketball and baseball athletes, class representatives, Young Men of Excellence sponsored by Commissioner Kerry Wiggins, as well as Supervisor of Elections Mr. Chris Anderson and his lovely wife Mrs. Ebony Anderson who walked the entire parade route from ‘The Barn’ on Hwy 17-92 to Crooms Academy of Information Technology where the traditional and enthusiastic pep rally was held complete with cheerleaders, a roaring crowd, and athletes.
Parade entry winners: 1st Place – Young Blacks In Action from Orlando, 2nd Place – Class of 1955, 3rd Place – Class of 1963, and Honorable Mention – Bo-Key Riders.
The final day of celebration culminated with worship service on the campus of Crooms, presided by Mr. Sylvester Wynn, School Administration Manager at Seminole High School after classes marched in as they did for commencement. Participants included Mayor Jeff Triplett, Commissioner Wiggins, Crooms Principal Dr. Brandon Hanshaw, words of inspiration from Pastor Calvin Donaldson (class of 1965), House of Christ Ministries with music provided by the Crooms Alumni Choir directed by Minister Smith.
After a farewell reception, classmates and families departed vowing to keep in touch and looking forward to the next Historic Crooms High Grand Union in TWO YEARS.