A Fortieth Reunion With A Goal To Make A Change

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala., (WHNT) -- The fortieth reunion of the Butler High School Class of 1973 is doing something a little different than the usual reunion, and they're hoping to preserve a sense of school spirit in doing so.

Patti Parrish-Bondor's senior picture is in Butler High School's green and yellow yearbook from the school year 1973.

She says a lot has changed since she and her fellow Rebels graduated that year. "We had a graduating class of 802," Parrish-Bondor says.

This year's graduating class will fill up 88 seats in the auditorium this spring.

Parrish-Bondor says that's a harsh reality, and it made her class want to do something. "My class has been eager to support them, and I told them what it means to these kids."

She's talking about the students who spend their time in the school's auditorium. Or to put it more accurately, on the stage in the auditorium.

They're the students in the Butler Theater Project. Parrish-Bondor says those students have a love for Butler that her class wants to keep alive in a school that has drastically changed since they walked the halls.

Both generations discussed the issues the students are facing and what the older generation can do to help. Standing on the stage the students in the program feel so comfortable on, they say their issue is the fight to stay there.

That is, to keep the program - and their dreams -  alive.

Decarlos Turney is a senior at Butler. He's seen theater come and go in his four years at the school. For him, he says that's devastating. He has dreams, and theater is at the front stage of them. "Acting is something that's not just for fun to me, it's something I want to pursue," Turney says.

Standing up in front of an audience of Butler Rebels he tells them that, and they listen.

Parrish-Bondor says in helping to keep the program alive and support the students in it, it will keep a sense of school spirit intact that she says she doesn't want to see die.

The school was different for the 1973 class of Rebels. They hope though, that in working with the the students in the Theater Project and doing what they can to keep it alive, they can make a change.