The 2013 Gladbrook High School Alumni Banquet was held on August 31. Honored Attendees were the 1971-72 Undefeated Wrestlers. Featured guest speaker was Coach Bob Moen.
Wrestlers present for the occasion included: Varsity Team - Kelly Gilchrist, Steve Read, Bill Mohr, Buck Jones, Donn Dierks, Jim Gethmann, Jeff Ulch, Reed Gethmann, Tom Grove, Don McGowan (unable to attend),Larry Blaine, Chuck Blaine; and Junior Varsity - Greg Babinat, Dave Koester, Joel Mohr, Laverne Wegner and Jeff Wickersham. Cheerleader Jan Ploen was also present.
Following the 2008 banquet Jim Gethmann came up with the idea of the wrestlers being recognized - and the rest is history. Many of them traveled quite a distance to attend. Coach Moen is now in the insurance business and lives in Vinton with his wife and "right hand wrestling helper", Becky.
The Gladbrook High School Undefeated Wrestling Team of 1971-72 gathered for this photo following the Alumni Banquet on September 2. Front row: Steve Read, Bill Mohr, Buck Jones, Donn Dierks, Jim Gethmann, Jeff Ulch and Larry Blaine. In back a re: Greg Babinat (Jr.Varsity), Kelly Gilchrist, Coach Bob Moen, Reed Gethmann, Jeff Wickersham (Jr. Varsity), Tom Grove, Dave Koester (Jr. Varsity), Chuck Blaine and Joel Mohr (Jr. Varsity). Don McGowan and Laverne Wegner (Jr. Varisty) were not present for the photo.
Coach Moen said he coached for ten percent of his base salary - about $550 a year. He even drove the bus to meets. Becky did all the assisting and he said they all learned together and progressed on. He praised the wrestlers for their hard work and excellent work ethic. He said they were a great group and learned it was not all about wins, it was about how you got up the next morning. Coach Moen said he truly found a home in Gladbrook for the five years he was here.
Wrestler Jeff Ulch spoke on behalf of the wrestlers. He thanked Coach Moen for all he did in helping them grow and offered a salute to the wrestlers parents.
Wrestler Chuck Blaine told how the events they faced as wrestlers helped them grow and that it was good character building. He also thanked the community for the support they showed the wrestlers.
Following the banquet a time of fellowship was held at the Memorial Building. The wrestling team spent hours reminiscing and catching up on 41 years of lapsed time. But that tight bond and sense of family was still there - it was as though they had never been apart.
The meal was catered by Hometown Foods and the Tama County Pork Producers. The Gladbrook Gals & Guys served the delicious meal.
A very thoughtful idea this year was the addition of parking valet. A group of volunteers assisted guests with parking and getting into the school.
Alumni Committee Officers for 2008-13 included: President Geri Eilers, Vice President Trudi Scott, Secretary Vivian LeVier, Historian Darbie Lynch, Treasurer Lisa Reinhard and Past President Deb Osborn. Planning Committee members included: Susan Beichley, Paul Koester, Deanna Davis, Cheryl Clark and Laverne and Susan Wegner.
The Gladbrook Fire and Ambulance Departments were represented by Fire Chief Matt Koester and Fund Raising Chair Justin Miller. The duo informed the group that the new facility is needed to accommodate the size of new fire trucks that will be needed in the near future. The new facility will be located on Highway 96 next door to the new water tower.
The cost is estimated to be $800,000 and to date $700,000 had been raised. Pledges may be made to be paid in three installments - December of 2013, 2014 and 2015. All pledges are tax deductible.
The evening closed with a Pep Band of alumni playing the "Gladbrook Fight Song". They were accompanied by June Bessman on the piano.
Granted, it was a very warm evening, but the Gladbrook High School pride and spirit was fully evident. The food was great, the purple and gold decorations were lovely and a very enjoyable time of reminiscing and enjoying the gathering was had by all. The next alumni banquet will be held in five years - that will be 2018!