Sister Odessa Perry decided to make a difference this year by hosting a Mega-Reunion at the Jumping Brook Country Club in Neptune, New Jersey. Perry's first Long Branch High School Mega Reunion had over 450 attendees, which is fantastic! What is a Mega-Class-Reunion, you might ask? A Mega Class Reunion is when multiple reunions from various graduate years unite to have a two to three-day event that includes a dance party where you can dance your blues away with classmates from your past. While tapping into the younger funner you, you have put in exile most of the year to focus on adult responsibilities. Now, throwing a class reunion per one Class is stressful enough. So the relaunched Echo sought out Ms. Odessa Perry to see why she was inspired to coordinate and successfully launch the largest Multi-Generational Long Branch High School Class Reunion to date.
Perry shared that:
Picture Source: Odessa Perry FB Page Pictured Above Long Branch Alumni From Various Class Graduations August 2023.
"I have always been that person who keeps all our classmates together. I have organized Class of 86 (my Class) for the past 37 years." I wondered one day if I "could get multiple high school classes together" approximately "five years ago, perhaps four separate generations per year. But I challenged myself and said, HECK, LET'S TRY AND COORDINATE 10 DISTINCT MULTI-GENERATIONAL CLASSES TO CREATE AN MEGA REUNION FOR ALUMNI OF LONG BRANCH HIGH SCHOOL!"
"This is the first time anyone has done it in Long Branch High School History! I knew this would be my most significant feat ever. My first obstacle was reaching people who weren't FaceBook users, so I had to do some serious networking." Perry stressed. Perry said, "I prepared one year ahead for the most extensive class reunion turnout for Long Branch grads. I reached over 600 alums. I was persistent; I worked daily on this program. When I announced to Facebook for the first time that I was putting together a Mega Reunion, including 20 different classes of LBHS alumni, people were over the top! This event was the buzz all over. Now, to come through was the goal."
"Everyone was psyched. This comes from the heart; my passion is keeping our Greenwave Alumni together because life is so uncertain. Now, the obstacle was when would be a perfect time to satisfy the majority, keeping it cost-efficient and worthwhile to those traveling from out of town. So it would be a three-day all-weekend affair; this would pull in those coming from other states. I must thank David Reevey and Andrew Dean-Neil, who I had on my team assisting me with all the events."
Perry further shared, "So this epic event kicked off in August 2019 right before COVID hit. It was sensational and went down as the event of the history of Long Branch High School Class Reunions. Everyone asked when the next would be, so I waited until the COVID Epidemic was clear and went back to the drawing board to take it up a notch. I embarked on a 20-year mixed-class-generational Long Branch High School Class reunion in August 2023, and what a turnout it was! Over 450 alumni attended the event in August 2023. I plan to keep this tradition up every other year. Others have attempted, but Long Branch will be the 1st Mega Reunion in Monmouth County.
Wow! Odessa took the football over the goal line and made her story one that will be remembered for generations! And all the Echo News T.V. L.L.C. Team can say is that we will be there with bells on when the amazing Odessa Perry coordinates the future Generational Mega Class Reunion for Long Branch High School New Jersey Graduates! And let's say if Karen Brittingham-Edmond runs for office one day, I know who I will seek to be my campaign manager. L.O.L.
Congratulations and blessings to the Master Class Reunion Coordinator of the Year,
Ms. Odessa Perry!