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Apella – A special weekend for all Emporia High School Alumni

Avatar photo by Jessica Buchholz, Events Coordinator | September 15, 2023
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Welcoming alumni back to town for homecoming celebrations is an important community function. These folks represent friends and family, and homecoming festivities are a great way to encourage people to reconnect. September 22nd and 23rd, local groups and Emporia High School alumni will come together for several homecoming activities under the umbrella of the “Apella” event (Apella is a gathering of Spartans, the Emporia High School mascot).

Communities all over the nation are moving to unified “all class reunion” weekends. The reasons are numerous and simple:

  • Sometimes class leadership moves away
  • Communicating with alumni individually can be daunting
  • People may have friends in other classes that they met through sports, extra-curricular activities, or shared academics
  • Organizing events that appeal to diverse groups isn’t easy, and pulling in community groups to assist makes sense.
  • Creating standard weekends with consistent web portals (through Emporia Main Street, for example) makes participation simpler for alumni

Getting the community involved in an “all class reunion” also makes a lot of sense:

  • We can let people know “what’s going on” in the area and talk about opportunities
  • Businesses may have changed since alumni were in town last, and we can act as a conduit to get alumni connected to places to hold individual class functions or tours
  • Consistency in planning through community organizations ensures that local businesses are utilized
  • Some alumni may want to come back home more often, and Emporia Main Street can talk through local upcoming events and other points of interest.

So, what are we doing to help support an “all class reunion” through Emporia Main Street? First, we’ve worked with several classes of EHS alumni to form the “Apella” concept. Apella is an ancient gathering of Spartans, and “The Spartans” are obviously the mascot of Emporia High School. Second, we have worked with several local businesses and organizations to coordinate activities designed to welcome, connect, entertain, and communicate with EHS Alumni. Third, we are hosting a community activity on the evening of Saturday, September 23rd with live music, a beer garden and other fun activities.

For a complete listing of activities for September 22nd and 23rd, please CLICK HERE.

How can you help? Are you, or do you know alumni of Emporia High School?

  • Plan on attending Apella and invite other alumni. Work with Emporia Main Street to identify other class representatives for future all class reunions.
  • Attend the Homecoming parade downtown, and the EHS Home Football Game on Friday evening.

Are you a local Main Street member business or organization?

  • Submit information for our local Shop Hop to encourage traffic during Apella weekend.
  • Send information to Emporia Main Street specifically geared to EHS Alumni activities
  • Support the Emporia High School homecoming parade, and show your Spartan pride at your local business

With some hospitality and a little Spartan Pride, “homecoming” could mean more to our attendees than a singular reunion event. Let’s welcome our alumni home.

About the Author

Jessica Buchholz, Events Coordinator

Jessica Buchholz is the Community Development Coordinator for Emporia Main Street in Emporia, Kansas. She specializes in event planning, volunteer recruitment, alternative marketing, media/public relations and fundraising. During Jessica's tenure at Emporia Main Street, she has helped grow events to an international level and she has created a series of new activities to meet organizational goals.