RUMFORD — Several members of the Stephens High School Class of 1950 gathered in the library at Mountain Valley High School for recognition. Since their 25th reunion in 1975, they have raised money for library books in memory of their deceased classmates.

According to their class secretary, Rosabelle (MacDonald) Tifft, “The fund was proposed by a returning classmate, Steve Evanoff, who gave a generous donation to start the fund and others also donated.”

Over the nearly 40 years, the collection has grown to more than 80 books.

MVHS librarian Mary Gamble said, “These donations have allowed us to quickly acquire titles that are needed for a particular topic of study or to meet the demand of additional copies of a popular book. It has also made it easy to acquire local history titles that are sold locally.”

One of the class co-chairs, Bernie Poirier, manages the fund and notifies the MVHS library when a classmate dies. When Poirier passes along the information, Gamble tries to buy titles that would be meaningful to the memory of that classmate.

Tifft added, “Classmates replenish the fund. At every reunion, when a flyer is sent announcing plans for a reunion, classmates are asked if they wish to donate toward the book fund. They have been very generous.”

She continued, “I send a sympathy card when a classmate is deceased and indicate that a book is being purchased in the classmate’s name. I often receive thank-you cards from families telling how much they appreciate having the books donated in memory of their loved ones.”

Class of 1950 officers were elected in 1975 and have continued to serve. They include co-chairs Dick Austin and Bernie Poirier, who also serves as treasurer, and secretary Rosabelle (MacDonald) Tifft.

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