The Class of 1953 of Tamaqua Senior High School presented a check for $2,200 from its Book Memorial Fund to the Tamaqua Public Library. The money will be used by the library to purchase several needed items yet to be decided.

The Class started raising money for its Book Memorial Fund back in 1978 during its 25th annual reunion. Money was raised at that reunion by selling 50-50 tickets, raffling off a money tree and through some personal donations to the fund. Throughout the years, additional money was added to the fund through interest earned and the generosity of several classmates who made personal donations.

In addition to the funds raised for the Class Book Memorial Fund, a separate trust fund was also established at the library by anonymous member of the class. The money in that trust was also designated to be used to purchase book memorials to remember departed classmates.

Since its inception, both funds were used to purchase book memorials for 52 class members who passed away.

At last year's reunion, it was decided that it would be difficult to carry on the program of purchasing book memorials for deceased class members into the future because no one could guarantee who would be the person to keep the program going until they were the "last man standing." Upon their death the program would end. It was decided that instead of waiting for a class member still living to pass, the funds would be used to "honor" each remaining living member now.

The program to "honor" classmates still living was put into practice starting in July of last year and was completed in April of this year. The Library purchased 126 books to "honor" 126 classmates still living at the start of the program and since then, five of those classmates have passed on.

The Class graduated 172 members. The Class yearbook, the 1953 Sphinx, shows 175 individual senior photos, which meant that three people had left before graduation. The Class decided to keep track of these three people. Three more people who left early, two to join the military and one who moved away also requested to be included in the Class, so the total people who have been tracked through the years was 178. The Class has lost 57 to date and is currently tracking 121 living classmates.

In addition, the Class is having the library purchase several books, each book to be collectively dedicated to any and all who have ever been, at any time, members of the THS Class of 1953.

The Class of 1953 of Tamaqua Senior High will be holding its 60th Year Reunion this year on September 21 at the Top of the 80s Restaurant in West Hazleton. Anyone who has ever been a member of the Class of 1953 down through the years is welcome to attend. If you haven't received an official invitation and registration form and are interested in getting more information concerning this year's reunion, you can do so by phoning (570) 668-1831 or (570) 668-3109.