Some might not recognize Michael Shaen from high school, but the Grant Park 1974 graduate wants to change that.
"I used to have the hair that grew quite wide, it didn’t go long," Shaen said. "In my Grade 12 photo my hair is outside the frame… I had an afro, but it doesn’t grow like that anymore."
Shaen, 58, who now lives in Toronto’s Oakville suburb, is organizing a Grant Park ’70s graduates reunion social on May 24.
"I think I have a lifetime of practise of pulling people together," Shaen said. "It’s what I do in my work life, it’s what I do in my community life.
"So the idea of taking a lead role of pulling a bunch of friends together didn’t seem like a stretch to me, it’s part of what I do."
Shaen, a self-employed management consultant, said the social will have a ’70s theme. He decided to include the whole decade’s worth of graduates, he said, because everyone knew someone from a different year.
The social will be held at the Sir John Franklin Community Club (1 Sir John Franklin Rd.) and is $10 to attend. Tickets can be purchased at Grant Park High School.
Shaen said former students have been getting tickets from the school or had friends pick them up, or have called the school to have tickets set aside for them.
"Last time I checked we have a couple coming from Vancouver, a couple from Arizona, a guy from Ottawa, me in Toronto," Shaen said. "It’s just a bunch of people who felt good about their high school experience, and have friendships they always like to rekindle whenever there is a chance."
There will be the traditional arm-length 50/50 tickets, as well as a silent auction. All funds raised will go to the high school. Shaen said the silent auction is a little different because instead of baskets or groups of items, they will professional services.
"So I didn’t have the time or resources to go find silent auction prizes," Shaen said. "So people from different professions are giving out services.
"Someone is going to (hold) a tennis camp, someone is getting a teeth whitening kit, somebody is getting a photo shoot, and that’s just from the first few people we’ve been talking too."
For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1387959538095581/