Written by Rachel Shapiro Friday, 09 July 2010 00:00
The idea of turning 50 may have some people in shock but Shara Shapiro-Nagel and a high school friend, Tom Mayeski, decided not to let the number get in their way of having a good time and reuniting with old friends.
Shapiro-Nagel and Mayeski attended Division Avenue High School, graduated in 1978, are both turning the big 5-0 in October and since their high school friends will also be hitting the number soon, why not make a reunion of it?
“Since turning 50 is such a milestone, and everyone knows that misery loves company, why not celebrate turning 50 together with our fellow classmates?” Shapiro-Nagel said. “Tom and I share our birthday month of October, he being October 18, mine is October 14, 1960.”
The birthday bash/reunion will be held at Eisenhower Park, Parking Field #5, on Saturday, July 24 from 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
“This celebration is for our graduating class of ‘78 and will be a fun-filled day of activities, good food and great friends at the park we all grew up loving,” Shapiro-Nagel said.
“Many classmates still live in Levittown and many classmates are coming from all over to reunite and celebrate turning 50 in Levittown,” Shapiro-Nagel said.
Shapiro-Nagel said she was able to contact 184 of the 332 members of the graduating class of 1978.
The idea of a 50th birthday bash/ reunion came to the two high school friends after they re-connected through Classmates.com and Facebook.com almost 30 years after their high school graduation. The two talked about past high school reunions.
“Tom shared that it was great to see everyone, but reunions can be predictable, often held at some random hotel, with most people just standing around, with not enough time to talk with everyone,” Shapiro-Nagel said. “As we continued to get caught up we inevitably talked about the dreaded turning 50. He and I decided to create an event that was fun-filled, outdoors, relaxed and gave classmates an opportunity to reunite and interact with one another leaving many of the high school stereotypes behind us. Having game-like challenges/ activities that allowed any classmate to participate we hope to re-kindle old friendships and create new memories.”
The two are using Classmates.com, Facebook.com and the Blue Dragons website to notify old classmates, Evite.com for the invitation and PayPal to collect the $20 fee they’re asking.
Classmates are coming from California, Florida, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey and the many that still reside in Levittown, Shapiro-Nagel said. Out-of-towners can stay at the Marriott, just a short drive from Eisenhower Park.
Shapiro-Nagel and Mayeski have a co-ed softball game, and miscellaneous games like “Gumball Alley,” “Candy Control,” “Bean Bag Toss” and “Slingshot Pyramid,” among many others, planned for the day.
“When classmates first arrive they are given a nametag, which has a random assignment of which color team they are on (red, yellow or blue) and an opposite word (i.e.: day/night, on/off, right/left etc.),” Shapiro-Nagel explained. “Classmates must locate the classmate with the “matching opposite,” learn three things about them (i.e.: Can speak several languages, has jumped out of an airplane, daughter just got married, can curl their tongue, etc. anything the classmate would like to share.) This exchange of answers will be shared at the end of the event so classmates get to know more about one another.”
“At 50, many of us are successful, having pursued careers and varied skills,” Shapiro-Nagel said. “Many of our children are attending colleges and are grown, yet we still feel youthful and enjoy having fun.”