September 16, 2020
The Reunion Committee has been working very hard since mid-March to determine what would be the best solution for the LHS 75th Reunion, as a result of the pandemic.
- All events for the 75th Reunion originally scheduled for October 23-24, 2020 are cancelled.
- Partial refunds will be available for those who generously supported the Reunion and purchased tickets well in advance of the events.
- A great selection of 75th anniversary clothing items (t-shirts, sweat shirts, hats, etc.) was designed and ready to be launched last spring. Fortunately, you are still able to purchase a souvenir item for the ‘reunion that never was’ and support the Alumni Association.
- Going forward, all we can say is ‘stay tuned for possible substitute events’ when we are able to safely gather again.
Many people have asked why it took the committee so long to make these decisions. As you know, the world situation has been changing on a weekly basis, with no idea as to how long this pandemic would last. The committee immediately agreed in mid-March that we wanted to offer some reunion events in the future, but not in October 2020.
- In March, the General Manager of Cerise Fine Catering, that manages the Beanfield Centre, offered us another date in September 2021.
- In April, the committee decided to send out a survey to the 1000+ alumni in the data base. It was important to determine the interest of the alumni for the various planned reunion events. We had over 600 surveys returned which was an excellent response rate. Of those responses, 288 (47%) alumni indicated they would attend the gala banquet in 2021; 182 (30%) were undecided; and 268 (45%) said they would only attend in 2021 if there was a vaccine. Those numbers indicated that there was not the support for the banquet as first planned. Also of note, the survey indicated that an open house at LHS was by far the preferred event for the reunion weekend, followed by Leaside Live, and the Gala drew the least interest amongst alumni.
- In May, the committee decided that we should ask for a refund of the deposit paid to Cerise Fine Catering/Beanfield Centre. We were not confident that we would be able to fulfil the requirements for the new contract in September 2021. That refund request was denied.
- In June, the committee agreed to consult a lawyer to determine if we had any grounds on which to base our refund request. The lawyer’s response was not positive.
- In July, there was much discussion about the impact of the refund to the ticket holders should we lose this significant deposit made to the venue. The decision to cancel the 2021 event was postponed.
- In August, there appeared to be some movement towards an agreement for a refund with Cerise Fine Catering.
- On September 2, 2020, the committee was informed that an agreement with Cerise Fine Catering had been confirmed and they agreed to return 85% of the deposit to the Association.
We are now pleased to inform you that all ticket holders will be able to receive 85% of the ticket price paid for the banquet and 100% of the ticket price paid for the Leaside Live event. This was no small feat!
- The handling fees from the Brown Paper Ticket site are not refundable.
- You will have until November 16, 2020 (60 days) to submit your refund request. After the 60 days, the money will remain in the Alumni Association bank account to be used for the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, ongoing operating costs (e.g. website, etc.) and/or as seed money for another reunion.
- Upon completing the request form providing us with your name and email address, you will choose from the following options:
- Request your refund via e-transfer
- Request your refund be donated to the Alumni Scholarship Fund
- Request your refund be donated to the Alumni Association for future operating costs and future events
To be eligible for your refund, please complete the request form by November 16, 2020.
In celebration of the LHS 75th, a great selection of clothing items have been designed for the reunion by Alpha Marketing (an alumnus of Leaside) and are available for purchase. These items would make great Christmas gifts for all LHS alumni! Online ordering will be available as of Friday, September 25, 2020.
No one knows what the world will look like 3, 6 or 12 months from now. We do know that there are LHS Alumni interested in reunion events, but at this time we are not able to say what will happen or when. All we can say is …”stay tuned.” We will keep you posted and when we are able to gather together safely again, we will do so. Please join our mailing list if you haven’t already done so.
The Reunion Committee has worked very hard over the last two years making plans to ensure that the 75th Reunion would be memorable for all. We are so very disappointed that we are unable to gather together, socialize and get reacquainted with old friends. On behalf of the entire committee we thank you for your support for the Reunion. We hope you all stay safe and that we will see each other soon.