Twenty years ago, with pomp and circumstance, the graduating class of Miami Springs Senior High School crossed the stage as Principal Charles ‘Buddy” Bales presented the diplomas. Twenty years later, to the day, the Class of 1994 was together once again.
The Golden Hawks celebrated their 20-year reunion at the Miami Springs Country Club on Friday night, June 13 with just as much pomp and circumstance as they did back in 1994. The room sparkled with garnet and gold and warm embraces. The evening was spent laughing and dancing and catching up with old friends. Friends came from near and far, as far as New Jersey.
The event was spearheaded by former Golden Hawk Elcy Hernandez, who now resides in Orlando. The primary communication for the 1994 graduating class was via Facebook, where an open group was created for classmates to stay up to date on info and also enabled everyone to invite classmates. Hernandez and a small group began planning many months ago.
“It was a tough task to take on from Orlando and for a moment I wasn’t sure that I was going to succeed. Thank you Class of ’94; after all was said and done all that mattered was the hugs, the smiles and the laughter that proved a successful and memorable event,” said Hernandez. “A big thank you, with all of my heart, to my dear classmates, for their incredible commitment and dedication in making this vision possible, even at the last minute. You are some of the most amazing people that I have ever worked with, and I am humbled by your generosity and support. You guys are simply the BEST! Words cannot express how much I enjoyed seeing everyone at this reunion!”
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The Miami Springs Country Club did a great job in providing cold drinks and an array of hot food choices. From a premium bar, to premium appetizers, to the gourmet cupcakes that were brought in, there was something for everyone’s taste buds.
A Golden Hawks memorabilia table was set up that definitely captivated the guests. Much time was spent glancing through the four years of yearbooks. Golden Hawks were able to show their spouse or significant other a variety of photos documenting their ninth-grade year through their senior year. A beautiful focal point was the luminary centerpieces that enabled guests to have some fun searching for their class photos that were illuminated by candlelight.
The numbers “94” were everywhere, from the centerpieces to the photo booth area. Old friends gathered for countless pictures in front of garnet and gold backdrops. Golden Hawks photo props included a MSSH cheerleader’s megaphone, a MSSH letterman jacket, a Class of ’94 Mickey Mouse from Grad Nite, and of course the big “94.”
The DJ took requests and ’80s and ’90s music prevailed as the sounds of the night. Just the right amount of old-school songs provided a breakdancing opportunity for a brave few and, of course, it wouldn’t be dance party if you didn’t have the “Electric Slide” and the “Cha Cha Slide. “
The intimate crowd of just over 50 people shared a champagne toast in honor of the Class of 1994. Guests included MSSH Class of ’94 senior class president Dolly Hernandez and Class of ’94 student government secretary Adis Rodriguez. There were many former Golden Girls and a few Golden Hawks baseball players and football players. There were also former members of the Spectre staff (yearbook), including 1994 Spectre editors Olivia (Curnow) Pitkethly and Marlen Morales. Twenty years later the value of the yearbook that they helped to create became evident as all that remains — memories and photos.
A slide show brought both tears and smiles. Gone but not forgotten; the slide show honored classmates who have passed away along with current photos of the Class of ’94 with their families. The class song, “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye,” and class favorite, “Forever Young,” were appropriate background music as graduation pictures flashed on the big screen. Laughs were at a high when former classmates heard the famous song “Whoomp! There It Is.” The song became synonymous with the undefeated MSSH 1993-94 football team that won a district championship.
Although social media keeps many old friends in touch, Facebook can’t compete with time spent face to face, talking, sharing, laughing and dancing with old friends. There has yet to be discussion for the next reunion as it will take some time to recuperate from the hard work and effort put into this one. Will it be the 25-year reunion, the 30-year reunion? Who knows?
What is sure is that great memories will remain in their hearts, great photos will document their fun, and of course the MSSH alma mater is engraved on the heart of every Golden Hawk: With praise we raise our voices, to thee we will be true. With loyalty and honor, this we pledge to you. Devotion will be with us, when from you we must depart. Miami Springs we say to thee, you’re always in our hearts.