More than 700 Teddies alumni, their families and friends attended the traditional Roosevelt Foundation Pancake Breakfast April 23. They lined up for a meal of eggs, sausages and all-you-can eat hotcakes in the school lunchroom from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
One attendee was identified from the Roosevelt Class of 1943, said his name tag, and from there graduation years rolled all the way through 2016.
Among the Class of ’63 graduates on hand was Bob Wandberg, who still lives in the Roosevelt district and has attended the fund-raising event previously.
“With all the hectic stuff going on in all of our lives, it’s just nice to have a few moments simply to remember when,” Wandberg said in favor of showing up for the event, which celebrated its 21st year of raising money for a foundation that funds educational programs at Roosevelt in addition to student activities and post-secondary scholarships.
There’s room for a lot more of us.
You might consider patronizing the breakfast yourself next year, something the majority of the Class of ’63 has yet to do, it seems, from the talk (or lack of it) throughout our group now scattered far and wide.
“It’s always nice to see classmates,” Wandberg observed after the event. “I think I missed some who were there before I arrived, and probably missed some who came later. I wish we could targetfor example, 9-10 a.m.when all the ‘63s would try to be there. It’s so much fun to see and chat with the ‘63s.”
Going back to a long-ago haunt where you ate lunch about 500 times in your three years as a student can be a real eye-opener from your adolescent perceptions.
“Who shrunk the lunchroom?” Bob wondered aloud, in competition with the PA announcements rattling off winning numbers for the myriad of raffle prizes. “How did the ceiling get so low? Who put all the pillars in here? Were the pillars here during the dances?
“Oops,” he continued, “I guess they didn’t do anything. It’s just me, with bigger memories.”
It’s the same building, but different.
Roosevelt hasn’t changed as much as you have. You could most likely still find your homeroom (especially if it was in the lunchroom!). Yet the lunchroom no longer contains the long rows of wooden tables we ate at. With a far smaller student population today (1,126 at last report), those 8-foot tables butted together have been replaced with smaller tablessome of them roundas well as with booths.
Stairs in the school are now enclosed and are no longer crowded enough to be one-way. And a ramp at the main entrance and the elevators make the 94-year-old building accessible to all.
The major change to our alma mater is at the back of the three-story structure, where a varsity gym was added along with expanded shops for industrial arts classes. Guided tours, including an extended stop in this new wing, were conducted on the half hour during the pancake breakfast.
An all-volunteer organization, the Roosevelt Foundation fills needs that the school budget and student finances would be too stretched to cover. So far in the 2016-17 academic year, $31,000 has been awarded to 23 of 32 applicants seeking scholarships and $25,000 has been set aside for possible computer technology purchases.
The fact that prices for the pancake breakfast--$5 for adults and $3 for children aged 10 and under--have never been raised since the 1997 beginning makes the purchase of chances on the dozens or raffle prizes important to the success of the event. Tickets were still $1 each and six for $5.
You can always help from afar too.
The foundation also welcomes at any time cash donations, which can be mailed to 4029 28th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55406. You’d be giving to a 501(c)3 tax-exempt public charity.
But don’t forget, you can support the cause personally too, by attending the next pancake breakfast on Sunday, April 22, 2018. We’d like to see you there. It’ll make for a pleasant morning, according to Wandberg.
“Don’t be concerned that you’re now wider, taller, narrower or whatever than you were in ’63,” he offered. “No one cares. With many of us guys, if we have any hair left on our heads, it’s a whole lot lighter than our Sagamore photo.
“It’s just the chance to say hi and chat that’s important. And the pancakes are pretty darn good too.”