GSAA Alumni Reconnect, Celebrate and Advance the Mission
Nearly 1,000 alumni, family and friends headed for "the school that we love in the hills of Idaho" the first weekend in April for Gem State Adventist Academy's 53rd homecoming reunion. An additional 61 people viewed the homecoming programs via live video stream.
Friday's highlights included a flag-raising ceremony, a five-course banquet for donors (served by senior students), inspirational music, authentic testimonies and heartwarming memories shared by the class of 1971 at vespers.
The 60-year class and the class of 2011 teamed up to present a Then and Now program for Sabbath School. Peter McPherson, GSAA principal and member of the 20-year honor class, presented the Sabbath morning sermon entitled: Remember the Why. He reminded alumni how far American culture has drifted from a biblical worldview and encouraged them to keep supporting Adventist education.
Mark Becker, GSAA music director from 1986–1995, called his "kids" back for a musical reunion. Twenty-five students returned to sing, play hand bells and reconnect with their beloved instructor. The reunited musicians provided a church anthem and performed an afternoon concert.
Saturday-night basketball games, organized by the 10-year class, were in honor of Nathan Castanon, a classmate who died in a tragic automobile accident a few months following graduation. His classmates honored his memory by raising funds to replenish the Extracurricular Fund — a fund assuring every GSAA student receives an opportunity to pursue his or her passion. More than $900 was raised for the fund.
Throughout the weekend there was much reminiscing, laughter and generosity. Altogether, more than $8,300 was gathered in offerings to keep Adventist education strong at GSAA.