Publication proves Bison spirit rolls on

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Bison spirit rolls onward, still strong years after graduation from McCook Senior High School. For proof, you need look no further than the "Bison Alumni" newsletter, which rates as one of the premiere publications for high school alumni in the nation.

"Some high schools do newsletters for alumni once a year, but we know of none other as extensive as the one produced twice a year, spring and fall, by McCook High School alumni," said Cheri Beckenhauer and Al Cuellar, two of the people who are key to the newsletter's success.

"It was Cheri who got the ball rolling on the newsletter back in 1992," said Cuellar, a 1956 graduate of McCook High School who went on to teach at MHS for 22 years.

Now, Al and Cheri serve with Diane Lyons, Dorothy Baker and Kerrilyn Symington as members of the newsletter's writing, design and proofreading team.

With generous assistance from MHS classes stretching from 1930 to the present, the Bison Alumni now send newsletters to 7,100 McCook High School alumni from throughout the nation. "I haven't checked lately, but it wouldn't surprise me if we have newsletters going to every state in the nation," Cuellar said.

The writing, designing and proofreading is only the first step in the newsletter process. Next comes the printing of the newsletters by Dave and Val Rye of McCook, the printing of the labels by Marc Currie of Kearney, and the "Folding Party," in which 60 to 90 graduates gather at the McCook Junior High Cafeteria each Spring and Fall to insert, fold and label the 7,100 newsletters.

The latest folding party took place Tuesday night, with the junior high student council and high school students joining alumni to prepare the newsletters for mailing. Experienced from 23 previous mailings, the volunteers had the newsletters ready to go to the post office in less than three hours.

That's welcome news to 7,100 Bison Alumni from throughout the United States. Many alumni tell us they read it word-for-word, cover-to-cover, Cuellar and Beckenhauer said. No matter where the alumni may live, the newsletter allows them to keep in touch with their classmates and other acquaintances in the McCook area. It also builds upon the town and team spirit which surges strongly through the veins of thousands of McCook Bison Alumni.

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