John Duvall, the chairman of the Howard High School Class of 1961 50th Reunion Committee enjoys the event with his wife, Betty, at Turf Valley Resort, in Ellicott City. (Submited photo / November 3, 2011)

For five decades, the Howard High school class of 1961 has held a get-together every five years.

This year marked a big milestone — their 50th high school reunion. Following the half-a-century old tradition, they hosted a weekends worth of activities last month that culminated in a huge party at Turf Valley Resort.

"I guess we just like to celebrate," Howard High class of 1961 reunion committee member Vernon Hatheway said.

In addition to the reunions, the celebrations over the years have included a 60th birthday party held for all 1961 Howard High alumni at a local farm owned by a classmate.

Since many alumni are regularly in contact with each other it made easier for the 192 classmates to stay in contact over the 50 years since graduation. Facebook and email helped in finding lost classmates.

According to reunion committee chairman John Duvall, 138 people attended the 50th year reunion at Turf Valley including 92 graduates, spouses and several members of the original faculty. Some classmates came from as far away as Colorado, New Mexico, and Michigan. Sadly, 25 classmates had passed away, but they were remembered at the party on a bulletin board with their class pictures.

Over the course of the evening, "memories and conversation flowed freely as well as the spirits," Hatheway noted. One hot topic of conversation was the school's Legacy Wall.

In 1961, the class erected a brick wall in front of the school as a parting gift to their beloved Lions family. Over the years, the wall has fallen into disrepair. Recently, the wall was restored and now bears the name "Howard High School Class 1961" in steel letters.

True to tradition, the classmates have scheduled their next reunion for October 2016. Go Lions!

Don't miss the stage adaptation of Harper Lee's masterpiece "To Kill A Mockingbird" at Mt. Hebron High School November 11-12 and 16-19 at 7 p.m.

The show is set in the south during 1930's depression era. The story follows the lives of children Jem (junior Ben Browne) and Scout (freshman Carly Wakefiled) as they watch their lawyer father Atticus Finch (senior Corin Gryparis) defend a local young black man falsely accused of raping a white woman. This is a gripping tale of how one family experiences the venom of hatred and gossip from their small Alabama town neighbors solely based on who they support during the trial.

Under the direction of Tom Sankey, the cast includes Dill (freshman Drew Holt), grown-up Scout (junior Christina Mattera) who narrates the play, Tom Robinson (senior Herb Jenkins and junior Miles Morgan share the role), Mayella Ewell (junior Abigail Welch), Mayella's bigoted father (senior Ari Pluznik), the town sheriff (senior Mike Krzysko), Rev. Sykes (seniors Justin Glaze and Naje Baker share the role), Boo Radley (Tim McCloskey) and Calpurnia (sophomores Maliaka McCorn and Olivia Barnum alternate the role).

Additional cast members include Peter Augustine, Nate Gainey, Danny Bertaux, Nate Howard, Mallory Walker, Ben Mueller, Thomas Stone, Dillon Solo, Allison Beall, Avriana Chavez, Alia Abeldaker, Cristina Gregory, Meghan Anderson, Scarlett Forgrave, Erica Navlik, Rebecca Curran, Allison Beall, Carter Grove, Phil Heiser, Nabilah Kabir, Nishellie Navaratne, Tyler Ung, Cole Watts, Amanda Zinski and Kylie Zuiderhof.

The creative team is comprised of lighting director senior Alex Giosa, costume designer Barbara Bogart and set construction by Pete Johnson.

Tickets are $10 per person and are available for purchase in the school's cafeteria daily during school lunch hours from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Reservations are highly suggested and can be made by calling the school during the day at 410-313-2880.

It's official! The grand opening of the new Charles E. Miller Branch Library and Historical Center will be held Dec. 17. The public is welcome to attend the celebration. A ceremony at 9:45 a.m. will commence the grand opening followed by a ribbon-cutting and tours of the new building.

For 17 years, the Cross Country Garden Club has sponsored a garden therapy program to bring joy into the lives of Ellicott City Health and Rehabilitation Center residents. The program is designed to coincide with major holidays so residents can enjoy a seasonal themed flower arrangement.

According to Garden Club member Joan Hoye, just before Halloween the club worked with 12 rehabilitation residents to help them create "pretty floral arrangements for their rooms." Most of the flowers and greenery for the arrangements came from the garden club members' own gardens.

"As they (residents) worked (on the flower arrangements), they frequently reminisced about the gardens they and/or their mothers once had, "Hoye said.

To learn more about the garden therapy program or the Cross Country Garden Club call Barbara Ward at 410-461-3679. Club meeting occur every second Friday of each month at 10 a.m.