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The organizers of the Class of 2007 Racine Unified School District high school reunion are taking a philanthropic approach to their celebration this year and kicking it ‘all school.’

They’ve decided to donate proceeds from the event to the school district that educated them during adolescence. It’s a move in solidarity with the students of their former schools.

“I know we’re not going to raise a million dollars, but at least we can raise and give back some type of amount,” said Ashley Vance, a Case graduate from the class of 2007, and a member of the organizing committee for the September 23, reunion.

Most reunions are school specific, but Vance and others have opted for a district-wide party. She said that’s how she remembers the socializing in the halcyon days of her youth. All schools, all together.

“One big intermingled group of friends,” she said. Sure, but also, echoes a battle cry and distress signal, “SOS, Save our Sports.”

In the mid-aughts the district faced referendums on the future of extracurricular activities. The sports and clubs that are at the center of so many high school memories were on the chopping block. The district hung onto these groups. And it was these, Vance said, that aided in the development of the many “positive and constructive” graduates.

“There’s just a lot of extra curricular programs that I think affected a lot of them,” she said.

Vance and others want to give back whatever they can with this year’s event. “New supplies for something,” she said. Something to help preserve, “The stepping stones in our youth.”

So ticket sales and raffles will produce the funds. And , Vance hopes, the promise of reconnection and interaction will drive the classmates to the door.

“You cannot hug someone over the internet,” Vance said, “Or touch a friend’s belly who recently announced they were having their first child.”

The reunion will be held at Festival Hall in downtown Racine Sept. 23. Click here to sign-up.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.