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Sprauve Gala With a New Twist Coming Up

Dec. 21, 2005 –– The upcoming Julius E. Sprauve School Gala has a new twist. Instead of celebrity waiters drawn from the ranks of government and business, Sprauve School alumni will wait the tables to celebrate the school's 50th anniversary.
"We tried to choose those from the first 10 years of the school," Peggy Blitz, one of the event organizers, said.
The Jan. 14 gala, to be held at Caneel Bay Resort, starts with cocktails at 6:30 p.m. and dinner at 7:30 p.m. The menu details are still being worked out, but the $75 ticket includes an elegant dinner as well as music and dancing.
The evening also features live and silent auctions as well as a raffle.
Blitz said that alumni who have accepted so far to be celebrity waiters include St. John Administrator Julien Harley, retired Sprauve School teacher Oswin Sewer, Ruth Frett, Edna O'Connor Freeman, Eugenie Dalmida, Gwen Hyndman, Naomi Hodge, Alvida Matthias, Henry Jackson, Joycelyn Stagger, Elsie Trotman, and Erlys Penn.
Sewer said he accepted the invitation to be a celebrity waiter because of the tie to the school's 50th anniversary.
"I thought it was a real nice thing," he said.
He said Sprauve School when it opened in 1955 had just four classrooms lined up starting where the office sits now. He said the school had eight grades.
"There was no room for a kindergarten," he said.
The school also had a kitchen, principal's office and cafeteria.
He said the school had an outhouse rather than flush toilets because the education commissioner apparently didn't think St. John residents knew anything about such modern conveniences.
Sewer said a public water pipe was located on the corner of the property near the current kitchen.
He said there were 18 students in his class of 1961, but he doesn't think they all graduated.
When Sewer returned to teach, he said he taught along side people like Melville Samuel, Julius Sprauve and his mother, Hulda Sewer, who had been his teachers.
"It was really nice," he said.
Until Sprauve School, named after former Sen. Julius E. Sprauve, opened in 1955, students went to school at Bethany.
Sprauve School is showing its age, which is why organizers began holding the annual gala nine years ago.
This year, the money raised will go to fund renovations to the school's Family and Consumer Science Classroom and lab. The money raised last year helped the music department improve its classroom and buy instruments.
Blitz said that if you can't attend, the event accepts donations to help fund this year's project.
She said tickets are going fast. Call her at 715-6622 for ticket information.

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