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Bernard School's Centennial Celebration set for May 27-29
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Planning committee members for the Bernard School Centennial Celebration and Homecoming look over the schedule of events for the celebration. Pictured front row, from left, are Ella Richmond, Alicia Strode and Henrietta Kellum Lusk. Back row, Charlie Boyd, Howard "Dunie" Henny Jr. and Donald Crisp.

A three-day celebration is being planned to commemorate Bernard School’s 100th year. The event is slated for May 27-29. 

Organizers of the 2022 Bernard School Centennial Celebration and Homecoming are putting the final touches on what they hope to be a memorable event. The current schedule of activities will kick-off on Friday, May 27 with a meet and greet at 6 p.m. On Saturday, there will be a historical marker dedication at 11 a.m., and formal dinner at 6 p.m. On Sunday, there will be a public picnic at 2 p.m.

All events, except the marker dedication, will take place at the historic Bernard Gym. The marker dedication will be held at Ramsey Park, which is located behind the Bernard School property. 

“The hope is anyone who ever attended Bernard School will participate in one of the planned activities,” said Alicia Strode, chair for the meet and greet. “We are expecting many former residents of McMinnville and Warren County to make the trip back as part of homecoming.”

The marker was purchased by the Leonard Gwyn Jr. Memorial Fund. Plans for the historic marker dedication were postponed in 2021 due to the pandemic. It was unceremoniously placed. May 28 will be the marker’s formal unveiling, which will include remarks by local civic leaders and a reading of its inscription. 

Ella Richmond is the chair for Saturday’s celebration dinner.

“Reservations have met the capacity for the gym and we’re so excited,” she said. 

Organizers believe the gym would be the most nostalgic location for the dinner as guests will be able to dine in the same building where many spent summer nights playing when the gym was used as a rec center. 

That location, said Richmond, will also allow those who haven’t seen the remodeling of the gym a chance to observe the hard work Young Men United has put into refurbishing the building.

Sunday’s public picnic will be held in the parking area of Bernard Gym. That event is being managed by Howard Henny Jr., better known as Dunie. 

Picnic menu will include hotdogs and hamburgers. Available will be all the trimmings, condiments, or accompaniments association with those items. Drinks included. 

Henry says “come rain or shine” the picnic will go on.

James “Mickey” Gwyn, who is organizing the celebration, wanted to thank those individuals, organizations and companies who have already donated funds to help make all events free. 

Due to the overwhelming turnout for the dinner, he says donations are still being accepted. Gwyn can be contacted at 615-962-9985 or email mickeygwyn@comcast.net. 

Donations can also be made during all events.

The 2022 Bernard School Centennial Celebration and Homecoming is jointly sponsored by the Black History Museum of Warren County and Young Men United.