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Elkhart Class of 1974 donates painting to Elkhart General Hospital honoring deceased classmates

Each part of the painting commemorates a classmate who’s passed away since graduating from the combined Elkhart Central and Elkhart Memorial class. 

(Supplied)
Posted on Aug. 5, 2014 at 4:24 p.m.

After attending the combined Elkhart Central and Memorial Class of 1974 40th reunion this past weekend, members are resuming their lives this week.

But Cindy Clement Andrews will do one more thing to finish up the event. At a brief ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, at Elkhart General Hospital’s West Wing Auditorium B, Andrews and reunion committee members Terri Weldy Adams, Debbie Miers and Linda Minix Sellers will donate a watercolor painting Andrews made on behalf of the class.

Hospital president Greg Losasso will accept the gift, which will hang in the Pediatric Unit.

Andrews, a 57-year-old instructional assistant at Beardsley Elementary School and Bristol resident, answered five questions about the gift.

Question: How did the reunion go?

Answer: It was epic! It was sold out and everyone looked happy and like they were really enjoying themselves. It was held at the Lerner Crystal Ballroom Friday night and B on the River and McCarthy’s on Saturday night. On Saturday there was also an alumni golf outing, community class volunteer project, and Pumpkin Vine Nature Trail bike ride. It was a full house both nights and really a very special weekend full of good food, dancing, reuniting with old friends and making new ones.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for the painting?

A:  I felt like our departed classmates could be best represented as a happy flower garden. Most of the flowers I painted are indigenous to our area, like poppies, hydrangea and daisies. Each flower that has a face represents a special deceased classmate, as does the bunny, frog, three butterflies, turtle, happy spiders, two grasshoppers and a blue bird. There are 74 in all.

Q: What made you want to donate the painting to the hospital?

A: Our Deceased Classmates Memorial Committee chair, Debbie Miers, wanted to give a special gift to the pediatric ward of Elkhart General Hospital because we wanted to give back to the community. She invited me to make the painting.

Q: What do you think of how the painting turned out?

A: I was happy with the way my watercolor turned out, and my hope would be that the painting would make people smile that are visiting the waiting room of the pediatric and maternity unit. I wanted the painting to make little children and adults happy.

Q: How many were in your class and does 74 people having died by now seem like a lot to you?

A: We had approximately 676 students in our two combined classes and it saddens me that we have lost so many.




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