Pastor Jeff Stratton is a 1974 Northrop graduate organizing an event to help raise money for the the Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne. It’s called Reunion with a Cause. “We’re celebrating our 45th anniversary, but this one will be a little different than in the past,” said Stratton. Net proceeds from our 45th class reunion will be donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne.”
Why do this? It just so happens Stratton graduated the same year as Northrop basketball star Walter Jordan, who helped lead Northrop to its first Indiana High School Athletic Association State Basketball Championship in 1974. The local basketball legend went on to play at Purdue University and professionally in the NBA for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The former pro ball player is also the older brother of the Boys and Girls Clubs CEO, Joe Jordan.
“At 45 we said gosh, we have been so blessed with what Fort Wayne gave us, what Northrop gave us and what organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs give us, we need to find a way to start paying that back,” said Stratton. “So Walter came up with the idea of a “Reunion with a Cause” and I came up with the idea of naming sponsorships after all the teacher and administrators and we just started asking for money and it really wasn’t hard to do.”
Northrop’s class of ’74’ was the first at the school to be bused because of the closing of Central High School and the redistricting that was taken place across Fort Wayne Community Schools. Working together and winning the 1974 IHSAA Basketball Championship (single division) helped unify the class. The 2019 reunion helps them come full circle. “To have them come in and say we want to do this on behalf of the Club is just a phenomenal opportunity,” said Boys and Girls Clubs President, Joe Jordan. “I’m just excited. With the new building we’re serving so many more kids.”
Northrop High School’s Reunion with a Cause” will kick off with a meet-and-greet at 5:30 p.m. Friday, October 4th before the Northrop homecoming game at 7:00 p.m. The reunion party will take place Saturday, Oct. 5th, from 6 – 9 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne at 2609 Fairfield Avenue.
“I just want to thank the committee and Jeff and my brother for leading this and picking the Boys and Girls Clubs as a place where they’re going to invest their dollars,” said Jordan.
Reunion planners are also inviting members of the school’s graduating classes, from 1972 to 1976 to attend. Tickets start at $50 per person. Contact the Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne at 744-0998 or click on this eventbrite link for ticket information.