JANE SHEWMAKER HALE
"WHY BE LESS WHEN YOU CAN BE MORE"
Class of 1952 50th Reunion
Jane is one of the founding members and president of the Dallas County R-1 Alumni Association. The association was founded in 1971. She is the only member to continue on the committee from 1971 to present. The meetings were held at her home. At the same time the association was started, Jane's youngest son, Lucas, was also born. Lucas was present at all the meetings in his playpen and later as a graduate of the school. Jane said, "I always thought of the age of the association in relation to Lucas' age and remarked, it was like raising another kid."
Buffalo, Missouri, is a small town. Hale says, "We're a close-knit community. The school is its melting pot. The association is the connecting tie between the school, community, and alumni."
In the beginning, the association got by on member dues. Today, there are 10,000 alumni in the association. They have moved out of Jane's front room into an alumni headquarters they had built. This building houses memorabilia from past classes and an open house kicks off the homecoming events.
In addition to alumni reunions, the association awards six to seven scholarships each year. They produce three pageants; Miss Dallas County, Little Miss Dallas County, and Mini-Miss and Mini-Master contests. These are held the same weekend as the annual homecoming. During this time, they also honor graduates from the current year and every past 10 years. They are also in charge of the annual school carnival, including a lottery to give away a new pickup truck and a cruise for two, which generates funds for the association to continue.
In addition to all the above activities, the association puts out a quarterly newsletter, Grapevine, which Jane coordinates.
Jane's family has been a part of the association from the beginning. "My boys were always there to help with all the projects we had for the association. At the pageants (of course they liked the beauty pageants with girls around their age) they ran the spotlights, etc. Two of them married former Miss Dallas County queens."
Jane's involvement in the association has made it the success it is today. "I'm quite proud of this achievement because a high school alumni which is this active is very rare. We have schools calling to find out how to put a program together."
For more information on the DCAA Alumni, go to www.buffalomo.net/alumni.htm