Highlights From the First Medenbach Memorial Foundation Alumni Gathering – September 25, 2021
October 8, 2021
Thank you Medenbach Memorial Foundation members for making our first Alumni, Family and Friends Gathering a great success!
In true Forge fashion, the weekend kicked off on Friday afternoon with a Founder's Day Parade at VFMAC, followed by dinner and drinks at both the Great American Pub in Wayne and Chickie’s & Pete’s in Audubon.
On Saturday evening, 110 alumni, family, and friends attended the Medenbach Memorial Foundation's gathering at Bald Birds Brewing Company in Audubon. Alumni came from as far away as California, Nevada, Florida, and the Carolinas to support the Foundation, and we were pleased to see such a diverse range of class years represented - from the class of 1969 to the class of 2020.
The Foundation’s President, Doug Davis 70'/72C', opened the night by welcoming everyone to the event. He discussed the Foundation’s mission, introduced the Board of Directors, Advisors, and Committee Members, and shared some of the key initiatives that are currently underway, to include:
- Creating cadet-to-college scholarships
- Organizing alumni-sponsored internships
- Developing a young alumni mentorship program
- Establishing a career/jobs network
The group then recited the Cadet Prayer, and special recognition was given to all of the classes who missed their milestone reunions due to the cancellation of Alumni Weekend in 2020 and 2021 as result of COVID-19.
Walt Lord 84C', President Emeritus and Advisor, gave a keynote speech reminding us all of the special place VFMAC holds in our hearts, and the bonds that we forged as brothers and sisters that can never be broken. The speech inspired the crowd to come to the position of attention and sing the Alma Mater—such a heartfelt moment for all!
Items owned and donated by alumni were then raffled, raising over $2,000 to support current and future Foundation initiatives, and brother alumnus Chris Kenny 94' graciously pledged to double what we raised. Thank you Chris Kinney ’94, Hayden Lutterloh ’69, and Doug Davis 70'/72C' for helping to make the raffle such a huge success!
In an act that shows just how deep and enduring the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood are, Doug Davis 70'/72C' then presented John Rapp 74' with an Order of Anthony Wayne board that once hung in Mellon Hall in which both their names are displayed. As Doug remembers it, “I got the board by outbidding John in an auction nearly 20 years ago and it’s been hanging on my wall ever since. I know how much it meant to John. We’ve been joking about it for years. I felt it was time to pass it along so he can enjoy it too”.
The Medenbach Foundation would like to thank all of the VFMAC brothers and sisters who donated their time, treasures, talent, and dollars to help make this event possible. This was truly a team effort, and we couldn’t have done it without you! A special thanks goes to Athanasios (Tom) Arsenlis 94', who planned, procured, and cooked for all of us from sun up to sun down on Saturday. Thank you Tom (and all those who helped him)!
"Thank you again for helping to make the Medenbach Memorial Foundation Alumni, Family and Friends Gathering a great success. Providing opportunities for our Valley Forge brothers and sisters to connect is so important to us, and we hope to provide many more of these opportunities in the months and years ahead. We look forward to the future when we can do the same gatherings throughout the country and keep us truly connected. Events like the raffle on Saturday night, as well as membership donations, help us fund these initiatives. Spread the word, get more brothers and sisters involved with the Foundation, and let's see if we can make the next one even bigger and better! Touch the Sword; Salute the Star!” - Doug Davis, President of the Medenbach Memorial Foundation.