The first Champion School Reunion was held in 1984.  They have been going strong ever since.  Attending this year:  Robert and Connie Brown, Ivel Brown, Pete Proctor, Eva Henson Phillips, Tommy and Barbara Sutherland, Jerry and Shauna Smith, Fae Krider, Charles Lambert, Hanna Faith Jensen, Ruby Proctor, Barbara Proctor Cooper, Darrell Cooper, Elsie Curtis, Debbie Massey, Lonnie Curtis, Tom and Arlene Cooley, Robert Graham, Mary Graham, Gary Hutchison and Phyllis Long, Vivian Floyd, Irene Dooms, Verla and Lonnie Mears, Betty Henson, Carolyn and Darrell Hutchison, Jordan Hutchison, Esther Wrinkles, Elva Ragland, Larry and Teresa Wrinkles, Amy Collins, Sheila Collins, Pete Robertson, Maxine Grote, Darrell Cooley, Eric Arnall, Sue Arnall, Leola Bell, Modeen Dooms McGown, Royce Henson, Carol Coats Barnhart, Peggy Hancock Carreras, Randy Henson, Wayne and Fances Sutherland, Laine Sutherland, Greta Cope, Russell, Sue and Dean Upshaw, Leslee Krider, Staci and Dustin Cline, Kenneth and Dawn Henson, Dale and Betty Thomas, Kenneth and Barbara Anderson and Barbara’s daughter Jonna.  There were others who asked not to be named and some who came made only a cameo appearance.

Long tables of homemade pot-luck dishes were spread out under the trees by the Champion School on Saturday.¬† Champions feasted on the¬†delicious¬†food and on the excellent opportunity to get together for some good old fashioned visiting and reminiscing.¬† The framework of the Replica of Henson’s Store is seen in the background.
Three sisters
Three daughters of John and Goldie Hicks who attended the Champion School together enjoyed the School Reunion on Saturday.  They are Elsie Curtis of Norwood, and Ruby Proctor and Amy Collins both of Mountain Grove.  Their sister, Sharon Smith, also lives in Mountain Grove and they have a brother, Ray Hicks, who lives in Bluegrass, Iowa.  Their older brother, Gene Hicks, lives in Baker City, Oregon.  He is in poor health at this time and his siblings are all thinking about him.  John and Goldie had ten children and lived just up Fox Creek from Champion.  Some of the younger ones attended the Bakersfield School, but the older ones were all Champions.  The School Reunion is always high point in the year for them.
Prize Winners
Arlene Cooley won this painted gourd birdhouse as a door prize at the Champion School Reunion on Saturday.  It was painted by Charlene Dupree of The Gift Corner in Norwood and was presented to her by Miss Hannah Faith Jansen, visiting granddaughter of Champion Charles Lambert.  Hannah will be five years old in December and this was the first Champion School Reunion that she has attended.  Arlene never misses one.  She is a Champion.
Vivian Krider Floyd and Jerry Smith are shown here with the treasure chest that Jerry made from the recycled lumber of the Old Store.  He donated the piece to help perpetuate the Champion School Reunion and Vivian bought it in a lively auction conducted by classmate, Kenneth (Hovie) Henson.  Jerry planed the old lumber and made the box as well as a number of picture frames in his shop in Seymour.  The inside lid of the box features a picture of the Old Store and Jerry had a number of requests for pictures of the store framed in its own wood.  Champions treasure a good memento.
Four Hensons
The children of Ezra and Sylvia Henson all attended the Champion School and the Champion School Reunion this year.  They are Royce Henson, of Springfield, MO, Eva Henson Phillips of Bellavista, AR, Kenneth Henson, of Houston, TX, and Randy Henson of Columbia, MO.  This is the first time they have all been together at the School Reunion and there were many stories told and much laughter.
Ms. Leola Bell of Stoutland, MO taught school in Champion in 1953.  This year she was the only teacher attending the Champion School Reunion who taught there.  Ms. Bell began teaching when she graduated high shcool and taught in rural schools while she finished her tcollege degree.  She taught for forty five years and retired from the Waynesville School District.  Her grandddaughter, who attended the reunion with her, said that she is still substitute teaching.  She was presented with a gift by the Reunion Committee and enjoyed reminiscing with many of her students.