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SGM Big Bear High School Education Foundation Alumni Newsletter
April 22, 2007

Capital Campaign to begin June 10

The Foundation Board has been working hard for several months to prepare for a capital campaign for raising money for scholarships for high school students and the teacher grant program for all the schools. The kick off of the capital campaign will be at the Annual Awards dinner on June 10, 2007 at Northwoods. Invitations will be sent out in a couple of weeks.

Big Bear High School receives a Distinguished School Award

Received a memo that the new Bear Valley Superintendent sent to all the teachers in the district:
We received notification today from Jack O'Connell, State Superintendent of Schools, that Big Bear High School has been named a California Distinguished School! Rick Jameson, ( High School Principal) received a personal phone call from Jack O'Connell! There will be a ceremony on May 18th in Anaheim to honor the California Distinguished Schools and, of course, we will be planning local celebrations!

Big Bear Lake High School - Class of 1987

Our 20-Year High School Class Reunion will be held at:
Northwood's Resort
40650 Village Drive
Big Bear Lake, California 92315


September 8, 2007 6:00 p.m.

After the big Homecoming Football Game against Aquinas, don't miss out on all the fun and memories of our 20th BBHS Class Reunion - only $50 per ticket (reserve EARLY until June 30th):
  • 6:00 p.m. 80's music and Cocktail Hour (Cash Bar and Appetizers served);
  • 7:00 p.m. Dinner (Salad, choice of Steak, Chicken, or Vegetarian Entree, and Dessert);
  • And Who Knows What Else! We have a LIVE D.J. - Dancing until 11 p.m. (or later??)
Make sure you don't miss a fabulous, memorable night and opportunity to reconnect with your classmates (and Dr. Waner / teachers who will also be invited). Plan a whole weekend in Big Bear Lake, a relaxing get-away or an exciting Homecoming game and half-time show that day.

Also on September 8th the Annual "Run for the Grizzlies" will begin at the Moonridge Animal Park (for more info, call 909-584-1299), and a motorcycle fundraiser will be held at Chad's Place (for more info on that, call Friends of the Moonridge Animal Park 909-584-1171). Then join us for the Class Reunion that evenings starting at 6:00 p.m., which will be a GREAT time, so don't miss it!

The special group room rate at the Northwood's Resort is $119 per night (2 night minimum) so call and make reservations now at 800-866-3121. And, remember to get your tickets to the Big Bear High School 20th Class Reunion EARLY for a special, low price of $50 per ticket (only until June 30th with each tickets being $70 after that - until the August 31st cut-off - Absolutely NO Tickets will be sold at the door). To request an order form, or phone (949) 351-3502.

If you have any questions, or suggestions, feel free to contact me. My home email address is or phone (949) 351-3502. See you on September 8th!


Bear Valley's new Teen Center, originally scheduled for a grand opening on April 10, will now celebrate their opening on April 23. Renovation delays account for the postponement, as the Bear Valley Recreation and Park District continues refurbishing the building donated by Community Church by the Lake. The center, located at 40946 Big Bear Boulevard, was years in the making, and is the result of a partnership between the Community Church, the Soroptimist Youth Foundation and Big Bear Choppers.

The teen center will offer computers for homework, a juice bar, a game area with a pool table and foosball tables, and a big screen TV. The teen center will be open midweek afternoons (Monday through Friday from 3-6pm). The grand opening on April 23 is at 6:00 PM; RSVP to the Park District at 866-9700.

Received the following email from Mark Hartwell:
I hope you know that mom and dad (Irma and Whitey Hartwell) have moved to Peyton, Colorado. They are doing well. Mom's new email address is I think she would love to hear from you.

Mike Hartwell
Take time to send an email to Irma and Whitey. I know they would love to hear from you. Al

Remember Ken Winnans, Class of 1981?

An article ran in the April 12, 2007 Grizzly. Enjoy!!!!

The last time Big Bear had a track team

Ken Winans is a one-man show. He always has been. The owner and founder of Winans International, an investment firm near San Francisco, chose to go it alone in the business world after stints with Merryl Lynch and other investment firms. That independent spirit was born years ago on the track in Big Bear.

Winans was a member of the Big Bear High School track and field team in 1977 as an eighth-grader. Winans said he was brought up to high school after his natural running ability became evident at a middle school event. Winans participated on the track team again in ninth grade. When 10th grade came around, Winans was in for a surprise. The team was disbanded because of a lack of funding.

That didn't stop Winans. His independent spirit kicked in.

Neal Waner was Winans' classmate. Waner describes his lifelong friend as overzealous and over-committed to everything he does. When the team disbanded in 1979, Winans approached former Big Bear High School principal, and Waner's dad, Al Waner, asking for access to the track equipment. Neal said his dad told Winans that if he was committed enough to drag all the equipment in and out each day, then he could go right ahead.

The elder Waner may have been reluctant as principal, but as a personal friend of Winans and his family, he knew all too well of Winans' dedication.

Each day after school Winans drug out the high jump mats, shot puts and the javelins and trained for all the events. He streaked down the hallways of Big Bear High School practicing the hurdles inside when snow made practice outside impossible. "There are probably dents still in the lockers from where I smashed into them," Winans said.

Neal remembers trying to keep up with Winans, who he said, was constantly running. "He's really tall and I'm short, so as we ran he's talking away and I'm huffing and puffing trying to keep up," Neal said.

Winans' inspiration to train in all the events came from watching Olympic decathlete Bruce Jenner. Winans patterned his workouts after Jenner and learned how to pole vault by mimicking still photos of Jenner. One problemóJenner is right handed and Winans is left handed. Winans spent his high school career pole vaulting with his hands backward. He didn't notice his error until a coach pointed out the flaw during a college meet, Winans said.

The 1979 season began with Winans traveling to meets by himself. He asked his father for a truck so he could fit his pole vault equipment in the back. When Winans arrived at meets, he was often asked where the Big Bear team was. "I am the team," he told coaches.

However, Winans' solo track adventure got help from others inspired by his efforts.

As the 1979 season continued, a small fan club started to attend practice to watch Winans, the one-man show, train. That fan club asked to participate, Winans said. Seven students trained and eventually competed alongside Winans on the track and field club.

Big Bear High School vice principal Leonard Shipley raised funds from local businesses to help pay for the club's travel expenses for the athletes. Winans was named club captain.

The track and field club grew to 18 students in 1980 and for one meet included Neal. He was recruited by Shipley and Winans for a 4-by-100-meter relay, Neal said. Neal was pulled right out of spring football training and sent to the Beaumont Invitational, where the relay took first place.

Winans' dedication took him all the way to Germany and Holland on a track and field tour sponsored by the American Athletic Union.

Winans said the trip was fun, but his coaches constantly reminded the team about the seriousness of the competition. Athletes wore shirts and ties everywhere they went. "You keep thinking, you're competing with guys you might have a nuclear war with," he said.

Neal Waner and Winans remain close and their lives have paralleled. Winans and Neal are both self-employed financial advisors and have started nonprofit foundations. Winans founded The W Foundation, funding public education promoting space research. Neal started the Stephen G. Mihaylo Foundation, which funds educational opportunities for Big Bear students and the school district.

Winans said he is happy to see the return of the track program especially in Big Bear where sports like football and baseball rule. For lots of kids on the old track team, running track meant a chance to leave Big Bear in winter, Neal said. For Winans it took him around the world.

It is spring however, it has snowed two times in the last week in Big Bear. Too little, too late to help skiing but a pain to the baseball, softball and golf teams.
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- 07/30/2003
- 06/26/2003

- Summer 2002, Volume 1, Issue 2: PDF Version (4.4 MB)
- Fall 2001: PDF Version (3.9 MB)
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