Members of the original classes (1955, ‘56, and ‘57) at Fontana High School will hold reunion | News

Members of the original classes at Fontana High School will gather for a “grand finale” reunion on Friday, Oct. 13 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Claremont.

The Fohi classes of 1955, 1956, and 1957 are combining for their “last big hurrah,” said Jim “Pat” Patterson, a member of the Class of ’57.

Those surviving class members are now in their mid-80s.

Prior to 1952, high school students in Fontana were taken by bus to Chaffey High School in Ontario, a 30-mile round trip.

When school began at Fohi in September of 1953 (70 years ago), construction of some of the classroom buildings was behind schedule. At that time, Principal Bud Camfield created temporary classrooms out of school buses, a situation that lasted for several weeks.

Those pioneering students went on to become the first graduating class, and they will be joining with the second and third graduating classes for the upcoming reunion.

“Isn’t it incredible the way Fontana has grown from a small town of fewer than 20,000 and became a city, incorporating in 1952, to becoming a megalopolis of more than 200,000 today, and little old Fohi has been joined by four additional high schools,” said Patterson.

The reunion event will kick off on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 5 p.m. at a hospitality suite for classmates staying at the hotel.

The main event on Oct. 13 will begin with no host cocktails at 4 p.m. Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m., and the evening will include entertainment.

“We hope all classmates still living in or near Fontana will be able to attend,” Patterson said.

For more information and a reservation form, contact Patterson at (805) 760-3764 or Gail Neal via e-mail at

Registration forms must be returned, with payment, no later than Sept. 22 to:

Peggy Paluzzi (Fohi 1955-56) via U.S. mail at PMB #H154 16738 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530.

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