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Seniors go to D.C. on 50th class trip

PLUM CITY--Alumni who've gone on similar journeys in the past were among well wishers as Plum City High School seniors left on their class trip to Washington, D.C., Wednesday. It was the 50th time the trip has been held, begun in 1956.

Twenty-five students boarded a coach from Laidlaw Transportation in Red Wing out front of the local high school as a crowd waved and snapped photos. The bus actually got a slightly early start from the scheduled 2 p.m. departure time.

Before leaving, this year's participants and the veterans of previous trips heard from Larry Gansluckner, a member of the '56 class. Gansluckner told about meeting then-Congressman Lester Johnson when that first group went to D.C. He later worked for the congressman, corresponding with constituents back home and helping prepare for legislative presentations.

Gansluckner said the local class didn't realize when they planned the original trip that it would become a tradition lasting at least a half century.

Connie Binkowski, another Class of '56 member, was a lead organizer of the trip also in attendance Wednesday.

This year's trip itinerary shows:

--May 11, Gettysburg, 11 a.m.; arrive in Washington, D.C.; supper, Magills-5 p.m.; White House; Night Tour of the Monuments.

--May 12, Breakfast at Shoney's; Mount Vernon; Old Post Office-Dinner; Sen. Kohl and Capitol Tour-2 p.m.; Dandy Dinner Cruise-6 p.m.

--May 13, Holocaust Museum-11 a.m.; Washington Monument-1:30 p.m.; Dinner; Smithsonian Museums; National Archives; Supper-Tony Cheng Mongolian Restaurant; Shear Madness (Kennedy Center)-9 p.m.

--May 14, Arlington Cemetery; Leave Washington, D.C., noon; Arrive in Philadelphia; Independence Hall Tour- 4 p.m.; Arrive in New York City; Empire State Building.

--May 15, Phantom of the Opera-8 p.m.; Macy's; Central Park.

--May 16, View Ground Zero; Statue of Liberty (Observatory Tour)-9:45 a.m., Boat leaves at 9:30 a.m.; Museum of Natural History afternoon, Imax at 1:30 p.m.; Hard Rock Café-5 p.m.; Blue Man Group-8 p.m.

--Wednesday, May 17, Today Show-7-9 a.m.; United Nations Tour-10 a.m.; Leave for Plum City.

--Thursday, May 18, Arrive in Plum City.