As the story goes, two strangers found themselves sitting on the same bench in Florida one day.

Frank Kinker and E.J. Haldeman were having a casual conversation, as strangers often do, when one asked the other where they were from.

‘Fostoria, Ohio,’ was the answer, to which the other responded that he, too, was from Fostoria.

A friendship blossomed and both men promised to meet again in Florida on the first Saturday in February, bringing a friend.

And now, more than half a century later, the tradition continues as “Fostoria Day.”

Tom Lehmann from Fostoria High School’s class of 1976 is the host of the 60th annual gathering of Fostoria area residents in Florida.

“Whether snowbirds or Florida residents now, Fostorians look forward to this annual event with great anticipation,” Lehmann said. “We just love the opportunity to get together and share personal stories about our time both living and working in/around the Fostoria and the tri-county area.”

Fostoria Day 2020 will be at the Moose Lodge #1223 Feb. 1. Social hour is from 11 a.m.-noon.

Lehmann said lunch and event activities will be from noon – 3 p.m.
and includes door prizes and a 50/50 raffle. Adult will be beverages available from the bar.

The $12 entry fee collected at the door includes the following light lunch meal options: vegetable or pizza flatbread, chicken or vegetable quesada, and traditional-style club sandwich. All served with french fries and chips and dessert. The meal also includes tea, lemonade and water.

Background music will be 40s-70s pop and light-rock music reflective of the eras of the attendees, he said.

Lehmann said 2018 was a benchmark year with 69 attendees and he’d like to see even more faces from the Fostoria area this year.

“I learn more about the attendees themselves, as well as family members and acquaintances in one afternoon, than I hear the rest of the year.”

Reservations are preferred to maintain an approximate head-count for planning purposes. Lehmann said the cut-off for ordering food is Jan. 27 so reservations are requested by Jan. 26.

“However no-one will be turned away at the door,” he said.

Make reservations to event chairman and POC Tom Lehmann via the FOSTORIA DAY Facebook page, by e-mail at, or by cell phone at 586-876-4243.

A list of attendees with reservations will be posted and updated weekly on the FOSTORIA DAY Facebook page.