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2011/11th Edition

A Premier Tourism Marketing publication $ 9.95


s you set out to plan your next reunion gathering, let Reunions Workbook be your companion throughout the entire reunion-planning process. The information contained in the following pages is a collective “best practices” manual culled from hundreds of successful reunion groups. This collective experience of your peers will help you model the perfect reunion for your group. In addition to the materials contained in this workbook, we include direction to corresponding sections on the website where you can learn more about a particular topic. Additionally, we’ve made a digital edition of the Workbook available online @, along with resource listings linked directly to their websites for more information. These constitute a great foundation for your reunion planning. If you are a long-time, seasoned reunion organizer, this list will remind you of the details you must consider for each reunion. If you are just starting out, consider this your blueprint. We encourage your questions and comments about this workbook. Contact us at or participate in our forum at

2011 / 11 th Edition Editorial & Advertising Office 621 Plainfield Road, Suite 406 Willowbrook, IL 60527 P 630.794.0696 • F 630.794.0652

Publisher – Jeffrey Gayduk

Editor In Chief – Edith Wagner

Managing Editor – Randy Mink

Director, Design & Production – Robert Wyszkowski PHOTO CREDIT FOR SOME PHOTOS Patrick Robinson, John Rubartsch, Edith Wagner

Happy Reunion Planning!


Look for web links:

Throughout this book, we have added these symbols to direct you to even more information at These signify information on pages (right) and for podcasts (left). All of this is available to you at no cost to enhance your reunion-planning experience.




First decisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Reunion timetable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Choose a date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Budget . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Choose a location . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Site inspection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Negotiate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Fundraising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Getting there . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Focus on kids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Meetings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Themes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 More activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Food . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Preserving your reunion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Wrap up & evaluate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Directory/Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 4 REUNIONS WORKBOOK •

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The publisher accepts unsolicited editorial matter, as well as advertising, but assumes no responsibility for statements made by advertisers or contributors. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information published, but the publisher makes no warranty that listings are free of error. The publisher is not responsible for the return of unsolicited photos, slides or manuscripts.

Reunions Workbook (ISSN 2155-7608) is published annually by Premier Tourism Marketing, Inc. 621 Plainfield Road, Suite 406, Willowbrook, IL 60527. This publication is distributed to reunion planners and may be ordered online or through The regular subscription price is $9.95 per year.

Send Address Change to: Premier Tourism Marketing, Inc. P.O. Box 609, Palos Heights, IL 60463



Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Materials may not be reproduced in any form without written permission of the publisher.

Chaloner Family Reunion

COVER CREDITS Polaroid frames “Polaroids” (Photo courtesy of 2011 © Ruslan Nassyrov Images from

If you needed it, we could do it.

A truly successful meeting of any purpose or size requires some fine tuning. In Kissimmee you are guaranteed the dedicated services of the Kissimmee CVB’s staff, as well as a grand combination of just the right lodging and off-sight facilities, convenient access, and all the amazing activities and attractions Central Florida is known for. You’re ready for the Kissimmee brand of business, and Kissimmee is ready for you.

Your organization’s next meeting belongs in Kissimmee. Learn more at or call 800-831-1844.

FIRST DECISIONS Is there a reunion in your future? If so, you must be: K devoted to your reunion group K able to spend time K willing to take charge K eager to do everything necessary to plan a successful event and keep smiling.

IF YOU INCORPORATE While most reunions operate effectively without incorporating, some incorporate as non-profit organizations. If you want to incorporate, recruit an accountant or lawyer from your group to help. Anyone can file to incorporate but it takes expertise to master IRS requirements and analyze restrictions involved. Apply for Tax Identification Number (TIN) – needed to open a bank account in your reunion association’s name. The TIN is your identification number for IRS or other required government reports. K Appoint a committee to draft bylaws. K Develop a written statement of purpose and goals that generate enthusiasm. K Plan election of officers. To ensure continuity, elect half the officers each year for two-year terms. K Recruit reunion organizers. The best reunions are well organized and generate attendance and meaningful reunion programs. K Hold a membership meeting at the reunion.

Meetings Use meetings at reunions to elect officers, determine dates and a place for your next gathering, and acknowledge members’ milestones and accomplishments.

Memberships Jones Williams Scott Family Reunion

Don’t do it alone Someone must be in charge but all successful reunions need people to help before, during and after. K Ask who else wants a reunion. K Ask for help immediately. K Build a team. K Meet in person, by mail, phone, fax, email or facebook. K Share progress reports regularly. K Class reunions often hire professional planners who are experienced with reunions.

Designate a leader K Choose an organizer/chairperson/leader/ coordinator (this may be you). K Choose officers, committee chairs and members. K Or form subgroups with representatives on a governing committee.

Develop a consensus for K date(s) K place K activities/program K theme K budget


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Stress the importance of members getting involved. New people mean fresh ideas. People who work to implement reunion goals will continue to support and improve it. Avoid burnout by sharing the workload – and make it a lot more fun.


FIRST DECISIONS WHO GETS THE JOB DONE? Reunions are best ruled by consensus. Equality and ownership are great group motivators. Every member owns a reunion equally. Every member has a voice; those who choose not to use theirs make the choice to enjoy what others plan. Like any major undertaking, it’s important to have a designated leader – one person who arbitrates final decisions, coordinates details and is always willing to go the extra mile. The leader can volunteer, or be elected or chosen by consensus. Never try to do everything alone.

Organizer/chairperson/angel/leader Must be willing to gather and nurture reunion members. Able to harness pesky details. Capable of comprehending and settling conflicts. Able to act on gut instinct. Diplomatic to a fault. Able to bear early costs such as long distance calls, printing, copying and postage. Loves hugs. Treasurer Collects and spends the reunion’s second greatest asset – its money. Manages budget, keeps books, and pays bills. May also handle reservations, registration and purchasing reunion keepsakes. Secretary Develops and maintains member/mailing lists. May write and distribute invitations, newsletters, registration materials. Program chairperson Must be creative. Able to identify members’ talents, skills and desires. Able to plan and organize memorable activities involving participants of all ages. Selects entertainment. May hire photographer. Arranges set-up and clean-up.



glas Family


Historian/genealogist/griot/story-teller Shares a passion for research and reveres the past. Collects and archives group history. Displays family tree, historical wall charts, yearbooks, memory books, albums, historical documents, computer printouts, and tells the story.

Committees Committees are crucial and add to the fun and ownership of reunion organizing. Choose committee members of all ages for their expertise. For example, a chef might be in charge of food; teachers enhance the scholarship committee or program planning for kids. K Accommodations. Selects site; makes reservations, site arrangements and welcomes members. K Fundraising. Develops long-range fundraising projects. Plans and stages reunion day fundraisers. K Transportation. Sends directions, maps, instructions, lists of accommodations and restaurants along the way, airport pickup schedules. Makes arrangements to move members during the reunion (hotel to picnic, tours, off-site entertainment). K Food. Plans, chooses and provides food, or works with a caterer or food and beverage professional. K Program. Plans and coordinates reunion activities, registration. K Scholarship. Sets rules and requirements. Reviews and judges applications. Plans and officiates at scholarship awards ceremony. K Worship or Fellowship. Plans, presents rituals, ceremonies and memorials. K Set-up/clean-up. Works very hard on Reunion Day.





Family Reu

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World-Class W orld--Class Shopping – Enjoy o Enjoy shoppingg ffor o or your your favorite faavorite br brands ands among 520 stores all in one location with no sales tax on clothing and shoes! iety of *EQMP]*YR¯ America *EQMP]*YR¯ Mall of Amer ica® has the widest var variety the lar gest indoor entertainment enter tainment ainment options under one roof,f, including in largest par k – Nickelodeon Nickelodeon Universe. Univer se.® Nickelodeon Nickelodeon® theme park Convenience Convenience nience – Mall of America America is located by by Minneapolis/St.. Paul Paul convenience of 36 Bloomington International Inter national Airport. Airpor t.. Enjoy Enjoy the convenience utes of the Mall that offer offfeer free shuttle service hotels within 10 min minutes ser vice por t and Mall. airport to the air For more ore inf information, for o mation,, contact Millie Philipp Phi in Mall of America America Tourism T our o ism m at 952.883.8843,, mphilipp@mallofamer mphilipp@mal or visit www

REUNION TIMETABLE 18-24 months before…

This timetable is designed to work for all types of reunions – tailor it to your special needs.

K Determine interest K Talk to other reunion organizers K Attend a reunion organizing class, workshop, conference K Start mailing list K Form reunion committee(s); establish responsibilities and schedules K Contact convention and visitors (CVB) or tourism bureau K Set up website or facebook page

K Inquire about FAM tours to scout locations, facilities K Consider hiring professional reunion planner K Keep records for everything K Develop budget and bookkeeping system

One year before…

K Set date(s) K Explore and choose location K Select and contract with facilities K Arrange for or hire entertainment, caterer, photographer, videographer, printer

K Send Save-the-Date cards, first mailer or reunion web site information. Include tentative plans, suggestions for tours, souvenirs, memory books, theme, approximate cost, memory book contributions, missing persons list

6-9 months before…

K Distribute order forms for souvenir t-shirts K Send second mailer: registration form, cost and updated list of missing persons, souvenir ordering information K Email announcement to appear on REUNIONS MAGAZINE’S web site,

K Meet with hotel staff, visit facility with committee K Reserve block of rooms K Begin souvenir directory/list of attendees/memory book K Choose theme K Schedule events and activities – program, speakers, awards ceremony, tours, entertainment, games for kids

5 months before…

K Contact and send mailing as people are found K Announce event to local media, elected officials

4 months before…

This timetable is online at with direct links to copy and podcasts on the site and to print out.

K Choose menus K Confirm reservations, entertainment, photographer, caterer

K Submit personalized souvenir order (t-shirts, mugs, caps) K Print projects (directory, memory book) in production

K Reserve rental equipment: tents, chairs, porta toilets K Select decorations, signs, banners

Six weeks before…

K Write checklist for reunion day tasks K Assign tasks to reunion day volunteers

K Complete directory/memory book; deliver to printer

Two weeks before…

K Purchase last-minute decorations and incidentalsupplies K Check with committee chairs to confirm plans, arrangements, progress

Several days before…

K Meet with facility managers and department heads to determine staff contacts for your reunion days

Reunion Day(s)…

K Set up registration, rental equipment, displays, games K Juggle details: volunteers, food, photographer, games, tours, entertainment, talent show, ceremonies

K Reconfirm meeting, sleeping and eating accommodations K Review final checklist

K Juggle last-minute problems K Review final details with reunion committees K Decorate K Salute volunteers K Enjoy


K Reflect and evaluate – note what worked, what didn’t K Complete bookkeeping; settle accounts


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K Write thank you notes to volunteers, hotel staff, caterers K Start planning your next reunion

A quirky, slightly off-beat destination perfect for your quirky slightly off-beat family. With a booming culinary scene, surprisingly affordable prices, a calendar full of awesome festivals and lots of unique attractions, Columbus is the perfect backdrop for a reunion your whole family will remember forever. Find out more at or by calling (800) 354-2657.

CHOOSE A DATE Reunions require advance planning

How to choose a date

Choosing a first reunion date one to two years in advance will give everyone enough time to ask for vacation time and save money to attend. It gives you time to carefully choose a site and negotiate discounts and special amenities.

The most important aspect of choosing a date is sticking with your decision. If your group is larger than two, someone will always have a conflict. Consider setting dates two reunions in advance so people who are unable to attend this time can plan to be at the next one.  Poll your group to avoid conflicts  Get consensus from several choices  Coincide with holidays or milestones – birthdays, anniversary, graduation, retirement

Choosing time of year…season  summer when kids are on vacation  autumn when kids are in school  winter to ski or head south to seek the sun  spring to beat the winter doldrums  off-season to take advantage of lower prices  same date (date, weekend or month) each reunion  long holiday weekends: Memorial Day, Labor Day, Martin Luther King Birthday, Presidents Day, Thanksgiving


How long?

 an afternoon/evening  one day  a weekend  a week  other____________________

How often?

 annually  every two years

Choose a date and stick to it!

 every five years  other_______________

© 2011 JUPITERIMAGES Corporation


An idea of what you need to order in the order it should be ordered.

1-2 years

8 months

Reserve location (hotel, resort, cruise, condo, ranch) Newsletter, website, facebook page, and other continuing communication Save the date card Start to develop cookbooks

Personalized invitations

1 year

2-4 months

Reserve picnic/camping site Memory book/directory

Time is running out card

6 months Transportation (airline reservations)

4-6 months Order personalized keepsakes (t-shirts, caps, coffee mugs, etc.)

1-4 months Order food & beverages Reserve tours





Family Reu


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Folsom Fa

mily Reuni


3 Steps to a Great Family Reunion Call Us! STEP ONE: Pick up the phone right now and call Sandy Springs Hospitality & Tourism for the best in Family Reunion planning.


STEP TWO: Choose one of the itinerary and lodging packages we will present to you.

STEP THREE: Gather your group and celebrate the good times!

We’ve got the connections to get the best rates, packages and prices for your group. Call Will Carlson, Sales Executive, at 770-206-1445 or e-mail, today!

Celebrate Good Times!

Contact us for a FREE sample Itinerary for Family Reunion Groups.


REUNION BUDGET Reunion income



(time, goods, services)

Reunion expenses

Organizational expenses $__________ $ __________ Banking fees $ ____________ Fees, dues $__________ $ __________ Long distance/fax/email/web page $ ____________ Keepsake, memento Postage $ ____________ & book sales $__________ $ __________ [number of mailings x number on list] $ ____________ Corporate sponsor $__________ $ __________ Printing $ ____________ Tickets (meals, tours, activities) $__________ $ __________ Supplies Subtotal $ ____________ Scholarships $__________ $ __________ Pre-reunion deposits Door prizes*/awards $__________ $ __________ Hotel (at time of reservation) $ ____________ Raffle/auction $__________ $ __________ Caterer/meals (when you place your order) $ ____________ Volunteers $__________ $ __________ Keepsakes (when you submit your order) $ ____________ TOTAL $ __________ Tours (when you book the tour) $ ____________ Reunion finances Printing (when you submit the job) $ ____________ Set financial goals. For example, you may want to break even Pre-reunion expenses or profit just enough to pay next reunion startup costs. Some reunions have money-making goals such as scholarships, Printing $ ____________ investments or group business enterprises. [flyer, invitations, newsletter, program, directory, memory book] Establish your budget. Make your best educated guesses. Don’t Rentals $ ____________ underestimate or you’ll find yourself with reunion bills and no Registration supplies $ ____________ way to pay them. Don’t forget to add taxes and gratuities. It Awards/certificates/prizes $ ____________ would be wise to enlist an experienced budgeter to gather and assemble the reunion budget puzzle. Picnic paper goods $ ____________ Open a separate checking account to keep a permanent, legal Decorations/banners/signs/memorials $ ____________ record of reunion income and expenses. Displays $ ____________ Covering expenses Flowers $ ____________ When you’re just starting, don’t be shy about asking for Other (explain) $ ____________ donations to help cover expenses. Subtotal $ ____________ Consider dues or fees with several membership “classes.” The Reunion day(s) expenses lowest dues may cover essential administrative costs and a newsletter. Charge what most members can comfortably pay. Meals/food $ ____________ Don’t price membership out of reach of anyone on fixed Beverages, bartender $ ____________ income. Membership classes can include individual, young Entertainers/musicians $ ____________ adult, family, sustaining, donating and seniors. For family reunions consider a complimentary membership to any Photo/videographer/DJ $ ____________ member over 70 who requests it. Publicly recognize sustaining Clergy $ ____________ and donating members to encourage generous individuals. Tips and gratuities $ ____________ Keep track of every nickel Taxes (fill in percentage for your location) $ ____________ You may already use financial software that can be adapted Subtotal $ ____________ for your reunion budget. If not, we find Quicken by Intuit to be inexpensive and easy to use. Its budget capacity allows Post-reunion expenses you to track actual expenses and compare them to your Printing $ ____________ budget. Quicken can generate those all-important income Postage $ ____________ statements and final reports. Reunion costs range from free to lavish. Consider all potential Pictures, video tapes $ ____________ expenses thoroughly. Add 10% to offset unexpected expenses; Other (explain) $ ____________ then save leftover funds for the next reunion. Subtotal $ ____________


* maintains a freebie page that’s updated and added to regularly. Check early and often.


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TOTAL $ ____________

ATLANTIC CITY Excitement Is Always In Season! • • • •

Sizzling Casino Action Exhilarating Nightlife Distinctive Dining Rejuvenating Spas

• • • •

Stylish New Shopping Free Beaches Electrifying Entertainment Legendary Boardwalk

For group tours, contact Heather Colache at 609.449.7151 or hcolache


CHOOSE A LOCATION Destination decisions Convention and Visitors Bureaus help reunions Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVB) are typically nonprofit organizations which represent cities or regions. Their services are often free. Just ask. Narrow your destination choices. Then contact local CVBs. Most help obtain accommodation costs and other services based on your requirements. Whether organizing a reunion for your own area or elsewhere, ask the CVB to help welcome guests. Also, explore hotel quotes for your reunion at

Be prepared to share your reunion requirements.  introduce the history and purpose of your reunion  dates (approximate, if exact dates are not known)  number and ages of members  budget range  number and type of rooms (approximate, if exact number is not known)  special needs (handicap access, no smoking space, special diets, recreational requirements)

Ask these questions About contacts

Inspection Can the CVB

 Is there a reunion or small meeting specialist on staff? If yes, that’s who you want to work with. About services Can the CVB help you get

 discounts and group rates (for housing, attractions, entertainment, transportation)  maps, brochures  mailing assistance  registration assistance (for large reunions)  official greetings (mayor, public officials)  name tags  banners  children/spouse programs  services for special needs  sightseeing tours  souvenirs, promotional giveaways, door prizes About competition Does the CVB represent

 all hotels in the urban and suburban area  CVB membership only  tours or transportation

Talk to a travel agent In our rush to book everything online, we have forgotten about the invaluable services travel agents provide. A worthwhile expense if you're organizing complicated travel or taking a cruise is to talk to a travel agent. Many agents specialize in group or cruise travel and will not charge to book a cruise or tour package because they earn commissions. The most important thing the travel agent brings to your planning is that s/he can save you hours of research time learning about destinations. She or he can also negotiate discounts, special amenities, parties and meeting space.


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 arrange a familiarization (FAM) tour or on-site inspection  provide a video tour  provide an inspection report if a reunion member is unable to personally inspect a facility Referrals If the reunion will use local suppliers,

can the CVB provide referrals for  audio visual equipment  auto rental  buses  caterers  entertainment  florists  media  photographer/videographer  speakers  tours and special events



At or near your reunion

Mark your requirements and be certain each is available. These choices will go a long way to making everyone happy.  ball fields  shopping  beauty/barber shops  skiing  casinos  snorkeling, scuba  entertainment  swimming  golf  tennis  hiking  theme parks  historical sites  zoo  museums, galleries  other _____________  restaurants

 home(s)  bed and breakfast  hotel  camp, RV  houseboat  church  inn  college dormitory  park  condominiums  ranch or farm  conference center  resort  cruise ship  other _______________________ Considerations about the area

 climate  concurrent events (festivals, sporting events, concerts, conventions)  local taxes


Number  singles _____  doubles _____  suites _____  dormitories _____  camp sites _____  special considerations

Also try a reverse auction at


Meeting space needs

 hospitality room(s)  kitchen(s)  in-room TV, cable, VCR, coffee, refrigerator  direct-dial phones, fax, voice mail, email, high speed internet access, WiFi  Shuttles:  airport  area attractions, casinos  shopping/antique malls  parking; cost ___________________  other _________________________


Service quality

 airport  charter motorcoaches  public transportation  rail

 clean  employee attitudes and friendliness  employee efficiency and attention  concierge level ______________ ___________________________

Food and drink on-site


 meals included; explain ________  restaurants __________________  hours _____________________  price range(s) _______________  room service


 number of rooms __________  meeting room sizes ________________________  banquet facilities  room set-up and cleaning charges  air conditioning  outdoor space  audiovisual equipment  sound system  physically accessible

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 included in price(s)  housekeeping  food service  other service staff

 taxis  limousines & shuttles  rentals: cars, bicycles, horses  parking

Price range preferred

 economical ($ . to $ . )  moderate ($ . to $ . )  deluxe ($ . to $ . )  combination (percentage of each)  other (list) ___________________

CHOOSE A LOCATION NEED A PICNIC SITE? Some reunions confine their enjoyment to weekend afternoon picnics, and many weekend-long reunions include a picnic in the mix of activities. Picnics require their own, separate logistics.  Explore and choose a site.  Contact governing authority (city, county, state) for permit.  Make deposit on time! Popular sites have waiting lists of people who will rejoice if you miss your deposit date.

 Amenities  shelter or rent a tent  tables and benches  grills or fire pits  recreation: swimming, tennis, softball, volleyball, fishing, boating, hiking, golf, horseshoes  parking  restrooms  running water  security

NEED A CAMPSITE? “Have tent, will travel” describes many reunions. If you camp in an RV or trailer, you’ll need a site. Camps owned privately and publicly offer an enormous range of facilities and services from primitive to luxurious. For a reunion, look for the following: Activities


 summer  spring  autumn  winter  holidays Proximity

 beach  city  historical area  mountains  primitive sites  shopping  state or national park  theme parks  tourist area Accommodations

 tents  yours  theirs  RVs/trailers  lodge, bunkhouse  hookups  water  electricity Site facilities

 covered sites/shelter  outhouses  toilets  showers  hot  not  tables and benches  barbecue/fire pits  campfire ring  food  trash pickup

 backpacking  boats  rental  launch  skiing  fishing  sports  tennis  volleyball  basketball  baseball  playground  hiking  woods  mountains  water  beach  fishing  pool  swimming  waterskiing

Davis Family Reunion

WANT TO CRUISE? Booking a cruise for your reunion offers many advantages and because the cost is all inclusive, accommodations, food and entertainment are all taken care of in one fare. A travel agent who specializes in group cruise travel will be invaluable to help you choose just the right ship for your group whether you want activities for kids or shows and gambling for adults for 3 days or a week and what ports of call you’ll visit. Join the growing number of reunions cruising!


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When you’ve narrowed your list of locations to those that meet your physical requirements for sleeping rooms and meeting space, it’s time to make a site inspection. This Site Inspection Checklist gives you a general idea of what to look for and questions to ask. Be prepared. Show location staff you’re organized and know what you’re doing. Be a smart reunion buyer. Approach your inspection as though you want to buy the hotel! Make copies of this checklist and take it with you. Use it to evaluate and compare locations.

SITE INSPECTION CHECKLIST Things to observe about the site

 how you’re treated by staff  appearance (interior and exterior)  overall cleanliness  condition of all rooms (sleeping, dining, meeting)  security and safety systems; fire exits, sprinkler systems in rooms yes / no

____ /____ Do employees take pride in their work? ____ /____ Are employees cheerful and helpful? ____ /____ Is the hotel’s general decor pleasing? ____ /____ Is there sufficient, convenient parking? ____ /____ Is there access to public transportation? ____ /____ Are ice machines conveniently located and do they work properly? Does the hotel offer

 barber/hair dresser  concierge  gift shop  recreation facilities

 bell service  exercise room/swimming pool  in-house movies  safe deposit boxes

What types of sleeping rooms are available?  singles  doubles  king-size beds  suites  mix yes / no ____ /____ Are special rates or discounts available? ____ /____ Are reservation/registration systems automated? ____ /____ Does the hotel offer shuttle service?  airport  area malls/attractions; cost $_____ ____ /____ Is 24-hour room service available? ____ /____ Is audio-visual support available; cost $________ ____ /____ Can you bring your own liquor? Is there a “corkage” fee?

Don’t hesitate to be very thorough; ask to see the “back of the hotel,” the kitchen and engineering (power plant, heating and air conditioning units, etc.). Ask for

 A copy of complimentary room policy  A copy of menu selections for meal functions


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NEGOTIATE Organizing a reunion requires negotiation. Since negotiating is not part of our culture, it rarely comes easily. We tend to accept the price and pay or go elsewhere. In this case, if you don’t negotiate, you could pay a stiff price with few, if any, extras.  Prepare for the task. Negotiating can be complex.  Do your homework. If this is your first time negotiating, learn the facts to get the greatest value for your reunion dollars.  Know the basics. Get fair value in exchange for your reunion business. Be realistic. Careful negotiating helps hotels make a reasonable profit while you get the best and most costeffective reunion. If you are confident, you and the hotel sales person both win.  Hotel sales persons negotiate every day. It is their job to sell rooms. Revenue from rooms is their primary source of income, followed by food and beverage sales.

KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS  Reunion size The number of rooms you need is important. If this is your first reunion and you ask for 100 rooms, no one will believe you can actually fill 100 rooms. But if you have a history of consistently filling 100 rooms, you definitely have the hotel’s attention. It is critical to supply documentation from past reunions.  Records from previous reunions Demonstrate the economic impact of your reunion spending habits (rooms, food, beverages, meeting space and shopping patterns). It is favorable if you can make a large deposit and/or pay in full at check-out.  Sell the uniqueness of your reunion Sell your group. Stress the potential marketing value of your reunion. Even if all your members are from out of town, they can recommend places for other meetings.  Supply and demand prevail Ask hotels for dates and times when rates are lowest and business is needed. These are called low, off or soft periods. They vary from location to location and can occur more than once a year. If your dates and seasons are flexible, you may be able to save 50% or more off published rates.


11 t h E d i t i o n

 Let places know you’re shopping around Do not select a place just because it offers the lowest price. You may not get the service level you want.  Speak up If you really like one location but the price is out of your range, speak up. Tell the sales person you really like this hotel. Ask if they could work with you to make a fit. If they are flattered and genuinely interested, they will try hard to do it.  Ask for complimentary items If you don’t ask, they will not be offered. You may get nothing free but some things may be provided at attractively reduced rates. If this is your first reunion don’t expect to get all of these. • airport or mall transportation • audio/visual equipment • banner or navigational signs • complimentary hospitality suite • complimentary welcome or farewell reception • early check-in/late check-out • flowers, table decorations • free or discounted recreational activities • free meal or sleeping room as a door or raffle prize • free parking • free storage for supplies and materials shipped in advance • meeting room • room upgrade for regular price • free room for designated number of reservations • special menu items

Time to make the reservation Money-saving tips

Make reservations six months to two years in advance. Book early for a number of reasons. First, your chosen date will be assured. Second, you’ll probably be able to save money by locking in an early contract. Third, early alert will increase attendance. Members will have more time to plan, save and anticipate. Notes:

NEGOTIATE AFTER NEGOTIATION You should receive a written contract at the end of negotiations. Review it very carefully. It spells out both parties’ responsibilities. It does not have to be written in fancy legalese. Once signed, the contract becomes legally binding on both parties. Return the signed contract in person or by certified mail. What the contract should include

A good contract ensures both you and the location will meet your obligations. Get everything in writing – from the smallest promised service to the type and number of rooms. Make sure total price is understood, and taxes or gratuities are clearly spelled out. Ask questions if you don’t understand. Change items that do not agree with your notes. Check the contract for the following:

 total number of rooms held for your reunion  how long rooms will be held  types of rooms and beds  complimentary rooms, suites  smoke-free rooms  meeting space  deposit requirements  cut-off dates  cancellation clauses  reservation instructions  check-in/out times and dates  taxes and gratuities  transportation  master accounts  services and equipment  handicap accessibility  what happens if the hotel is overbooked  list all extras negotiated

Who handles deposits, confirmations and payment?

 chairperson for the reunion  each individual/couple/family How will payment be handled?

 cash; discounts for early payment?  charge  deposit  balance Billing

 deposit required _________ % or $__________________  discounts for pre- or prompt-payment  master account  can separate bills be issued?  yes  no  terms  deposit  bill  pay on departure  credit cards accepted  MasterCard  Visa  American Express  Other_______________________________


law Family Reu




11 t h E d i t i o n 23

FUNDRAISING Fundraising goals can defray reunion costs, provide money for members to attend or raise scholarship money for young members. Following are ways some reunions add to their coffers.

LONG-RANGE FUNDRAISING Many reunion groups do long-range, participatory, fundraising projects.

Quilts Quilts can be auctioned or raffled at the reunion. Distribute quilt pieces eight to ten months or more in advance and collect to be sewn together. Stress deadlines. To collect quilt materials:  Buy and prepare 6''x 6'' cotton squares.  Send with instructions (see below).  Emphasize and enforce deadlines.

Quilt Announcement We are making a (name of reunion) quilt. Please decorate and submit a 6''x 6'' square of material suitable for a quilt. Decorations from young and old should highlight a (name of reunion) feat or legend. Encourage little ones to include masterpieces. Sign each piece. Send your square by (date) to (name and address). If you have questions, call Aunt _________ at (phone number).  Enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope.  In about four months, send a motivational postcard. Emphasize deadline.  Stragglers may need phone calls. Avoid disappointment. Include a date after which squares can no longer be accepted.

PUBLISHING PROJECTS Publishing involves many details and can be expensive. Your primary buyers are your own members so make sure they’re interested in publishing projects. Reunion books are best sellers only in your group.  Poll members to determine interest.  Collect orders or get an idea of how many you can sell before you incur the expense of printing and binding.  Cookbooks Cookbooks are a very popular reunion project. They are a challenge and should not be entered into lightly. Cookbooks can highlight family history, traditions and food specialities. Specialty cookbook companies can help you from conception to delivery.  Memory books Send every member instructions about what to write. Compile anecdotes, tales, childhood memories, special events, stories about ancestors or past reunions and pictures.  Family genealogy books In addition to family history, ask members to submit biographies and anecdotes, along with their place in history, to make foreparents come alive.  Reunion history books  Reunion videos  Oral history tapes  Reproductions Reunion videos, oral history tapes, photos (new and restorations).

CORPORATE UNDERWRITING Some reunion groups have been successful at obtaining corporate support. You can solicit much more than just money. Products and services can be just as valuable. Search for companies who are reunion-friendly. Enlist someone who can make an eloquent case for why a company or business should help your reunion and how your reunion might help the company. Promise to advertise your benefactor and prove it. Thank you notes are essential for all considerations. Be a reunion your benefactor can be proud of. Invite them. Honor them. Lavish them with praise.

Pre- or between-reunion fundraising Consider some of these possibilities. Negotiate group ticket and food prices. Mark up the price, sell tickets and add the difference to your reunion account.  theatre party; transportation (bus), meals and tickets  style show; location, meal/brunch/dessert, tickets

 progressive meal or party; paid for by hosts, tickets  casino night; rent a hall and equipment, dealers volunteer  tours; transportation (bus), meals and tickets  runs, walks and rides; establish goals and guidelines, promote event, collect pledges, set route and go  bake sale, plant sale, car wash. continued on page 26


11 t h E d i t i o n

Surround yourself with family and friends Gathering with family and friends is a timeless tradition here in Pigeon Forge. And we invite you to join in that tradition! Been a while since you’ve seen your family? Or the men and women you served with in the military? Plan your next reunion for Pigeon Forge where the variety of things to do like Parkway attractions, theaters, restaurants and DollywoodŽ will entertain everyone for days on end. 1-800-285-7557

FUNDRAISING Personalizing your reunion Reunion t-shirts and caps dot the summer landscape. What will you choose as your reunion keepsake? What you buy is a matter of individual choice, taste and wallet size. Endless possibilities and varieties await your exploration. Collect at least a deposit from members in advance (unless keepsakes are your personal gift to the group). Personalized items always require extra time. Submit orders early. Do your homework. Take and make orders well in advance of when you need items. More than one group has had to make a legend out of telling the story of poor proofreading. “The engraver mistook the instructions and that’s my phone number instead of the reunion date!” Proofread every step of the way. Give your supplier time, so you have time for the very last pre-press proofreading. Allow one to two months for production at the published price. When you delay, your costs skyrocket for rush orders or overnight shipping.

Choosing what to buy Choose something meaningful to your group. Make it functional, good quality and affordable.  t-shirts  caps  mugs  key chains  paperweights  tote-bags  other__________  Ask others for product and supplier suggestions.  Collect and carefully review catalogs or find a supplier you can visit to see and make selections.  Or find something entirely new and absolutely unique to your reunion. Design considerations Most keepsake companies offer some design services from supplying letters to creating an original design or logo. Some services are even free. These are some of your choices.  Use your reunion name, logo, crest or emblem.  Solicit a design or logo from your reunion members or have a contest. Encourage children. Your best design may come from one of them. A great honor for a budding young talent.  Make your own design.  Buy a design from an artist or design professional.  Use your supplier’s art department.

Choosing a keepsake supplier After you’ve viewed web sites (many links at, perused catalogs and narrowed your choice of vendors, call, fax or e-mail each for answers to your remaining questions before making your decision. Read suppliers’ ordering instructions very carefully.

Questions to ask vendors  Can vendors send samples?  How far in advance must we order for (date)? delivery by  What are your price breaks for large orders?  What are the art or illustration requirements?  Can vendors provide art? at what cost?  Are these included or priced extra?  design  extra colors  printing plate  shipping Important considerations  Proofread all keepsake art very, very carefully. Assign several people proofreading responsibility. Once your personalized keepsake is in production, there is no turning back.  Submit only perfect camera-ready artwork. Do not staple, tape, photocopy or fax. Most vendors accept computer art via email. 26 REUNIONS WORKBOOK •

11 t h E d i t i o n

Hanlon Fa

mily Reun


 You can select standard ink colors from most printers but they can rarely guarantee to match nonstandard colors because they will differ depending on the material (shirt, cap, mug, frisbee).  Separate artwork must be provided for each ink, if you’re using more than one color. continued on page 28

Everyone will find something to love here – whether it’s welcoming, locally-owned accommodations and meeting spaces, personalized group activities, outstanding scenery, or simply the opportunity to reconnect with one another. With a central Midwest location, Brown County is easy to get to and hard to leave. We’ll make your reunion planning easy. Call 800.753.3255 or visit


Shipping cost

Pass all charges on to your members. Price items carefully before you announce the cost. Cost of item should include the following.

Packaging materials




Pre-production cost Catalog cost per piece x # ordered


Cost of artwork


Production cost Set-up


Additional colors


Customization charges




Total production cost


To determine individual costs, divide total production cost by the number of pieces. Your cost per piece = total production cost ÷ # of orders + shipping cost.

ON-SITE AT THE REUNION Sales Items can be sold at, before, or between reunions to keep cash flowing. Suggest people buy reunion items as gifts. Be sure to include packing and postage in your price for items to be shipped. Offer discounts for large orders.  personalized keepsakes, mementos, souvenirs, t-shirts, caps, mugs, pens, pencils, novelties  memory books, cookbooks, directories  photos, videos, audio tapes group, individual, families, couples, branches or small groups

How to pay for keepsakes  Pre-reunion orders Everyone pays individually, in advance.  Include in reunion price/fee  Guess how many and what sizes you’ll need, take your chances and pray they’ll all sell at the reunion. Distribution  At the reunion in registration packet or unveil at a special ceremony  Send to members before the reunion (add postage and shipping)  Send to members after the reunion, which may be necessary if you don’t order in time. (add postage and shipping)

Raffles & auctions Plan ahead. Notify members ahead, if you want to raise money with raffles or auctions. Limit to your reunion or check with your local or State Department of Revenue to ascertain whether there are any regulations covering games of chance. Ask members to donate items for sale.  memorabilia, heirlooms, keepsakes  crafts or sewing  gifts of fresh seasonal produce, special homemade preserves, sauces  homemade baked goodies and candies  samples from members who manufacture or distribute goods or services


Auction items from the Seideman Family R eunion


11 t h E d i t i o n


Ask everyone to help search


Searching is an ongoing process often delegated to your most curious and detail-oriented members. Genealogists and family historians are notorious for starting family reunions and they never stop searching. Technology is exciting, constantly changing and makes searching easier. Web sites and national phone directories provide instant access to many databases that put endless information at your finger tips. Rely on members to find others. There is often one person who stays in touch more than anyone else: a genealogist, historian, classmate, aunt or uncle who has kept careful records about everyone. Ask that person to help. Ask the oldest family members for leads. Ask everyone to submit lists. Remove duplicates as they occur.

Some reunion records are still kept on index cards. Computer databases can be easily adapted to keep necessary reunion member information, or buy software designed for reunions.  Make one card or entry for each person, couple or family.  Include name, address, phone, email address and other numbers.  Set up database to sort; by zip code for mailing; by last name for a directory; by city, age, interests.

Be persistent Once your reunion becomes a tradition, it should be each person’s responsibility to make sure his or her information is up-to-date.  Ask for help to fill in details on the list.  Ask to help search for members.

© 2011 JUPITERIMAGES Corporation


How often should you communicate?

All reunion communications should include date(s), time(s), location(s) and contact information. As you learn more, include information about fees, payment/cancellation/refund, map and party instructions (theme, things to bring).  Letters/email No one minds photocopied letters.  Newsletters/eblasts Newsletters are popular for reunion communication. Everyone submits news. Keep a schedule. When your members look forward to reunion news, they learn to respect your deadlines.  Postcards Postcards are an easy, graphic and inexpensive way to communicate. Print a bunch for followup. Pre-printed postcards that announce “Save the Date” and remind that “Time is running out” are available at  Phone/fax Share phoning and followup responsibility with committee members. Use a phone tree where volunteers agree to call and notify a list of others until everyone is called.   A good division of labor is to have one person from each generation/branch/class/unit/group take responsibility to notify others in their “line.”  Web sites/facebook, myspace/twitter Many reunions use websites and social media to announce and report changes and progress.

A note in your Christmas card or a postcard sent in plenty of time to make reservations might be sufficient for some. A series of letters, e-mail blasts and newsletters build momentum, share planning progress, keep members informed and updated, generate enthusiasm and increase attendance.

There will be no reunion until you announce it.


11 t h E d i t i o n

Budget for staying in touch

McNair-Brazil-Scott Family Reunion

If staying in touch is your responsibility, count on donating your time and creativity to the cause. Costs include printing, postage, phone, fax or web hostings.

COMMUNICATION THE INVITATION Who do you invite? Invite everyone

Don’t worry whether feuding cousins or black sheep will come. Let them decide. Eccentric members always entertain and give everyone something to talk about. If yours is a class or military reunion, your invitation goes to all known members. Finding them may be your challenge. Members of family reunions can be endless combinations, often something like descendents of Edward and Nicole Holmes who emigrated from someplace in England in the 1800s and settled in Hometown, USA. That could be thousands by now. Family reunions are often three generations (parents, children, grandchildren) or cousins who grew up together but have scattered around the world, or anyone with the same first or last name or…your own definition. How to communicate

There are many choices for ways to communicate. Do regular email or snail mail updates. Mailings (letters, fliers, postcards, newsletters) get most people’s attention. Some live on, posted on refrigerators. More and more universally used, email goes a long way to reduce reunion costs. Email can be used for surveys, announcements, recruitment (volunteers, donations) and registration. Reunion websites and facebook pages provide another level of communication and community. Post information before and summaries and pictures after. Word-of-mouth is powerful

Ask members to talk up your reunion. Encourage each other to respond – to stay in touch. Final pre-reunion mailing

Your last correspondence before the reunion should include:  final deadlines  final details  program or schedule  costs or fees  accommodation information  map, directions and instructions

Invitations can include

Keepsake orders, accommodation instructions, meal choices, directions, maps, special requests and events (tours, parties, auction, raffle). One of your greatest challenges will be getting members to respond to your communications. Always include deadlines and stick to them. If you can afford it, enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Follow up regularly to achieve response. If your members respond instantly, skip this! If not, offer incentives for responding early. Set two deadline dates and for the earlier offer  a 5% discount  1st choice of tee time  something free or discounted Celebrate the first response as one of your awards: “…and again this year for the 60th consecutive reunion, Auntie Erika got her reservation in before anyone else!” If you’re lucky, you’ll have a many-way tie. Invitation goals are to encourage

 registration  anticipation  interest  participation  attendance Invitation essentials answer

 what?  when? (time, day, date and rain date)  where?  cost? Rain or shine!  deadline(s) Say it or have a rain date  RSVP


The invitation publicizes

 dates, details, prices  accommodations  special reunion events  themes, contests  special guests  programs, activities and worship services


If you are searching for members or simply want the world to know about your reunion – publicize it.  Send a notice to REUNIONS MAGAZINE for web listing.  Send a notice – invitation – to local or specialty newspapers and associations.


Include deadlines and an RSVP in mailings

For each mailing you should count Paper Printing Envelope Postage Labels (material + printing)

x x x x x

(#) = $ ________ (#) = ________ (#) = ________ (#) = ________ (#) = ________ Total $ ________


11 t h E d i t i o n 31

GETTING THERE If members are flying  What are the nearest airports?  Are connections good for all members?  Investigate special group fares or charter flights.  Is shuttle service available?

If members are arriving by train or bus  What is the nearest stop/station?  Are there convenient connections to arrive close to the reunion destination?  Does the hotel have a shuttle?

If members are chartering a motorcoach  Listen to "How to hire a mororcoach;" a podcast at  Determine interest  Is there coach parking at hotels, attractions and parks?  Will coach provide transportation throughout reunion?  Figure out the minimum number needed to break even.  Hire motorcoach  Sell seats  Sing all the way to your reunion

If members are driving  Provide maps and directions  How far must they travel?  How long will it take?  Are there construction or heavy traffic considerations?  What does parking cost?


Jordan Family Reunion

FREE STUFF Lots free for your reunion!

to see what’s new to help reunions. Last year a Reunions reader won the See all the free stuff at to help you plan American Airlines Family Reunion Sweepstakes. your reunion. This is just a sample.  Free picture gallery online  Free podcasts Topics include how to set your reunion Join the reunion crowd! Add your reunion picture to our gallery. date, ideas for kids, how convention See requirements online or send to and visitors bureaus help reunions, with reunion ideas for reunion goody bags, awards and prizes and many more. Listen now name in the subject line or mail to: or upload to your iPod or mp3 player!  Free reunion timetable Just starting a reunion or need a list to guide you? Print this timetable from click on “getting started,” then “choosing a date.”  Free fundraising helpers Check contests and sweepstakes regularly online at


11 t h E d i t i o n

 Free reunion chatter Learn from and join reunion discussions. Answer questions and ask some of your own! Join anytime, 24/7:  Free copy of Reunions magazine Request your copy at

 Free monthly email newsletter All about reunions. New contests and sweepstakes, publicity opportuniReunions Magazine ties and lots of reunion-planning P.O. Box 11727 reminders. Send your email address Milwaukee WI 53211 and request to receive the newsletter  Free reunion announcements online to  Free reunion evaluation form See lists of upcoming reunion at Learn more at, Send reunion name, date, place and contact information “Wrapping up your reunion.” to to add yours. *See Reunions magazine on facebook.

REUNION ACTIVITIES WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU GET THERE These are activities to plan ahead and organize for reunion day. If yours is a large reunion or you have many activities planned and, if your reunion will last several days, consider a printed program. Make it a memento.

Activity or program times, places and requirements should be printed chronologically. Note: This is intentionally excessive to include many examples.


Friday NOON - 9:00 PM • Registration 7:00 PM • OPENING RECEPTION

The first activity sets the tone for your reunion... make it festive. MEET and GREET Icebreakers Use icebreakers to introduce, reintroduce or integrate; include a treasure hunt, reunion trivia or bingo.

Board games help develop intergenerational camaraderie. For win-win activities see books about non-competitive games. Round Robin introductions Self-introductions – everyone tells something about him/herself, something special or unique that’s happened since the last reunion, a milestone, success or triumph. Tell a story Ask a story teller/griot to tell about the group’s history, or about an era or special anecdotes and remembrances.


Picnic (continued)

8:00 AM • Registration 8:30 AM Breakfast 10:00 AM There should be activities for everyone. Tournaments and competitions

1:00 PM to 5:00 PM Tours

 Food; potluck, catered  Plan lots of games (and prizes) for kids

Make your group history come alive.  family homestead or farm Teams can be made up by generation or mixed  battlefield where elders or ancestors fought generations of people from scattered places so playing  schools elders attended together creates a special bond.  monuments, memorials, plaques that honor Inclement weather activities ancestors or members of your reunion group Leave no room for doubt if your reunion day is wet.  significant churches, cemeteries If you said “rain or shine,” mean it and be prepared. Accompany all tours with personalized stories. Drive by Or include a rain date in all prior communications. grandma’s house, school, church and landmarks. Noon Lunch Show off favorite museum(s), galleries, parks, zoo, exhibits, Everyone on their own or an “event,” covered dish, festivals and attractions. Ask for group rates. pizza party, trail lunch, tailgate party, beach picnic. If you’re hosting reunion guests and the tour is of your town, Picnic this is an opportunity to celebrate all the reasons you love A picnic gets everyone outdoors and is an opportunity where you live. for kids to let off steam and expend lots of energy.  Select a site with amenities suitable for your group 7:00 PM Banquet and dancing • auction • raffle • talent show  Reserve site (check local regulations) Worship service

Sunday Worship or memorial service

Remembrances are an important focus for most reunions. These are opportunities to respect and honor ancestors, classmates or fallen comrades and to celebrate special relationships. Services can be held at  the host’s church/synagogue/mosque  with host’s clergy person at the reunion site  a special outdoor place or site important to your reunion group  a cemetery  a hotel meeting room 34 REUNIONS WORKBOOK •

11 t h E d i t i o n

If it’s in a church, ask the person presiding to recognize your reunion group. Offer to participate in the service by reading or serving at the altar. Use the service to make special dedications, donations or recognition. If your reunion has an anthem or special song, ask to sing it. Memorial service A memorial service may be simple or complex. The ceremony may include a band, honor guard, guidon bearers or a simple wreath-laying with a prayer. Consider an evening candlelight service. Most importantly, honor memories of family, friend or comradeship.  Plan a dignified remembrance.  Retrace your reunion’s events and activities.  Choose songs or read excerpts from letters, diaries or histories.

Rapid City is the ideal location for reunions and special events. We are close to Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, Badlands National Park, two national caves, Custer State Park and more. Plus, we offer: s

5,300 hotel rooms



A variety of meeting spaces that are quaint and intimate or large and roomy

FREE WiFi in hotel rooms, as well as all meeting rooms, FREE Parking and FREE/discounted shuttle service


Four major airlines with direct ights from seven hubs

Download a free Meeting Professionals Guide at CONTACT LISA STORMS: | 1-800-487-3223 ext. 8487


 Photos – a collection from everyone  Collect, sort, label and mount pictures of ancestors, history, triumphs, successes, victories.  Establish a mystery photo area to display pictures you can’t identify – ask everyone to help.

 Videos/slides/movies/DVDs  Include subjects of mutual interest – past reunions, special events (mini-reunions, weddings, graduations, baptisms).  Schedule showings for rainy weather or evenings, or as background in a hospitality room, or for a reception.  Reunion histories Collect oral or video histories. Encourage kids to be interviewers, photographers, videographers.

Williams Family Reunion

 Reunion memorabilia, heirlooms, artifacts  Family tree  Time capsule

GAMES Games reunions play Capture the Flag Charades Duck, Duck, Goose Find the Leader Follow the Leader Hopscotch Hot Potato Jump Rope/Double Dutch London Bridge Mother, May I? Pin the Tail on the Donkey Red Light, Green Light Red Rover Ring around the Rosy Ring Toss Scavenger Hunt Simon Says Steel the Bacon Tag Treasure Hunt Tug of War Water Balloons Wolf & Sheep Races Egg Carry Sack Race Three-legged Race


Team sports Basketball Bowling Dodgeball Football Kickball Soccer Softball Volleyball Wiffleball Individual sports Croquet Frisbee Golf Horseshoes Swimming Tennis After dark Flashlight Tag Kick the Can Stargazing Water games Bob for Apples Dive for Pennies Tag Volleyball Water Basketball

11 t h E d i t i o n

Board games Backgammon Checkers Chess Clue Cranium Life Monopoly Pictionary Scrabble Trivial Pursuit TV board games Jeopardy Wheel of Fortune Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Card games Blackjack Bridge Canasta Cribbage Gin Rummy Go Fish Hearts Old Maid Poker Solitair UNO War

Genealogy/history games Ancestors & Questions Generations Life Stories Reminiscing Table Talk The Ungame In a category by itself Bingo In a class by themselves Crossword puzzles Dominoes Jenga Mancala Yahtzee Events Concerts Festivals Rodeo County/State Fairs

Seidemann Family Reunion






Minutes from Memphis and Tunica in Northwest Mississippi. With 37 hotels, 8 B+B’s, 250+ restaurants and lots of fun activities, a great reunion is just a phone call away.


D e S o t o C o u n t y, M i s s i s s i p p i H E R N A N D O ¡ H O R N L A K E ¡ O L I V E B R A N C H ¡ S O U T H AV E N ¡ WA L L S

$FOCUS ON KIDS Plan activities for kids, suitable to all ages present. Your goal is to keep kids happy, interested, busy, involved and interacting with cousins, family and friends. Include everyone. Emphasize non-competitive play and games.  Facepainting and temporary tattoos  History fashion show Ask families to bring clothes from other eras – dresses, hats, shoes, old jewelry. Add makeup for fun.  Piñata  Make and fly kites  Contests and races (prizes for everyone) Tug of war, three-legged race, water balloon toss, sack race, egg toss, limbo

 Arts and crafts Establish reunion colors. Have lots of paints, crayons, fingerpaints. Decorate rocks; press leaves and flowers; color family tree or crest. Make lanyard, yarn or string friendship bracelets/anklets.  Make reunion scrapbooks  Make a reunion quilt  Magician  Sports Swimming, horseback riding, tennis, football, softball, volleyball and soccer tournaments  Hiking, spelunking, exploring, discovering…  Nap area for babies and toddlers

MEETINGS REUNION MEETING Incorporated reunion groups must hold an official, annual corporate meeting. But all reunions need a time to conduct reunion business. Essential meeting business  Elect officers and committees. This is also a good time to recruit organizing help and suggestions for your next reunion.  Treasurer’s report  Set next reunion date.  Agree on next reunion place or choices for site selection committee to investigate. Optional agenda items  Enter milestones and changes in a reunion history book – births, graduations, weddings, deaths.  Make announcements of triumphs, achievements, promotions, retirements.  Instruct, announce or collect __ squares for quilts __ recipes for a cookbook __ keepsakes or treasures for display


Davis Family Reunion

Recognition, kudos and accolades

Celebrating members can be a feature of the reunion meeting or other event such as a welcome reception, banquet or dance. Recognize the person who came farthest, the oldest, youngest and ones with the most children or grandchildren; person with least hair, tallest, shortest; person who changed most, changed least; longest married, most recent parents, newest grandparents; most eligible single persons, first person to make reservations … and any awards traditional to your reunion. Farewell

Color-code your reunion. Designate a color for each branch of your family. Use the color for leaves on your family tree, name tags and t-shirts.


11 t h E d i t i o n

Sunday is often the day when tearful farewells prevail. Some reunions end after brunch, some after lunch and some go on through an afternoon picnic. When the inevitable parting time arrives, end with a circle, a moment of silent reflection or prayer for everyone’s safe trip home and return to the next reunion.

Bring the Whole Family!

to ®

t 36 Holes of Great Golf t Sleepy Creek Spa t Poolside Cookouts

Everyone has a different concept of fun. That’s why Fairfax County is the perfect destination for your family reunion. Our proximity to Washington, DC, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and other historical sites will excite some folks. The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum will inspire others. The Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts will get the music lovers in your group jazzed. And for the kids, we have everything from magnificent waterfalls to exciting water parks. Combine all that with hotel and restaurant options to fit any budget and you’ve got a destination sure to generate high praise.

Let us help you plan your next reunion. Simply visit Or call 703-790-0643

We have been planning and hosting reunions and conferences for 20 years. With our full array of accommodations and services, we can help make sure everyone has time to reminisce and enjoy their reunion.

t 4-Bedroom Cottages

t Seasonal Children’s Program


THEMES REUNION THEMES Theme parties require planning and advance warning for members to come prepared. Consider some of these ideas.  Ethnic An ethnic theme is fun and an important source of education and pride. Ask your historian for suggestions and information. Include costumes, music, dancing, food and re-enactments. If your group originated from many ethnicities, acknowledge the diversity, celebrate them all.  American history relived Revolutionary era; Old West, cowboys – a party around a campfire, read cowboy poetry, square dance, sing. Stage re-enactments or have someone teach Western dancing.  Eras Gay (18)90s; Roaring ’20s – dress like flappers, teach the Charleston; Big Band ’40s – stage a canteen dance, teach jitterbug; Rock-abilly ’50s; ’60s Hippies and Flower Children; ’70s Disco.

 Celebrate events Kentucky Derby; Oscars/Emmys – fashion your awards ceremony like the really lavish affairs; World Series; Olympics – make your tournament a group Olympics; Super Bowl; Space Odyssey – ask everyone who remembers to tell about when they saw the first person walk on the moon; Mardi Gras.  Crazy costumes Outrageous ties, crazy sweaters, silly socks, denim and diamonds, vintage from different eras.  Miscellaneous Hawaiian luau – encourage costumes, hand out paper leis, build palm trees, spread a little sand, sing Hawaiian songs; French bistro; regatta; pirates; tropical paradise; Cajun; Caribbean; beach; casino night; murder mystery; dance party; fiesta; and any other theme you can think of from movies or TV (Sesame Street, Star Trek, This is Your Life).  Surprises Christmas in July; beach in December.  What are your unique entertainment ideas?



The workbook is a tool with infinite uses. Not only is it good for organizing family reunions but also it's a great tool for organizing many different types of events, e.g., fundraisers, class reunions and church events. Great reference to focus you and remind you to cross your "eyes" and dot your "tees"! Thelma Jones, Washington DC, Banks Hill Outlaw Family Reunion

Pague Family Reunion


Recently a friend sent me a copy of her Reunions Workbook. This book is awesome and I would like to obtain additional copies for our reunion committee members. Each reunion has a different host/hostess supported by a committee, but each time the same questions come up and your workbook addresses the majority of those questions. Peter Chenoweth, Hephzibah, Georgia, Chenoweth Family Association

Thank you very much for sending Reunions magazine and the great Reunions Workbook. Having planned the Scott Family Reunion in Virginia on short notice from Oklahoma and again with two years to plan it, I definitely could have used all the help I could get and these publications would have provided it. Nancy Calhoun, Muskogee, Oklahoma, Scott Family Reunion


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ACTIVITIES Activities K Feature home-grown talent

Encourage members to showcase special talents; classical trio for a reception; soloists for after-dinner entertainment; skits, dancing, a comedian or karaoke. K Your reunion theater Ask a talented group member or hire an actor to portray a “founding parent,” group leader or legend. Ask members to write, script and perform family history events. K Speakers Ask an elder or genealogist to speak about family or group history, genealogy; hire motivational speaker. K Storytelling Encourage parents, grandparents and other favorite relatives to talk or contact the National Association of Storytellers. K Movies Show old time silent films and ask someone to narrate. Select favorites from then and now. Have an intergenerational talk about movies – with people who’ve witnessed the history of film. K Videos or slide shows Show family videos, past reunions, travelogs. Rent videos. K Workshops Workshops about family health history, investing and money management, scrapbooking, parenting, political action. Use members who are experts or invite experts. K Lessons Ask members to share their expertise at cooking, baking, golf, rollerblading, kite flying, fishing. K Quiz show Pick a favorite quiz show and re-enact it with members as contestants. Make questions about your group. Attend a show, if you’re in the neighborhood. K Predict the future Ask a psychic, tarot card or palm reader to entertain with predictions of a fabulous reunion and future.

K Teach dances Hire or draft someone to teach new steps; line or swing dancing, macarena, hip hop. Get everyone involved. Have the young teach older members the latest dance steps and older members teach the waltz, swing, bunny hop or Charleston. K Disc jockey Be sure he/she has a wide variety of music from swing to Top 40 (or whatever the number is now!). K Break out in song Form a reunion musical group or choir to rehearse at the reunion and perform at a function or in church on Sunday.


Zilke-Krause Fam

ily Reunion

K Magic show Use home-grown or hire talent. Teach kids to do magic! K Mystery night Hire a theatre troupe to perform or ask members to stage a reunion mystery. K Life achievement celebration Honor rites of passage and achievements; graduates, newlyweds, new babies, promotions, retirements. These can be incorporated into memorial or religious services. Ethnic celebrations, e.g., African American families incorporate Kwaanza principles to strengthen family celebrations.


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FOOD: SUSTAINING REUNIONS Food is a focal and memorable feature of all reunions. Reunion meals range from potluck picnics to formal banquets. Each meal requires careful planning whether the organizer is the cook, everybody chips in or all meals are catered. Reunion events where guests eat and drink might include a welcome reception, breakfast meeting, working lunch, luncheon for spouses, memorial brunch, coffee/refreshment breaks, dinner dance and awards banquet, and, of course, a picnic. General considerations for meal planning

K Consider special diets for health or religious reasons. K Mealtime must accommodate all generations. K If there are several generations, should adults and children sit together or separately? K Handicap access and ease – closest to the rest room, end spot for wheelchairs, highchairs and boosters.

FOR SOME GROUPS, COOKING IS THE ACTIVITY. There should be a head cook, “chef” or designated person-in-charge who makes menus, delegates assignments, gathers ingredients and keeps preparation on time and on track. The bustle and camaraderie of a large group cooking together can add to the fun. Assign non-cooks to kitchen patrol.

Where will meals be served?

How to pay for food

If the reunion lasts for several days, many variations are possible. K everyone pay as you go K all meals included in price of reunion or facility cost K some meals included in reunion cost, others on their own Pricing meals

Price items carefully before you announce your reunion cost. Unless you have a benefactor, pass all charges on to your members. Include all the following in the cost. Cost per plate x number expected = $ _____________ Rentals (tent, dishes, flatware, tables, chairs) $ _____________ Decorations $ _____________ Set up cost $ _____________ Taxes $ _____________ Gratuities $ _____________ Insurance $ _____________ Total $ _____________ To determine individual costs, divide total by number expected. Time to pay – if food is part of cost It is easiest if guests pay when they send in reservations. Ask hotel sales manager how to handle no-shows. Announce in advance that last-minute nonpaying guests may not be accommodated.


K at home K at a church, synagogue, mosque K at a restaurant K banquet room at a hotel K at a special venue; museum, botanical garden, zoo Does venue require a designated caterer? K park

K at random K a head/speaker table K placecards Identify families or subgroups by color or border design. K assigned by subgroup: squadron, school year, generation Will the meal be followed by…

K a program K music K dancing

Rockwell Family Reunion

CATERING SERVICES… Caterers can help with many details in addition to food. Most can recommend places and provide supplies and rentals. The caterer will need to know

How many people will be served? ____ K Number of adults _____ K Number of children ____ Will the meal be…

K formal K informal 42 REUNIONS WORKBOOK •

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Will caterer…

K deliver, set up, serve, clean up? Make provision for leftovers. K include flatware, dishes, tablecloths and centerpieces? K deliver food without set-up and service? K provide food for you to pick up?

FOOD: SUSTAINING REUNIONS *Cost per person or per adult and per child $________ x number of people ________ = $_________

K Friday evening: Reception hors d’oeuvres, open bar, soft drinks *Cost per person or per adult and per child $________ x number of people ________ = $_________

K Saturday morning: Breakfast in hotel cafe or buffet; everyone pays their own *Cost per person or per adult and per child $________ x number of people ________ = $_________

K Saturday lunch: Box lunches furnished for a bus tour *Cost per person or per adult and per child $________ x number of people ________ = $_________

K Saturday evening: Adults – open bar, banquet, dancing Kids – early pizza party followed by a movie and snacks *Cost per person or per adult and per child $________ x number of people ________ = $_________

K Sunday morning: Brunch buffet *Cost per person or per adult and per child $________ x number of people ________ = $_________

K Sunday picnic *Final cost includes tax, gratuity, set-up cost, room rental and decorations.

POTLUCK PICNIC You’ll need… K a designated space K someone in charge K in case of inclement weather, a shelter or an alternative site K a menu – ensure all food groups and group favorites are included K members who volunteer or are assigned to bring food, beverages Encourage cooks to bring special favorites. Ask them to bring copies of recipes, then organize a recipe exchange.

K volunteers for K set up K service K clean up K ways to keep food and beverages hot or cold K grills, if not provided K ice, water K paper goods: plates, napkins, cups, plastic flatware and glasses K tablecovers K rentals – tables, chairs, tent, porta toilets

LET THE HOTEL DO THE COOKING Good communication with the hotel’s catering and beverage manager and staff ensures their devotion to your reunion. They can save you fromcostly mistakes and make you a winner. Costs, menu choice, number of courses and service type (buffet, sit-down) are all important. K Communicate early with catering and beverage managers. They know current trends – what works and what doesn’t. K Inform them about your group and its budget. It also helps if you know members’ likes and dislikes. K Ask about alcohol regulations. Each food and beverage function requires

K a count guarantee 48 hours before the event Other considerations

K theme – Western, ethnic, holiday, Star Wars, Valentine, whether corresponding menu is desired K decorations K music K beverage set-up What local regulations apply? Can you supply your own liquor, beer and wine? Is there a corkage fee? K seating arrangements K cost

PLANNING A REUNION BANQUET Choose and sample the menu before the reunion to avoid surprises. Many establishments offer a choice of entrees; if guests must choose main dish ahead of time, include the information on your registration. K banquet only K awards banquet K dinner/dance K buffet style K sit-down Ask about the waiter-to-table ratio – it affects service speed. K hors d’oeuvres only K dessert only

Set schedule for the banquet

K gathering time before food is served K service and meal time K speaker(s) schedule K entertainment time(s)

Type of bar setup

K open K cash K tickets


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There are many ways to document reunions. New technology for preserving reunions makes us wish there’d been something like this to record our grandparents’ get-togethers. Now you must preserve reunions for your grandchildren using the myriad of tools available. Involve children and teenagers. Purposes for recording your reunion K as a keepsake K to preserve history K as a fundraiser to sell to members

Tips for video success

Careful planning is crucial. Planning ahead means the difference between disappointment and a gratifying, entertaining record of your reunion. K Rehearsal helps. Subjects relax, feel comfortable talking into a microphone and in front of a camera. K Take your time; don’t rush making a video tape. K Check camera/microphone batteries. K Have sufficient supplies. Formats to consider Film, batteries, bulbs, tapes K Audio tape K Clean lenses. Audio tapes combined with photos create an excellent K Test equipment to ensure everything is working family history account. Any tape recorder will do. A good properly. microphone, however, is essential. The best kind for recording K Forget bargain tapes. individuals is a small lavalier microphone clipped to a shirt or dress. If you are interviewing more than one person, Buy the best quality tapes for video and audio a hand-held microphone can be passed to achieve clear recording. sound. Make sure the microphone is aimed toward the K Use a tripod to steady the camera and facilitate speaker’s mouth. “zoom” shots. K Photographs K Use effective lighting. Photographs, especially photos on CD, can easily be Back or side lighting eliminates shadows. incorporated into a video or in computer-generated K Rent lighting equipment, if necessary. documents and books. K Use lapel/lavalier microphone for the best possible K Video tape voice recording. Video recording creates a sense of atmosphere. If you K Have extra sets of batteries for all equipment. can interview at the place where an event happened, memories flow more naturally. K Make a plan. If you don’t own a video camera, rent one. It can be short or detailed as necessary. Cover all highK Become familiar with the equipment. lights. The outcome – not the production – is your goal. K Spend time practicing before the reunion. K Carefully assess the guest list. K Ask for help with basics. Make notes about guests that suggest places, angles High school and college students often know a lot about and contexts in which each should be photographed. video production. Concentrate on the oldest and youngest family members. K Or hire a professional. Ask for samples, resumes and references. Lights, camera and action! K Computer K Arrivals and departures are events. Compilation of family history is enormously enhanced by A novel way to edit a video might be to show happy software and Internet access. New applications are always farewells at the beginning, then show what produced being developed to integrate and manipulate still and such joy and happiness. moving pictures, voices and music. Use the occasion of the K Let youngsters tell what’s on their minds. reunion to gather more information for your project. “Kids say the darndest things” and their video-taped Be prepared expressions may be the bear rug pictures of the future. The photographer/videographer must expect to sacrifice social K Take pictures in the kitchen. time and be available to capture spontaneity or hire professionals. Gossip, giggling and stories galore. Tell the story K Enlist a photographer’s helper of group food traditions. Interview cooks and food Engage a well-organized adolescent or teenager to captains. Ask for their tips, hints and recipes. carry a clipboard and keep a list of people as they’re K If your reunion meal is pot luck, the groaning photographed. board is an event. K Include everyone Be there when all the food is on display – the magic Including everyone ensures an audience. Everyone whose time of awe – the silence between the dinner bell and picture is taken will be interested in seeing the outcome. If the matriarch bidding, “Dig in.” Include a special highlights and special events are featured, you will have a blessing, which may be the only solemn moment. genuine treasure to be viewed for generations to come. Respect the wishes of persons who prefer not to be photographed.


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K Use video and audio to talk to elders. Encourage tall tales about covered wagons, floods, tornados, births, deaths, triumphs…and small tales about love, wisdom and the secrets to a good life. K Pinpoint places and objects of interest Interview at a home, church or school. If being at an exact place isn’t feasible, contact a museum and ask if Grandma can sit in or near a period collection while you record her memories. If she is recalling her wedding, ask her to wear or show her wedding dress. Use props, don’t just include “talking heads.” Use farm implements in a scene about farm memories or an airplane for memories of your subject’s flying days. K Encourage kids to talk to elders. K Collect history from elders.

FINISHING TOUCHES All video tapes need editing. Spend the extra money for professional tape editing. Check the Yellow Pages under “Video Tape Duplicating & Transfer Service” and “Video Tape Editing Service.” Video editors can strategically place dates and names, dub-in music and close-up shots of photos, memorabilia or artifacts pertinent to the story. Professional editing will give your tape the look of a professional production. The finished tape is a precious record of family history. Professional copies of the master tape are also advised. Prices vary according to tape and labor costs. Save original tape and update to state-of-the-art medium at least every five years. Who will distribute pictures or videos?

If pictures or videos will be offered for sale as a reunion fundraiser, consider these. K Photographer The photographer can charge and keep income from photos or mark up price and share profit with the reunion. K You or someone you appoint Buy (mark up or sell at cost) and distribute to members.

Wright Family Reunion

e WRAP UP & EVALUATE YOUR REUNION It’s not over til it’s over. Success includes some final steps. Each of the following is very important. On-site K Return all borrowed equipment (overhead projector, VCR and stapler from the sales office). K Pay all your bills. K Meet with hotel staff to make certain everything is okay. It’s easier to solve problems in person than by letter, email, or phone later. K Tip staff who deserve special consideration. K Collect all the data and information you can about the number of rooms used by your group, the number of meals eaten in the hotel’s restaurant and the amount of room service. This information is important for your next reunion negotiation to demonstrate your business and economic value. It is well worth the effort. K For a full reunion evaluation form for members and committees, go to to “Wrap up your reunion.” Or send stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Reunions Magazine P.O. Box 11727 Milwaukee WI 53211

Not much later

K Write thank-you notes to committee members and key hotel staff. Write a letter to the hotel’s general manager and recognize employees – by name – who did an outstanding job. Such letters help management make decisions about raises and promotions. You may also wish to give them a t-shirt, hat or other memento from your group. K Include a reunion summary from the chairperson, recommendations and treasurer’s report in a mailing or newsletter. K Analyze all the information you collect – both positive and negative – and give it to the committee for your next reunion.

Finally Sit back and contemplate the fact that each reunion presents new faces, challenges, problems and successes.

Celebrate your success! REUNIONS WORKBOOK •

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DIRECTORY Reunion-Planning Resources Found Here! The following directory includes reunion-friendly attractions, cruise lines, destinations, hotels and reunion service providers, eager to help you plan your next memorable reunion. Contact them first! This directory and other reunion-planning resources are available online at and ATTRACTIONS

National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Atlantic City CVA


25 Main St. Cooperstown, NY 13326 888-425-5633 Visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, where we continue to preserve baseball's rich history, honor the game’s greatest players and their achievements and connect generations of fans every day. For more information, visit

2314 Pacific Ave. Atlantic City, NJ 08401 609-449-7151 Here, excitement is always in season! Atlantic City delivers the fun, with sizzling casino action, distinctive dining, exhilarating night life, electrifying entertainment, rejuvenating spas, free beaches, stylish outlet shopping and of course, our legendary Boardwalk. We are here to assist you in planning your reunion group trip.

Arizona Renaissance Festival 12601 E. U.S. Hwy. 60 Apache Junction, AZ 85218 800-773-0715 The Arizona Renaissance Festival is a medieval amusement park, a 12-stage theater, a 30-acre circus, an arts and crafts fair, a jousting tournament and a feast -- all rolled into one non-stop, day-long, group-friendly adventure!

Arkansas State Parks 870-983-2122 Arkansas - The Natural State - offers a patchwork of experiences, scenery, cultures and adventures. The state's rich natural and cultural heritage is reflected in the diversity of facilities within the Arkansas State Parks system.

B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center 400 Second St. Indianola, MS 38751 662-887-9539 The 20,000 square-foot, $15-million facility is built around the last standing brick cotton gin in MS where young Riley B. King once worked. Showcasing awardwinning high-def films, interactive exhibits, rare artifacts, photos and plenty of music. Open daily.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum 222 Fifth Ave. South Nashville, TN 37203 800-852-6437 Call 1-800-852-6437 for information on our unique group packages that keep groups coming back again and again.

Grand Ole Opry 2802 Opryland Dr. Nashville, TN 37214 615-458-7373 What began as a simple radio broadcast in 1925 is today a live-entertainment phenomenon, showcasing a mix of country legends and contemporary chart-toppers, world famous for creating one-of-a-kind entertainment moments that are not to be missed.

Mall of America 60 E. Broadway Bloomington, MN 55415 800-879-3555 The nation's largest retail and entertainment complex under one roof offers the ultimate shopping experience. Boasting more than 520 stores and 50 restaurants, the world's largest indoor amusement park and a world-class aquarium.

Museum of African American History 315 E. Warren Ave. Detroit, MI 48201 313-494-5800 The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is a world-renowned history museum with outstanding collections and research used to produce innovative exhibits that celebrate significant events and accomplishments of African Americans.


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Six Flags Magic Mountain 26101 Magic Mountain Parkway Valencia, CA 91355 661-255-4824 Located north of Los Angeles off interstate 5 at the Magic Mountain Parkway exit. Six Flags Magic Mountain is the “Coaster Capital of the World” with a total of 18 roller coasters—more than any other theme park on the planet.

The Armed Forces Military Museum 2050 34th Way North Largo, FL 33708 727-539-8371 The largest military collection in the state of Florida and named Best Museum in Tampa Bay. A destination for every military buff, veteran, historian. Dedicated to our men and women who have fought for our freedom. Animated dioramas with sound effects put you in the middle of the action. Suitable for all ages!

US Naval Academy-Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center 52 King George St. Annapolis, MD 21402 410-293-8687 Undergraduate college of the US Navy. We welcome tour groups for historical, educational & military reunion tours. Tour & tea program available. Free film, exhibits and official Naval Academy gift shop.

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Royal Caribbean International 800-205-9812 With a Royal Reunions package, your group will enjoy special onboard events and receive great perks like a rock-climbing session, a photo package and more.

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Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau 233 Peachtree St. N.E., Suite 1400 Atlanta, GA 30303 404-521-6638 With exciting new attractions, a remarkable historic legacy, a thriving cultural scene and affordable fun for all, Atlanta is the perfect destination for family reunions.

Berkeley Chamber of Commerce 1004 Old Highway 52 Moncks Corner, SC 29461 800-882-0337 Relax, Renew, Reunite. Come see why so many people choose Berkeley County, South Carolina as their preferred reunion destination. Enjoy historical sites, restaurants, gift shops and group friendly activities which attract visitors from around the world.

Branson Lakes Area CVB 269 State Hwy. 248 Branson, MO 65615 800-214-3661 Truly a one-of-a-kind destination—with more than 50 live performance theaters, three pristine lakes, 12 championship golf courses, award-winning theme park, dozens of attractions and museums, an Historic Downtown, great shopping, dining and more!

Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau 10 N. Van Buren St. Nashville, IN 47448 800-753-3255 Welcoming, locally-owned accommodations and meeting spaces, personalized group activities and outstanding scenery. Enjoy our “Arts, Nature and Adventure,” Central Midwest location and reunion planning assistance.

Chicago Southland CVB 2304 173rd St. Lansing, IL 60438 888-895-3211 Experience the biggest backyard in the nation…The Chicago Southland. Easy access to Midway and O’Hare international Airports and interstates I-55, I-57, I-80, I-90, I-94 and I-294, The Chicago Southland is Chicago’s most convenient and affordable destination!

City of Lynnwood 4114 198th St. S.W., Suite 7 Lynnwood, WA 98046 425-670-5043 Located 12 miles north of Seattle; Abundant shopping and dining; Quality hotels 40% below downtown rates; Gateway to beaches, ferries, wineries, casinos, mountains and more.

Custer State Park Resort 25453 SD Hwy. 87 Custer, SD 57730 605-255-4672 Custer State Park Resort is home to four distinct and different historical lodges in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. Lodging choices include historic Lodge rooms, hotel, motel and cabin choices.

DeSoto County Tourism 4716 Pepper Chase Drive Southaven, MS 38671 662-393-8770 Southern hospitality, great weather, challenging golf and year-round festivals are but a few reasons to have your group tour stay in DeSoto County. DeSoto County is an oasis of southern comfort, surrounded by music legends, great sports and lady luck.

Experience Columbus 277 W. Nationwide Blvd. Columbus, OH 43215 800-354-2657 Columbus is ranked one of the top value destinations in the country. Planning a family reunion in Columbus is easy. Plus, all of our services are free. We will assist you with finding hotels, local attractions and more. And when the time comes, we’ll provide you with visitor guides, visitor maps, plastic bags and pens.

Gettysburg CVB 571 W. Middle St. Gettysburg, PA 17325 800-337-5015 Plan today for the 150th Anniversary! Experience the history in Gettysburg through battlefield and town tours, attractions, living history and historic restaurants. Itineraries, FAMs, receptive services and promo tools available. Bring your troops!

Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau 2200 Ninth Ave. North Birmingham, AL 35203 800-458-8085 Birmingham is becoming one of the most celebrated reunion cities in the Southeast. There are lots of details to see to - good planning is hard work. The Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau is here to help.

Hot Springs Village Chamber 4585 Hwy. 7 N., Suite 9 Hot Springs Village, AR 71910 501-922-0322 Hot Springs Village, a 26,000-acre gated community nestled in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains in Central Arkansas, is the perfect reunion place. Offering 8 golf courses, tournament quality tennis centers and 11 lakes, 2 event centers and a performing arts center (seat up to 320 each for a sit down dinner, 450 for a lecture) for your special occasion. We also have pavilions on 2 sandy beaches, complete with grills and sound systems. Hot Springs Village is the place for something unique and special.

Killeen CVB 3601 South W.S. Young Dr. Killeen, TX 76542 254-501-3888 Meet. Play. Eat. Stay. When you visit Killeen. Proud neighbor of Fort Hood, the world's largest military installation, and home to a state-of-the-art Civic & Conference Center, the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport, over 35 hotel choices, unique attractions, festivals and Rodeo Killeen. Come see “Where Freedom Grows.”

Kissimmee-St. Cloud Convention & Visitors Bureau 1925 E. Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy. Kissimmee, FL 34744 407-742-8254 In Kissimmee, the Heart of Florida, next to Orlando and close to everything, reunions are our specialty. We offer planning assistance to reunions of all sizes and budgets. Let us help you make planning your next reunion easy. Call or email for details about Kissimmee's reunion venues and services.


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Prince William County

Tupelo CVB

4746 Main St. Lisle, IL 60532 800-733-9811 Only 25 miles from Chicago, Midway and O'Hare Airports, Lisle is home to the naturally green Morton Arboretum and boasts four full-service hotels, all with green practices in place. Be refreshingly different. Meet green in Lisle.

10611 Balls Ford Rd., Suite 110 Manassas, VA 20109 703-396-7130 Discover Prince William-Manassas, VA. Explore our many historic sites and museums, enjoy world-class arts and events, savor delicious group dining options and more just 29 miles from Washington DC. Commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War with more than 80 themed activities and events planned in 2011.

P.O. Box 47 Tupelo, MS 38802 800-533-0611 Hold your next reunion in Tupelo! We're less than a half day's drive from Atlanta, Memphis, Jackson, Birmingham and Nashville. We're centrally located and have facilities, attractions, parks and restaurants to ensure that you and yours have the time of your life! Need help planning? Call us!

Myrtle Beach Area CVB 1200 N. Oak St. Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 800-488-8998 Plan your next group trip to Myrtle Beach & The Grand Strand. Exciting attractions, theater and great hotel values. Request your free guide to the Myrtle Beach area and start planning your next group getaway to Myrtle Beach!

New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau 2020 St. Charles Ave. New Orleans, LA 70130 800-748-8695 x 5018 Let us assist with your family reunion planning by helping you select a date with the best hotel rates and providing you with activity, event and sightseeing information. Our services are free.

New Orleans Plantation Country 2900 Hwy. 51 La Place, LA 70068 866-204-7782 Explore a place where time stands still, historic plantations await your visit, each with their own unique story and mystique, overlooking sugar cane fields & ancient avenues of oaks. Cajun and Creole cuisine & culture, just minutes from New Orleans.

North Little Rock CVB 1 Elder Johnson Dr. North Little Rock, AR 72119 800-643-4690 North Little Rock has it all -- wonderful outdoor activities, interesting attractions, fun shopping, restaurants serving delicious meals, and great historical treasures.

Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism P.O. Box 1390 Pigeon Forge, TN 37868 800-285-7557 Pigeon Forge, Tennessee -- We’re a gold mine for reunions. Need attractions? Try Dollywood, Titanic Pigeon Forge, Zorb and the action-packed Parkway. Want nature? Great Smoky Mountains National Park is next-door. Want entertainment? More than a dozen theaters await you. Hungry? We’ll feed you well. See our display ad!

Prince George’s County CVB 9200 Basil Court, Suite 101 Largo, MD 20774 301-925-8300 With exciting attractions, wonderful amenities, and immediate proximity to downtown Washington, DC, there's no better destination for your next family, military, class, social or fraternity/sorority reunion.


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Visit Fairfax Pulaski County Tourism Bureau 137 St. Robert Blvd. St. Robert, MO 65584 1-877-858-8687 Centrally located between Branson and St. Louis, Missouri on I-44. Enjoy the museums at Fort Leonard Wood or family activities on the Gasconade and Big Piney Rivers. Trail of Tears, Historic Route 66, fairs, festivals, antiques and more. Over 1,500 sleeping rooms and 70 restaurants including the Cave Restaurant, dining in a real cave.

7927 Jones Branch Dr., South Wing 100 McLean, VA 22102 703-790-0643 Enjoy everything that Northern Virginia has to offer. From the monuments and memorials of nearby Washington, DC to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center to George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens, Fairfax County is an ideal location for your military or family reunion.

West Virginia Mountain Highlands Quad Cities CVB 1601 River Dr., Suite 110 Moline, IL 61265 800-747-7800 ext. 100 All the excitement of a big city with the hospitality of a small town. Our award-winning museums and cultural centers, internationally-recognized festivals, beautiful riverfront, scrumptious dining and vibrant nightlife makes the QC your next tour.

Rapid City CVB 444 Mt. Rushmore Rd. North Rapid City, SD 57701 800-487-3223 ext 8487 Central to Mount Rushmore National Memorial, national parks, historic military memorials and a variety of attractions, Rapid City offers unique, affordable adventures for every reunion. Learn more about Rapid City, our 5,300 hotel rooms and direct flights from seven hubs at

Sandy Springs Hospitality & Tourism 5920 Roswell Rd., Suite A-118 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 866-511-7742 Sandy Springs, conveniently located minutes from Atlanta, boasts more than 50,000 feet of meeting space and offers 20 upscale hotels. For your reunion, choose us!

Snowmass Tourism P.O. Box 5566 Snowmass Village, CO 81615 970-923-2000 800-598-2009 Looking to plan the perfect reunion? Snowmass Tourism makes it easy. From a personalized package on our website to customized evites to your event, to one-stop booking for lodging, meals, and activities, our experts have the answers to all your questions. Best of all, our services are absolutely free. Give us a call today, and we’ll help you plan the perfect affordable getaway.

P.O. Box 1456 Elkins, WV 26241 877-982-6867 Schedule your next group trip to the Mountain Highlands of Wild, Wonderful West Virginia. You'll be surprised the hidden treasures that await you!

Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau 115 LaCrosse St. Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965 800-223-3557 With over 100 entertainment options and 80 diverse dining choices, there's sure to be an itinerary your group will applaud.

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Buca di Beppo Restaurant 866-941-2822 At Buca di Beppo, groups of all sizes and ages step into Little Italy and enjoy a variety of group menus to satisfy everyone’s palate and budget. For group rates or to book your reservation, call our National Sales Team.

Buffets, Inc. — Group Reservations 866-840-6654 Get your group the best value in dining and the best variety at Old Country Buffet, Ryan’s Grill Buffet and Bakery, HomeTown Buffet, Fire Mountain Grill and Country Buffet. With more than 500 locations nationwide, we’re always on your way.

Old Country Buffet — Group Reservations 866-840-6654 It’s not easy to make everyone in a big group happy. Unless, of course, you come here. With banquet rooms available at many locations at no additional charge and over 100 menu items to choose from, our restaurants are perfect for your group dining.

Ryan’s Grill, Buffet & Bakery—Group Reservations 866-840-6654 If you’re planning a gathering for 20 or more people, we’ll help make planning easier. Our large and inviting restaurants can accommodate a gathering of any size and many locations have a banquet room for your use at no additional charge.

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Best Western Wynwood Hotel & Suites 580 US 1 Bypass Portsmouth, NH 03801 603-436-7600 Our group-friendly hotel, just a mile from downtown Portsmouth, hosts reunions throughout the year! Find out why the Phantom Gourmet raves about our restaurant "The Roundabout Diner & Lounge".

Cragun’s Resort 11000 Craguns Dr. Brainerd, MN 56401 800-272-4867 Worry-free reunions at Cragun’s Resort. Named “One of Minnesota’s ideal locations to hold a Reunion” by AAA. Call for your free Family Reunion Planning Packet.


Grand Hyatt 600 E. Market St. San Antonio, TX 78205 210-224-1234 Take advantage of our premier setting adjacent to the convention center, Hemis Fair Park and on the Riverwalk’s outstanding amenities and unprecedented service levels to make your experience extraordinary.

Grand Sierra Resort and Casino 2500 E. Second St. Reno, NV 89595 866-473-6672 Just five short minutes from the Reno/Tahoe International Airport and just 45 minutes from majestic Lake Tahoe. With 2,000 rooms and suites, a full service casino, 10 distinct restaurants, an 1,800-seat theater with headlining entertainment, branded retail shops, a cinema, a 50-lane championship bowling center, outdoor thrill rides, aqua golf driving range, and Fun Quest Family Fun Center, you’ll never run out of fun and exciting things to do.


Hyatt Regency San Antonio 123 Losoya San Antonio, TX 78205 210-222-1234 Experience the heart of the Riverwalk at Hyatt Regency San Antonio. We are the only San Antonio Riverwalk hotel directly overlooking the historic Alamo & on the Riverwalk, connecting two of San Antonio's top destinations through our 16-story atrium.

Killington Resort 4763 Killington Rd. Killington, VT 05751 800-621-6867 The summer season is packed full of events from the sounds of the Killington Music Festival, to the tastings of the Killington Wine Festival. A Killington summer vacation truly offers something for every mood, taste and budget no matter the group!

Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort 1200 South Ocean Blvd. Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 800-200-8687 Reunions made easy! Specializing in reunions from military to family at the most affordable rates in Myrtle Beach. Sea Mist's premier oceanfront location is near shopping, theaters and golf courses. Over 600 of our 800 units have been completely remodeled, restaurants, miniature golf, 10 pools, Jacuzzis, fitness room, 17,000-sq.ft. of versatile meeting space and much more!


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Seven Crown Resorts 8 Thomas, Suite 200 Irvine, CA 92618 800-752-9669 Seven Crown Resorts offers houseboat getaways on Lake Shasta, Lake Mohave and the California Delta. All houseboats offer a fully-stocked kitchen, air-conditioning, BBQ and more.

Space to Work. Room to Relax.

The Lodge & Conference Center at Geneva-on-The-Lake

Galveston is the place for family and military reunions, educational field trips and seminars. The Victorian Condo Hotel Resort and Conference Center is a favorite destination for those planning reunions, church and school events. Our staff has the expertise to meet your expectations for meeting facilities and to provide options for your groups’ outings to the Island’s world-class attractions. Over 10,000 square feet of of indoor and outdoor meetings areas, for groups of 12 to 300.

4888 N. Broadway SR 534 Geneva-on-the-Lake, OH 44041 866-312-4941 Offering breathtaking views of Lake Erie and the kind of relaxing getaway that is all too often hard to find. Discover an Ohio vacation that is perfect for your group at the resort with one of our many on-property activities and explore Ashtabula.

The Woods Resort & Conference Center 1694 The Woods Rd. Hedgesville, WV 25427 800-248-2222 The casual and affordable resort offers a perfect setting for retreats: lodges & cottages, dining, golf, swimming, tennis, sports center and spa—all in a lovely natural setting!

Timber Tops

6300 Seawall • Galveston • TX • Director of Sales & Catering • Jennifer Kirk • 800.231.6363 ext. 2231

1440 Upper Middle Creek Rd. Sevierville, TN 37876 800-266-1066 Cabins in the Smokies. Timber Tops offers luxury cabins and resort facilities to accommodate

large groups. These incredible cabins can include big screen TVs, game rooms with pool tables, hot tubs, gorgeous mountain views, and close proximity to all the fun attractions in Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge, TN and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Victorian Condos 6300 Seawall Blvd. Galveston, TX 77551 409-740-3555 Spacious one-and-two-bedroom condominiums with beautiful Gulf view from your private balcony, over plenty of room to accommodate your group.

TOUR OPERATOR ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■

Collette Vacations 800-852-5655 Collette Vacations, fulfilling vacation dreams for 90 years. When you travel with us, you choose choice, security and dependability. We share your passion and mission to open the door of discovery and wonderful travel experiences for your group.

Equator3 Tours, LLC 175 E. 96th Street Ste. 18Q New York City, NY 10128 212-348-5449 Equator3 Tours has selected destinations that offer an array of the fun, the exciting, the educational, the cultural, and the exotic, while at the same time providing adequate opportunities for often much needed relaxation. We can customize a program to suit your groups’ needs, leave your reunion planning to us.

Globus Family of Brands

Minutes from the monuments and museums of our Nation’s Capital and in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic region, Prince George’s County Maryland is your home for an unforgettable reunion. Visit for everything reunions.

800-221-0090 The Globus family of brands has 80 years of experience specializing in first-class escorted vacations, independent packages and river cruises for discriminating group travelers.

REUNION RESOURCES ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ FOUNDED


Class Creator 3060 Packard Rd., Suite G Ann Arbor, MI 48108 734-972-9313 We’ve made creating a sophisticated web site and planning a reunion for your high school class simple. Anybody can do it. No other social networking system will bring your Classmates together the way that Class Creator will.

Class Quest 800-965-9020 Class Quest Corporation free interactive reunion website! Many customizable styles, easy to build, fun for everyone. Ideal planning tool for organizers to collect RSVPs, online purchases, etc.

CustomInk T-Shirts & More!

Visit & or follow us on Twitter™. Get your FREE REUNION KIT.

Call 301.925.8300 Prince George’s County Conference & Visitors’ Bureau

7902 Westpark Dr. McLean, VA 22102 877-803-5885 Design reunion t-shirts online for your event. Free shipping, affordable shirts for all budgets, and thousands of design ideas. Call 1-877-803-5885 for free design help!

Instant Info Center Advertiser Name 2011/11th Edition

Let us help you plan YOUR REUNION! Request information on advertisers in this edition, or tell us about your reunion needs and we will connect you directly with qualified destinations, facilities and service providers! Name ____________________________________________________________________ Reunion or Group Name ______________________________________________________ Type of Reunion/Group __________________________________________________________ Address ___________________________________________________________________ City ____________________________________ State _________ Zip _________________ Phone ____________________________ Email ___________________________________ REQUIRED Signature ___________________________________________ Date ___________________ REQUIRED City of Birth _______________________________________________________________

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Please continue to send me Reunions Workbook No thanks, remove me from your list Send me information on Group Hotel Discounts

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❑ Atlanta CVB, GA ❑ Atlantic City CVA, NJ ❑ Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce, SC ❑ Brown County CVB, IN ❑ Chicago Southland CVB, IL ❑ Class Creator ❑ Class Quest ❑ ❑ DeSoto CVB, MS ❑ Equator3 Tours ❑ Experience Columbus CVB, OH ❑ Grand Sierra Resort, Reno, NV ❑ Greater Birmingham CVB, AL ❑ Hot Springs Village Chamber, AR ❑ Killeen CVB, TX ❑ Kissimmee-St. Cloud CVB, FL ❑ Mall of America, Bloomington, MN ❑ New Orleans Metro CVB, LA ❑ North Little Rock CVB, AR ❑ Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism, TN ❑ Prince George’s County CVB, MD ❑ Prince William County/Manassas CVB, VA ❑ Pulaski County CVB, MO ❑ Rapid City CVB, SD ❑ Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ❑ Sandy Springs Hospitality & Tourism, GA ❑ Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort, Myrtle Beach, SC ❑ Seven Crown Resorts, Houseboat Vacations ❑ Snowmass Tourism, CO ❑ The Armed Forces Military Museum, Largo, FL ❑ The Victorian Condo-Hotel Resort & Conference Center, Galveston, TX ❑ The Woods Resort & Conference Center, Hedgesville, WV ❑ Timber Tops, Sevierville, TN ❑ Tupelo CVB, MS ❑ Visit Fairfax CVB, VA

Please send me information on reunions in the following regions and countries: ❑ Northeast U.S. ❑ Southeast U.S. ❑ Midwest U.S. ❑ Frontier/Mountain West U.S. ❑ West Coast U.S. ❑ Canada ❑ Mexico/Caribbean ❑ Europe ❑ Asia ❑ Other (list)______________________________

Please send me more information about the following specialty reunion tours:

Size of Reunion

● Fax this page to 630.794.0652 ● Visit our online Instant Info Center at

Proposed Dates (year/month)

Discover . . . Houseboat Vacations A Reunion Retreat as Unique as it is Unforgettable!

Swim, Hike, Wakeboard, Fish, Explore . . . Houseboat vacations offer the best of both worlds . . . the beauty of nature, and the comforts of home, with a full kitchen, bathroom with shower, BBQ grill, and more! With three locations to choose from, yPVNBZDIBSUZPVSPXODPVSTFPO-BLF4IBTUB -BLF.PIBWF PSUIF$BMJGPSOJB%FMUB Let your group’s adventure begin! You can place your complete confidence in our talented team of expert group vacation planners.FOUJPOQSPNPUJPODPEFMGRP and take advantage of our discounted group rates. We hope to see you out on the lake!

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Reunions Travel Planning Guide 2011  

A guide for groups planning reunions.

Reunions Travel Planning Guide 2011  

A guide for groups planning reunions.