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10th 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 group gathering for your group.

In addition to the materials contained in this workbook, we include direction to corresponding sections on the web site where you can learn more about a particular topic. Additionally, for the first time ever we’ve made a digital edition of the Workbook available online @, along with resource listings linked directly to their web sites 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

10 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

REUNION PICTURES FROM THE FOLLOWING REUNIONS Banks Hill Outlaw, Harmelink, McNair Brazil Scott, Pack, Paque, Poindexter, Rodriquez, Seidemann, Williams PHOTO CREDIT FOR SOME PHOTOS Richard Brodzeller, Mary Ann Onorato Patrick Robinson, John Rubartsch, Edith Wagner

Happy Reunion Planning!

Look for web links:

COVER CREDITS Background “Working Together” (Photo courtesy of 2010 © James Thew Images from Polaroid frames “Polaroids” (Photo courtesy of 2010 © Ruslan Nassyrov Images from

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 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 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 Resources/Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 4 REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n

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 Pending) 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 2010. All rights reserved. Materials may not be reproduced in any form without written permission of the publisher.


FIRST DECISIONS To decide whether or not there’s a reunion in your future, you must be:  devoted to your reunion group  able to spend time  willing to take charge  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.  Appoint a committee to draft bylaws.  Develop a written statement of purpose and goals that generate enthusiasm.  Plan election of officers. To ensure continuity, elect half the officers each year for two-year terms.  Recruit reunion organizers. The best reunions are celebrated by well organized groups who generate attendance and meaningful reunion programs.  Hold a membership meeting at the reunion.

Meetings Use meetings at reunions to elect officers and determine dates and a place for your next gathering.

Memberships Don’t do it alone Someone must be in charge but all successful reunions need people to help before, during and after.  Find out who else wants a reunion.  Ask for help.  Build a team.  Meet in person, by mail, phone, fax, email or Facebook.  Share progress regularly.  Consider hiring a professional who is experienced with reunions.

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

Develop a consensus for  date(s)  place  activities/program  theme  budget 6 REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n

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.


Reconnect Naturally L A K E C O U N T Y, I L L I N O I S

Lake County’s natural spaces and fun places are the perfect place to

Carefree Reunions!

reconnect with family. Enjoy KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort, Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor, beautiful Lake Michigan beaches, Gurnee Mills, and more!

The Lake County Convention & Visitors Bureau offers free FAMILY REUNION planning services including:

Host your family reunions at

• Assistance with gathering hotel proposals

KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort for splashtastic fun for the whole family! Enjoy island-inspired guestrooms, an indoor waterpark, rejuvenating spa, and more! Book now at!

• Help in booking tours and attractions for family reunions • Sample itineraries of fun things to do • Complimentary welcome bags for family reunions booked through our office

Make plans to attend the Lake County Reunions Workshop at KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort on Sept. 23-25, 2010. Visit for more information.




WHO GETS THE JOB DONE? Reunions are best when 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 helps 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 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.

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 for their expertise. For example, a bookkeeper or an accountant should be invited to be treasurer; teachers enhance the scholarship committee or program planning for kids.  Program. Plans and coordinates reunion activities, registration.  Accommodations. Selects site; makes reservations, site arrangements and welcomes members.  Fundraising. Develops long-range fundraising projects. Plans and stages reunion day fundraisers.  Food. Plans, chooses and provides food, or works with a caterer or food and beverage professional.  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).  Scholarship. Sets rules and requirements. Reviews and judges applications. Plans and officiates at scholarship awards ceremony.  Worship or Fellowship. Plans, presents rituals, ceremonies and memorials.  Set-up/clean-up. Works very hard on Reunion Day.

8 REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n

REUNION TIMETABLE 18-24 months before…  Determine interest  Talk to other reunion organizers  Attend a reunion organizing class, workshop, conference  Start mailing list  Form reunion committee(s); establish responsibilities and schedules  Contact convention and visitors (CVB) or tourism bureaus

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


One year before…

 Set date(s)  Contact local CVB to determine how they can help  Choose location  Select and contract with facilities

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

 Arrange for or hire entertainment, caterer, photographer, videographer, printer  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…

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

5 months before…

 Contact and send mailing to people as they’re found  Announce event to local media, elected officials

 Send second mailer: registration form, cost and updated list of missing persons, souvenir ordering information  Email announcement to appear on REUNIONS MAGAZINE’S web site, This timetable is online at with direct links to copy and podcasts on the site.

 Choose menus  Confirm reservations, entertainment, photographer, caterer

4 months before…

 Submit personalized souvenir order (t-shirts, mugs, caps)  Print items should be in production

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

Six weeks before…

 Write checklist for reunion day tasks  Assign tasks to reunion volunteers

 Complete directory/memory book; deliver to printer

Two weeks before…

 Purchase last-minute decorations and incidental supplies

 Check with committee chairs to confirm plans, arrangements, progress  Reconfirm meeting, sleeping and eating accommodations  Review final checklist

The day before…

 Meet with facility managers and determine staff contacts for your reunion days

 Juggle last-minute problems  Review final details with reunion committees

Reunion Day(s)…

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

 Decorate  Salute volunteers  Enjoy


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

10 REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n

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


But you can host an unforgettable family reunion without a mountain of cash.

Easton Town Center

Picnic Areas

Outdoor Parks

Live Music


Zoombezi Bay

Columbus is ranked one of the top value destinations in the country. With four downtown entertainment districts, our annual Jazz and Rib Festival and an array of outdoor parks and intimate indoor reception sites to choose from, you won’t want to have your family reunion anywhere else. To find out all the reasons Columbus is perfect for your reunion, call 800-354-2657 or visit us at


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 necessary 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 attend 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 Thanksgiving?

How long?  an afternoon/evening  one day  a weekend  a week  other____________________


Choose a date and stick to it!

How often?  annually  every two years

 every five years  other_______________

© 2010 Jupiterimages Corporation


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

Reserve location (hotel, resort, cruise, condo, ranch, etc.) . . . . . 1-2 years Newsletters and other continuing communication. . . . . Start up to 2 years Save the date card. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-2 years Cookbooks (start development) . . . . . . . . . . 1-2 years Reserve picnic/camping site . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 year


12 REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n

Memory book/directory . . . . . . . . . . . . Start 1 year Personalized invitations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 months Transportation (airline reservations). . . . . . 6 months Order personalized keepsakes (t-shirts, caps, coffee mugs, etc.).. . . . . . . . . 4-6 months Time is running out card. . . . . . . . . . . . 2-4 months Food & beverages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-4 months Tours . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-4 months


REUNION BUDGET Reunion finances

Reunion expenses

Set financial goals. For example, you may want to break even or profit just enough to pay your next reunion startup costs. Some reunions have money-making goals such as scholarships, investments or group business enterprises. Establish your budget. Make your best educated guesses. Don’t underestimate or you’ll find yourself with reunion bills and no way to pay them. Don’t forget to add taxes. It would be wise to enlist an experienced budgeter. Work cooperatively. Gather and assemble the reunion budget puzzle. Open a separate checking account to keep a permanent, legal record of reunion income and expenses.

Organizational expenses

Covering expenses When you’re just starting, don’t hesitate to ask for donations to help cover expenses. Consider dues or fees with several membership “classes.” The lowest dues may cover essential administrative costs and a newsletter. Charge what most members can comfortably pay. Don’t price membership out of reach of anyone on a fixed income. Membership classes can include individual, young adult, family, sustaining, donating and seniors. For family reunions consider a complimentary membership to any member over 70 who requests it. Publicly recognize sustaining and donating members to encourage generous individuals.

You may already use financial software that can be adapted for your reunion budget. If not, we find Quicken by Intuit to be inexpensive and easy to use. Its budget capacity allows you to track actual expenses and compare them to your budget. Quicken can generate those all-important income statements and final reports. Reunion costs range from free to lavish. Consider all potential expenses thoroughly. Add 10% to offset unexpected expenses; then save leftover funds for the next reunion. In-kind


(time, goods, services)


$__________ $ __________

Fees, dues

$__________ $ __________

Keepsake, memento & book sales

$__________ $ __________

Corporate sponsor

$__________ $ __________

Tickets (meals, tours, activities) $__________ $ __________ Scholarships

$__________ $ __________

Door prizes*/awards

$__________ $ __________


$__________ $ __________


$__________ $ __________ TOTAL $ __________

*REUNIONS MAGAZINE provides free stuff. It’s all listed online and added to regularly. Check early and often.

14 REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n

$ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________

[number of mailings x number on list]

Printing Supplies

$ ____________ $ ____________ Subtotal $ ____________

Pre-reunion deposits

Hotel (at time of reservation) Caterer/meals (when you place your order) Keepsakes (when you submit your orders) Tours (when you book the tours) Printing (when you submit the job) Pre-reunion expenses Registration supplies Awards/certificates/prizes Picnic paper goods Printing

$ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________

[flyer, invitations, newsletter, program, directory, memory book]

Keep track of every nickel

Reunion income

Banking fees Long distance/fax/email/web page Postage

Rentals Decorations/banners/signs/memorials Displays Flowers Other (explain) Subtotal Reunion day(s) expenses Meals/food Beverages, bartender Entertainers/musicians Photo/videographer/DJ Minister Tips and gratuities Taxes (fill in percentage for your location) Subtotal Post-reunion expenses Printing Postage Pictures, video tapes Other (explain)

$ $ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________ $ ____________

Subtotal $ ____________ TOTAL $ ____________

Reconnecting...Generation by Generation. For generations, gracious hospitality and glorious history have been hand and hand at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel- at the center of Jekyll Island’s fabled Historic District. Families have been gathering together here, at this special place, for centuries. 157 guest rooms and suites, cottages to house the entire family, courtyards, gardens, and abundant recreation await you. Dining catered to your tastes, from casual to grand. Alfresco dining at the Courtyard at Crane, the Grand Dining Room in the main hotel offers an eloquent surrounding offering breakfast, lunch & dinner and legendary Sunday brunch, and CafÊ Solterra our bakery/delicatessen. Ask about a private beach party. Make your history while enjoying ours.

371 Riverview Drive ~ Jekyll Island, GA 31527 800.535.9547 / 912.635.2600 ~ ~

+,6725,&+27(/6 RI$0(5,&$ 5(;065(3;9<:;-69 /0:;690*79,:,9=(;065



Destination decisions Convention and Visitors Bureaus help reunions Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) 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 can 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 request 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

 Is there a reunion or small meeting specialist on staff? If yes, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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 help  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


16 REUNIONS WORKBOOK â&#x20AC;˘ 10 t h E d i t i o n

Inspection Can the CVB

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

18 REUNIONS WORKBOOK â&#x20AC;˘ 10 t h E d i t i o n

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


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

 taxis  limousines & shuttles  rentals: cars, bicycles, horses

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 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 don’t make your deposit on time.

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



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

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

 backpacking  boats  rental  launch  skiing  fishing  sports  tennis  volleyball  basketball  baseball  playground  hiking  woods  mountains


 summer  spring  autumn  winter  holidays

 water  beach  fishing  pool  swimming  waterskiing


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



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

REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n 19



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

 appearance (interior and exterior)  condition of all rooms (sleeping, dining, meeting)  how you’re treated  overall cleanliness  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 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 really 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

20 REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n

group hu hugs gs and high five fives

Bring the Whole Family!

to ®

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

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


History won’t repeat. It will disappear.

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

Once we lose the natural, cultural and historic sites that are the cornerstones of the travel experience, we can never get them back.

Join us, and through grants, scholarships and volunteer restoration events, we can all work together to restore the past and preserve the future.



Organizing a reunion requires negotiation. Negotiating is not part of our culture and rarely comes easily. We accept the price and pay or go elsewhere. 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, know 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 have the best and most cost-effective 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 Number of rooms 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.  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.

22 REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n

 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 signs for your registration area • 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 every 40 or 50 reservations • special menu items

Time to make the reservation Money-saving tips

Make reservations six months to two years in advance. You’ll want to 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.

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 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 indicated. Ask questions if you don’t understand. Change items that do not agree with your notes.




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E A S I LY A C C E S S I B L E + 9 M I L E S F R O M A S P E N + E V E N T S & F E S T I VA L S + S U R P R I S I N G LY A F F O R D A B L E = Y O U R N E X T FAV O R I T E M E M O R Y


NEGOTIATE 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  deposits  cut-off dates  cancellation clauses  reservation instructions  check-in/out times and dates  taxes  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_______________________________


24 REUNIONS WORKBOOK â&#x20AC;˘ 10 t h E d i t i o n


CHOOSE A DATE FUNDRAISING Fundraising goals can defray reunion costs, provide money for members to attend the reunion or raise scholarship money for young members. Following are ways some reunions have added 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 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 Publishing involves many details and can be expensive. Your primary buyers are your own members so make sure theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re interested in publishing projects. Reunion books are best sellers only in your group.  Poll members to determine interest.  Get orders or 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.  Family genealogy books In addition to family history, ask members to submit biographies and anecdotes to make foreparents come alive along with their place in history.  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. Expect to advertise your benefactor. 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

26 REUNIONS WORKBOOK â&#x20AC;˘ 10 t h E d i t i o n

 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.


FIRST DECISIONS 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, of course, 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. 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 on  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 accept computer art via email.

© 2010 Jupi

terimage s Co


 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 (cap, mug, frisbee).  Separate artwork must be provided for each ink, if you’re using more than one color.

REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n 27



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

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.

Shipping cost Packaging materials




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 larger 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


28 REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n

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 reunion (add postage and shipping)  Send to members after reunion (add postage and shipping)


Rain or shine! Say it or have a rain date

Raffles & auctions Plan ahead. Notify members 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



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 on CD ROM 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, 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 adapted easily 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 others to help search for members.


Include deadlines and an RSVP in mailings © 2010 Jupiterimages Corporation

HOW TO STAY IN TOUCH There will be no reunion until you announce it. All reunion communications should include date(s), time(s), location(s) and who to contact. As you know it, include information about fees, payment/cancellation/refund, map and party instructions (theme, things to bring).  Letters No one minds photocopied letters.  Newsletters/email newsletters 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 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 and email It is wise to 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 Many reunions use web sites for announcing and reporting changes and progress

30 REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n

How often should you communicate? 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 and newsletters build momentum, share planning progress, keep members informed or updated, generate enthusiasm and increase attendance.

© 2010 Jupiterimages Corporation

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



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 William and Elizabeth (Webb) Ronan who emigrated from someplace in Ireland in the 1700s 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. Invitation goals are to encourage

 registration  anticipation  interest  participation  attendance

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 Trudy got her reservation in before anyone else!” If you’re lucky, you’ll have a many-way tie. How to communicate

Invitation essentials answer

 what?  when? (time, day, date and rain date)  where?  cost?  deadline(s)  RSVP The invitation publicizes

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

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 provide another level of communication and community. Post reunion 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

For each mailing you should count


Paper Printing Envelope Postage Labels (material + printing)

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.

x x x x x

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

REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n 31


GETTING THERE If members are flying

If members are driving

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

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

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  Research how to hire a motorcoach  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


32 REUNIONS WORKBOOK â&#x20AC;˘ 10 t h E d i t i o n

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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.


Board games help develop intergenerational camaraderie. For win-win activities see books about non-competitive games in your library. 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.

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 and Games Games to introduce, reintroduce or integrate can include a treasure hunt, reunion trivia or bingo.

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

Teams can be made up by generation or mixed generations of people from scattered places so playing together creates a special bond. Inclement weather activities Leave no room for doubt if your reunion day is wet. If you said “rain or shine,” mean it and be prepared. Or include a rain date in all prior communications. Noon Lunch Everyone on their own or an “event,” covered dish, pizza party, trail lunch, tailgate party, beach picnic.

Sunday Worship or memorial services

Remembrances are an important focus for most reunions. These are opportunities to celebrate special relationships as well as respect and honor ancestors, classmates or fallen comrades. 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

34 REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n

1:00 PM to 5:00 PM Tours

Make your group history come alive.  family homestead or farm  battlefield where elders or ancestors fought  schools elders attended  monuments, memorials, plaques that honor ancestors or members of your reunion group  significant churches, cemeteries Accompany all tours with personalized stories. Drive by grandma’s house, school, church and landmarks. If you’re hosting reunion guests and the tour is of your town, this is an opportunity to celebrate all the reasons you love where you live. Show off favorite museum(s), galleries, parks, zoo, exhibits, festivals and attractions. Ask for group rates or if there will be exhibits or events of special interest to your members. 7:00 PM Banquet and dancing • auction • raffle • talent show Worship service

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.



 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  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.  Reunion histories Collect oral or video histories. Encourage youngsters to be interviewers, photographers, videographers.

 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

36 REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 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

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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 the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s – hats, ties, scarves, shoes, old jewelry. Add makeup for fun.  Piñata  Making and flying 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

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.

38 REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 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.

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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, celebrate 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.


40 REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n

 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?


ACTIVITIES Activities  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.  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.  Speakers Ask an elder to speak about family or group history, genealogy; hire motivational speaker.  Storytelling Encourage parents, grandparents and other favorite relatives to talk or contact the National Association of Storytellers.  Movies Show old time silent films and ask someone to narrate. Select favorites from then and now. Have an intergenerational talk about movies – people who’ve witnessed the history of film.  Videos or slide shows Rent videos; show family videos, past reunions, travelogs.  Workshops Workshops about family health history, investing and money management, scrapbooking, parenting, political action. Use members who are experts or invite experts.  Lessons Ask members to share their expertise at cooking, baking, golf, rollerblading, kite flying.  Quiz show Pick a favorite quiz show and re-enact it with members as contestants or attend a show, if you’re in the neighborhood.  Predict the future Ask a psychic, tarot card or palm reader to entertain with predictions of a fabulous reunion and future.

 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, bunny hop or Charleston.  Disc jockey Be sure he/she has a wide variety of music from swing to Top 40 (or whatever the number is now!).  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.


 Magic show Use home-grown or hire talent. Teach kids to do magic!  Mystery night Hire a theatre troupe to perform or ask members to stage a reunion mystery.  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.

REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n 41

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

 Consider special diets for health or religious reasons.  Make mealtime accommodate all generations.  If there are several generations, should adults and children sit together or separately?  Handicap access and ease – closest to the bathroom, 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, 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.

POTLUCK PICNIC You’ll need…  someone in charge  a menu – to ensure all food groups and group favorites are included  members who volunteer or are assigned to bring food, beverages Encourage cooks to bring special favorites. Ask them to bring copies of recipes and organize a recipe exchange.


How to pay for food

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

Price items carefully before you announce the 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. Lastminute nonpaying guests may not be accommodated.  volunteers for  set up  service  clean up  ways to keep food and beverages hot or cold  grills, if not provided  ice, water  paper goods: plates, napkins, cups, plastic flatware and glasses  tablecovers  rentals – tables, chairs, tent, porta toilets  in case of inclement weather, a shelter or an alternative site

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

Will caterer…

How many people will be served? ____  Number of adults _____  Number of children ____

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

Will the meal be…

 formal  informal

42 REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n



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.  banquet only  awards banquet  dinner/dance  buffet style  sit-down Ask about the waiter-to-table ratio – it affects service speed.  hors d’oeuvres only  dessert only

Set schedule for the banquet

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

MENU SCHEDULE Sample reunion weekend meal schedule & cost sheet  Friday evening: Reception hors d’oeuvres, open bar, soft drinks *Cost per person $_______ x number of people_______= $ __________  Saturday morning: Breakfast in hotel cafe or buffet; everyone pays their own  Saturday lunch: Box lunches furnished for a bus tour *Cost per person $_______ x number of people_______= $ __________  Saturday evening: Adults – open bar, banquet, dancing *Cost per person $_______ x number of people_______= $ __________ Kids – early pizza party followed by a movie and snacks *Cost per person $_______x number of people _______= $ __________  Sunday morning: Brunch buffet *Cost per adult $ ________ x number of adults _______= $ __________ *Cost per child $ ________ x number of children _____= $ __________  Sunday picnic *Cost per person $_______ x number of people_______= $ __________ *Final cost includes tax, gratuity, set-up cost, room rental and decorations.

Where will meals be served?

 at home  at a church, synagogue, mosque  at a restaurant  banquet room at a hotel  at a special alternative venue like a museum, botanical garden or zoo Does venue require a designated caterer?


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

 a program  music  dancing

© 2010 Jupiterimages Corporation

Type of bar setup

 open  cash  tickets

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 from costly mistakes and make you a winner. Costs, menu choice, number of courses and service type (buffet style, sit-down) are all important.  Communicate early with catering and beverage managers. They know current trends – what works and what doesn’t.  Inform them about your group and its budget. It also helps if you know members’ likes and dislikes.  Inquire about alcohol regulations. Each food and beverage function requires

 a count guarantee 48 hours before the event Other considerations

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

REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n 43

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

44 REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n


 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.  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.  Encourage kids to talk to elders.  Collect history from elders.



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?

 Photographer The photographer can charge and keep income from photos or mark up price and share profit with the reunion.  You or someone you appoint Buy (mark up or sell at cost) and distribute to members.

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.”

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  Return all borrowed equipment (overhead projector, VCR and stapler from the sales office).  Pay all your bills.  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.  Tip staff who deserve special consideration.  Collect all the data and information you can about the number of meals eaten in the hotel’s restaurant, the amount of room service and number of rooms used by your group. This information is important for your next reunion negotiation to demonstrate your business and economic value. It is well worth the effort.  For a full reunion evaluation form for members and committees, send stamped, self-addressed envelope to Reunions magazine, PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211 or go to to “wrap up your reunion.”

Not much later

 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 to make decisions about raises and promotions. You may also wish to give them a t-shirt, hat or other memento from your group.  Include a reunion summary from the chairperson, recommendations and treasurer’s report in a mailing or newsletter.  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 • 10 t h E d i t i o n 45


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 ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■

The Armed Forces Military Museum 2050 34th Way North Largo, FL 33771 727-539-8371 The Armed Forces Military Museum has the largest military memorabilia collection in Florida. The 35,000 sq. ft. museum is beautifully laid out in a time line form World War I though present day Iraq. Each era was created in a diorama with sound effects and audio to enhance the awareness of a particular event in history. Excellent for all ages and military buffs.

Harbor Experience Companies 499 Van Brunt St., Section 8B Brooklyn, NY 11231 212-742-1969 ext. 217 Host unique, FUN reunions at Water Taxi Beaches with awesome views, ping pong, mini-golf and GREAT food. Charter a New York Water Taxi double-decker catamaran and embark upon a Statue of Liberty cocktail cruise or Circle Line Downtown’s Zephyr 400-passenger smooth sailing yacht. Enjoy a half hour thrill ride on the high-speed ‘SHARK’ Mall of America 60 E. Broadway Bloomington, MN 55415-5550 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. We are the perfect destination for your next reunion! Six Flags Discovery Kingdom 1001 Fairgrounds Dr. Vallejo, CA 94589 707-556-5226 Get everyone together for a good scream. Enjoy great group rates and relax with a catered meal in your own private picnic area. Six Flags is your perfect planning partner. CRUISE LINES ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■

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. DESTINATIONS ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■

Amarillo CVC 1000 S. Polk St. Amarillo, TX 79101 800-692-1338 Amarillo-what you expect of Texas and much more! Wide open spaces, deep canyons, a proud western heritage, a modern city-Texas hospitality at its best. Come visit and see what groups are raving about! Berkeley Chamber of Commerce P.O. Box 968 Moncks Corner, SC 29461 843-761-8238 Known for its natural beauty, scenic landscape, rich culture and exciting history. Groups and families especially enjoy the year-round gorgeous weather in Berkeley County. Visitors are able to enjoy the attractions, events, water sports and local culture of this emerging area all 12 months of the year. Mention this article for special group discounts. Brown County CVB 10 N. Van Buren St. Nashville, IN 47448 812-988-7303 Scenic Brown County, Indiana offers unique lodging, tours, outdoor adventures and activities. The southern location provides easy access from neighboring states and two major airports. 46 REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n




Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau 2304 173rd St. Lansing. IL 60438 888-895-3211 Discover the unexpected in Chicago Southland, the ideal location for your next family reunion! The Chicago Southland offers an array of family-friendly accommodations, attractions and outdoor recreation venues. Parking is FREE. We offer FREE convention services including bags, coupon books, maps and more!

Gwinnett Convention & Visitor's Bureau 6500 Sugarloaf Pkwy. #200 Duluth, GA 30097 770-814-6049 Gwinnett is the perfect place for your reunion. One of Atlanta’s most popular destinations, our parks have consistently been names as Georgia’s best. Affordable hotels off I-85 offer easy access to in town Atlanta attractions. Come make memories with your family in Gwinnett!

Historic Deerfield 84B Old Main St. Deerfield, MA 01342 413-775-7179 White Church Community Center in Historic Deerfield. Flexible space for reunion meals/meetings. Light airy historic building located in a classic New England village. Easy access to Interstate 91 in Massachusetts.

Corinth Area Convention & Visitors Bureau 215 N. Fillmore St. Corinth, MS 38834 800-748-9048 Embrace family. Make new friends. Experience heritage. Shop, dine and hear bluegrass in the quaint downtown. All in the crossroads of the South... Corinth, Mississippi. Estes Park CVB P.O. Box 1200 Estes Park, CO 80517 800-443-7837 Surrounded by Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park is the perfect setting for your reunion. Fabulous scenery and recreation await - shopping, trout fishing, horseback riding, river rafting, golf, go karts, barbecues, hayrides, miniature golf, tram rides, scenic drives and hiking. Experience Columbus 277 W. Nationwide Blvd. Columbus, OH 43215 800-354-2657 Columbus is ranked one of the top value destinations in the country. With four downtown entertainment districts, annual festivals, the #1 rated Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, and an array of outdoor parks to choose from, you won't want to have your family reunion anywhere else. Planning a reunion in Columbus is easy. And we're here to help. 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 visitors guides, visitor maps, plastic bags and pens. Flagler County Chamber of Commerce 20 Airport Rd. Palm Coast, FL 32164 866-308-4253 Flagler County is perfect for your next reunion. 19 miles of untouched beaches, 40+ parks, attractions, no crowds and warm hometown hospitality waiting for you and yours.

REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n






Independence Tourism 111 E. Maple Independence, MO 64050 866-657-6338 Let Independence welcome your reunion group, all at a great value and in a convenient location. Enjoy nationally recognized heritage attractions, one-of-akind restaurants, a family water park, great shopping and lodging choices. The new Independence Events Center is home to the Missouri Mavericks CHL hockey team, concerts and other sports events. We provide itinerary planning, discounts and other assistance. Kissimmee, The Heart of Florida 1925 E. Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy. Kissimmee, FL 34744 800-831-1844 Kissimmee offers a variety of venues, accommodations, easy access to major roadways and an international airport, and world-famous entertainment options. The bureau staff will help! Reconnect In Lake County 5455 West Grand Ave., #100 Gurnee, IL 60031 Halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee. Lake County's natural spaces and fun places are the perfect place for your next reunion. Our world-class attractions and more than 60 lodging properties, including three resorts, will make your next reunion a resounding success. For free Reunion Planning Assistance call or email us with your reunion planning questions. Merriam Visitors Bureau 6304 E. Frontage Rd. Merriam, KS 66202 866-707-6534 Merriam, Kansas: Next Door Neighbors to Kansas City! Planning a reunion in the heartland? Consider Merriam Kansas-nestled in the middle of the Midwest just 10 minutes from Kansas City. From great group rates on area hotels to custom-themed itineraries for group activities, the Merriam Visitors Bureau is your one-stop shop for reunion planning in Kansas City-an affordable region with superb hospitality and plentiful amenities. Call us today to start planning! Newport & Bristol County CVB 23 America's Cup Ave. Newport, RI 02840 800-326-6030 ext. 115 401-849-0291 Newport, RI, a seaside resort of natural beauty, is Gilded-Age Mansions, The Tennis Hall of Fame, incredible architecture, sailing, exquisite dining, boutique shopping, beaches, vineyards, festivals, and much more...

48 REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n

New Orleans CVB 2020 St. Charles Ave. New Orleans, LA 70130 800-748-8695 ext. 5018 Let us assist you with your family reunion planning by helping you select a date with the best hotel rates and providing you with acticity, event and sightseeing information. Our services are free. North Little Rock Visitors Bureau P.O. Box 5511 North Little Rock, AR 72119 800-643-4690 Looking North is Looking Good! Groups are big business to North Little Rock! Whether hosting a family, military, or class reunion North Little Rock has something to fit everyone’s needs. Please call our office for further assistance on planning your reunion in North Little Rock. Ocean City CVB & Dept. of Tourism 4001 Coastal Highway Ronald E. Powell Convention Center Ocean City, MD 21842-3235 800-626-2326 Ocean City is a premier beach resort town that welcomes hundreds of groups each year. Our festivals and family-friendly, award-winning beach is a favorite for every generation. Oklahoma City CVB 189 W. Sheridan Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73102 800-225-5652 Hip, spirited environment blends with deep western heritage to create a place where culture and adventure thrive. With renowned festivals, national sporting events, treasure-filled museums and a variety of districts will sure to please your group. Pennsylvania Tourism Office Keystone Commonwealth Building 400 N. Street, 4th floor Harrisburg, PA 17012 800-847-4872 The same roads that scattered families to the four corners of the nation can bring them right back home! Meet at the crossroads. Come home to Pennsylvania. To find out more log on to or dial 1-800-847-4872. Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism 2450 Parkway Pigeon Forge, TN 37868 800-285-7557 Nestled in the foothills of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pigeon Forge is one of the top group tour destinations in the United States - the home of Dollywood and 14 great musical variety shows that includes 5 dinner shows!

Prince George’s County CVB 9200 Basil Court, Suite 101 Largo, MD 207774 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. Pulaski County Tourism Bureau 137 St. Robert Blvd. St. Robert, MO 65584 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. 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 Snowmass Tourism 130 Kearns Rd. Snowmass Village, CO 81615 800-598-2006 Snowmass Village has an abundance of activities & events for your reunion. Surrounded by snowkissed peaks, dense forests of shimmering aspens and colorful wildflower fields, rafting, hiking, horseback riding, biking, kayaking, fishing, golf and more! Sullivan County Visitors Association 100 Sullivan Ave. Ferndale, NY 12734 800-882-2287 Only 87 miles from New York City, Sullivan County is home to the finest resort hotels and meeting facilities in the State of New York. Waterfalls, enchanting mountains and sparkling lakes and streams provide the backdrop for successful reunion events.

DIRECTORY DIRECTORY DIRECTORY Visit Fairfax/Fairfax County 7927 Jones Branch Dr. McClean, 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. DINING ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■

Bavarian Inn Restaurant 713 S. Main St. Frankenmuth MI 48734 800-228-2742 1,200 seat Bavarian-theme restaurant featuring family style chicken & German dinners. Private rooms available. Castle Shops feature our signature products from baked goods to dolls. HOTEL/RESORTS ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■

Best Western Wynwood Hotel & Suites 580 U.S. Highway One Bypass Exit 5 off I-95 Portsmouth, NH 03801 603-436-7600 Our group friendly hotel, just a mile from downtown Portsmouth, hosts reunions throughout the year! Coming this spring a full service diner, The Roundabout, serving three meals a day! Centennial Inn Hotel 5 Spring Lane Farmington, CT 06032 800-852-2052 94 rooms on 12 beautiful acres. Free full breakfast and highspeed internet. Once you stay with us, you won't want to stay anywhere else! If it's New England charm you're after, discover the historic Farmington Valley located 15 minutes from Hartford.

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, or order on-line at: Days Inn at Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall 4710 North Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85251 480-947-5411 Uniquely situated in the heart of Scottsdale! Historic Old Town, Famous Fifth Ave. shops, Scottsdale arts district and popular nightspots are all within an easy walk. Plenty of amenities and FREE continental breakfast await your group! Edgewater Resort and RV Park 6420 Soda Bay Road Kelseyville, CA 95451 800-396-6224 Reader's Digest New Choices Magazine #1 pick for California family reunions. Cabins, houses, RV and tent camping sites. 100 miles north of San Francisco. Amenities include 600' of lakefront, 230' fishing pier, boat slips and swimming beach and more! Falmouth Inn 824 Main Street Falmouth, MA 2540 800-255-4157 123-room hotel with indoor heated pool, sauna, all indoor corridors. Great reunion facilities and award winning Italian restaurant and lounge. Located one block from ferry to Martha's Vineyard (seasonal), free parking for motorcoaches.


let us show you around.

! !"! r ___KWZQV\PVM\ REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n






Florida Paradise Villas Kissimmee and Orlando, FL 1-866-939-7376 SAVE BIG in Orlando! Condos and Villas sleep 8-14 from $99. Pools, sports, recreation, banquet space. Discounted air, attractions, 50% or more on car rentals! Intercontinental Houston Near the Galleria 2222 West Loop South Houston, TX 77027 713-850-2846 Deluxe accommodations, venues for all sized groups and the perfect location for your next gathering in the heart of Uptown Houston, just one block from The Galleria. Jekyll Island Club Hotel 371 Riverview Dr. Jekyll Island, GA 31527 912-635-2600 Rated among the top 500 resorts in the world by Travel & Leisure, the Jekyll Island Club offers superb resort accommodations, outstanding service, and an unforgettable landmark experience for your next coastal Georgia resort vacation.

Marriott Hotel & Resorts 800-627-7468 Plan a family reunion to remember at Marriott Hotels & Resorts. Call us today to book your next family getaway! Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort-Myrtle Beach 1200 S. 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!


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.

Sheraton Mission Valley Hotel San Diego 1433 Camino Del Rio South San Diego, CA 92108 619-260-0111 Escape to sunny San Diego for a year round getaway. The Sheraton Mission Valley San Diego Hotel is centrally located to many of San Diego's main attractions including the San Diego Zoo, the historic Gaslamp District, Seaport Village, Balboa Park and more. 260 rooms, including 15 suites and ample parking.

Custom Cookbooks for Families G&R Publishing 507 Industrial St. Waverly, IA 50677 800-383-1679 Family cookbooks keep memories alive! Your entire cookbook order can be completed online: simply enter your recipes, design your book and submit the order! Or, we ‘ll type your recipes for you.

Split Rock Resort & Golf Club One Lake Dr. Lake Harmony, PA 18624 888-802-2348 A unique four-season resort offering a wide selection of outstanding amenities and activities. Ask about our weekend or midweek reunion packages!

CustomInk T-Shirts & More! 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!

Tropicana Casino & Resort 2831 Boardwalk Atlantic City, NJ 08401 888-275-1212 Expect only the very best at Tropicana Casino and Resort above and beyond what you will find at other hotels in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Comfort and quality is the priority at the Tropicana. The Woods Resort 1694 The Woods Rd. Hedgesville, WV 25427 304-754-3358 The Woods is bordered on three sides by the 23,000-acre Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area. Sleepy Creek contains more than 75 miles of hiking trails and a 205-acre lake for fishing and canoeing. The perfect destination for your next group trip!

50 REUNIONS WORKBOOK • 10 t h E d i t i o n


Reunion Workbook  

Step by step guide to planning the perfect family, class, military or friends reunion.