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Burt(t)schells in Germany Ranch reunions Fundraising K9 Soldiers Memorial

Display until January 31, 2014.

Vo l 24 n o 2 n ov e m b e r / d ec e m b e r / ja n ua ry 2014 $ 3 / U SA

in this issue Departments front Words – 4

November/December/January 2014 Volume 24 • Number 2

ALUM & I – 6 The Reunion Project, a blog by Scott Ryan How to network at your reunion, reunions in the facebook age Decorating your reunion and Russell H.S. charitable reunion

BRANCH OFFICE – 10 Riley family tree highlights reunion by Vicki Riley Sustaining your Legacy … The value of collecting and sharing family health history information by Altovise T. Ewing, PhD Families: Warneke / Lawrenz, Diaz, Scripps, Love, Truitt

Reunion School – 14 Scrapbook – 16 Hospitality Answerman by Dean Miller Long-time friends keep in touch by Janet Park How to generate attendance Jamestown descendants restoration plan Farlington community reunion Looking for a hotel? “The Main Ticket”

Masterplan – 22 What could possibly go wrong? by Sheri Williams Pannell Our Roots Keep Us ALL Together by Lyndra Pratt Marshall White-Woolfolk “First Cousins” Reunion by Yvette J. White Keeping Our Roots Strong and Staying Connected! by Karen M. Thorn Rhoades Family Reunion 40th anniversary by Maxine Coleman The Roffers’ Turkey Reunion by Andrew Roffers The Krefeld connection by Arliss Treybig Rinehart Family Reunion by Chet Turner Reunions: Coleman, Doyle, Grasty, Hoene On getting along …

REUNION VENUES & FEATURES Ranches – 32 50 Years and 5 generations of Mintons meet back at the Elkhorn ranch by Daphne White Western Folklife Center Holman Ranch – Carlmet Valley, California by Carol Terwilliger Meyers Ranches of note! White Stallion Ranch, Sundance Trails Ranch, North Fork Ranch, Lone Mountain Ranch, Hawley Mountain Ranch and Sylvan Dale Ranch Fundraising – 37 Pricing tickets, Crowdfunding Ads pay for souvenir book by Teresa Beauchamp Fundraising ideas from many reunions offers free fundraising site Class reunion fundraising Sponsorship proposals as fundraising

Military Reunion News – 41 Home of the Airborne by Peyton Ligon USS New Mexico meets K9 Soldiers memorial Catawba County Confederate Veterans, VMRP changes name

Reunion Resources – 44 A directory of reunion-friendly places, services, vendors and products On the cover Burt(t)schell Family Reunion at the Cathedral in Cologne, Germany. See page 30.

Publisher / Editor in Chief Edith Wagner Travel Editor Jacky Runice Art Director Jennifer Rueth Senior sales account manager Marion Liston Operations Manager Karla Lavin Web Wizard Josh Evert Administrative Staff Nicole Dettmering Ksioszk hospitality answer man Dean Miller Contributors Teresa Beauchamp • Shena Benus Keonsha Bernard • Maxine Coleman Kimberly Dews • Vernon G. Dascher Altovise T. Ewing, PhD • Melissa Hal • Rose Hoere Terry James • LaTasha Kelly • Peyton Ligon Lyndra Pratt Marshall • Carole Terwilliger Meyers Sheri Willliams Pannell • Janet Park Vicky Riley • Andrew Roffers Scott Ryan • Karen M. Thorn Arliss Treybig • Chet Turner Walter “Bill” Turner • Daphne White Yvette J. White • Ne’El Whitehurst Pamela Williams Reunions magazine, Inc. (ISSN #1046-5s235), is published 4 times per year. Send correspondence, queries, submissions, subscriptions, advertising to Reunions m agazine, PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211-0727. Written permission from the publisher is required for reproduction of any part of this book except pages which encourage sharing. Please explain your intended use when requesting permission to reprint. Email: editor@reunionsmag. com or fax 414-263-6331. Tear sheets of reviews and reprints required. Reunions magazine, Inc., will not be liable for information presented as facts contained in any of our advertising, byline stories or materials. We reserve the right to edit and/or refuse any material submitted for publication. We solicit participation and take responsibility for submitted materials. Unless accompanied by a selfaddressed stamped envelope (SASE), submissions and photos will not be returned. All materials sent for purposes of publication become property of Reunions magazine, Inc. Subscriptions: US and Canada $9.99/yr, $17.99/2 yrs. All other addresses, call for rates. Back issues available for $3 each plus postage. Payment must accompany requests for subscriptions, back issues or other items for sale. Advertising rate information available from Reunions magazine, Inc., PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211-0727; 414-263-4567; fax 414-263-6331 | e-mail © 2014 Reunions magazine, Inc. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER/JANUARY 2014 v Reunions 3


Be in touch! Thank you, Scott Ryan!


Mail to Reunions magazine PO Box 11727 Milwaukee WI 53211-0727 call 414-263-4567 visit fax 414-263-6331 e-mail

or the past year, Scott Ryan, Detroit, Michigan, has shared his regular blog that set out to find all his Class of 1988 classmates from Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. His search ends in this issue with a picture of the class at their successful reunion. Now Scott has given us permission to post his entire search on our webpage, where he will join several others to inspire you to find everyone! You will find it in “getting started,” “searching.” We found this rather prophetic!

Karen Lincoln, Chatsworth, Georgia, speaks for many others when she writes how her Pat’s Family Reunion started. “We recently had an unexpected death in the family. It made us realize how much we will miss our loved one, so we are planning to have a celebration of life next year near her birthday. We will celebrate all family members who’ve already passed away, but also it will be a time to continue to grow closer as a family.” J. Earle Bowden wrote in the Pensacola (Florida) New Journal that “reunion is a rich celebration of family. Reunions are innocent, joyful pilgrimages, sweet wine of family continuity and comforting stability. Hear again the ancient anthem, Precious Memories …” Thank you. Birmingham!

All’s well that ends well. I was due to speak at Birmingham, Alabama’s, June reunion planning workshop, but just days before I took an unintentional backward flying summersault off a treadmill and tore my hamstring. They were way too gracious, but I knew I had another chance because I was expected again in October. I was supercareful the week before, and this time everything went off without a hitch – except impending hurricane Karen, and I outran her! I’ve had the chance to meet many planners and readers this year, and I truly enjoy meeting all of you! This year I’ve attended planner workshops in Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Newport News and Chesapeake, Virginia, and a CVB membership group in Columbus, Ohio. For many workshops coming up, see Reunion School on pages 14 and 15. Take advantage of the opportunity, if there is a workshop near you. I promise, you’ll learn a lot. And most are free, but you must pre-register. 4 Reunions v

What’s in this issue?

In addition to the conclusion of Scott Ryan’s mythic search for classmates, we learn about a monumental family tree project from the Riley Family Reunion and the importance of family health history. You will find diversity among our family reunions starting with the Williams Family Reunion, whose best-made plans tried their strength but not their resolve in “What could possibly go wrong?” How would your family have reacted? The Easton Family Reunion plays on their great-great-grandfather Oscar’s name with a real red carpet and, what else? Oscars! The Rinehart Family celebrates their 106th annual reunion, while the Burt(t)schells take their meeting to Germany. Two important features are not to be missed: one about ranches just waiting to host your reunion, and another with many fundraising ideas for your reunion.

Our 25th is coming up!

We will be kicking off our 25th volume in about six months and invite you to share your 25th ... reunion, that is. If your class, family, friends or military group has celebrated a 25th anniversary, share it with us. What was special Dean Miller, National Sales Manager, Visit Fairfax and yours truly, editor, Edith Wagner, at a about that silver Milwaukee Brewers baseball game this summer. anniversary? How did you mark it? It does not have to be a current 25th. Go back to when you celebrated a 25th. Did you celebrate a 25th birthday or wedding anniversary at your reunion? That would count too. Share your story to inspire how we celebrate 25! That’s 25 years of Reunions magazine! Send to New Year’s resolutions

It won’t be long now before you’ll be making resolutions for 2014. We hope one is to make your next reunion the best you’ve ever planned, and to think about or work at that a little every day so when the time comes, you’ll have covered all the bases and you’ll be able to enjoy the reunion along with your family, classmates, buddies, friends or with whomever you gather! We wish you a happy holiday season and great new year. EW


alum & I

The Reunion Project, a blog by Scott Ryan About this blog


cott Ryan, a 1988 graduate of Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, was blogging about his searching experience ahead of his 25th high school reunion this summer. You can contact Scott at 248-945-9950 or; subject line: “The Reunion Project.” The blog originates on Reprinted with permission.

May 17, 2013 F Friday Fun

With six weeks to go before reunion weekend, we’ve decided to double our fun. In addition to the Saturday party, we’re arranging a pre-party mixer the night before at a restaurant. It’s a good way to give people a second option, and we can include people from neighboring classes. It’s also a chance to raise more money. We’re asking for contributions–not a set amount, just whatever people feel like chipping in. A bonus is that the restaurant is run by one of our classmates. As far as Saturday goes, we’ve surpassed ticket sales from our 20-year reunion. This is good, but not good enough. We’re expecting 150 people, but almost half still haven’t bought their tickets. I’m guessing everyone’s waiting until the last minute. We’ll sell door tickets, but I’d hate to think we’re depending on 50 more people to show up. I’m pleasantly surprised by the number of sponsors and donors we have. Several local businesses have chipped in with gift cards, products and money. The money is certainly a help, while the gifts make for some fun raffles. We’ve got a couple fundraisers planned over the next six weeks, too. How easy is it to keep track of almost 400 people? It isn’t. This has become a nearly full-time job, making sure I don’t lose track of people when they move, RSVP or get in touch with someone I’ve been trying to locate. I’m tired – but hoping this will all be worth it next month. July 3, 2013 F The Main Event

Despite one successful night under our belts, there was still some anxiety about Saturday night. We still needed several people to show up at the door to break even. We’d fronted our own money on this party and didn’t want to wind up in the red. Also in the mix was word of a couple additional classmates whom I hadn’t known about. It was too late to start searching, so I figured I’d just make some notes for next time. We got to the venue around 2 PM to setup. We had a near disaster, when a big bunch of special balloons got away from us and floated to the ceiling, well out of reach. After an embarrassingly unsuccessful attempt to retrieve them with another balloon and duct tape, we opted for a broom. Then we realized we had to duct tape the duct tape to the broom handle. After reeling in the wayward balloons, we finished decorating and went home to get dressed. The first food came out at 7 PM. A handful of people were already waiting. More food came out 45 minutes later, as people continued to file in. We ramped up the music around 8:30 PM, right after our group photo, taken from the third floor of the room. It was neat to see so many faces! One hundred thirty of us danced to some current songs and some from our high school days. People began leaving a little before midnight, with everyone very appreciative of our work. We did it! We wound up with just enough money to cover our expenses. Some of us were already taking questions about plans for a 30-year reunion, but I don’t think any of us is ready to look that far ahead just yet. We all left tired and relieved – and maybe just a bit sad – that it was all over. 6 Reunions v

Princess Anne High School, Virginia Beach, Virginia, Class of 1988.

July 4, 2013 F Passing the Torch

As the final minutes ticked away Saturday night, a big weight lifted from our shoulders, but we knew there was just a bit more work to do. Sunday morning, a few of us met for brunch to recap the amazing weekend. Considering the fact that we got a late start in planning things, it turned out as close to perfect as possible. We made enough to cover our costs – if there’s any money left over after everything is finalized we might donate it to the school. We might have done a little better communicating PayPal fees and food details. Neither was a serious problem, but with an event this size you’re always looking for ways to improve. I also wish I had had enough time to find every single classmate. Out of an unofficial class size of almost 400, we officially contacted 369 people. I found half of the missing people – they just didn’t reply to any calls or emails. We wound up with 250 or so in total attendance over both nights; of course, some went to both functions. How ever much work you think something like this is, double your estimate. And have some serious people in place to work with – people who get results. I was lucky to have two great people to work with. I can’t say whether we’ll all be here to try our hand at this again, but I feel we’ve set a standard for future classes to follow. Regardless of what the future brings, I’ve probably talked myself into a role with any reunions down the road. Finally, our moment in time was captured by one of our classmates in video montages for Friday and Saturday. [Friday: Saturday:] Postscript


ow that we have followed Scott Ryan’s search for classmates, we will add his entire months-long blog to in Getting Started…Searching. And thanks, Scott, for sharing this very interesting adventure!

Russell class of ’63 gives back

Short takes


ussell (Kentucky) High School’s Class of 1963 gave back on its 50th anniversary. The class presented a check for more than $2,000 to Principal Anna Chaffins. The money is targeted for buying metal benches to install in front of the student center. The ’63 class was the first to graduate from the current building and the first team to play on Russell’s current football field. “We all appreciated our days at Russell High School and what they school did for us,” Tom Adkins, class president, said. “We’re happy to give back something.” From a story by Mark Maynard in The Independent, Ashland, Kentucky

How to network at your class reunion


chool reunions provide a great opportunity to reconnect with friends who share your history and may work in your same industry. Yet, you don’t want to arrive at your class cocktail party handing out cards and accosting people. It’s offensive and ineffective. Here are some ways to build professional relationships at your reunion. Clean up your act: If you were a jerk in high school or college, show people how you’ve evolved by being your (better) self. If you were the jock, prom queen or bully, that is how people remember you. Own up to it before starting any conversations. Even apologize. Explain who you’ve become and demonstrate how you are different. Let people talk about themselves: Ask what you can do for others first before you ask

what they can do for you. Ask what people have been up to since you last saw them. Answer questions about yourself in the natural flow of conversation. Do not just talk about yourself.

Do your homework: You already have something in common with these folks. Check social

media to see who’s in your field. Approach them and discuss everything except the way they could potentially help you. Classmates will want to assist someone who isn’t asking for it.

Reasons for going to class reunions

Don’t go to your high school reunion for you. Go for me. Even if you won’t get much out of it, you may be surprised by who is happy to see you, and how much your presence means. From a much longer, fascinating article by Philip Berne in SlashGear ✶✶✶✶✶✶✶ A reunion is a good reminder that you never were as good as you thought you were, but no one else was, either. Maybe a reunion is best described as an evening of grace. From a story by Jim “Goose” Rawlings, Rph, in Modern Medicine ✶✶✶✶✶✶✶

Don’t brag. Be yourself: Few things are more off-putting than touting your own success. Acknowledge their accomplishments: Applaud the success of others. Look outside your old circle: Your reunion is a friendly place. Someone you may not have met in school may become a good friend or even business partner now. Be subtle: Your reunion is not a networking party – there’s an important difference. You’ll have to be a lot more subtle in how you begin conversations. Only reach for a business card when, and if, you’re asked for one. Keep it short and sweet: Spare the details of every project you’re working on. Share just a

little and convey why you love what you do. Enthusiasm is infectious and will make people want to network with you. After the weekend, solidify connections you made. From CBS Moneywatch by Amy Levin-Epstein

Class reunions in the facebook age

media can enhance and detract from reunions. Shaveocialchanged As they have with so many other long-standing traditions, social media and the internet how we approach class reunions. Facebook and Twitter can make you attend a

reunion, since you have regular contact with your former compatriots, and the sites can grease the skids for face-to-face interaction. Facebook preliminaries certainly ease the tension. But, by the same token, why travel halfway across the country, or even halfway up the block, when you’re in constant touch with the people you struggled through algebra with? With facebook and Twitter, the class reunion is happening 24/7. You know who’s died, who’s come out of the closet, who’s gotten married and who’s gotten divorced. But you can’t convey emotion through facebook. Facebook “is still not the real world.” One classmate said, “Keeping in touch through facebook makes me miss old friends from home. It is my lifeline.” Before social media, locating people for class reunions often involved a trip to a high school’s alumni office, if they even had one, or digging through out-of-town phone books at a public library. No more. Through facebook, Twitter and other online sites, such as switchboard. com or, people can be tracked down. Though not everyone is on facebook, those who are tell two friends, and each of them tells two more friends, and so on. Facebook can help break down the cliques that were prevalent in high school. By the time classmates come to the reunion, they feel like they are just part of the group. From an article by Brad Hundt in the Washington Observer Reporter, Washington, Pennsylvania

How Facebook makes high school reunions so much better

Especially if you’ve gained a few pounds over the past 20 years since high school, it is highly likely that you also have done one or more of these: loved someone, helped someone, had a child, won something, created something beautiful, and accomplished a dream. So you might as well tell the truth on facebook because your friends are imperfect, too. Plus, perfect people are extremely hard to come by and are boring. In the end, a high school reunion – like facebook – is a place where people get together with others to catch up on old times and to share what is going on in their lives today. Let facebook set you free, and have the time of your life at your school reunion. From a post by Eve Mayer Orsburn @LinkedInQueen Social Media Delivered ✶✶✶✶✶✶✶


alum & I

Decorating your reunion Luminarias

For each luminaria, fill a paper bag (in school colors) with sand and a candle. Time capsule

Fill the capsule with small objects from your graduation year: peace sign necklaces, incense, tape cassettes, 45 RPM records, love beads, earrings, sunglasses, popular books, magazines, photocopies of yearbook pictures. Shoes!

Go to a thrift shop or ask alumnae to bring old shoes from the graduation era: platforms, sneakers, pointy spike heels, saddle shoes, whatever. Place each on a sheet of colored paper (school colors, of course). Insert a small baby food jar, place greens and a few flowers inside each shoe to make a centerpiece. If shoes are old and dirty, spray paint them bronze or gold, since they are Golden Oldies. Inexpensive lamps

Fill small Coke bottles with lamp oil and buy inexpensive (usually under $3) oil lamp wicks. Surround with flowers and light! Wrapped boxes

Gift-wrap small or medium boxes (silver and gold would be festive and elegant). Pick a theme

Collect child-sized cowboy boots from local thrift stores for a western theme. Place an arrangement of wildflowers or silk flowers in each one. Use bandanas as napkins. You can buy them in packs of two or three and they can be take-home gifts as well. They don’t have to match; mismatched things look more festive and creative. Dollar Stores

Dollar Stores are treasure troves! You’ll find candle holders, candles, dried flowers, curling or regular ribbon in school colors. Sprinkle metallic or regular confetti on the tables to accent the ribbon. It creates a brilliant, formal effect in candlelight. Centerpieces

Ask local merchants to donate a modest (tax deductible) centerpiece, with their card attached as an advertisement. Every centerpiece will be different, but they’re free and require no work, except writing a thank you. Alumni who are very successful can show off their companies (and maybe drum up new clients.) Then use the centerpieces as door prizes. Or as an ice breaker, have a table full of “stuff.” Anything goes – the weirder, the better. Ask each table to go to the “stuff table,” select seven items, and make a centerpiece. Have a prize for the funniest, most creative, ugliest, etc. Take pictures! Decorated books

Collect old hardcover books in various sizes at tag sales, garage sales, church bazaars, etc. Using 3 or 4 per table, remove dust jackets. Spray paint books whatever color you like (school colors are perfect). When dry, stack them and attach each with a little hot glue. Tie a decorative ribbon around them with a big bow on 8 Reunions v

top. Wired ribbon works well. Stacks look best when a variety of book sizes are stacked together. Home Touch

Ask several people to use their own china and tablecloths and decorate tables with things from their homes. Some use fine china, silverware, and centerpieces from their own homes. Others use decorative paper products and beach balls, or sunflower paper products and a bundle of sunflowers for the center piece. The tables will all be beautiful, and different, and place settings become part of the decorations. Decorate one table with memorabilia from high school days: a year book, old jerseys, football helmet, graduation caps and gowns, a small bouquet of class flowers and pictures. Use tablecloths in school colors. Free flowers

Make table decor for practically NOTHING! Local greenhouses pluck off the blooms to keep plants growing nicely: Geraniums, fuchsias, roses, you name it! They just throw them out or use them for mulch! You can pick up literally hundreds of flowers for NOTHING! Use them to fill borrowed or purchased ivy bowls (they look like goldfish bowls with a ruffly edge). Candles and mirrors

Use mirrored tile and candles. Mirrors reflect the light. Ask florists if you can have leftover petals and greenery. They can save these up to a week and you can sprinkle the petals around the candles for a nice floral touch. If you tell the florist you will give them advertising in your reunion program, they may help for free. White bags and colored paper

Buy white gift bags with handles, colored tissue paper and balloons. Decorate white bags with a slogan in neon color paints. Use lettering sponges to paint a slogan. Insert tissue paper folded in a diamond so that it sticks out of the top of the bag, then tie balloons to the handles. Decoupage memories

Photocopy a yearbook and “decoupage” each table with miscellaneous photos covered by clear heavy plastic tablecloths. Or photocopy LP covers and intersperse them with class photos. Guaranteed to bring on the nostalgia. Rustic jars and flowers

Ask committee to clean and keep all sizes of clear glass bottles or jars. Group jars of different sizes on the table, and place water and cut flowers or wildflowers, and/or votive candles inside. “I Remember You”

Make posters with the list of the top 10 songs, movies, television shows, books from your graduating year or era. If you have a source of old magazines, use the car ads. Look in your yearbook to see what decorations were used at school dances. Recreate an old school dance. Streamers and balloons were usually used, and they are inexpensive. Provide paper and pencils on the table for people to write down memories. Collect them and (after screening them) read out loud. Collect old pictures from classmates and have a contest to see who can correctly identify them. From ideas on


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Riley family tree highlights reunion


special highlight of the Riley reunion. This 128-page digital Family Reunion cruise document was presented on CD in was a four CD/DVD set two formats (in pdf format, and in placed in registration bags digital flipbook style – where it for every family member. looks like you’re actually turning Planner Vicki Riley said, the pages of a book). “Our hope is that this family Sections in the history “book” history, preserved in digital are family couples, weddings, family format, will be included among homes, states where there are “Family Reunion” – a each relative’s important video of our first family relatives, birthdays, spotlight of reunion in 1989. documents and passed on to family youth and a directory. A future generations.” Copies of special section called “In Our the digital “book” also will be submitted to Lifetime” includes monumental events that the Louisiana and Mississippi State happened during our time so future Archives to be housed with previous Riley generations will know who was alive to see Family Books. them. Two events included the election of The first CD was President Barack Obama and Hurricane “Our Family Katrina, which directly affected several Tree,” a history family members who live in New Orleans. of the Riley Complementing the history book was family dating the second CD, a 203-page photo album of from our first family pictures. It, too, was presented as a forefather’s arrival digital flipbook and in pdf. The third CD in America from was the “fun” portion of the collection. It Ireland, to the was a DVD of the first Riley Family “We Are Family” – a collection of most recent Reunion in 1989. “We enjoyed seeing how songs about family relationships and includes the two songs that family member, family members have changed and seeing are listed in the book. who was only 21 the faces of family members who are no days old at the longer with us,” said Riley. Rounding out

“Our Family Tree, Louis & Jane Lane Riley Family History” – Traces our family history, includes photos, a descendants chart and family directory.

the collection was a CD of songs about family relationships. Family members were delighted to receive these valuable documents. And those who were unable to attend could purchase the set.

Sustaining your Legacy

The value of collecting and sharing family health history


he holiday season is a time when we gather with family, friends and loved ones to discuss the latest news of school accomplishments, accolades, sports happenings and hot topics. However, one of the most critical conversations, though consistently excluded from these discussions, is family health history. Family health history is a tool used to promote the collection of health information about diseases present within families. In addition to documenting diseases that are present, it is also important to find out which family members have been diagnosed, their ages when they were diagnosed, whether they were diagnosed with the same condition multiple times (i.e, two or more breast cancer diagnoses), whether they were diagnosed with the same condition in different organs (i.e., breast and ovarian cancers), what tests were used to confirm the diagnosis, and the results of laboratory reports. November is Family Health History month, but this important topic should not be limited to 30 days a year. Family health history is a foundational cornerstone in the field of medicine. It serves as the most informative indicator in terms of predicting risk for various diseases. For generations, it has been taboo to discuss conditions that afflicted our ancestors. It was viewed as disrespectful to bring up reasons people were sick. Thus, it remained a mystery why multiple family members may have passed away at early ages. We have learned that many 10 Reunions v

symptoms family members share are not coincidental. They are passed through our blood lines and may even be predictable. Maintaining the family tradition of secrecy increasingly puts the lives of younger generations at stake. Often, these conversations cannot take place because no one knows where to start, or people are fearful a loved one’s reputation would be dishonored. Family health history conversations are among the most inexpensive and resourceful tools available to ensure that appropriate decisions are made and the right health resources and services are utilized for you and your family members. As you take the time this holiday season to express your gratitude for family, friends and other blessings, I encourage you to add appreciation for knowledge of your family health history information to that list. Engage older and younger generations in dynamic conversations about your health and conditions that tend to run in your family. Initiating these conversations now could potentially lead to improvements in access to care and make a difference between appropriate care and diagnosis offered by your doctor.

About the author

Altovise T. Ewing, PhD, is a Cancer Control and Prevention Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Health, Behavior and Society Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Reunion to unusual roots


n unusual aspect of family history sparked an extraordinary amount of preparatory effort for the Warneke / Lawrenz Family Reunion. Three Warneke brothers married three Lawrenz sisters in the early 1900s. The three marriages spawned a long line of Lutheran families. Some had eight children, and their children had children. Cousins first talked about a reunion two years ago and planned it for a year. With help of extended family, Gerry Lundy organized genealogical information, including pictures of late relatives, a dossier of all living cousins, and a guided tour of the original homestead northwest of Herington, Kansas that dates back 156 years. From a story by Oliver Good in the Marion County Record, Marion, Kansas

Family heritage activities


his list of family heritage activities is from Your Family Reunion: Getting Together Your Get Together by Elaine Flake. Bring photos of people who cannot attend and place them on chairs. Make a time capsule – current events and family news. Have autograph books. Start a website. Make a video of each reunion. Make a scrapbook of each reunion. Write letters to yourselves – predict where you will be in one, five or ten years. Save them and open them in one, five or ten years. Have guest speakers or lectures by

family members. Teach kids to crochet, quilt, carve, etc. Oldest relatives share stories. Question/answer session with older family members. Bring family history projects to share or even sell (compilations, etc.). Make a pedigree chart or family tree. Tell stories about, or impersonate, ancestors. Re-enact family history events. Read short excerpts from journals, etc. Visit gravesites. Model costumes of some ancestors’ era. Tour sites where relatives grew up.

Family history project results in reunion


lex Harrington, a descendant of firstgeneration brother, James Scripps, Sr., began online research a year ago, created a blog and is making two family history books. A reunion is another outcome of his research and marks the first time in nearly 40 years the family is returning to Ford City, Pennsylvania, to rekindle family spirit and get to know their cousins. Harrington used the blog to share and collect information. Family members sent stories. The blog posts photos and stories

to stir interest among cousins of the Scripps family. The last first-generation brother, Albert, died in November 2000. A set of family lineage books with information about the first generation and their immigration will be donated to the Armstrong County Historical Society. Visit From a story by Jonathan Weaver in The Kittanning Paper, Kittanning, Pennsylvania

Which ancestors would you invite to your family reunion?


enealogists love to discuss their favorite ancestors! Introduce them at your next family reunion. Marry Harrell-Sesniak, a genealogist, author and editor, would invite aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright, who share Edmund Freeman (1737-1813) and Martha Otis (1737-1790) as mutual ancestors. Another on Harrell-Sesniak’s list of ancestors would be accused witch Lydia,

wife of Thomas Gilbert. In 1654, Lydia and others were accused of causing a death by witchcraft. Another of her ancestors, Adam Exton, invented the oyster cracker, a recipe which became immensely popular. I’d inquire why he didn’t patent this invention, which was soon stolen – and to this day some still disclaim him as the inventor of the delicious cracker. Consider inviting a few “virtual” Reunionsmagazine reunionsmagazine reunionsmag

ancestors to the family reunion, and search GenealogyBank’s historical archives for family trivia. You might even uncover a news report of a previous family reunion. Many old news articles include family reunion photos that show the whole family the way they were. So which ancestors would you place on your “fantasy ancestral team”? From a blog by Mary Harrell-Sesniak on GenealogyBank NOVEMBER/DECEMBER/JANUARY 2014 v Reunions 11

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Descendants of slaves, masters to meet at reunion


am Love, 77, repeats the story at every family reunion. It is about three young brothers who were kidnapped in West Africa, sold as slaves in Jackson, Mississippi, and wound up with a white family on a farm in Gaston County, North Carolina. After emancipation, the brothers – Peter, Barry and Harry – stayed on with their former master. The farmer became a textile pioneer. The brothers helped build local cotton mills. Love revived the family reunion tradition in 1994 when about 200 came, including a descendant of the master who had owned the slave brothers. Love has

located more than 600 descendants of all three brothers. Reunions that bring together descendants of slaves and masters are relatively rare events, said Robert Hinton, retired professor of Africana studies at New York University. Hinton sees such encounters as positive for blacks and whites. But as they look into their shared past, they should “be prepared to talk about slavery,” he said. “Most Americans don’t have a sense of slavery’s role in the founding of this country.” But the conversations can help blacks “get a better sense of who they are,” Hinton said. “And it’s important for whites to

understand how they reached the socio and economic positions they are in today.” At the reunion, Jim Love of Mount Holly, North Carolina, the only white master descendant to attend, talked about his pioneering textile family and the recent loss of buildings the slave brothers may have worked on. He welcomes the chance to share these stories. But he’s also eager to hear from the African-American Loves. “We can learn from each other,” he said. “We made history together.” From a story by Joe DePriest in the Charlotte Observer, Charlotte, North Carolina

Restoration of East Texas landmark


Jenkins, Texas, landmark is being restored for historic preservation by fourth- and fifth-generation descendants of Republic of Texas settlers John Wingate Truitt and Elizabeth J. Robinson Truitt. The Truitts, with six of their children, migrated to Jenkins in 1840, from Alabama and Tennessee. They selected a home site on a knoll and built a “dogtrot” log cabin similar to those they had in rural Tennessee. The cabin had two eighteen foot square rooms, one with a sleeping loft above, separated by a twelve foot-wide dogtrot hallway, with deep porches stretching the full length of the cabin front and back. A decade ago, the Truitt Cousins Reunion Association bought the cabin, with sixty percent of the original structure still intact and in useable condition. Since then, the John Wingate Truitt Log Cabin Restoration and Preservation Association, with over 2,000 identified descendants of J.W. and E.J. Truitt, sought restoration guidance from the Texas Historical Commission in Austin and began raising restoration funds through grants and annual Truitt Cousins’ Reunions. The Texas Historical Commission designated the John Wingate Truitt Log Cabin Site a State Archeological Landmark. Over $60,000 has been spent on the restoration, and another $20,000 is needed to provide the rock masonry chimneys, water connections, security system and period furnishings.

The Truitt Association wants this piece of Texas archeological history to accurately reflect rural life in Northeast Texas during the period when Texas was a Republic. They also want it to benefit future generations of students and historians, and to open the Truitt Log Home for tours and planned visits. From an article in the Gilmer Mirror, Gilmer, Texas

Family heirlooms turn reunion into a living history lesson


enerations grew up hearing stories of life on Senobio and Cecilia Diaz’s farm in Buena Vista Township, Michigan. The Diaz family’s annual reunion featured a collection of more than 100 heirlooms, most with a story to tell to a family now grown to more than 900. Included were the metate that the diminutive matriarch had used to grind corn for the family’s tortillas, and the 75-year-old kerosene lampara which Senobio lit each night so his ten children could practice reading and writing in Spanish and English. As Metate

12 Reunions v

migrant workers moving to Saginaw in 1927, “they really pushed education.” Part of the family exhibit is a suitcase that Senobio and Cecilia’s son Jose Diaz always carried, filled with newspaper clippings of historical events, such as President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Many of the children were very interested in what was on display. The little ones will learn from family. From a story by Sue White in the Bay City Times, Bay City, Michigan


reunion school

Most of these events are sponsored and presented by convention and visitors bureaus. Most take place on Saturdays unless noted and, for the most part, are for people planning reunions in their area. All prefer or require advance reservations and are free or at nominal cost. For information about new events – added online, as soon as we learn about them – visit and click on workshops, conferences and seminars. Alliance of Military Reunions

Cobb County, Georgia

Contact Skip Sander, 412-367-1376 |

Contact Melissa Legaux, 800-451-3480 |

Alpharetta, Georgia

October 2014 Roger Dudley, 614-222-6136, 800-354-2657

Contact April Cochran, 678-297-2811

Columbus, Ohio

Dekalb County, Georgia

Contact Athens CVB, 706-357-4430.

November 16, 2013 Contact Carol Murray, 800-999-6055

Atlanta, Georgia

Detroit, Michigan

Athens, Georgia

Contact Jennifer Ollinger, 888-225-5389 |

Contact Chantel Ross-Francois, 404-521-6647

Douglasville, Georgia

March 15, 2014 Contact Randi Miles, 678-715-6069 |

Baltimore, maryland

Baltimore CVB, 410-244-8861

Dunwoody, Georgia

Contact Andy Williams, 678-244-9804 Durham, North Carolina

January 2014 Contact Arie Bobbitt, 919-680-8311 | Estes Park, Colorado, YMCA of the Rockies

November 1-3, 2013 Family Reunion University Contact Laura Field at 970-586-4444 x 6062 Birningham 2013

Greater Birmingham, Alabama

Contact Tara Walton, CTIS, 205-458-8000, ext 206 | twalton@ Branson, Missouri

Contact Julie Peters, 417-334-4084 | | Cabarrus County, North Carolina

Contact Carrie Hendrickson, 704-456-7969 |

Fairfax County, Virginia

February 15, 2014 Speaker: Edith Wagner, Reunions magazine editor Contact Dean Miller, 703-752-9509 | Flint, Michigan

Contact Courtney Irish, 810-232-8902 | Fredericksburg, Virginia

Contact: Kimberly Herbert, 800-260-3646 Grand Rapids, Michigan

Contact C. Jeff Bunn, 888-889-5551 |

November 9, 2013 Heidi Schmitt, 800-678-9859 ext 3557

Chicago Southland, Illinois

Greenwood, South Carolina

Chesapeake, Virginia

Contact Jane Bushong, 888-895-8233 14 Reunions v

Contact Lindsay Burns, 864-953-2464

Gwinnett County, Georgia

Contact Cricket Elliott-Leeper, Gwinnett CVB, 770-814-6049 Kalamazoo, Michigan

Military Reunion Planners Contact Jennifer Williamson, 269-488-0057 | jwilliimason@ or Contact Lisa Kukulski, 269-488-0056 | Kissimmee, Florida

April 29-May 2, 2014, Military Reunion Planner Conference September 20, 2014 Speaker: Edith Wagner, Reunions magazine editor Contact Jadeine Shives, 407-742-8255 Lake County, Illinois

Contact Kimberly Ghys, 800-Lake-Now |

Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana

Contact Kevin Flowers, 800-551-8682 | Winter Park, Colorado, Snow Mountain Ranch

YMCA of the Rockies, Family Reunion University Contact Group Reservations, 800-777-9622 YMRC – Your Military Reunion Connection

Conferences begin on Wednesday or Thursday Myrtle Beach, South Carolina February 9-14, 2014 Fort Walton Beach/ Destin, Florida

February 20-23, 2014

San Diego, California March 23-26, 2014 San Antonio, Texas May 4-7, 2014 Colorado Springs, Colorado May 9-12, 2014 Nashville, Tennessee July 27-30, 2014 Charleston, South Carolina November 9-12, 2014

Contact |

Lee County CVB, Florida

Contact Candice Cocco, 239-338-3500 | Louisville, Kentucky

February 22, May 17, August 9, November 8, 2014 Contact Darlene Starks, 502-379-6110 | Macon-Bibb County, Georgia

Contact Robin North, 478-743-1074 ext. 114 Memphis, Tennessee

Contact Lisa Catron, 901-543-5337 | Minneapolis, Minnesota

Contact Casey Kluver, 612-767-8106 Newport News, Virginia

Contact James Dean, 888-493-7386 | Peachtree City, Georgia

Contact 678-216-0282 | Prince George’s County, Maryland

Prince George’s Community College, Largo Campus Contact Family Affair, 301-322-0797 | Rock Hill, South Carolina

Visit Sandy Springs, Georgia

Contact Will Carlson, 770-206-1445

Lunch at Chesapeake, Virginia, workshop

About reunion planning workshops


e promote reunion-planning workshops as a service to our readers. We occasionally co-sponsor but are not providers of workshops. Most workshops are offered by local convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) to help prepare reunion planners and offer resources for the reunion organizing task. Most are free of charge, but pre-registration is required. Workshops benefit reunion planners as well as the CVB and its members (hotels, caterers, attractions, shopping malls, entertainment). It’s a win-win, and well worth taking advantage of. If you don’t see a workshop in your area, we suggest you contact a local convention and visitors bureau to ask if they are planning to offer a workshop. If not, suggest they think about it because reunions are good business. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER/JANUARY 2014 v Reunions 15


Hospitality Answerman by Dean Miller


I was at one of the reunion planning workshops you hosted a few years ago. I remember you saying there were things that should definitely be in any contract we sign with our reunion hotel, and things we definitely want to have the hotel take out or modify. I’ve misplaced my notes from the workshop … can you, please, provide the list of “Definitely Want In” and “Definitely Want Out” contract terms?


Happy to! Contract clauses are one of the areas in planning any reunion where you’ll definitely want to take the time to review everything … several times over. Having certain clauses included or excluded before you sign your contract can save substantial headaches and/or money later on! Let’s start with the basics. A sales contract is a legally binding document. Both the hotel (the seller) and you (the buyer) are promising you’ll do certain things you’re agreeing to. The language in any good contract should be clear, concise, and unambiguous. If you’re not sure what something means, ask to have it explained. If you’re still not sure, ask to have it taken out. Any financial terms noted should be stated in dollars and cents, not percentages. Any dates / times noted should be specific; for example, “5:00 PM on August 10, 2014,” not “three business days prior to the start of your event.” You’ll definitely want to have these six clauses included. n

a Cancellation Clause. This should indicate what you would owe the hotel if you cancel your reunion after the contract is signed, and what the hotel owes you, if they cancel your reunion for whatever reason. Try to negotiate a provision in the clause that, if you do have to cancel your reunion, you would have a certain time period (up to a year, for example) to rebook your reunion at the hotel without penalty. Or, if the hotel requires payment, the cancellation fee can be applied toward the cost of a future reunion (again, within a year).


a Management Change Clause. This clause should allow you to cancel the reunion without penalty, if the hotel undergoes a change in ownership, management, or “brand” (from a Holiday Inn to a Comfort Inn, for example) between the date you sign your contract and the date of your reunion. You may very well not need or want to cancel, but this will allow you to do so if you find the hotel is substantially different under their new ownership/management.


a Renovation Clause. This should clearly state that there will be no major renovations taking place at the hotel during your reunion, and allow you to cancel (or provide you with pre-determined relief), if there are.


a Miscellaneous Fees Clause. Any fees you’ll be required to pay during your reunion should be clearly noted in the contract. A miscellaneous fees clause should note that the existing fees cannot be raised, nor any new fees applied, without your prior written consent. Hotels have a host of miscellaneous fees charged for various services, and new ones pop up all the time. These could include fees for parking, health club and pool usage, mandatory gratuities to housekeepers, resort fees, fees for daily newspapers, fees for receiving packages, and on and on.


a “No Charge” Clause. Many hotels provide services “without charge” or “complimentary” to their guests. These may include free parking, free use of the pool and/or health club, free

16 Reunions v

breakfast, and so on. If your hotel currently offers things “for free,” you’ll want a clause noting what they are, and that your attendees will receive them “for free” at the time of your reunion, even if the hotel begins charging for them in the interim. n

a n ADA Clause. This should confirm that the hotel complies with all aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which provides for access to public facilities for individuals with various physical limitations.

You’ll want to have the hotel take out these two clauses. n

a ny clause that prevents you from contesting charges posted to your credit card, if a dispute over billing should arise.


a ny clause that allows the hotel to put your events in different meeting rooms without your permission. Be sure the contract clearly notes which meeting rooms your reunion will be using.

A clause you’ll want to consider carefully. n

a n Attrition Clause. The hotel may insist on this, so you may not be able to get it removed, but in many cases you can get it modified, if you ask. This indicates the amount you will pay the hotel, if you use fewer than the number of rooms you’ve told the hotel you’ll need. This is why it is always wise to be very conservative in the number of rooms you commit to. Far better to ask the hotel for additional rooms, if you need them, closer to the reunion date, than to contract for too many and have to pay for unused rooms.


 s an alternative to an Attrition Clause, ask for an “Early A Release” Clause, which allows the hotel to release any unreserved rooms in your block to sell to the general public without penalty or obligation to you. By giving rooms back the hotel may sell them to someone else, and be willing to forego any attrition penalties you’d otherwise have to pay.

And finally: the Sanity Clause. There is a very funny scene in a truly funny movie, A Night At The Opera, starring The Marx Brothers. You can rent the movie at almost any video rental store, and it makes a perfect choice for a family movie night at your reunion. It’s certain to have everyone in your group – from kids to seniors – laughing out loud!


About the Hospitality Answerman

Dean Miller, national sales director for VisitFairfax (, the convention and visitors bureau in Fairfax County, Virginia, is a great friend of reunions. If you are planning a reunion in the Washington, DC, area, consider nearby, conveniently located Fairfax County and contact Dean at 703790-0643; Also see details for the VisitFairfax Family Reunion Planning workshop, February 15, 2014, where Reunions magazine’s editor, Edith Wagner will be speaking.

Long-time friends keep in touch by Janet Park


n September 1934, school bells rang for us kids of the Great Depression in Kirkland, Washington. My twin sister Jo, Joyce and I were at Rose Hill Grade School. Shirley, Margaret, Alice Mae, Gloria and Pat were at Central Elementary School. We all met and became close friends when we began seventh grade at Kirkland Junior High. When we were in the eighth grade, Pearl Harbor was bombed, thus the start of World War II. It was a scary time for us, living on the West Coast, fearful that we might be bombed, too. We hung black-out curtains at night. The war was still on when we entered high school, touching our lives in many ways. We took part in paper, metal and War Bond drives, experienced gas and food rationing and saw family members go off to war. When we were juniors in high school, three new students – Bonnie, Carolyn and Billie – joined our “gang.” We ate lunch together, had slumber parties and went to movies at the Gateway Theater. The war was over when we graduated from high school. And although we went off in different directions to go to college or work, we kept in touch. We attended one another’s weddings, and later visited with kids in tow. Today, 79 years since starting first grade, our friendships are still blooming. We meet for lunch the last Monday of each month. There is no set routine. We just eat and talk. Early on we chatted about adjusting to married life, then about our children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren. We laugh at our shortcomings and sympathize when one of us has bad news. Our group has dwindled down to six, sometimes seven. Four have

Waiting for a table (from l. to r.) are Janet, Joyce, Marj and Margaret, with Gloria seated in front. Carolyn and Bonnie were unable to attend.

died, but we gained one sister. Several others live too far to come often. Regardless of the number, we’ll continue our tradition of having lunch together on the last Monday of each month. It’s our ritual, a bond that we cherish as long-time school friends.

About the author

Janet Park, Seattle, Washington, is a retired corporate editor who has returned to freelance writing.

How to generate attendance


ttendance is always a big concern for reunion planners. Without attendance it is impossible to fund a successful reunion. Competing events can draw from your guest list, promotional materials may fail to reach your members, or your program might not be appealing. See if these ideas can maximize the attendance at your reunion. Invite bloggers

Ask bloggers to promote the reunion. Bloggers can write about their plans to attend, or publish an interview with you that discusses activities and plans. Promote with a wide net

Search for every available opportunity to pitch your reunion. The key is to always be searching for the next communication channel to reach your members. Make reminder calls

After invitations are sent, make reminder phone calls. Telephone follow-up dramatically increases attendance. Talk about the reunion at other events. Word of mouth is still the best way to create buzz. Creative thinking

Make your reunion unique. Offer new activities, be original. Include a session to plan your next reunion. A session that is fun and informative will have a positive impact on attendance at

future reunions. Brainstorm and share the resulting ideas with your planning committee for next year’s reunion. Promote via technology

Post reunion details on your website. Send email reminders. Promote the reunion in an e-newsletter. Add a line in your email signature with a link to your reunion website. If you have voice mail, include your upcoming reunion information in your recorded message. Review website usage reports to help determine the best places to promote the reunion. Post the reunion to facebook and Twitter. Don’t assume that people know; remind them. Communicate about your reunion

Spread the news everywhere, including local publications, Reunions magazine, newsletters and any other communication tool available. Send feedback surveys

To maximize future success, send feedback surveys after the reunion. Always ask for suggestions, because this feedback is very helpful for planning future reunions. Find out what your attendees would have liked. Follow-up is the key to your marketing success. From a post on Guide by Geoff Beers, and ideas from Rob Hard and Daniel Fortim. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER/JANUARY 2014 v Reunions 17


Jamestown descendants restoration plan


rvin James, a former slave, was determined to be a land owner and leave his descendants more than a history of slavery and share-cropping. He founded the Jamestown Settlement near Florence, South Carolina, in 1870. More than 300 descendants were born and raised on the estimated 246-acre parcel of land. They lived in 22 wood cabins, with gardens and farm animals enough to support everyone. Those descendants married, had children and moved all over the US. Now, acres of land – much cleared for logging – leave barely a trace of what once was a bustling center of life. Photographer Terry James and other family members are trying to raise funds and backing to restore the site. They hope it will eventually lead to an interactive Blacksmith Yan Owusuhassan demonstrates techniques. Colonial Williamsburgtype historical tourist attraction. The group is collecting old African-American recipes and remedies from the 1800s to 1900s for a one-of-a-kind book to sell to jumpstart renovations and put Jamestown on the map. Terry said many older generations are hesitant to share memories because they don’t think anyone would want to know the old ways, or they can’t remember exact measurements or ingredients. Terry says, ‘Write it down. What are you going to do – take it to the grave with you?’

In honor of Irvin James and the legacy and family he left behind, the James clan comes together annually for a family reunion called Come Celebrate Jamestown. It is open to the public. The reunion includes events and presentations such as sweet grass baskets, slave relics, cast nets, corn husking, mule plowing, quilt making, rice production, a cultural play, professional music and dance performers, traditional crafters, storytellers and Civil War re-enactors. Old recipes and remedies

Do you have old family recipes or remedies from the 1800 to 1900s? Help restore the historic Jamestown Settlement: share your family’s old (and even odd) recipes and/or remedies, to be included in a book that will be sold to fund restoration. Send to Terry James at or PO Box 4972, Florence SC 29502. From an article by Lindsay S. Buchanan from the Morning News and, Florence, South Carolina.

Artifacts from the Danny Drain Slave Relics Museum.

Soweto Street Beat originally from South Africa, now of Atlanta, with James Family and friends. Photo credit: all photos by Terry James.

18 Reunions v

Looking for a hotel?


f you’ve not already done so, try This is a reverse auction site. You tell them what you’re looking for, then their members send answers to your questions so you can compare hotels. I think you’ll find it fascinating, and you’ll get a good idea about what facilities and prices are available. If you want to work through to make your reservations, you’ll be assigned a counselor who will have many more tricks up his/her sleeve! But some people are hesitant to think that all that can be accessed online. Try it. It’s pretty slick! In fact, there’s a podcast on our website,, that fills you in on lots more details. It’s called “Hotels are looking for your reunion.” You can either listen or read the transcript. If you book your reunion through, you may qualify for a free room and rebate after your reunion.

Museum Row Attractions Unveil “The Main Ticket”


ouisville, Kentucky, now offers a discounted pass for some of the city’s top attractions. A bundled ticket to six of Louisville’s “Museum Row on Main” attractions is almost 50% off regular admission prices. Attractions participating in “The Main Ticket” are The Frazier History Museum, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Kentucky Science Center, KentuckyShow!, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, and Muhammad Ali Center. Visit

Farlington community reunion


n its day, Farlington, Kansas, hopped with businesses. They are gone now, but a rich history remains and was celebrated during a community reunion. A planning committee met regularly in the remodeled Farlington City Hall – built in 1873 and on the Kansas Register of Historic Places – which now has a bathroom and air conditioning. The building was open during the reunion for people who brought copies of old photos or other memorabilia to share. Maps were available for self-guided walking or driving tours of Farlington and the surrounding area. Some activities were held at Crawford State Park. Swimming, fishing and games were available during the day. A wiener roast included wieners, buns and beverages provided. From Patrick’s People feature by Nikki Patrick in the Pittsburg Morning Sun, Pittsburg, Kansas


20 Reunions v



What could possibly go wrong?


e receive many positive stories and reports about successful reunions, so we’re rarely tempted by what some people report as disasters. A rainy day? Misunderstandings that require a fast recovery? The car breaks down? A caterer doesn’t show up on time? All unnerving, no doubt. So when we learned about the Williams Family Reunion, we felt a need to share because the chance of all this happening on one weekend is way too coincidental and ironic. They wrote a song, sung to the tune of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy ….” In fact, we hope this helps you to not worry and to be happy that you probably cannot top this story! Sheri Williams Pannell, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who reported this story, offered it as “how to survive the unexpected at a family reunion.” Her summary was that “the reunion was beautiful, though challenged with tragedy and strange circumstances, and we kept the faith and love flowing.” The Williams Family Reunion meets biannually, and a large contingent charters a motor coach on Thursday for Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Chicago area residents. They should have been suspicious when the coach they ordered was not available and the substitute was less desirable. But they were happy to be going to the reunion and accepted their fate. This year they headed to Hartford, Connecticut, and all was well until they reached a Youngstown, Ohio, rest stop, where an 80-year-old cousin fell, struck her head and never recovered. After arrangements were made for the decedent’s

immediate family to return to Milwaukee, the group continued east. Three hours late, they went directly to the banquet, not able to change clothes.

Sheri Williams Pannell and Aunt Thelma

Sing along …

Reunion Bus three hours late, everybody in Hartford decide to wait. So don’t worry, be happy! We must go to the banquet in our traveling clothes, the dressed-up family must hold their nose. Don’t worry, be happy. At the banquet, Aunt Thelma (Thelma W. Longs) spoke in baseball metaphors to the generations (team) coming up and urged them to step up to the plate and get involved (grab the bat) to maintain this strong family tradition (team). Saturday they enjoyed a full-day picnic and entertainment at High Meadow Resort in North Granby, Connecticut. It was described as the perfect place on a perfect day. Whew! Saturday evening they had a family meeting where, among other things, they decided their next reunion would be in New Orleans in two years. However, the meeting took a sad turn and ended abruptly when a cousin suffered a seizure. The family immediately broke into prayer and songs of praise. Peace and calm filled the room. Their cousin recovered and was covered with hugs and kisses. Sunday worship was at Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Hartford, where their undisputed elder and church elder, 98-year old Aunt Thelma, was

celebrating being older than the 96-year old church. The service was followed by an outstanding dinner, during which they received a call that there was a fire at their hotel and to not come back until notified. Sing along …

The Church service and the supper real swell, but there was a fire in our hotel. But don’t worry ... be happy! Monday the motor coach ride back to Milwaukee did not relent to this already put-upon reunion group. At a truck stop outside Buffalo, New York, a brake replacement became inevitable, then turned into a nine-hour wait for replacement parts and repair. Sheri said, “We prayed, sang, told jokes and ate lots of fast food. Not once did anybody get loud, curse, or have a fit.” Sing along …

Reunion’s over, so board the bus and leave town. We get to New York and the bus breaks down! Still, don’t worry ... be happy! Ever the positive bearer of glad tidings, Sheri said “All in all our faith was tested and everyone grew spiritually.” As told by Sheri Williams Pannell to Edith Wagner, editor of Reunions magazine.

The Williams Family Reunion in Hartford, Connecticut.

22 Reunions v

POST SCRIPT This is the same family that 10 years ago suffered a serious motor coach accident in Sikeston, Missouri, on their return from a reunion in Magnolia, Mississippi. Just as everyone was out of the bus, it caught fire. Miraculously no one died … injuries, but no deaths. It was all over the news at the time, and Sheri’s firefighter/paramedic husband, Don, was one of the family heroes. Yup! Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. EW



Coleman, Doyle, Grasty Family Reunion


he Coleman, Doyle, Grasty Family Reunion on a family tour at the Martin Luther King Center, in Atlanta, Georgia. They are in front of the tombs of Coretta Scott King & Martin Luther King Jr.

Coleman, Doyle, Grasty Family Reunion


t the banquet where they showed films from previous reunions, had a talent show, dinner, dance, younger/older guest speakers, and giveaways for farthest driven, oldest, youngest, and who paid their dues and registration earliest. Photos shared by Kimberly Dews, Kennesaw, Georgia.

Hoene Family Reunion


24 Reunions v

ecause we’ve been having them for some time, we have a basic outline for our reunions: Friday night fish fry and potluck; Saturday night banquet, and a DJ and dance afterwards; Sunday Mass said by an uncle who is a priest, and lots of informal activities – fishing, water skiing, swimming and pontoon boat rides. But I always add something to change it up, and some individual families have taken charge of certain parts of the reunion (for example, the program during our banquet). In the past we had a memorial service and

planted a tree (with a wonderful plaque honoring our grandparents and family). The resort not only allowed us to plant the tree but also named the area where our tree stands after our family. Lots of activities center on children. They are always asked what they want to do and seem to enjoy just being with their cousins, aunts and uncles. We have lots of new babies, and the 20- to 35-year-olds are our best “helpers”! Reported by Rose Hoene, Duluth, Minnesota


Our Roots Keep Us ALL Together A Genealogy Themed, Red Carpet Family Reunion and Crab Feast The Red Carpet theme is a reflection of our great-great-grandfather’s name, “OSCAR.” And the OSCAR goes to … YOU!!!


yndra Marshall (nee’ Pratt), is an international genealogist, historian and owner of GENE-ALL-OF-US, Inc., Family Heritage Research and Resource Center. She also serves as commissioner on the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, an appointment by Governor Martin O’Malley. Lyndra’s maternal and paternal American roots are from Anne Arundel County, Maryland. She began her ancestral quest in 1968. She thrives on tracing her family roots and sharing her findings with family and others. She refers to herself as the “family history crusader” and encourages people of all ethnicities “not to be a silent killer of their family history.” Lyndra comes from a very large family. She and her siblings have organized many paternal and maternal family reunions. Attendance has been as large as 1800 and as little as 450.

Lyndra is proud of tracing family ties to Ghana, West Africa, from where the Easton family hailed before the transatlantic slave trade. In 2007, over 100 family and friends journeyed with her to Ghana, where they were given royal treatment by native Ghanaians (Minister of Tourism, government personnel, chiefs, queens, and the Ashanti King) during the 50th year of Independence. The family was invited to the King’s Palace for dinner and historical family reflections. Lyndra was presented the “Unity Torch,” which traveled around the slave routes during Ghana’s Independence celebrations. Although there are so many family members on the Easton Family Tree, Lyndra is in search of others who have ties to her maternal roots so they can be added. Then hopefully they can reunite and join the rest of their cousins at the next Easton Family Reunion.

Lyndra sent the following to her family just before the reunion, leaving few questions anyone would have to ask or excuses for not being there! Final Reunion Information

Reunion Type – A Genealogy Themed Reunion (Celebrating OUR Heritage) Theme – “Our Roots Keep Us All Together” Scripture – Job 41:17 They are joined one to another, they stick together, that they cannot be sundered. (KJV) They are joined to one another, so closely connected they cannot be separated. (HCSB) Attire and Colors – Reunion Day activities will be held indoors and outdoors. Please dress accordingly. Reunion Day – Multicolors (Be cool, casual & decent) Friday – Family Reunion Set Up Please feel free to join the Host Family in setting up the reunion site for our family reunion. Saturday – Family Reunion Day ~ Rain or Shine ~ Weather Predictions – Subject to change. 84° High; 70° Low; Partly Cloudy; Chance of rain: 10% (Please prepare accordingly) The Host Family (Lyndra and siblings), with the assistance of other members of the Easton family and Gertrude Makell (family member and President), along with other members of the Galesville Community Center, are ready with outstretched arms to welcome you to the Easton Family Reunion. Reunion Site and Address – Galesville Community Center, Galesville MD Reunion Time – 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (Registration and Red Carpet Photos begin at 11 a.m.) Check In – Our family reunion will begin at 11 a.m. Please check in at the Registration Table and get your entry wrist band. Food will not be served unless you have a special band. Red Carpet Pictures – Picture taking will begin at 11 a.m. by our family photographers – Valentino and Eunice “Necee” Owens of VALEU Photography. Photos will be available for purchase on-site. Remember you’re an OSCAR, so please don’t forget to put on your OSCAR smile and do your strut-walk. You can also bring a special garment for that special photo ‘op’ opportunity. Please see Reunion Brochure for cost and sizes. Reunion Kick-Off – Our reunion program will kick off at 12 noon. Please be present for our Family Branch Rally and represent your family branch. Other activities will follow. Reunion Meal – Our Crab Feast will be served from 2-5 p.m. The Menu can be found in the Reunion Brochure. Please don’t forget to bring your special homemade Crab Sauce. You have three hours to eat. So we hope you take a break and enjoy other activities and family members. 26 Reunions v

Beverages and Desserts – This is a time to share. Please don’t forget to bring your beverages and desserts that others can enjoy. Adult Games – Our Activities team have planned a wonderful day of games and activities so that each family member can get to know one other better. They include Chess, Checkers, Jacks, Kick Ball, Sack Race, and a lot of guessing games. We are hoping that everyone joins in on the fun, and mixes and mingles with other family members!!! Children’s Games – Our Activities team have also planned a wonderful day of games and activities for our younger children and youth. Also, you are also welcome to bring favorite toys and games for your children to enjoy. Live Entertainment – Our gifted and talented family singers and musicians will provide live, awe-inspiring Gospel Music, just like our ancestors used to do up and down the eastern seaboard. Be prepared to get your praise on!!! Family Celebrations – If you have family members that are celebrating a special accomplishment or a milestone event and you want to celebrate them in a special way, please feel free to bring balloons and others celebratory items that will make them feel special. 80th Birthday Celebrations – Our patriarchs are celebrating 80 years of life and legacy this year. Unlike many of our family members, they have been blessed to live a much longer life. Even though there will be a special time to celebrate them we are asking all family members to make them feel special by celebrating them throughout the entire day (i.e., tell them how much you love and appreciate them and/or shower them with personal gifts). This is also a good opportunity to celebrate other family jewels (our seniors) in your own special way. Please take time to LOVE on them!!! Family History Presentation – Our Family History team, with the assistance of GENE-ALL-OF-US, Inc., Family Heritage Research and Resource Center, is ready to share a bit about our amazing family history in the form of a skit, family tree and historic displays. They will also unveil a family story quilt, which is slated to be exhibited at Bates Legacy Center in Annapolis this fall and then on to a travel exhibition. This quilt will join a quilt that Lyndra’s paternal family created for her paternal grandmother last year. Cleanup – We are a family and we all descend from our forebears or have married into the Easton family. Therefore, everyone is encouraged to assist with the cleanup of the reunion site after the family reunion. This way we all can go home at a decent hour and be refreshed for our family worship experience. Sunday, June 30, 2013 – Family Worship Weather Predictions – Subject to change. 82° High; 71° Low; Partly Cloudy; Chance of rain: 0% Worship Service Site and Address – Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church, 967 Main Street, Galesville, MD 20765 Time – 11 a.m. (Please try your level best to be on time so we don’t disrupt the service). Attire – This is Ebenezer’s Women’s Day. Turquoise and White are the suggested (but not required) colors for women. Men can dress in any church attire and colors of their choice. Dinner – Dinner will follow the Worship Service. Again, for those who are planning to attend, we need a head count so the church family can prepare enough food for us. Please send that information to me ASAP! Medical Needs – If you have a medical need, please don’t forget to bring your medication and any other items to make for a comfortable day. Please remember that “Our Roots Keep Us All Together.” It’s your family reunion and you’re an OSCAR Winner by ancestry or marriage or just a friend of the family. So, please come and have a great time!!! Sincerely with Ancestral Blessings,

Commissioner Lyndra Marshall (nee Pratt)

Don’t be a SILENT KILLER to your Family History!

Short takes Make family reunion feel like home

After a funeral, I overheard, “With so few of that generation left, we don’t need to have reunions anymore.” We don’t need to? We need to more than ever! We need to surround our elderly relatives with love and appreciation, to hear and record their stories before it’s too late. When they’re gone, we need to continue remembering them. Whatever the size of the group, each person should come away feeling loved, enriched and appreciated. Every family tree will wither if no one tends its roots – our relationships with relatives. As for the saps, fruits, nuts and whiners on your tree, give them a hug from me. Debbie Holm, local historian, in the Idaho Press-Tribune, Nampa, Idaho ✶✶✶✶✶✶✶ Are reunions still important …

Are reunions still important in a world filled with Skype, Facebook and Instagram? In a world overrun with interconnectedness and websites like facebook, we sometimes forget how important it is to be in a person’s physical presence. From an article by Melissa Erickson in the Galesburg Register-Mail, Galesburg, Illinois ✶✶✶✶✶✶✶ Family reunions – old memories, new ones

Five things you will never hear at a family reunion: 5. “Gee, we’re kind of light on food.” 4. “We really shouldn’t talk about the people who aren’t here.” 3. “Hey, the bathroom’s empty!” 2. “What a great idea to serve bean soup and baked beans on the same day!” 1. “Let’s bump these reunions up to twice a year. Once just isn’t enough.” From a story by JoAnne Beiermann in the Columbus Telegram, Columbus, Nebraska ✶✶✶✶✶✶✶ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER/JANUARY 2014 v Reunions 27


The White-Woolfolk “First Cousins” Reunion


he White-Woolfolk “First Cousins” Reunion began as a vision to get all the first cousins together on my father’s side of the family. My father is the youngest of nine boys and I thought how amazing it would be to get all his brother’s children (my first cousins) together to celebrate our grandparents as well as their offspring, whom we refer to as The Brothers. After several months brainstorming, I put together a short video presentation of family photos chronicling our family’s history. I sent the video to family members as a keepsake DVD. Fast forward a couple years: my father’s brother Willie White passed away and we funeralized him. Willie was the fourth brother to pass on. It was at his funeral I decided to start working on the logistics for this reunion. I always knew I wanted to start on a small scale. It has always been important to delve into where I descended from (my father’s parents, his grandparents, etc.). I figured it wouldn’t be too overwhelming for me to be the primary coordinator. After researching on, I was able to pull census records showing where my grandparents resided in the early 1900s, their occupations and educational level. One of my favorite factual family stories is how we got our last name. According to several family members, my grandfathers’ last name is actually Whitening. However, he worked for a man who could not pronounce or spell the name correctly, so he decided to just shorten it and call my grandfather White. To this day, the family is Whitenings and we are the only Whites. My grandfather’s siblings never changed their last name.

The first cousins who are the offspring of some of the 9 brothers. This is definitely not all of us. There are 26 first cousins, but only a few of us were able to make the reunion.

This reunion was about honor! We honored the late Robert White, Sr./Lula Woolfolk-White. They worked from sun up to sun down so that we can enjoy the fruits of their labor. We all have one common link and that is we share one bloodline. We are ready to reflect, rekindle and reunite. Reported by Yvette J. White, East Pointe, Georgia

Keeping Our Roots Strong and Staying Connected!


he Mason Family Legacy extends through descendants of two loving sisters: Mary Eliza “Mason” Lake (18961960) and Fannie Mae “Mason” Ruley (1900-1971). There are five living generations. Our reunions have been held since the mid-1970s and have been celebrated in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. From the mid-1970s to 2008 our

reunions were held annually. Since 2008 the Lake and Ruley families celebrate every three years, due to lower participation and cost. Our last reunion, “Honoring Our Elders,” was held at Fort Meade, Maryland. The next Mason Family Reunion will cruise in September 2014. Our goal at every reunion is to recognize our elders. We encourage all ages to have a joyful time at our celebrations. Activities

Honoring our surviving elders receiving their “Mason Honors” medals. Medals were placed on the elders by their children.

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include family trivia games, tracing our family roots using a genealogy database (RootsMagic), variety shows, tug-of-war, volleyball, basketball and softball tournaments, dance contests, family bingo and karaoke. The best experiences at our reunions are seeing new additions to the family, spending time with elders, listening to family stories and celebrating the closeness of family. The worst experiences are members showing up without RSVPing and not paying. Fortunately, these experiences do not impact our overall celebrations. The host family from each state serves as the reunion committee. Getting the younger generation to participate in our reunions has been the biggest challenge. We try our best to keep the family involved using our family website, newsletter, facebook, Twitter and email. Although we may not always be able to reach the 18-25 age range, we continue to celebrate our heritage in hopes they will come around one day to celebrate the importance of our legacy. From a report by Karen M. Thorn, Hanover, Maryland

Rhoades Family Reunion 40th anniversary Like branches on a tree, we all grow in different directions yet our roots remain the same. leaise Rhoades Lewis (better known as Aunt Teedie) was one of 12 children of Tom and Etta Rhoades, descendants of former slaves. Tired of seeing family members get together only at funerals and an occasional wedding, Aunt Teedie organized the Rhoades Family Reunion. The family has met every year since, and now the Rhoades Family is celebrating the 40th anniversary of that first gathering – in Philadelphia, birthplace of the nation, and birthplace of our family reunion. What started as a small gathering has grown over the years. The family has six regions; Blackstone, Baltimore, Kentucky, Mid-Atlantic (Philadelphia, Delaware, New Jersey), Surry County, Virginia, and Washington, DC. Each region has elected officers, and each year the responsibility for sponsoring the reunion rotates between regions.


Reunions always occur on the last full weekend in July, so the date is always set. The family gathers on Friday for a meet-andgreet. Saturday is picnic time, complete with a softball game between the north and the south. After the game, we circle and count off to see how many are present (sometimes as many as 200), and end with prayer. On Sunday, everyone goes to a local church, followed by a family dinner. The highlights of the dinner include presentation of the softball game trophy, recognition of family members’ accomplishments during the past year, presentation of scholarships to family members who are in college or pursuing higher education, and a memorial service to recognize family members we lost in the previous year. We are all looking forward to another great family gathering. Thank you, Aunt Teedie! Reported by Maxine Coleman, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Rhoades Family Reunion

How to plan a reunion …


hat’s why you’re here, isn’t it? You want to learn how to plan a reunion or learn how others plan reunions. This summer saw a notable increase in the number of articles about “how to plan a reunion,” “rules for planning a reunion,” “help planning your reunion!” Since we like to think that’s what we do – but in a much larger way than a newspaper feature can – we wanted to share some of these articles, as well, because many have some unique ideas from their authors, most of whom had either just planned or,

The Roffers’ Turkey Reunion

more likely, recently attended a reunion and were moved to tell about it. Since our space in the magazine is always limited by the level of support for each issue, it is not practical for us to add these stories here. Instead, we are creating a section on our web page in Getting Started; and to make it really simple, we’re calling it “how to plan a reunion!” Unique, no? But to the point and easy for you to both remember and find, when you want to read it! EW


hanksgiving is always a special holiday in our large family, full of happy conversation, Green Bay Packer games and a fun tradition we do every year. We always name the turkey after someone we think deserves “roasting.” In years past we’ve named him Harold Breier (former, not-very-popular Milwaukee police chief), Mike Ditka, Ayatollah Khomeini, Billy Martin, and Osama Bin Laden, to name just a few. We always have fun naming the turkey, and the food would put any TV gourmet to shame! The meal is always so good that sometimes I have to skip the bean casserole and pie because I’m so full of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy. In fact, the last three Roffers’ touch football games had to be cancelled because we were all so full! Until three years ago, my father, God rest his soul, would shovel the last morsel of turkey into his mouth and say, “Jacques Pépin, eat your heart out!” Written by the late Andrew Roffers and submitted by his sister, Amy Mohr, Waukesha, Wisconsin NOVEMBER/DECEMBER/JANUARY 2014 v Reunions 29


The Krefeld connection


ne of the most inspiring aspects of family reunions is getting to see how far the family tree branches actually extend. For some families, meeting a second cousin can evoke that sense of awe and togetherness. For the 3500-members-strong Burtschell clan, inspiration comes from meeting relatives from three countries! Many members of the Burtschell clan emigrated from Germany. Some went to France and some to the US, Texas specifically. In 1997, the Texas Burtschells, brothers Ralph and Klaus, received a reunion invitation from their French relatives. Until this point, Ralph and Klaus had little information about their distant and considerably larger family. They decided to open the envelope and do some research. Thus began the Texas Burtschell’s great exploration into their heritage. Now, the brothers organize One of the Texas branch cousins who lives near Krefeld designed a placemat for the reunion. It presents the Krefeld connection to the first the family’s reunions. This Germans in America, Germans in Texas, the Burttschell family in Texas, and Burttschell reunion history. There is also an invitation to the next year, the clan held their reunion in Texas in 2015; the French will host the reunion in 2018. reunion in Krefeld, Germany. German Burtschells attended. In order to keep history Summarized by Steffan Hoss from a German Over a dozen American at the forefront of their gathering, they participate in newspaper. Burttschell Family Reunion Burtschells, ten French cultural activities such as castle and city tours. reporter is Arliss Treybig, El Campo, Texas. Burtschells, and about forty

At Burg (castle) Lin in Krefeld, Germany. Family scribe, Arliss Treybig, farthest person right.

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Rinehart Family Reunion

On getting along ...

he first Rinehart Reunion was held at Summerville, Oregon, in 1903. The family had travelled the Oregon Trail from Tennessee via Iowa. I hosted a Rinehart Reunion in 1984 and am again hosting the 106th annual reunion in Post Falls, Idaho. Rinehart Reunions are always four-day events, Thursday dinner to Sunday breakfast. The location is chosen by the current host, usually near the host’s home. Reunions have been in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Iowa. The location typically changes, but we have returned to the same site many times, if we like it. The reunion was last held at Oral Hull Foundation for the Blind in Sandy, Oregon. We’ve actually held the reunion there about 10 times over the years. The next reunion will be at Ross Point Conference Center in Post Falls, Idaho. The Rinehart Reunion is incorporated. We have a board of directors with a president, treasurer and board members. The treasurer handles funds, and expenditures are approved by board members for expenses pertaining to the “Corporation.” The host typically receives funds to establish a local checking account and seed money to get the next year’s reunion started. When the reunion is concluded, the surplus is transferred back to the treasurer, and the host’s checking account is closed. The Rinehart Reunion is paid for by those attending. Costs are offset by a raffle, occasional Rinehart logo sale items and member donations. We have a “Kids Eat Free” fund supported by donations, so children 17 years old and younger eat FREE. This enables younger families to attend.

Editor’s note


The Lewis and Elizabeth Rinehart Family Reunion in Post Falls, Idaho. Picture from Walter “Bill” Turner.

Rinehart reunion traditions are that women never cook, Saturday dinner dessert is always Strawberry Shortcake, and specific songs are required to be sung during certain meals. The Rinehart Reunion has a website ( and facebook page (Rinehart Family Reunion). We have a genealogy book, which is about 15 years old and should be published as an updated version in the next year or two. This year I sent 227 personalized emails to family members in September before the June reunion to get an early head count. This was followed by phone calls to those who don’t have email. In April or May, a snail mail invitation is sent to those for whom I don’t have email or phone numbers. In total, there are 651 families to be contacted by all forms of communication, typically by snail mail, but over the past few years we’ve been striving to use more email. This year we are using mainly email and facebook, with snail mail for the older generation who don’t use computers. Activities include swimming, softball, barbecue, fire pit with roasted S’mores, card games, Mexican Train, family skits, sing-alongs, outdoor kids’ games, memorial service, annual board meeting, raffle, family history presentation, etc. Sometimes we have a scavenger hunt to discover the particular talents and favorite interests of family members. We encourage the children to attend and just have fun with games and skits. We typically don’t task the children with any reunion planning or responsibilities, although we are always open to their suggestions. We try to have volunteer hosts in a queue for three to four years ahead. There were 13 original family branches; 11 branches have survived. We don’t pass the reunion stewardship to generations or branches. Stewardship is passed solely to a volunteer host each year. Reported by Chet Turner, Newman Lake, Washington, who is also reunion webmaster and facebook administrator


hroughout the year we get questions about how to handle problems that come up at some reunions. Holiday time, and the end of one year and the start of the next, seem like a good time to consider some solutions. Hope the following helps.

There’s a time for everything …


enerally, family reunions are not the best time to discuss a difficult issue. Family reunions are a time to celebrate what is good. It is better to deal with challenging issues at other times during the year. From a blog by Susan Yates Rob’s rules of order: Family reunion courtesies


t is really important that any family grudges cease and desist during the reunion. In fact, the assemblage of family is a perfect time for disgruntled family members who might have a dispute with one another to work things out. The rule is for both parties to put the disagreement behind them and join in the peace and harmony. There should be no religious discussion and absolutely no political debates, especially during a presidential election year. No one needs all that bitterness and partisanship at a reunion. With the advent of smart phones, I’ve noticed over the past few years that the “cool” adolescent crowd seems to be glued to these hypnotic devices more and more. With the exception of using a phone as a camera, the rule for family reunions is absolutely no tweeting or texting. Put away the phones and actually talk to people. An absolute rule is to avoid commenting on another family member’s weight gain. The same goes for receding hairlines. Essential at every family reunion is some sort of group sports activity such as volleyball, and, of course, the full family photo shot, preferably taken before the game. I think everyone at a family reunion should be asked to wear a name tag or some other source of identification. This is especially helpful for those family members who are becoming increasingly memory-impaired. I know in my own situation it can be difficult to remember everyone’s name at a gathering that occurs only once a year. Hugs and kisses are still accepted, however, even from strangers! From an article by Rob Klevan in the Monterey County Herald, Monterey, California



50 Years and 5 generations of Mintons meet back at Elkhorn Ranch


very five years or so since 1959, the descendants of Henry and Helen Minton have gathered for a week-long family reunion at Elkhorn Ranch, a dude ranch just outside Yellowstone National Park in Gallatin Gateway, Montana. My grandparents, Helen and Henry, were huge proponents of the importance of family. Post-WWII, their four children married and scattered across the country, far from the family roots on New York’s Long Island. Each summer Helen and Henry made a point of arranging visits by their grandchildren to Long Island, but felt it was important for everyone to meet periodically. They chose Elkhorn Ranch in southwest Montana for the first reunion they hosted in 1959. The ranch provided an ideal mix of togetherness and space for a family reunion. Each child’s family group was housed in their own log cabin. The whole family met for meals and activities on the ranch, forming their own little village for a family-focused week. Horseback riding, cookouts, fly fishing, hiking, and day trips touring Yellowstone National Park The first reunion was in 1959, with 18 family members attending. Henry and Helen are standing to the left. provided adventures for all ages. Over time, the ranch least one evening is devoted to singing and roasting marshmallows became part of the reunion tradition. In 1988 my parents – around a bonfire. There is one evening for songs and skits featuring Henry and Helen’s son and daughter-in-law – bought the ranch the younger generations, often with a special presentation by the when there was a chance it would be closed, allowing the “Outlaws,” bonding those who share being married into the tradition to continue. Minton clan. Henry and Helen continued to host reunions at the ranch There is ample time to spend on a cabin porch reading, or a through 2005, and many Minton reunion rules and traditions chance for a great uncle to grab a pickup game of Ping Pong with developed. Some were products of their time and have gone by his nephew. These activities provide the time for one-on-one and the wayside. Early on, the teenage male cousins were taken to the small group interactions. Family members reconnect across barbershop on the way to the ranch to have their long hair cut! As generations, and younger relatives, some meeting for the first the third generation grew into adulthood in the 1960s and 1970s, time, form lasting bonds. The ranch staff organizes the practical there was a requirement that formal engagements be announced aspects of housing, meals and activities, leaving family members before significant others could be included in the reunion. time to relax and enjoy each other’s company. Today, some traditions remain. Early at each reunion we gather Each reunion has a memento for family members who attend. for a service of remembrance and a formal time to tell stories Many years these were t-shirts or sweatshirts featuring the about family members who have passed away. One day is devoted reunion date and the ranch’s distinctive logo. These are treasured to a driving tour of Yellowstone National Park. After each stop, and worn again at later reunions. In 2010 reusable grocery bags passengers remix into cars, giving everyone a chance to visit. At were chosen to highlight the family-wide commitment to the environment. Each time I go to the grocery store I am reminded of the great family times at the ranch. By 2006, both Henry and Helen had passed, but they showed their belief in the importance of family by hosting one last reunion posthumously. In 2010 their 4 children, 13 grandchildren, 19 greatgrandchildren, 2 great-greatgrandchildren and their spouses gathered at the ranch. Plans are being made for Minton Reunion 2015. Helen and Henry would be proud to see the family working together to continue this 60+ year and 5-generation-long tradition. Reported by Daphne White, 2010 reunion gathers in front of the Recreation Hall at the ranch, home to square dancing, skit night, and Ping Pong – one of the few Durango, Colorado sports where the older generations can still hold their own against the younger cousins. 32 Reunions v

Testimonials from reunion cowpokes! To: White Stallion Ranch, Tucson, Arizona


ur family reunion of 14 spent one week at White Stallion Ranch. Everyone had a fabulous time. Our group loved the rides, the food was outstanding. The staff was extremely friendly and ready to serve. The ambiance and facilities were all one could expect. White Stallion Ranch gets five stars in our book. God willing, we will be back! Yours truly, Edmund and Patricia Hugh P.S. The variety and quality of the nighttime entertainment was superb. To: Sundance Trails Ranch, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

“Awesome family experience and phenomenal staff!” ur family visited in early June and had a fantastic time. Our large group of four families/15 people was able to intermingle easily with the three other families there. We were ages 7-62. We loved that we had the same horse all week and were able to form a bond. The activities were abundant and a great mix! They had something for everyone, from the most active to the ones who just wanted to pick and choose. My tip: for those who are having their first time on horseback, the one-day trip looks daunting, but pick it ... it was great! The rides into Roosevelt National Forest are great, but you also can experience rock climbing, bouldering, riding and hiking without even leaving the ranch! I highly recommend Sundance Trails Ranch and the experience. We loved it so much that all 15 of us are returning in two years to do it again! P.S. The food is also plentiful and great! Room Tip: Many cabins are attached to the main lodge, but two are a bit of a trek.


take the shuttle to Big Sky, all agreed it was an outstanding family holiday treat. The visit was enhanced by staff always ready to provide friendly service. Highlights included the evening sleigh ride to the “cabin” for a roast beef dinner, preparing a “take-out” breakfast for Christmas morning, fitting us with snow shoes or solving an emergency heat problem one cold night! Great memories. We loved that the Ranch could accommodate our entire family and the skiing was incredible! To: Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch, McLeod, Montana


he Choate family from Madison, Wisconsin, visited Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch to celebrate Tom and Jean’s 50th wedding anniversary. Their three children and families came from Pennsylvania, Illinois and Minnesota to join the celebration. Jean Choate wrote: “This place is paradise! Thank you for allowing us to celebrate our 50th anniversary with our children, their spouses, and seven grandkids. It was a dream vacation for all of us – way beyond our expectations and a vacation of a lifetime with so, so many fond memories. We loved every activity and experience. Your staff was fantastic and made us feel like we were part of their families. We’d love to come back someday. Thanks for sharing this beautiful corner of Montana with all of us.” Tom Choate wrote: “When I planned this a year ago, I hoped we could have a good vacation. I really feel we hit a home run with Hawley Mountain Ranch. A great time was had by all! My family will always remember our 50th.” To: Sylvan Dale, Loveland, Colorado

To: North Fork Ranch, Shawnee, Colorado


our generations of our family (ages 3 to 87) gathered at North Fork Ranch for a week. We flew in from all parts of the country/world to be together. The Ranch, the accommodations, the food (family style dining), the staff and owners far exceeded our expectations, as did the activities; rafting the Arkansas River, riding horses every day to beautiful mountain locations, fly fishing the Platte River in front of the lodge, fishing the pond, skeet shooting, line dancing, above the tree-line hikes, fireside songs and stories, sitting in a rocking chair on the porch reading a good book and listening to the roar of the river. My two grandchildren fell in love with Tallis, charged with watching the little ones. She made sure they enjoyed daily pony rides on Cinnamon, fed the goats, chickens and rabbits, played games and enjoyed other activities, so the parents could take advantage of all the ranch offered. The owners (Karen and Dean), all the young wranglers, kitchen staff, guest services staff and housekeeping staff all contributed to making this a fabulous family experience. We made memories that will last a lifetime. The Gilligans from Savannah, Georgia.

Kuckelmans Family Reunion

To: Lone Mountain Ranch, Big Sky, Montana

Baker Christmas Blog n Christmas morning, ten Baker grandchildren gathered by the tree at Ridgetop, thoughtfully decorated by the staff prior to our arrival. Whether the next move was to open stockings or


Bruneaus Family Reunion


34 Reunions v


Newhagen family at White Stallion Ranch


e were honored to have Mimi Newhagen celebrate her 90th birthday with us in June. Her six children and their spouses, 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren arrived from around the world to join her for their Annual Family Reunion and Birthday Party. The Newhagen family first came to White Stallion Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, 50 years ago, from Rockford, Illinois, two years before the True Family purchased the property. Mimi, her husband and five children arrived in 1963 loaded with books and schoolwork. They stayed at the ranch for a week, visited Mexico, then drove home through New Mexico, sight-seeing all the way. Mimi’s son Paul has fond memories of getting up early every day and going to breakfast without his parents, ordering French Toast every single morning. Mimi’s memories are of warm sun, good friends, good food and time spent relaxing with her family. Mimi is no stranger to horses. She grew up in Chicago, and as a young girl rode horses along the midway left by the Chicago World’s Fair. Years later she lived

in Lake Havasu, Arizona, and kept three horses; one of these was a Mustang named Old Blue – who was, according to Mimi, “the best horse there ever was.” She chose not to ride this time, spending her mornings with crossword puzzles in the living room and catching up with the multitude of grandchildren who sought her out between riding, swimming and sports. We were completely taken by her sparkle and wit, her family’s commitment to gather from all corners of the world and the circle of life that brought her back to White Stallion Ranch 50 years later. Thanks Mimi! What a treat!

Western Folklife Center

The Reedy family with cowboy singer Glenn Ohrlin at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering at the Western Folklife Center.


he mission of the Western Folklife Center, Elko, Nevada, is to enhance the viability of American life through the experience, understanding and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the American West. Visit Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland.

Western Heritage


he Gunnison, Colorado, Western Heritage Festival is a celebration of Gunnison’s Western American lifestyle. There is plenty to keep the posse entertained: a ranch rodeo for real cowboys and cowgirls from ranches all over the Western Slope (think team branding, wild cow milking and team sorting), expo, petting zoo, kids’ rodeo, chuck wagon-style barbecue and lots of entertainment, including country music, cowboy poetry and more. Visit NOVEMBER/DECEMBER/JANUARY 2014 v Reunions 35


Holman Ranch – Carmel Valley, California by Carole Terwilliger Meyers


icture your reunion on a 400-acre working ranch in Northern California’s scenic Carmel Valley. Holman Ranch is a private estate that has hosted groups in its ten guest rooms since they were built in the late 1940s. Up to 38 people can sleep onsite, and area hotels can supplement that number. For day events, up to 400 people can be accommodated. Adding Hollywood magic, once upon a time the estate was a hideaway for celebrities. Each guest room features atmospheric cowboy decor and a colorful movie poster depicting a vintage star who stayed there: the “Sunset Boulevard” room honors William Holden; other rooms honor Charlie Chaplin, Joan Crawford, Marlon Brando, Gene Autry, Clark Gable, and more. And Doris Day and Clint Eastwood live just down the road. The Great Room, where festive dinners can be catered, displays a painting and a bronze statue by cowboy artist Jack Swanson, who also lives down the road. Adults can indulge in wine tasting in

Skeet shooting at the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) reunion, Holman Ranch.

the property’s wine caves, and can purchase a supply to take home. Try the Pinot Noir, their specialty. Guests get first crack at purchasing the newly available “liquid gold,” the distinctive extra-virgin olive oil produced from the property’s trees. Though not heated, Carmel Valley’s first

pool is a magnet for kids on warm days (a solar cover helps warm it in cooler months). A six-acre event space includes a fitness room, a game room with a pool table and dart board, a horseshoe pit, a bocce ball court, lovely gardens, a small chapel and a fire pit where s’mores rule. Arrangements can be made for cooking demonstrations, yoga, and a paint out – where guests sit outside with a professional painting instructor and enjoy wine and appetizers while painting together. Each guest receives a logo stainlesssteel water bottle to keep filled from the taps that all run with filtered and purified Carmel River water, and they get to take it home as a souvenir. Visit

About the author Carole Terwilliger Meyers, blogger at Travels with Carole ( and creator of Berkeley and Beyond website ( We’re Sorry!

O Carrington Family Reunion enjoying a wine tasting in Holman Ranch’s exclusive wine caves.

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ur hearts go out to Colorado’s Sylvan Dale Ranch who took a big hit in this falls “great flood.” They will be open for business again in 2014.


Pricing tickets


Gloria Moore, Oxford, North Carolina, winner of the Wilson Family Reunion history basket.

amela Williams, Fredericksburg, Virginia, reports that her Wilson Family Annual Holiday Raffle sells tickets for $2 each, or 3 for $5. The drawing is held during a Christmas celebration. Prizes are as follows: 1st prize $150, 2nd prize $100, and 3rd prize $50. Two thousand tickets were printed. In spring, the committee held a yard/bake sale. Members donated items in need of new homes. The total amount collected was $214.50. Unsold items were donated to a local charity, Harbor House in Oxford, North Carolina. As a fundraiser, the Wilson summer reunion raffled two designer lamps, a ceiling fan, a weed whacker, and a gift basket of assorted items. The committee recommended that they sell tickets for $5 each. Pamela was concerned that $5 was too much. Earlier they had raffled off theme baskets, for which they only charged $1 per ticket, which was definitely not enough. We agreed that $1 was too little but thought it’s hard to know where a higher price becomes a burden and turns people off. Our response to her concern was that if she thought members would buy $5 tickets, go for it. We suggested a special price – 5 for $20, or 6 for $25 – also be offered to catch people’s attention. The decision to set the tickets for that price was unanimous among the committee members. The money goes to the Wilson Family Scholarship Fund, which is a great cause and one that they should be willing to support. Here’s another raffle ticket formula: $1 per ticket, 6 tickets for $5, and 12 tickets for $10.


Ads pay for souvenir book


rowdfunding” is essentially a way for people to contribute to a project they are interested in, usually in exchange for a special perk. Wikipedia describes crowdfunding (alternately crowd financing, equity crowdfunding, or hyper funding) as: the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Two popular crowdfunding platforms are and indiegogo. One of the advantages of crowdfunding is that contributions can be as low as $5 or as high as you want to contribute. Rewards for contributing would be priority in receiving the results of research, an advance copy of a funded documentary, free access to scanned records, and so on. Check-In for Good features a mobile tool that can add a charitable component to your reunion. The more attendees who “check in” at an event via the free app, the more funds are raised. The tool can work in a few different ways for events. For every attendee who checks in on the app, attendees can directly donate to the reunion using the app themselves. Cost: 15¢ for every check-in, plus a credit card fee of 30¢ plus 2.9% of the total. Explore


eresa Beauchamp, Odenton, Maryland, used ads to raise money to offset printing costs for the Moses Family Reunion souvenir book.

Teresa wrote: I got the idea because the booklet is going to be twice as large as the last one. So I figured, if I raise half the money, there should be no complaints, because the reunion will be paying about the same as they did last time. I decided to print only business card ads from organizations or businesses. If they didn’t have a card I would create one. It was $10 plus their business card. I created all this in Word. I scan their business card, then copy/paste it in a table about 8 slots per page. I’ve asked for donations mainly from businesses/organizations with whom I deal. So far it’s been easier than I thought.



Fundraising ideas from many reunions


very year I have a registry to update members’ phone, address and email, so we always have current information. They sign in and receive a door prize ticket. We have a donation jar by the registry for donations for next year’s reunion (typically $10-$20 each).” Melissa Hall, Wooten Family Reunion, Lemont Furnace, Pennsylvania.

hour in Norfolk, Virginia, to take pictures of families and a group photo. She suggests looking for someone in photography school to cut the price. The photographer sent photos on a disc and Ne’El had them printed and sold them for $12 each from their website. Ne’El says to be sure to up-charge $3 for postage and photo mailers (inexpensive bubble mailers available from

Ruby Tackett auctioning off gifts for the White Elephant Sale fundraiser at the Maynard Family Reunion.

Keonsha Bernard, Houston, Texas, wrote about her Wiley-Jefferson Family Reunion. “Luckily, our community centers are very affordable! Having lower registration fees the first year was planned so more people were encouraged and able to attend. Then we increased fees to have more activities and, hopefully, have funds left to contribute to the following year’s reunion. Fees are senior citizens $10; 12+ years $15; 6-11 years $5; and 5 and under free. Ne’El Whitehurst, also from Houston, Texas, hired a photographer for $100 an

Dollar Tree or the 99 Cent Store). Whitehursts also sell DVDs of their reunion. An uncle, who is a cameraman for a news station in Louisiana, videotaped the entire reunion. They compiled over three and a half hours of footage on dual layer disks and sold them to the family for $14; however, Ne’El suggests selling them for $25 for that amount of footage and the cost of mailing and packaging and the purchase of equipment. Ne’El burned discs on her personal laptop. She encourages anyone who is burning and editing the disc to use

Windows Live Movie Maker. It is easy, and even amateurs can burn discs on their computer and make wonderful family memories. The Whitehurst reunion made about $500 from pictures and DVDs. These are several fundraising ideas from We hold a white elephant auction each reunion to pay expenses for the next one. Family members are asked to contribute anything they wish from unused gifts to crafts to purchased objects. Judy G Have everyone submit a l2" x l2" quilt square. They personalize the square how ever they wish by painting, sewing, embroidery, applique, etc. Each person who submits a square gets their name in the hopper to win the finished quilt. Or you can sell chances for it. The only catch is that one person must be responsible for putting it together. Another idea is to have Bingo for small $l items, or anyone can bring treasures for the prize table. Maryjo To raise money for the campsite, people bring things for our auction: art from Aunt Rhean, potholders contributed by 10-yearolds, photos of ancestors, anything interesting or funny. When we run out of stuff, we start bidding on the auctioneer’s suspenders or hat. Merridy S Shena Benus started reunions for her parents and their siblings, with an open invitation that if anyone else wanted to organize the next one to let her know. No one has yet, so she is more than happy to continue doing it. Shena finances Maynard Family Reunions. Donations and a White Elephant Sale help. Everyone brings a wrapped gift to be auctioned off: baked items, crafts, unwanted gifts (we all have those stuck in the back of some closet or drawer), gift cards, tools, et cetera. Items can be gently used or like new. It’s lots of fun because you don’t know what you are bidding on until the winner opens it up.

Printable play money


f you are playing games that require cash, use play money until you pay out prizes. All you need is a home printer and you can print all the money you want. Play money, that is., has several denominations of bills and

38 Reunions v

coins in both realistic and “cute” designs. There are several bills and coins on each page to save on paper; just cut them apart and set up your home bank or wallet. They also have play checks and coins in black-and-white that can be colored in.

Class reunion tips to raise money


efore you choose reunion fundraisers, figure out how much money you need to raise. Souvenirs are a great way to raise money and provide keepsakes. But the most popular class reunion fundraiser is admission ticket sales. If you want to keep ticket prices low to encourage participation, you might have to conduct fundraisers. Startup funds

If you charge for your dinner and dance, you should also host informal events at no charge so more classmates can participate. Everyone can meet at a bar or restaurant and pay their own way. Or have a daytime picnic in a public park without expense so classmates can bring and show off their kids. Tips on ticketing

You will need money to pay for supplies (paper, stamps) to create the first promotional mailing. Use your own money and get reimbursed later, or ask planning committee members to donate or pay for their tickets in advance. You can hold a bake sale or other fundraiser, or you can ask for donations. Promise free advertising in promotional materials, program or memory book in exchange for donations. Offer to thank businesses for donations during the class reunion awards ceremony. Or you can name the reunion dance or an award after a contributor.

You need ticket proceeds before the reunion, because most of the bills must be paid in advance. Classmates must prepay. Offer a “lower” ticket price for payments received before a deadline. The at-thedoor price should be inflated as a motivator to pay early. If possible, offer full refunds up to a certain date. If you offer money back if they cannot attend, they’re more likely to pay ahead. Once they pay, they’re less likely to back out unless it’s an emergency. And if you make the refund deadline before the head count is due to the caterer, you won’t be stuck paying for uneaten meals. Or offer a lower price dance-only ticket.

To ticket or not to ticket

Profit from souvenirs

Before you promote your reunion, you’ll need to decide whether or not to charge admission and, if so, how much. Keep ticket prices as low as possible. You don’t want money to be one more excuse for classmates to not attend.

One way to raise money is to offer reunion keepsakes personalized with the reunion date and logo. Are any classmates graphic designers? Purchase personalized Koozies, magnets, pencils, t-shirts or cups. Resell them at a higher price.

Q&A Class reunion fundraisers for out-of-state guests I am planning our 10 year reunion. It is in the beginning stages, but I need help with fundraising ideas because a lot of our classmates have moved out of state, so we can’t do bowling or a car wash. Can you give me some suggestions to help please? LaTasha Kelly, Meridian, Mississippi Dominguez High School Class of 2003 10 Year Reunion.

Q? A!

For out-of-state classmates, I’d make an appeal that those of you left behind will be doing fundraising events that they’ll miss and you hope they’ll participate (even if they can’t attend the reunion) by sending donations. During the registration period, as an incentive to register, conduct several drawings for prizes you will distribute at the reunion. Everyone can contribute/enter, even those who live far away. Each person gets one entry that stays in the drawing throughout the period. Having several drawings can encourage early registration. Plan an auction or raffle at the reunion where out-of-town members will be expected to bid. Be sure to have items they can take home rather than all local dinner and store gift certificates (which out-of-towners would not be likely to use if they’re just visiting for a weekend). Also ask out-of-towners to contribute items to be auctioned/raffled. More and more reunions are preparing fancy baskets filled with themed swag for raffle. Ask out-of-towners to contribute to baskets, although they’d have to send their items ahead of time so you can put them in the baskets, which usually are covered in transparent sheets before going on display. You could organize a fundraising run or walk, a bowling tournament or a car wash the weekend of the reunion, when out-of-towners will be there to participate.

The trick is to make a profit, not dig yourself into debt. Have classmates prepay for souvenirs when they purchase their tickets. Or poll classmates to learn which item they would most like to buy. Then you don’t get stuck with 300 “Class of 1996 10-Year Reunion” buttons. An inexpensive souvenir you can make using your own printer is a magnet. Purchase a packet of magnetized paper for your inkjet printer, create your design and print your magnets. Presto! You’ve got an instant and inexpensive souvenir you can sell for at least $1 each. The ultimate keepsake is a memory book, professionally printed with photos, contact information, and details about classmates’ lives since graduation. You can hire a company that will do everything from sending a photographer to printing the memory book. Sell memory books for a little more than they cost to produce. Remember to include the cost of postage and envelopes for mailing completed books. Make a little extra by selling business-card size advertisements to classmates or businesses. If memory books are produced after the reunion, ask for orders and payments in advance. Other class reunion fundraisers

People are always forgetting their cameras. Help the forgetful and make money by marking up and selling disposable cameras at the reunion. Or hold a silent auction. Include copies of your senior yearbook. Many people don’t have the money or the inclination to buy copies of yearbooks while they are in high school, but later regret it. From an article by Amy Francisco in Voices

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Short takes! You’re not invited!

F describes the fundraising of Amelia Arts Academy in Amelia Island, Florida. They hosted a Non-Event, an occasion that will never take place. According to the Un-Invitation, people were asked to “Stay Home, Kick Back, Read a Book, Watch Football, THINK ART!” And, of course, donate to the Amelia Arts Academy! This might be a fundraising “event” between reunions! Recycling as fundraising


sk members to round up their unused electronics and bring them to the reunion. Trade old cellphones, cameras, MP3 players and computers at (free shipping) for cash or gift cards. helps!

R and offer a new zero-cost hosting package, its basic fundraising package, at no cost to the user. The new free fundraising website is great for raising money (through online donations) and collecting money (through online payments) for any kind of reunion group. It eliminates the need for a PayPal or other merchant account. The setup, including hundreds of design choices, is quick and payments can be accepted right away. Fees that cover charges are a small percentage and are deducted from the amount collected (payment service fee 2% + 75¢; credit card processing fee 3%). In addition to the complimentary hosting package are a premium webpage package and online auction.’s tips and secrets to planning a successful fundraising event are compiled in a Fundraising Planning eBook offered as a bonus (as a no-cost download, a $29.95 value) to new website owners.

Promote your fundraising


post in Admin in Money & Finance suggested these fundraising ideas. Use your website to announce your objectives, highlight regular offerings, thank supporters and sponsors, honor contributors, recognize successes, etc. Use flyers, word of mouth, brochures, etc. Heavily promote your fundraising goals and objectives. A cause with meaningful objectives attracts funding.

Fundraising events


Park party. Host an afternoon park party with food, drinks and lots of games. Include face painting, Frisbee toss contests, sack races, juggling, etc. Charge for admission and game tickets.


Mystery Easter eggs. Sell plastic “Mystery Easter Eggs” stuffed with candies and coupons on an “Easter bake sale.” Prizes such as an Easter basket with toys, a fluffy bunny, large chocolate bunny, as well as other smaller surprises are revealed in notes in the eggs. Sell each “Mystery Egg” for a price depending on prizes you offer. 40 Reunions v

Sponsorship proposals as fundraising


ome reunions have been successful at engaging sponsors to help pay for some of their expenses. But before you ever approach a potential sponsor, you must give some thought to why it is in their interest to consider your proposal. Make a list of companies where your members work. Evaluate each as potential sponsors/contributors to your reunion. Consider why a sponsor would want to invest in your reunion. Once you establish which companies are good contacts, you must research who within the company makes final funding decisions. It is essential to make your pitch to the decision-maker. Any intermediary can dilute the impact and urgency of your appeal. Sponsors want to know the demographics of the reunion: number of attendees, ages and education. If you have data about salaries or shopping tendencies, include those. Sponsors want to know how you will promote their brand. Your proposal must be attractive to sponsors. Sponsorship measures Return on Investment (ROI): how many people

will remember a brand’s participation after the reunion. Focus on incorporating opportunities into your reunion. Interactivity can be the deciding factor between two similar proposals. Be creative and provide the best value to your potential partners. Include a list of all your potential marketing channels. Visualize every point where attendees will engage with the sponsor’s product(s), from invitations to closing the reunion. Offer to use their logo on invitations, signage, goodie bags, banners, announcements, table displays, program booklets, raffle prizes, website advertisement, email promotions, scavenger hunts and so on. The larger the company, the more time it will take to get a response and commitment. Contact sponsor candidates at least six months in advance. If you mail your proposal, follow up with a phone call about 10 days later. Ask to schedule a meeting with the decision-maker! When you meet, display your pride and passion for your reunion. From an article by Geoff Beers in Guide

military reunion news e

Home of the Airborne


he 4th Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment recently hosted a reunion dinner at the US Army Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, Georgia, attended by 98 former Sky Soldiers, spouses, family, friends, and guests. This was the first reunion attended by several of the former Sky Soldiers and their families. The event was in conjunction with the 173rd Airborne Brigade (SEP), 50th Anniversary Celebration and Memorial Ceremony. Most attendees arrived on Thursday and enjoyed an informal afternoon cocktail party at Staybridge Suites Hotel in Columbus, Georgia. A Welcome Room had been set up where old and new friends could mingle. Reggie Mattingly, a former 4.2” Mortar Forward Observer, volunteered to be the official photographer. His photos are posted online, and a DVD was provided to all attendees. Friday morning, attendees took a guided tour of Fort Benning, which was truly a “trip down memory lane.” The group stopped at the 34 Foot Training Towers at the Airborne School and conducted some much-needed “jump refresher training.” The reunion highlight was an informal dinner Friday at the Infantry Museum. After cocktail hour, the Blessing was delivered by Jim Muldoon, former A Co and HHC Co Cdr, followed by a ceremony honoring all POW/MIAs. Before dinner, they welcomed Guest of Honor, Rosemary Rodriguez, the sister of former Sky Soldier

Reggie Mattingly and Joe Mallamaci at 34 foot towers.

included a formal ceremony at the Infantry Museum Parade Field, where a complete reading of the Names of all 173rd Airborne Brigade Fallen Comrades was conducted by volunteer attendees. This included all Fallen Sky Soldiers from Vietnam. On Saturday evening, a Candlelight Ceremony honored those fallen Sky Soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan. On Sunday, everyone departed following a short Memorial Prayer Service held at the 173rd Airborne Brigade Memorial at the Infantry Museum. All attendees indicated that they would be eagerly awaiting the next 4/503rd Battalion Reunion at Fort Bragg, NC, from June 18-22, 2014. Reported by Peyton Ligon, B Co, 4/503rd Battalion, 1967-68, Colonel, US Army (Ret)

Joel Sable, who was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for actions on July 10, 1967, in Dak To, Vietnam. Colonel Larry Jackley (Ret), who commanded the 4/503rd Battalion from February to August 1967, delivered the keynote address. As the final tribute to their fallen comrades, the entire group participated in the Reading of the Names of all former 4/503rd Battalion Sky Soldiers who were Killed in Action between June 1967 and September 1968. On Saturday, everyone attended the events scheduled by the 173rd Larry Moore (L) as Larry Jackley signs Geronimo Battalion Flag. Airborne Brigade which

Charlie Co. Sky Soldiers L to R Chuck Briscoe, Michael Montie, Bill Brewster, Billy Duncan, Mike Gates, Bill Connolly, Richard Lister, Pappy Patchin, Mike Tanner, Bobby Cordova & Lynn Morse

Ron Leonard, Former Company Commander of Bravo Company and Headquarters Company


military reunion news e

USS New Mexico meets


his is excerpted from (longer) correspondence of Vernon G. Dascher, St Charles, Missouri, to his USS New Mexico (BB-40) shipmates. We thought sharing this might give others some ideas!

Hello All You Lucky People, Well, I’m still with you. I’ve had some bumps throughout the year. However, the Good Lord said I should stick around for a while longer. I don’t know if you want to say that’s the good or the bad news. In the last couple of months we have lost three members to Our Commander From Above. That makes six so far this year that I know of. I think I speak for everyone in the Association when I say that our hearts go out to all of those who have suffered illness or heartbreak this year. We think of you and pray that you keep in touch with friends, shipmates, and the Association. Please let us know what you’re up to and how you’re doing. We enjoy reading your letters when you aren’t with us at the Reunion. I thank you, and let’s meet at the Reunion. “Ole Vern” Please remember to bring the following: 4 BINGO Prizes – White elephant trinkets and treasures 4 Raffle item donations – These help reduce the cost of our Reunion 4 Gifts – for the Saturday Morning Door Prize Exchange. Please include your name with your wrapped gift(s) 4 Christmas Ornament – a new event this year, Christmas in October. Please bring an ornament to exchange, if you will be with us on Sunday Evening.

Reunion planner forum


olunteer Military Reunion Planners (VMRP) has changed their name to Volunteer Managers/Reunion Planners. VMRP continues its web forum for sharing experiences from past reunions and ideas for making future reunions better. Membership is voluntary, free and available to any/all interested VMRPs. To join the group, visit VMRP/ and click on “JOIN THIS GROUP.” To send an email to group members, the Webmaster or one of the Moderators, use one of the following: VMRP@yahoogroups. com or They are also on facebook at

42 Reunions v

K9 Memorial


he first memorial to Special Operations Forces (SOF) K9 soldiers killed in action was unveiled at the Airborne & Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The memorial is a life-sized, bronze statue of a Belgian Malinois dressed in full combat gear, surrounded by paver stones listing dogs who were Killed in Action (KIA). “Like their human counterparts, special operations Multi-Purpose Canines (MPC) are specially selected, trained and equipped to

serve in roles not expected of the traditional Military Working Dog (MWD),” said Chuck Yerry, President of the SOF K9 Memorial Foundation. “Truly daring and brave, these dogs often lead their soldier team-members in the most dire conditions to save lives and complete the mission.” Eagle Scout candidate Harrison Burkart, a Boy Scout from Troop 745, was instrumental in raising funds, designing and installing the landscaping. Visit

Tradition, family so much a part of Soldiers Reunion


he 124th annual Soldiers Reunion in Newton, North Carolina, is the nation’s oldest continuing patriotic celebration not tied to a holiday. The event began in 1889, to promote creation of the State Confederate Veterans Association. The 1907 reunion saw 15,000 gather for the dedication of the Catawba County Confederate Veterans monument, with funds raised by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Catawba County’s last confederate veteran, Jesse Sigmon of Conover, died before the 1942 celebration. The military spirit has continued every year with the Reunion Day memorial service. The celebration has had its share of oddities. In 1961, in honor of the

centennial of the Civil War, there was a beard-growing contest. “It showed a lot of interest from the community,” said reunion committee chairman Wayne Dellinger. Soldiers Reunion week is not just about the military, however. Over the last few decades, the slate of events has grown to include a car show, beach music and a baby parade. “It’s also a time for the community to come together,” Mayor Anne Stedman said. “It’s the end of summer, and it’s a great time for families.” From a report by John Tinkelenburg in the Hickory Daily Record, Hickory, North Carolina

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Welcome to Reunion Resources! We encourage you to tell the listings you contact that you learned about them from Reunions magazine. And if at any time you find any info that is inaccurate or e-mail or web links do not work, notify us immediately at; PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211-0727. And by all means, feel free to comment and/or suggest changes and additions you’d like to see in this section. Reunions magazine will not be held liable for information presented as facts in these ads. We reserve the right to edit and/or refuse any material submitted for publication.


2200 Ninth Ave. North, Birmingham AL 35203 Birmingham is becoming one of the most celebrated reunion cities in the southeast. There are lots of details to see to – good planning is hard work. The Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau is here to help. For more information regarding reunion services, please contact the Convention Bureau at 205-458-8000 or 800-458-8085 | fax 205-458-8086 | SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 23


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9251 W Twin Peaks Road, Tucson, AZ 85743 Immerse yourself in the welcoming atmosphere of the Southwest ranching lifestyle. 888-977-2624 e-mail | SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 35


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4875 N Harbor Drive, San Diego CA 92106 Host your reunion at the beautiful Holiday Inn San Diego Bayside across from San Diego Bay. Our experienced staff will assist you in creating a very special event. Complimentary hosp suite and special reunion rates. Beautiful guest rooms, heated pool, spa, shuffleboard, ping-pong and billiards, exercise room, family restaurant and cocktail lounge, free pkg, in-room movies, coffee makers, refrigerators, hair dryers. 619-224-3621 | 800-650-6660 | fax 619-224-1787 | SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 43

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2270 Hotel Circle North, San Diego CA 92009 The hotel is centrally located in Mission Valley in the heart of San Diego, just off I-5 and I-8 interchange. Ten minutes away from the airport, downtown and area attractions. 416 deluxe guest rooms, including 12 suites, have a color television with remote, in-room cable with movie channel, high-speed Internet, coffee maker and hair dryer, full-size ironing board, iron and in-room safe. On site amenities include an outdoor pool and Jacuzzi, Massage and Spa Services, over 20,000 sq. ft. in meeting space, Crowne Meetings Director, and a complimentary hotel shuttle service to local popular destinations. Ask about our reunion packages. Call 619-293-7302 email |


BRECKENRIDGE is the perfect destination for any reunion. Vibrant history, natural beauty, and adventures for all ages make for an ideal locale, especially with our mild summer mountain weather. Our full-service reservation center also books: activities, lift tickets, golf and transportation. Let our reunion expert help create the Colorado getaway you’ve always imagined! Breckenridge Hospitality P.O. Box 8329, 535 S. Park Avenue, Breckenridge CO 80424. 888-483-6142 | fax 970-453-5165 SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 9


12161 Country Rd 240, Durango, CO 81301 Fun-filled adventures await you at Colorado Trails Ranch near Durango. 800-323-3833 e-mail | SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 34


PO Box 379, Granby, CO 80446 C Lazy U is Colorado’s premier guest ranch, offering seemingly limitless activities and fun group programs such as cattle pushing, ropes courses and more! 970-887-3344 | e-mail SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 34


201 County Road 1911, PO Box 237, Kremmling, CO 80459 Put yourself in these photos. Hundreds of other grandparents have discovered Latigo Ranch is perfect for a family reunion. 1-800-227-9655 e-mail | SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 34


2939 N County Road 31D, Loveland, CO 80538-9763 Western reunions year “round! Authentic Colorado horse & cattle ranch, family owned since 1946. 3200 acres in the Rocky Mountain foothills, one hour from Denver airport. Providing exceptional cowboy adventures: cattle drives, overnight pack-trips, Western entertainment, fishing, hayrides, rock-climbing, rafting. River-side accommodations, wholesome meals and activities for all ages...ideal for Family Reunions! Toll Free: 877-667-3999 | e-mail SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 35


17931 Red Feather Lakes Rd. Red Feather Lakes, CO 80545 Small, flexible, relaxed. Strong focus on families playing together. Horseback riding (not nose-to-tail), rock climbing, white water rafting, disc golf, hiking, fishing, evening campfires. Only 2 hours from Denver. Pets welcome! (800) 357-4930 e-mail | SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 34


4695 Vail Racquet Club Drive, Vail CO 81657 The only property in the Vail Valley located on 20 spacious acres of Colorado beauty. Our 1-3 bdrm condos and townhomes provide all the comforts of

home, that’s why families & groups choose to make the VRC their reunion destination. Activities for all ages: hiking, tennis, swimming, cycling or good old childhood exploring. Have a BBQ in our beautiful park area. We are a Colorado tradition of family, fun and friends. 800-428-4840 |


Our condos are clustered in a campus style layout making it easy for us to group your rooms close together. The condos have 1,2,3, 4 bedrooms, so couples, families extended families can find the right fit. We have a meeting room (100 pp max), catering kitchen an outside deck with grill. Our team works closely with the group leader to honor special requests. In town location close to hiking, biking, rafting more. 800-824-8438. Visit: For Group Info visit:


2201 Second St., Suite 600, Fort Myers, FL 33901 Share a tradition of timeless beauty and endless opportunity for togetherness. Whether on the pristine sands of beautiful beaches, on t he glistening waters of the Gulf of Mexico, or in countless charming towns, your family comes together when you get away here. To begin planning your reunion, visit for more information. TELEPHONE: 239-338-3500 | U.S. & Canada: 800-237-6444 SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 13


215 Celebration Blvd., Kissimmee, FL 34747 Kissimmee, Florida, the gateway to fun and next to Orlando is your gateway to the perfect location for your next reunion. We offer planning assistance to reunions of all sizes and budgets. Let us help you make planning your next reunion easy. Plus … we’ll provide your reunion T-shirts free! For details see or call our reunions specialist at 407-742-8255 com email SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 1


5000 Avenue of the Stars, Kissimmee FL 34746 Located just 4 miles to Walt Disney Theme Parks, our Mediterranean styled Resort & Spa offers spacious mini suites, 1 & 3 bedroom Villas with kitchenette, full kitchens with all the comforts of home. Enjoy tennis, basketball, pools & putting green, Jet Ski & paddleboat rentals, children’s activities, BBQ grills, indoor & outdoor function space available to rent. Group rates for 8 or more units. For group reservations call 800-789-0715 and mention Reunions Magazine when calling. We look forward to hosting your reunion.


12562 International Drive, Orlando FL 32821 Located just two miles from SeaWorld and Disney on International Drive, offers spacious two-and-three bedroom Grand Suites, with room for everyone. The free shuttle to the attractions and the I- Drive trolley makes it easy to get around town. With two heated swimming pools, game room, fitness center, and poolside bar and grille, you’ll want to spend quality family time right here at the resort. 321-329-4026 fax 321- 329-4001 | SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 49


8200 Palm Parkway, Orlando FL 32836 All-suite, 2013 Gold Award Winner, 100% smoke free hotel offering free deluxe breakfast buffet, located 2 miles from downtown Disney, minutes from shops and restaurants. All suites sleep up to six, feature two queen beds, fully equipped kitchenettes, sleeper sofa, two flat screen TV’s, free Wi-Fi. Some popular amenities include an outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, business center, board room, meeting rooms, fitness center, jogging trail and guest services. | Group reservations 800-370-9894 ext 501 |



Great discounted summer rates! 950 University Parkway, Sarasota FL 34234. We are the perfect designation to plan your next family reunion and perfect hotel to take care of your family and friends while in town. Located in North Sarasota and directly adjacent to the airport circle of SarasotaBradenton International Airport, the Hyatt Place Sarasota/Bradenton Airport hotel is centrally located to popular area attractions including the Siesta & Lido Key Beach, Ringling Museum of Art, and shopping at St. Armand’s Circle. 941-554-5800 | fax 941-952-5679


111 Perimeter Center West, Atlanta GA 30346 Find sanctuary in 121 deluxe guest rooms and 154 fantastic suites complete with the W Signature Bed, Bliss™ Sinkside Six amenities and balconies in all rooms. Suites feature a full kitchen. Free shuttle service within a 3-mile radius, which includes Perimeter Mall and MARTA stations. Banquet spaces with full catering available. For reservations, call 770-396-6800 | fax 770-394-4805 | SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 2


Just 10 minutes outside Atlanta in DeKalb County, Dunwoody is the best location for your next reunion. Minutes away from Stone Mountain Park, Georgia Aquarium, the MLK Center and more! Home to five excellent hotels with tons of meeting space and all within walking distance to Perimeter Mall and shuttle services to MARTA!! Call today to plan your reunion: 678-244-9800 | visit SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 2


4355 Ashford Dunwoody Rd, Atlanta, GA 30346 Located in Central Perimeter area nestled on a 45 acre park, with waterfalls, terraced gardens, facilities for gatherings of 10 to 1,000. 495 guestrooms, 33 spacious suites. Featuring a three story greenhouse atrium lobby, fitness center, indoor pool with sundeck. Across from the Perimeter Mall. Free shuttle to area restaurants, parks and MARTA station for downtown attractions. Visit | call 770-395-7700. Mention this listing for 10 % off reunion banquet pricing. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 2


1030 Crown Pointe Pkwy, Atlanta GA 30338 770-394-5454. All suite, upscale, renovated hotel located in beautiful Dunwoody, just steps away from Perimeter Mall, Perimeter Shoppes and more than 30 area restaurants/dining facilities. Hotel features complimentary amenities such as: cooked-to-order breakfast, Manager’s Reception, area shuttle, parking deck, indoor pool/sun deck, Precor fitness center and business center. Hotel offers an onsite restaurant with Starbucks cafe, meeting space and wireless internet throughout. Flat screen TV’s in all suites. Easy access to downtown via MARTA. Hilton Family Hotels. Book us at SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 2


246 Perimeter Center Parkway NE, Atlanta, GA 30346 The Hotel is located adjacent to Perimeter Mall and the Dunwoody MARTA station offering easy access to all city attractions. Amenities include onsite restaurant and lounge, room service, indoor/outdoor swimming pool, meeting and banquet space for up to 350 people and complimentary hotel shuttle within a 2 mile radius. Ask about our special reunions packages. Call 770 394-6500 or visit SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 2

Please patronize our advertisers. 46 Reunions v

STAYBRIDGE SUITES ATLANTA PERIMETER CENTER EAST 4601 Ridgeview Road, Atlanta-Dunwoody GA 30338 Staybridge Suites is an All-Suite Hotel and offers a premier location in the Dunwoody – Perimeter Area within walking distance to some of the best Restaurants and Shops Atlanta has to offer. Minutes away from attractions like Stone Mountain, Six Flags, Zoo Atlanta, Hartsfield Airport and the Georgia Dome. Fantastic amenities like Free Full Breakfast, Free Shuttle within a 3-Mile Radius, Free Internet, Free On-Site Fitness Center and Guest Laundry! 678-320-0111 Fax: 678-320-0250 | Reservations: | atlanta-pr SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 2


W6694 E. Broad St. Douglasville, GA 30134 With a great location near Atlanta and over 1,800 hotel rooms, Douglasville, Georgia is a great location for your next reunion! For details on complimentary services, including welcome bags and name badges, contact the Douglasville CVB today and let us help plan your next reunion. For more information call us at 1-800-661-0013 | email


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

ILLINOIS Plan an unforgettable reunion in Lake County, Illinois We’ll work together to help you plan an event that lets you explore all the excitement of Lake County. From entertaining attractions like Six Flags to our convenient, centralized location close to Chicago, there are so many reasons to choose Lake County for family friendly fun. For free Reunion Planning Assistance call or email us with your reunion planning questions. 800-LAKE-NOW | SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 25


52 King George Street, Annapolis MD 21402 Designed specifically for those who participated in military operations while in US service. Tour focuses on role of Naval Academy in supplying officers and midshipmen in various conflicts. Tour includes audio-visual presentation and walking tour. Tour time: 2 hours 30 minutes. Tour price: $9.00. Call for tour package and dining information: 410-293-8687 fax 410-293-3365 |


5625 O’Donnell St, Baltimore MD 21224 We are the perfect location for your next Reunion. We offer free parking, a free scheduled shuttle, indoor pool and free hot breakfast. Our room amenities include a microwave/refrigerator, hairdryer, and coffeemaker. Two ballrooms able to accommodate 50-400 guests. Get a complimentary hospitality suite when your book your Banquet with us. Call 410-633-9500 | email Visit our website at


Route 132 & Bearses Way, 1225 Iyanough Road, Hyannis MA 02601 888-255-4471 | fax 508-771-6564. Full service resort, 257 rooms & fireplace/whirlpool suites; 2 restaurants; tennis; playground; INDOOR WAVE POOL with 2’ waves, 80’ waterslides, Jacuzzi, fitness center plus Rainbow Falls Heated Outdoor Pool open year-round. Beautiful facilities for groups from 10-400. Expert consultants to

help you plan. Manicured grounds with clambake pit/ beach area. Full-service Spa. Entertainment. Gift Shop.


261 Grand Ave, Falmouth MA 02540 This unique, fully equipped oceanfront Victorian 10 BR/11 BA in Falmouth Heights, Cape Cod comfortably sleeps 20+ (private full BA in each BR). Magnificent direct views of Vineyard Sound, a popular beach 30 feet away, and many amenities make it a perfect vacation spot. For more information, please contact Felicia Schecter-Emrich at 917-533-1821


12500 Crystal Mountain Drive, Thompsonville MI 49683-9742 Reunions are a Crystal Mountain specialty because there is something to do for every age, and ample room to house everyone. Our event team can assist with planning activities that will entertain, such as a golf outing, paintball, laser tag or a float trip down the river... just to name a few. Whether for 50 guests or 225, we promise you a memorable event. 800.968.7686 ext. 6605 | fax: 231.378.4879



11000 Craguns Dr, Brainerd MN 56401 800-CRAGUNS (272-4867). Since 1940 Cragun’s has taken pride in creating memorable’s why: 1) trained coordinator will help plan it all, 2) arrival “Welcome” and registration areas with planned activity agendas, 3) activities including golf outings, lake cruises, picnics, fishing contests, horse drawn trolley rides and more, 4) indoor facilities to ensure you a “weather-proof” reunion, 5) private gathering areas, 6) special celebration meals, 7) professional group photos, 8) and best of all, enjoy a safe, secure friendly environment. Come to Cragun’s for your reunion. Named “One of MN’s ideal locations to hold a Reunion.” by AAA. Call for FREE Reunion Planning Packet or visit: MINNEAPOLIS SAINT PAUL is the perfect location for your next reunion. Meet Minneapolis represents the entire MSP metro area with over 17,000 hotel rooms. Use our FREE service and hotels will compete against each other for your business. We also provide your group with FREE guides, maps, and coupons along with tour ideas, group friendly restaurants, and sample itineraries. Let us help you plan your next reunion to Minneapolis Saint Paul. 612-767-8106 |


Located in America’s heartland, Branson, Missouri is the perfect destination for your next reunion because we offer so many choices of live music shows and family entertainment, lodging, attractions, dining and more. Remember, in Branson, our value is unrivaled, our scenery breathtaking and our authentic Ozarks hospitality inviting. Call us toll-free at 800-214-3661 417-243-2117 or visit our website at and request a Reunion Planner Sales kit. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON THE INSIDE FRONT COVER


Box 160069, Big Sky, MT 59716. A family guest ranch in Big Sky, Montana, just minutes from Yellowstone National Park and offers 4 to 7 night luxury Dude Ranch vacations with guided adventures, log cabins, stunning scenery and incredible cuisine. 1-800-514-4644 SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 34


287 Tom Miner Creek Road, Emigrant MT 59027. Ride the range with your family and our cowboys. Move cattle thru meadows and across crystal clear mountain streams. Fish our lake, go trap shooting, ride the Yellowstone River rapids, see the wonders of Yellowstone Park. 406-848-7755 | SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 34


33133 Gallatin Rd, Gallatin Gateway, MT 59730. A vacation for all ages! Families and friends share horseback rides, kids” programs, fly-fishing, nature hikes and white water rafting in the Montana Rockies. 406-995-4291 e-mail SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 34


2875 Hwy 93 West, Whitefish, MT 59937. Experience true western hospitality in the heart of Glacier country in Northwestern Montana! Time will run a little slower, things will seem a little easier, and every day will feel like Saturday. Check us out! 866-828-2900 e-mail | SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 34

NEVADA GOLD COAST HOTEL & CASINO is located just minutes west of the Las Vegas Strip, directly across from The Rio and The Palms. This friendly resort personifies all that is best about Las Vegas and features 712 rooms and suites, 30,000 square feet of conference space, full-service casino, Bingo Parlor, six restaurants, showroom/lounge, 70-lane bowling center, race/sports book, a poolside fitness center, and shuttle service to the heart of The Strip. 4000 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103 702-251-3560 | 800-331-5334 x 400 SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 20 SAM’S TOWN HOTEL & GAMBLING HALL

5111 Boulder Highway, Las Vegas NV 89122 Sam’s Town boasts 646 elegantly appointed rooms and suites which surround the Mystic Fall Indoor Park. This popular hotel and casino has over 2,700 slot and video poker machines as well as 40 table games. In addition, Sam’s Town has 30,000 square feet of meeting space, multiple restaurants, food court, 18 movie theatres, RV Park, Bowling Center and much more!!! Sam’s Town offers a courtesy shuttle to the Strip and Downtown. 702-454-8120 SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 20 THE ORLEANS HOTEL AND CASINO blends the glamour and excitement of Las Vegas with the festive flavor of New Orleans. The 88-acre full-service resort has 1,886 rooms and suites, 40,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space, 12 exceptional restaurants and an oasis-like swimming pool. Attractions also include a spa and fitness center, a 70-lane bowling center, an 18-screen movie complex, a 900-seat showroom and 9,000-seat arena. 4500 W Tropicana Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89103 702-365-7050 | 888-365-7111 X 7050 SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 21


3800 S Virginia Street, Reno, NV 89502 Atlantis is Reno’s Newest Hot Spot for Reunions! Atlantis boasts 50,000 SF of flexible meeting space. Stay in Reno’s newest resort rooms, featuring pillow-top mattresses and 42” HDTV’s. Dine in eight distinct award-winning restaurants. The Atlantis Steakhouse proudly serves Allen Brothers USDA Prime steaks. Network at the ten captivating bars and lounges. Escape to Spa Atlantis winner of Spa Finder “Readers Choice” award! Sales Department 800.994.5900 |


10099 Weddington Rd., Ste. 102, Concord, NC 28027 “Where Racing Lives!” — Shift Your Reunion Into High Gear! Full-throttle fun waits at Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR race team headquarters and continues inside the largest indoor waterpark in the Carolinas — Great Wolf Lodge! Slow the pace at Embassy Suites Charlotte/Concord Spa Botanica and Rocky Rover Golf Club. Contact Carrie Hendrickson 704-456-7969 | Wilmington, N.C., and three island beaches offer extraordinary experiences from the river to the sea. From the historic river district anchored by a scenic Riverwalk and 200+ shops, cafes and vibrant nightlife to a new Ocean Front Park and beachside boardwalks. Get together in NC’s most accessible coastal destination. For group itineraries & events: | 800-650-9064, ext. 113


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. Contact Kari Kauffman 614-222-6136 SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 5

PENNSYLVANIA VALLEY FORGE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 1000 First Avenue, Suite 101, King of Prussia PA 19406. Still the best place to meet – Valley Forge. Washington’s famous encampment site is just 18 miles from Philadelphia and offers more than 60 hotels, 11 conference centers and reunion-friendly hotels with complimentary hospitality rooms and free parking. Destination features world-class shopping at the nation’s largest shopping mall, King of Prussia, as well as premium dining and entertainment on its many quaint Main Streets. Contact Courtney Pozo, Convention Sales Manager: 610-834-7971 or 800-441-3549 | Fax: 610-834-0202 | visit SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON THE BACK COVER

SOUTH CAROLINA SEA MIST OCEANFRONT RESORT-MYRTLE BEACH SC 1200 South Ocean Blvd., 29577 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! 800-200-8687 | SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 49


We are ready to host your next family or military reunion. Our Staff works closely with the hotels, attractions, tour companies and you to provide exactly what you need to have a great reunion. Contact Christina Petro at 800-964-8600 ext. 3017 or by e-mail at to begin planning your next reunion! SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 45

UTAH PARK CITY LODGING, INC. represents over 150 vacation rentals throughout Park City’s three world-class resort areas: Park City, Deer Valley and Canyons. Choose from a large variety of accommodations, ideally suited for your reunion, wedding or special event. Our knowledgeable staff is here to assist you in creating a memorable family experience in the mountains of Park City, Utah. Call 855-263-7793 Let our knowledgeable staff assist you in creating a memorable mountain experience.

VIRGINIA CHESAPEAKE CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU 860 Greenbrier Circle, Suite 101 Chesapeake VA 23320 Can you hear it? That voice inside, beckoning you to get together. Reconnect with friends, families and memories. The refuge, the waterways, the beach – so close you can enjoy them all. For more information on planning a family or military reunion in Chesapeake, VA, call 888.889.5551 |


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. Call us at 703-790-0643 | visit our website today at SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 42 NEWPORT NEWS – Get closer to ships, history and the great outdoors with one central destination: Newport News. Get all this, plus Williamsburg and Virginia Beach, too! Whether getting together with old classmates, shipmates or relatives, Newport News provides the perfect location and services to make your reunion a success. We offer the best value and plenty to see and do! Let Newport News make your next reunion a memorable one. Call Barb Kleiss at 888-493-7386 | or email her at to book your reunion.


232 East Main Street, Norfolk VA 23510 Norfolk’s beautifully revitalized waterfront, rich military heritage, walkable downtown and Coastal Virginia location make it the ideal destination for your next reunion. Home to such attractions as the Battleship Wisconsin, MacArthur Memorial, Hampton Roads Naval Museum and the world’s largest naval base. See why American Heritage named Norfolk “A Great American Place.” Offering over 5,000 committable hotel rooms in various price ranges. Call 800-368-3097 | SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 45

Subscribe! Call 414-263-4567 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER/JANUARY 2014 v Reunions 47

CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg, VA

A relaxing riverside setting, where everyone finds freedom to have fun! Choose spacious guestrooms or suites with fireplace, full kitchen and washer/dryer. Celebrate indoors or out and enjoy 3 golf courses, pool with lazy river, Kids Kamp, spa, sports club, watersports, shuttle to Busch Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg. Call 800.832.5665 for a reunion they’ll rave about!



Family Reunion, by Mary Quattlebaum, Illustrated by Andrea Shine.Thoughtful and fun, this book gives glimpses of family togetherness and tradition through various poetic forms, including free verse, a sonnet, haiku, a ballad and more. $16 + s/h.


PO Box 0, Capon Springs, WV 26823 Come home to Capon, where good food, good friends and good fun meet! For three generations, our family has been welcoming guests to our award-winning all-inclusive mountain retreat. Relax and enjoy organized activities for all ages within a restored historic resort. Featuring: golf, spa w/mineral baths, hiking, spring-fed pool, tennis and more on 4,700 forested acres. Open May 1-Nov. 1 with 100 rooms in a variety of lodging. Two hours from DC. Call or email year round, reunion planner: Jonathan Bellingham: 304-874-3695 |


1122 12th. Street, Cody, WY 82414. Helping people find quality Dude and Guest Ranch vacations since 1926. Let us help you find the perfect all inclusive location for your next reunion call 866-399-2339 e-mail | SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGES 34 & 35


1072 East Fork Road, Dubois, WY 82513. Voted “Top Ranch for Kids & Teens” in 2013 we promise a memorable family vacation. Great riding, pool, hot tub, petting zoo and more! Where kids can run free and parents can relax. 1-800-453-9488 | SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 34


Hold your reunion event on a fun & fabulous cruise ship! We do all the work but YOU get all the credit. We include a FREE custom website where your guests can book conveniently online (no money for you to collect!), t-shirts for all participants, and special amenities just for you! See for details. 404-913-4FUN |

MEMENTOES GIVE THE GIFT OF MEMORIES | email: Low cost, unique, conversation-starter.


Make your photos come to Life with Voice and Special Effects! The Very Special Photos App allows you to add the story behind your amazing photos. Add up to five minutes of voice and special effects such as recording your baby’s milestones or your grandmother’s stories at your Family Reunion. Take a photo in the VSP App or select an image from your camera roll. Easily Create Slideshows. When you are done post your VSP photo to Facebook, e-mail or text it to family and friends. For a Demo and free download go to: SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 24


All of these products can be purchased through Reunions magazine. Please call 414-263-4567.


The Miles of Smiles: 101 Great Car Games & Activities, by travel writer Carole Terwilliger Meyers. May be the ultimate solution for back seat squabbling” on the way to your reunion. Keep kids entertained all the way there. $8.95 + s/h. THE FAMILY REUNION SURVIVAL GUIDE: How to Avoid Problems With Your Family Without Avoiding Your Family by Laurence A. Basirico. (2003, Identity Publishing, $11.95). A book about relationships at family reunions and how to enjoy them. Based on original research. 2106 Coy St., Burlington, NC. (336) 584-1442. The Pick A Party book set, by Patty Sachs, party-planning expert. Book #1: Pick a Party, The Big Book of Party Themes and Occasion, 100 theme party plans for holidays, milestone occasions and special events. Book #2 Pick-A-Party Cookbook, Includes menus, recipes and table decoration ideas for the 100 theme parties in Book #1. Regularly $20 for the set, only $16.00 + $2 s/h) for Reunions magazine readers. Secrets of Successful Family Reunions, by Robert W. Wolfe a.k.a. Uncle Bob A how-to-book for successful family reunions. Whether simple or elaborate it helps those who wish to pass their values to the next generation. 2008. $16.99 + s/h. Treasure and Scavenger Hunts (3rd ed.) How to Plan, Create, and Give Them, by Gordon Burgett Communications Unlimited, 2007, 134 pp. $15.95 + s/h or $12.95 digital. Your Living Family Tree: Keeping your family together forever through print, photos, sound and video, by Gordon Burgett Communications Unlimited, 2008, 174 pp. $17.95 + s/h or $15.95 digital.


How Many?! How Much!?, A Step-by-Step guide to cooking for a large group, by Jennifer Cole. This book will help you with menu planning, recipe costing, recruiting helpers, budgeting. Spiral bound, 73 pp.$19.95 plus $4.95 s/h.


Subscribe to Reunions magazine Ensure a full year of reunion planning advice plus workbook. Subscribe now. Send $9.99/yr or $17.99/2 yrs to Reunions Magazine, Inc., PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211-0727. To charge to credit card call 414-263-4567.


The Malone Family Choir: A Family Reunion is an original gospel CD opening with a song you’ll want to play to say Welcome to Our Family Reunion! at your family reunion. CD $15 or tape $10 + s/h.

Create amazing reunion shirts online in our fun & easy Design Lab! Choose from name-brand apparel and 40,000+ images, or upload your own art. No hidden charges or set-up fees. Guaranteed delivery dates. FREE shipping and FREE design help 7 days/week. Save $10 on 6 or more shirts with voucher code: reunion (expires 3/31/14). Call us toll-free at 877-803-5887. We love to talk tees! Or visit us online at SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 19

Lots free for your reunion online!


e often take it for granted and forget to remind you about all the free things on our web site. Pages of freebies from Reunions magazine and many other sources as well. It’s information overload if you tried to read from front to back, so the web page is organized to hit the major concerns that come up as you plan your reunion. Or, if you’ve been planning a reunion forever and you’re looking for some fresh ideas, they’re there too.

48 Reunions v

Postcards that make your reunion point!


save the date

when you’ve set it!


TIME IS RUNNING OuT when it is!

Custom Printing – $45 p/hundred; 50¢ each Fill-in cards $15 p/hundred; 20¢ each plus shipping & handling Send message, check & request to: Reunion postcards PO Box 11727 v Milwaukee WI 53211-0727 To charge, call 414.263.4567


P.O. Box 11727 v Milwaukee WI 53211-0727 TM

Reunions Magazine Volume 24, Number 2. November/December/January 2014 *SOLD OUT*  

Burt(t)schells in Germany, Ranch reunions, Fundraising, K9 Soldiers Memorial

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