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his year the Johnson and Barnes Family Reunion celebrated their 45th meeting in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In 1972, Reverend Monroe Johnson, his wife, and nine children had a family get-together in

Cleveland, Ohio. Reverend Johnson was inspired to broaden the reunion by inviting his sisters, brothers and other relatives. The Johnson and Barnes first “national reunion� was in Louisville, Kentucky.

Sims Family Reunion

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ims Family Reunions are three-day weekends in Griffin, Georgia, where the last two of eight original siblings still live. In the future, I plan to organize a destination reunion to Alabama or Florida. A casino fundraising trip helped pay for the first formal banquet. I am the one who calls to check on family members each week, and saw the need for a reunion because we are losing so many relatives. Declining health also makes me value family even more. My husband is great at breaking the ice. We have people sit in different places according to a number we give them when they arrive at the park. They go to that table instead of sitting next to the people they came with. Then we play some crazy getting-to-know-you game. The family looks for me to plan the reunion. The first and last one was in 2005. I plan things for all ages: dance contest, arts and crafts, tug of war, card games, Family Feud. I am involving the younger generation. A small group of young girls help plan activities for the children only. Traditions include the meet-and-greet fish fry, and the cookout, which will be even bigger this year. Reported by Tamera Thomas, Locust Grove, Georgia

Since then, it has grown by leaps and bounds. The 46th reunion will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana. Reported by Dwight Johnson, Waukegan, Illinois

Caywood/Rutherford Family Reunion

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he Caywood/Rutherford Family Reunion meets every two years at a different location each time. It changes so family members in different parts of the country can showcase their locations. The last reunion was in Baltimore, Maryland, the next is in St. Louis, Missouri. Changes provide a good learning experience for the children in the family. We collect dues and have officers who handle this. They report at the family meeting during the reunion. The reunion runs from Thursday afternoon until Sunday morning. Each host state selects their organizer. Thursday night is a meet-and-greet. Traditions include an update on the family tree and story time from the elders, as well as a family dinner and often a family church activity. We include all generations in all aspects of planning. Members are kept involved by e-mail, regular mail, a family reunion website and family reunion Facebook page. Reported by Arthetta Reeder, Shorewood, Illinois

REUNION CELEBRATIONS SEPTEMBER 2017 v REUNIONS 25

Reunions Magazine Volume 27, Number 2. September 2017  

Reunions magazine v27n2 sept 2017

Reunions Magazine Volume 27, Number 2. September 2017  

Reunions magazine v27n2 sept 2017