Reunion food Generous Genealogists Family reunions Finding class members for reunion
Display until April 30, 2013.
Vo l 23 n o 3 f e b r uary / m ar c h / a p r i l 2013 $ 3 / U SA
in this issue Departments front Words – 4 ALUM & I – 6 The Reunion Project continued by Scott Ryan Fairborn High School, Class of 1972 by Kathleen Russell-Rader
BRANCH OFFICE – 10 Geddis Gathers-Gethers-Gaddis Family Reunion by Mary Brunson 1940 census, family trees on Pinterest, Saving Memories Forever, GenerousGenealogists.com
Scrapbook – 13 Reunion School Tips for running a great meeting by Jean Kelley Flip-Pal® giveaway winner, Ragnar Relay, WhitePages, San Jacinto Day, Seminary Ridge Museum, Motorhome Owners ‘Family Reunion,’ CCC, Mothers of Hope
Masterplan – 18 The Peters reunion story by Oliver Peters, Jr. What makes Laughlin attractive to reunions? Cherishing our Heritage by Keonsha Bernard McDonald Mega Family Reunion by Angela Dorsey The Hutchison Family Reunion by Michael D. Hutchison Coleman Family Reunion by Duwan Mason, Sr. Whitehurst Family Reunion by Ne’El Whitehurst Families: Rotz, Keck
reunion venues & features – 27 FOOD Moving from potluck to caterer by Dean Miller Recipe for a savory seafood reunion by Janet Park Feeding many reunions Brechtel, Malsam, Hudson-Cobb, Heart of Mary Academy, Class of 1991, Avila, Canepa, Ferguson, Fleming, Burrell Jackson Stokes Potluck dinners are popular Cookbook reviews Best reunion grilling recipes How to devil an egg Breakfast buffet tips Saving $$ Ideas, discounts or freebies that help cut reunion costs
Military Reunion News – 39 USS Piedmont AD-17 reunion by Bill Kastens VC-8 Redtail Squadron enjoys tour by Jim Rueff Green Bay is for reunions, not just Packers! by Edith Wagner Reunions at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum Vietnam tribute, combining reunion groups, cruises support veterans, great port in a storm, Finding Your Father’s War, American Indian Veterans National Memorial
Reunion Resources – 44 A directory of reunion-friendly places, services, vendors and product On the cover Some of the Whitehurst Family Reunion planning committee members. See page 24.
February/March/April 2013 Volume 23 • Number 3 Publisher / Editor in Chief Edith Wagner Travel Editor Jacky Runice Art Director Jennifer Rueth Sales Marion Liston Senior Account Manager Operations Manager Karla Lavin Administrative Staff Josh Evert Nicole Dettmering Ksioszk hospitality answer man Dean Miller Contributors Lisa Alzo • Jim Bard Clyde Bennish • Keonsha Bernard Genevieve Brechtel • Mary Brunson Sandra Davis • Angela Dorsey Darlene Hudson • Michael D. Hutchison Rachel Wisniewski Jakuba Bill Kastens • Jean Kelley Margaret Malsam • Duwan Mason, Sr. Janet Park • Anne Petrous Oliver Peters, Jr. • Bob Roeder Jim Rueff • Kathleen Russell-Rader Scott Ryan • Ne’El Whitehurst Reunions magazine, Inc. (ISSN #1046-5s235), is published 4 times per year. Send correspondence, queries, submissions, subscriptions, advertising to Reunions magazine, 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: email@example.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 self-addressed 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 editor@reunions mag.com | reunionsmag.com. © 2013 Reunions magazine, Inc. FEBRUARY/MARCH/APRIL 2013 v Reunions 3
Be in touch! Mail to but an amazing 20% are more than three ur spring issue always reminds us Reunions magazine days; 47% host between 51 and 100 PO Box 11727 that summer is just around the members, and a smaller number of corner. In no time, you will be Milwaukee WI 53211-0727 reunions have 101 to 150 attendees; starting to celebrate 2013 reunions. call 414-263-4567 almost 77% are held at hotels, and 97% But until then, we have many new ideas visit www.reunionsmag.com of attendees drive to family reunions. and suggestions in anticipation of the fax 414-263-6331 Stay tuned for more soon. summer season. e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Reunion photographer The mailing of this issue is slightly disappoints delayed because it is, as you’ve discovered, packed with the 13th edition Last year we included information of Reunions Workbook, published by about a former Air Force photographer Premier Tourism. We prepared the material in the workbook, Robert Good, Circleville, Ohio, who was taking military so there is still the direct connection to your planning efforts. reunion pictures. Recently, however, we’ve learned Mr. Good We remind you that the workbook is an extensive outline, and is not so good at keeping his promises. He has disappointed there is no requirement that you do everything in it! It is a the members of the USS Northampton reunion (according to guide, and contains much more than any reunion would likely Leonard Shults), and one CVB is exploring legal action. ever do.
In this issue
Scott Ryan continues his search for members of his Princess Anne High School, Class of 1988, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in a shared blog. We learn about a very altruistic group called Generous Genealogists … and are they ever! Jean Kelley offers tips to run a great meeting, while the Peters Family shares their reunion jeopardy game. The McDonalds, Hutchisons, Wiley-Jeffersons and Coleman families, USS Piedmont, VC Redtail Squadron, Company C 1/12 CAV Vietnam Vets and USS Cobia reunions all contribute to an exciting issue. But our favorite – always at this time of year – is the food section: countless ideas to keep your members yummily happy. Goodbye, pal
We fondly remember Ray Py, a Reunions magazine contributor, who died recently. Ray was a great reunion fan, enthusiastic planner of his Wauwatosa (Wisconsin) High School Class of 1954 reunion, and prolific facebook pundit. See his story on our web page about a volunteer restoration project he spearheaded at his school. Reader survey
We truly appreciate the time and effort of everyone who completed our reader survey at the end of 2012. There will be a full report later, but for now we can say there seem to be no big surprises in how you plan and enjoy your reunion(s): 75% take place in summer; almost 40% happen once a year and another 40% every two or three years; 50% last three days, 4 Reunions v reunionsmag.com
Jeff Waltrip, Athens, Tennessee, was the winner of our recent Flip-Pal® giveaway. Jeff reports that three reunion groups have asked to share the portable scanner. We will be having more giveaways, which you’ll be able to find on our Contests and Sweepstakes web page and on facebook, where you’ll also find entry info. Check out the cookbook giveaway in this issue’s Food section! Coming soon will be grab bag giveaways of prizes to give at your reunion.
See you soon!
I will be at the Fairfax, Virginia, planning workshop February 16th, and in Fredericksburg, Virginia, March 9th. See you there. EW
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alum & I
Fairborn High School
Class of 1972 T
he Fairborn High School Flyers Class of 1972 enjoyed their 40-Year Class Reunion Celebration Weekend in Fairborn, Ohio. Fairborn Flyers logo Mementos of the class included a red rose (the Class of 1972’s flower) and the school colors of blue and gold. The class’s gift to the school was a record collection. The class motto is “While I breathe, I hope.” Friday evening’s icebreaker included classmates, spouses, and friends from other classes who met to socialize with old friends. Faculty members present were assistant principal Lewis Reed and choir director Marcia Waymire Horton, who was student teaching during the class of 1972’s sophomore year. As classmates checked in each evening, they were given name tags with their senior pictures. Opposite the picture was the classmate’s name in bold print and the blue and gold class logo. Imprinted across the class logo was Fairborn High School. In gold script “40-Year Reunion ticket. Reunion,” followed by Class of 1972 embossed in blue, appeared at the bottom. Approximately 80 classmates and guests attended the Friday night icebreaker. The reunion committee provided soft drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Shared by Kathleen Russell-Rader, Centerville, Ohio.
Fairborn High School, Class of 1972.
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alum & I
The Reunion Project, a blog by Scott Ryan About this blog
his is the continuation – from our last issue – of a blog by Scott Ryan, a 1988 graduate of Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, who is documenting his searching experience in advance of his 2013 25th high school reunion. Contact Scott at 248-945-9950; email@example.com, subject line: “The Reunion Project.” The blog originates on detroit.cbslocal.com. Shared with permission.
July 6, 2012 F You’re Not Alone
My journey is in its seventh month and has seen plenty of ups and downs. Often, I’ll make 10 or 20 calls all at once – and I certainly don’t expect every one to be a hit. Emails and facebook messages have been more effective, but they only take you so far. For every ten calls I make, I’ll get a few bad numbers, a few voice mails, and maybe one person on the phone. But that one conversation makes the whole effort worthwhile. Because I only kept in touch with a few classmates, I have to re-introduce myself. But it doesn’t take long to get into a comfort zone. In the age of texting and social networking, it’s refreshing to take part in an actual conversation where you can hear someone laugh instead of reading the ubiquitous “LOL.” I’ve heard stories from classmates who are still with their high school sweethearts, classmates who’ve decided they need a fresh start in life, and some who haven’t settled down yet. To be honest, the most rewarding talks are with people whose lives are in transition. I can usually hear the hesitancy in their voices, unsure about what lies ahead. But my words are genuine, and I try to be reassuring, because everyone has had their own drama. I think some people are worried that they’ll be the only person dealing with (name your crisis: divorce, losing a job, money issues, weight). Nothing could be further from the truth. We’ve all had to deal with those things over the years – and more – so we’re in no position to judge. I just hope I’ve left them feeling a little more self-confident – and maybe they’ll want to join us at next year’s reunion, so they can find out just how much they really have in common with everyone. Which reminds me – the class before us just had their 25th reunion last weekend, so it’s time to start planning. July 20, 2012 F Crazy Calls
There’s no telling what awaits me when I call someone. While many of the conversations are routine, some do stand out. In the search for one female classmate, I wound up 8 Reunions v reunionsmag.com
talking with a man who explained how his wife had been dead for seven years. I apologized profusely. I felt terrible. There’s no way I can be 100 percent sure of someone’s circumstance ahead of time. I didn’t know this classmate in high school. But I listened as her husband calmly shared details of her lengthy illness. I was looking for an out. Then I got one – but not the one I was expecting. He casually mentioned he was retired and then it dawned on me: I’d been talking to the wrong person for nearly ten minutes. Right name, wrong person. Hey, it happens. Sometimes I can tell where someone works based on an email, especially if it’s a school or government agency. If someone’s hard to find I might call a friend, a sibling, or a parent to help. I don’t want to pry into your loved one’s business, but if he or she has an interesting job I might ask about it. Well, that was the plan until recently. I listened as a proud parent talked about his son’s job. I was impressed, especially since the field he worked in sounded like something I’d be interested in. And as I was about to ask for more details, I learned that if he told me exactly what his son did for a living – he might have to track me down and cut my heart out. A little unnerving, but at least no one had to die. And if you’re curious about that first call, I eventually did find the right person, alive and well about an hour from her childhood home. August 3, 2012 F False Start
My main goal of this project is to see that everyone who graduated with us gets invited. That’s why I started finding classmates one year in advance. I know a lot of people will rattle off reasons why they won’t be able to attend, but I’d like to think that enough people will appreciate the advance notice and make the effort to be there. When I started, I noticed that only about half our class had received an invitation to our 20-year reunion, when social media was just starting to pick up steam. I knew that, with enough time and effort, we could do better, given all the new internet tools at hand. And we have. I’ve found almost 300 of us.
But now it appears I might have committed a “false start” – as in starting too early. Several people have moved or are planning to before the reunion. So now I’m having to find the rest of our class while keeping an eye out for people who have rented moving vans, or I’ll have to find them again. I don’t want our efforts dismissed with a “Return to Sender” stamp on an invitation. I have encountered a few classmates who said they left during their senior year, or maybe didn’t arrive until then. Honestly, I can’t remember who did what. Some want to join the party, but a few have said they’d rather not make the effort. Maybe we’ll invite them anyway, in hopes they’ve changed their minds. I think it’s intellectual curiosity–I’m betting that most people want to see how everyone turned out, even if it’s just to help themselves feel normal. August 17, 2012 F 300 and Counting
I figured one of the challenges I’d face would be living far away from where all the action will be. Technology has brought me a lot closer, but I can’t exactly bump into someone at the mall or a restaurant and chat. As you might expect, almost all my communication has been online or by phone. Despite all that distance, I’ve found a lot of people with connections to Michigan, now my home. A handful of classmates are spread across this state, although I haven’t contacted all of them yet. During my search, I contacted an ex-spouse of a classmate who shared an amazing story. He used to work in Detroit. Another classmate was here briefly for work recently and we managed to catch up. He has a job that’s even crazier and more exciting than mine. And another friend who moved away when we were teens is planning to come here for a few days for a company he now runs. Plus, at least three other people from high school and college either lived here at some point or still live here. There are also a handful of classmates next door in Ohio – which could be fun as college football season begins. So, I guess – in theory – there’s a great story that awaits the next time I make a call or send an email. But fortunately or
unfortunately, depending on your viewpoint, I’m running out of opportunities. Just minutes before typing this, I managed to locate my 300th classmate, which Scott Ryan means we have fewer than 100 to go. Even if we can’t find quite everyone, I think that’s a big enough guest list to start planning the event. … to be continued… Princess Anne HS Class of 1988
Jun 28-29, 2013 Virginia Beach VA Scott Ryan, 248-945-9950; firstname.lastname@example.org; princessanne88.weebly.com/
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New tool for exploring your family’s history (NAPSI) – Most Americans like to feel connected to the past, to a place and to others. Discovering your family history can start simply by identifying who is in your extended family. The ability to make such connections got a boost in 2012 with the release of the 1940 US Census. Almost 275 million Americans alive today should be able to find a relative in the 1940 Census. This is the census of The Greatest Generation. It enumerated 16 million American men, women and children on the brink of the deadliest war in human history. It’s the last census to record the names of the more than 400,000 who never returned from World War II. You’ll find names and addresses of family and neighbors. You’ll learn the highest grade they had completed and the family’s annual income in 1939. Modern technology lets you access the census at home. Ancestry.com has made the 1940 Census free to search at www.ancestry.com/1940.
enerousGenealogists.com is a new website to replace the popular Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) site that went off-line last year, following the death of its founder, Bridgett Schneider. The new group, led by Mark Rabideau (who did the organizing and programming), has a handful of volunteers so far. GenerousGenealogists.com provides services completely free of charge. Voluntary donations, however, are appreciated and can be made by PayPal. The website has “Free Genealogy Coaching” that provides how-to information about a number of topics. Discussion forums include sections for many countries. For both accuracy and privacy reasons, the original RAOGK’s volunteer database was not used. Even if you were listed on the old site, you will need to sign up on the new site as a volunteer. Posted by Dick Eastman in Online Sites.
Geddis Gathers-Gethers-Gaddis Family Reunion
he Geddis Gathers-Gethers-Gaddis Family Reunion started as a family picnic in 1985 in Mary Brunson’s backyard in Pemberton, New Jersey. About 70 people attended the first picnic. The following year, 225 people attended the first reunion. In 1987 they went to Charleston, South Carolina, for the second family reunion, which was too large to be at the old homestead or in the city of Sumter, South Carolina, where the first, second and third generations were born. This time 425 attended at a hotel. The reunion was held every two years until 2007, then every year since. Reunions have been held in Pemberton, New Jersey; Charleston, Myrtle Beach and Sumter, South Carolina; Los Angeles and San Diego, California; Silver Spring, Maryland, New Orleans, Louisiana; Chicago, Illinois; Atlanta, Georgia; and Washington, DC. Long Beach, California, was the locale in 2012, and 2013 it will take place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At the end of each reunion two places are chosen, so if you can’t attend each year, you know in advance where the next two will be held and can plan accordingly. Mary Brunson is the family historian and has traveled to various archives, visiting many cities and plantation graveyards down south, and has found descendants of the first ancestors and their slave masters. She found family from three slave masters. She checks family records, wills and estate papers where plantations were located and visits them. People who were instrumental in getting Blacks the right to vote and equal education were members of the slave owners’ families. The internet is her main source now and she has put the family tree on ancestry.com and on facebook. From a report by Mary Brunson, Pemberton, New Jersey
veryone can be a storyteller, whether it is a grandmother talking about an old family tale, a mom talking about her first date with dad, or a child talking about his/her first day at school. The combination of stories gives true insight into what a person was all about and is an invaluable oral tool for anyone interested in preserving family genealogy. The Saving Memories Forever Audio Scrapbook provides users with an online portal to record family members and their favorite stories and save them in one secure location. Combined with the new iPhone App from Saving Memories Forever, creating the scrapbook is easy. The app links seamlessly to SavingMemoriesForever. com website and is designed for anyone, no matter how tech savvy. Those without a smart phone can also create an audio scrapbook. Anyone with MP3 capability can upload their recordings. Recordings can be downloaded from the Saving Memories Forever website to a computer. Subscribers can add photos and graphics to share with the recordings. Recordings stored on Saving Memories Forever are categorized, private, secure, and permission-based. The Saving Memories Forever Audio Scrapbook is available for just $35.
Sharing family histories one story at a time
Family trees on Pinterest
e’ve been having great fun pinning lots of reunion resources on Pinterest and have many followers whose own reunion boards have fascinated us! If you are on Pinterest, we invite you to follow us and if you have a reunion board, we will follow you! In any case, the thousands (yes, literally thousands and growing) of pins we’ve collected are all intended to lead you to new and exciting ideas pinterest.com/reunionsmag for your reunion. Won’t you join us? 10 Reunions v reunionsmag.com
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International ‘Reunion’ focuses on Medical Family Tree
eople of African descent from all over the world met in Baltimore for a “family reunion” to discuss how to resolve medical problems that have persisted since slavery. Experts highlighted research on communities from Washington, DC, to Halifax, Nova Scotia, that will be included in a book on the conference theme, The Great Scattering: Solving the Puzzle of Slavery, Race and Contemporary Health in the African Diaspora. “Those of us living here are part of the diaspora; we’re part of the international family that was transported through the trans-Atlantic slave trade,” said Thomas LaVeist, PhD, conference chairman and director of the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. Looking at poverty – a key indicator or social determinant of health – Daniel L. Howard, Ph.D., executive director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College, pointed out that the highest rates of prostate cancer in the world are in places like eastern North Carolina, Jamaica and Trinidad. LaVeist noted the persistence of lowered life expectancies among people of African descent in port cities that were part of the slave trade. “We’re constantly bombarded with opportunities to do things that are unhealthy,” said LaVeist, citing lines at fast-food restaurants all over Africa, the Caribbean and the US. “We need to start counteracting that.” Some Washingtonians are planting community gardens, creating more farmers’ markets and taking other steps to address food deserts in parts of the city where liquor or foods high in salt and sugar are easier to find than fresh fruits and vegetables. LaVeist and Howard suggested an increase in the number of health educators to improve health literacy so that people learn to take better care of themselves before problems set in. “We need to … take care of our own health,” LaVeist said. “It’s not our doctor’s job to keep us healthy.” From a report by Yanick Rice Lamb in the Afro American, Baltimore, Maryland.
Mothers of Hope
others of Hope in Kalamazoo, Michigan, is a group that supports recovering drug and alcohol abusers. The organization helps women suffering through addiction by offering support for them and their families. They host an annual event called Ultimate Family Reunion, where “everyone is considered family.” The event is for people who are often hard to reach. The family style event allows them to connect or reconnect with individuals in the community for relationship building. Activities range from bobbing for apples and potato sack races to blood pressure checks and diabetes screenings. Sponsors include the City of Kalamazoo, banks, Walmart, medical centers and hospitals, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation and Western Michigan University’s Lewis Walker Institute. From a story by Emily Monacelli in the Kalamazoo Gazette – Mlive.com, Kalamazoo, Michigan. FEBRUARY/MARCH/APRIL 2013 v Reunions 13
Most of these events are sponsored and presented by convention and visitors bureaus. They 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 reunionsmag.com and click on workshops, conferences and seminars.
Alliance of Military Reunions
Dekalb County, Georgia
Contact Skip Sander | 412-367-1376 | MilitaryReunions@aol.com AllMilitaryReunions.org
February 9, May 4, June 8, July 13, August 17, September 21, November 16, 2013 Contact Carol Murray | 800-999-6055
April 20, 2013 Contact Aprill Cochran | 678-297-2811 email@example.com
Contact Athens CVB | 706-357-4430
March 9, 2013 Contact Randi Miles | 678-715-6069 firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Chantel Ross-Francois | 404-521-6638 email@example.com See video of earlier workshop at reunionsmag.com Greater Birmingham, Alabama
Contact Tara Walton | 205-458-8000, ext 206 Branson, Missouri
August 19-22, 2013 Military Reunion Planners Conference Contact Julie Peters | 417-334-4084 | firstname.lastname@example.org; explorebranson.com/groups/reunions.php Cabarrus County, North Carolina
April 13, 2013 Contact Carrie Hendricksen | 704-456-7969 email@example.com Northern California
Contact National Reunion Services | 888-425-8664 Chesapeake, Virginia
Contact C. Jeff Bunn | 888-889-5551 firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Jennifer Ollinger | 888-225-5389 email@example.com
March 30 and October 26, 2013 Contact Andy Williams | 678-244-9804 AndyW@CVBDunwoody.com Durham, North Carolina
Contact Chelsey Jean Morrison | firstname.lastname@example.org Estes Park, Colorado, YMCA of the Rockies
Family Reunion University February 8-10, 2013 Contact Group Reservations at 800-777-9622 Fairfax County, Virginia
February 16, 2013 Reunions magazine editor, Edith Wagner, speaker Contact Dean Miller | 703-752-9509 | email@example.com www.fxva.com Flint, Michigan
Contact Courtney Irish | 810-232-8902 | firstname.lastname@example.org Fredericksburg, Virginia
Contact Kristy Stevens | 708-895-8200 email@example.com
March 9, 2013 Reunions magazine editor, Edith Wagner, speaker Contact: Kimberly Herbert | 800-260-3646 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Cobb County, Georgia
Greenwood, South Carolina
Contact Melissa Legaux | 800-451-3480 email@example.com
Contact Lindsay Burns | 864-953-2464 Lindsay.Burns@cityofgreenwoodsc.com
Gwinnett County, Georgia
October 2013 Contact Brian Cheek | 800-354-2657 firstname.lastname@example.org | registration online at www.experiencecolumbus.com
Contact Cricket Elliott-Leeper | Gwinnett CVB | 770-814-6049 email@example.com
Chicago Southland, Illinois
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Prince Georgeâ€™s County, Maryland
March 9 and June 8, 2013 Contact Lisa Kukulski | 269-488-0056; firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesdays, March 20, April 24 and June 12, 2013 Prince Georgeâ€™s Community College | Largo Campus Contact Family Affair | 301-322-0797 | www.pgcc.edu
Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana
Contact Jadeine Shives | 407-742-8255 800-831-1844, ext. 28254 | email@example.com
Contact Kevin Flowers | 800-551-8682 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Lake County, Illinois
Contact Kimberly Ghys | 800-Lake-Now | lakecountyreunions.com
YMCA of the Rockies | Family Reunion University Contact Group Reservations | 800-777-9622
YMRC - Your Military Reunion Connection
Contact Saundra Robertson | 502-379-6110 email@example.com
Peachtree City, Georgia
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina February 10-14, 2013 Branson, Missouri April 14-17, 2013 Long Beach, California May 6-9, 2013 Chattanooga, Tennessee May 13-16, 2013 Albuquerque, New Mexico June 7-10, 2013 Portland, Oregon July 21-24, 2013 Herndon, Virginia August 22-25, 2013 Virginia Beach, Virginia October 23-26, 2013 Galveston, texas November 3-6, 2013
Contact 678-216-0282 | visitpeachtreecity.com
Contact Ymrcusa@gmail.com | yourmilitaryreunions.com
Contact Casey Kluber | 612-767-8106 firstname.lastname@example.org Newport News, Virginia
Contact James Dean | 888-493-7386 | email@example.com
Winter Park, Colorado, Snow Mountain Ranch
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Tips for running a great meeting
by Jean Kelley
ny meeting you conduct is a reflection of you. Are you professional, on-target, and efficient? Or unprepared, unproductive, and ineffective? Unfortunately, few people receive formal training about how to conduct meetings. To conduct a meeting that helps you achieve your goals, keep these tips in mind. v Define why you’re having the meeting. v Set expectations prior to the meeting v Create an agenda and consider sharing it prior to the meeting so people are clear about what’s going to be covered. If multiple topics are on the agenda, include a time allocation for each. v List a meeting adjournment time … and stick to it. v Facilitate well during the meeting. The facilitator’s job is to keep the meeting running smoothly. Make sure everyone gets a say. If necessary, lead people through areas of conflict. No meeting “runs itself.” You must lead people through each segment of the agenda and work for a resolution to each area of discussion. v Allow conflict. If the goal of your meeting is to solve a problem, conflict is inevitable. Welcome it. A good facilitator recognizes when emotions get too high and steps in to keep the meeting on track. But don’t strive to avoid conflict. Nothing gets solved without first having a conflict of ideas. v Assign action steps. Decide who is going to do what and by when. Also determine how everyone will follow up. Who is holding people accountable for doing what needs to get done? The more followup and accountability you have, the more likely you are to accomplish stated goals. v Always let people out early. The minute you start going over the stated adjournment time, people disengage and tune out. Instead, end a few minutes early. If your meeting topic has loose ends, address those key items with the needed parties privately. Keeping everyone in the meeting to address final points that don’t pertain to the group as a whole leaves people frustrated and bored. v Most important, have fun! Meetings have a reputation for being boring and uninspiring, so give people a chance to leave with something other than the agenda. For example, put out some candies or small trinkets that people can take. Or, if the topic is dull, give people small hand clappers (hand-shaped noise makers that you shake so they make clapping noises). Tell everyone, “If I say something good, pick this up and make some noise.” Do what you can to make a dull meeting memorable and fun. Meetings don’t have to be something people dread. When you implement these tips for your meetings, you’ll gain a reputation for being an effective facilitator. And rather than being viewed as time wasters, your meetings will actually get things done.
About the author
Jean Kelley, author and entrepreneur, is the managing director of Jean Kelley Leadership Alliance whose faculty and trainers have helped more than 750,000 leaders and high potentials up their game at work in the US and in Canada. Visit www.jeankelley.com.
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e were overwhelmed by the entries in our (portable scanner) Flip-Pal® giveaway! Thanks to everyone who entered. The winner is Jeff Waltrip of Athens, Tennessee, for the Waltrip Family Reunion. Jeff’s win has made him very popular with requests to use the scanner both inside and from outside his family. He said the Flip-Pal® is making putting his photos on the computer a breeze! Stay tuned for more giveaways to come soon. Meanwhile, if you still want/need a portable scanner, visit www.flip-pal.com/reunionsmag.
agnar Relay Series, the world’s largest long-distance relay, holds 15 events throughout the year in which teams of 12 people run 200 miles over two days. Many teams of friends and schools take part in races across the country as a way to come together while being active. This is one example.
Team Dawg Delight
Dawg Delight is a motley crew of ladies who were once young and fit athletes at the University of Georgia (okay, some are still fit, but I am not one of them). We played Lacrosse together and our team were the inaugural champions of the Southeastern Women’s Lacrosse League in 1999. It’s been a LONG time since we’ve all been together, but the wonders of facebook brought us back in contact. One of the (still fit) women from our team lives in Florida and has done several Ragnars. She had the idea to form a reunion team, and managed to coerce enough of us to join her so we’ll be coming from seven states, coast to coast – Massachusetts to Washington – to run from Miami to Key West. For me, who hasn’t managed to get back into running since having my first child a year ago, this is a big challenge and everyone I tell thinks I’m crazy ... including me. But I couldn’t say no and figured it would be a good kick in the butt to get back on the exercise horse. Reported by Rachel Wisniewski Jakuba, North Falmouth, Massachusetts.
WhitePages helps you find everything nearby
inding everything nearby is now possible with the latest release of WhitePages’ (www. whitepages.com) iPhone, iPad and Android apps. WhitePages’ iOS app uses the device’s location to find over 200 million US adults and 30 million businesses while also seeing the names and contact information for people and businesses nearby. Then connect the two with maps, directions, phone numbers and addresses. This upgrade provides users with an easy way to discover and connect with nearby people and stores, or to explore a new city or destination. With the addition of Nearby Stores functionality, the app becomes a traveler’s best friend, making it easy to find nearby businesses in over 30 popular categories throughout 80,000 neighborhoods across the US.
Motorhome Owners ‘Family Reunion’
amily Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is an international organization for families who own and use selfcontained, motorized recreation vehicles known as motorhomes. The association currently has nearly 85,000 active member families. FMCA held an annual Family Reunion last year in Indianapolis, Indiana, and this
year will mark its golden anniversary in a grand celebration in Gillette, Wyoming. Hallmarks of FMCA Family Reunions include spending time with friends, attending seminars about RV ownership, craft and exercise sessions, and perusing scores of exhibits, including hundreds of new motorhomes and RV products. Visit www. FMCA.com.
he San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment dramatizes the decisive battle in which General Sam Houston led his Texan soldiers to victory over the Mexican Army – the day Texas won its independence! This dramatic battle reenactment is the centerpiece of the admission-free San Jacinto Day Festival on Saturday, April 20, 2013, on the grounds surrounding the San Jacinto Monument in LaPorte, Texas. Visit www.sanjacinto-museum.org.
Civilian Conservation Corps reunion visits former camp
ine men from eight states met for a reunion of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Legacy reunion. At its peak, the Ninemile CCC Camp at Stony Creek, Montana, hosted three companies of 200 workers each. CCC camps were typically made up of young men, 18 or 19 years old, often from big cities and desperate for work in the throes or aftermath of the Great Depression. Some 3 million Americans were employed by the CCC from 1933 to 1942, one of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s earliest and most successful New Deal programs. Local experienced men (LEMs) were older men hired as supervisors for their expertise in the woods. Seventy years after Congress denied further funding (in the early stages of World War II), most CCC survivors are in their 90s, and none is younger than 87. CCC Legacy, a second-generation
alumni support group, is a nonprofit based in Edinburg, Virginia. The original national CCC alumni group, created in 1975, consisted solely of those who had worked in the program. By 2007, those numbers had dwindled, and CCC Legacy was formed to carry on alumni work and educate America about the CCC and how it impacts our world today. CCCs built hundreds of national forest and state park campgrounds, and built the roads into the Grand Canyon. The Forest Service, state forests and the Bureau of Land Management created the tenets of modern conservation that are still used today. Currently HR 494 in Congress would create a 21st Century Civilian Conservation Act. From a story by Kim Briggeman in The Missoulian, Missoula, Montana.
ettysburg, Pennsylvania’s, Seminary Ridge Museum will open July 1, 2013, as part of the Civil War town’s 150th Anniversary Commemoration. The building – which was used as both a Union and Confederate hospital after the fighting on July 1, 1863 – will highlight Civil War medicine, faith, and race issues. Visitors will be able to walk the halls where wounded soldiers suffered, and stand where many on both sides lost their lives. Exhibits and artifacts will highlight the stories of soldiers, nurses and residents, and include stories about African Americans who sought freedom in the Gettysburg area before and during the war. Visit seminaryridge.org. FEBRUARY/MARCH/APRIL 2013 v Reunions 17
The Peters reunion story by Oliver Peters, Jr.
his is a story about my father, who started a tradition of Pennsylvania, Florida, gathering together all his brothers and sisters and their Maryland and Virginia. We rent families once a year, which turned into a “must-do” event eight townhomes/condos. for everyone in the Peters family. Back in the mid-1960s, A lot has evolved since that my father listened to a neighbor tell of their once-a-year first reunion. Evening meals are get-togethers, and how special they were. He carefully still shared, but now are divided considered how to “suggest” the concept to his four among five groups. Each group siblings, who were close but lived far apart. It might be a is responsible for providing one hard sell when you add everyone’s kids (some quite small) evening meal for everyone. We Oliver Peters, Jr., as Alex Trebek playing Peters Family traveling to an unknown vacation destination for a whole provide the hors d’oeuvers, Reunion Jeopardy. To see the games in action, see videos week and sharing the week with 20 to 35 nieces, nephews, main meal and dessert. You at reunionsmag.com/familyreunions/family_games_tv.html. girlfriends, boyfriends, and even pets. bring your beverage. My father spent two years Each year we rent a ski boat coaxing everyone to “just try it from the local marina. “Heads of households” once.” So in August 1970 we set divvy up the cost of the boat while the younger, out for a spot along the Delaware third generation (late teens, early 20s) pay for gas. River in New Jersey. That year One family member brings water skis and tow about 20 came from Florida, ropes, another brings sports equipment (football, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, bocce ball, frisbee, volleyball), while still another and Virginia. We rented four brings the past year’s memories in four large photo “bungalows” along the river and books. There is written reunion history: who spent the next week getting attended, what was served for meals, as well as reacquainted. Of the five pictures from each year, including 39 years of “original” Peters siblings only group pictures. A chronological DVD was created one couldn’t attend. He was from reunion pictures and movies (super 8 up to nearing the end of a long, digital). All the original pictures, videos, letters, distinguished career as a naval and newspaper articles have been scanned and officer and was out at sea. uploaded to a website (https://skydrive.live. I was 16. I had never met and com/?cid=72912E728AC8E00E) to show how our knew very little about some of family and reunions have evolved. my cousins. During the week we We play “Peters Reunion Jeopardy.” My wife, Revel and Kendal Robertson compete at Pickleball. shared everything, though we Linda, created a “Jeopardy” board with four were in separate quarters. We shared evening meals as one huge categories each year. (See videos at reunionsmag.com.) We also family. Each family served various dishes so there was plenty to have some sports tournaments. The most recent was a eat. We ate outdoors, on several rows of picnic tables. “PickelBall” tourney. During the day we swam, floated in the river in big black We’ve grown to a large group to be sure, but one that never truck tire inner tubes, and played baseball, basketball and would have known each other, or gotten to know the Peters family whiffleball. Rules were made-up-on-the-spot to accommodate history, if not for the dream my father had more than 40 years ago. 15 or 20 participants. Reported by Oliver Peters, Jr., Leesburg, Virginia. Thus started this tradition for our family. Since then there have been 39 Peters Family Reunions. We missed four due to events out of our control – a family move, a job transfer. 2013 will be our 40th reunion. Since 1970, we have held our reunions on the Delaware, at Lake Bomoseen, Vermont; Lake Gaston on the Virginia/ North Carolina border; Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland; and now on Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia. Forty people travel to the reunion from California, The Peters Family Reunion Oregon, Washington, Alaska,
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What makes Laughlin attractive for family reunions?
The pool at the Golden Nugget.
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aughlin, Nevada, is the right family reunion destination for many reasons, most notably because it’s a great value and easy on reunion budgets. Comfortable resort accommodations at amazing group rates and reasonably priced food choices make Laughlin a remarkable value for budget-sensitive groups. Three- and four-star properties offer many amenities, such as multiple onsite dining options (including national chains), room service, spa salons, fitness centers, free parking and no resort fees. Saving money on rooms means more money to spend on activities, entertainment and shopping. Laughlin has activities that appeal to every generation and range from very active to “soft adventure.” For outdoor enthusiasts, there are easily accessible jet ski and SeaDoo rentals on the river walk, fishing for striper and trout, or kayak and canoe outings. Hike Grapevine Canyon to see Indian petroglyphs, jog on the North Reach trails paralleling the river, explore surrounding desert terrain via 4x4 on a guided tour, or just soak up the sun poolside. Those who want to hit the links can choose from four 18-hole championship courses within minutes of Laughlin resorts. Indoor activities include a 50-store outlet mall, two classic car museums, 34-lane state-of-the-art Cosmic Bowling, 15 screens in two movie theaters, and 24-hour casino gaming for adults. Don’s Kid Kastle at the Riverside Resort Hotel is a licensed, supervised children’s play center for 2- to 12-year-olds. Families can charter a river boat for a dinner cruise or take a jet boat ride down the Colorado River on a 36-passenger cruiser. Or take a half-day trip to visit an old mining town on Route 66, see Keepers of the Wild wildlife habitat, or visit Grand Canyon Caverns. Nearby community parks are perfect for an old-fashioned outdoor barbecue or picnic. Overall, Laughlin is a relaxed, friendly destination where everyone feels welcome. It’s about having a fun experience and spending quality time with family and friends. The Southern Nevada Regional Office staff in Laughlin is eager to help you find the right hotel and activities for your reunion. Their services are complimentary. The Request for Proposal (RFP) form at www.visitlaughlin.com makes it easy for you to start the process, or call 877-685-2845 (toll-free).
Jet skiing on the Colorado River.
Families can charter a river boat for a dinner on the Colorado River.
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Cherishing Our Heritage I
am coordinating the planning of the third between the towns of Pledger and Van annual Wiley-Jefferson Family Reunion. Vleck in Matagorda County, Texas. Three years ago, I jumped out on a limb Reunion communication includes a and planned the first one after working on family website, facebook events, letters our family history. Now we’re at year three emailed and/or mailed, word-of-mouth, and continually improving. and listing on Reunions magazine’s I decided to plan a website. I also made invitations reunion after finding so this year to include with each much information about mail-out to family members. my family and wanting to Members are encouraged to give share it. I was excited to the invitations to people who are be able to answer related but may not feel questions for our elders. I comfortable just showing up, or contacted a cousin on who don’t know many of us well. another side of the family We invite them to come as guests and went from there. It without having to pay. I also had The Wiley-Jefferson Family Reunion was my calling! business cards made by Very distant cousins (their great Luckily, our community grandmothers are first cousins) Leda VistaPrint with my contact (left, 5) and Kayla (7) enjoy the centers are very information and family website. bouncy house. affordable! We had lower That way, anyone needing to visit registration fees the first year so more the site or contact me with information or people would be able to attend. Then we questions will have a handy card. increased fees to have more activities and, The family photo taken at each reunion hopefully, have funds left to contribute to is posted on the website and given to each the following year’s reunion. Fees are registered person who attends the reunion. senior citizens $10; 12+ years $15; 6-11 It is also shared on facebook. I would love years $5; and 5 and under free. to create a memory or scrapbook, but need Our reunion location was chosen based to carve out the time! on where the majority of our family A cousin and I manage the budget and members live, which also happens to be finances. We encourage other family the two small towns where our ancestors members to get involved because it gets to were reared. At this point, it has alternated be a bit much when only two people are
The Wiley-Jefferson Family Reunion
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planning the reunion. A majority of attendees fail to pay registration fees by the due date 30 days before the reunion, leading to the need for reimbursement on reunion day. We have willing volunteers. Teens help out with activities for younger children, such as coloring, games, crafts and sticker tattoos. Reunion organizing would be much easier if more people volunteered or agreed to head up different things as asked: setup, cleanup, adult games/ activities, kid games/activities, registration, etc. We have also had some form of education/update on the family history. We had a presentation of a family history guide I created last year. I explained a portion of our family history and answered questions. All the adults who paid their registration received a guide. The previous year, I created a wall chart of our family tree that included copies of old pictures of family members. If there were people we were not able to identify, attendees were able to write on the wall chart under the picture. They were also able to add names to the family tree or make corrections. Reported by Keonsha Bernard, Houston, Texas.
McDonald Mega Family Reunion A
ngela Dorsey, Washington, DC, was chairperson for the 2012 McDonald Mega Family Reunion held in Fayetteville, North Carolina. This was the first gathering of 10 of 20 branches of Thomas McDonald descendants (though planners reached out to all 20 branches). This reunion included five generations; the oldest was the third generation, the youngest was the eighth generation. In the Fayetteville Observer, Chick Jacobs quoted Angela Dorsey as saying, “We’ve tried over the years, but no one has ever gotten all 20 branches in one place before. This is probably the first time we’ve been able to use modern technology to reach everyone.” Several family branches regularly held reunions which Dorsey attended as a child. She said she’d sit and listen to family tales, a treasured history not shared in books. Many branches had already established their own reunion traditions, so the challenge was incorporating them into one reunion. For example, Dorsey’s family branch typically has a structured reunion program with an academic/ scholarship, health and entertainment focus, whereas other family branches had traditions like Sunday fish fry or cookout. The family’s history starts with James McDonald, born into slavery in North Carolina in 1826. By the time he died before 1910, McDonald had married three times and had 20 children. A few stayed in North Carolina, but most scattered across the country. Two years ago, Dorsey and her brother put together a plan for the reunion. She worked with the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. The reunion was financed through personal funds and donations from family members. As more branches joined, excitement began to build. They set up a facebook page to keep members informed, and created online reservation forms. Regular email updates were distributed. For reunion planning sessions, they used teleconferencing. Dorsey reached out to key organizers within each family branch and enlisted their support for outreach. Family members without internet access were informed by direct mail and phone. They use a Shutterfly share site for photos and video, and a facebook page for the descendants of Thomas McDonald. Reunion video is on a dedicated YouTube channel for the McDonald Mega Reunion
Doing the line-dance called, the Wobble, “The McDonald Family Wobbles, and They Don’t Fall Down.” It was selected as a winning photo on Customink’s photo of the week contest.
and a myevent.com event-related website. Dorsey said, “We used technology to tap into the excitement of younger family members. It was something new, and they spread it to other family members, including some who had never been to a family reunion.” They used an online event site to facilitate the process for raising donations online. The budget and finances were approved and set by the reunion chairperson. They set up a separate bank account to handle all the reunion funds and expenses. Dorsey said, “Our biggest challenge involves how
to make certain reunion events available for free or no cost to family members with limited income. As you know, a free event is never a free event. Someone has to absorb the cost. During the planning of this reunion we struggled with making activities free and affordable. Even if family members aren’t paying a fee, there is a family member who has been generous enough to finance the event to make it affordable to everyone. However, this is not sustainable for the long term.” Her hope is to build in low-cost activities for family members within limited budgets for the long term. Due to the size of the reunion, their meet-and-greet the first night had to be held in two hotels. More than 360 paid members attended the main event – a banquet/dinner – on Saturday. A Fayetteville proclamation honoring the newly-created McDonald Family Day was presented to representatives from family branches by city area counsel people Valencia Applewhite and William Crisp. August 11, 2012, was named, “McDonald Family Day.” The main reunion event included a celebrity deejay/ emcee, karaoke, line-dancing, student recognition, and a dedication to recently deceased family members. The weekend included a cookout with softball game, Sunday worship service and Sunday fellowship dinner. Plans are being made to have the next reunion in Fayetteville because many family members live in that region. Their hope is to start moving the reunion location to other cities and/or vacation destinations starting in 2016. Reported by Angela Dorsey, Alexandria, Virginia.
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The Hutchison Family Reunion
he descendants of Josiah and Catherine (Hixon) Hutchison (married 1831) Family Reunion meet annually on a Sunday from noon to about 5:00 PM. A committee of family members tried a few places in Central Indiana, but most liked Turkey Run State Park in Marshall, Indiana, where the family has met at the Old Log Shelter for the last 10 to 12 years. Some camp for the weekend, and others stay at the Park Inn or in family cabins. They use fliers and phone calls to promote the reunion. They continue to look in the phone book to contact ones who didn’t know of the reunion. They found one cousin just one and a half miles away. They are planning a website to draw relatives of uncles, great uncles, etc., to the reunion. There is really not a budget or collection of donations. The committee pitches in to rent the shelter. Each car pays its own way into the park. The committee of the same relatives take care of the planning, mailing fliers, setup and cleanup. After dinner, members report about events of the past year within their own family to the group. Usually when the family reports start, the young people 16 and under go on trails or swimming. They plan to begin videotaping these reports, as they have no video of several members who have died. They share pictures and take photos of family groups. Sometimes there is singing, including patriotic songs. One relative who makes his own violins provides old-time fiddlin’! A member, now deceased, compiled the Hutchison and Whitaker genealogy into a book which is in the local history section in the library; copies of this book are available for purchase at the reunion. One of the committee members is compiling records about more recent generations to give relatives an up-to-date family genealogy. It will be kept in a black 3-ring binder to add deaths and births each year. Someone found a person who knew late family members and he consented to talk at the next reunion about ones he knew. Reported by Michael D. Hutchison, Crawfordsville, Indiana.
he Whitehurst family had a fabulous reunion with great turnout in Norfolk, Virginia, according to planner Ne’El Whitehurst, Houston, Texas. The weather was perfect and there were four days of fun as the family enjoyed the beach. It was the first time at a beach for some. 24 Reunions v reunionsmag.com
Centennial reunion attracts over 600
ohn Rotz immigrated from Adony, Hungary, to Canada in 1912 and was joined later by Elizabeth Rotz and their six children. The couple decided to make Elk River, Minnesota, home, and their family tree has grown outward ever since. More than 600 members signed up for a recent Rotz Family Centennial Reunion (rotzreunion.org) in Elk River, Minnesota. Descendants came from all over the country, although many remain local. Five of the seven generations who have lived in America were represented at the reunion. Each family was assigned a color and asked to wear that color shirt to help make family distinctions. Some families design their own shirts, others just wear colored shirts. The reunion starts in the morning and includes a catered lunch and program followed by Hungarian pastries. From a story in the Star News, Elk River, Minnesota.
Family reunions are a reminder of who we are
arolyn Alford wrote in the Jacksonville, North Carolina, Daily News that reunions are a time to celebrate family heritage. There’s usually a new marriage and a new baby or two, and the aunts want to know everything about the past year. Sometimes there are holes left by family members who died. Those holes never get filled and are spoken of year after year. There are new stories and old family stories to retell. Recipes and clippings from flowers and plants are shared. Heritage and traditions are shared and taught. Each year, we take family photographs. Family reunions always make me feel so loved. It’s worth the time and trouble because we’re family, we share a common ancestry. Like it or not, we are cut from the same mold, we share the same interests, goals and values. We belong to each other.
For a fundraiser they made a DVD of events to sell and help pay for the cost of making the DVD and have some extra funds to go to reunion events. Their next meeting in 2014 will be in California. Visit whitehurstfamilyreunion2012.myevent.com.
Coleman Family Reunion
Coleman Family Reunion
efore we started calling our family gatherings “reunions,” we took summer trips to West Greene, Alabama, where my Great-Grandparents Quilla (early 1900s-1979) and Anna B. Coleman (early 1900s-1991) originated. Gatherings started around 1955; they were not annual events but were held often enough to keep us as united as we are today. In the late 1980s family members started holding reunions each year during Labor Day weekend, which was and continues to be the perfect time because members are able to adjust work and school schedules. The agenda kicks off with hospitality and registration on Friday. We open with a prayer. Hosts are required to provide a list of things to do in the registration packet, including places of worship and places to see in their city. When everyone is registered, the fun begins. There is lots of dancing, listening to music and playing card games while enjoying food and refreshments. On Saturday we check out things to do and places to see in the host city, which include amusement parks, museums and zoos. Saturday evening we have a semi-formal banquet with various themes. “The 1970s” was the most recent reunion banquet theme. On Sunday we start the day with worship services. Our Sunday afternoon cookout is called the Signature Family Cookout because that’s when we enjoy all our traditional family dishes, such as barbecued ribs and chicken, fried chicken, pigs feet, fried fish, collard greens, corn on the cob, potato salad, corn bread, macaroni and cheese, watermelon, sweet potato pie, and the list goes on and on. We participate in physical activities in an attempt to work off some of the food. We have basketball, football and horseshoe tournaments. Our reunion consists of a lot of eating because we love to eat. Many family members say they eat healthy until our reunion (smiling). Before closing out the cookout we have a family/business meeting to talk about the reunion and vote on the next reunion location. Family members are given the opportunity to discuss reunion likes and dislikes and recommend changes they feel are needed or additional things they feel should be added. Taking into consideration lessons learned and recommendations from
All Coleman cousins. The babies are Kylon Bell (left) and Miya Provitt (right). Adults left to right are Porscha Bell, Azaria Provitt, Valarie Bell and Vernita Provitt.
previous and most recent closeout meetings, we have included many educational benefits as part of the registration packets. Included is information about health fairs, drug prevention, furthering education information, and debt prevention. After the meeting we close with a farewell prayer. Depending on the reunion location, some members return home Sunday and some return on Monday, Labor Day. For members who stay for Monday departure, we get together in the hospitality room and listen to music and play cards. The majority of the members come from eleven states. Our 2012 Coleman Family Reunion was in Columbus, Ohio, our next reunion will be in Louisville, Kentucky. Reported by Duwan M. Mason, Sr, El Paso, Texas. FEBRUARY/MARCH/APRIL 2013 v Reunions 25
Keck Family Reunion reflects Coronado history
eck family stories have been a part of Coronado, California, history and lore. If not for a midnight poker game, the Keck family might never have lived in Coronado. Walter Keck and his bride, Caroline, from East Hampton, New York, married and honeymooned at the Hotel del Coronado in 1890. They routinely wintered in Coronado with their six children. One evening in 1911, in a small room at the Del, Keck played poker into the wee hours with a handful of other hotel guests. Keck raised and called, but his opponent, although believing he had a winning hand, couldn’t cover the bet. He did, however, have a deed for a home worth $5,000. Keck won the hand and immediately moved his family into the large home. The Keck family generations branched out and grew from that midnight poker game. Last summer, 113 Keck family members enjoyed a three-day reunion at the Del. A Keck Family Reunion has taken place every year since 1992, but every 10 years they pull out all the stops. The reunion included picnic, restaurant and concert venues and an artist’s reception where family member Priscilla Clark, 75, displayed her paintings of the 21 missions along El Camino Real. Music and singing have been passed down through the generations. Many reunion activities involved singing, whether you could carry a tune or not. One member said, “As children, I don’t remember a meal where we all, the entire family, didn’t sit around and sing and harmonize. It was such an important part of our growing up.” The third generation of Kecks has five of 15 left. There are 40 in the fourth generation, 60 in the fifth generation and a few in the sixth generation. As happens when many family members gather together, the stories of ancestors and their adventures are told over and over again, passed down from one generation to the next. The Kecks have led exciting lives. They loved life and music, and had many famous friends. Their lives are all intertwined within the fibers of Coronado history, and it all started with a late night poker game at the Hotel del Coronado. From a story by Joe Ditter in the Coronado Eagle and Journal, Coronado, California.
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Moving from potluck to caterer How about a catered theme meal?
by Dean Miller
I’m in charge of our reunion this summer, and I’d like to do something a little fancier than what we’ve done in the past. We usually have a “potluck” meal where everyone brings something, but we sometimes run out of things, and the same people end up doing most of the cooking and cleanup. Any suggestions for a “fun” meal that folks will remember but that won’t break our budget?
There are lots of fun things that you could try, and many are very reasonably priced. And you’re absolutely right … having the hotel where you’re staying cater the meal, or hiring an outside catering company to do this, will allow everyone in the group to relax and enjoy themselves, rather than having to worry about cooking, cleaning up, running to the store for extra hot dog buns, etc. Many reunion groups have a themed meal, based on the group’s history or shared interests. How elaborate you get with the menu, decorations, and costumes or contests is limited only by your budget and your imagination. Here are some suggestions to consider:
v Beach Party. Even if you’re not getting together at the beach, this is always fun. I’ve seen groups hold “beach party” events in a hotel ballroom in the dead of winter. Ask everyone to wear a Hawaiian shirt, flip-flops, and sunglasses. Play Jimmy Buffet and Beach Boys songs on a CD player. Serve roast pork, boiled shrimp and “hula burgers” (hamburgers with pineapple slices), and add tropical drinks with paper parasols (easily made without alcohol for children and non-drinkers). Plastic “leis” are available at most party and dollar stores. A limbo contest is something that everyone – young and old – can participate in! v Baseball or Football Game. Ask folks to bring baseball caps or football jerseys to wear; most folks have these in their closets. Most party or dollar stores have paper plates, cups, napkins, etc., with the logos of your favorite team(s). Serve ballpark food – hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, popcorn, Crackerjacks, etc. If you’re at a picnic area outside, you can actually play softball. If not, play “baseball” indoors – players advance around the bases by answering trivia questions: a correct answer is a hit, an incorrect answer is an out.
Key lime pie, North Carolina barbecue, Texas chili, etc. This works especially well if your family members are coming from many locations around the country to attend the reunion. Have everyone bring a packaged food product, candy, or brand of soda that is available only in their area. Play a “Name the State” trivia game and award prizes to those who know their geography best! Again, a themed meal need not be expensive, even if you’re having someone else cater it for you. Remember that a breakfast or lunch event will almost always be less expensive than dinner, and that certain types of food (beef and seafood) tend to be more expensive than others (chicken, pasta). Going alcohol-free also will save money, as will holding your event when the hotel is less busy. For example, a luncheon held on Sunday will typically cost less than one on Saturday, as most hotels are less busy on Sundays; ask the caterer if you can get a better deal by holding your event on a specific day or during a specific time of the day! With a little advance planning and a little creativity, you can put together a special meal that people will talk about long after your reunion is over!
About the Hospitality Answerman Dean Miller is national sales director for Visit Fairfax and a great friend of reunions. He hosts a reunion planning workshop in February. He can be reached at 703-752-9509 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Reunion organizers for the USS Floyd B. Parks reunion added a festive touch to their catered dinner by having a local bakery bake a cake in the shape of the ship. Far more fun -- and more memorable -- than a standard sheet cake for dessert!
v Patriotic Theme. If your reunion is being held on (or close to) Memorial Day or the Fourth of July, go with a Red, White and Blue Theme. Again, inexpensive decorations are available at any party or dollar store, and you can ask the caterer to make a cake with red, white and blue icing (or strawberries and blueberries). Have everyone talk briefly about what they like best about America. v Taste of the United States Theme. Serve regional favorites from around the country – for example, Boston baked beans, Philadelphia cheesesteak sandwiches, FEBRUARY/MARCH/APRIL 2013 v Reunions 27
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food Photo by Janet Park
Recipe for a savory seafood reunion by Janet Park
Photo by Robert Strauss
Tracie, from Illinois, looks forward to eating Pacific Northwest seafood, especially Samish Island oysters cooked over an open fire. Her cousin Karl demonstrates how to open them. Thick gloves and a sharp knife are a “must.”
Photo by Robert Strauss
Photo by Janet Park
Joliene and Tracie look at photos in an old family album, an important ritual that takes place during the annual seafood picnic. It’s a way to stay connected and honor those no longer with us.
While Samish Island relatives furnish the seafood, others bring their specialties for the buffet table. Some are traditional dishes, such as baked beans and potato salad, others are new recipes. Dennis (in front) and Karl are selecting their favorites.
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here’s no need to contact family members about the date. No need to ask what food to bring. Or where the reunion will be held. Or who’s coming. We all know! It’s been our tradition for more than 30 years. The first Saturday in August is my family’s annual seafood picnic. The weather is lovely on that day, sunny with a slight breeze off the saltwater Puget Sound. As a city dweller, I especially like to sniff the fresh sea air. The reason the date was set on the first Saturday in August is because it’s a known fact that the sun usually shines in the Pacific Northwest on that day. Only once in all these years did Mother Nature disappoint us. But even so, we still enjoyed our seafood feast huddled under plastic tarps. It’s a time to enjoy what King Neptune offers fresh from Puget Sound waters – crab, oysters, clams and salmon. Our feast takes place on a sandy beach on Samish Island in Washington State, a scenic spot with the saltwater bay in front, and the San Juan islands and snow-capped Mount Baker off in the distance. Another feast – this one for the eyes. It’s a ritual we treasure. Simply visiting and eating. No organized games. No planned entertainment. Just relishing flavorful food and conversation with loved ones, some we see only once a year. It’s a time to stay connected. A time to catch up on family news: who moved, who had a baby, who’s been ill or lost a job. Although
we’ve lost participants through death or because they’ve moved too far away to come back for the picnic, we’ve also gained others through marriage and births. We meet around noon on the beach in front of my niece’s home, next-door to my nephew’s oyster company. When most have arrived – 35 to 40 people of all ages – the routine begins. Our first course is fresh Dungeness crab from the bay, caught earlier by my nephew in his crab pots and cooked ahead of time. Crab lovers stand around a table, cracking open shells, nibbling on sweet, savory meat and, between bites, chatting. Meanwhile, Samish Bay oysters are being cooked in their shells on a grill over an open fire for the second course, my favorite. Those of us who relish them usually stand around the fire, talking and keeping an eye on the shells. Once they open, sometimes with the help of a knife, the oysters simmer in dabs of butter. Ummm, delicious. There’s often a third seafood course, depending upon the availability of clams in Samish Bay – Northwest chowder, similar to New England chowder, with cut-up clams, potatoes, onions and bacon cooked in half-and-half. Another nephew is our chowder expert. Makes my mouth water to think about it. The main course is brought by guests. The buffet table offers different selections every year, yet there are traditional dishes. My niece Joliene usually brings her
Photo by Janet Park A bucket of freshly caught and cooked crab, placed on its traditional table, signals the start of the seafood picnic. While some guests enjoy cracking open the shells and nibbling on the delicacy, others prefer visiting or enjoying the view of Samish Bay and the San Juan islands.
special baked beans, my son Jeff, potato salad and smoked salmon, and we can count on nephew Steve to bring fried chicken. Our hostess, Susie, often makes homemade bread and pies. Some of us, feeling adventuresome, may try out a new salad or dessert recipe or bring a triedand-true one. The table is laden with salads, casseroles, fruit and vegie platters and more. And the children roast hot dogs over the fire. Desserts are the final course: watermelon, brownies, cakes and pies, and – for the children and the young-at-heart – S’mores. By now, the fire has died down, just right for roasting marshmallows. We move about between courses, chatting with first one person and then another. Sometimes sitting, sometime standing. Sometimes gathered around a table to look at family photo albums. The children like to play at the water’s edge or in it. It’s time to leave in the late afternoon, with full tummies, contented hearts and a lingering smell of bonfire smoke on our clothes. I hear family members call out as they get into their cars, “See you next year.” A reminder that our tradition will continue. It’s the combination of certain ingredients mixed together – companionship, a scenic saltwater location and delectable food. That’s my family’s recipe for a successful seafood reunion. One we don’t want to miss.
About the author
As a retired corporate editor, Janet Park, Seattle, Washington, has returned to what she likes to do best–freelance writing. She has published more than 150 articles in regional and national publications, many illustrated by her photos. FEBRUARY/MARCH/APRIL 2013 v Reunions 31
Feeding many reunions
enevieve Brechtel, Huachuca City, Arizona, wrote about the team effort that fed their reunion. Our eldest daughter, Genny, fed 23 guests with cavatina (pasta), salads and trimmings, followed by two kinds of cake from my sister, Emma, which went well with ice cream. Our son Vince cranked up the barbeque and made big beef and pork roasts, which lasted for two days. Our eldest son, Bob, was in charge of morning pancakes. Our son Hugh, famous for pizzas, had a big pizza feed one night.
Hugh Brechtel was also in charge of pies, baking five peach and one cherry pie.
argaret Malsam, Denver, Colorado, wrote that a great feature of their reunion was freedom from the responsibility of preparing meals. A caterer prepared meals and beverages for a modest price per person, so no one had to spend time in the kitchen or try to keep food fresh while traveling. The catered lunch wasn’t the usual fried chicken and potato salad, but was food that pleased all ages. They had beef and chicken wraps, cowboy caviar (corn/pepper/veggie relish), vegetable trays and dips, snicker doodle cookies and M&M bars. Dinner, served buffet style, featured two kinds of chicken lasagna, one with a white sauce and the other with a traditional red sauce, served with fruit and sweet Asian salads. Fruit cobbler topped off the meal. A hot breakfast was included with their hotel rooms.
arlene Hudson, Atlanta, Georgia, described the HudsonCobb Family Reunion as a “big ole” family picnic. Good southern foods were prepared by each family. Cousin Donna and her mother Laura brought desserts, cousins Cameron and Freddy grilled foods. Hudson’s mother, Barbara Galbert, whipped up potato salad and baked a pound cake. Ruby cooked up sweet potato pies. 32 Reunions v reunionsmag.com
lyde Bennish wrote about his wife, Cherry’s, Class of 1991 reunion from Immaculate Heart of Mary Academy, Minglania, Cebu, Philippines. He said he would have liked to chair the food committee. They evaluated culinary likes and dislikes and determined menu items. Finding a talented caterer was not difficult, but anticipating how many mouths to feed was a guessing game. A base number was determined, but last-minute guests, additional family members, and other variables turned the decision into a struggle. The count of 100 worked out well. The caterer provided Lechon (pork), chicken, beef, shrimp and fish, ponsit (noodles), stir-fried vegies, macaroni salad, cakes, beer, whiskey, tequila and soft drinks.
aniel Avila wrote in The Pilot in Washington, DC, about his family reunion. Descendants from his paternal great-grandparents on the Avila side held a reunion in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Over 200 attended from all parts of the US and Mexico. One of his sisters and her husband and children created white tablecloths decorated with rose-shaped stamped imprints. A name accompanied each rose. Each branch of the family merited its own tablecloth. It was explained that the tablecloths could cover the main dining table at family gatherings, and extra stamps were provided to each branch for adding new imprints when new members came into that particular offshoot of the family. Through the creative use of PVC piping, the tablecloths were arrayed along the side of the hall where the reunion was held. These creations formed the backdrop for group pictures.
ob Klevan writes the “Rob’s rules of order” column for the Monterey County Herald, Monterey, California. His Canepa clan holds an annual reunion at Monterey’s idyllic Veterans Memorial Park. So much about this Italian-American family reunion revolves around food. Everyone brings their own choice for the barbecue pit, as well as a salad or dessert to share. The first rule for food at a family reunion requires that certain members must bring the long-established family favorites. For the Canepa reunion it is Klevan’s sister Lenora’s spinach frittata, or his Aunt Theresa’s peanut butter cookies, or Aunt Lori’s garlic bread, or cousin Dori and cousin Susan’s chili, or a dozen other dishes. No matter what is being grilled or how many varieties of brownies are put on the table, it wouldn’t be a reunion without those family food favorites.
ies that bind families run deep according to Kate Coil in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, West Virginia. Usually by one o’clock, all the food is set up around the tables inside the old school house. I have to say, there is only one thing my family does better than cooking and that is eating. The smells of deviled eggs, fried chicken, barbecue, green beans with ham hocks, and all that good Southern-style food almost makes you forget about the dessert table. Let’s just say it’s a good thing they don’t let us at the dessert table first. When the meal is over, it’s back to talking and catching up.
etty Fleming wrote about the Fleming Family Reunion in the Cape Gazette, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. It was in a beach house for 15 people, ages 8 to 84, with six on special diets. A meal was ready when the weary travelers arrived from seven states; grocery shopping for the first day had already been done for them. One family shopped for special diet needs on their way. They searched the web and were delighted to learn that the local store had gluten-free tags on shelves. The rented house had a large open kitchen with room for many cooks and helpers. Everyone learned about special diet meals and how to make them palatable. Pizza was a memorable meal, with many different versions, including “Vegie Bianca,” featuring a seasoned white sauce and variety of vegies. There was even a gluten-free version.
atie Thisdell reported about the Ferguson Family Reunion in the Free Lane-Starr, Fredericksburg, Virginia. Matriarch Alma Wormley Ferguson had 17 kids, 30 grandkids and 50 great-grandchildren. Plenty of dishes covered the long table: two 26-pound turkeys, three hams, chitlins, fried chicken, stuffing, rice pudding, corn pudding, potato salad, candied yams, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and homemade rolls. Then there was green punch, sweet potato pies, pound cake, strawberry cake and more. “My grandmother’s table always looked like this,” Linda Ferguson-Robinson said.
ach year, the Burrell Jackson Stokes Family Reunion is held at the Cedar Grove Church of Christ in Andalusia, Alabama, established by B.J. Stokes in 1916, according to the Andalusia Star-News. At noon the invocation is presented by a greatgrandson, and those present enjoy a large buffet of family specialties and traditional Southern dishes. Last year prizes were given to Robert Lee for his famous fried cornbread and salt pork, an overall favorite, and to Sheila Bass Parrish for her unique squash pie with coconut flavoring. Heather Skipper Blackwell’s vegetable pizza was another favorite.
ancy Hastings writes in The Hillsdale Daily News, Hillsdale, Michigan: Now that my cousins and I are getting closer to being the older generation, the reunion takes on new meaning. But unfortunately, there seem to be fewer and fewer of us at each reunion. The family tree gets more branches, but as the young twigs become limbs, they are less interested in sharing their acorns. At most reunions the focus seems to be on food and lots of it. In days gone by, it was homemade chicken and dumplings, green beans, new potatoes, and coconut cream pie. Nowadays, it is more likely to be Kentucky Fried Chicken and deli potato salad. Home cooking is going out of style as people tend to eat out more and cook less.
nd from Brad Futtle in his Ask Trip Coach blog, a suggestion for one of the murkiest areas: food costs: Have each family put $50 or $100 into a reserve that will go toward basics (ketchup, eggs, bread, ice pops, beverages). Then, because we all know what too many cooks can do to the soup, put each family in charge of one night’s dinner for the entire group, including shopping and paying for whatever’s on the menu. Everyone else gets the night off. FEBRUARY/MARCH/APRIL 2013 v Reunions 33
Potluck dinners are popular
otluck dinners are popular, low-stress, budget-friendly. But these communal events can fall flat because not everyone follows – or knows – the rules of etiquette. These are potluck pet peeves, according to Kathy Stephenson in the Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah. 2 Guests who bring no food and say they were busy. We’re all busy. If you’re not sure what to bring, ask for a suggestion. 2 Guests who only bring soda, beer or wine. You must bring food, and condiments are not considered food. 2 Hosts who don’t give assignments. The host should suggest appetizer, entree, salad, dessert. 2 Guests who don’t stick to their assignments. It skews the food ratio. If you must switch, ask the host ahead. 2 Guests who put no thought into their dish … a bag of chips and salsa is lame. 2 Guests who don’t prepare their dish at home. 2 Guests who touch the food. Once you’ve touched a roll, cookie, chip or pork rib, put it on your plate and be happy. 2 Anyone who doesn’t pay attention to food safety. Try to bring a dish that can be served at room temperature. 2 People who take double portions. If there’s food left over, you can go back for seconds. 2 People who think potlucks are competitions.
rom the Family Kitchen: Discover Your Food Heritage and Preserve Favorite Recipes by Gena PhilibertOrtega. Family Tree Books, 2012, $27.99. “Learning about our ancestors is so much more than just finding out when and where they were born or died,” says author GenaPhilibert-Ortega. “Food history helps bring our ancestors to life and gives us a better understanding of their day-to-day lives.” This book explores food history and explains how to incorporate those stories, images and recipes into family history. It looks at our immigrant ancestors’ food history and the regional differences of food throughout the US. It explores the history of US cookbooks and gives step-by-step instructions for locating and researching recipes that ancestors cooked. There is a glossary of historical cooking terms, measurements and a collection of historical recipes from the turn of the 20th century. There is also a recipe journal to record your favorite family recipes along with memories of the dish, making this book a keepsake. Gena Philibert-Ortega has published many articles in genealogy newsletters and magazines. She is author of several books about genealogy, editor of the Utah Genealogical Association’s journal Crossroads, and an instructor for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies.
ome Home, It’s Suppertime by LaVerne Martin Littleston. 2011, paperback; $9.99. Bookstand Publishing, 305 Vineyard Town Center Suite 302, Morgan Hill CA 95037. This is an example for families who want to make their own cookbooks. In this cookbook, the author recalls childhood memories about raising, preparing, and sharing food with family and neighbors during the Great Depression in southwestern Kentucky. As the last of a generation that knew only organic gardens and slow-cooked food, the author tells family stories of daily life. LaVerne Martin Littleton was born in 1923 in rural Kentucky. Her ancestors arrived in the 1600s from Holland, France and England to settle in the rich farmlands of Kentucky and Tennessee. The food traditions and folklore that emerged from these distinctive European and Native American origins were passed by word of mouth for six generations. In Come Home, It’s Suppertime, LaVerne preserves these unique cooking traditions and family stories.
Reunion food on Pinterest We’ve collected hundreds of reunion food ideas on Pinterest boards. In addition to a generic board called simply “Food,” others are “Drinks,” “Desserts and Sweets,” and the newest ones “Appetizers and munchies,” and Reunion picnics.” But those are only five of 34 boards, so thousands of ideas await you there to explore. 34 Reunions v reunionsmag.com
Win these cookbooks!
in these books plus a copy of How Many?! How Much!? by Jennifer Cole, and three cookbooks produced as family reunion fundraisers, a $60 value. To enter, email email@example.com with “Cookbook Giveaway” in the subject line, In the message, your reunion’s name, your name, address, and email address. More on reunionsmag.com, contests and sweepstakes page. Deadline April 16, 2013.
Trisha Yearwood’s family reunion
Breakfast buffet tips
(NAPSI) – “You can make a breakfast buffet stand out by offering a few exotic touches, like papaya or an imported cheese. Fresh-baked muffins offer a simple indulgence that’s both aromatic and easy on the wallet,” said Fred Williams, Menu Concept expert for Buffets, Inc. Williams offers this easy menu and simple breakfast buffet tips to help you and your members have a good time.
n episode 3 of Trisha Yearwood’s new Food Network show (Episode YW0101H), Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, Trisha’s sister and Uncle Wilson helped create some of their favorite barbecue recipes for a family reunion. Trisha cooked up her daddy’s barbecue chicken recipe, while Uncle Wilson shared his famous sweet Grilled Vidalia Onions wrapped in bacon. For dessert, Trisha and her sister baked a
delicious Key Lime Cake. Recipes are from Yearwood’s cookbooks, Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen: Recipes From My Family to Yours (2008) and Home Cooking With Trisha Yearwood: Stories and Recipes to Share With Family and Friends (2010). Both are published by Clarkson Potter and were on the New York Times Best Seller list for multiple weeks.
A “Create Ahead” Menu
Best reunion grilling recipes “
ith a good plan, good recipes and the help of family members, grilling for a crowd at your family reunion can be easy and fun,” says Becky Wahlund, director, Land o’ Lakes Test Kitchen. “Our top grilling recipes include everything from grilled appetizers to grilled desserts,” she says. Think outside the box for grilling recipes and flavors that everyone will enjoy. “Grilling recipes of any kind are always a big hit for family reunions,” says Wahlund. “We like burger recipes with a twist, like double onion or pesto burgers.” Set out relishes and other flavorful extras as an affordable way to add extra flavor,” says Wahlund. “Grilled chicken recipes, especially chicken breast recipes, cook up quickly and lend themselves to
lots of different herbs and spices for families who want to bring something a bit unique to the party.” Grilled corn on the cob is an easy and popular grilled vegetable at family reunions. “There are lots of ways to prepare grilled corn,” says Wahlund, “but we like to use a flavored butter on the shucked corn, then wrap in foil to grill.” It’s also a great way to get younger family members involved, shucking and preparing corn for the grill. Round out the meal with potato salad or pasta salad or have everyone bring a salad of their choice. “By assigning parts of the meal to different families, you’re assured of a variety of things to serve, and having something for everyone,” says Wahlund. Visit Landolakes.com.
How to devil an egg
eri Bell, co-owner of Miss Sophie’s Marketplace (sophiesmarketplace.com) in Pooler, Georgia, says no family reunion would be complete without a plate or two of deviled eggs. Everybody loves a boiled egg stuffed with a mashed and seasoned yolk. Deviled eggs are so loved that special plates are designed to coddle the ovalshaped gems. According to food historians, the word
“deviled” in the culinary world refers to highly seasoned, spicy, hot food. Early recipes for stuffed eggs included cayenne pepper, hot mustard and vinegar, and at some point in time, stuffed eggs became deviled eggs. Today, deviled eggs have moved from the Sunday afternoon table to fine dining. Catering menus offer gourmet deviled eggs stuffed with many ingredients as an appetizer choice. Anything from bacon to caviar can be stuffed into half an egg and passed around the room on a silver tray. Use your basic recipe to create your own signature deviled eggs with your favorite ingredients. From a story by Teri Bell in the Savannah Morning News, Savannah, Georgia.
m Several types of fresh rolls and breads m Butter, jams, jellies m Fresh fruit salad m Quiche (vegetarian and meat options) m Juices, coffee and tea m Pastries and muffins m French toast m Bacon and sausage m Southwestern omelets Hot vs. cold
Cold items such as fruit and pastries should be placed on the table first, since they will not shift significantly in temperature. Bring out hot items (egg dishes, pancakes, waffles or meat selections) later, so they don’t cool down. Keep hot items in chafing dishes to maintain a warm temperature. Beverage station
Breakfast beverages deserve a table of their own. Guests won’t feel overwhelmed with the prospect of having to balance plates, cutlery and a drinking cup at once. They can place their plates and cutlery at their seat, then move to a separate drink station, to prepare coffee with cream and sugar (or whatever is their “cup of tea”). In addition to hot beverages, serve juice. Buffet table location
Position your buffet table a few feet from the wall so guests can approach from both sides to avoid crowding. This also offers space to replenish items. Plates: little to big
Dining plates should be on the “approach” end of the table. Small plates are typically for pastries and baked goods. Large plates are for main dishes such as French toast, quiche or meats. Eliminate the need for a juggling act by bundling utensils in napkins, so guests can grab them at the end of the buffet just before going to their tables. FEBRUARY/MARCH/APRIL 2013 v Reunions 35
These ideas, from many sources, are for discounts or freebies that help cut reunion costs.
How some reunions save money!
nne Petrous of New Baltimore, Michigan, describes her Harder Family Reunion as pretty simple, but everyone has a good time. They must, because they come back every year, Anne adds. One family member is an AMVET, so they get a nice discount on using the AMVET hall – inside and out – with a covered pavilion ($150 for the day). The hall has a small swing set for the kids to play on, and a horseshoe pit. A huge grill is used to barbecue chicken and cook burgers and hot dogs. Everyone brings a side dish or dessert to share. Most of the supplies and prizes are purchased at the Dollar Store. During the “family meeting” they add up all the costs, including postage, and everyone donates to cover the costs. It averages out to $5 for “singles” and $15 for “families.” One person is in charge of games, and last year, there were also games for the adults. Anne says that reunions don’t have to be expensive; “if ours was, we would not be having them. We all ‘chip in.’ Our family has had a yearly reunion for over 60 years! It also helps to have the reunion on the same day every year!” Sandra Davis of Round Rock, Texas, says the Echols-Henderson Family Reunion is a small group, but they have two and a half days of fun. They are campers and stay at Texas State Parks. Some have RVs, some have tents and some rent shelters. They max out the person-percampsite and bring and cook their own food. They play bingo each year to pay for next year’s prizes and, in general, watch their pennies. Which date works?
Whichdateworks.com is a simple way to help select your reunion dates. You list who should get the email and a calendar marked with dates you’re considering. Member responses select a date for your reunion! Everyone gets a chance to fill in dates that are good, bad and so-so, and the winner is picked democratically. It’s free, and no registration is required. 36 Reunions v reunionsmag.com
ALAFFFA Family Reunion Lisa Alzo of Ithaca, New York, says the ALAFFFA Family Reunion is pretty frugal and doesn’t have unnecessary expenses. They planned one big catered meal (two hot dishes, cold cuts and salads) in the middle of the afternoon instead of lunch and dinner. Family members bring cookies or snacks like fruit and veggies and dips. Activities are low-cost because one cousin, who is a teacher, is quite creative. The biggest expense is the venue, which they reserve a year in advance and requires an alcohol permit to serve beer.
Staying in touch
v Add Twitter to your reunion social networking. Assign a hashtag that pulls all reunion-related tweets together. Twitter will compile all your tweets containing the hashtag. Tell your members to add the hashtag to their tweets so everyone can see all your reunion tweets. v Blog your thoughts. Free sites such as wordpress.org and blogspot.com offer resources to get you up and writing in minutes. You don’t need to know any coding and your reunion can have its own blog. v TribalPages.com is a free, family tree hosting website that offers GEDCOM import, photo features, charting display and printout, family tree mapping and reports. Create and send custom newsletters and poster-size charts, which are excellent visuals to take to a family reunion. (Source: Weekly Buzz) v GroupMe is a free app for group texting and conference calling and works on almost any cell phone. Each app walks
you through the process and helps manage your groups. When you start a GroupMe, you get a unique phone number. When you send a text message to a GroupMe number, the message is sent instantly to everyone in the group, like an instant chat room. If you don’t have a smartphone, you can still start a group by texting START to GROUP (47687). v Call overseas for free. Freephone2phone. com gives you 10 minutes of free talk to landlines in 55 countries and cellphones in some. You listen to short ads, then connect. When booking
v Start your accommodation search at Reunionsmag.Hotelplanner.com to see all your possibilities at one time. It’s free for the looking, with many free services built in if you decide to book through the service. A free podcast, “Hotels are looking for your reunion,” at reunionsmag.com explains this reverse auction site.
vC ontact the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) at your destination. They contact their members on your behalf for hotel bids, special offers and deals for your group. Many also provide promotion bags, maps, brochures and souvenir tchotchkes. vA lmost every place has an off-season that is less pricey. Even a summer reunion can find off-season options. Ski areas are off-season during summer, and beach resorts’ off-peak seasons vary by region. At the start of summer, tropical resorts in destinations such as Puerto Rico and Hawaii have very pleasant weather and may be off-season. Check for the best rates. vA sk your hotel about their group policy. Some hotels extend a complimentary room when a certain minimum number of rooms are booked. Traditionally planners take complimentary rooms, but here’s another idea: Designate the rooms for students or elders who cannot afford housing. Bringing in those potential members – or members in need now – make it more likely that they will come (and pay) in the future. Thanks to Visit Fairfax (fxva.com) for this idea. vA lways ask hotels what extras they provide. vN egotiate breakfast and/or cocktail hour into the room rate. vA sk if your hotel offers complimentary airport, train or bus station transfers and free parking. vB ook as many members as possible for deep discounts to take advantage of group rates. vU se senior discount privileges where applicable. vU se entertainment books that feature destination discount rates and coupons. vA sk if the hotel room has a coffee maker, refrigerator or microwave. Then, eat in to save on some meal costs. vA sk if the hotel has a gym or pool and bring appropriate clothes to get some exercise. No excuses! vA sk if the hotel offers free WiFi or a free business center with computer access.
vM any large hotels have themed decorations stashed away in closets or stockrooms. They might have décor pieces/props/server uniforms. Common themes are beach party, baseball, Wild West, patriotic (red, white, and blue), etc. While the hotel would prefer to charge for using props or decorations, you should inquire about what they have available, and negotiate using their props or decorations for free or at a reduced rate. Say, “I’ll sign a contract today if you agree to dress up my cookout on your patio with your beach party props!” A great suggestion from Dean Miller, National Sales Manager at Visit Fairfax. vH ostels are cheaper. Hostels accommodate travelers of all ages – not just the young. They usually provide breakfast and heftier breakfasts yield leftovers for lunch. There is also free WiFi access. Front desk workers can point you to unique sites worth seeing. Reservations at Lonely Planet and Hostel World allow you to search by location, price and type of hostel, with photos and a description of the accommodations. Cheap ways for fun
v Walking, hiking and running cost nothing and can be significant parts of reunion programs. You can also make them competitive activities. v Music can be in the background or right up front for a talent show. Or form a reunion choir and practice for a performance at the reunion and/or at church on Sunday. v Cooking and baking at a family reunion offers older generations the opportunity to teach the youngsters family recipes. Everyone has an opportunity to show off their specialties, and it nourishes tummies and hearts and piques fond memories.
v Your tax dollars are at work everyday at the library – time or DVDs for movie night. Many libraries sell donated books to raise funds. You can often find like-new recent titles at very low prices for reunion prizes and support your library at the same time. v Avoid high ticket prices for plays, concerts, sports, exhibits and other events in many major US cities by getting a free membership at goldstar. com. This online seller of half-price tickets has a service charge that averages about $4.50 per ticket. The theater chooses the seats. Ticketloot.com also has cheaper tickets. v Thanks to online guides, there’s no need to fill your luggage with heavy books. Print out pages you’ll need and create a list of vital foreign words you’ll need if you’re going abroad (“please,” “thank you” and “How much does this cost?”). Check out omniglot and Lonely Planet for pdf guides you can buy by the chapter (roughly $5 each). ArrivalGuides.com and Hostel World offer free online guides. Or buy a bound guidebook, read it, and pull out only the pages you’ll need. v You can get free admission to more than 100 museums, zoos and science centers the first weekend of each month with a Bank of America ATM, credit or check card. Details at bankofamerica.com. v For free sightseeing excursions – with a local resident’s educated perspective – visit globalgreeternetwork. info. Free walking tours are available with locals in European cities (neweuropetours.eu) and Israel. For US offerings, inquire at the chamber of commerce or Convention and Visitors Bureau at your destination. v For registration incentives or prizes at your reunion, buy gift cards for up to 30% off face value at plasticjungle. com, giftcardrescue.com and giftcardsagain.com. Cards are sold by gift-getters who don’t want them. v If you like movies at the theater, go before 6 PM or go to the discount theater where the tickets are $2 a pop. It’s hard, but don’t buy snacks. continued FEBRUARY/MARCH/APRIL 2013 v Reunions 37
How some reunions save money! continued Transportation
v Price out your trip components (air, hotel, rental car) at several online booking sites, then ask an agent to do better. Some large agencies buy blocks of tickets and rooms at bulk rates and charge less than discount websites; smaller agencies may be privy to obscure package deals.
I f your reunion is traveling abroad, check MyTravelCost.com for ideas. vT ime your trip to coincide with free museum nights in all major European cities. vR egister for the free volunteer-guided tours offered across Europe. vP lan an off-season reunion. vU se flash sales options on accommodation websites. vC onsider staying in a city apartment booked directly from the owner. vB uy city passes for public transportation. vE urail train passes are cheaper in the US. Buy before you leave. vN ever, never, ever exchange money at the airport. You’ll pay the highest rate possible. Instead, look for an airport ATM and take out the maximum amount (usually around $200). You’ll pay a fee, but not nearly as high as the airport exchange rate. Rule two: If you’re going to travel a bit upscale, buy gift cards at a discount from sites like GiftCardGranny.com to purchase American services found in foreign countries. This might include airlines, hotels or car rental agencies for which you can realize up to 25 percent savings. vF inally, of course, spend more time in cheaper countries.
v If you are flying, ask airlines about their group policy. Some airlines offer a free ticket for every 10 or 15 purchased, if you fly as a group. Southwest, United and American group airfares require at least 10 travelers. Check with your travel agent. v Avoid buying airline tickets on weekends when prices are often highest. The best day is Tuesday, because many sales start Monday night and competitors scramble to match them by the next morning. v Book online to avoid booking fees. Virtually every US airline adds a hefty surcharge if you book by phone or at a ticket counter. v Trains are cheaper than renting a car or flying and usually deposit you close to the action in major cities. If you’re traveling to a rural destination, be ready to hop off at a moment’s notice. v Older train riders get discounts in the US and Canada. Amtrak cuts 15% off most fares for riders 62 and over. Via Rail Canada offers 10% off full adult fare for travelers over 60. v Save by not picking up your rental car at the airport, where special fees may add as much as 10%. Go into town by shared shuttle or public transit and rent your car there.
reunionsmag.hotelplanner.com Free reverse auction site for rooms. 38 Reunions v reunionsmag.com
Notify all credit card companies you plan to travel outside the US so they won’t place a hold on your account for unusual activity. Finally, note your credit/debit card numbers and foreign contact phone numbers and keep this info in a safe place, separate from the cards. One hiding place could be an email account with a bogus “subject” line. Then, you’d have easy access to the info should your plastic be lost or stolen or problems arise. Plan reunion spending
v Review personal finances to determine the money available for reunion expenses without adding debt. Estimate total reunion costs, travel, meals, accommodations and spending money.
v If you carry a credit card balance and are paying interest, leave credit cards at home, and use cash, checks or a debit card to cover reunion expenses. v Some families choose to limit holiday and birthday gift giving, and instead save the money for reunion expenses. Shop for gently-used items in thrift, dollar or discount stores. v Shop with a list, and stick to it. Shop for food when well rested and not hungry. Choose a date and time when stores are least likely to be crowded, such as weekdays or early morning hours. Carry an envelope to organize receipts. v Track spending to help ease reunion spending next year. v Take advantage of discounts offered through “your” organizations: AAA, unions, AARP, alumni associations. v Enter your city or ZIP code, and Sciddy. com lists discounts in your area for people 50 or older. The savings range up to 15 percent on everything from travel to food. Fundraising
Ask members to round up their unused electronics and bring them to the reunion. Trade old cellphones, cameras, MP3 players and computers at wireflytradeins.com (free shipping) for cash or gift cards. Apps for reunions
Sending a local map to attendees is always a good idea. Most convention and visitors bureaus (CVB) offer maps, usually at no cost, for distribution to your members. Now some CVBs offer free apps that show off their destination. In Virginia, for example, there are apps for the entire state, as well as Fairfax County, Lynchburg and Williamsburg. Ask if your destination has an app to download.
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USS Piedmont AD-17 reunion
Each USS Piedmont AD-17 reunion is in a different location, moving across the US. Locations are chosen by vote at business meetings after hearing presentations from potential reunion sites. The last was in Norfolk, Virginia. The next is in Omaha, Nebraska. Someone living near the destination and willing to do the legwork makes reunion arrangements. Otherwise, a Board member will travel to the location to approve plans. The USS Piedmont logo, Doc Piedmont from Walt The board (four Disney Studios in 1944. members) and officers (president, vice president and secretary/treasurer) are chosen by election at business meetings. Reunions usually are held every October for four days and nights. They enjoy two all-day bus tours of local sights and enjoy hotel meals Wednesday night and Saturday night. Most of the members were aboard from 1944 to 1982 and sometimes bring grandchildren. They remember members who have died during the last year in an annual memorial service. The registration fee covers meals and bus tours, and each sailor is responsible for his own hotel reservation. They have a big fundraising raffle on Friday night and use the funds to stock the hospitality room. The hospitality room where registration occurs is well provisioned with snacks and drinks of all kinds. Visit theusspiedmont.org USS Piedmont members were welcomed back by Holiday Inn Norfolk Airport hotel staff when returning from a city bus tour. Reported by Bill Kastens, Topeka, Kansas.
ill Kastens, Topeka, Kansas, is the originator of the USS Piedmont AD-17 Reunion. He maintains a current roster of all members with name, address, phone number, email, years aboard USS Piedmont, and duty station or rank/rating while aboard. He also writes and issues at least three (sometimes four) newsletters each year. Newsletters include Two PLANK Sailors (members of the original crew all reunion details. Sailors with assigned to the Piedmont at commissioning in 1944 at the Tampa Shipyards: (left) Willis Bloyd, Seward, email receive all communiNebraska (93, aboard 1944-45) and Cecil Whitmer, cations electronically; others Goodlettsville, Tennessee (94, aboard 1943-46). receive USPS mail delivery. Whitmer was assigned before commissioning and Kastens also sends notices to was aboard for the â€œshakedownâ€? cruise. print publications and websites that accept reunion notices.
Green Bay is for reunions, not just Packers!
ob Roeder was host and planner for his four-day Company C 1/12 CAV Vietnam Reunion in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Roeder worked with the Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau and distributed their welcome bags and name badges at the reunion. About 120 attended from all over the country and, as is often true of reunions in Wisconsin, many were visiting the state for the first time. Roeder knew his territory and audience very well and made a great and lasting positive impression. The group was well served by wonderful staff at a Radisson Hotel. Roeder involved his whole community and area businesses in hosting his crew, and particularly honored the wives, whom
Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau 1901 S. Oneida Street PO Box 10596 Green Bay WI 54307 920-405-1176; www.greenbay.com
he felt deserved special treatment. He arranged a day trip to nearby Door County, where restaurants provided wine and cheese tastings. Then he solicited gift cards from about a dozen stores in a quaint area in DePere and the ladies went on a
shopping trip with their gift cards. And while the ladies enjoyed themselves, the men toured Lambeau Field and the Packers Hall of Fame. Area restaurants arranged meals at very reasonable prices and donated ice cream, pizza, cheese, sausage, smoked salmon and crackers for a well-stocked hospitality room. Finally, in his solicitations, Roeder obtained donations from jewelry stores that were used for an auction that raised $4000 for a savings account for future reunions. Green Bay was a great choice and a genuinely pleasant surprise for members of the Company C 1/12 CAV Vietnam Reunion! Reported by Edith Wagner, Reunions magazine editor. FEBRUARY/MARCH/APRIL 2013 v Reunions 39
e military reunion news
VC-8 Redtail Squadron enjoys tour
he Navy VC-8 Redtail Squadron held their recent reunion at the Hope Hotel just outside Gate12A at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Lisa Willis, the Green County, Ohio, CVB representative, did an outstanding job of coordinating activities, establishing points of contact at places visited, and arranging transportation. The Hope Hotel (named after Bob Hope, and the home of the surviving “Doolittle Raiders” reunion) was an excellent choice. Ms. Billie Meeks, director of sales and catering, was a most gracious host. She coordinated all of their needs, including a generous room rate, hospitality suite, lunches, and banquet facilities. The reunion was held Thursday through Sunday. The Thursday Night get-together and registration included catered hors d’oeuvres. Banners, hospitality bags and name tags were provided by Green County CVB. On Friday, after a complimentary breakfast buffet, Mr. Wilber Dahmer Bus Service provided transportation to the National Museum of the United States Air Force. After three hours they returned to the Hope Hotel, where a gourmet lunch buffet revitalized everyone before they returned to finish the Museum tour. There was a special guided tour through all the Presidential Aircraft from Franklin Roosevelt through John F. Kennedy, thanks to Jane Leach, Museum Special Events Coordinator. Group photos were taken by Reunion Photo Service. The second day was equally informative and exciting. The morning was spent learning the history of the Wright Brothers and their contribution to aviation.
The VC-8 Redtail Squadron reunion group.
Navy Captain M.E. Smith. one of the VC-8’s Commanding Officers, holding the VC-8 Redtail Squadron’s “Loving Cup.”
Reunion members were bussed to Federal Park of Huffman Prairie Interpretive Center, where they saw a movie about the lives of Orville and Wilber. They visited the Wright Brothers Flying Field and the Wright Brothers Museum in downtown Dayton to see all of their inventions. All of these educational adventures were scheduled and coordinated by Park Ranger Mandy Way. In the afternoon, the final tour was at Dayton’s Carillon Historical Park, where they lunched at the Culp Café and toured the historical buildings and exhibits. Exhausted from the day’s events they returned to the hotel to rest before their “sit-down dinner,” with exquisite menu and beautiful table setting. The squadron continued the tradition of passing of “The Loving Cup” (made from a large propeller dome) full of Puerto Rico rum, a remembrance of when the squadron was home ported at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. The reunion ended with Sunday morning breakfast and “goodbyes” until next year. Reported by Jim Rueff, Pensacola, Florida.
he National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, recently completed Phase II of the Southeast Asia War Gallery renovation, a tribute to Vietnam veterans. New exhibits include “Tankers at War: Air Refueling in Southeast Asia” and “The Best Hope for Survival: Combat Search and Rescue in Southeast Asia.” Each new exhibit adds a facet to the museum’s account of Air Force service and sacrifice. Admission and parking are free. Visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil
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Reunions at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum
Pictures supplied by Wisconsin Maritime Museum Collection.
he Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, is one of the largest maritime museums in the Midwest, and perfect for all reunions, especially Navy groups. The Museum offers special meeting facilities and friendly staff to help organize your reunion. Arrangements can also be made for your reunion to visit local shipyards or experience an engine start-up of a World War II submarine. The Wisconsin Maritime Museum strives to educate the public about the maritime history of Wisconsin and the Great Lakes, and includes 12 galleries and exhibit areas, along with USS Cobia, a World War II submarine. The Museum welcomed the crew of USS Cobia for a reunion last year. Visitors to the Museum were invited to meet the men who served on board USS Cobia during WWII, to hear first-hand accounts of what it was like living on a submarine. The reunion started Friday morning with a business meeting that was open to the public. Other activities included a ceremony for the crew on the deck of the Cobia and engine start-up. On Saturday the crew
USS Cobia crew and guests.
manned the positions they had held on the submarine during the War, and visited with guests during tours. Visitors were treated to stories of actual events on the submarine talking one-on-one with Cobia vets. The Museum’s Riverview Room seats 120 and overlooks USS Cobia; it can be divided for smaller groups. The Roof Deck overlooking Lake Michigan and Manitowoc is great for open-air evening functions, with a small concession area for refreshments and receptions (available May 1 through September 30). The Board Room, with its pilot house decor and breathtaking views, is available for small parties up to 16 people. Museum staff can suggest caterers for every price range. For information, contact Mike Johnson at 866-7242356, ext 106; firstname.lastname@example.org Also contact Manitowoc Area Visitor & Convention Bureau, 920-686-3071, www.manitowoc.info
USS Cobia at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.
Finding Your Father’s War
inding Your Father’s War: A Practical Guide to Researching and Understanding Service in the World War II US Army, by Jonathan Gawne (Philadelphia: Casemate, 2006). Finding Your Father’s War is written by a military historian and focuses exclusively on Army records. Chapters include an Introduction to Army Units, Individual Records, Organizational Records, Finding Records, official abbreviations, and a bibliography. Appendices provide information about World War II that can be useful as you research: Infantry, Armored, Airborne, and Cavalry divisions, Army Groups, Armies and Corps, vehicle markings and campaigns. The focus is on researching individual and social history. Using this book will help you write a family history narrative. From a review by Gena Philibert-Ortega in Genealogy Book Reviews.
Combining reunion groups
e have asked about military groups who are combining because there are not as many members for reunions as there once were. Jim Bard, Westminster, Maryland, reports about the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing (McGuire (1948-49), Yokota (1950-54), Barksdale (1950-51), Lockbourne (1951-57) reunion. The association’s next reunion – scheduled for August 21-27, 2013 in Omaha, Nebraska – includes members of 91PRS, 91SRS, 322SRS, 323SRS, 324SRS, 91ARS, FMS, AEMS, RTS, PMS, Sup Sq, Med Gp, AP Sq, Com Sq, HQ, 16PRS, 31SRS, 6091SRS, 91st Bomb Wing (1963-1968), 91st Space/Missile Wing (1968-Active), 91IS (Fort Meade 1993-2005) and 91NWS (Lackland 2007-Active). Also invited are members of the 91st Bomb Group (WWII) and Lockbourne AFB Reunion Group. Contact Jim Bard, 3424 Nottingham Road, Westminster MD 21157; 410-549-1094; email@example.com FEBRUARY/MARCH/APRIL 2013 v Reunions 41
e military reunion news
Cruises support US Veterans charities
On board a Princess cruise ship.
o honor and give thanks to the courageous men and women of the US Armed Forces, Princess Cruises is launching their first fundraising sailing, expected to generate $1 million for two charities – the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc., and Operation Homefront, Inc. Princess President and CEO Alan Buckelew, a Vietnam veteran himself, will host the cruise. This four-day Western Caribbean cruise sails from Galveston, Texas, November 5, 2013. It will offer passengers the opportunity to honor and support the efforts of those who have served in the military, as well as active duty military personnel. Princess Cruises is matching every dollar donated, up to $500,000. A portion of every fare (ranging from $100 to $300 per person, depending upon stateroom category) will be donated on passengers’ behalf to the two Section 501(c)(3) exempt public charities, and they’re tax deductible. Princess Cruises will provide written acknowledgment of charitable contributions for tax records. Active and retired military personnel will receive a $50 onboard credit. Cruise highlights and onboard programming include guest lecturers, cruise deck walkabout for veterans, service branch get-togethers, Stars and Stripes Sailaway celebration, and a film festival. For details, call Brian Forrester, Holiday Cruises and Tours at 800-998-1228.
he Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, dedicated the first and only known national monument dedicated to American Indian veterans who served the country in many conflicts. The American Indian Veterans National Memorial is made up of several sculptures by Native artists. Unconquered II, a bronze by Chiricahua Apache sculptor Allen Houser (1914-1994), is on
E x p lo r e
Free Stuff for your reunion @ reunionsmag.com
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long-term loan. Santa Clara Pueblo sculptor Michael Naranjoy, a Vietnam veteran, suffered a blinding injury. His carvings – done by feel – are meant to be touched. Panels detail the story and pay tribute to American Indians in conflict and those who have received the Medal of Honor. Visit Heard.org. Photo credit Heard Museum/Craig Smith.
Great port in a storm
he US Navy Amphibious Force Veterans Association’s reunion was starting August 26th in New Orleans, Louisiana. But by August 27th everything was canceled because Tropical Storm Isaac loomed. Twenty-seven people were able to leave New Orleans by 1 PM, but 13 people had to stay because flights and Amtrak service were cancelled; they were stuck
until September 1st and 2nd. John J. Walsh, Toms River, New Jersey, writes that the Bourbon Orleans Hotel was fantastic. Everyone was moved to the ground floor in case of power failure. Susan Mack, the Senior Sales Manager, and the hotel staff were great. Walsh says “I highly recommend the Bourbon Orleans Hotel to all military reunions.”
FEBRUARY/MARCH/APRIL 2013 v Reunions 43
CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES
Welcome to Reunion Resources!
BEAVER VILLAGE CONDOMINIUMS
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; 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.
COLORADO VACATION DIRECTORY Make your search for the perfect family reunion destination easier! FREE FAMILY REUNION DESTINATION LOCATION SERVICE: www.TheCVD.com/groupsreunions and click on “EMAIL US your Request for Group Accommodations.” We will then send your requirements to Cabins, Vacation Homes, Lodges, Motels, Condo’s, B&B’s, and Campgrounds that can accommodate your desires; each one will email you directly with additional information. OR download our free Colorado Vacation Directory to compare reunion locations, which includes Places to Stay & Fun Things to Do. www.TheCVD.com/ OrderForm.html
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: www.beavercondos.com www.beavercondos.com/family-reunions-winterpark-colorado-colorado-family-reunions
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.
ALABAMA GREATER BIRMINGHAM CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 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 | email@example.com www.birminghamal.org SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 12!
CALIFORNIA PALM SPRINGS VISITOR CENTER Palm Springs, California guarantees blue skies and sunshine for your reunion. A collection of new hotels, boutique inns, and vacation home and condo rentals are available to host large and small groups. Visitors the world over are lured to Palm Springs for its storied Hollywood legacy, Native American heritage and stellar collection of mid-century modern architecture. Palm Springs is less than 2 hours from Los Angeles or San Diego. The Palm Springs International Airport offers direct flights from major cities all across the U.S. and Canada. Palm Springs. Like no place else. Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs CA 92262 | 760-778-8415 www.VisitPalmSprings.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 31!
HOLIDAY INN SAN DIEGO BAYSIDE 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. 4875 N Harbor Drive, San Diego CA 92106 619-224-3621 | 800-650-6660 fax 619-224-1787 | firstname.lastname@example.org www.holinnbayside.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 26! 44 Reunions v reunionsmag.com
YMCA OF THE ROCKIES has two Colorado resort destinations-Estes Park and Winter Park-where your family can reconnect, relax and enjoy group activities. A variety of affordable lodging is available, from individual lodge rooms to a 16-bedroom cabin. Activities include zip line, horseback riding and guided hikes. 800-777-9622 www.ymcarockies.org SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 19! SYLVAN DALE GUEST RANCH 2939 N County Road 31D, Loveland, Colorado 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 or e-mail email@example.com | www.SylvanDale.com
SUNDANCE TRAIL Guest RANCH 17931 West County Road 74E, Feather Lakes CO 80545. Small, flexible, relaxed. Strong focus on families playing together. Horseback riding (not nose-totail), rock climbing, white water rafting, disc golf, hiking, fishing, evening campfires. Only 2 hours from Denver. Pets welcome! Call 800-357-4930 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org www.sundancetrail.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 26!
The Vail Racquet Club Mountain Resort
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. The Vail Racquet Club Mountain Resort: 4695 Vail Racquet Club Drive, Vail CO 81657 | 800-428-4840 email@example.com www.vailracquetclub.com
FLORIDA Family Reunion Planner: Strengthening the Bonds of Family A family reunion can be a truly memorable experience. At www.your-family-matters.com, our goal is to be your one stop source for a stress-free reunion. From the planning stages to the actual event, we will set up itineraries, find accommodations, set up meals, suggest free time activities and venues, order t-shirts and arrange photographs. We are located on the memorable Emerald Coast of Florida, home to Florida’s most beautiful beaches, and yet still convenient from most of the Southeast. Contact us today @ 817-680-8831 to get started. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 23!
THE BEACHES OF FORT MYERS & SANIBEL 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 FortMyers-Sanibel.com for more information. TELEPHONE: 239-338-3500 U.S. & Canada: 800-237-6444 www.fortmyers-sanibel.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 11!
CROWNE PLAZA HOLLYWOOD BEACH 4000 South Ocean Drive, Hollywood FL 33019 954-454-4334 | firstname.lastname@example.org www.cphollywoodbeach.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 5!
HOLIDAY INN CLUB VACATIONS AT ORANGE LAKE RESORT 8505 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee FL 34747 407-905-1443 | http://hicvrewards.com/groups/
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CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES STAR ISLAND RESORT & CLUB
STAYBRIDGE SUITES PERIMETER CENTER EAST
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. www.star-island.com
ATLANTA PERIMETER HOTEL & SUITES
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!Ê678-320-0111 Fax: 678-320-0250 Reservations: email@example.com www.staybridge.com/atlanta-pr SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 1!
HOLIDAY INN CLUB VACATIONS AT SUNSET COVE RESORT 571 West Elkcam Circle, Marco Island FL 34145 407-905-1443 | http://hicvrewards.com/groups/
FLORIDAYS RESORT ORLANDO 12562 International Drive, Orlando FL 32821 Located just two miles from SeaWorld and Disney on International Drive, offers spacious two-andthree 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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.FloridaysResortOrlando.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on the inside back cover!
QUALITY SUITES LAKE BUENA VISTA 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. 8200 Palm Parkway, Orlando FL 32836 | Group reservations 800-370-9894 ext 501 | www.qualitysuiteslbv.com email@example.com
HOLIDAY INN CLUB VACATIONS AT BAY POINT RESORT 4100 Marriott Drive, Panama City Beach FL 32408 407-905-1443 | http://hicvrewards.com/groups/
HOLIDAY INN CLUB VACATIONS AT PANAMA CITY BEACH RESORT 17001 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach FL 32413 407-905-1443 | http://hicvrewards.com/groups/
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 GMWAtlantaPerimeter@whotels.com www.whotels.com/atlantaperimeter SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 1!
CROWNE PLAZA ATLANTA PERIMETER at RAVINIA 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 www.cpravinia.com | call 770-395-7700. Mention this listing for 10 % off reunion banquet pricing. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 1!
EMBASSY SUITES ATLANTA PERIMETER CENTER 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 www.atlantaperimetercenter.embassysuites.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 1!
ATLANTA MARRIOTT PERIMETER CENTER 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 www.atlantamarriottperimeter.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 1!
DOUGLASVILLE CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU With a great location near Atlanta and over 1,800 hotel rooms why not choose Douglasville, Georgia! 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 us at milesr@ci. douglasville.ga.us | www.visitdouglasville.com
CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU OF DUNWOODY, GA 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!Ê Call today to plan your reunion: 678-244-9800 visit www.cvbdunwoody.com/ SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 1! Let the Macon-Bibb County CVB help plan your reunion! Call us first to help you find facilities, accommodations and create itineraries for your event. We can arrange guided and self-guided tours of our attractions and offer complimentary services, such as registration assistance, information specialists, coordination of bus rentals, and a downloadable Visitor’s Guide that includes area maps. Go to VisitMacon.org | or call 800.768.3401 today, and learn how we can make your next reunion a success!
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CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES ILLINOIS
SAM’S TOWN HOTEL & GAMBLING HALL
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 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.lakecounty.org SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 2!
WORRY-FREE REUNIONS AT CRAGUN’S RESORT
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. 5111 Boulder Highway, Las Vegas NV 89122 | 702-454-8120 | www.samstownlv.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 29!
IOWA WATERLOO CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 500 Jefferson Street, Waterloo, IA 50701. Visit John Deere Tractor Assembly Plant, Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum, Galleria De Paco, and Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo. Plus, enjoy family attractions like Lost Island Water Park, Phelps Youth Pavilion, and Bluedorn Science Imaginarium. Info: 800-728-8431 | Lonnie@TravelWaterloo.com www.TravelWaterloo.com
MICHIGAN THE BENZIE COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU “The Most Beautiful Place In America” Located along Michigan’s northwest coast of the Lower Peninsula, the gateway to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and serenely positioned on Lake Michigan. Benzie County is an optimal location for your reunion, wedding, meeting or event. Facilities to fit nearly every need from world class resorts to private homes and cottages on our pristine lakes, rivers, and woods www.visitbenzie. com | or call 800-882-5801.
CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN RESORT 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. 12500 Crystal Mountain Drive, Thompsonville MI 49683-9742 | 800.968.7686 ext. 6605 | fax: 231.378.4879 ChelseaChapin@crystalmountain.com crystalmountain.com
PO Box 335428 North Las Vegas NV 89033 800-654-2776 • reunions.com email@example.com 46 Reunions v reunionsmag.com
11000 Craguns Dr, Brainerd MN 56401 800-CRAGUNS (272-4867). Since 1940 Cragun’s has taken pride in creating memorable reunions... here’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: www.craguns.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.minneapolis.org
MISSOURI THE BRANSON/LAKES AREA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 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 ExploreBranson.com and request a Reunion Planner Sales kit. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on the inside front cover!
SUNCOAST HOTEL & CASINO Suncoast is an elegant gaming resort located on the picturesque western edge of the Las Vegas Valley. The stylish 400-room hotel is near three championship golf courses and has free shuttle bus service to and from McCarran International Airport. Among the Suncoast attractions are 25,000 square feet of convention space, nine restaurants, a 64-lane bowling center, a 16-screen movie complex, a pool and a 500-seat showroom. 9090 Alta Drive, Las Vegas NV 89145 702-636-7050 | www.suncoastcasino.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 29!
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 | www.orleanscasino.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 28!
SOUTHERN NEVADA REGIONAL OFFICE
3950 Koval Lane, Las Vegas NV 89109 407-905-1443 | http://hicvrewards.com/groups/
Located just 90 miles south of Las Vegas, Laughlin is an amazing spot to host family gatherings, reunions and getaways no matter what the size. Laughlin offers casual to fine dining as well as concerts, shows, activities and events for every age. And the Colorado River provides a great backdrop for your group photos. To contact the Laughlin sales staff call 1-877-685-2845 or go to www.VisitLaughlin.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 7!
GOLD COAST HOTEL & CASINO
ATLANTIS CASINO RESORT SPA RENO
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, five 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 | www.goldcoastcasino.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 28!
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! 3800 S Virginia Street, Reno NV 89502 Sales Department 800.994.5900 sales@AtlantisCasino.com | AtlantisCasino.com
NEVADA HOLIDAY INN CLUB VACATIONS AT DESERT CLUB RESORT
CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES NORTH CAROLINA
CABARRUS COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU
CHATTANOOGA AREA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU
CHESAPEAKE CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU
FREE Reunion Planning Tips! - 2nd Annual Family Reunion Boot Camp, Concord. NC. April 13,2013. Sponsored by the Cabarrus County CVB. Guest Speakers, Panel Discussions, Complimentary Family Reunion Planning Guide, Lunch, Vendor Show and giveaways! First 80 planners will receive a gift. Two registrants per family please. Contact Carrie Hendrickson 704-456-7969 or email@example.com. 10099 Weddington Rd. Suite 102, Concord, NC 28027. See Our Display Ad on pg. 31! www.visitcabarrus.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for free help planning your next reunion! ChattanoogaMeetings.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 9!
VISIT FAIRFAX / FAIRFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIA
HOLIDAY INN CLUB VACATIONS AT SMOKY MOUNTAIN RESORT
404 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg TN 37738 407-905-1443 | http://hicvrewards.com/groups/
PIGEON FORGE, TENNESSEE
800-354-2657 www.ExperienceColumbus.com/reunions 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 Brian Cheek at 614-222-6136 BCheek@ExperienceColumbus.com
We’re a gold mine for reunions. Need attractions? Try Dollywood, Titanic Pigeon Forge, Zorb and the action-packed Parkway. Want nature? Great Smoky Mountains National Park is next-door. Want entertainment? More than a dozen theaters await you. Hungry? We’ll feed you well. Details: 1-800-285-7557 or visit pigeonforgereunion.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 43!
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 | email@example.com www.seamist.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on the outside back cover!
HOLIDAY INN CLUB VACATIONS AT SOUTH BEACH RESORT 3000 South Ocean Boulevard, Myrtle Beach SC 39577 407-905-1443 | http://hicvrewards.com/groups/
TEXAS HOLIDAY INN CLUB VACATIONS AT GALVESTON BEACH RESORT 11743 San Luis Pass Road, Galveston TX 77554 407-905-1443 | http://hicvrewards.com/groups/
PLANO CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU Located just minutes from Dallas, Plano is the perfect place to stay. You will find unique and entertaining attractions, a multitude of restaurants for every taste and style, and all the shopping you could ever want, as well as a variety of hotel and lodging offerings. Let Kay at the Plano Convention and Visitors Bureau assist you in all your travel planning needs. firstname.lastname@example.org | 800-81-PLANO visitplano.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 48!
VERMONT HOLIDAY INN CLUB VACATIONS AT ASCUTNEY MOUNTAIN RESORT 485 Hotel Road, Brownsville VT 05037 407-905-1443 | http://hicvrewards.com/groups/
BASIN HARBOR CLUB 4800 Basin Harbor Road, Vergennes VT 05491 On Lake Champlain, Vermont. The Beach Family has been welcoming travelers to Basin Harbor for over 125 years. With 700 acres and a private harbor, it has become the destination of choice for families planning a special occasion. Lakeside dining, boat cruises, golf tournaments: Plan a unique reunion in New England. www.basinharbor.com | 800.622.4000 email@example.com
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 | or go to www.visitchesapeake.com 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 www.fxva.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 13!
Fredericksburg TIMELESS. That’s the perfect description of the Fredericksburg region. Visitors to the area encounter the richness of the American experience, and walk in the footsteps of presidents and generals. They feel the joy of discovery in the Fredericksburg area’s unique present and entertaining past, in its historical attractions and battlefields, shops, galleries, beautiful wineries and chef owned restaurants. To book your reunion, please contact Kim Herbert, Conference Sales and Services Specialist at 540-372-1216 or 800-260-3646 email her at firstname.lastname@example.org www.VisitFred.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 15!
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 (757) 926-1442 or email her at: email@example.com to book your reunion. www.newport-news.org
VisitNorfolk 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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.visitnorfolktoday.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 43! FEBRUARY/MARCH/APRIL 2013 v Reunions 47
CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES
Postcards that make your reunion point! Send 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
48 Reunions v reunionsmag.com
CANAAN VALLEY RESORT Davis, West Virginia. Four season resort state park featuring 150 comfortable lodge rooms, 23 secluded cabins/ cottages and 34 campground sites. Seasonal activities include indoor/outdoor pools, golf, skiing, scenic chairlift rides, hiking/biking trails, and more. Meeting rooms and banquet services available for your reunion needs. Karen Rhodes 304-866-4121 x 2681 | email@example.com www.canaanresort.com
HOLIDAY INN CLUB VACATIONS AT LAKE GENEVA RESORT
LAKEVIEW GOLF RESORT & SPA One Lakeview Drive, Morgantown WV 26508 304-594-1111 | firstname.lastname@example.org ww.lakeviewresort.com Nestled in the rolling hills of West Virginia,10 miles south of the Pennsylvania border, one of the Mid-Atlantic’s premier golf destinations with two championship golf courses. You’ll experience the finest in West Virginia hospitality and service. We offer 187 guestrooms, 52 condos, over 30,000+ sq ft of meeting space, two distinct restaurants to satisfy any appetite – from a fine steak dinner to a casual lunch overlooking Lakeview’s 18th green. Stay active while visiting our 40,000 sq ft Fitness & Sports Complex or relax and rejuvenate at Spa Roma. Lakeview Golf Resort & Spa offers easy access to all travelers and is a place like no other!
Please patronize our advertisers.
7037 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva WI 53147 407-905-1443 | http://hicvrewards.com/groups/
DC AREA ATTRACTIONS NATIONAL AIR & SPACE MUSEUM Located next to Dulles International Airport, the Udvar-Hazy Center features some of the most unique and iconic aircraft, spacecraft, and other objects, including Space Shuttle Discovery, the B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay, an SR-71 Blackbird, a NASA android, Charles Lindbergh memorabilia, and the Apollo 11 Mobile Quarantine Facility. Free admission; parking $15/car. airandspace.si.edu 202-633-1000 SEE OUR DISPLAY AD on pg. 9!
T-SHIRTS customink.com 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 customink.com/reunion See our display ad on page 5!
CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES PRODUCTS & SERVICES All of these products can be purchased through Reunions magazine. Please call 414-263-4567.
BOOKS 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. 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.
FOOD PREPARATION 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.
MAGAZINE 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.
MUSIC 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.
POSTCARD ANNOUNCEMENTS Notify your reunion members to SAVE THE DATE (bright red, they’ll not miss it!) and when you need reminders, send postcards that say TIME IS RUNNING OUT. Fill-in cards – $15 p/100 postcards or 20¢ each + s/h – you fill in the date and reunion name; or Custom printed cards – $45 p/100 postcards or 50¢ each + s/h. Send info to be printed: for Save the date! (name, date, & place of reunion, contact info). For Time is running out (name & date of reunion & RSVP date) + fax number or email address to get your approval before we print. Send to Reunions magazine, PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211-0727; credit card charges call 414-263-4567.
FEBRUARY/MARCH/APRIL 2013 v Reunions 49
P.O. Box 11727 v Milwaukee WI 53211-0727
Reunion food, generous genealogists, finding class members for reunions, saving memories, Laughlin Nevada reunions, reunion hospitality