Reunions Magazine Volume 32 Number 1 Virtual Edition March 2023

Page 9

Normandy High School Reunion
Vol 32 No 1 Virtual Edition March 2023
Agee Miller Mayo Dungy Family Reunion Middleton Family Reunion Burns Family Reunion
2023 Reunion Celebrations!
Amphibious Ships Reunion

in this special issue



ALUM & I – 6

We’re Seniors, not Old Folks! by Wynne Crombie

Review: The Most Likely Club by Elyssa Friedland

Rotogravure: Spring Branch High School, Spring Branch, Texas

Top 10 reasons to attend your high school reunion! by Cyndi Clamp


No Stone Unturned by Nadean Stone

DNA Quest united adoptees with birth families

Great graveyard get-togethers by Robbie Gorr

Being a part of something important – to you and others by Rick Voight


Reunion School

Hospitality Answerman by Dean Miller Wheel of Fortune!

Is a National Park in your reunion future? Freebies!

Calling all reunion scribes!

REUNION B * U * D * G * E * T

Reunion planning on Social Media


Passing the torch by Lisa A. Alzo, MFA

Burns Family Reunion and Burns Cousins Weekend Retreat by Almeda McLarin, MBA

Massey Family holiday affair by Cassandra Duncan

Jones Moses Family Reunion by Shurondia Jones

Reunion scavenger hunts


Amphibious Ships Reunion and yearbook and Production Notes by Skip Sander

Learn about your ancestors’ military service

Ideas to consider for a reunion destination with Dean Miller Presidential Memorial Certificates

Overseas military cemeteries


Marching Forward with Your Family Reunion Photo Scanning Project By Lisa A. Alzo, MFA VIVID-PIX® Brochure


A directory of reunion-friendly places, services, vendors and products.

Reunion Celebrations v March 2023

Volume 32 v Number 1


Rick Voight


Edith Wagner


Mary Catherine Stern


Jennifer Rueth


Roberta McLoud


Mickel Arce • Howard Ehrenberg • Chris Thompson


Dean Miller


Lisa A. Alzo, MFA • Cyndi Clamp

Wynne Crombie • Cassandra Duncan

Robbie Gorr • Shurondia Jones

Almeda McLarin, MBA • Jessie Muse

Skip Sander • Nadean Stone

Reunions magazine, Inc. (ISSN #1046-5s235), is published 4 times per year. Email correspondence, queries, requests, submissions to or send 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 and guarantee tear sheets of reviews and reprints.

Reunions magazine, Inc., is not liable for information presented as facts in any of our advertising, byline stories or materials. We reserve the right to edit and/or refuse any material submitted for publication. We take responsibility for submitted materials but unless accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE), submissions and photos will not be returned. All materials sent for publication become property of Reunions magazine, Inc. Advertising information contact Reunions magazine, Inc., PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211-0727 | 414-467-8104 |

© 2023 Reunions magazine, Inc.

Normandy High School Reunion, Agee Miller Mayo Dungy Family Reunion, Middleton Family Reunion, Burns Family Reunion and Amphibious Ships Reunion.

After a long hard winter, can spring be far behind? I truly look forward to a break from snow and subzero temperatures and a few of those joyous daffodils and tulips that will soon appear. I have hope!

I also have renewed hope for reunions which have taken a hit for the past three years. Fortunately, we were already a virtual publication in spring 2020 because since then, given the hit the hospitality industry/our advertisers/our bread and butter took, we’ve been operating on prayers! And as sorry as I am that we are no longer printing Reunions magazine, we are producing the issues so the information is still available in an accessible form. Now it’s a do-it-yourself printable. When you’re on any page of the magazine, there is an arrow at the upper left corner of the page. Click on the arrow and you can download and print your own pages! You can print the entire issue or just the pages you want to save. If you don’t have a color printer, a nearby quick print shop surely will!

While we’ve managed to fill issues from the beginning of the pandemic three years ago, this issue is the first time that our lack of submissions/contributions has affected the amount of content. We’ve heard from a number of planners who say they’re eager to see their reunions featured, but we know pulling it all together is not always easy. Understand that whatever you have

to offer about your reunion, we will work with what you send. We trust you’ll accurately include all the details you have and will spell all the names of people and places correctly. You should know that we polish everything we use and rarely use anything without asking questions to improve clarity. See suggestions on page 18.

We believe reunions are coming back stronger this year, if for no other reason than the number of upcoming reunions that are being reported. We urge you to add yours. Of course, we look forward to the addition of future reunions as soon as you have set a date.

In this issue

There are definitely many reports you’ll want to read. Starting with a 60th class reunion and all the way through to an amazing military reunion yearbook. Along the way we suggest two books, one a delightful novel about a class reunion and a reunion with a birthmother aided by DNA. By no means macabre, is a description of many activities a family reunion might want to consider for visiting a cemetery. Hospitality Answerman, Dean Miller, reliably offers many suggestions for helping you save money to make your reunion affordable. Do not overlook Reunion School, a list of upcoming reunion planning workshops you’ll want to consider to aid in your planning. We know reunion planners love nothing better than freebies so we’ve included suggestions to help. Okay, so nobody likes budgeting, but it’s a reunion essential, so we’ve included a discussion of that as well. Family reunions include suggestions for passing the planning torch to the next generation as well as a joyful cousins’ retreat.

If you’re inspired to include your story, we’ve already talked about that and encourage you to do so soon!

Happy spring and final reunion preparations for 2023! EW

Be in touch! Mail to Reunions magazine PO Box 11727 Milwaukee WI 53211-0727 call 414-263-4567 visit e-mail
Middleton Family Reunion

Lake County, Illinois is reunion-perfec t.

It’s time to reconnect – in-person – with the ones you love. Lake County is just north of Chicago and delivers the perfect backdrop to get together with your family again. Experience world-class attractions like Six Flags Great America, Hurricane Harbor Great Wolf Lodge. Enjoy beautiful landscapes with 75 lakes and beaches. Explore Forest Preserves, including Independence Grove, which provides ideal picnic locations with lots of activities to enjoy. There’s also wonderful dining, entertainment, hotels and resorts for your big event. In Lake County, Illinois, your reunion will be truly unforgettable.

Contact reunion expert, Kimberly Ghys, to start your planning!


We’re seniors, not old folks!

With names like Shirley, Sharon, Robert, and Edward, we had stood that April day, on the steps of Grant Elementary School in Tacoma, Washington, to have our kindergarten class picture taken. I still have the photograph gracing the wall of our den. It was 1944 and D-Day was just two months away. Fast forward 70 plus years. Six kindergarteners from that photo were among the attendees at Tacoma’s Stadium High School’s 60th class reunion.

A 60th high school reunion conjures up images of white-haired ladies sipping tea. I just came from a very special one. There were 512 in our 1956 class. Many have died of course, but there was a whooping 100 in attendance plus some 50 guests.

Our class has always had reunions every ten years. However, in the last twenty years, we have had both five and ten-year reunions. This year, rooms had been blocked out at The La Quinta for out-of-towners.

Many class members were still very active whether it was because of grandchildren or embarking upon a new career. Edie had just published a book; Larry was still practicing dentistry. Others have traveled.

The cocktail hour ran for two. Wine was served with dinner preceded by a champagne toast. In 1956 we were too young to drink. It was enjoyable walking around, taking a sly look at the name tags and catching up. Conversation was not about what we did in high school, but what we are doing now.

Compared to the tenth reunion, there was no talk about where you went to school, how

much money you were making, or what your zip code was. As someone pointed out, we were just so glad to be seeing our classmates “taking up space.” Someone would come up and give you a hug and you are wondering, now, who is this? It didn’t take long to find out. Name tags are indispensable!

As was the norm, the widows outnumbered the widowers. What surprised me was the abundance of grey hair. So many had decided to go au natural. And, maybe, just a

little Botox on one classmate …

There were eight of us to a table. When it came time for the buffet, wheelchairs went first in line. Surprisingly there was only one. The organizers had given us roast beef, salmon and chicken with numerous side dishes.

Of course, we had to sing the school song, “Old Gold and Blue.” Voices were a little wobbly compared to our high school days, but no one forgot the words! And, our college counselor Miss Sohlberg was in attendance at ninety-five years of age.

We were given a list of addresses and email addresses of some 250 surviving class members. Facebook requests are starting to pop up. They are a treat.

Our next meeting? Someone suggested a 70th reunion. We’d all be in our mid-eighties?

Oh my!

Shared by Wynne Crombie, Nicholasville, Kentucky.

1944 kindergarten class picture at Grant Elementary School in Tacoma, Washington. The author is third from the left in the back row. Janet Bonawits, Marilyn Jeter, Edith Ann Olds, (aka Edie Jones mentioned above). Carol Whiney, Thora Jean Hagen, Margaret Strachen, Wynne (Graham) Crombie. Larry Heggerness, MC

REVIEW: The Most Likely Club

TheMost Likely Club is a high school 25th reunion story that is relatable regardless of when you went to school. The book perfectly captures the nostalgia of high school and the years that transpire after high school into adulthood.

Melissa, Suki, Priya and Tara were best friends at Bellport Academy, a private school in a posh Connecticut hamlet, with the usual anytown USA teenagers. Each is mentioned in the senior class’s highly anticipated “Most Likely” list projecting amazing accomplishments including one ending up in the White House and one curing cancer. Then, like all of us, they go their disparate ways but stay in touch.

We follow three closely, the fourth whom we learn more about later, has achieved enormous success and moved to California.

Melissa is the reunion planner and convinces Priya and Tara to join her at the reunion. They find inspiration from their achievements and determine they must go after the goals set by their high school “Most Likely” predictions. Can they still achieve those things? This is a story of second chances as well as enduring friendship among women. I enjoyed each of the characters, and how different they are. Their struggles seemed realistic. They demonstrate that when life doesn’t go exactly as planned it’s never too late to turn your life in a new direction.

I recommend The Most Likely Club as a quick and breezy read and strongly suggest it for book club reading as well.

Look for The Most Likely Club as Reunions magazine March 2023 giveaway (

Reviewed by Edith Wagner, Editor of Reunions magazine.

50th reunion of


Class of 1970 Spring Branch High School, Spring Branch, Texas

Shared by Varsity Reunions,
Elementary feeder school pictures are always favorite displays at high school reunions. Yearbook pictures grace banquet centerpiece candles.

Top 10 reasons to attend your high school reunion!

Reason #10: Because you won’t know unless you go!

Reason #9: Some classmates are traveling thousands of miles to be there.

Reason #8: Do you want your yearbook picture to be the last thing they remember about you?

Reason #7: Few events offer the opportunity to go back in time and laugh like a teenager.

Reason #6: We’ll be rocking out to some awesome music from when we were in high school.

Reason #5: At a reunion, everyone shows up older, then grows young again.

Reason #4: Because you can’t share a hug or a laugh on Facebook.

Reason #3: It’s not about who you were then. It’s about who you are now.

Reason #2: It’s more fun to relive memories with those you shared them with.

Reason #1: Someone there is hoping to see you!

Shared by Cyndi Clamp of Varsity Reunions;

Reunion of Class of 1977 of Normandy High School, St Louis, Missouri.

REVIEW: No Stone Unturned: A Remarkable Journey to Identity

by Nadean Stone, MBA, CLM (2021, published by Nadean Stone, 269 pages, $19.95; available on

Between 1945 and 1973, about 350,000 unmarried Canadian mothers were persuaded, coerced, or forced into placing their babies for adoption. Many babies were illegally given away, like a puppy at the pound, for a nominal donation to the church. On Christmas Eve, 1952 Nadean Stone was one of those babies. From the moment her grandmother shared the story of her adoption, her birthday wish every year was to find her mother.

The current law in Ontario, Canada, only permits legally adopted persons to access their birth registration records. Persons who were simply given away or whose adoption records were not perfectly executed are denied access to their records.

In 2013, Stone increased her search efforts with an intense focus on DNA which became her only source of hope. She tested with 23andMe and Ancestry. A DNA genetic genealogist, Olivia, found her post on a Canadian adoption website in February 2017 and offered to assist. Olivia downloaded Stone’s DNA information to Gedmatch, a website designed to assist adoptees. Olivia provided a quick primer on centimorgans, DNA, SNP’s, haplogroups, and how to review and understand the connections with new 3rd and 4th “cousins.” Many of Stone’s 150 “cousins” became invested in the search. Email addresses and telephone numbers, created a “Village of Cousins” to help “the baby find her mother.”

Stone’s interesting and sometimes harrowing life story dominates the first part of the book. But beginning at Chapter 28 on page 181 the search is on where it chronicles the use of DNA to find Stone’s birth parents. In sharing her journey, Stone says her goal is to inspire readers to find faith, hope and the courage to persevere, despite the odds. To continue to dream. To never, ever give up! She created a Birth Search Directory on her website ( to assist adoptees in their search. In July 2018 she filed a petition with the UN Commission on the Rights of the Child illuminating numerous Articles of the UN Convention that the Province of Ontario has violated in its treatment of illegally adopted children. To access Birth Search Resources in Ontario, Canada, click here. Also see video!

What would you do if you were given away?

DNA Quest united adoptees with birth families

MyHeritage DNA Quest offered a pro bono project to reunite adoptees with their birth families using DNA testing. Melvin Gray found the daughter of his long-lost daughter and a brother who was living a 10-minute walk away. Melvin, 61, lives in Kansas. He was adopted when he was 4 by a woman who herself was adopted so he knew nothing about his roots.

When he was 17, his girlfriend got pregnant and gave birth to a daughter. He wanted to marry, but the girlfriend’s parents forced him to sign the adoption papers.

Then he enlisted in the military and served many years in the Far East, the Middle East, Iraq twice, Kuwait twice and in Europe. He did eventually start a family and now has three wonderful children, four grandchildren, and a wife who made life mostly complete. However, there was a hole in his heart for the missing daughter. He left a note in his daughters’ adoption file but never heard from her.

When he saw MyHeritage’s pro bono project to help adoptees, he decided he had nothing to lose. After he received the results, he

signed into the account and found a match with a granddaughter!

It was clear this was the daughter of his daughter who was placed for adoption! He sent messages but it took a month until she saw them. They talked a lot and decided to meet. They lived about a 45-minute drive apart and met halfway at a coffee shop. The meeting was very exciting, one he had been waiting for for many years. There he learned his daughter had died several years earlier. This meeting has since become a strong bond between grandfather and granddaughter. They maintain a great relationship, meet and talk as often as they can, and have been celebrating every possible holiday together ever since.

One discovery leads to another

Melvin’s daughter continued looking for information since he and his mother were both adopted. She discovered a brother he did not know about and sent him a message on social media. The brother lived just 8 blocks away. When they first met in person, the similarities were astonishing. The brothers have mutual friends and hung out in the same places.


Great graveyard get-togethers


cemeteries, parish burial grounds and community graveyards are excellent locations for family reunions or as sites for reunion activities. What other places have such direct ties to a family’s history or monuments memorializing its members? Following is a list of possible program and project ideas for a graveyard get-together that’s sure to interest and intrigue reunion members.


Whether led by a local clergy or family layperson, a memorial service is a wonderful way to commemorate and pay tribute to family members who have passed. It can bring the group together as a community and highlight family traditions and achievements while expressing thankfulness for those who came before and those gathered together for the reunion.


Most cemeteries and graveyards are well-maintained, but interested family members can pay respect to ancestors by mowing the grass, trimming, raking, weeding or picking up branches and trash. It may be an opportunity to plant flowers, shrubs or to lay memorial wreaths on graves and monuments.


There is always a cemetery corner or open area where blankets and chairs can be set up to enjoy a picnic meal together in the tradition of Victorian ancestors who often visited and picnicked in cemeteries alongside former family members. Socializing with food, especially traditional family favorites, is always a popular reunion activity and the setting is both unique and memorable.

A guided cemetery tour or planned walkabout, with information about cemetery history, monuments and the family members they memorialize, is an informative way to introduce descendants to their forebears. Highlight important moments in forebears’ lives and family history.

This activity would focus on one particular ancestor, perhaps a founding family member, a pioneer settler, a little-known kinsman or a well-known relative. Highlight details about the life and accomplishments as well as add a tangible tribute like flowers or memory stones to honor the final resting place. This is also a good opportunity for a family fundraiser, whether as a particular activity or a simple collection jar for placement of a gravestone where none might exist or maintenance, repair or replacement of a surviving monument.

Prepare a list of clues in advance that lead to answers found within or within view of the graveyard. Family-related clues can range from the basic “find this” instruction to more challenging levels of play involving puzzles, riddles and other brainteasers to partial photo hints and age calculation questions. A record sheet for each participant or team is needed to rate performance and determine winners. Rules of play, including a set time limit, should be set.

7. Tombstone tag

Unlike the familiar children’s running game, this challenge sends people to identify and match, or “tag,” index cards containing biographical facts or stories or even photos with the correct corresponding ancestral monument. This game can be played individually or in teams. Points are awarded for correctly tagging the monument with the card. Cards need to be prepared in advance and could also be laminated for repeated or future use. It’s a fun activity with lots of opportunity for learning family history, folklore, and trivia.

8. Social Media post challenge

Challenge every visitor to take an unusual selfie within the cemetery. Someone may pose by the memorial of a direct ancestor or with the monument of a relative with the same name or birthdate. Photos and related captions can be shared to a wider audience on a personal social media page or a family or reunion social media forum. It’s a great way to memorialize the event and encourage future family gatherings.

9. Photo art contest

Everybody loves to play photographer and here’s another chance. With digital cameras or phones, have graveyard visitors take photos in the cemetery using unique angles, interesting subjects and artistic framing. Inscriptions, engravings, statuary, flowers or anything connected to a family-related grave or plot is fair game. Winners can be announced at a later date in a family newsletter or post-reunion message. Any really impressive photographic entries could be turned into souvenirs like calendars, cards, t-shirts or framed artwork for the next reunion or for fundraisers.

10. Grave dowsing

Why not try something a little different? Grave dowsing or divining is an age-old tradition with a complicated history. It is hotly debated whether it is a science or a superstition, but great fun and entertainment nonetheless. Two L-shaped wire rods or a Y-shaped piece of wood is all that is needed with a little simple instruction, of

Memorial Service Cemetery clean-up Family picnic 4. Tombstone tour 5. Ancestor tribute 6. Scavenger hunt The tombstone tag cards were in Laurentian View Cemetery in Petawawa, Ontario, Canada.

course. There are several YouTube videos and online resources that explain how to easily build and use the rods and how to check for burials, both marked and unmarked. There are even ways to identify if a burial is for a male or female or an adult or child. Alternatively, you could employ an experienced dowser to demonstrate and to coach others. Just imagine the excitement when someone confirms a known burial or discovers a previously unidentified interment.


Forethought, planning and preparation are paramount to the success of any program or project. Permission for any use of property should be obtained in advance from the appropriate municipality, church or private land owner. Brief reminders of cemetery rules and etiquette, explained before the commencement of any activities, will prevent unpleasant or unexpected occurrences. With proper groundwork and energetic presentation, your graveyard get-together is going to be successful!

About the author

Robbie Gorr, BA, BEd, of Petawawa, Ontario, Canada, is a retired teacher with a lifelong interest in genealogy and local history. He has attended some very good reunions over the years. He now works as a freelance writer and is a regular contributor to Internet Genealogy and History Magazine among others.

St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery in Petawawa, Ontario.
Rosebank Cemetery located in rural Admaston Township, Renfrew County, Ontario, Canada.

Being a part of something important – to you and others

Westrive to work towards something larger than ourselves and to live a life that provides health and security for our own family and for future generations. As I travel, listen, and meet people, I’m inspired by how much people do for others. There are so many examples…

For example, the effort it takes to scan, transcribe, and index countless historical records. Many people involved in genealogy and family history research don’t consider how all this became available on the internet. By speaking with your genealogical or historical society, library, museum, archivist, … volunteers, you realize that the work was done by people who do good helping strangers. It’s really quite wonderful.

Why do we do it?

Over the past several years, my company, Vivid-Pix, has strived to give and say thank you by supporting countless not-for-profit organizations in the genealogy and family history spaces. We will continue these activities and embark on a few more projects…

I live in Charleston, South Carolina, a lovely place with warm weather and warmer hospitality. Like most things in life, there are good and bad things about our community. Charleston used to be the wealthiest city in the United States. This distinction came with a priceless cost – over 50 percent of all slaves brought to America came through Charleston’s ports. While we cannot change the past, we can make a better future.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, the Middleton family was one of the most influential families in Charleston and the country. Their lineage had good and bad aspects, but I like to see the good in people. A signer of the Declaration of Independence, they created the Middleton Place Foundation, which since 2006 has held family reunions at Middleton Place for people descended from both European Middletons and the African-American people they enslaved. Most recently, The Middleton Scholars Education Assistance Fund has created a scholarship program for descendants of African-Americans once enslaved by members of the Middleton family.

At this reunion, there is education, sharing and most importantly, healing. While listening to descendants’ stories as we scanned and restored family heirlooms, one family’s story stood out to me – having traveled across the country from Berkeley, California. A wonderful lady, her sister, and 17-year-old daughter shared their story and plans for the future. They shared a story of optimism and plans to pursue a medical career… in hopes of doing good for others and being part of something bigger than herself.

Shared by Rick Voight, Publisher of Reunions magazine. Sunday prayer service at Middleton Oak led by Pastor Kylon J. Middleton of Mount Zion AME Church, Charleston, South Carolina. Middleton Reunion invited family members to bring photos and documents. The Vivid-Pix Memory Station was used to scan and improve them. Original and improved images were provided to the family member and placed into Middleton Place archives. Persons (left to right) Rob Dahlman, Maya Middleton-Pearson, Patricia Middleton, Alicia Middleton and Rick Voight.
Middleton Family Reunion Photographer Rick Rhodes operates drone taking aerial picture of Middleton Family Reunion.

ThisScrapbook section of Reunions magazine is intended to contain a potpourri of information we find and collect that we feel might be useful to reunion planners. Reunion School, a list of in-person and online workshops, has long been a part of this section, as has Hospitality Answerman by Dean Miller. Other items we find or are submitted for consideration. We invite you to submit things you have found useful as you plan your reunion for us to share with other planners. We will always credit the sender unless you ask us not to. Please include your name, the name of your reunion, the city and state where you live and how we can contact you in case we have questions.

We hope reunion planning workshops will come back soon in many places. Many have been held as conference calls and zoom meetings since 2020 and that may continue. This list is provided as a service to reunion planners. Basic listings are free to workshop hosts. These are exciting opportunities for planners to learn how to organize reunions. The workshops are ideal for beginners and experienced reunion planners looking for fresh, new ideas. Check workshops online for current listings.

March 4, 2023 11AM CST/12PM EST


The virtual session is scheduled for 60 minutes.


March 11, 2023 9:30 AM-1:00PM


Sponsored by Visit Sandy Springs, Discover Dunwoody, Cobb Travel & Tourism, Explore Brookhaven at Sonesta Atlanta Northwest Galleria. Contact Myriam Hysa, 770-206-1445,


April 1, 2023 11AM CST/12PM EST


The virtual session is scheduled for 60 minutes.


April 15, 2023 10AM - 12PM


Want to plan an AWESOME reunion in Alpharetta? Don’t know where to begin? Worry no more; we are here to help!

Location: Preston Ridge Community Center, 3655 Preston Ridge Road Ste 100, Alpharetta GA 30005


See destination video: yCvX3vq4

April 29, 2023 12-2PM EST


This free virtual workshop covers topics of interest to reunion planners. Register:;

May 6, 2023 11AM CST/12PM EST


The virtual session is scheduled for 60 minutes. Register:

June 23 – 26, 2023



Niagara Falls NY. Registration includes overnight accommodations, group meals and conference resource materials. wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Summit-Reg-Form-2023.pdf

July 8, 2023 11AM CST/12PM EST


The virtual session is scheduled for 60 minutes. Register:



The Site Inspection – an important part of any successful reunion

Q:My sister and I are planning our reunion for next year (2024), and we can’t believe the prices we’re being quoted for hotel rooms, catering (both in the hotel and at local restaurants), and for a bus to take everyone sightseeing. Is there anything you can recommend to help us out here? If we can’t keep the cost of attending to an amount that everyone in the family can afford, we may have to cancel the reunion!

A:Well, the very first thing I would recommend is that you don’t cancel the reunion, even if the cost is more than what you’d originally budgeted. The joy of having everyone get together and the memories you’ll be creating will be far more important to your family than the fact that you all had to spend a little extra. Six months or a year later, everyone will remember the wonderful time that they had; no one will really remember (or care) about the rate they paid for their hotel room. There’s no question that prices for lodging, food, and many other things have gone up since the end of the pandemic. That said, there are a number of specific things you can do to help keep your costs down while planning your gathering. Here are twelve things you can do that will result in significant savings. All of them may not apply to your reunion, but some of them definitely will!

In your preliminary planning:

Contact the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) in the cities where you’re thinking of meeting. Ask them to provide a list of the “value dates” for getting together in their city. They can steer you away from dates when there are large events taking place (conventions, sports tournaments, festivals, etc.) that will push up the cost of hotel rooms.

Consider hotels in suburban corporate office park locations. They are frequently far less busy on weekends and in the summer months, and can offer significant discounts at those times. Frequently, parking at these properties will be free or discounted, as well.

Likewise, consider hotels which have microwave ovens and refrigerators in all their rooms. This will allow folks to purchase snacks, beverages, and sandwiches at a local supermarket, eliminating the need to eat every meal out. This can be especially helpful for families with young children.

When planning a meal at your hotel:

Ask the hotel to include the cost of breakfast in your room rate, if they don’t already offer breakfast as an amenity to all guests. This will likely be less expensive than the cost of the room and breakfast in the hotel restaurant, if purchased separately.

Schedule at least one catered meal (a lunch, brunch, or dinner) in the hotel. This will make it much easier for the hotel to offer you a hospitality room without charge for the length of your reunion.

For your catered meal, give the hotel a per person budget you’re looking to stick to, and let them customize a menu that meets this amount. They can do simple things like reducing the portion size (a lunch-size entrée rather than a dinner size-entrée), serving “in season” items, or serving a simpler dessert, to help you keep within your budget. Likewise, ask the hotel for a reduced per person price for children.

Many hotels will allow you to bring in pre-packaged snacks, sodas, and bottled water (but not alcoholic beverages) for your hospitality

room, without charge, if you ask. Make sure this is noted in your contract with the hotel. This will be far less expensive than purchasing sodas and snacks from the hotel.

When contacting the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB):

Ask the CVB to provide a list of the local attractions that are free, discounted, or reasonably priced. Many cities have museums, art galleries, zoos, historic sites, and other attractions that are absolutely free!

Likewise, check with the CVB to see if discounts, coupons, or special offers are available for local restaurants, stores, shows, and sightseeing. Many CVBs now offer apps which you can download to your cell phone, providing you with a variety of special offers and discounts.

Many CVBs can recommend local speakers, musicians or other entertainers who are willing to come speak to/entertain your group without charge, or for a nominal fee. Many colleges likewise have speakers’ bureaus and/or student musicians who you can call upon.

Publicly-operated playgrounds, water parks and recreation facilities are many times a less expensive alternative to commerciallyrun establishments. Ask the CVB about local facilities that your group might enjoy visiting.

And finally:

Many hotels now have video display boards in their lobbies, and will gladly place a slide with a photo and/or the name of your reunion group on the display board without charge, if you ask. This is far easier and less expensive than having a traditional banner produced and hung.

Hope you all have a great reunion … please be sure to send us some photos!

About the Hospitality Answerman

Dean Miller, national sales director for Visit Fairfax (, the convention and visitors bureau in Fairfax County, Virginia, is a great friend of reunions. Contact him (; 703-790-0643) when you are planning a reunion in the Washington, DC, area. Fairfax County is nearby, affordable, and conveniently located to all the area has to offer.

SCRAPBOOK What is your question for Dean Miller, Hospitality Answerman? Send to

It’s bound to happen! On December 27, 2022 the clue for the opening puzzle on Wheel of Fortune was an event.



There’s nothing reunion planners like more than freebies. So, we’ve endeavored to collect as many freebies as we can and are always looking for more. If you know of any to share with other planners, please don’t keep it a secret: we’d love to add more to our lists.

Explore the substantial freebie section on our website. There are freebies from Reunions magazine, dozens of freebies from other sources, and a list of free travel information from around the country.

The free stuff from Reunions magazine includes printable planning forms illustrated in Reunion Planners Notebook, planning podcasts, planning timetables, links to giveaways, list of free workshops, evaluation forms, leads for stuff to fill goodie bags and sources for free rooms for planners.

Our treasure trove of freebies from other

sources is way too long to list here, but these are some of what you’ll find; planning kits and reunion planning materials from other sources, activities for adults and kids, genealogy and health sources including some with speakers who can come to your reunion, travel and touring ideas and much, much more.

If you know of more freebies that would be helpful to reunions, please send to But wait! There’s more!

We also offer three more giveaways to help you plan and stage your reunion. A quick fact sheet called Hot Reunion Tips For Reunion Success is a chronological list of ideas and facts to keep in mind as you’re planning your reunion. It’s helpful for new planners or committee members to follow in the time leading up to your reunion and for

Because there’s nothing reunion planners like more than freebies, we’ve compiled a long list of items and services you can access without cost to help plan and stage your reunion. We urge you to add to the list if/ when you find something that can be of use to other reunion planners!

Finally, we offer last minute games that include several icebreakers and games you can assemble fairly easily if you find you don’t have enough activities to engage your members.

All of these are free for the asking. Simply email, specify which giveaway you’d like and we’ll email it to you.

Reunion Day.

Calling all reunion scribes!

You’re the expert about your reunion whether you’re the planner or a regular participant. You know what’s unique about your group and you’re proud to be a part of it. You want to celebrate with lots of others and sing it from the roof tops — so tell it in Reunions magazine. All you have to do is write a report or story and include all the details you think are important and special about your family, class, military or other group. We want to learn about it and share it with others who are thinking about or planning their reunion and can learn from your experience.

We do not judge your writing, but we do edit everything we use. If you submit something and say we can’t touch a word of it, we’ll send it right back because we reserve the right to polish everything we use. We have never had a complaint about our editing and until we do, we will continue to consider it a part of our duty to make the best, most enjoyable reading we can for our audience. Make it as long or as short as you want. We do ask that you make sure all names of people and places are spelled correctly.

If there is something very special you’ve done and you want to acknowledge that, feel free. We want to learn about it. Perhaps your historian or a genealogist has made a special presentation or you’ve invented a new game, contest or tournament other

reunions might enjoy or you have special workshops other reunions might learn from. Share them!

Think about how you want us to illustrate your submission. Add pictures and videos, of course. Speaking of pictures, we frequently receive very colorful descriptions of a groaning board or potluck of food that leaves our mouths watering. Don’t just describe it: take pictures!

Pictures and videos must be yours and you authorize us to use. Send high resolution pictures (250KB or higher, if digital, and 300 dpi, if scanned). Please send videos as an . mp4, .mov, or .wmv video file via www. (a free transfer service that allows up to 2GB to be sent). If you’re sending your large group picture, we only need to know the name of the reunion. If you share

pictures of smaller groups (say two to maybe 8 people max), please identify them, left to right and add children’s ages.

The best time to write a report is right after your reunion when you are still high on the success, the adrenaline is raging and memories are fresh. It’s also when you can most easily get help from other attendees (either their ideas and/or photos and videos when they’re still at everyone’s finger tips.)

Feel free to ask questions. Send your stories, pictures, videos and questions to Edith Wagner at We will acknowledge receipt and estimate when you might see your report in an issue. It’s a fun way to celebrate the hard work of planning and staging your reunion and its many members. We look forward to learning about you and your reunion!

I’m often asked: how can I get my reunion in Reunions magazine?
Agee Miller Mayo Dungy Family Reunion in Cumberland County, Virginia Welcome reception, Amphibious Ships reunion in Annapolis, Maryland.


Theword budget does not generate excitement. In fact, if anything, for most of us it generates dread. But a well-developed, thoughtful reunion budget is essential for a well-organized reunion. Both income and expenses are serious considerations, but until you get started, both can be mysteries. Start out by imagining what you want your reunion to include and look like. But, be aware, as you explore costs and prices, your wants and needs may have to change. A budget should never be set in stone, but rather be seen as fluid and subject to change at any time.

Designate someone as treasurer or keeper of the budget who will stay on top of details, income and expenditures, so that at any moment you know exactly where your finances stand. Also establish a system for requesting and distributing funds. Requests are best made in writing to aid in your record keeping. There are many examples online of budgets so you can also share details with other officers or committee members at any time.

Also keep in mind that you should include a budget report as a

part of the business meeting at your reunion. And if your family is like most families, one of the first questions you’ll get is “tell me how you used my contribution.”

Once all the potential expenses are determined and prices known for each, how to pay for them becomes the serious consideration.

A reunion is a special undertaking which, unless any or all expenses are a gift, a budget is required to determine how much every member will contribute. Some family reunions have a charge per family and some per person. Within those decisions, there will be variations. For example, children under a designated age may be free as will elders over a designated age, thus they will be guests of the entire family. For class and military reunions, costs are for individuals or couples since attendance is usually one or two people, not a larger group.

The budget pages illustrated here may not include all the details you need, but touch on the most common reunion expenses and sources of income. These pages are available for you to copy or print out from Reunion Planners Notebook (pages 7-9).

INCOME In kind* estimate actual Membership dues Fees Online registration (% of charge) Fundraising Donations/contributions Sales T-shirts/caps/totes Mementoes/keepsakes Photos/videos/CDs Cookbooks Food/beverages Tours Auction/raffle Volunteers Other *volunteer time, donated goods or services TOTAL INCOME $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 REUNION BUDGET Reunion Date _________________ Contact _________________________________________________________________________ Reunion Name _____________________________________ Budget forms continued on page 20


SCRAPBOOK Budget forms continued from page 19

Auction/raffle Volunteers


*volunteer time, donated goods or services TOTAL


Pre reunion expenses

Bank fees

Communication Long distance/fax/email/web





Online/web expenses

Down payments /deposits


Printing; mailings, programs (# of mailings x # on mail list)


Picnic site rental

Rentals; A/V, tents, bounce house


Food Photographer/videographer

Motorcoach for tours

Mementoes, t-shirts

Printing (newsletters, program … )



Name tags



Activity expenses (crafts, Awards; plaques, certificates, trophies, prizes, other awards

Program and other special handouts

Picnic supplies


Reunion day expenses


Meals (# days x # meals) Transportation:

20 REUNIONS v – 1 –4.1 - 1
$0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Rides to/from airport

Program and other special handouts

Picnic supplies


Reunion day expenses


Meals (# days x # meals)

Transportation: Rides to/from airport

Motorcoach for touring


DJ, band or professional story teller

Post reunion expenses

Printing; reunion report/newsletter


Post reunion expenses

Printing; reunion report/newsletter


© 2016 Reunions magazine

These pages are from Reunion Planners Notebook (

Separate printable pages are free at

© 2016 Reunions magazine

© 2023 Reunions magazine

These pages are from Reunion Planners Notebook (

Separate printable pages are free at

© 2023 Reunions magazine

Tips/gratuities Taxes Other
Postage Pictures, videos Other TOTAL EXPENSES $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 NET INCOME $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
– 2 –
Taxes Other
Other TOTAL EXPENSES $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 NET INCOME $0.00 $0.00 $0.00

Reunion planning on Social Media

The form on the facing page was developed to make navigation of our website and Pinterest page much easier. You will find a small version of this form at the bottom of most of our interior web pages. Just click to enlarge it for easier reading and navigation. In fact, print a copy to have at your fingertips when wondering how to easily find things on our web and Pinterest pages.

Choose a subject, ask a question, explore. You can click right to the answer you’re looking for. The top portion of the page is links to our website. Down below are links to boards on our Pinterest page.

Now about the top half of the page: our web page. The left column links to important sections for you to explore. There is a listing of upcoming reunions, and if your reunion is not already on the list, you can add it. Listen to planning podcasts online or on the go. Reunion Resources include detailed descriptions of places eager to host and serve your reunion. An updated and growing list of reunion planning workshops can be easily accessed, as can a long list of free stuff for reunions. Back issues contain many years of Reunions magazines with useful and entertaining information from many reunions over many years. Keep in mind reunion information is never really dated and what was successful at someone else’s


reunion in the past may well inspire you for a future event. Sit back, enjoy the stories, suggestions and experiences of others and flatter them by copying their successes.

The middle column includes steps for getting your reunion started. Some of the early steps that seem obvious can always use some additional help and insights. A detailed timetable can set your expectations and keep you on track because you need to consider all the possibilities as you plan, to ensure a successful reunion. Governance suggests that you not plan alone, but have a team to help divvy up the responsibilities. Getting the word out is essential in making sure everyone knows necessary details such as when to go where, how much they need to contribute and what’s expected of them. Starting as simple as an early save-the-date card can alert everyone to reserve the date and look for what follows.

Paying for your reunion is a significant step unto itself. Is the reunion a gift from one or more family members or is everyone going to pitch in their share as designated by the planners? You can only know what the reunion is going to cost once you’ve explored prices for what you want to include and divide it among the number of people who will be included. Registration is essential even for a small reunion because

you set out the requirements and members make the commitment.

While there are many similarities in all reunions, there are also significant differences. Class reunions generally do not meet annually, while military and family reunions are more likely to. Class and military reunions include members who are generally around the same age and stage in life, while family reunions include members from birth to advanced age, which require very different considerations.

The third column and list for family reunions can be useful to people planning other reunions as well. So on the list for family reunions are activities, food, games, ice breakers, themes, toasts, speeches & dedications and wrapping up your reunion (evaluation) which can be useful to all planners. We suggest you explore all of these categories and we invite you to add your ideas as well. The remaining items are clearly directed to family reunions and expand their programming possibilities.

Pinterest boards expand upon all the website subjects and are, as Pinterest demonstrates, ideas from many sources.

We are always open to suggestions and contributions so feel free to to share your discoveries and ideas which we, of course, will pass on to others.

SCRAPBOOK Who doesn’t look forward to the wide array of wonderful smells and tastes of reunion potlucks, picnics and banquets? Do these pictures remind you of wonderful memories and make your mouth water? Add these to why you can’t wait for your next reunion!

Passing the torch

Therecomes a time when every longtime family reunion planner will ask: How do I engage the younger generations in reunion planning? For several years now, my family has been preparing our 3G (third generation) to take over many of the duties for organizing our ALAFFFA (Abbott, Lizanov, Alzo, Figlar, Figlar, Figlar, Augenstein) reunion. As we prepare for our 56th reunion in July, how to pass the torch is a major point of discussion for our family reunion committee. If you are in a similar position, let’s discuss ways to ensure continuity in reunion planning through the generations.

1. Assign tasks. Involve younger family members in the planning process by assigning tasks and giving them decision-making power. For example, have them plan the menu. A few years ago, our 3G members took over organizing the main meal for our reunion (lunch) by trying something new — a taco bar. It was a big hit and we are doing it again this year. Any budding photographers or videographers in your group? Put them in charge of a photo scanning project or taking photos and videos during the event.

2. Utilize technology. Let’s face it, most Generation Z (Gen Z) and Millennials use their devices and apps for chatting/messaging or social media. It is often a challenge to reach them by email or phone call. Make it a point to communicate with them in their preferred method to keep them updated on the planning process.

3. Ask them! Seek input and ideas for activities or events they would like to schedule at the reunion. Make sure to include activities and events that cater to different age groups, so everyone can participate and have fun. Games such as cornhole, bingo or cards, trivia contests, and karaoke are popular at our reunions.

4. Encourage leadership. Discuss how younger members can take on leadership roles to take ownership of reunion planning. Include them in Zoom meetings or conference calls throughout the year. For years, our family has found that designating a committee of a few folks who get together regularly to help organize each year’s event worked best. The committee is open to anyone who wishes to join, coming and going as availability allows. During the first planning meeting, the organizer reminds everyone who is interested to join. A special call is issued to 3G members recognizing that they have the talent needed to find new and creative ways to enjoy our annual family reunion going forward.

5. Build excitement. Make reunion planning fun, create a sense of anticipation and build excitement leading up to the event. Perhaps a series of appropriately spaced emails (3 months to reunion, 2 months, one month, two weeks, one week, etc.) with

favorite reunion photos from previous years. Include teasers about what will be happening this year to help generate enthusiasm for both the planning committee and attendance.

6. Strengthen family bonds at the reunion and beyond. Provide opportunities at the reunion for younger members to bond with previous generations and create new memories. Perhaps schedule a story circle or have a younger member at each table where others, not from their immediate family, are sitting. Include photographs or a list of questions to get family members talking and ask permission to audio or video record the responses. Some sample questions include: “What are your earliest childhood memories,” or “Where is the farthest place you’ve traveled” or “Where was your favorite family vacation?” Get a free download “10 Conversation Starters for Your Family Reunion.”

7. Be patient. Keep in mind that younger generations may have different interests and priorities than older generations, so it’s important to be flexible and accommodating to their suggestions. It may take a reunion cycle or two to adjust to the changes. Be sure to include a feedback form at the end of the reunion or a follow up email after the reunion.

8. Show up and let go. Avoid the “We’ve always done it this way” attitude. Times change. Families change. Your venue, duration, and type of reunion may also need to evolve. But the one thing that should be constant is the “Why” of the reunion. In the end, what truly matters is time spent together. Let the next generation find their own stride. Be supportive by showing up and participating in the fun.

In the end, our ALAFFFA attendees recognize how wonderful it is to be a member of a special family that plans to get together every year. In the 55+ years we’ve been doing this, we’ve grown in number and now cover a wide range of ages and interests and ideas that are spanning several generations. Our goal is to continue to make our reunion the one event that everyone looks forward to every year and ensure attendees leave happy and proud to be a part of such a GREAT FAMILY. The way to ensure this is to pass the family reunion flame to the next generations.

A taco bar is an easy lunch menu item that has become popular at the ALAFFFA family reunion. Photo by Chad Montano on Unsplash. The ALAFFFA Family Reunion on the cover of Reunions magazine, December 2002/January 2003. Many of the young members in this photograph are now taking on reunion planning roles to preserve the family tradition. Conversation starters help build bonds between generations.


Lisa Alzo has been surrounded by family at their 55+ year running reunion and walks in her ancestors’ footsteps, literally and figuratively, as a genealogist, lecturer and writer. Author of 11 books and countless newspaper and magazine article, Lisa earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Creative Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh. She works as a writing coach and online educator through her website Research Write Connect.

Quick Participation Ideas

These are a few ideas our younger family members are taking an active role in implementing for our 2023 reunions. Perhaps these can work for your family reunion as well.

Y Organize a group picture, early in the day after everyone arrives.

Y Create a general agenda for the day to ensure everyone has the opportunity to participate in any planned activities.

Y Guide planned activities. One or two younger members can serve as hosts or guides to make sure there is time for the whole group to spend together eating a meal, playing a game, or recognizing special events tor milestones that happened throughout the year.

Y Spearhead creative ways to encourage more engagement and participation from everyone both in preparation and during the annual event.

Y Digitize family photographs and movies. For tips, see the article on “Turn a family reunion into a family history scanning party” in the June 2022 issue of Reunions magazine


Burns Family Reunion

Dedicated to Earnest Burns, Charles Burns Sr., and Odessa Banks.

My father was very giving. I remember watching him give back to his family, community, basically everyone around him. If you came to our home, you had to eat, there was no way you would leave without a meal. He gave back in so many ways. Even though he only had a high school education, he managed to start his own company. While managing that company, he instilled in us the importance of family, being there for each other and providing support no matter what. As a kid, I remember my father telling us to “always respect your elders, even if you think they are wrong.” He also told us to never embarrass him or the Burns family name, “you are a Burns, don’t forget it.”

I got involved with our family reunions back in 2007. Back then it was a small gathering of approximately 40-50 people. We met in my cousin Odessa Banks’ yard in Moorhead, Mississippi. Since 2007, our reunions have vastly grown. The 2022 reunion included 210 participants. It was a bonding experience like no other.

In 2022 we decided that it had been too long since we last saw each other in 2017. Since COVID, everyone has been on high alert. We were really wondering if it would be safe for such a large gathering. Finally, the decision was made to move forward with a 2022 reunion. We decided to gather for two days instead of our traditional three. Several family members had passed on since 2017 and a few family members are ailing with health conditions. My motto is “why put off for tomorrow what can and should

be done today; for tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone.” We finally decided to move forward with a reunion in July.

We decided to hold the reunion in Cleveland, Mississippi, a central gathering place for the majority of the Burns family. Although there really isn’t much to do in Cleveland, it didn’t matter because everyone just wanted to see each other. Since it had been so long between reunions, we created a committee that consisted of myself, Ashley Jones, Terrilyn Brown and Terri Bentley.

For planning, we had numerous Zoom meetings, group text messages, and weekend phone calls. We set dates, established dues

Burns family elders

Photo by Ralph’s Photography. JB Burns, center, with his children and his grandchildren. Photo by Ralph’s Photography. Photo by Ralph’s Photography.

(set low as it was a late plan and we just wanted everyone to show up), designed shirts, selected activities, decorations, etc. It was extremely timeconsuming, but very rewarding. As it’s often extremely hot during summer in the south, this year we decided to hire a caterer instead of cooking.

The reunion began Friday night with a Meet and Greet. Everyone was asked to wear their favorite sports team attire. The night included an activity of ‘Get to Know Me.’ Family members were asked to sit at tables by birth month and encouraged to share birthday information, as well as any other pertinent information about themselves in hopes that there would be similarities. My most memorable part of this day was seeing the oldest female family member, Theresa Johnson (73 years young), line dance with teenagers, dancing better than them and me!

Saturday consisted of a BBQ/ Picnic during the day and banquet dinner that evening; yes, that same evening! Of course, committee members were extremely tired, but we pressed on. The BBQ/Picnic included fun outdoor activities for the kids like water slides, water balloon toss, lots of candy, snacks, chips, etc. Meanwhile, the adults stayed inside and played Bingo for prizes. (I love sales and I have a shopping habit which Amazon has made worse. Bath and Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, you name it; if it’s on sale I usually purchase it and save the items as prizes).

Saturday night was a dress up dinner banquet with everyone in their finest attire. The evening began with a prayer delivered by Stanley Easley. Then we were blessed with several songs by a local

gospel group featuring one of my high school classmates, Denise Mitchell. Denise has been an adopted member of the Burns family for as long as I can remember. I can’t recall if we adopted her, or she adopted us! There was a tremendous amount of love and unity on display. The evening culminated with a talent show, a performance by a local Blues artist, a rap performance, and dancing.

The evening concluded with a candle lighting ceremony in memory of those who have left us since the last reunion. We wrapped up with acknowledgments of the following family members and presented them with plaques and a box of candy:

Theresa Johnson – The Oldest Female of the Family, 73 years young Louzarus (Candy) Burns – The Oldest Male, 88 years young JD & Ruby Burns – The Longest Married Couple, 54 years

Jesse & Marie Easley – The almost Longest Married Couples, 53 years Martha Lancaster – Technology Savvy Oldest, 71 years young JB Burns – Family Historian

A few family members felt as though waiting an entire year to see each other was too long. Following the reunion, we created ‘Cousins’ Getaway,’ inspired to establish a cousins’ weekend. It is an opportunity to connect with other cousins at a designated location and simply relax and have fun. We just completed our first ‘Cousins’ Getaway’ in Northern California. Eleven people gathered for the weekend and we had an amazing time.

From my perspective, every reunion continues to grow with members; every single one is better than the last. Each year the committee members, usually out of frustration, will typically say, “This is it; this is our last year having a reunion!” Trying to plan an event for approximately 200 people is exhausting, yet rewarding. This year, the feedback from several family members was “the best one yet; truly a reunion to remember!”

Burns Family Reunion Committee members, Ashley Jones, Almeda McLarin, Terri Bentley and Terrilyn Brown. Photo by Ralph’s Photography. Burns kiddos enjoying a water slice! Photo by Ralph’s Photography.
Cousins Almeda McLarin and Emman Gerord.

Burns Cousins Weekend Retreat

The October cousins’ weekend retreat started on a Wednesday, with the night arrival of three cousins from Nantucket, Massachusetts, followed by the rest of the arrivals the following day. On Wednesday night, we were so excited to see each other that we didn’t go to sleep until around 2AM. Thursday, we had dinner at a seafood restaurant in Redwood City, California. Everyone had a great time and the food was amazing. Friday, we went to a comedy club in Pleasanton, California. By Saturday, everyone was too tired to leave the house, though we had reserved the day to travel into the San Francisco for sightseeing and a visit to a spa. Everyone decided to stay home. Terrilynn cooked dinner where we acknowledged two cousins’ October birthdays, watched a movie in the backyard in our pajamas and a few ladies enjoyed the jacuzzi. Sunday, two cousins attended a San Francisco 49ers game. My husband is a season ticket holder and we knew how much Lynn loves the 49ers, so we decided to treat her and Mildred to the experience of seeing a professional team play. They went to the game while everyone else stayed back and got some much-needed rest. Later that night we played Gestures, a very fun game similar to charades. Monday, it was time to say goodbye to a few of the cousins, however before we did, everyone was asked to take out their phone and add the contact information (name, birthdate, address, email address) for everyone into their phones. This information will be used to keep in touch with one another. In fact, 2023, started off with a group text acknowledging those born in January and we plan on continuing to acknowledge birthdays throughout the year. Monday continued with cheer; we played bingo, fellowshipped and simply continued to “show love for each other.” The remaining cousins left Tuesday morning. I went to work that day, tired but with a feeling of love — a feeling like no other. Later that evening I arrived home to my empty home, reminisc-

ing about the amazing weekend I had just experienced with my family, one that I couldn’t wait to do again. In fact, we are planning a do over next October, at my home again in California and this time we plan to stick to the scheduled activities which will include sightseeing at such places as The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and a few of the wineries.

Reactions from the cousins!

From Terri Lynn Bentley

This trip was one for the record books. It started out beautifully and ended magnificently. We bonded with strength. We laughed until we cried. We talked until we fell asleep. We ate until we were past full. But most of all, we gained a sisterhood from cousins we have known all our lives. Almeda opened her home to all of us with the greatest hospitality. We had a new residence for the weekend. We didn’t have to leave for anything (unless you wanted “something else,” wink, wink ��). The atmosphere and spirit from each and every one was positive at all times. We all fed off of the others’ energy and vibes.

This was the beginning of something magnificent. Can’t wait for our next getaway.


From Zoe Brown

Our 1st Cousin’s Trip was a success. I enjoyed just hanging out in our cousin Almeda’s home. She’s the goat at hospitality. We really didn’t have to leave her home because she made sure that EVERYTHING, and I do mean EVERYTHING, was there for us. From food to personal toiletries, it was there. Being around my cousins was a great and relaxing time. I’m looking forward to going back to her home in California and definitely looking forward to the next cousins’ trip.

From Georgia

Cousin trip for me was relaxing and fun. The hospitality was one in a million. My cousin Almeda opened her establishment up to all of us with open arms. She made us feel like her home belonged to us all. It was my first time in northern California; I can’t wait until the next one. Love all of my cousins always and forever.

Cousins at the Comedy Club.

Massey Family holiday affair Jones Moses Family Reunion

We know it is a bit early to be thinking about next Christmas, but we received this amazing poster and couldn’t resist! This is the Massey Family Reunion, descendants of Peter and Julia Massey of Gordon, Georgia. Reunion Coordinator, Cassandra Duncan, shared the poster in anticipation of a holiday Zoom get together.

She said they were holding a Holiday Mixer to say Merry Christmas to the family. There were games: Name that Holiday Tune, Holiday Movie Trivia, Best Cookie Decorating contest and Best Ugly Christmas Sweater. It was a virtual meeting since the family is so spread out. During the event, they voted on a few 2024 reunion items as well. There was also be a virtual spinning wheel to pick a winner for a Visa gift card.

Shared by Cassandra Duncan, Burtonsville, Maryland.

Reunion scavenger hunts

These are two versions of an activity you can do at your in-person or Zoom reunion or between reunions! Scavenger hunts are fun for all ages and an especially good way to get kids involved. A family scavenger hunt ensures plenty of interaction between different generations.

Family history scavenger hunt

Create a form or booklet with familyrelated questions such as: What was great-grandfather Smith’s first name? Which aunt had twins? Where and when were Grandma and Grandpa Johnson married? Is there someone born in the same state as you? You get the idea: lots of answers to fill in

Our great grandmother, Leuticia Pruitt Sanders, had seven children. Our grandmother, Carrie Lee Sanders, married John Neudah Jones in 1931. The Jones-Moses Family Reunion was started in 1987 by my mother, Carrie Jean Jones and her sisters Minnie and Rosie Jones from New Waverly, Texas. My cousins and I were very happy to have old-fashioned down-home cooking at the reunion. We invited friends and many of the town families as well.

Carrie Jean Jones Moses passed away on June 16, 1988 and we laid her to rest on June 19th. That day was the hardest day for our family. So since then, Juneteenth has been honored as our Official Jones Moses Family Reunion. After that day, the Jones -Moses Family started having family reunions annually.

We’re keeping The Jones-Moses Legacy going and making our ancestors proud. Even though they’re gone, this is how we bring their memories back to life because we love and miss them all dearly. We are cousins without grandparents and parents. We are all we have and we’re miles apart. We come together in joy, love, laughter, fun and enjoying each other to the fullest. Over the years, although the family is miles apart, we are still in each other hearts. Shared by Shurondia Jones, Texas City, Texas.

information either known or unknown. And lots of ways for family members to learn about family history recent and long ago. Set a deadline. Then gather the family together to judge the results. Award prizes to the people who get the most correct answers. Encourage members to keep the booklets or answer sheets as nice reunion souvenirs.

Zoom scavenger hunt

This scavenger hunt was created by Michael Mathis for a Canty Family Zoom Reunion. The scavenger hunt was a very simple activity created and directed by the reunion host. He simply identified a list of items anyone could find around the house

or from wherever they were tuning in (items such as a stuffed toy, a specific family photograph, a reunion program from 1999, something in a particular color, etc.). They had five to six minutes to complete their search but, of course, a longer list would have produced a longer hunt. The person who found the most items and displayed them on Zoom, was the winner. They ended up with a three-way tie and all three received $10 gift cards mailed to them.

Shared by Jessie Muse, Mitchellville, Maryland, President Emeritus and Acting President, Canty Family National Organization.

Jones Moses Family Reunion t-shirts.


Pigeon Forge is the ideal place to gather with family and friends. Bring generations together to strengthen ties with family and friends. Time spent together is what you make it, whether it’s enjoying the attractions, being entertained at a theater or dinner show, or simply getting reacquainted during a Smoky Mountain retreat. Whatever the reason for gathering, be prepared to create new memories in Pigeon Forge.

30 REUNIONS v Great memories start with great locations. Social events of all kinds can find superior facilities conveniently located to anywhere in the Midwest – and across the country. With our true Midwestern hospitality, the Chicago Southland feels like family. acilities Free Parking & Easy Accessibility Contact Tobie Fitzpatrick,, SMERF Market Manager | 888-895-3211 Wherever your besties landed, Chicago Southland is the best(ie) place to gather. 1-800-285-7557 PIGEONFORGETOURS.COM
PFT005317_L1rr_2023-DestinationReunions_7.5x4.875.indd 1 2/13/23 1:17 PM

Amphibious Ships Reunion and yearbook

The Annapolis, Maryland, reunion of Amphibious Ships included: AKAs Arneb, Capricornus, Muliphen, Rankin and Yancey; APAs Bexar, Chilton, Monrovia, Pickaway, Rockbridge and Telfair; and LSDs Casa Grande and Gunston Hall.

Reunions tours included the US Naval Academy and a very rainy city tour of

Annapolis. A day in Baltimore included a tour of the SS John W Brown, one of two remaining, fully operational Liberty ships that participated in World War II. The ship still makes demonstration cruises several times a year. They toured the city and took a tour boat ride in the Baltimore Harbor. In addition to taking group and individual

photos, they enjoyed a banquet with an invocation by a Chaplain who told the story of the traditional “missing man table.” There was also a memorial service for those who had died since the last reunion. After the serious business, there was entertainment from a magician.

Hospitality Room Amphibious Ships Reunion Gator Sailors arriving on the SS John S Brown, one of two remaining, fully operational Liberty ships that participated in World War II. Fanfare at US Naval Academy, Annapolis

TheAmphibious Ships reunion group also produces a yearbook that chronicles the reunion with extensive pictures from events (registration, welcome reception, hospitality room, tours and farewell banquet) as well as individual pictures of members, In Memoriam pages, many casual photos called Gator* Gallery, and a directory of members (removed from this example for privacy). *The term “gator” refers to any member of the amphibious Navy.

Production Notes for the yearbook

There is quite a bit of work involved in creating what we call our “Memory Books,” but for us, it is truly a “labor of love.” Many reunions have a person or persons who have the time and talent to perform such a labor, and in the end, it is well worth doing. These are some of the details. Our books are produced by They, and other companies, have tools to create beautiful books at a reasonable cost. The price varies with the book’s design and number of pages. In our case, each high-quality 60-page book costs about $14.50. We charge each attendee $25.00 per book. It takes some time to learn the tools for producing a book, but that’s part of the love.

We’ve always hired a professional photographer to capture the pictures of our attendees. They will usually take additional photos of your banquet or other event at which they are present. Sometimes they will work for free if you let them sell prints. The attendees themselves can photograph the rest of your event; make sure they know where to send the photos. Some of the attendees are very good photographers. Still other photos can be downloaded from the internet, e.g. page 37.

The list of attendees (pages 49-54) has been deleted to protect attendees’ privacy. The term “gator” refers to any member of the amphibious Navy.

Shared by Skip Sander, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USS Rankin reunion planner, who says he’s willing to talk with anyone who wants more information about producing a souvenir book;, (412) 367-1376;

Overseas military cemeteries

American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) administers, operates and maintains 26 permanent American military cemeteries and 32 federal memorials, monuments and markers, which are located in 17 foreign countries, the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the British Dependency of Gibraltar plus four memorials located within the United States. These cemeteries and memorials, most of which commemorate the service and sacrifice of Americans who served in World War I and World War II, are among the most beautiful and meticulously maintained shrines in the world. To learn about the number of men and women we honor around the world, visit www.abmc. gov/cemeteries-memorials

Presidential Memorial Certificates

Veterans who meet requirements may be eligible for a Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC) to honor the military service of a Veteran or Reservist. It honors the memory of a deceased Veteran and expresses the country’s grateful recognition of his or her service in the Armed Forces.

It is a gold-embossed, engraved paper certificate signed by the current president.

This program was initiated in March 1962 by President John F. Kennedy and has been continued by each subsequent President. The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the PMC program through the National Cemetery Administration.

Find out how to request a certificate at

to a podcast about how to fill a reunion goodie bag.
Click to open

Learn about your ancestors’ military service

Fold3 Library Edition by Ancestry combines official military records with deep first-person content, including biographies, photos, letters, personal documents and more. Over 500 million searchable records span hundreds of years. Coverage includes: Revolutionary War, Civil War, War of 1812, Mexican American and Early Indian Wars, World Wars I and II, Korean and Vietnam Conflicts, recent wars, international records and more. Records include the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Fold3 Library Edition also encompasses the following special collections: African American and Native American Archives, American Revolution and World War II, FBI Case File Archives and Holocaust Archives.

The name Fold3 was chosen because traditionally, the third fold in some flag-folding ceremonies honors and remembers veterans for their sacrifice in defending their country and promoting peace in the world. A 7-day free trial is offered to start using

Ideas to consider for a reunion destination

There is probably no more iconic place in the country for a military reunion (or any reunion) than the National Capital area and the nation’s capital, Washington, DC. Not only are there countless historic sites and treasures to visit and admire, but many require no admission fee. Some, of course, require advance reservations, so exploring that possibility should be a part of your planning. All can be accessed quite easily.

Newest among the attractions is the National Museum of the United States Army, which opened in 2021.  It celebrates over 245 years of Army history and honors our nation’s Soldiers – past, present, and future – in the regular Army, Army Reserves, and the Army National Guard. Building the museum was a massive undertaking led by a joint effort between the Army and a non-profit organization, The Army Historical Foundation (AHF). Information about the museum can be found at

A partial list of other area attractions includes:

e The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, is located at Washington Dulles International Airport. The museum is free, and is home to the Enola Gay, the SR-71 Blackbird, the space shuttle Discovery, and hundreds of other historic military and civilian aircraft, spacecraft, and related artifacts. See

e George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Reunion groups may elect to hold a private wreath-laying ceremony at General Washington’s Tomb; this is a complimentary service. See

e Arlington National Cemetery and The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, Virginia. See Explore/Tomb-of-the-Unknown-Soldier

e The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial are all located a short distance from one another along the National Mall in Washington, DC. See

e The Smithsonian National Museums include Natural History and American History, American Indian, and African American History and Culture, the National Portrait Gallery, Asian Art and much more. See

e Civil War sites include Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, and the National Battlefields at Manassas, Antietam, and Gettysburg; all are an easy drive from Washington, DC.

Adapted from an article News for Army Reunion Groups from Visit Fairfax.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier A family group can request a private wreath-laying ceremony at General Washington’s tomb; most especially if they have one of more veterans among the group.
Do we know about

Marching Forward with Your Family Reunion Photo Scanning Project

My father was very giving. I remember watching him give back to his family, community, basically everyone around him. If you came to our home, you had to eat, there was no way you would leave without a meal. He gave back in so many ways. Even though he only had a high school education, he managed to start his own company. While managing that company, he instilled in us the importance of family, being there for each other and providing support no matter what. As a kid, I remember my father telling us to “always respect your elders, even if you think they are wrong.” He also told us to never embarrass him or the Burns family name, “you are a Burns, don’t forget it.”

As we begin the third month of 2023, it is a good time to evaluate how we are doing with our personal resolutions and our family reunion planning goals. Hopefully by now you have already started planning for your photo scanning event at your reunion. If not, don’t worry. There is still time to jumpstart the process in time for your big event.


In my article “Recipes, Reminiscing and Reunions,” (Reunions magazine, Volume 31 Number 4 Virtual Edition December 2022), I outlined six steps for planning and executing a successful photo scanning project for your family. Here is a quick recap (Click on the link above to download a copy of the article for further reference).

1. Purchase a Vivid-Pix Memory Station. The Memory Station is a combination of a Fujitsu ScanSnap SV600 + Vivid-Pix RESTORE

software. Photos can automatically be backed up to the cloud where you can also add voice recordings to the memory using FileShadow.

2. Involve Family. Emails from the reunion organizer or committee lead should include scanned photographs of favorite family memories to generate interest in the scanning event.

3. Make it Personal. Family gatherings in person at the holidays or virtually through Zoom help the family look at favorite photographs and reminisce about special times.

4. Include Individuals Unable to Attend. Zoom or Facetime can be used to connect with those in the family unable to attend the reunion. Ask them to send their photos by mail or scan and share them through a shared folder on FileShadow. This way everyone can enjoy the photographs and memories.

5. Designate a Reunion Space. Hopefully you have your reunion venue selected and reserved. If it is a place you have been to before, then it will be easy create a blueprint of your “scanning space.”

6. Create a Conversation Circle. Consider designated a place at the reunion where people can sit and talk informally about the photos being scanned.

VIVID-PIX restored image of ALAFFFA Luau 1986 sign. VIVID-PIX restored image Helen Lizanov (left) and Gerry Abbott (right) performing during the “Gong Show” at the LAFFA 1978 reunion before we became ALAFFFA.


Bring your memories together – read Reunion Photo Memory Planning articles:

Building off the fun and connection from the holidays, it is time to reach out again to family members to plan the next steps for the reunion photo scanning event.


The first step in organizing a photo scanning project is to gather all the family photos you want to preserve. This can include old prints, negatives, and slides. Ask family members to go through their attics, closets, and storage boxes to find photos you want to include in the project.


Send out instructions asking family members to sort and organize their photos into categories. This can include grouping them by event, family member, or date. This will make the scanning process easier and more efficient. If the reunion budget allows, consider purchasing some high-quality photo storage boxes to give or send to family members.


Consider the quantity and quality of the photos you will be scanning and do some test runs well in advance of the reunion. Working through the setup process for the scanning station will help ensure things will go smoothly at the reunion. Follow the instructions for the setting up the MemoryStation at www. Learn how to troubleshoot any issues with lighting, placement of the photos, connecting the

scanner to the laptop, etc. The Memory Station makes it easy to scan large numbers of photographs – press 1 blue button and it scans up to 10 images (be sure to separate photos by ¾ inch).

I practiced using photos from various ALAFFFA reunions taken in different decades (the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s). I selected images that were faded or had other flaws. The Vivid-Pix Restore software worked its magic to bring back the colors and contrast.


While onsite at your reunion, set up the scanner and determine the order for processing the photographs. Take care to handle the photos gently to avoid damage. With the ScanSnap scanner you can scan up to 10 photos /documents at one time--creating individual images. Scan photos or documents at 600 dpi JPEG or PDF. Use Vivid-Pix Restore to breathe new life into faded or damaged photos.


Get acquainted with Vivid-Pix Restore software by editing a selection of photos that you scanned for your test run. Vivid-Pix has various tutorials:

The software is simple to use to restore scanned prints, slides, negatives, digital camera/phone photos and documents with 1-click. You can also fine-tune and improve the fix. The software works with JPEG, TIFF, PNG, DNG, BMP and RAW images and creates high resolution JPEG and/or TIF images upon output without affecting the original. It will also automatically create sharing file size for posting on genealogy sites and emailing. You can perform other functions such as cropping and viewing and editing metadata to add searchable tags. Be sure to create folders to organize the improved images (for example: Alzo Family,

ALAFFFA 50, Mystery Photos, etc.). Even ALAFFFA Pets got into the 1989 Hee-Haw theme. VIVID-PIX restored image of ALAFFFA Reunion Organizer Jeff Abbott taking a break from the fun to pet the Abbott family dog, Weezer. VIVID-PIX restored image of Ann Alzo (left) and Lisa Alzo (right) at the ALAFFFA Reunion in 1999. Famiy Reunion Photo Scanning Project continued on page 36

Scanning Tips

T Be sure to clean the photos before scanning to avoid any dirt, dust or scratches showing up in the digital version.

T Scan at a high resolution to ensure the best quality images.

T Take note of the physical condition of the photos and try to handle them as little as possible, to avoid any further damage.

T Organize and label the photos as you scan them, to make it easier to find specific photos later.

Organizing a photo scanning project can be a fun and rewarding experience for your family. It allows you to preserve precious memories and share them with others. With a little planning and care, your family’s history can be preserved for future generations to enjoy.


After the photos have been scanned, it’s important to backup and store them properly. This can include saving them to a hard drive or cloud storage service such as FileShadow www.file FileShadow automatically archives files from multiple storage accounts (Windows and Mac Desktops, iOS, and Android) into one secure, searchable cloud vault accessible from any device or virtual desktop. You can try FileShadow free for 30 days. Learn how to use the service at Paid plans start at $7 per month.


Finally, share the scanned photos with your family and friends. Create passwordprotected shareable links on your FileShadow account so family members can view and can even record a voice memory on these photos. It’s nice to create collections for a digital album or create slideshows to share online. Use Vivid-Pix Prints to create digital prints or photo albums family members can display at home:

By following these steps, you can successfully organize a photo scanning project and preserve your family’s memories for generations to come.

VIVID-PIX restored image of ALAFFFA first generation performing at the 25th Reunion Celebration in 1992. Famiy Reunion Photo Scanning Project continued from page 35 VIVID-PIX® Memory Station

A stroll down memory lane conjures up stories from the past to be shared with future generations.

A Picture Says A Thousand Words

Patented artificial intelligence provides 1-click improvements. Fine-tune with easy controls.
RESTORE YOUR STORIES Color Records Black & White Letters Sepia Documents Simple and Affordable software improves KENYATTA BERRY AUTHOR & HOST - GENEALOGY ROADSHOW “I used it for my own book” LISA LOUISE COOKE GENEALOGIST - GENEALOGY GEMS “RESTORE is amazing!” DREW SMITH AUTHOR & PODCASTER - GENEALOGY GUYS “Game-changing software” Select Pick Save
International Standards EXIF and IPTC metadata compliant.
Words Are Scan / RESTORE / Store Record / Transcribe Voice / Search Search: 16 Source: Transcript: recording-7354e16c-3476-4f56-b5982c78f4c2d4b0.aac This photograph is especially heartwarming for me. First, it’s kind of fun to see myself three months old, the center person. This is a movie image that was extracted from a 16mm lm movie. And third and probably most important is it represents four generations of Voight, Holzrichter and Joslin family. Path: /recording-7354e16c-3476-4f56-b598-2c78f4c2d4b0.aac Size: 558544 bytes Time: 33.590s Transcript: recording-7354e16c-3476-4f56-b598-

Top Quality Digitizing & Organizing

Large Project Experts!

• Photos, albums and scrapbooks from 600 to 9600 DPI, returned in chronological order and ready to use and share.

• Videotapes inventoried and returned as editable MP4 files.

• 8mm and 16mm film movies in stunning 4K resolution.

• Proprietary HDR slide scanning at 4100 DPI.

• We are experts in organizing large photo and movie collections. Send us the boxes and we figure it out.

We Inventory

We Inspect We Digitize

We Quality Check

You receive a high-quality digital collection in chronological order – ready to use and share.



Caregiver and Professional Education


Learn step-by-step methods to organize your photo collection using techniques developed by the 1,200 member The Photo Managers.

Share Stories Reminisce

Discover how to create connectional narratives which capture the past while enjoying reminiscing with the people you love.

The afflicted and caregiver connect by sharing memories resulting in a reduction of isolation, loneliness, depression, and socialization improvement.

Reminiscing provides health & social benefits

Professional Course

Learn how to help others capture and share the moments that matter most. Designed for group use, this course covers how to choose photos to help tell and elicit stories, use guided reminiscence to elicit stories, increase recall, and hone storytelling skills.

NIDE Professional Course

Designed for paid and unpaid caregivers, this certificate instruction creates connection. Joshua is an award winning memory care program developer, researcher, author and Chair of the Board for the National Institute for Dementia Education.

Caching Memories

Reminisce and reduce isolation by preserving stories

Connect Share Stories

Multigenerational relationships are built by virtually connecting older adults to younger adults.

Life events and photos are discussed, culminating in a keepsake Memory Cache Book.


The book initiates connection with the older adult’s social circle resulting in improved long-term well-being.

Photos create conversation & connection
Photo Books Wall Decor Gifts Improve Connection Don’t Let Your Memories Fade™ A picture says a thousand words – Words are important
Supports Societies and Members Door Prize Donation Fundraising Program Annually receive a Free RESTORE Software Download Card ($49.99 value) • Receive 20% of member purchases • Professional communications • Special Offers • Live Events

Community Engagement Toolkit

3 Strategic Goals:

• Meet Your Mission

– Help people do their genealogy

• Member Engagement

– Current members and grow membership

• Volunteer Development

Communication & Planning
NATIONAL GE N EA L OGICAL SOCI E T Y ® Memory Station ON-SITE MEMORY PRESERVATION Scan and Restore your treasured memories. Save images on to a USB drive or upload images and record your voice memory in the cloud. BEFORE AFTER Education NATIONAL GE N EA L OGICAL SOCI E T Y ® Share the National Genealogical Society’s Family History Skills course with your community. NGS SKILLS COURSE Help your patrons learn genealogy.
48 REUNIONS v Solutions Include $799.95* only Photo Books Wall Decor Gifts $49.99 only Select Pick Save Sepia Color Black & White Records Newspapers Documents (*Computer and furniture not included) • Scanner and RESTORE Software • Photo / Document Reminiscence, Oral / Written Storytelling, Photo Organization / Taking Scanning / Improvement Education Hardware, Software & Education Bundle
2023 REUNION CELEBRATIONS! v REUNIONS 49 Free stuff from Reunions magazine visit Explore back issues for more reunion planning ideas! 2017 Reunion Celebrations! VOL 27 NO 2 $3/USA Newton Family Reunion Arce Family Reunion Morse High School Class of 1966 35th Anniversary of The Wall Sowell Family Reunion Vol 28 no 2 $3/USA 2018 Reunion Celebrations! Evans Family Reunion Hunter-Arnold Family Reunion Thayer Family Reunion Marine Helicopter Squadron HMM 165 Eugene Greene DD/DDR-711 Chandler Family Thanksgiving Reunion

e military reunion news

Welcome to Reunion Resources!

We encourage you to tell the listings you contact that you learned about them from Reunions magazine. Notify us immediately at if you find any info that is inaccurate or e-mail or web links do not work; or write us at PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211-0727. And by all means, feel free to comment and/or suggest changes and additions you’d like to see in this section.

Reunions magazine will not be held liable for information presented as facts in these ads.



950 22nd St. North, Suite 550, Birmingham, AL 35203

Birmingham is becoming one of the most celebrated reunion cities in the southeast. The success of your reunion depends on its early groundwork. 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 800-458-8085 | Email



Looking for the perfect place for your next reunion? How does this sound – 5 Star beaches. Comfy accommodations to fit every budget. A jam-packed events calendar. Lots of group activities on land and on the water. A huge variety of visual and performing arts & entertainment. Scenic and historic sites, events, and venues ideally suited to group events. Exceptional Culinary Coast™ dining. Southern Delaware is a great place to gather! 827 E Market St Georgetown , DE 19947 800-357-1818




701 Brickell Ave, Suite 2700, Miami FL 33131 305.539.3000 | 800.933.8448

Whether family, class, alumni or military, Miami is perfect for your reunion any time of the year. Let us help you create the best reunion that people will be talking about for years to come. Play in the sun and sand, visit historic heritage churches and other locations, find fun parks and recreation areas or specialized venues to hold your family reunion or other get together. With diverse multicultural jewels and robust outdoor activities, Miami lets you find your roots and reunite with the past. Reconnect today in Greater Miami and the Beaches. Visit to see our special Plan Your Reunion page.



17001 Panama City Beach Pkwy Panama City Beach, FL 32413

Phone: 850-233-5070 | Toll Free: 1-800-722-3224

Known for its sugar-white sands and turquoise waters, Panama City Beach is the ultimate reunion destination. Check out www.visitpanamacitybeach. com/groups/reunions-in-panama-city-beach/ and plan your trip now to PCB, the Real. FUN. Beach.



Want to plan an AWESOME reunion in metro Atlanta? Don’t know where to begin? Worry no more and gather your group in Alpharetta! Attend our free workshop for a collection of insider tips from our reunion planning specialist. Contact Alpharetta CVB at 800-294-0923 or visit



1933 N. Meacham Rd. Suite 210 Schaumburg IL 60173

1-800-847-4849 |

The Chicago Northwest region is conventionally located on the edge of O’Hare Airport and Chicago.

Outstanding attractions for all ages to gather together for fun and memories. Our team is ready to assist in finding your reunion the perfect spot to rest, eat, and play while building stories that will last a lifetime. Connect with us today and take advantage of our free services!


Great memories start with great locations. Reunions of all kinds can find superior facilities conveniently located to anywhere in the Midwest – and across the country. With our true Midwestern hospitality, the Chicago Southland feels like family. We offer complimentary services to ensure your reunion’s success. Visit www.ReuniteInChicagoSouthland. com or call 888-895-3211.



Visit Lake County Illinois

Plan an unforgettable reunion in Lake County, Illinois. We’ll work together to plan an event that lets you explore all the excitement of Lake County and enjoy your time with family and friends. From entertaining attractions like Six Flags to our convenient, centralized location close to Chicago, there are so many reasons to choose Lake County for familyfriendly fun. For FREE Reunion Planning Assistance call or email us with your questions.

5465 West Grand Avenue Suite 100 Gurnee, IL 60031 | 847-662-2700



Make your family or military reunion a unique and memorable occasion at The National WWII Museum! Ranked the #1 attraction in New Orleans, this remarkable venue is an incomparable experience for all generations. Customize your reunion with a guided group tour, live BB’s Stage Door Canteen lunch or dinner show, and more!

The National WWII Museum

945 Magazine Street, New Orleans LA 70130

877-813-3329 x222

50 REUNIONS v Looking for ways to pay for your reunion? Consider these ideas! Make and auction a quilt! Sell t-shirts!
a rummage sale!
a family cookbook!

e military reunion news




15 Visitors Center Drive

McHenry , MD 21541

301-387-5238, 301-387-4386

Find the perfect reunion destination tucked away in the mountains of western Maryland. The Deep Creek area is a four-season destination with a wide variety of activities. Explore our mountain waters, whether it be on Deep Creek Lake, our rivers or waterfalls. Your group will love our location, central to several major cities (3 hours from Baltimore & D.C., 2 hours from Pittsburgh and four hours from Cleveland and Columbus).


Kim Folk, Heritage Area & Groups Director Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area


EXPLORE BRANSON in Southwest Missouri, surrounded by the beauty of the Ozark Mountains. For helpful information call the Branson Convention & Visitors Bureau to assist you in securing the perfect lodging for your next reunion in this ideal destination at the center of America's heartland! Faith, Family and Flag are honored every day in Branson! Plus the breathtaking scenery, world-class entertainment and exciting attractions for all ages are served up with a generous side of authentic southern hospitality that will create memories worth re-living! Whether your reunion is family, military, or graduating class, request our Complimentary Welcome Bags and/or our comprehensive Branson Reunion Planner Kit: Lenni Neimeyer, CTIS, CSTP | 417-243-2105 or Visit:

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO on I-55 between St. Louis & Memphis. Perched on the Western banks of the Mississippi River, Cape Girardeau is a small city with a big heart and something for everyone, from families to history buffs, outdoor adventurer and everyone in between. Consider us the prime location for your reunion.

Call VisitCape at 1.800.777.0068 or visit us online at



Let us make planning your next family reunion as EASY as Grandma’s apple pie! Conveniently located on Interstate 95 midway between New York and Florida. The Halifax County CVB is excited to help make your family reunion memorable by offering a complimentary welcome reception with cookies & lemonade, assistance with hotel arrangements, including group discounts, trip planning & tailored itineraries for your family, and resources for venues, meals & catering, banners, photographers, videographers, tent & chair rental etc.


260 Premier Blvd.

Roanoke Rapids , NC 27870




Columbus is full of unforgettable experiences, distinct neighborhoods and one-of-a-kind tours. As a leader in experiential tourism, Columbus knows that getting groups in the middle of the action and behind the scenes is important. We put your well being first with the Live Forward Safety Pledge. Whether you’re planning a group activity or giving individuals time to explore on their own, Columbus’ neighborhoods welcome groups in their own special way. Contact the Tourism Sales team at 1-800-354-2657



45 West Orchard Park Drive, Greenville, SC 29615 d: +1-864-248-1942 t: +1-864-232-4747 f: +1-864-235-6248

Reunite, Relax, Reconnect

Ideal location for your Reunion headquarters. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, only 8 miles from Greenville-Spartanburg Airport and easily accessible to interstate 385/85 located between Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA.



PIGEON FORGE, TENNESSEE -- We’re a gold mine for reunions. Need attractions? Try Dollywood, Titanic Pigeon Forge, mountain coasters 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: 1-800-2519100 or visit




11200 Broadway Street #1390, Pearland TX 77584 Contact Teri Mazhar, 281-997-5970

Rebekah Burns, Marketing Manager Pearland Convention & Visitors Bureau City of Pearland | 11200 Broadway Street, Suite 1390 | Pearland, TX 77584 Phone: 281.997.5971 | Mobile: 832.492.3161



10560 Arrowhead Drive Suite 350 Fairfax, VA 22030

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, Fairfax County is the ideal location for your military or family reunion. The spectacular new National Museum of the United States Army is now open and welcoming visitors.

Call Visit Fairfax at 703-752-9509, and Dean Miller, our reunion specialist, will go to work for you! |



The Fredericksburg Region is known for its Colonial

and Civil War History, arts community and year-round group-friendly offerings. Just 50 miles south of WDC, the Fredericksburg Region boasts an award winning distillery, wineries and breweries, outdoor adventures, parks and more. Make memories with your family, classmates, and military buddies in the Fredericksburg Region.

To book your reunion, contact Victoria Matthews: (540)372-1216 | 1-800-260-3646


NEWPORT NEWS – Get closer to ships, history and the great outdoors with one central destination: Newport News, Virginia. 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 Cheryl Morales at 757-926-1428 or e-mail her at to book your reunion today!



1516 Commerce St. Tacoma WA 98402

Our region serves up an array of activities and meeting spaces for your guests. The area can accommodate meetings and budgets of all sizes with more than 5,700 hotel rooms including boutique, limited and full-service hotels and plenty of meeting + exhibit space.

When in downtown Tacoma, stroll across the Bridge of Glass displaying artist Dale Chihuly’s work. Visit world-class history and art museums, take a glass blowing class at a local hot shop and see collector vehicles at the largest automotive museum in North America: LeMay—America’s Car Museum. In the evenings, check out the selfguided craft beer crawl or stroll along Tacoma’s waterfront, enjoying regional cuisine. 253-830-6606 |



1122 12th Street, Cody WY 82414

Helping people find quality Dude and Guest Ranch vacations since 1926. Let us help you find the perfect all-inclusive location for your next reunion! Call 307-587-2339 |

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Articles inside

e military reunion news

page 51


page 50

e military reunion news

page 50

Caregiver and Professional Education

page 42

Marching Forward with Your Family Reunion Photo Scanning Project

pages 34-37

Learn about your ancestors’ military service

page 33

Presidential Memorial Certificates

page 32

Production Notes for the yearbook

page 32

Amphibious Ships Reunion and yearbook

pages 31-32

Massey Family holiday affair Jones Moses Family Reunion

pages 29-30

Burns Cousins Weekend Retreat

page 28

Burns Family Reunion

pages 26-27

Passing the torch

pages 24-25

Reunion planning on Social Media

page 23

Calling all reunion scribes!

page 18


page 17


pages 15-16

Being a part of something important – to you and others

pages 12-14

Great graveyard get-togethers Family-connected

pages 10-11

DNA Quest united adoptees with birth families

page 9

REVIEW: No Stone Unturned: A Remarkable Journey to Identity

page 9

Top 10 reasons to attend your high school reunion!

page 8

REVIEW: The Most Likely Club

page 7

We’re seniors, not old folks!

page 6

Lake County, Illinois is reunion-perfec t.

page 5

in this special issue

pages 3-4
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