Page 1

Fundraising Family Health Cookbooks

Display until July 31, 2006.





Photo courtesy © Jonathan Hillyer 2005

Largest art museum in the Southeast. Largest puppetry center in America. Plan your next vacation in Atlanta, and you and your family will enjoy the many arts and cultural exhibits opening every day, like the significant and growing collections of AfricanAmerican and African art at the High Museum of Art, or one of the magical performances at the Center for Puppetry Arts. Their eyes will open wide at amazing attractions, like the Georgia Aquarium, the world’s largest, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. Every day, thousands of stores, festivals, nightclubs, restaurants, and museums open their doors to welcome visitors of all ages. There’s a lot to see and do in Atlanta, from Downtown to Midtown to Buckhead. Because in Atlanta, every day is an opening day. So go to today to plan your next vacation in Atlanta.

in this issue DEPARTMENTS

August/September 2006 Volume 17 • Number 1



Excited, Delighted and Reunited! by Steve Rhodes Class reunion fundraising, websites, rivalry, charity and military brats study

Jeffrey P. Wallman

SCRAPBOOK – 11 Upper Schuylkill Homecoming by Patrice K. Rader Register and payonline Reunions in Lenawee, Westchester, Las Vegas, Disney World, Canada, New Orleans, Kids Golf-4-free, reunions go to school




Jennifer Rueth

BRANCH OFFICE – 16 Sniffing out a scam by Maureen Taylor A reunion tied to the land by Arliss Treybig Orphan heirloom rescues, Archive mystery ancestor photos, congratulations to a pioneer, immigration that’s not in the headlines


Marion Liston Senior Account Manager Sandy Lewis Account Manager OPERATIONS MANAGER

Karla Lavin

MASTERPLAN – 20 Take your family fest West by Susan Burks Planning your family reunion by LaVerne A. Smith-Bell Reunion kick-off by Rick Branch When strangers become family by Melissa Maenle Pink Shell perfect for Thompsons And what a time we had! by Arlene Goetze Family poetry slam and rap composition by Meg Cox Make reunion plans a family affair by Joe Crea

FAMILY HEALTH – 35 Plan a family health workshop for your reunion by Georgia Burnette, RN, MSN, MSEd Is there a doctor in the house? by Renita M. Brooks RN, BSN Life saving and kidney disease discussions, DHHS My Family Health Portrait

MUSIC – 39



Rick Branch • Roxie Branch Renita M. Brooks, RN, BSN • Susan Burks Georgia Burnette, RN, MSN, MSEd Meg Cox • Joe Crea • Erika Dreifus Mary Thiele Fobian • Arlene Goetze Melissa Gonzalez • Shamele C. Jordon Linda LaPinski • Pat Macon Melissa Maenle • Helen Marquiss Cynthia North • Patrice K. Rader Karen Luna Ray • Steve Rhodes LaVerne A. Smith-Bell • Maureen Taylor Steve Wyrostek • Forum Chatterers

The song of reunions Looking for a band? Let the music play, spiritual legacy of the Malone Family

FUNDRAISING – 41 Payne Family Reunion – Fundraising 101 by Linda LaPinski Where to begin? Corporate fundraising, all school fundraising, fundraising ideas from Benruds, Montagues, Toomers, Browns, Cabreras and Forum Chatter

COOKBOOKS – 45 Create a cookbook … with Love by Mary Thiele Fobian Cookbooks with a purpose by Karen Luna Ray Organization is key cookbook ingredient, cookbook successes

MILITARY REUNION NEWS – 48 REUNION RESOURCES – 51 A directory of reunion-friendly places, services, vendors and products. ABOUT THE COVER

Toomer Family Reunion rummage sale. (l-r) Catherine Toomer Williams, Patricia Toomer Washington, Floyd M Riley, little Xavier McLaren, Emily Toomer Miller, Shamele C. Jordon, Loretta Phillips. See page 44.

REUNIONS MAGAZINE, INC. (ISSN #1046-5s235), is published bi-monthly. Send correspondence, queries, submissions, subscriptions, advertising to REUNIONS MAGAZINE, PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211-0727. Written permission from the publisher is required for reproduction of any part of this book except pages which encourage sharing. Please explain your intended use when requesting permission to reprint. Email: or fax 414-263-6331. Tear sheets of reviews and reprints required. REUNIONS MAGAZINE, INC., will not be liable for information presented as facts contained in any of our advertising, byline stories or materials. We reserve the right to edit and/or refuse any material submitted for publication. We solicit participation and take responsibility for submitted materials. Unless accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE), submissions and photos will not be returned. All materials sent for purposes of publication become property of REUNIONS MAGAZINE, INC. Subscriptions: US and Canada $9.99/yr, $17.99/2 yrs. Foreign orders add $36 for subscriptions. All foreign payment in US funds or drawn on a US bank. Back issues available for $3 each plus postage. Payment must accompany requests for subscriptions, back issues or other items for sale. Advertising rate information available from REUNIONS MAGAZINE, INC., PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211-0727; 414-263-4567; fax 414-2636331; e-mail; © 2006 REUNIONS MAGAZINE, INC.




Happy reunion season! s time flies, it’s always hard to believe how quickly the • A Gatherings Getaway weekend from Modern Woodmen of reunion season rolls around each year. For you it is the America is for a family reunion up to $5,000. You are also culmination of lots of work and planning, grappling automatically entered into a monthly drawing for prizes with details, and always, always wanting to make the best worth $350. Enter possible reunion. How often I hear the comment, “We’ve • KFC promises another Ultimate Family Reunion contest got to top last year.” Just remember that one of the most this summer. To enter (, explain why your important things about reunions is being together, which family most deserves to win this reunion valued at $15,000. creates as many significant memories as topping last year – • Registration for the 2006 Ebony Black Family Reunion though we all admit that some great excitement is always a sweepstakes will be at through September. winner. HELP FOR YOUR REUNION All that said, we hope you’ll remember We urge you to patronize our advertisers Reunions magazine while you’re planning and the listings in Reunion Resources and, particularly at your reunion, for ideas Mail to (STARTING ON PAGE 51) to learn what and images to share with others to make REUNIONS MAGAZINE they can offer your reunion. They are eager this their best reunion ever. Maybe an PO Box 11727 to serve your reunion, and are available to appearance in Reunions magazine and its Milwaukee WI 53211-0727 answer questions, provide quotes and subsequent use at show-and-tell for your For charge orders describe how they will help make your grandchildren might just top last year’s call 800-373-7933 or reunion special. They are all in Reunion reunion too! visit Resources online at or fax it to 414-263-6331. AND THE WINNERS ARE!! with an added helpful twist: in most cases, Or best of all, e-mail Ever wonder whether family reunions you can link directly and take a look at really win the various contests and pictures and details on their websites. It’s an sweepstakes? We just heard from an easy way to quickly contact many and get “extremely excited” Pamela King-Williams some comparisons on the spot. Take in Accokeek, Maryland, whose Green Family Reunion just advantage of their information and help. When you contact learned they won the American Airlines Family Reunion our advertisers, be sure to tell them you learned about them Sweepstakes. Congratulations and happy travels to the from Reunions magazine. And remember the reader service Bahamas, Green Family! card at the end of this issue, where you can request Last summer’s KFC Ultimate Family Reunion contest additional info from advertisers. (valued at $15,000) winners were the Johnson-Woods IN THIS ISSUE family, who celebrated at Parrot Jungle Island in Miami in Between these covers are answers to lots of questions and May. The Johnson-Woods entry was chosen because of the solutions to many dilemmas. Many have asked – and now family's determination to bring everyone together on a you’ll learn – about registration online: your reunion can take regular basis to share stories and create memories. credit cards, make registration simpler and easier for The winning families learned about the contests in our everyone. Your members will thank you. Then there’s health, email newsletter, and you can too. To receive the monthly that serious family subject that will benefit everyone when newsletter, send your request to programmed into your reunion. There seems to be plenty of You can also learn about contests that offer reunions as fun in fundraising, as you’ll discover from many families and prizes, at “contests and sweepstakes” at class reunions and some of our forum chatterers (at who talk about money! These are current contests closing at the end of summer you’ll meet Rick Branch who is seriously Finally, that you can link from; new ones committed to his Branch/Outlaw Family Reunion. He says, “I also will be added as we learn about them. am trying to do my part, to increase the love and support and • KOA Camper Trivia Challenge from Kampgrounds of knowledge of my extended families and hope it is America tests your camping IQ with fun trivia questions reciprocated and played forward. The younger generations and gives you chances to win more than $70,000 in need something to believe in.” prizes; the Trivia Challenge ends August 13, 2006. Go to Continued happy reunion season! EW


Be in touch!






Excited, Delighted and REUNITED! I

f you find yourself in charge of a class reunion, before you plunge ahead – choosing a date and booking a venue – stop and ask yourself what you’re really trying to accomplish. The purpose of a reunion can and should be about more than meeting in a room for a few hours every decade. If a reunion means just the event, it can be pretty shallow and unsatisfying. Reunions

And, if you do this, be ready to expect some miraculous results. This is what the Class of 1965 from Garland High School in Garland, Texas, has been able to accomplish. Our story begins in the spring of 2004. The organizer of our 30th reunion died and the address list was lost. Our class missed having the 35th, which we’d voted to hold. With no one grabbing the baton

by Steve Rhodes

of finding everyone after 40 years, and the reunion itself, were covered by the Dallas Morning News. We felt that the more people who got actively involved in the reunion committee, the more the excitement would build and spread. So whenever anyone expressed any interest whatsoever in helping, we immediately found a job for them, even if it was small. The net result

Only part of the 100 person committee for the Garland (Texas) High School, Class of 1966.

frequently are roughly akin to speed dating: at typical reunions, you only have time to ask a few trivial questions – Where do you live these days? What do you do [for a living]? – before moving on to the next stranger, whom you may or may not have even known decades ago in school. Done right, reunions are about bonding, which should happen before, during and after the event. But for bonding to occur, there are two necessary ingredients: finding and communicating. Most reunion committees fret about the former while forgetting about the latter, If your committee is spending all of its time planning and publicizing the event, then it’s setting its sights way too low. Try instead to rebond your class in a way they’ve never been bonded before. It is quite possible with the right techniques. 6


for the 40th in 2005, I took it, elected myself head of the non-existent reunion committee, and used to make contact with several dozen classmates. By the middle of June 2004, we had formed a reunion committee (26 members) and met for one of only a few meetings. I lived a half continent away in California, so we used email and phones to coordinate everything. From the outset, we set ourselves a goal of making sure everyone felt welcome whether they were the star of the football team or were the most obscure member of the out-crowd in school. We also wanted to find as many people as possible. This we did in spades, locating every single member of our class of 751 as well as every one of our 150 teachers. The accomplishments

was a reunion committee of almost 100 members, which is bigger than the total attendance at many reunions. Whenever we met, we did it as a group, rather than trying to get just the committee heads together. And when we communicated to the committee, the email went to the entire committee. We never let anyone fail. When something important wasn’t happening, we didn’t wring our hands, we just pitched in to help that person succeed. The single most important thing we did was to start a weekly email newsletter that now goes to over 600 people. Newsletters have about a half dozen articles each week, with two regular articles: one feature about what has happened to one of our classmates or teachers since graduation, and another announcing the upcoming week’s

birthday list. Other article series We had to contact 1000 people have been about such diverse and verify they knew the new subjects as summer jobs, funny site. We were so successful that stories from school years, no one went to the wrong place. memories about things and If that isn’t a testimony to the places from our youth, reunion effectiveness of our communiplanning and locating lost cating abilities, I don’t know classmates. Generally we have a what is. backlog of articles. The beauty of ON A PERSONAL NOTE this newsletter is that content is My work in leading what I submitted by other classmates, consider one of the world’s making it simple to assemble greatest reunion committees is and distribute. something which has been so In the months before the extremely rewarding, words are reunion, we used newsletters to not adequate to capture my feelbuild excitement, provide inforings. Rarely has so much hard mation about the reunion and get work been so much fun and proeveryone involved in tracking duced such positive results. Author Steve Rhodes with two of his Sam Houston Jr. High teachers, Paul Tiemann down lost classmates. One of Because of the reunion and our (history ) and Mrs. Margaret Hardgrave (science). many things we did to make continuing weekly email newsletnewsletters fun to read was to run ters, I have an opportunity to talk contests. One was to choose the theme of electronically to several of my old classway for those who couldn’t come to the reunion – the winning entry was the mates every day now. Before this reunion, vicariously join in the festivities and for same as the title of this article, “Excited, years would go by between communicathose who did to forever remember it. Delighted and Reunited!” The most poptions with anyone from school. I feel very We distributed a directory with names, ular game was guessing the reunion lucky indeed. addresses, phone numbers and email headcount – i.e., how many people addresses so people could stay in touch. (including spouses/guests) would attend. Five teachers in their 90s were For the record, the total attendance was coming to the reunion, so we formed a approximately 1,000 (500 students, 100 subcommittee to provide rides. We were teachers and 400 spouses/guests). Our surprised to find that people were so high school’s previous record class motivated by then that they found a way reunion, we believe, was around 250, so to get there on their own and didn’t we definitely set a new record. require our help. This subcommittee Because of what newsletters accomended up being the least active. plished, classmates and teachers arrived Part of communicating is the personal already bonded and excited. Many people touch, so we formed a subcommittee traditionally fear going to a reunion since called “greeters” whose job it was to they no longer feel a part of the group. greet every person as they arrived to Our newsletters fixed that. The result was make sure they felt really welcome. A that a large number of people came who separate group of people handled had never ever been to a reunion before registration. We provided picture badges and had never even considered coming. The author and his classmate and wife of over 36 years, Sally so people would be able to remember Our newsletters were definitely (Sellers) Rhodes, whom he met in second grade. Steve says each other after 40 years. Given our she worked night and day to make the reunion happen. effective because 75% of those who got ages, we made sure pictures were large the newsletter came to the reunion. So, About the author and names were in a font big enough that what about those with no email? To Steve Rhodes has enjoyed three aging eyes could read them at a glance. assure everyone felt included, committee careers. After getting a PhD in Nothing is more embarrassing than members sent handwritten letters to Computer Science from the University of staring at a man’s, or especially a everyone without an email address. We California, Berkeley, he worked at severwoman’s, chest before looking at their felt we owed teachers so much that we al high tech firms, including Bell Labs, face to say hello. sent handwritten letters to them twice, Apple and HP. After that he became one Finally, our ability to communicate whether they had email or not. of the world’s most prolific on-line film was tested dramatically right before the Our easy to remember website address reviewers. Lately he has been helping reunion. Less than a month before the ( was used to build other reunions in finding their lost classevent, we were notified we would not be excitement and to communicate. One mates and in their planning. He can be able to use our high school as planned reunion subcommittee was in charge of reached at 408-374-7704. because of unanticipated construction. photographers. Website photos provide a AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Class establishes reunion website


n an effort to re-establish contacts with former classmates and in anticipation of its next high school reunion in 2008, the Ridgefield (CT) High School Class of ’78 has developed its own website. It features an aerial photograph of the class during its graduation ceremony in 1978. There are also two short film clips shot at the class’s 20th reunion. Class co-president Tom Warren, Dobbs Ferry, New York, hopes this will help promote better dialogue and will raise reunion planning efforts to the next level. Former classmates can list their email addresses and sign up to help plan the next reunion. From an article in the Ridgefield Press, Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Film writer covers ‘Brats’ life stories


onna Musil, who was born at Fort Benning, Georgia, set out to learn about characteristics of “military brats” after she had a reunion with former classmates from school in Korea. It sparked what became a study of characteristics of life in the military. All her peers – even at a later age – appeared somewhat disciplined by the mission-first perspective from their own families, with frequent moves. Musil estimated she’d lived in 15 states plus Korea and Germany. “We’re very tolerant, racially tolerant. We grew up in so many different places, so we know what it feels like to be the outsider, and at the same time, we can be really self-righteous.” Musil conducted more than 500 interviews to produce a 90-minute documentary. Brats: Our Journey Home is a finalist for the 2006 Omaha Film Festival. Visit; 512-585-4312. From an article by Zachary Baehr in the Bellevue Leader, Bellevue, Nebraska.




n an effort to offer our Bell Gardens High School Class of 1986 classmates an affordable price to attend the 20-Year Reunion, the Committee is soliciting advertisements for our evening program and door prizes from sponsors to offset the cost of entertainment, decorations, gifts, postage and printing. WE OFFER TWO OPTIONS.

Option I – Door Prizes. This can be complimentary dinner passes, gift certificates, company products, etc. Option II – Advertisements. This is an opportunity to obtain publicity for individuals and companies. The ads will be published in the program, and there will be acknowledgement the night of the reunion. In addition, if your company would like to use advertising space for a “coupon,” it would create just another avenue in which to gain new customers or keep old ones coming back for more. Reported by Melissa Gonzalez, Santa Fe Springs, California.


High school sweethearts equip shop class


uss James met his wife Barbara at South Beloit (Wisconsin) High School. The couple celebrated their 50th class reunion and 50th wedding anniversary by making a donation to the school where they fell in love. Russ James saw that the school’s Industrial Arts room lacked equipment, and since he benefited from the hands-on education he received, he couldn’t imagine what skills students were learning without proper equipment. “I’ve used those skills throughout my career.” What James learned at SBHS, specifically in the shop, led him to be a successful business owner.

South Beloit moved into its new high school in 2002 to give the district room to grow in the future. But budget restraints allowed the district to purchase only hand tools and three small power tools for the Industrial Arts program. The district compiled a wish list to the community. The couple donated $10,000 to purchase tools and equipment for the shop. With the money, teacher Chris Marshall was able to outfit the shop with a table and band saws, lathes and drill presses, hand tools and a dust collection system. From an article by Ann Montgomery in the Beloit Daily News, Beloit, Wisconsin.

Laughter to benefit Project Graduation


or the fourth straight year, the Middletown (CT) High School Project Graduation Committee turned to humor to fund a very worthy cause. Project Graduation hosted the Bayside High Comedy Alumni Reunion, a production by the New York Dinner Theater. The original show is a funny and interactive performance designed to involve the audience as the “alumni.” The brand new show is a humorous take on a high school class reunion, complete with audience cheerleader contests and prom king and queen elections. Audience participation is very important, and the cast actively engages

diners in conversation as part of the show. The humor can be a little racy, so it’s not recommended for children. However, open-minded individuals will get a chance to laugh at fellow “alumni,” as well as subjecting themselves to a bit of good-natured ridicule. The script includes love triangles and plenty of petty class politics. Since its inception, Project Graduation has been dedicated to providing graduating students with an alcohol- and drug-free celebration to the end of high school. From an article by Matthew Engelhardt in the Middletown Press, Middletown, Connecticut.

School reunion helps get elevator


he Ludlow, Kentucky, school system’s first all-class reunion for graduates of Ludlow High School was held to reconnect alumni as well as raise money for an elevator to transport disabled students within the building. Alumni from as early as 1941 and as far away as California and Florida were expected to attend. Ludlow high and middle school

buildings have five levels, so there is no way for students in wheelchairs to move from level to level within the building. The schools are expecting two disabled students soon from the elementary school. In addition, elderly relatives will be able to use the elevator when attending graduations. From an article by Karen Gutierrez in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati, Ohio.

The 1952 Fund plans first award in 2007


he Class of 1952 was the first in Wilkes County, Georgia, to complete school through the twelfth grade. The 1952 Fund was established in 2002, at the group’s 50th class reunion. The stated purpose of the scholarship fund is “to aid graduating

seniors of Washington High with tuition in college.” The first scholarship will be presented at the 55-year reunion of the class, to be held in 2007. From an article in the News-Reporter, Washington, Georgia.

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Subscribe! Call 1-800-373-7933 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S



’70s class event revives Sharon and Farrell rivalry


time of intense sports rivalry between schools in Sharon and Farrell, Pennsylvania, meant that most of the pupils didn’t mix. For those who graduated in the 1970s there will be a class reunion extravaganza encompassing the entire decade: wild ’70s clothes, dance music and – of course – sports. Victoria Fore, Washington, DC, attended both schools and came up with the idea for a combined 1970s class reunion. Fore never attended a traditional class reunion because she always wanted

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to see friends from both schools who graduated in various years. After word got out, people who graduated in the early 1970s wanted to jump on board, and the Farrell and Sharon High Schools ’70s Class Reunion was born. The event, called “Linking the Past to the Future,” will take alumni from the rival schools back in time for a combined prom, basketball game, fashion flashback party and other events. They’re rounding up all the former cheerleaders and basketball players for

the great rival basketball game. And though the weekend is expected to be great fun, it’s also a way for alumni to give back to the community. They hope to give any extra money from donations to the schools. Both districts are allowing the alumni to use their buildings, and tours of the schools will be available during the weekend. From an article by Laure Cioffi in the Youngstown Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio.

Thoughts about our mission


elen Marquiss, Essex Junction, Vermont, wrote that she found Reunions magazine most helpful with time scheduling recommendations and with reunion budget suggestions. But she found the magazine geared mostly to family reunions. She would have benefitted, she wrote, more from information and suggestions for high school reunions. For

example, suggestions of ways to find lost classmates or entertainment ideas. This is our response. There are several reasons we focus on family reunions. First is that we get considerably more information from family reunions; this stands to reason, because almost half of all family reunions are annual events. Much of what is submitted about class reunions has little to do with searching, entertainment or any planning issues. Most are cathartic articles about finding old loves or school tormenters – which really wouldn't have helped much either. There is good class reunion searching info on our website ( Also, we feel there’s a lot of cross-over among all reunions, so if you read all the articles, you’re bound to find answers to your questions. But the answer did not end there because we asked what Marquiss plans for entertainment at her reunion. She was thinking of adding a trivia quiz for a Friday night pool picnic. They were having a DJ for the Saturday night banquet, and wanted to do a “gentle roast” program at the luncheon on Sunday as a fun end to the weekend, an update of their class prophecy and, of course, memorial remembrances for deceased class members. She added that she understands that family reunions need more help – especially when you consider all the ages represented.

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Books! Music! Software! @ Click on Subscribe & Shop. 10



Upper Schuylkill Homecoming …And they came home on a special train, hundreds and hundreds of them! With lighted torches they marched up the long main street while their mothers and families anxiously waited to welcome them home. his story began before the turn of the century in the small coal-mining town of Ashland, Pennsylvania, when young men were forced to leave home for work in places like Philadelphia because of busted (non-operational, abandoned or collapsed) local mines. They were sadly missed by their families and friends. One day a group of them said, “Let’s go back to Ashland for Labor Day.” They longed to see their families and friends and visit scenes of their youth and have a good time. They had reached the age when they realized youth was the happiest time of life and memories had become priceless treasures. They spread the word and hundreds of Ashland boys arrived on a special train into Ashland on Saturday before Labor Day 1903. Each was handed a torch to find his way home and a torch-lit procession marched up the long main street of town. Mothers and daughters, dressed in their finest, stood on row-house porches welcoming sons and brothers. One by one torches went dark as each boy found his home. For their homecoming celebration in 1912, 2,600 Ashland boys ate 720 gallons of bean soup, 650 pounds of ham, 50 pounds of bacon, 500 loaves of bread, 6 bushels of peanuts, 10 gallons of olives, 60 tubs of lemonade, 120 gallons of coffee, 120 quarts of milk, and no beer! In 1937 the boys, now known as the Ashland Boys Association (ABA), decided to honor Ashland’s mothers by dedicating the world’s only 3-D bronze statue of “Whistler’s Mother” with the saying “A mother is the holiest thing alive.”


To this day, 103 years later, on Saturday before Labor Day, a parade steps off at 7 PM, the arrival time of the original boys’ train. UPPER SCHUYLKILL HOMECOMING 2006!

Witness a re-enactment of the boys coming home again at the historic Ashland parade on Saturday, September 2, 2006. Enjoy a holiday weekend full of culture, heritage and sights from September 1 to 4, 2006. Labor Day weekend events include an exclusive screening of the documentary film, Hard Coal: Last of the Bootleg Miners, and discussion with the producer/director, Marc Brodzik. Saturday, “US Homecoming Day,” includes Ringtown Breakfast and Farmer’s Market, where you can shop for “fresh from the fields” produce and listen to down-home country music, and Ashland’s Historic ABA Mummers Parade at 7:00 PM. Sunday starts with “Top of the Mornin’,” a traditional Irish Mass and Ecumenical Service at St. Joseph’s Church in Girardville with Irish Music and Celtic Dancing. There’s also “Dancing in the Streets” in Shenandoah and Wine & Food Pairing in Ashland. Farewell Breakfast on Monday is in Frackville. Remember that warm hometown feeling when life was simple and everybody reminisced, stopped to chat, shook your hand or gave you a big hug? Well, whether you’re from afar or your roots started here – you’ll find that warm “welcome home” feeling when you visit the Upper Schuylkill family. For information contact Patrice K. Rader, Executive Director, Upper Schuylkill Downtowns, 570-773-1688 or visit

1916 Ashland Boys reunion




Lenawee’s Family Reunion


he theme of the 2006 Lenawee (Michigan) County Fair, August 13-19, will be “Lenawee’s Family Reunion.” According to the fair board, the theme

recognizes the fact that many people use the fair as an opportunity to catch up with family and friends. From the Adrian Daily Telegram, Adrian, Michigan.


September 24, 2006 - 1 PM Holiday Inn Airport North Contact Lydia Douglas, Sales Manager, Small Meetings, Atlanta CVB, 233 Peachtree Street, NE, Ste 100, Atlanta, GA 30303; 404-521-6640; DEKALB COUNTY, GEORGIA

Bring Your Family Home to DeKalb! August 12 and August 26 DeKalb CVB September 16 Best Western Perimeter North Inn October 21 Embassy Suites Perimeter November 18 Marriott Evergreen Conference Resort Call to make a reservation, and your reunion planning is already underway. Contact DeKalb County CVB at 800-999-6055 or 770-492-5000. GWINNETT COUNTY, GEORGIA

ABCs of Planning a Family Reunion October 6, 2006, 10 AM - 1 PM Atlanta Marriott Norcross. Complimentary lunch, Family Reunion Planning Guide. Contact Linda Busby, GCTS, Gwinnett CVB Education Specialist, 6500 Sugarloaf Parkway, Ste 200, Duluth GA 30097; 770-814-6056. POTOSI, MISSOURI

YMCA Trout Lodge October 7-8, 2006 Branch of the YMCA of Greater St. Louis, Missouri, offers a Family Reunion Workshop, for anyone contemplating this facility for their next reunion. The weekend includes tours on foot, pontoon and hay wagon. $50 per person (limit 4 per room) includes one night’s lodging, three meals, activities and meetings. Meet Edith Wagner, editor of Reunions magazine. Contact Jen Clink at 314241-9622, x233;; 12


Guide to New York’s Golden Apple


he Westchester County, New York, Office of Tourism asked residents to submit photography showing their favorite tourist-friendly spots for the Westchester County 2006 Travel Guide. Images by locals of New York’s “Golden Apple” destination in the lower Hudson River Valley appear in the publication. The magazine-style travel guide includes detailed information about the county hotels, attractions, historical sites, parks and recreational opportunities, shopping, nightlife and children’s activities. The Travel Guide’s calendar of special events describes countless possibilities for reunion activities including fairs, festivals, ethnic celebrations, museum exhibitions and major sporting events. The Westchester County Travel Guide is free. Call 800-833-9282 or visit

Back to the Big Easy


he New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau (NOMCVB) reports that the traditional New Orleans experience is alive and well and they want groups to join in the fun. They invite you to “Back to the Big Easy,” a special promotion for groups of 10 or more hotel rooms, through December 2006 at some of the city’s best-known hotels, such as the Hotel Monteleone, International House and the

Royal Sonesta Hotel. Many of New Orleans’ most exciting attractions and revered restaurants are offering wonderful savings. Visit the famous Audubon Zoo, have a jazz brunch at the Court of Two Sisters, take a Cajun Pride Swamp Tour, or do all three! These rates are valid only when booking through the NOMCVB. Contact Lisa Holland, 800-748-8695, ext. 5053,

Planning to volunteer in New Orleans?


o support the local rebuilding effort, New Orleans Fine Hotels (NOFH) announced Rooms for Revitalization, a program providing donated and discounted hotel rooms to volunteer organizations and individuals volunteering in the Crescent City this summer. These hotel rooms will be invaluable in recruiting volunteers to support the rebuilding process in New Orleans. As part of the Rooms for Revitalization program, any group or individual who wants to visit New Orleans this summer and plans to volunteer while they are in town will receive their third night free of

charge. Offers also can be customized to accommodate different lengths of stay; for example, book five nights and receive two nights free. These offers are subject to availability. New Orleans Fine Hotels will help make volunteers aware of opportunities available and connect them with the charities of their choice. Rooms for Revitalization is NOFH’s way of saying thank you to people without whom they couldn’t rebuild. For more information about Rooms for Revitalization, or to volunteer, visit

Kids Golf-4-Free


arriott Golf introduced “Kids Golf-4-Free,” to promote youth golf, allowing adults and kids to play and learn the game together. The program is available at 36 of Marriott Golf’s resort destinations, encompassing 52 courses. “Kids Golf-4-Free” features two components. The Free Play program enables kids up to 15 years old to play one free round when accompanied by a full-paying adult, and is based on availability. The Free Instruction program enables kids up to 15 to receive a free golf lesson when accompanied by an adult who is paying for a lesson. Golf lessons must be taken at the same time with the same instructor. For more information, including restrictions that may apply, visit

Thirty years after rescue


n the days before the fall of Saigon in April 1975, a group of orphans – most too young to know what was happening – were whisked away to new lives in Canada. The children were adopted by Canadian families, changing everyone’s lives. That trip 30 years ago left a lasting impression on all their lives, even if most cannot remember it. Recently two of the rescued children brought the children, their families and rescuers together. As adults, the rescued children struggle with questions about who they are and where they come from. Many do not even know basic personal information. Trent Kilner helped organize the reunion. He said the rescue is part of their identities and the reunion provides them with some missing pieces in their lives. The rescued children may not remember their flight from Vietnam, but their rescuers do. Their memories remain vivid three decades later. “We were the last ones out of Saigon,” rescue mission organizer Victoria Leach said. “There was a ring of fire around the city when we took off in that old Hercules aircraft.” From a report by Galit Solomon on, Canada.

Tom Joyner’s Family Reunion® at Walt Disney World


or the third year, nearly 10,000 people are expected August 31 to September 5, 2006, for a weekend of concerts, comedy, a health and business expo and access to the world-renowned Walt Disney World, hosted by Tom Joyner. Host of America’s #1 nationally syndicated radio and TV shows, Joyner says there’s no Family Reunion like this. Included are access to all Family Reunion activities as well as to the resort’s four, funfilled theme parks: Epcot, Magic Kingdom Park, DisneyMGM Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Visit or call 888-853-2645.


October 14, 2006 at the Water Park of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. More details at WINTER PARK, COLORADO

YMCA of the Rockies, Snow Mountain Ranch October 27-29, 2006 Family Reunion University Contact Conference Office at 970-887-2152, x4127. ESTES PARK, COLORADO

YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park Center November 10-12, 2006 FAMILY REUNION UNIVERSITY Contact Conference Office at 970-586-3341, x1021. PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

16th National Family Reunion Conference March 2007 Contact Sylvia Ford-George, Portfolio Associates, Inc., 215-627-3660; PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA

17th National Family Reunion Conference March 2008 Contact Sylvia Ford-George, Portfolio Associates, Inc., 215-627-3660;

Show tickets pricey in Las Vegas


he price of entertainment in the “Entertainment Capital of the World” is going up. According to an independent study by a travel consumer website, the average cost of Las Vegas’s 77 permanent production shows is now $62.02 – a whopping 16% increase over last year. A-list shows cost even more. Twelve shows’ top ticket prices are $100 or more. Discounted ticket offers can be found at half-price ticket outlets on the Strip, in coupon books and rack brochures, and on websites. For discount information, check




Register and pay online!


ou know the part of reunion planning, when you’ve sent invites but a flood of RSVPs and checks fails to appear immediately? Some invites get thrown into ‘to do’ piles, others may be misplaced or forgotten. For some members, writing a check, and filling out and mailing a form, are too time-consuming. These will always be roadblocks to early response, so add the convenience of online registration to see if your members are quicker to respond. Online registration is like a dream compared to the hassle of collecting registration fees that need to be mailed. And it’s here now, for you to take advantage of, if you’re ready for high tech help to manage the essential administrative duties of reunion registration.



The most convenient way to manage your invitation and confirmation process is to take registrations, confirmations and payment online. With online registration, your members can view reunion details, submit their information, register in minutes and pay with a credit card. They receive immediate email confirmation along with reunion details, which serves as a reminder and as a ticket to your reunion. If you’re like most reunion planners, you have neither the time nor the resources to set up a secure online credit card payment service or hire someone to create an online registration system. The Active Network ( provides easy-to-use web tools to manage your entire reunion registration. You set up a customized registration web page for your reunion, showing event details – day, time, place, agenda – with an “easy

button” attendees can click to sign up and submit payment. All the “heavy lifting” is done for you. You don’t need to purchase additional equipment to process registration or pay merchant account fees. You can easily access the system, view registrations and make changes to your registration page. The system is safe and secure. Whether you’re planning a family barbecue reunion for 100, an all-school reunion for 5,000, or a military get-together requiring a detailed registration form, you can personalize your entire registration process. Your members pay online, while you easily manage all the registration data, at no cost to your reunion. REUNION PLANNERS SEE GREAT RESULTS

Beth Mazza, Fairfax, Virginia, recently planned her Summit High School 20-year reunion using Active’s online tools. As class president and committee member for four of her high school reunions, Beth struggled to get classmates to send checks. She wanted an easier registration solution. When Beth put The Active Network to the test for the first time, nearly forty percent (40%!) of her classmates registered online. “I was amazed at how much time and energy online registration saved my committee and classmates,” says Beth. “Getting classmates to pay in advance was a breeze once they learned about online registration and how quick and easy it was. We were able to take credit card payments for the first time, which definitely increased attendance. Everyone at the reunion complimented me about being so high-tech.” Beth was able to view her attendee list all through the registration process, tracking head count and streamlining event day preparations. “For our previous reunions, we didn’t have a good idea about the number of attendees because everyone just paid at the door rather than mailing a check. With online registration, I had a good idea about the number of people who planned to attend and was able to have tickets and name badges ready at the check-in desk,” adds Beth. ONLINE DONATION ADDS TO SUCCESS

The days of putting a piggy bank on the registration table or writing solicitation letters to classmates to help front reunion costs are over. Your members can donate online to general reunion funds, a special scholarship or a collection for some common cause. By adding an online donation option to your registration page, your members can submit donations when they register for your reunion. Donation confirmation is immediately acknowledged by email.


Working with hundreds of reunions year after year, professional reunion planners also streamline their process and ensure results. “We handled credit card charges in-house and then learned another planner was using Active’s services. We contacted Active to relieve some administrative duties,” explains Kandy Davidson, co-owner and operator of 1st Class Reunions in Loganville, Georgia. “We’ve never regretted the decision to change. They manage credit card information for all our reunions and their members through the Internet and process all the registrations and payments, then send us the check.” Kandy has used Active’s services for 60+ reunions. “I really like how the link to the registration page is set up. Reunion details are all there for alumni to see. You can make any changes to your web registration page, like adding a picnic or golf outing, making the registration page unique for each reunion.” IT’S EASY TO GET STARTED

To start, contact Sarah Lowell at The Active Network (toll free 888-543-7223, ext 3941; She will help you set up a registration page. As with other credit card transactions on the Internet, members will pay a small convenience fee. The Active Network’s Sarah Lowell secure system manages all the payments and every two weeks they send you a check for payments collected (minus the convenience fee). There is no charge to your reunion, and your members enjoy the new convenience of registering and paying 24/7. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S



We regularly hear from people who wonder about offers for genealogy or family histories they receive that sometimes indicate our involvement. We asked Maureen Taylor to write this column as both a warning (to be on the lookout) and solution (to a problem you may not know you have). Her wise words caution the genealogy buyer to beware. EW

Sniffing out a scam f it’s too good to be true … then it isn’t. This adage could be applied to some offers genealogists receive, like a letter encouraging you to buy a book with a coat of arms or the names of everyone with your surname. These contemporary snake oil sales techniques are nothing new. Every day family historians are hoodwinked by outrageous genealogical promises. If you receive an offer that really seems too good to be true, then it probably isn’t real. Consumer protection is available for the genealogical community.



You’re probably not going to see a New York Times Op-Ed piece about genealogical scams. That’s news you’ll find in genealogy society newsletters. Reading publications in the field is the best way to learn about swindles regarding your hobby and pastime. Dick Eastman’s Online Genealogical Newsletter ( is one way to stay current. He writes about new products and mentions scams when he learns about them. PROTECT YOURSELF

The National Genealogical Society’s (NGS) ( Consumer Protection Committee’s webpage says fraudulent schemes are a big problem for genealogists. This committee, formed in 1993, watches for “mass-produced coats of arms and surname books, consisting mainly of lists of surnames but masquerading as family history.” If you wonder if an offer is legitimate, follow the tips published on the NGS website, PSST! Wanna Buy Your Name (www.ngsgenealogy .org/comconsumerpsst.cfm). Here’s what to watch for and steps to take. • Figure out what the letter/email is actually selling. Many surname books contain pages photocopied from phone books and city directories. This is not genealogy. 16


• Coats of arms were issued only to individuals, not families. You can use a coat of arms only if you inherited it from a family member. Think about this question: How can a company know what your heraldic crest should look like based on just your name? • For family history books, ask for additional information, such as a sample page showing citations and the author’s credentials. If you can’t contact the company, be wary. • In Google’s search box, enter the company name enclosed in quotation marks, followed by the word “scam.” • Use the special features at Google to search news articles and blogs for company information. • Just because the company has a domain name doesn’t mean it’s legitimate. Go to Network Solutions (; use the WHOIS at the bottom of the screen to search the domain name and discover who owns it. • Be very cautious of any offer that makes unrealistic promises or uses technical language you can’t understand. If you can’t comprehend why you need the service or product, DON’T send money. Once a disreputable company or individual has your cash, you won’t be able to get a refund. Never give credit card information for a free trial. You may incur charges while you’re trying to cancel the “freebie.” • Check the list of past and present scams on the International Black Sheep Society of Genealogists (IBSSG) website (http://blacksheep.rootsweb .com). They track complaints, provide information about the scam and tell you whether the company is still active.

by Maureen Taylor REPORT THE CRIME

While it may be difficult or impossible to get your money back, it’s not too late to prevent someone else from being scammed. Spread the word by telling everyone you can about it. • Report the problem to Jeff Scism of IBSSG to post in the Society’s online Genealogical Hall of Shame. His email address is on their website. • Send a copy of the scam/offer to the National Genealogical Society’s Consumer Protection Committee, 4527 17th Street North, Arlington VA 22204-4304 to add to their list. • Contact the National Consumer’s League, 81515th Street, NW, Washington DC 20005. Like other consumers, genealogists have a right to protest and to prosecute companies that make fraudulent claims and misrepresent their products. Each and every one of us has the power to be an industry watchdog protecting the interests of our colleagues. Spread the word about these tricks and schemes to promote true genealogical research and legitimate products.

About the author Maureen Taylor writes about photographs and family history for a wide range of periodicals. Visit her at



A reunion tied to the land by Arliss Treybig

here are many variations on traditional reunions. A different kind of family reunion was held in Shelby, a small, basically German community in Austin County, Texas, when the Shelby Area Historical Society offered an opportunity for three families who have lived on a nearby piece of property to gather and share their stories. We Called It Home: The History of a Property presented the stories of the Treybig (1853-1898), Mayer (18981961), and Smith (1961-2005) families. The property is part of the WW Shepherd League, granted in 1831 to William Shepherd, an Austin colonist. When the Texas counties of Austin and Fayette were established, the property line ran across both counties with only a few acres in Austin County where many of the early records are located. The Nicolaus Treybig family of parents and four children immigrated to Texas as part of the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas (Adelsverein or Verein). They survived a shipwreck off the coast of England on their journey and arrived in August 1846. The birth of one daughter


Visiting the older of the two (about 1852-3) Treybig cabins.

and the death of another provided challenges as they struggled to make their home. They settled on 125 acres in the Shelby area in 1853. They farmed and raised cattle. Nicolaus helped establish the Shelby School Association and two sons served in the Civil War. The children married and raised their own children. The original 125 acres grew to 200 and the sons and their large families lived on the land as farmers. However, more land was needed, which the sons bought. But after their parents’ deaths they sold to the Mayer family, who owned adjoining property. Two Treybig log cabins (1853 and 1859) still stand on the property.

Archive mystery ancestor photos


pload and/or donate contents of old, all-but-forgotten photo boxes to DeadFred Genealogy Photo Archive ( Post and broadcast old family photos (identified or not) to to try to connect related genealogy enthusiasts and reunite images of long-lost ancestors with rightful descendants. is a free place to conduct unlimited database searches by various and combined criteria, join discussion groups, search school annual photos, subscribe to a free e-


newsletter, and post and manage your own photo records. If you find a photo of a direct ancestor, you can receive the original free, provided it is owned by the Archive. is free to all. Archivists are volunteers so one of’s fundraising initiatives is The Desperate Genealogist’s Idea Book: Creative Ways to Outsmart Your Elusive Ancestors. Some of our favorite genealogists – like Lisa Alzo, DearMYRTLE, Megan Smolenyak and Maureen Taylor – are included.


Brothers Heinrich and Martin Mayer also came to Texas in 1846 as part of the Adelsverein. Heinrich’s son Fritz expanded his holdings with the purchase of the Treybig property. The Treybigs moved but lived close enough to the Mayers for the children to walk to school together and continue their friendship. Fritz turned the farm over to his son Charles in 1910. He followed in his father’s footsteps and grew cotton, corn, maize, millet, peanuts and sugar cane. There were fields of watermelon, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins; the garden was filled with every kind of grape, berry, and vegetable. Lewis W. and Helen Estelle Gammage Smith bought the property as a weekend retreat from the widow of Charles Mayer in 1961. Older buildings were maintained and a large house was built. Many Mayers and Treybigs are buried in the Shelby cemetery. One Mayer descendant married a Treybig descendant, so the friendship continues. Many descendants of the various connected families still live in or have returned to the Shelby area. Approximately 75 persons enjoyed family presentations and the visit to the Treybig-Mayer-Smith farm for a tour of the log cabins and the 1910 Mayer home as part of the reunion.

About the author Arliss Treybig, El Campo, Texas, was in the education field for 33 years as a high school art teacher and administrative assistant. She became interested in genealogy about 30 years ago and has enjoyed sharing the interest with family through reunions and visits to ancestral sites in Germany.

Congratulations to a pioneer


en years ago, Cynthia Howells posted her first personal website, not knowing she’d created something that would take on a life of its own. began as a six-page article for her local genealogical society, with an intention to continue the list of helpful links online. Cyndi’s List is an index and research portal to genealogical resources on the Internet and links to genealogical research sites online. It is a “card catalog” to the

genealogical collection in the immense Internet library. It’s the same research tool now that it was ten years ago, only bigger. What started 10 years ago as one page, 1,025 links, a handful of categories, and just one caretaker has grown to 251,235 total links, more than 43 million visits and an average of two million hits each month. See A Guided Tour of Cyndi’s List at

Genealogy at your reunion


hether you’re an obsessive genealogist or one who just dabbles, you’ll want to share your exciting findings at your next family reunion. Or maybe you’ve done no research but want to make a presentation at your reunion? Exhibits, history books, family trees and family stories are among the many ways you can present your family history to … well, your family. The one thing everyone at a family reunion has in common is history, so you’ll want to share it. Need help? Stumped by a research question? Want to have a great presentation or chart prepared for you? These are questions and pleas that Daniela Moneta and Janna Larsen at Genealogy One-on-One are eager to help you with. They have many years of experience helping people solve genealogy problems. They can create charts to display, family group sheets to share, albums and even a booklet to distribute at your next reunion. They can help you write a book about your family, put it on a DVD, and make copies to share with your family. If you want to do the work yourself, they can guide you. Decide what you want

Janna Larsen with a six-generation pedigree chart she made for her last family reunion.

to know and click the HelpMe button at to discuss it with them. Tell them your objectives for your family reunion display. They’ll give you suggestions. Visit for details or write to: PO Box 54142, Phoenix AZ 85078-4142.

Immigration that’s not in the headlines


aptivating facts about millions of immigrants are featured at, one of the most popular genealogical destinations on the Internet, with over seven billion hits since 2001. The American Family Immigration History Center® free database at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum includes

passenger records and ship manifests documenting the arrival of 25 million immigrants and travelers who came through the Port of New York and Ellis Island between 1892 and 1924. Forty percent of Americans can trace their roots to at least one ancestor whose records are included in this database.

Orphan heirloom rescues


egan Smolenyak is on the prowl to find homes for orphan heirlooms and invites you to submit information about them at HiQFM/apply_orphan.html. Write Smolenyak with details of treasures you’ve found. She does the detective work, tracks down descendants of the original owners, and the item is returned to its rightful owner. Then she writes about the “rescue” in columns for Ancestry Daily News and Ancestry Magazine.




by Susan Burks hen the devastating Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in August 2005, it also blew away any hope Rhonda Davis and her planning committee had for their upcoming family reunion in New Orleans. William and Norris Davis Family Reunion planning committee members quickly did some preliminary research and agreed to head west. Nearly 100 family members are venturing to sunny Denver, Colorado. “Several aspects about Denver really appealed to us,” notes Davis. “Denver’s central location, its image as a clean, safe and friendly city and its ease for getting around greatly influenced our decision.” Davis adds that, “None of our family members live in Denver, so this is a new adventure for everyone.” Rhonda contacted the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB). “They sent a very impressive packet about the city. I began working with Shannon Hahn, Paul Stewart, founder of the Black American West Museum, shares the forgotten story of the African American cowboy with visitors who stop in at the Museum’s Five Points Denver neighborhood location. who has been a huge help and a wonderful resource. She holds your hand and guides you through the planning process.” Members of the Saxton family are spread all over the US, Davis’s reunion team’s hotel selection was the Radisson Hotel with the largest contingent from Alabama. Young knew few of in Denver’s booming Stapleton neighborhood. The Radisson his family had ever ventured west and Denver would be a offered affordable suites with free shuttle rides to Denver brand new experience. In speaking of his guests, Young says, International Airport, easy access to public transportation “I knew the majority perceived Denver as a small, white along with on-site banquet and catering for their family events. person’s town. They discovered this vibrant big city with an Davis developed an activities schedule that includes cultural array of experiences to offer the African American visitor. sites and entertainment of interest to her African American Denver has it all.” family members. Young realized that family members traveling from homes at The Davis clan might want to steal a few ideas from Ron sea level, particularly seniors, adjusting to Denver’s “mile high” Young, a Denver resident who hosted the 95 attendees of the altitude could present health risks. So, at every opportunity he Saxton Family Reunion. Young took two years to thoughtfully emphasized the need to stay hydrated and provided water plan his family reunion, carefully filling the schedule with bottles at each event. Like most reunion planners, Young something special for everyone. needed to identify activities for a family reflecting


Saxton Family Reunion ready to visit Denver’s Black American West Museum.



many interests across all age groups. He decided that downtown was the “place to be” for the reunion home base. They chose an excellent location for the group to enjoy walks on the city’s mile-long downtown 16th Street Mall promenade or rides on the Mall’s free shuttle bus to more than 300 restaurants, shops, the Denver Performing Arts Complex, the State Capitol Building and the Denver Art Museum. The 16th Street Mall Shuttle route also extends to LoDo, Denver’s 25-square-block hip, historic district in Lower Downtown, where century-old warehouses have been converted to art galleries, coffee houses, sports bars and jazz cafes. As Young puts it, “The free Mall Shuttle, with the access it offers to various historical sites, night life and light rail connections to other parts of the city, was my godsend!” For major trips, Young chose Sid Wilson’s A Private Guide (, an African American-owned company specializing in tours for convention and reunion visitors. “I can’t

Credit: David Falconer for the Denver Metro CVB

Take your family fest West

say enough about Sid Wilson and what a true pleasure it was to work with him. His company’s superior service made my job as a planner a whole lot easier,” admits Young. Saxtons packed a lot of fun into their four days in Denver. They visited INVESCO Field, home of the Denver Broncos, the Broncos Training Center, Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies Baseball Team, Cherry Creek Shopping Center, Six Flags Elitch Gardens and Genesee Park, where herds of bison roam freely amidst breathtaking mountain top views of Denver. They also enjoyed gambling in an old mining town and the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. African American cultural sites included the Five Points Neighborhood, the Black American West Museum & Heritage Center, which tells the forgotten story of African American cowboys, and the BlairCaldwell African American Research Library, where the history of African Americans in the west can be explored.

The bronze statue of Martin Luther King, Jr., located in Denver’s grand City Park, stands as one of the nation’s most spectacular memorial tributes to the “drum major of peace.” This striking replica features Dr. King majestically standing atop a three-layer pedestal, with bronze representations of Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass and Mahatma Gandhi below. The Saxtons’ visit to Denver stands as their largest reunion turnout, with 25% of family members arriving early or staying late to enjoy more of the city. Even though it’s been almost a year, when you listen to Ron Young recalling the gathering, you can hear the warmth in his voice – as if it just happened yesterday. “I have some wonderful images in my mind, such as seeing the excitement in the eyes of my family members as they stood close by, watching the big buffalo roaming around Genesee Park. These are memories that I won’t soon forget,” reflects Young. Contact the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, 800-880-9059;

About the author Susan Burks is a communications consultant living in Denver, Colorado.




Planning your family reunion T

he first step in planning a family reunion is to accept that this will take a lot of your time and that you will need to persevere, no matter what. It is of utmost importance to make a commitment to yourself to do whatever it takes to finalize every detail. Do not get discouraged! Give it your best try! It is a time-consuming process but a labor of love. But do not try to do it alone! Your listening skills, patience and willingness to cooperate with the majority will be challenged. To make your job easier, having your own home office and supplies to get you started is almost mandatory! Taking on the role of chairman of your family reunion committee, as I did, can be fun. The planning process provides you an opportunity to show off your leadership and organization skills, to increase your confidence and self-esteem, and to get to know relatives like you’ve never known them before! Close up and personal! Give yourself at least a year to gather and consolidate your ideas to present to



family members and to get a feel for the consensus of family members. First discuss your idea casually with family members in an informal setting: at a birthday party or in a personal phone call. I was lucky: my family was ready for a major get-together. Our family reunion committee consisted of my father, three brothers, two sisters, five cousins, my spouse and me. Make your first communication to all family members by formal correspondence – first class letter or a phone call. Email works perfectly once all interested family members have been informed to watch for emails from the family reunion committee, but for the initial contact first class mail is more reliable. Send on attractive stationery, asking interested parties to contact you with the role they would like to play in planning the family reunion. Announce a meeting for all family members. We included a survey asking about choices of places, locations, foods, special needs, etc. We included self-

by LaVerne A. Smith-Bell

addressed, stamped envelopes for return responses. Later, we included an RSVP form for more feedback. Be creative! Get everyone excited! Remain upbeat and positive! Once you have positive feedback, set up a convenient meeting for everyone who responded positively. Let them know the number one agenda item will be election of officers for the family reunion committee and that refreshments will be served (initially at your expense and probably at your residence). Refreshments can be cheese and crackers or something you fix quickly. Do not overextend yourself which is easy to do because of your excitement! Family Reunion Committee positions you should consider are chairman/ president, vice president, Sergeant-atArms, treasurer, assistant treasurer, secretary and assistant secretary. Include this information in your letter. Duties and responsibilities of each position can vary with the needs of the committee. Brief job descriptions follow. • Chairman/president The chairman/president oversees all activities. In conjunction with the committee, the chairman shares decision-making for the family reunion. The chairman chairs meetings, approves the agenda and assures that the committee remains focused and adheres to the time frame for completion of each project or task. • Vice-President The vice-president assists and acts on behalf of the chairman/president and assists other committee members. • Sergeant-At-Arms The SergeantAt-Arms maintains order within the committee. Some family reunions are quite formal and abide by Robert’s Rules of Order. Visit your local library for Robert’s Rules. • Treasurer The treasurer records and monitors all incoming and outgoing money and prepares (weekly/biweekly/ monthly) financial reports for the committee. • Assistant Treasurer The assistant treasurer assists the treasurer and may have check-signing rights to disburse funds or receive funds with the added signature of the treasurer and chairman. • Secretary The secretary is responsible for taking minutes at meetings and for office procedures, including typing,

filing, family reunion mailings, etc. The secretary reads the previous meeting minutes at each meeting. • Assistant Secretary The assistant secretary assists the secretary. Other committee positions can be developed as required. There is no way you can do it all yourself. For example, someone may offer to transport equipment, food, chairs, etc. No position or need should go unfilled, if manpower is available. We had cookers at our picnic. And, a clean up crew. If possible, all officer positions should be filled by the end of the first election meeting. The attending family members should decide whether proxy votes will count. Inform elected officers of their respective responsibilities. Before the election meeting is adjourned, the next meeting agenda items should be agreed upon, a date set for your next meeting and location. Any unresolved issues can be tabled for the next meeting. As with planning any event, topics that should be considered are: • What is the event? • When will it take place? • Where will it be held? • Why a family reunion? • How much is it going to cost? • Who will pay? Details will be decided by all members of the committee who will also decide who will be responsible for each activity. In many cases, members may wish to or can work on other committees as long as their main responsibilities are not neglected. We circulated a survey to gather information to make this family reunion memorable for everyone. This was also how we estimated all our expenses. For food, we estimated our restaurant expenses per plate, per adult and/or per child. For our outdoor expenses, we estimated individual serving sizes per adult/child in addition to the cost of the park grounds. In some cases we charged by family – e.g., two adults and number of children. We were also able to reimburse ourselves for initial out-ofpocket expenses. Our family reunion was a three-day celebration: Friday, Saturday and Sunday until noon. For out-of-town family members and late payments, registration and/or sign in took place at Among Friends, Family and Company,

Arrangements were made for out of town family members to stay with other family members or at neighboring hotels. Driving directions to all events were provided. On Saturday we had our family reunion picnic at the Calumet City Green Lake Pool and Beach, and Sunday we had a buffet brunch/dinner at Captain’s Hard Times Restaurant in Chicago. The oldest living family members were recognized and celebrated, and a moment of silence was observed in honor of those no longer with us. In addition to games and giveaways, an added bonus for all families attending was a booklet with a 168-year family tree dating back to 1831. Another major challenge but interesting and informative, the family tree information was solicited from many family members, old and young, by phone calls, chance meetings, letters, pictures, emails and face-to-face interviews. During the planning process, it is important for the family reunion committee to stay in touch with other

family members who are not part of the planning process. A one- to two-page biweekly or monthly newsletter is a good method for communicating the planning stages. Continue to encourage family members to join in planning. Suggest that they send pictures, articles and updates for the family reunion newsletter as well as suggestions and recommendations for family reunion ideas.

About the author LaVerne A. Smith-Bell, Chicago, Illinois, plans the Smith-Newsome, Forrest Family Reunion. This article originated at, a website devoted to party planning.

IS YOUR REUNION PLANNED BY COMMITTEE? We’d like to learn more about your committee meetings and work. Send to




Reunion kick-off


Checking in for the Branch/Outlaw Family Reunion fundraiser, Spring Has Sprung.

n Easter Sunday the Branch/Outlaw Family Reunion (B/O) enjoyed their Spring Has Sprung event, the kickoff for 2007 reunion preparation. “The weather, food, crowd, music, games, fellowshipping were wonderful,” reported enthusiastic reunion organizer Rick Branch, Capital Heights, Maryland. In the tradition of Easter, instead of hiding eggs for the kids to find, they set out 150 balloons, five of which contained money ($1, $5, $10, $20 and a $100 bill). All were found except the $5 dollar bill. The event brought new family members not able to meet at the last reunion. There were three inflatables for the kids and three genres of musical entertainment: Gospel, jazz and danceable music. They interviewed all the members who were willing to record on DVD, which they make available for purchase.

Pink Shell perfect for Thompsons


he Thompson Family recently celebrated their 25th Annual Reunion at the Pink Shell Beach Resort & Spa in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. Thirty family members from all over the US enjoyed the sunny South Florida weather as they have for the past ten years. Thompsons chose the Pink Shell because of its location on Estero Island, between Sanibel and Naples. Pink Shell Beach Resort & Spa is on 1,500 feet of the most pristine beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, with facilities on both the Gulf and Matanzas Bay. It is the only property in the area that offers both gulf-front and bay-front views and access, and caters to families and small groups. According to reunion organizer, Mike Hill, Gainesville, Florida, the Thompsons also enjoyed the family amenities that the Pink Shell has to offer, such as recreational activities, spacious accommodations, fine dining and meeting facilities. The family-friendly atmosphere at the Pink Shell is specifically what they were looking for. The KiddsKampp®, a specialized adult-supervised children and youth program, is designed to offer fun, kid-friendly activities. Parents can have free time to enjoy spa treatments, waverunner outings or an afternoon of fishing. Contact Pink Shell Beach Resort & Spa, 275 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach FL 33931; 888-309-2919;



Pink Shell mascot, Sparky, entertains KiddsKampp ® kids.

When strangers become family by Melissa Maenle


bout eight years ago my cousin and I discussed the greatest present a grandchild could provide for their beloved and aging grandfather. A book entitled Maenles across America was the focus of our attention. There were many names we didn’t recognize and names for which we knew the addresses were incorrect. We wondered how accurate this book was. Frustration set in and the idea was tossed aside.

the phone calls. He passed some on to our cousin, who knew all about the family tree. I was starting to get excited. This was actually going to work. I updated my grandpa on progress we made during my daily visits. During those, I learned about our family’s past. I hung onto every word, having never heard these stories before. I treasured these moments. The day had finally come. We waited nervously for strangers who we knew to be

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Grandpa, Alex Maenle, honoree extraordinaire, at his Maenle Family Reunion at Lion Lutheran of Summerfield, Petersburg, Michigan.

A few months later, when an aunt passed away, guilt set in. We knew she would have loved a reunion. Talks with my grandfather about the good ol’ days re-sparked my interest. I told my folks of my plan. We rented the church hall and knew that at the very least, those closest to grandpa would be there. I typed out a plain invitation, not knowing where to start or what to do. I spent long hours on the internet searching for names and addresses of “lost” Maenles. I sent invites to every person in the book hoping for at least a few responses. A little nervous about family tree information, I asked for help from trusted relatives who have been studying our family tree for some time. It wasn’t long before phone calls from the curious came. Unsure myself, I asked my dad to field

distant cousins. As they arrived, they appeared as nervous as we. Introductions were made and conversation started to flow. It was amazing how many similarities we shared. Children with the same names, the same story about thinking they were the last of the Maenles. The stories shared that day were outstanding. More than anything else, the look in my grandpa’s eyes when he saw a cousin he played with and hadn’t seen for so long. They were both so happy. The rest of the family couldn’t help but be happy for them. In less than a day, strangers became family. We have taken turns hosting the reunion year after year. This year we celebrated our seventh reunion. The family keeps growing larger, and hopefully, the reunions will grow as well.

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Giving my grandfather the gift of family was the best thing I’ve ever done. It made me realize the importance of family at a relatively young age. Today I am writing of that magical moment in memory of my grandpa. He left us Memorial Day (which seems fitting for some one who was so loved and memorable) of 2002.

About the author Melissa Maenle will be a junior at Dickinson State University in Dickinson, North Dakota, so was quite young when she had the idea to start her family reunion. She also takes classes through the North American School of Outdoor Writing. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S



And what a time we had!


by Arlene Goetze

Kids show off their boat building creations made of plastic bottles, foam and duct tape before sailing them in the hot tub.

hat I wanted to find for the site of our family reunion was a place outdoors that had a kitchen and real bathrooms, not too far from the San Jose, California, airport, where some members would be landing. We also hoped for a site where our family of seven children plus the families of a niece and nephew could gather, leaving cell phones and electronics behind; a place where we could play games, work on activities and

strengthen family bonds with laughter and fun. Laurel Mill Lodge, halfway between San Jose and Santa Cruz, was to us, a blessing in the woods. Our 19 adults and 20 children rolled into this shady spot on a Saturday morning in July. As the kids raced to choose lodging either in cabins or dormitories or the large Lodge living room itself, adults unloaded vans with weekend supplies, stowing food in the walk-in fridge and arranging materials for several craft projects. Six families

The family gathers for closing family ceremonies and awards.



pitched their tents on the spacious meadow, set above the running creek, somewhat shaded by tall redwood trees. We planned a variety of activities, far removed from everyday life in nearby Silicon Valley. Our first night was ancestor night, a time for recalling where this family came from. Each person had to sign in on a family tree and check out the ancestor photos to see if they resembled anyone. German sauerkraut with sausage was the highlight of the menu and even some kids ate it. German music was played during supper and a few members danced the Polish polka on the redwood deck of the pavilion behind the Lodge. During the evening campfire, we roasted marshmallows, of course, and the adults took turns telling stories about something from their past: who was hung in effigy in college, who won a hula hoop contest, who spent a summer at the Naval Academy. When the woods became dark, we migrated to the very large Lodge living room for an introduction to the activities ahead. There was the Time Capsule we would fill, guidelines and supplies for making boats to float on the large spa that doubled as a kiddie pool, and printouts of the Coat of Arms for each family so they could make their own felt banners. Sunday morning was a perfect time for a greeting ceremony for Mother Nature. We read poems, sang songs and gathered symbols of water, wood and rocks. It was the day everyone wore tie-dyed tees, which we made in advance. We were a

great mass of gorgeous colors as we gathered for games in the meadow. Our daughter Laura, a junior high teacher, brought a large selection of relay games that had adults and children forming teams to balance two-foot balls between their shoulders and to try to hit the big plastic balls with tennis balls stuffed in the toes of women’s hose. I brought 30 drums and led an evening drum circle with simple Shamanic and healing drumbeats.


We ended our weekend reunion by filling the Time Capsule with letters to ourselves for opening in the future and with a July Fourth parade around the meadow with banners we made. Families were divided into four groups with my husband, a retired Air Force officer, giving directions. Each group practiced its parade steps and sang its own song (Take me Out to the Ball Game, Yes, Jesus Loves Me, etc.) as we marched around the meadow. We survived without cell phones and electronic games and we didn’t need Disneyland or amusement places. We made our own fun and memories and Laurel Mill Lodge was a perfect site for a prefect event.

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About the author Arlene Goetze, MA, Sunnyvale, California, former editor of Network for Women’s Spirituality, has written about health and personal growth issues for 20 years. She currently teaches Drumming for Health and is a Reiki practitioner. She has been married to husband Earl for 50 years and has seven children and 15 grandchildren. She says “We had a really grand time at Laurel Mill…”

Launching water bottle boats.

Our meals were well prepared, with each family in charge of a meal and each child assigned clean-up duties. Our group gathered together on Monday morning for the long-awaited launching of the boats made of water bottles and hard foam. It was not a competition. There were no winners and losers, but the success for each boat builder was in being able to get her/his boat across the large spa.

The object of this relay is to keep that ball between their shoulders. Takes team work.




Family poetry slam and rap composition


Meg Cox reading to her son, Max.



eg Cox’s Ritual Newsletter suggested organizing a family poetry slam. All family members who want to can “perform” favorite poems, written by themselves or others. Considering how popular rap is now, why not write a family rap together? Be sure to add hand motions and maybe even dance steps for the kids. It might turn out to be a family anthem. You don’t have to create from scratch when there are great templates to copy, like the late Ogden Nash. In a pinch, you can always do your own version of Roses are Red ... There are lots of resources to help find poems kids will love. The Academy of American Poets,, is stuffed with fun ideas and activities. The website’s “poetry store” has a CD compilation of famous poets reading their stuff or the book and companion CD called Poetry Speaks to Children. Of the many poetry anthologies for kids, I recommend two recent books. Talking Like the Rain: A Read-To-Me Book of Poems is a paperback with 120 poems pegged for kindergarten to fourth grade. Caroline Kennedy compiled A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poems for Children, which covers a wide range of celebrated poets and includes The Lord’s Prayer. Check with the children’s librarian at your local library. If your kids are slightly older, 8 or so, I can’t say enough about Sharon Creech’s unusual book Love That Dog, a short novel composed entirely of poems. It’s about a little boy who doesn’t want to write poetry at school because he thinks it’s a girl thing, but then he gets carried away writing a poem about his dog. PG warning: the dog died, and the boy has taken it hard. These ideas are from a free e-news- letter written by author and traditions expert Meg Cox. Her latest book, The Book of New Family Traditions, is available from Write to subscribe to the newsletter.




Make reunion plans a family affair by Joe Crea


ne of the high points of my family’s year is our annual reunion. On a Sunday afternoon each August, members of our clan come from Ohio, Florida, Oklahoma and California to share a meal, swap stories, play and reconnect. Since the mid-1950s, it has been one of the greatest traditions we’ve enjoyed – despite thunderstorms or ungodly heat, hornets, quarrels and the loss of loved ones. A family reunion is a big party, though it’s often more difficult to pull off because the “guests” are intimates who may be more demanding or challenging than mere acquaintances. The upside: Unless you’re an incurable control freak, dividing and sharing the workload is what makes the best reunions fluid and fun. If you’ve often considered staging a reunion with your own extended family, now’s the time to get things rolling. Here are some ideas for making such an event a success. Don’t do everything yourself. Even a small reunion is work. Winter and spring events or holidays are the perfect time to get the ball rolling. If you’re gathered for a bridal shower, birthday or just Sunday dinner, talk up the idea. Once you’ve determined whether there’s interest in making a reunion happen, find and assemble a core group who’ll get the machine moving. Find and secure a location early. That could mean a family member’s back yard, a party room or a park pavilion, depending upon the size of your clan. Assuming yours is a rain-or-shine event, shelter will be required. The Cleveland Metroparks, for example, have a limited number of reserved spaces that book quickly; call early. Pass the hat. Organizers will need a little seed money. No one should have to absorb most of the cost of producing the reunion, but there are a few expenses. You may need a small fund upfront to cover the cost of announcements and maps, plus postage. Later, there may be communal expenses, such as charcoal, beverages, paper goods, etc.



Bear in mind, some folks get itchy the moment money is mentioned. Make certain someone reliable handles any contributions, and you may save yourself undue grief if you keep a folder with receipts to document any expenditures. You may want to set a modest fee, say $10 per family (unless there’s some extraordinary cost such as tent, table or chair rentals) and leave it to individual families to bring what they want to eat and/or drink. Play to individual strengths. Encourage volunteers who can handle responsibilities such as booking a location, producing and mailing announcements, coordinating food or activities, setup and cleanup, etc. Do your best to accommodate everyone. That means safe activities for youngsters, and somebody trustworthy to lend a hand – as well as comfortable seating for older family members, proper rest facilities, water for cleanup, trash removal, etc. Make food a central player. Our event starts with a huge lunchtime potluck of homemade and store-bought dishes – a combination of family favorites and “house specialties.” Sharing is the rule, so oversize platters abound. Late in the day, we feast on steamed corn and grilled sausage sandwiches, paid for by passing the hat. Everyone brings their own tablecloths, dishes and plastic ware. Don’t make food the only reason to convene. Come up with activities. But keep things loose. There’s nothing more annoying than the know-it-all brother-in-law who organizes a five-mile hike after lunch and demands full participation. We’re fortunate enough to be hosted by family members who own a miniature golf course, driving range and batting cages, so families with kids can have a turn with clubs and bats. There are simple races and activities for the younger kids, cards and storytelling for the older family members. Remember the memorabilia. Aunt Stella has kept an album of family photographs, letters, milestone events and other bits of lore, some of it ranging back to the early 1900s. Passing the book, reviewing new additions and reminiscing all are part of the fun of getting everyone together. ©2006 The Plain Dealer. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.


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Plan a family health workshop for your reunion by Georgia Burnette, RN, MSN, MSEd hirty years ago, interest in family history reached unprecedented levels with the publication of Alex Haley’s Roots. Genealogists entered seventh heaven as the search intensified for relatives, past and present. Today, as we continue that search, the growing interest in family health augments and enhances our exploration.


WHY? Focus on health A reunion is a loom on which you weave various family threads into whole cloth. One essential thread is your ancestral group’s health history. So consider offering a family health workshop at your next gathering as a gift to current and future generations. Workshop goals Where to start? First, think through what you wish to accomplish: your goal(s). Is it to offer general healthcare information with a focus on wellness and healthy lifestyles versus illness? Is it to examine major health problems affecting family members at this time? Is it to conduct a survey to learn about your family’s past medical history? Or some combination of these? According to physicians at the Mayo Clinic, “Mapping the family’s medical history may be the single most important action you can do to identify risks the family might face in the coming years.” Once you determine your goal and topic, consider program length, speaker selection, production of handouts, audiovisual aids selection, program evaluation and, of course, a budget for the project (outline at end of this article).

BACKGROUND What you need to know about family history If you decide to explore your family’s health history, investigate common illnesses within the various ancestral groups (see illustrations of Healy and Martin families). Be aware, however, that family health history may prove to be a very sensitive subject. So smile sweetly and tread gently until you’ve compiled an overview of your family’s health picture. Once the information is compiled, it’s imperative to look at recurring illnesses and causes of death of family elders and “close relatives.” (a) “Close” is defined as: First Degree relatives: parents, siblings, offspring Second Degree relatives: grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces and half-siblings. Understand that the cause of death may not always be the underlying disease process. For example, a stroke may be caused by a bleeding vessel (possibly a bleeding disorder or trauma), a clot (possibly a clotting disorder), or a tumor (a benign or malignant growth). In other words, it may be necessary to look beyond information on the death certificate, if at all possible. (b) It is very important to determine the person’s age at onset of an illness. Note all recurrences, but pay special attention to those surfacing by or before age 55. Examples: elevated blood pressure and/or cholesterol levels, tumors (benign or cancerous), diabetes, heart disease, mental illness. (c) Most experts say it’s not necessary to trace a family’s medical history back more than two or three generations. However, you should be able to discuss the diseases that affected your parents and grandparents with your physician. (d) The identification of specific diseases may indicate the need for earlier screening (tests) and closer supervision by your physician (e) There can also be a need for immediate and long-range changes in one’s lifestyle. (f) If you’ve mapped the family history, one workshop handout should chart your findings, depicting health problems by family line.

l HEALY FAMILY Cancer and Diabetes Martha and Henry Healy Thomas

Cancer of Esophogus

Veronica James Anna


Abdominal Tumor



Cancer of Breast

Cancer of Kidney



Cancer of Lung


(married Sam Mango

who is Diabetic) Steven*



Cancer of Breast *Living AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Plan a family health workshop for your reunion LOGISTICS Speaker Locating a speaker shouldn’t be difficult if you look within the family, your circle of friends, neighbors and colleagues. If that search is not productive, a nearby university is your next best bet. Call the School of Nursing to ascertain if there are master prepared Nurse Practitioners or Clinical Nurse Specialists who are experts in their areas of nursing. Also check the education departments at a nearby hospital, HMO or community health center for speakers with appropriate credentials. Other medical professionals (nutritionists, dentists, physical therapists) also are available through these same channels. During early negotiations inquire about an honorarium, or ask whether the speaker would volunteer his/her services. Determine audio-visual needs and agree upon who will be responsible for handout preparation. Once you reach agreement on these issues, put it in writing as soon as possible to avoid misunderstandings. Retain a copy for your files. Remember, if it isn’t in writing, it doesn’t exist! Maintain contact with your speaker, and request an outline of the lecture at least two weeks prior to presentation. This should reduce the possibility of last minute surprises. You’ll need help Don’t do it alone. Recruit an assistant (and an alternate) to lend a hand on the day of the presentation. Your helper(s) can greet new arrivals, distribute handouts, evaluations and writing materials (if needed), assist with audiovisual needs, collect the sign-in sheet and troubleshoot as necessary. Something unexpected usually occurs, so be prepared. Capture workshop highlights in pictures by a designated reunion photographer or appoint someone to do candid shots and/or a video of the speaker and participants. Don’t forget to take a picture of yourself and your assistants (especially if you want help next time). Important: start on time! Good organization and starting at the appointed hour conveys a favorable but no-nonsense approach to both speaker and participants. It says, “This is important business, let’s get going! 36



l MARTIN FAMILY Neurological Deficit and Diabetes Elam



Cancer of Lung

(married Henry* who is Diabetic)



Numerous Physical and Neurological Problems

Diabetic ^BP




COPD Elevated BP



Mentally ^ BP Retarded @ age 35



2 Sons Autistic

One Son Mildly Autistic

Great grandson+ *Living

REALITIES Workshop costs Room charge When booking other activities with the hotel, determine whether there will be a separate room charge for meeting rooms. Audio-visual equipment Before you engage your speaker, check costs of renting audio- visual equipment. Ask the speaker what he/she has available. Speaker honorarium How much can your reunion budget afford to reimburse the speaker? Speakers often forego honorariums, if you include them in the banquet dinner or family picnic. Perhaps give a memento of your reunion. Duplicating costs Will the speaker provide his/her handouts, or expect you to cover those costs? Consider • Number of family expected to attend • Total number of pages in the handout • Cost per page (color or black and white?) • Cost of folders, if you use them (plain or color?) Refreshments Refreshments in the hotel can be very expensive, and usually you are not permitted to bring in your own food or beverages. If the workshop is scheduled after breakfast or lunch, water is usually sufficient. Summary of costs Room charge (if any) Audio-visual equipment Speaker honorarium (if any) Duplicating Costs Refreshments (if any) Total

$ $ $ $ $ $

_____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________

WHAT NEXT? Evaluation Develop a short evaluation to determine how successful you were in meeting your goal(s). Prepare a short list of questions using a 1-5 point scale to inquire about the value of the workshop. Was it was well organized? Interesting? Informative? Was the subject matter effectively presented by the speaker? Was the environment comfortable? Finally, ask for recommendations for improvement. The evaluation will be easy to collect if copied on bright-colored paper. Promise and plan to share your findings at the next gathering or in the family newsletter. People want to know their comments have been read and acted upon in follow-up, future workshops or activities. For the Archives … The family historian will love you for providing him/her with documents and artifacts of a family health history workshop. There’ll be your survey and compilation of common family illnesses, the sign-in sheet and handouts, an evaluation summary plus a beautiful array of photos for the archives. Ideas for future gatherings Make every effort to continue the focus-on-health momentum. If there is a newsletter, include something in each issue and ask family healthcare professionals to write articles. Plan hands-on demonstrations by taking blood pressures, providing a healthy foods cooking demonstration, a show-and-tell with “good versus bad” oils, how to read food labels, or examining the fat, salt and protein content of fast foods. The latter is an absolute eye opener! If you conducted a health history survey, encourage family members to keep you informed of possible “trends” or common illnesses within their own group. Present updates in the newsletter or during each reunion, and encourage everyone to share the information gained with their respective physicians.

About the author Georgia Burnette, RN, MSN, MSEd, Amherst, New York, is a frequent contributor to Reunions magazine. She is a regular speaker at the National Family Reunion Conference about family associations and family health issues. Georgia has been the planner of the Burnett(e) Family Reunion and is editor of the impressive family newsletter, Burnett(e) Bugler.

Lifelong learning healthcare workshop is an excellent way to promote the concept of lifelong learning. Learning about yourself, your family and the family’s overall health problems may result in relatives taking additional responsibility for their health and that of their family.


Make health a “family reunion” affair


onsidering the hereditary nature of the key disease risk factors and the connectedness families feel during reunions, this is a prime opportunity to discuss health issues. The National Kidney Disease Education Program’s (NKDEP) Family Reunion Initiative encourages families to talk about the connection between diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease at family reunions. Many people don’t know that diabetes and high blood pressure – conditions that often run in families – are the two leading causes of kidney failure. Approximately 20 million Americans have kidney disease and millions more are at risk. And there are things you can do to protect your kidneys.

NKDEP’s Kidney Connection Guide provides everything you need to share important kidney health information at reunions. You don’t have to know a lot about health or kidney disease. The Guide provides background information about kidney disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, and outlines three sample approaches you can use to share the information. 1. Photocopy the Guide’s “Note to Family Members,” attach it to fact sheets and distribute it to family members or put in reunion goodie bags. 2. Use the “Talking One on One” approach which includes talking points and shows you how to identify family members at risk for kidney disease and have private conversations with them. 3. Make time on the reunion agenda, to have a 15-minute Make the Kidney Connection Health Discussion that covers basic facts family members should know about kidney disease. African Americans are at particularly high risk: nearly four times more likely than Caucasians to develop kidney failure. And while they make up only 12 percent of the population, African Americans account for 32% of people who experience kidney failure. The Kidney Connection Guide is free and can be downloaded or ordered from NKDEP’s Family Reunion Site, www.nkdep.nih .gov/familyreunion; or call 866-4 KIDNEY (866-454-3639). The National Kidney Disease Education Program is an initiative of the National Institutes of Health. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Life saving discussion


ost people haven't discussed organ donation with their family. So often families are forced to make decisions about donating organs without knowing what the deceased loved one would have wanted. When relatives know the deceased’s wishes, they usually comply. When they don't know, they refuse organ donation about half of the time. More than half of the Americans who need transplants in the US die because only about 40% of adult Americans are registered organ donors. Many who haven't registered would do so if they were reminded of the dire need. According to LifeSharers, over 7,000 Americans die every year because of the organ shortage. Americans bury or cremate about 20,000 transplantable organs every year. Over 91,000 people are on the waiting list today for an organ and more than 40,000 more will join the list this year. America desperately needs more organ donors. This information was provided by Dave Undis, LifeSharers,

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Is there a doctor in the house? by Renita M. Brooks, RN, BSN planning is difficult enough. I should know. I helped my mother plan our RI hadeunion family reunion some years ago. Fortunately, this was after I had become a nurse and learned something very valuable: one thing an organizer can’t afford to forget about is the possibility of health-related emergencies. Whether the gathering will take place indoors or out, is geared toward the old or young, or will last a few hours or a few days, don’t forget about the need for access to emergency services. You can do a multitude of things to cut the chances of having a major emergency, or can better prepare for an unavoidable emergency. o Be aware of all hospital or community emergency room facilities in advance of the reunion. This is fairly easy to accomplish. A basic yellow pages search in the local phone book or on the internet will reveal healthcare institutions in a given mile radius and the types of services and resources available at each hospital. This should be done far enough in advance so information can be included in pre-reunion mailers. o Learn who the high-risk attendees may be. There may be several people attending the reunion who have current health issues you should be aware of. If they are willing to let you know that they are of high risk, keep this information close and handy. The more you know about attendees and their health, the better you will be prepared to handle medical situations as they arise. o Have first aid kits handy throughout the reunion. Make sure there is at least one first aid kit available at every activity you plan. These cost anywhere from $10 to $40 and are available at most discount department or drug stores. Make sure they include – at least – bandages, tape, antihistamines (for allergic reactions) and topical antibiotics, especially if activities are outdoors. They may also include headache or diarrhea medications. If “patients” are younger, get consent when giving any first-aid. Assign point persons to be responsible for kits and make sure every attendee knows who the person is and how to reach them. Point persons MUST be aware of how to use kit contents and be able to contact emergency services, if needed. o Hire a health care professional. This may not be necessary for every reunion, especially if money is tight. However, if attendees are older or if you plan lots of accident-prone activities (hiking, rock climbing or swimming), hiring a registered nurse familiar with your attendee population and/or issues regarding activities planned (such as an ER nurse) for a few hours of “stand-by” assistance may be considered. The issue here is safety, and if you can think of more than a few instances where “accidents” may occur, then you may need to look into this as a viable option. o Become BLS trained. Many community resources are happy to train as many people as possible to become versed in Basic Life Support. Many firehouses, hospitals and community centers charge $25 to $75 for the basic training course. Make sure that the BLS course is American Heart Association certified and that trainers have taken Instructor classes before you enroll. It is essential that healthcare emergencies be part of the reunion planning process. Your attendees will appreciate the extra effort you put into including their safety and will be more than happy to know their security is as important to you as it is to them. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

About the author When Renita M. Brooks, RN, BSN, and her mother organized their Head/Williams Family Reunion, a family member felt faint and dizzy and needed assistance. Renita was a new nurse and wasn’t entirely sure of what to do, except keep the person comfortable and call an ambulance. She didn’t know whether the person had an illness. This experience prompted her to write this article so others can be better prepared. You’ll also want to see Family Health History at See Good for your family health by Erika Dreifus, PhD, to learn about the US Department of Health and Human Services “ Family History Initiative.” It features My Family Health Portrait, a free software tool that helps collect and organize information about family members and diseases they may have suffered.


Looking for a band? S teve Wyrostek of Boomer Music, Des Plaines, Illinois, described his as the perfect band for a reunion. “We are all in our forties, wear Hawaiian shirts and have a lot of fun. Our music is basically from the ’60s and our originals are what we call ‘baby boomer rock,’ which is geared toward the baby boomer generation. We do crazy giveaways at our shows. For example, we have the audience guess our collective weight (we’re all rather burly). Whoever is closest wins a free cassette of four of our original songs and a t-shirt. Our rates are very reasonable. I think a flexible, fun band like ours adds vibrancy to the occasion that can’t be matched.” Rates are negotiable with a band. It generally depends on

length of time, whether a soundman is required and where the event is held. “Generally, we would charge in the neighborhood of $500 to $700 for a four- to five-hour performance. That’s for all five pieces. We would do solos, duos or unplugged for less. I can’t say it enough: everything is negotiable with a band – from both ends, buyer and band.” Go directly to the band for the best rate. Agents jack up the price and the band doesn’t always get the money. To find a band, check local papers or entertainment magazines (the Entertainer, Suburban Nightlife) to see what band is playing where. Also check ads in local magazines (like North Shore in the Chicago area). Get a feel for the band’s style by reading captions in the paper (classic rock, dance music), by going to see them, or by asking for a tape. Contact the band directly and be very specific about your needs. For example, ask the band if they could/would play The Times of My Life by Paul Anka. Could they write a special song for the occasion? Ask about their specialty: ’60s music, the Beatles, etc. Maybe give them a list of songs to play. Get a feel for how flexible they are. “We bring all the words to our playbook (150 songs) to our shows,” Wyrostek continued. “We need them because we’ve found that after 40 years on earth, we don’t always remember the words to the songs! We have no problem having reunion members singing a song with us (many bands wouldn’t do that). Our main objective is to have fun and do our best to help the audience have fun. Hiring a band is a buyer’s market.”

Let the music play


yra W. Hilliard, Esq., CMP, a meetings industry attorney and assistant professor of Event Management at The George Washington University in Washington, DC, writes about music copyright. In Successful Meetings magazine, she explained that copyright laws prohibit an organization or individual from using copyrighted music at a public performance without a license from the copyright owner. The law defines “public performance” broadly, to include virtually any setting outside a group of family and friends. The copyright law may apply whether the music used is live or pre-recorded, background or primary entertainment, and whether or not the event is restricted to members or employees. When we read Ms. Hilliard’s explanation we asked if she would define reunions as “a group of family and friends.” She responded that we might be classifying “family and friends” too broadly. “Although difficult to define exactly, the law looks at whether a group gathering has a commercial aspect to it. For example, was a registration fee charged, was space rented for the gathering, is a profit made by any person or group? I think a family reunion, by its nature, would be exempt from music licensing, just as a wedding is, but I’m not sure about a class reunion or military reunion.” She concluded “Like so many areas of law, it seems like a grey area to me.”

Benrud Family Reunion Choir



ne wonderful reunion tradition is singing in the family choir. Every reunion has been graced with singing, and our family has an abundance of beautiful voices. Traditionally, the choir sings at the talent show and at the Sunday church service. Please join in singing songs of praise. Found in the Benrud family newsletter.




Spiritual legacy of the Malone Family


he Malone family’s first gospel project, the self-titled The Malone Family Choir: A Family Reunion, is a tribute to the late Aaron and Jossie Malone. They left a spiritual legacy to their 14 children, 80+ grandchildren, 65 great-grandchildren, 10 great-greatgrandchildren and generations to come. The spiritual legacy of the Malone Family Choir began long before the choir was formed (around 1983). Malone children were exposed to singing and the power of prayer, praise and worship from their parents, in the cotton fields and in Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Crawford, Mississippi. The Malones were pillars of the community, well respected and loved by all who knew them. Aaron, known as a Big Daddy (to his family), was a member of the Deacon Board and an adult Sunday school teacher. Jossie, known as “Mama Jossie,” was on the mothers board, sang in the choir and was known as a “great intercessor” and a “true evangelist.” Whenever there was a revival, she went door to door and town to town looking for lost souls to win to Christ. All fourteen children attended church every Sunday and were in the choir. As the children reached adulthood, the boys were first to leave home. Appling and Aaron, two of five brothers who moved to Flint, Michigan, started a singing group, the “Gospel Southern Aires.” The girls remained in Mississippi for a while and formed the “Malone Sisters” singing group.

Available for $15.00 at

At every gathering, the family enjoyed fellowship and singing. The first official family reunion in 1973 was for Aaron and Jossie’s 50th wedding anniversary celebration. The Malone Family Choir was formed ten years later, under the direction of the youngest daughter, Jossie. The Malones are committed to carrying on the tradition of gathering each year for a week- end to honor their parents and deceased loved ones in a Sunday evening concert. The Malone Family Choir: A Family Reunion is available at www.reunionsmag .com for $15.00. The opening song Welcome to Our Family Reunion is the perfect way to set a joyful tone for any family reunion.

Star-studded Madea’s Family Reunion soundtrack


otown Records with Lionsgate released the soundtrack from Tyler Perry’s, Madea’s Family Reunion. The soundtrack features Brian McKnight, LL Cool J, Chaka Khan, and Johnny Gill. It includes a rousing all-star ensemble’s Everyday (Family Reunion) and the O’Jays’ Family Reunion. The movie revolves around 68-year old southern matriarch Mabel Simmons, “Madea” (played by Perry). “Madea’s Family Reunion” finds Madea using every tactic in her arsenal to keep the peace and hold her family together for a family reunion. SOURCE: Motown Records




How do you get the $$? Patricia Murray, Manchester, Tennessee, asked, “Where do you begin on raising money for family reunions? We have tried dividing the cost and they gripe about it or say that they can’t afford to come. Please give us some insight.”


Add some fun ways to help lower outof-pocket reunion costs, but try to continue dividing costs because that spreads responsibility for the reunion. Check out fundraising ideas at Of course, reading the following will also give you some pretty amazing ideas to help with fundraising.


Fundraising with a special touch


very year we receive many questions about how to secure corporate funding for reunions. First, you should realize that there is no magic in scoring corporate funding. It does require research to determine who you’ll contact. Start with corporations where your members work or have some connection. Choose corporations to whom you can justify the request with lots of examples – e.g., their products are favorites of your group and why. Then comes the most essential step: find the member who can write the most compelling letters. Tell

companies what you’ll do for them, what they can expect from you for their support. Don’t even be tempted to send copies of your letters; each must be original. Then maybe you’ll get lucky. Also, don’t overlook that many corporations whose contests and sweepstakes offer family reunions as prizes. In fact, a Reunions magazine reader is the winner of last summer’s American Airlines Family Reunion Sweepstakes. Click on contests and sweepstakes at for current offerings. Good luck! EW

Supporting the Montague website


arry E. Montague is the founder and developer of The Montague Millennium website The website desperately needs a major facelift and since he’s not a professional website developer he needed to retain a professional for the enhancement and update. Preliminary indications are that the cost will be approximately $2,000. Since he began the website in 1996 he has been very cautious about asking for financial help. He has invested well over $12,000 of his own money and never asked for donations, rather always offered something in return. He offered a Montague coat-of-arms print, and recently added a Montague patch (4.25” wide) for jackets and other uses, which he offered for $10 each. He pays for shipping and handling. He is also continuing to offer the Montague Coat-of-Arms & Blazon (8.5x11”) for $40 (mat and frame not included). He sells these items year-round and promotes them for Christmas giving.

Ancestors rule


ome reunions ask for donations in the name of ancestors, parents, brothers and sisters, which makes the reunion fund a memorial fund. Ask for donations for scholarships or for specific activities or to provide general funds for the reunion. When offered as a memorial, donations take on double importance and focus on fond memories in celebrating the life of the family.

Cynthia Mora, Glendale, Arizona, reports that her Cabrera Family Reunion was in memory of her grandmother. “We had a raffle to help raise money for our next reunion. The items raffled off varied from McDonald’s gift cards to a nice set of acrylic tumblers to a small CD player. The grand prize was an 11x14 picture of my grandmother in her younger days made into a puzzle. This sold the tickets.”

Payne Family Reunion – Fundraising 101


hat reunion doesn’t need money? Since this is our first reunion, we have no money in our coffers! A simplistic method for determining a budget is to divide the total expenses by the number of attendees; no problem, right? Well, here are some suggestions to put some money in our reunion fund NOW in hopes of scaling down the perperson cost or helping a family who cannot otherwise afford to attend. 1. Have a garage/yard sale 2. Add baked goods to that sale and watch the money pour in! 3. Keep all your loose change for the next 9 months, then cash it in! 4. This is great for kids! Sponsor your own walk-a-thon. Solicit donations for each mile you walk, run, bike, whatever! 5. Are you crafty? Enter a local craft show and donate half your proceeds. 6. Are you a business owner? Tax deduction! (We may also call on you to donate products or services for the silent auction!) 7. Hold a baseball tournament in your community, at your local park. Charge a small admission fee (make sure you state what it’s for!), sell hot dogs and soda. A great family fun day! 8. Won the lottery lately? Looking to set up an endowment fund? Share your good fortune! 9. Organize a fashion show, progressive meal or casino night in your neighborhood. Charge admission, get food, drinks, etc., donations and the proceeds go to the reunion fund! 10. Do you play bridge or bunco regularly? Ask your group to donate their winnings a time or two. 11. Hold a neighborhood car wash. 12. Write a check! Make sure you write “donation” in the “For” section of your check. Reprinted with permission from Linda Lapinski, Ingleside, Illinois, for the Payne Family Reunion website.




Forum chatter


o you have questions about fund-raising? Reunions magazine forum online,, is an ideal place to find others who are facing the same reunion-

planning dilemmas and discussing the same challenges. An example of what you’ll find is this very fascinating exchange about money: who spends how much on what.

Who hasn’t asked Camie’s question (taken from the Forum): “Okay where does the cash come from to start out? Like for printing forms and letters, stamps, ordering shirts, memory books, food, etc. Example: 50 families coming x $20 per family = $1,000. Okay, with that grand, there are t-shirts for EACH person (about $10-20 each), memory book printing (current address of each family and bio), cost of food (besides the potluck on the last day), miscellaneous costs. Lodging, they can pick up on their own. Did I forget any- thing? I’m SURE I did! But that’s the idea. Basically, that $20 doesn’t go far! HELP!” Then Amber joins and says “Gosh! What I could do with $1,000! We don’t get that much. I’ve spent a lot of my own money this year making the reunion extra special. It sounds like you guys are planning on going out of town for several days for a reunion? Have you already heard from the 50 families that they will pay $20 up front? If you have, can you clue me in on how you got them to willingly hand over the money?” PrinzII in Chicago writes that the total cost of his 2005 family reunion was $15,000. “We did a bit of fund-raising for the reunion. We had bowling events that raised $500-$600. The members paid monthly dues ($20/month), which actually helped defray the cost of fees. Also, we had one fundraiser that netted us well over $4,000.” Then, Amber says, “Gosh, I feel small! What are you guys doing at your family reunions to spend so much money?” PrinzII generously responds with fascinating details for a total attendance of about 300. Spirit of Chicago – $4,000 + taxes and gratuities Bus to shuttle people to Navy Pier – $600 Wyndham Chicago – $10,000+ (Food, Banquet Hall Rental, and taxes [Chicago had raised their sales tax to 9.75% on 7/1, plus we had a lot of gratuities to pay] Office Max – $600 (souvenir book printing; I did the layout in Quark Xpress) T-Shirts – $1200 Logo Design for shirts – $50 Tote bags – $500 Umbrellas – $500 Amber answers, “That sounds AWESOME! I wanna go to a family reunion like that!!” PrinzII continues: “In addition, we put things that reminded you of Chicago in bags. The main thing we put in there was different packages of gum from Wrigley, since they are based here. We added coloring books for the kids and maps of the city for visitors to go sightseeing. “One thing you really need to budget for,” he continued, “is taxes. For example, when we got our total bill from the Wyndham, a staggering 40% of the bill came from taxes and gratuities.”

Linda L, in Fox Lake, Illinois, joins the conversation. “I am struggling with this now. I’ve mailed/emailed everyone a deposit form asking for $20 per person up front. I’ve received one response (I’m not including the 3 committee members who put up $100 each to open the checking account and pay the deposit for the hall and caterer). A first reunion is tough. It may end up being a reunion on a small scale, then you can build it up in future years. Fundraising is the key. I put together a ‘Fundraising 101’ idea sheet (see page 41). “I saw a church in my neighborhood having a car wash and thought that would be a great way to get reunion funds going. If a family member is a business owner or your church or school won’t mind you using their parking lot, just get a bunch of family members together to sponsor a car wash.



How to organize a car wash can be found at, click on paying for the reunion. “Do anything to get the per-person cost down. This is a concern for the older folks on a fixed income. I’ve had one member volunteer to ‘sponsor’ another’s expenses.” PrinzII: “I forgot to mention that those members who were over 80 didn’t have to pay for the reunion.” Then Linda makes a suggestion to Amber. “You also have to think about your membership. Are they the kind who would prefer just to get together for a Sunday picnic or are there some as adventurous as you? You have to go with the majority; there is no way you can ‘force’ people to pay for something they can’t afford.” Jo from Missouri joins the discussion. “We were going to charge a set fee per person at our first reunion but people objected so we just took up a collection. A couple of us added to it to have enough for expenses. We have had auctions of donated items (mostly family-related or made by family members) the last couple of years, which worked well and were fun. We raised more than our expenses so have money to start out with now. We are going to try a silent auction at the next reunion. Our reunion is low cost for 3 days, with food assignments for meals. The auction is for a meeting room, mailings, paper goods, etc.” Then, ibcnet in Maryland joins in to discuss fundraising ideas. “I can understand your frustrations. From the foregoing you’ll notice that many chose a fun and exciting way to get family to reach into the pockets. Silent auctions work well. However, it would be good to put some-thing together that most family members will value highly. Here are some other ideas from simple to extravagant. “Have a great family rummage sale. Family members and neighbors have things that other family members want. Look over the items donated and put aside items that would do well in an auction. Sell the rest. Location is important. Hold your sale at a heavy traffic spot in the neighborhood.

All school reunion does fundraising

F “A donation of an important family heirloom accompanied by a certificate of authenticity and a booklet recounting how the heirloom was acquired, its meaning and value, and who in each generation had the privilege of owning it, etc. Acquire two or three items for your silent auction. “Create a family reunion book that includes family history timeline, family crest, family legends, along with hand-drawn or painted portraits, a photo of a quilt or other family-made craft, interview with the eldest member, photo of earliest ancestor’s memorial, photo of oldest heirloom with background story regarding its history and authenticity, photos of past memorabilia. Have an artist paint a portrait of a notable ancestor. Sell the item at a silent auction. “Design a family reunion website with photos of all family members. Send out snail mail and email inviting the family members to view their photos and add comments about the family and reunion events. On the front page provide a link that will allow them to make a dues payment online.” PrinzII adds another fundraising idea. “If you do a souvenir book, charge businesses for ads.” To get in on this discussion, go to Click on “general discussion and tips,” then on “money.”

or their all-school reunion, Dana (Indiana) High School alumni artists were invited to bring their creations for an exhibit of their work. Woodworkers, photographers, jewelry makers, poets, authors, inventors, flower designers, clothes, accessory makers and other artists and artisans shared their work. Some items were sold at the discretion of the owners. An alumni Flea Market provided reuniongoers an opportunity to share collectibles and other possessions with old friends. Alumni have been invited to bring baskets, picture frames, glassware, flower pots, garden sculptures and other items. Classmates autograph two quilts made by a classmate for the Dana All School Reunion. One quilt was raffled and Linda Thompson Profitt, Dayton, Ohio, raised $258 for the Dana High School Endowment Fund. a 1952 alumna and chairman of the ArtsCrafts-Hobby and Flea Market, event reported that the actitivities “captured the imagination and charitable instincts of many of our alumni.”

Benrud fundraising


silent auction is a popular Benrud Family Reunion event, but its proceeds are earmarked specifically to fund the Benrud Reader newsletter and its mailing costs. The newsletter’s early announcement invites members to bring items for an auction which starts on Friday and ends after the talent show on Saturday evening. Objects that inspire bidding wars and competition are encouraged. Benrud family t-shirts depicting the newest family logo can be purchased, along with picture albums, lapel pins, genealogy books, caps, totes, family videos from prior reunions and a family recipe book dedicated to ancestors Alice Ruth “Toody” Volden, Agnes Peterson and Borghild “Borgie” Jothen, all of

Brown family coffers

A Celebrate your reunion in Reunions magazine. Send reports, copies of photos, digital photos, invitations and reunion handouts.

Share your success with other reunions! Send to

whom passed away within the last five years. Money raised from the sale of these items helps offset the expense of newsletters and booking future reunions. Money raised through memorial donations for deceased family members is held in trust for the creation of a Benrud Pioneer Church that descendants of the family plan to construct at Norskedalen Heritage Center in Coon Valley, Wisconsin, when they raise enough funds. The price tag is estimated at $300,000 and the family has already raised half the money within the last five years. The popular Benrud 2000 Commemor-ative Video by Mark Price is also available for $20 for DVD or videotape (preorders only).

n auction was used at the 2005 Brown Family Reunion as a fund start-up for their 2007 reunion. Members brought items they thought would raise an eyebrow for bidding. Believe it or not, a miniature stuffed purple dinosaur went for $20. The bid for ancestor/previous reunion photos was a high hitter (raised over $250). Another fundraiser was collecting coins; the person who brought the most in change (quarters, dimes, nickels, pennies) was the winner. The prize was that amount toward her portion of family dues. Rose Washington won with $31.10.

Videos ($10) were also a source of fundraising. It took about one year to create a family reunion timeline video. It included an introduction to Charlotte, North Carolina, and a tribute to those passed. The family felt it was well worth it, and it was received well by everyone. Tears flowed during the Memory Tribute, and laughter filled the room after the completion of the tape. The family was able to help edit the finished version by giving information we did not have. Orders were taken at the reunion and sent later. Reported by Roxie Branch, Charlotte, North Carolina. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S



TOOMER fundraiser



Having a warm sunny spring day and lots of stuff to look at helps make a flea market trip worthwhile. These shopping Toomers are (l-r) Marianne Reid Cole, Renee Clayton, Patricia Toomer Washington, Catherine Toomer Williams.

Cousins Floyd M. Riley and Shamele Jordon are very active young reunion committee members who come up with great ideas like raising reunion money at flea markets!

lea market sales are a source of funds for the Toomer Family Reunion. Throughout the month of May they reserve a table at the Berlin, New Jersey, Farmer’s Market. They accept donations of items to sell and, obviously, the more they have, they more money they make. Family members are asked to donate items or donate time working the table. In the past, popular items for sale include costume jewelry, clothing, shoes and cute knickknacks. One year someone donated a kitchen sink. It turned out to be a hot item. People bid on it all day. Shamele C. Jordon, Lindenwold, New Jersey, says they have a great time at the flea market and much of their sales are buying each other’s stuff.

Family affair takes time and effort


t all starts with a mailing list, says Sandra Wilder-Dixon. Since 1972 Wilder-Dixon’s family met at least every two years, but began holding annual events five years ago. Aside from sending about 300 letters to family members and friends announcing the weekend-long reunion, Wilder-Dixon also includes an area visitor’s guide, and expects 150 to 200. Wilder-Dixon’s family forms subcommittees to create menus and figure



per-person costs for reserving facilities and purchasing themed reunion t-shirts. “For example, if we want to go bowling, someone finds out group rates,” WilderDixon says. The upcoming Wilder-Mallett reunion is one of the least expensive in years, just $15 per person. A Friday meet-and-greet kicks off the weekend, followed by a fish and chicken fry. The goal is to provide a relaxing time for those just arriving to town. Festivities continue Saturday with a

picnic of both “soul and junk food.” Entertainment includes ball games, dominoes and a talent show featuring singing, poetry readings and family members’ highlights from the past year. To help front the bill, Sandra WilderDixon and her family host fund-raisers like car washes, yard sales and fish and chicken dinners. Extra money goes toward the next reunion. From an article by Tina Hinz in the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, Waterloo, Iowa.


Create a cookbook … with Love by Mary Thiele Fobian


very popular project for family reunions – often undertaken as a fundraising effort – is the creation of a family cookbook. If you have such an endeavor in mind, check out This online service automates the challenging aspects of format, layout and printing, so you can devote your time and attention to gathering recipes and generating participation by family members. I’ll get to the nitty-gritty about the process, but first I want to expose a shocking fact: was originated by Susan Love – a very “present” woman who will answer your email and questions, take your phone calls and actually address your issues! Furthermore, she’s interested in your cookbook’s “back story,” your reunion or group, and the reason you want to create a cookbook. When I tested the website, I was surprised and very pleased with the personal service. Love listens to feedback from users and actually makes changes and improvements. After 16 years as a professional fundraiser, Susan Love developed to help others create their own effective fundraising cookbooks. Using the website and communicating with Susan by email and telephone, it’s very clear she loves what she’s doing. TRY IT OUT!

First visit the website and give it a “test drive” – easily done, without financial obligation. Go to, click on “Free Trial” tab and follow the prompts. Yes, it is possible to build a cookbook in four weeks, if you are organized in advance. If you’re thinking of a longer-term project, you may be interested in a membership: $29.95 for two months, $39.95 for four months or $59.95 for a full year. You can author a cookbook by yourself or collect contributions from others of recipes, pictures and stories. One person should have ultimate control over what recipes, stories and images are

Examples of the end result of a project from

cost), and add extra pages at the front and/or back of the book. The possibilities are endless: family tree charts, family stories, special photos. A “Helpful Resources” tab at the website leads you to lots of food-related information, including Love’s own list of Standard Cooking Measurements, which you are welcome to use in your cookbook. This is just one of the many offerings that come under the umbrella of “Free Stuff (without a lot of strings attached).” Once you’ve finished entering recipes, uploading photos and writing captions, you can preview the cookbook online. Love recommends that you print a draft from this preview feature and proofread it carefully.

included and format used. Call yourself the editor-in-chief. Using, you don’t need to worry about whether all the recipe submitters are using the right font, the correct size, identical margins or the same format. It is all automated. As you enter each recipe, you select in which section it should appear. Sections include the familiar “Appetizers, Soups, Salads, Beverages, etc.,” seen in most cookbooks. Recipes can appear on one or two pages; or a one-page recipe can appear on a right-hand page, accompanied by a story and/or image on the facing left-hand page. In the final book, recipes automatically appear in alphabetical order within each section. Uploading images is a snap: just follow the prompts. Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookie recipe can appear opposite a photo of Grandma captioned with your recollections of the warm fuzzies of being in her cozy, fragrant kitchen, munching on a cookie still warm from the oven and sipping a frosty glass of milk. Images aren’t restricted to photos. A school that used accompanied each recipe with artwork created by the student whose family submitted the recipe, captioned with remarks from the student – heartwarming “keepsakes” like, “My mom and dad make yummy spaghetti … My mom and dad are the best parents in the world.” You can put any image you choose (photo or artwork) on the front cover, as many pictures as you like inside (no extra

Editor’s Note: Proofreading is an essential step not to be taken lightly. Ask members who submit recipes to thoroughly proofread their submissions since you’ll likely not be testing recipes. Then, ask as many readers as you can to read with the most critical eyes they can. If a mistake slips through, take heart: many typos have been the cause of some hearty laughter. The finished product is printed on high-quality paper and bound with a good, sturdy spiral. The spiral binding allows the book to lie flat – and stay open at the right page – while the cook concocts one of the wonderful family recipes. Recipes, stories and images are intended to be passed from generation to generation, and the quality of Heritage materials stands up to that measure. Your final cost combines the number of pages in each cookbook and how many copies you order. You can order from five (the minimum order) to thousands of copies. will ship anywhere. Anywhere! And it’s not a matter of waiting weeks and weeks – more like several days.

About the author A longtime foodie, Mary Thiele Fobian is an “almost-retired” writer/editor who now owns and operates Genealogical & Historical Research in Pacific Grove, California, where she lives with her husband and three children. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Organization is key cookbook ingredient

Cookbooks with a purpose



he more organized your cookbook is the more likely it will create a more positive experience. Much work goes into assembling a cookbook, gathering recipes, compiling, organizing and finalizing design. Using computer software furnished by the publisher can save production time and money, cut 20 days off the publisher’s typical 60-day production schedule and reduce per-cookbook cost.

Pricing is important. If the price for 200 copies of a soft cover cookbook is $2.50 per copy, sell for $7. If the price for a 3-ring, hardcover cookbook with 1,000 recipes and 3,000 copies produced is over $7 per copy, sell for $10 to $20. Per-book price falls as the number of books you print increases. Custom covers, hard covers, a threering binder design, custom content dividers, personal pages to introduce the book, notes that accompany recipes and sections of helpful tips all cost more to include.

Make yours a smashing success as a fundraiser, while preserving family history by Karen Luna Ray hat’s to eat? Have you ever noticed the amount of attention given the menu when your family gathers? With food invariably listed as one of the top three items on any hostess or reunion planner’s list, it is little wonder that the sale of family cookbooks has become a popular way to raise funds for reunions. Donna Coffey, co-planner of Luna/ Looney family Reunions in Oklahoma, put her energies into compiling a family cookbook with the intention of offsetting reunion costs with proceeds from sales. She announced recipe gathering in reunion invitations. Included on the invitation was information about the cookbook along with a request that each family send their favorite recipes. Recipes trickled in. When the deadline neared and some family units were not represented in the cookbook, calls were made to give them another chance to include their recipes. Copy paper was donated to print cookbooks and Coffey opted to make the cookbook 8-1/2'' by 11'', the size of a standard sheet of paper. She printed a master copy from her computer then photocopied from the master to compile the books. A local print shop used colored card stock to print front and back covers and bound the books with plastic binding for easy opening. Exceeding expectations, the 50 cookbooks available at the reunion sold within the first hour. Coffey went home with orders for several copies to mail. Almost every family unit went home with cookbooks for mom and each of the daughters/daughters-in-law. Others bought cookbooks as gifts for family members who did not attend the reunion. Besides being popular fundraising items, family cookbooks serve as an important medium for preserving your family’s history. As any genealogist can

tell you, finding little tidbits of family information can be a godsend. In addition to giving the cookbook a nice touch, including some facts about the person furnishing the recipe may provide welcome information for future generations, as well. Coffey personalized her family’s cookbook by adding lineage, as well as the name of the person furnishing a recipe. Bits of family information are found throughout. The recipe titled Mrs. Caldwell’s Old-Fashioned Nut Cake was passed to the cook by her mother-in-law. A notation shown on another is “This recipe is our favorite apple cobbler. We ask Aunt Thelma to bring it to all our family gatherings.” The Oatmeal Boil Cookies are noted to be like ones served at Swink School Cafeteria (at least 50 percent of these reunion-goers attended the Swink School as children). The Spicy Apple Cobbler came from a recipe handwritten by Lou Luna, wife of John Luna, from whom all the Luna reunion attendees are descended. Consider planning a cookbook for your reunion. Include recipes from all family units and ask them to share any extra information they have about the origin of the recipe. Preserve bits of your family’s history and recapture those wonderful tastes from your childhood family gatherings. With the added benefit as a fundraiser, your cookbook has purpose and you’ll have a smashing success on your hands!

About the author Karen Luna Ray has enjoyed the joys and trials of family reunion planning for more than a decade. Ray’s published work includes a variety of articles dealing with family matters and several articles in Reunions magazine. She can be reached at

Who do you turn to?


athy LeFevre’s Friends and Family Cookbook Publishers is a small business concentrating on cookbooks for family reunion and wedding favors. She allows customers to submit 60 to 70 photos which are placed on the cover, dividers and throughout the book. She tries to be flexible with formats. Contact Kathy at 888-8728202; Kathy@friends; or



Cookbook success “


fter self-publishing our National Gideon Macon Society Cookbook in December 2003, the demand was so great that we are going into our second printing,” reported Pat Macon, Springdale, Arkansas. “There will be new sections that will please the entire family. One family member wrote, ‘It is not just a cookbook but a family heirloom.’ We are very proud of it as it is like nothing that anyone could imagine before its printing.” The first Toomer Family Cookbook was a smashing success and sold out quickly. Many commented that the recipes were quick, easy and offered a variety to choose from. The new 2nd hardcover edition will include all types of recipes and cost $15. They also offer gift certificates. The Benrud Heritage Cookbook compiled by Tim Olson sells for $9.00 at the reunion. For those not attending $11.00 is added to mail in the US and $13.00 for mail to Canada or foreign countries.

Cookbook for the ages


any family cookbooks are tributes to ancestors who contributed to the family’s sustenance. Madison’s Ancestors, Family & Friends is a unique collection of family recipes, dedicated to the youngest member of The Willis Connection, the name they give their reunion. The book was shared by Madison’s proud grandfather, Franklin Willis of Los Angeles, California, who points out that many recipes are named for ancestors and many from the 1800s are from the lifelong collection of Madison’s great-grandmother, Ruth Willis, who died four years before Madison was born in 1999. On her website,, Madison says, “The recipes are a legacy that (Ruth) left for all of us to enjoy.” The website includes ordering information.

Madison’s cookbook production is relatively simple for others wishing to replicate the method. A nice bright yellow and red cover helps. An introduction to the family fills the inside front cover. Recipes start off immediately on the inside right-facing page. Pages are not numbered and recipes are not categorized, nor are they in any particular order. There is no table of contents nor an index, which simplifies proofing. Recipes are easy and fun to read and many sound yummy. Recipes are typed onto horizontal pages which are assembled, folded in half with a self cover, with only one staple to secure the book. This would be an inexpensive way to produce a collection of family recipes and most “quick print” shops can provide all the reproduction services you’ll need.

… way to go


icki Boss developed a cookbook for her growing family reunion and asked relatives to contribute recipes. Then she found cookbook publishers and an array of options. Boss ordered 200 books (minimum is 100) with laminated paperback covers and coil binding. Each was 100 pages and included 50 recipes. She paid $3

each and sold them for $15, including shipping. She sold more than 100 copies and will continue selling them at future reunions. Including the usual reunion participation fees and the cookbook sales, Boss raised about $3,200 to fund the reunion. Found in the Providence, Rhode Island, News Journal

A recipe for preserving family history


n an article in The Christian Science Monitor, Elizabeth Lund wrote that by creating family cookbooks, an increasing number of Americans are creating a lasting bridge – a document that will tell the family tales through their favorite meals. The great appeal of family cookbooks is that they are one part history, one part nostalgia, and one part good eating. The availability of computers has helped fuel the trend. Even people without design skills can use a simple word processing program. Or they can turn to the Internet, where dozens of websites offer tips and shortcuts. • Develop an organized system for handling recipes and flow of information. • Keep recipes in one place. • Decide how to divide the cookbook. • Test recipes beforehand and make notes or adjustments. (For example, many recipes from the early 1900s call for a “glass” of liquid.) • Make sure recipes are explicit enough that even beginning cooks can use them. • Provide enough caption information for pictures so future generations will understand each photo and who is in it. • Include letters or other relevant items to tell the family story. • Gather recipes and stories while elderly relatives are alive. Otherwise, some favorites may be lost. • Proofread, proofread, proofread – but if a typo does slip by, don’t get too upset. While family cookbooks may aim to feed and comfort many people, their lasting value may come from the fact that they are often modern-day versions of the family Bible – the book in which the family’s history is recorded. It may someday be the only connection between the past and the present, the New World and the Old.


ORDER NOW! 800-373-7933 ext. 199 or AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Shades of Green helps save “green”


he Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC) Shades of Green, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, is one of four centers around the world designed to give military personnel and their families all the comforts and benefits of a resort. The Shades of Green is nestled between the Palm and Magnolia Golf Courses on Walt Disney World property and rivals the most expensive resorts in the area. It boasts 586 guest rooms, 10 suites, two pools, state-of-the art fitness center and transportation to all Orlando’s many attractions. The onsite ticket office provides discounted tickets to dozens of locations. Guests also get special perks such as extended hours at parks and reduced rates at golf courses. All active duty members and their families, along with retired, guard, reserve and DoD employees, qualify for eligibility. Eligible guests are each allowed to sponsor three additional rooms, making the Shades of Green a perfect place to have a reunion. Contact 888-593-2242, or visit

They were “nowhere” during WWII


rom August 1943 until autumn 1944, 10,000 soldiers were stationed in a spot the Army declared the middle of nowhere. Their mission was to conduct experiments on Project Cassock – the second biggest secret, second only to the atomic bomb, in World War II. Soldiers who talked about it were threatened with death. Personal correspondence was censored with scissors and black ink. Men went into town in pairs – even to the men’s room. For decades, those who had served at Camp Bouse were silent. The Army kept scant records, and photos of camp life are scarce. (Soldiers were forbidden to bring cameras.) The secret weapon was the Canal Defense Light (CDL), a high-intensity light (13 million candle power) mounted in the turret of an M3 tank to exploit Germany’s vulnerability in night combat and to disorient and disable the enemy. Soldiers nicknamed it the Gizmo. The CDL was never used for its intended purpose. It was so secret that Army commanders who could have employed it

didn’t know it existed. The top-secret light that kept 10,000 GIs captive in Arizona for more than 12 months proved useful only as a searchlight to illuminate the bridges at Remagen as the Allies crossed the Rhine and entered Germany toward the end of the war. Since 1997, veterans of Camp Bouse have gathered every February to remember their year in the Arizona desert. The Bouse (Arizona) Chamber of Commerce organizes ceremonies and an annual guided tour of the old campsite. Finding vestiges of the camp along 45 miles of primitive dirt and gravel roads is challenging, but maps (available in the Bouse Assay Office and Museum) offer clues for finding remaining markers. The number of camp veterans is dwindling; only a few attended this year’s ceremonies, but 150 visitors and history buffs from surrounding communities joined the caravan of 52 vehicles to the old campsite. From a story by Barbara Yost in the Arizona Republic, Phoenix, Arizona.

List your reunion FREE at Send reunion name, date, place and contact information to

Are you in this photo?


rank J. Costanzo, New York City, recently removed a large picture of his Fort Bragg battalion from its frame to find a



picture of the WWII 16th battalion from Camp Wheeler, Macon, Georgia. Camp Wheeler was a segregated infantry replacement

Purple Heart stories

Vietnam veterans 9th Infantry Division reunion


uring the heated conflict in Vietnam, a group of men bonded as brothers in order to survive the horrors of war. Located in Tan An, South Vietnam, Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade of the 9th Infantry Division shared many traumatic times. In February 1969 the Platoon was put on 100% full combat alert and spent their time guarding the base camp. How they survived is only one of the stories these brave soldiers remember. Many stories are humorous and touching, including the Annual USO Show with Ann-Margret and Bob Hope. Laughter was the best way to cope with stressful, threatening events in life, and much laughter is shared at every reunion. For several years, Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade 9th Infantry Division under the guidance of Lt. Ben Head; this year’s reunion is in Tunica, Mississippi. Almost 30 years later, these brave veterans live all over the US. The reunion committee hopes to locate all the soldiers who served during the years of 1968-1969. Contact Barbie Perkins Cooper,


he Purple Heart is awarded to those “wounded in action against any enemy.” There seems to be no record of everyone who received the award, so it is impossible to know who Purple Heart recipients are. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in Vails Gate, New York – located where General George Washington’s army camped at the end of the Revolutionary War – has been collecting the stories and artifacts from recipients and is eager to collect more. The men and their stories will be included on the Roll of Honor. The urgency right now, of course, is that the number of surviving WWII veterans is diminishing rapidly. If you or someone you know is a Purple Heart recipient, contact the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor at new Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site, PO Box 207, Vails Gate NY 12584; 845-561-1765; nysparks. or From an AP article by Michael Hill.

Photo credit Greg Ellis

center, where troops were trained in small arms used by the military at the time. The 8''x32'' photo pictures about 250 solemn soldiers.

Costanzo is eager to give the picture to someone who was there. If you were, contact Reunions magazine at or PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211.






Welcome to Reunion Resources! How to use REUNION RESOURCES Reunion resources is divided into sections. Reunion friendly places include destinations (convention, visitor and tourism bureaus) and locations (hotels, resorts, ranches, condominiums, bed & breakfasts, inns, dormitories, camps). They are listed alphabetically by state and city. The sections which follow list books and publishing, cruises, fundraising and mementos, invitations, photography, preserving reunions, postcards, and other products and services. Many resources include e-mail and web page addresses. Start on our web page www.reunions and in just one click, go directly to other resource pages – a wonderful way to visit, get more details and in some cases even place orders. We encourage you to tell the listings you contact that you learned about them from REUNIONS MAGAZINE. And if at any time you find any info that is inaccurate or e-mail or web links do not work, notify us immediately at; PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211-0727. And by all means, feel free to comment and/or suggest changes and additions you’d like to see in this section. REUNIONS MAGAZINE will not be held liable for information presented as facts in these ads. We reserve the right to edit and/or refuse any material submitted for publication.

INTERNATIONAL DESTINATIONS CANADA WHEELS INN is a full-service hotel resort with 350 rooms, banquet facilities, and the home of Wild Zone Adventures … “Ontario’s largest indoor amusement park.” The hotel also features 4 eateries, a central atrium with an indoor/outdoor pool, twin 100' waterslides, as well as a spa and fitness centre, and a 24 lane, 10-pin bowling centre. 1-800-265-5257; groupsales@; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

CARIBBEAN ISLANDS BOLONGO BAY BEACH RESORT, ST. THOMAS, USVI, for small-sized groups seeking a casual, tropical setting. 65 beachfront rooms. 2 restaurants/bars. All inclusive option and custom-designed programs. Outdoor pavilion for themed events. Karaoke, BBQ parties & cocktail cruises. Free non-motorized watersports, beach volleyball, and much more. 1-800-524-4746. E-mail:; www.bolongo

US DESTINATIONS ARIZONA DOBSON RANCH INN 1666 S Dobson Road, Mesa AZ 85202. Central location, complimentary full hot breakfast buffet, full service catering, ample function space and consistent affordability make the Dobson Ranch Inn an ideal hotel for reunions. Our 213 guest rooms are situated on 10 acres of beautifully landscaped courtyards. Hotel amenities include large heated pool, two spas, exercise room, and Dale Andersons “The Other Place” restaurant. 800 528-1356; 480 831-7000; cbarron@; DAYS INN FASHION SQUARE MALL 4710 N Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale AZ 85250. The Days Inn @ Fashion Sq. Mall Scottsdale AZ. is the perfect place for reunions of all kinds. Set on five acres of manicured grounds the 167 oversized rooms all have views of the courtyards. The location is superb, in the heart of Scottsdale, next to Fashion Sq Mall, Days Inn is within walking distance to Old Town Scottsdale, where everything started, the Arts District and our famous dining and entertainment area. Special rates for reunions. 480-947-5411; fax 480-946-1324;

CALIFORNIA BUENA PARK CONVENTION & VISITORS OFFICE 6601 Beach Blvd. Suite 200, Buena Park CA 90621-2904. Come see why we are the ideal spot for reunions and family vacations. We are home to five major tourist attractions including Knott’s Berry Farm and only ten minutes away from Disneyland. Accommo-

dations, restaurants and shopping are all within a mile! Beaches and mountains close by. Call 800-541-3953 for a free Travel Planner, or fax 714-562-3569. tourbp@buenapark .com; THE LAUREL MILL LODGE PO Box 368, Los Gatos CA 95031; 408-353-5851;; www.laurelmill lodge .com. OAKLAND CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 463 11th Street Oakland CA 94607; 510-839-9000. Oakland is California’s best-kept secret. Just minutes to San Francisco by rapid transit, ferry, bus or car. Breathtaking waterfront views. Unique, affordable venues for reunions of all sizes. World-class jazz, restaurants and major-league sports. Call or email today for your FREE Visitors Guide.; info@Oaklandcvb .com. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! PLACER VALLEY is California’s newest getaway, just minutes away from the state’s capital. Its brand-name shopping, familyfriendly hotels and restaurants, Las Vegas-style casino, great golf, recreation facilities and attractions make it an ideal destination for reunions. For more information and ideas for planning your reunion there, go to Placer Valley Tourism’s official website at or call 1-800-773-0522. HOLIDAY INN SAN DIEGO BAYSIDE 4875 N Harbor Drive, San Diego CA 92106; 619-224-3621; 800-650-6660; fax 619224-1787. Host your reunion at the beautiful Holiday Inn San Diego Bayside across from San Diego Bay. Our experienced staff will assist you in creating a very special event. Complimentary hosp suite and special reunion rates. Beautiful guest rooms, heated pool, spa, shuffleboard, ping-pong and billiards, exercise room, family restaurant and cocktail lounge, free pkg, in-room movies, coffee makers, refrigerators, hair dryers. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!; NORTHSTAR-AT-TAHOE™ RESORT offers a great place to sleep, eat, play and relax in a beautiful mountain setting with a wide variety of accommodations and activities such as golf, swimming and tennis in the summer and snow sports activities in the winter. It’s no wonder Northstar was voted as a top 10 reunion destination by Family Travel Forum. A personal event planner is provided to help plan your unforgettable reunion. Highway 267 & Northstar Dr., Truckee, CA 96160, 800-9265096,, THE LAZY Z RESORT located on 40 acres in California’s Gold Country. First class Cabins with Clubhouse meeting space, natural designed pool and outdoor hot tub. Our 12 Cabins sleep from two to six people. Perfect for Family Reunions, Business Retreats, Weddings and vacations too! We look forward to having you join us and share with you this very special place! 22732 Middle Camp Rd., Twain Harte, CA 95383, (800) 5851238,,

COLORADO PINNACLE PLACE Looking for the perfect place for your family reunion? Come to the Rocky Mountains and enjoy Colorado’s year-round playground. Our luxury vacation home is ideal for groups of 14 - 22 and has lots of amenities. For larger groups ask about additional condos. For more information contact Carolyn O’Neill at 1-888-825-3442, DENVER, THE MILE HIGH CITY Planning a reunion? You’re in luck. Because there is something about Denver that brings people together. After all, it’s where the mountains meet the city. We offer free travel planning assistance – from accommodations and special event locations to transportation and dining options. Come discover how we can help make your reunion a memorable one. www.DENVER.ORG or call 800.880.9095. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! SOPHIA RETREAT AND CONFERENCE CENTER P.O. Box 1620 Dolores, CO 81323; 970.882.4920; fax 866.548.7437;, ESTES PARK CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU PO Box 1200, Estes Park CO 80517. Estes Park may be the perfect setting for your reunion! Nestled in a valley surrounded by Rocky Mountain National Park, fabulous scenery and recreation await you. Enjoy shopping, trout fishing, horseback riding, river rafting, golf, go karts, barbecues, hayrides, miniature golf, tram rides, scenic drives and hiking. Let our group specialist help you find lodging, meals and fun things for the whole family to enjoy! 970-577-9900; fax 970-577-1677; groupsales@estes .org;

THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN INN WINTER PARK COLORADO The perfect reunion location! Lots of activities, convenient mountain location, plus gorgeous scenery and great weather. In the Rocky Mountains just 1 1/2 hrs from Denver and near Rocky Mtn Nat’l Park. Enjoy world-class golfing, fishing, rafting, hiking, biking and more. A charming Inn with a huge gourmet kitchen and 10 private rooms to indulge your entire group. Friendly staff to assist activity planning, catering, etc. Box 600, Winter Park CO 80442; toll-free: 866-467-8351 or 970-726-8256; groups@the; LION SQUARE LODGE is located at the base of Vail Mountain next to the Gondola in Lionshead Village. Lodge rooms & 1-3 bedroom condominiums with kitchen, living room, BBQ grill & mountain views. Outdoor pool, hot tubs, mountain-view banquet rooms, riverside party tent, catering & group coordinator. Walk to shops, restaurants & mountain activities. 660 West Lionshead Place, Vail CO 81657; 800-525-5788; fax 970-476-7423; WINTER PARK AND COPPER MOUNTAIN are your destinations for summer fun! Enjoy golf, scenic chairlift rides, family activities, biking, hiking, shopping, dining, music festivals, and more – through Labor Day. Book your cool, green, summer mountain vacation today! Visit and, or call (800) 979-0332 and (866) 841-2481 for more information and to book reservations. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! VACATIONS INC, WINTER PARK COLORADO! PO Box 3095, Winter Park CO 80482. Rocky Mountain Reunion Specialists! Just 67 miles from Denver and close to the Rocky Mtn Nat’l Park, Vacations Inc offers affordable downtown Winter Park lodging, onsite amenities and family activity planning. We offer studios, condos, pools and hot-tubs. Play golf and tennis, or go rafting, fishing, hiking, biking, horseback riding and ballooning – all in our back yard! Vacations Inc – Certifiable Family Fun! 800-289-8541; fax 970-726-8004;;

CONNECTICUT SUNRISE RESORT PO Box 415, Moodus CT 06469. 400 acre summer resort in rural Moodus, CT. Rates include great food, swimming, tennis, live music, softball, volleyball, mountain bikes, canoes, planned activities, mini-resort and discounts for kids. Mid-way between NYC and Boston – 160 sleeping rms, meeting spaces, planning assistance on request. Call 800-2259033 today! SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!;

FLORIDA RADISSON RESORT AT THE PORT, 8701 Astronaut Blvd., Cape Canaveral FL 32920. The Radisson is located just one mile South of Port Canaveral with free parking and Shuttle to the Port. Choose from a variety of accommodations: Sleep number beds, two-room whirl pool suites and standard rooms available. Enjoy Flamingo’s Restaurant and Starbucks Coffee. Also, just minutes to the Port, Kennedy Space Center, Orlando airport, and Orlando attractions. 321-784-0000; 800-333-3333; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! BEST WESTERN COCOA BEACH 5600 N. Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach FL 32931. Anything you want for your ocean retreat: from Standard Courtyard rooms to private balconies. Enjoy the Durango Steakhouse & Lounge, Poolside Veranda Bar, and just a short walk to Cocoa Beach Pier entertainment. 800-962-0028; 321-783-7621; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! COMFORT INN & SUITES RESORT & CONFERENCE CENTER 3901 N. Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach FL 32931. Our five acre tropical beachside resort in the heart of Cocoa Beach is just 300 feet to the beach, near Ron Jon’s & restaurants. Choose from Ocean & Courtyard view suites, standard rooms and efficiency rooms. Lush courtyard surrounds heated pool, whirlpool, snack bar, outdoor grills & Lagoon Lounge. 321-7832221; 800-247-2221; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT COCOA BEACH 3435 N. Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach FL 32931. Make this your most memorable stay ever! Sun, Sand, Surf, and Cruise, plus free high speed Internet access, restaurant, lounge, Whirlpool rooms, two-room suites, private balconies, refrigerators, fitness center, heated pool, laundry facilities, and more… 321-7844800; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S


CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES DOUBLETREE OCEANFRONT HOTEL 2080 North Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach FL 32931. This newly renovated oceanfront hotel is located in beautiful Cocoa Beach. All rooms have private balconies, free high speed Internet, refrigerators and microwaves. The Double Tree is also equipped with over 10,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. 321-783-9222; 800-55-Beach; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! HILTON COCOA BEACH OCEANFRONT 1550 N Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach FL 32931. Take pleasure in the area’s largest ocean front pool deck; direct ocean front location on 300 feet of sandy beach. Enjoy the heated pool, Tiki bar, two restaurants, and lounge. This full service hotel has a new large exercise room, high speed Internet, and many more amenities. 800526-2609; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! HOLIDAY INN COCOA BEACH HOTEL & RESORT OCEANFRONT 1300 N Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach FL 32931. An oceanfront, full service resort, our hotel has a wide selection of accommodations. From standard guest rooms to suites; or upgrade to two-level lofts and villas, you’re sure to enjoy your stay with us. Olympic size heated pool, tennis, volleyball courts, and more…1-800-20-Oasis; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! HAMPTON INN COCOA BEACH 3425 N. Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach FL 32931. Guests enjoy direct beach access, breathtaking ocean views, sandy beaches, cruises, historic villages, out of this world space experiences, the World Famous Surf Shop and free high speed Internet. Rooms also include continental breakfast, private balconies, refrigerators, and microwaves; 877-49-Beach; www.hamptoninncocoabeach .com. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! REGAL PALMS RESORT AT HIGHLANDS RESERVE 2700 Sand Mine Road, Davenport FL 33897. Located near Disney, Regal Palms Resort offers a superb line of 3 & 4-Bedroom Townhomes & 4-6 Bedroom Private Pool Homes, fully equipped and furnished – ideal for families and groups! Large tropical swimming pavilion with waterslide, lazy river, sunbathing terraces, spa, fitness center, golf, bar & grill, arcade, internet café, banquet facilities, shuttle service, discounted attraction tickets and more! Toll Free 877-477-2567; 863-424-6141; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! EL CARIBE RESORT & CONFERENCE CENTER 2125 S. Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach FL 32118. Oceanfront rooms, efficiencies and suites overlooking Daytona Beach. Two outdoor pools (one heated) large kiddie pool and plenty of activities for everyone. Facilities include: reception and banquet rooms with on-site catering. Favorite retreat for groups. Reservations 800445-9889 or web site: LA PLAYA RESORT & SUITES 2500 North Atlantic Ave. Daytona Beach FL 32118. The La Playa Resort provides delightful Daytona accommodations at an affordable price. Upon arrival, you’ll be swept away to a tropically decorated room – complete with a microwave, refrigerator, and private balcony. Soft ocean breezes will draw you outside to the large oceanfront pool deck with whirlpools, tiki bar, and shuffleboard 800-874-6996; fax 386-677-0982;; PERRY’S OCEAN EDGE RESORT 2209 S. Atlantic Avenue, Daytona Beach FL 32118. Located on the quiet side of Daytona Beach, offers spacious ocean front units with two queen beds, sleeper sofa, full kitchens and views of the Atlantic Ocean from your private balcony. Two outdoor pools, indoor heated pool and spa in our atrium. Family oriented activities program. Reservations 800-447-0002 or web site:



SHERATON YANKEE TRADER HOTEL ‘Plan your next reunion on the shores of beautiful Fort Lauderdale Beach. The Sheraton Yankee Trader Hotel is located right on Fort Lauderdale Beach only 15 minutes from the airport and within a short distance of a wide array of dining, shopping and entertainment options. Choose a destination where everyone will look forward to attending. Great rates are available year-round!’ 321 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304; 954-4671111; 954-462-2342; Simple Pleasures...Simpler Times...We Remember... Explore your memory. Was it the smell of the salt air? The feeling of the soft sand on your toes? A strawberry ice cream cone? Seeing your first dolphin? Having your dad’s full attention? A towel hug from your mom? Give your family the memory you most cherish. Everything is here waiting – incredible sand, warm waters, tropical drinks, fresh grilled seafood, kid’s activities, live entertainment and someone to make your reunion happen. OUTRIGGER BEACH RESORT FT MYERS BEACH. 800211-8441; ISLAND VILLA RENTAL PROPERTIES 81681 Old Highway, Islamorada FL 33036. For LUXURY VACATION RENTALS and PROPERTY SALES... Little cottages, prestigious Estates, Corporate Retreats, or Island-Style Villas. Priced from $1,000 to $8,000 weekly. Take the native tour! 305-664-3333; www. KISSIMMEE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 1925 East Irlo Bronson Highway, Kissimmee FL 34744. In Kissimmee reunions are our specialty. We offer planning assistance to reunions of all sizes and budgets. Let us help you make planning your next reunion easy. Call for information regarding Kissimmee’s meeting venues and services. 407-944-2484; fax 407-8474114;; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! RESORTQUEST ORLANDO VACATION RENTAL, Give Your Family Tree More Room To Grow. Choose from the largest selection of vacation homes with private pool and luxury resort condominiums near the Walt Disney World. 2 to 6 bedrooms, with multiple baths, living room, dining room, full kitchen, Laundromats, and much more for less than the cost of many area hotel rooms. For your next Family Reunion, let ResortQuest Orlando help you plan your gathering with all the comfort, privacy and more open spaces for new memories to cherish for a life time. 1-866-216-5094; GROSVENOR RESORT 1850 Hotel Plaza Blvd., Lake Buena, Vista FL 32830;; The Grosvenor Resort is the gateway to your authentic Disney® reunion! As an official Walt Disney Resort®, we are located just steps away from Downtown Disney®, Pleasure Island®, Disney’s premier nighttime complex, Planet Hollywood and Disney’s West Side. We look forward to pampering you with all of the wonderful things the Grosvenor Resort has to offer you and your reunion! For information call 800-522-3272 EMBASSY SUITES/MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 3974 NW South River Drive, Miami, FL 33142. 305-634-5000; fax 305-635-9499;; www.miamiair PANAMA CITY BEACH FLORIDA – 1000 condos and hotel rooms, 40,000+ square feet of indoor conference space and the areas best collection of outdoor beachfront and bay front pavilions. All units include FREE daily maid service. Book your next reunion with Getaway to the Gulf. 800-224-GULF, REUNION RESORT & CLUB OF ORLANDO 1000 Reunion Way, Reunion FL 34747. For vacationers seeking more than a 400 square foot hotel room, Reunion Resort & Club of Orlando offers spacious one-bed-room suites as well as three, four, and five-bedroom villas and homes. Complimenting our two signature golf courses, you’ll find a large pool, Jacuzzis, fitness center, and club-house with full-service bar and grille. Reunion Resort is conveniently located off Interstate – 4 just ten minutes from Disney World. 888418-9614 (toll free phone #); fax 407-396-4773; groupsales@reunion; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

ONE SEAGROVE PLACE-THE #1 PLACE AT BEACH 4100 East Scenic Hwy 30-A, Seagrove Beach FL 32459; 850-2315032; fax 850-231-5543. Awake to the sounds of surf! Your family getaway! Gulf front, 2 BR/2B fully equipped luxury condos with heated pool, sauna and lighted tennis courts. Enjoy spectacular, sugar white beaches, exciting dining and nearby golf. Between Panama City and Destin, near Seaside. 800-368-9100;; www.onesea TAMPA MARRIOTT WESTSHORE 310 well-appointed rooms. Health club, whirlpool, game room and Tampa’s largest indoor/outdoor pool. Westshore Grill and Champions Sports Bar. Newly renovated meeting space. Pool deck is ideal for tropical cocktail parties. Convenient location, deluxe accommodations, versatile function space and first-class service. 1001 N. Westshore Blvd., Tampa, FL 33607; 813.287.2555; fax 813.287.0561; FLORIDA’S SPACE COAST Orlando’s Closest Beaches, 72 miles of them. The Ultimate Florida! Attractions, including Kennedy Space Center, shopping, dining, accommodations and recreation on land or sea. All so affordable for groups from 30 to 300. Reunite on the Space Coast and create a memorable experience you’ll cherish forever. Call 800-93-OCEAN or visit SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

FLORIDA CRUISES DISCOVERY CRUISE LINE If you’re looking for the ultimate in fun for your reunion, you should consider Discovery Cruise Line sailing daily from Ft. Lauderdale to Grand Bahama Island and offering same day roundtrip cruises and Cruise and Stay vacation packages. The price of the cruise includes three lavish buffet meals, entertainment, a Las Vegas-style casino, and more. There’s special pricing for kids and teens. Call 1-888-213-1454.

GEORGIA ATLANTA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 233 Peachtree Street, Suite 100, Atlanta GA 30303. World-class restaurants, festive nightlife, six major league sports teams and top attractions help make Atlanta the entertainment center of the South. Add 92,000 hotel rooms in every price range and the city’s accessibility via Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and Atlanta is the perfect destination for family reunions. Contact the Atlanta CVB for reunion services, or 800.ATLANTA. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! THE GEORGIA TECH HOTEL & CONFERENCE CENTER offers a superlative Reunion experience in the heart of Midtown’s Technology Square! Enjoy deluxe accommodations, personalized service, and easy access to Atlanta’s historic & entertainment venues. Walking distance to upscale & fast food restaurants; Indoor Pool & Fitness Center; Free Shuttle to MARTA; urban-contemporary décor; 252 guest rooms; state of the art meeting & banquet space.; To reserve your Reunion Package –; 404838-2128. HILTON ATLANTA NORTHEAST 5993 Peachtree Blvd., Norcross, GA 30092. Premier full service hotel with 272 guest rooms and 38 suites. Central location with easy access to all major highways. 272 guest rooms, 38 suites & executive concierge level floor. Well-equipped fitness facility/sauna and indoor and outdoor pools. Casual Mediterranean dining at Basil’s Kitchen & cocktails at Basil’s Bar. 770-447-4747; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! DAYS INN & SUITES OCEANSIDE RESORT 60 S. Beachview Drive, Jekyll Island GA 31527; Toll free: 888-635-3003; phone: 912-635-9800; fax: 912-635-2280. An award winning oceanside hotel on Georgia’s Jewel – Jekyll Island. 124 rooms, including 84 standard guestrooms and 40 one bedroom suites. All rooms are furnished with micro-fridge units, coffee makers, irons and ironing boards. 2 outdoor pools plus bike rentals on site. Catering is available with meeting space that can accommodate 150 guests. Golf packages are also available. Visit website:; send email: CALLAWAY GARDENS RESORT offers exciting activities and seasonal events for all ages, plus exceptional accommodations and cuisine. Golf, tennis, butterfly center, biking, fishing and much more! Ask about our remarkable reunion packages when you call. U.S. Highway 27, Pine Mountain, GA 31822; 800-5437121;;

CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES QUALITY INN ISLAND HOUSE 411 Longview Plaza/Frederica Road, St. Simons Island GA 31522. Located mid-island with 100 guestrooms featuring mini refrigerator, microwave, iron/ board, coffee maker, hair dryer. Year around enclosed swim pool, hot tub, fitness room. Conference facilities up to 100 people. Convenient to all water related activities & shopping. 1-800-870-3736;

IDAHO Great family fun! Boise offers the culture and entertainment of a large urban area in a place that feels a little like everyone’s hometown. Festivals, whitewater rafting, golf, riverfront bike trails, downhill and cross country skiing, unique and historic attractions, a vibrant downtown, shopping, fine dining and performing arts will ensure a reunion jam-packed with memorable experiences. BOISE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU PO Box 2106, Boise ID 83701; Lisa Edens; 800635-5240; 208-344-7777; fax 208-344-6236; BOISE...Feel It!

ILLINOIS CHICAGO MARRIOTT SUITES DEERFIELD Two Parkway North, Deerfield, Ill 60015. 248 all-suite hotel off of Tri-State Tollway. High-speed Internet access. Indoor & Outdoor pool, healthclub, whirlpool and sauna. Complimentary parking. Basil’s Kitchen & Bar on site for Mediterranean cuisine. Convenient to downtown Chicago, Six Flags, golf, shopping, Botanic Gardens and other area attractions. (847) 405-9666; www.marriottsuites SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! RECONNECT IN LAKE COUNTY Lake County’s natural spaces and fun places are the perfect place for your next reunion. Our world-class attractions and more than 50 lodging properties will make your next reunion a resounding success. For free Reunion Planning Assistance call 1-800-Lake-Now or email us with your reunion planning questions to tourism@lakecounty .org; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!


HOLIDAY INN FT. DETRICK 999 W. Patrick Street, Frederick MD 21701; 301-662-5141; fax 301-663-5290; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! FAMILY REUNION SWEEPSTAKES Gorgeous Prince George’s County, Maryland is hosting a $25,000 Family Reunion Sweepstakes, including a Grand Prize Package for 40, and Six Monthly Prize Packages for a family of 4. Enter online at www. or call 301.925.8300. Gorgeous Prince George’s County – Where Families Come Together! SEE OUR DISPLAY AD ON PAGE 31! HOLIDAY INN BWI INTL AIRPORT 890 Elkridge Landing Road, Baltimore MD 21090; 410-859-8400; fax 410-859-8060; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! WISP RESORT & CONFERENCE CENTER, in Deep Creek Lake, MD, offers stunning mountain, golf and lake views and features a newly remodeled hotel, meeting space, dining, fitness center, indoor pool, tennis courts and 30% more skiing terrain. With the ideal combination of year-round recreation, amenities and relaxation, Wisp is the perfect reunion setting for all ages. 290 Marsh Hill Road, McHenry MD 21541. 800-462-9477; fax 301-542-0041;; HOLIDAY INN SELECT BALTIMORE NORTH 2004 Greenspring Drive, Timonium MD 21093; 410-252-7373; fax 410-560-3168 “Select” Holiday Inn known for hosting fabulous Reunions. Convenient location north of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Easy access Light Rail transportation to Baltimore and BWI airport. Special reunion rates, discounted menus, complimentary Hospitality Room and planners room are included in our Reunion package. Sunny Atrium Lobby with pool, game area, billiards, fitness room and full serve restaurant & bar. E-Mail:; HOLIDAY INN BALTIMORE-TOWSON 1100 Cromwell Bridge Road, Towson MD 21286; 410-823-4410; 410-296-6618; www. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

GREATER DES MOINES CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 400 Locust Street, Ste 265, Des Moines IA 50309; 800-451-2625; fax 515-244-9757; vcomegys@desmoinescvb .com;




PAROQUET SPRINGS CONFERENCE CENTRE, There’s nothing ordinary about a stay in Shepherdsville. Our Paroquet Springs Conference Centre puts your group in the middle of myriad activities, events, and affordable lodging, all just off I-65! Your group is going places. Why not meet in a place that can take you to all of them? 395 Paroquet Springs Drive, Shepherdsville KY 40165-0520. 1-800-526-2068, www.paroquet

KALAMAZOO COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 346 W. Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo MI 49007. Discover Hospitality. With a diverse and rich community culture, Kalamazoo is an ideal destination for reunions, offering more than 2,600 affordable hotel rooms, and one of a kind attractions. As well as recreation, dining and shopping for every preference and budget. A short drive or 30 minute plane ride from either Chicago or Detroit, we invite you to Discover Kalamazoo. Easy to get to. Hard to leave. 800-530-9192; fax 269-343-0430;; www.discoverkalamazoo .com.

MAINE SAMOSET RESORT 220 Warrenton Street, Rockport ME 04856; 877-237-3610; fax 207-594-0048;;

MARYLAND HOLIDAY INN ABERDEEN – CHESAPEAKE HOUSE 1007 Beards Hill Road, Aberdeen MD 21001; 410-272-8100; fax 410-272-1714; HAMPTON INN & SUITES – SAIL AWAY TO ANNAPOLIS MARYLAND Everything you love about Hampton Inn & Suites! Choose from a tradition room OR our unique style one bedroom suites. We include: “On the House”hot breakfast. Complimentary fitness/business center. High speed internet access and wireless. Inclusive meeting room package available. A short drive to the Naval Academy, Annapolis city docks and shopping. 124 Womack Drive Annapolis MD 21401. Please call 410-5710200 for further information. UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center, 52 King George Street, Annapolis MD 21402. Designed specifically for those who participated in military operations while in US service. Tour focuses on role of Naval Academy in supplying officers and midshipmen in various conflicts. Tour includes audio-visual presentation and walking tour. Tour time: 2 hours. Tour price: $6.50. Call for tour package and dining information; 410-263-6933; fax 410-268-3132;; HOLIDAY INN INNER HARBOR (Dwtn) 301 W. Lombard, Baltimore MD 21201; 410-685-3500; fax 410-727-6169; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

FALMOUTH INN CAPE COD 824 Main Street, Falmouth MA 02540; 800-255-4157; fax 508-540-9256;;

Winter Park CO 1/9V b&w

KEWADIN CASINOS Plan your next reunion at Kewadin Casinos. Choose from 320 deluxe accommodations on-site in Sault Ste. Marie. Enjoy Vegas-style gaming action, including keno, bingo, blackjack, roulette poker and craps. Join our Northern Rewards Club. Use your card when you play and rack up points for cash, coupons and comps. And after the gaming, visit the incredible local sites, such as Tahquamenon Falls State park or Mackinac Island. For information call 1-800-KEWADIN or book online at SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! BAY POINTE INN & RESTAURANT 11456 Marsh Road, Shelbyville MI 49344. Rated one of MI’s Top Resorts, Bay Pointe features elegant accommodations, exceptional service & extraordinary dining on Gun Lake. The Inn offers 38 beautiful guestrooms, indoor pool, whirlpool, fitness area, nightly movies w/popcorn & a private conference room. Located conveniently in the heart of Southwest MI where local attractions include: Yankee Springs State Park, Gilmore Car Museum, golf & shopping. 269-672-8111; fax 269-672-5970; info@baypointe .com;

MINNESOTA THE GREATER MINNEAPOLIS CONVENTION & VISITORS ASSOCIATION can help plan your reunion in the Minneapolis /St. Paul area. We’ll take a one-stop-shop approach to your family, class or military reunion. Let us secure bids for hotel accommodations, suggest banquet facilities, provide info on city tours and transportation and help secure special discounts at area attractions. Best of all – it’s all free! 800-445-7412 ext. 8114;; AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S


CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES RADISSON HOTEL AND CONFERENCE CENTER 3131 Campus Drive, Plymouth MN 55441. 763-559-6600; (fax) 763559-7516;; ST. CLOUD AREA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU – Granite Country USA! 525 Highway 10 South, Suite 1, St. Cloud MN 56304 320-202-6712; fax 320-656-0401; judy@granite;

MISSOURI AMERICAN INN 1211 Armour Rd., North Kansas City, MO 64116; 816-471-3451; fax 816-472-7310; info@myamerican; TROUT LODGE is located in Potosi, Missouri, just 90 minutes south of St. Louis, and offers guest rooms, loft suites & cabins, with activities including archery, arts & crafts, kids club, pontoon tours, Cowboy Campfires, climbing towers, hayrides, 18-hole golf course, caving and much more! Rates include lodging, meals & most activities. 573-438-2154; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! MILLENNIUM HOTEL ST. LOUIS 200 South 4th Street, St Louis MO 63102. Affordable elegance located in the heart of downtown St. Louis overlooking the Gateway Arch. Highlights include a rooftop revolving restaurant, a three-story glass wall in the lobby overlooking the Arch and riverfront and banquet space for up to 2,000 attendees. Military reunion packages from $79 including parking and free hospitality suite. 314-516-8113; fax 314-516-9310; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! ST. LOUIS CONVENTION & VISITORS COMMISSION – One Metropolitan Square, Suite 1100, St. Louis MO 63102; 800-916-9314. Explore St. Louis with your reunion group and discover hundreds of great family, sports and cultural attractions, a thousand one-of-a-kind restaurants and an exciting nightlife and music scene. The Gateway City also boasts a central location, a range of plentiful accommodations and numerous free world-class attractions. Call today for a free Reunion Planner Kit and see why St. Louis is the best reunion destination in the Midwest. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! PULASKI COUNTY TOURISM BUREAU 137 St. Robert Blvd. St. Robert MO 65584. Centrally located between Branson and St. Louis, Missouri on I-44. Enjoy the Museums at Fort Leonard Wood or family activities on the Gasconade and Big Piney Rivers. Trail of Tears, Historic Route 66, Fairs, Festivals, Antiques, and more. Over 1,300 sleeping rooms and 70 restaurants including Caveman BBQ, dining in a real cave. Call toll-free 1-877-858-8687 or visit for additional information.

NEVADA HAWTHORN SUITES AT DESERT ROSE RESORT 5051 Duke Ellington Way, Las Vegas NV, 89119; Phone 800-8112450, Fax 702-597-3345; Spacious one and two bedroom suites; Each room is beautifully decorated; Property features a hot breakfast each morning and Managers Cocktail Reception Mon.-Thurs.; location is just minutes from the famous Las Vegas Strip, McCarran Airport, and just off I-15; Resort consists of 276 suites in addition to newly refurbished pool and Jacuzzi with BBQ facilities and shaded seating; This property makes for a perfect reunion of any kind. Email:; IMPERIAL PALACE HOTEL & CASINO 3535 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas NV 89109; 702-794-3286; fax 702-794-3368. Center “Strip” location and moderate prices make staying at the Imperial Palace Las Vegas memorable! Everything for a reunionvacation is here, free, covered parking, value-priced menus, “Legends in Concert,” The Auto Collections, on-site medical clinic, beauty salon and “The Spa,” friendly staff and more. Imperial Players receive free rooms, comps and merchandise. ip@imperialpalace .com; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! SAM’S TOWN HOTEL & GAMBLING HALL 5111 Boulder Highway, Las Vegas NV 89122. 646 deluxe rooms and suites surrounding Mystic Falls Park atrium. Full casino, race and sports book, bingo, multiple restaurants and food outlets, meeting and banquet space, 56-lane bowling center, movie theatre complex, Sam’s Town Live! Entertainment center and over 300 RV Park spaces. Complimentary shuttle to the Strip and Downtown. 800-897-8696; fax 702-454-8014; beverlyprather@boydgaming .com;



NEW HAMPSHIRE BEST WESTERN WYNWOOD HOTEL & SUITES 580 US Highway 1 Bypass, Portsmouth NH 03801; 603-436-7600; fax 603-436-7600; www.wynwood

NEW YORK PEEK‘N PEAK RESORT & CONFERENCE CENTER A resort for all seasons featuring the finest amenities, recreational activities and group friendly staff you would expect to find at any premier resort in the country. Featuring summertime fun with 36 holes of championship golf, pools, on site dining; winter boasts 27 ski slopes, snow tubing, cross country skiing and more. Special group rates and catering options available. Convenient free transportation to local events and attractions. 1405 Olde Road, Findley Lake NY 14736; 716-355-4141; 716-355-4553; sales@;

MARRIOTT HOTELS OF PHILADELPHIA – multiple locations in Center City Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia region; 215-832-3059;; www.staymarriott .com/phillyreunions. >READY>SET>COME HOME! Pennsylvania – your premiere homecoming and family reunion destination. Seven regions waiting to welcome you. See our display ad on page 26. VisitPA .com/Reunions; 1-800-VISITPA.


VALLEY FORGE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 600 W. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting PA 19462. DO WHAT WASHINGTON DID, SET UP CAMP HERE IN VALLEY FORGE FOR YOUR REUNIONS: Quality hotels & unique off-property sites. 30 minutes from downtown Philadelphia and easily accessible to great regional attractions, shopping, fine dining and exciting nightlife. For a free copy of our Valley Forge Meeting Planner’s Guide call Courtney at 610-834-7971, e-mail to or visit website

THE HOLIDAY INN CHARLOTTE CENTER CITY is located in the heart of Charlotte’s Business District, a short walk form dozens of restaurants, entertainment, retail shops and attractions. Our award-winning restaurant, Caffe Siena, features sumptuous Mediterranean specialties in a setting reminiscent of Europe’s finest sidewalk cafes! Our Rooftop Rotunda offers breath-taking views of the city’s skyline and features an outdoor pool, hot tub, fitness center and jogging track. 230 North College Street, Charlotte NC 28202; 704-335-5400; fax 704-334-9589; nugentk@;

POCONO MOUNTAINS CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 1004 Main Street, Stroudsburg PA 18360. If you’re looking to hold a reunion in a place that is only 90 minutes from NYC and 2 hours from Philadelphia, has scenic beauty, a variety of exciting attractions, outdoor recreation, ski areas, golf, quaint towns, great shopping, a wide variety of places to stay, and fine dining, the Pocono Mountains of Northeastern PA has it all. For help planning your reunion, and a Free Travel Guide and Map, call us today at 1-800-722-9199, e-mail groupsandmeetings@, or visit


INN AT READING 1040 Park Road, Wyomissing PA 19610; 610-372-7811; fax 610-372-9138;

BERTRAM INN & CONFERENCE CENTER 600 North Aurora Road, Aurora OH 44202. Located minutes from Geauga Lake in the historic Western Reserve. Offering 225 deluxe guestrooms & suites, heated outdoor pool, fitness & game room, banquet facilities, casual & fine dining restaurants onsite. Area activities include spa, golf, fly-fishing, shopping, museums, horseback riding, canoeing & amusement parks. Local & airport shuttles. Virtual tour at For reunion packages contact Amy Feller at 330-995-7628. HOLIDAY INN HUDSON 240 E. Hines Hill Road, Hudson OH 44236: 330-653-9191; fax 330-656-0048; dsankoe@hi-hudson .com; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

OREGON YACHATS INN 331 South Coast Highway 101, Yachats OR 97498. The Yachats Inn is your next best reunion spot on the beautiful Oregon coast! The gem of the coast. We cater to your groups needs. We offer a charming teahouse that accommodates 60 people inside for a sit-down dinner. Full large kitchen for more than one cook, large working area, dishwasher, etc. a cooks dream! Our accommodations are wonderful for all ages. We have an indoor hot tub and a large pool all overlooking the ocean. With its own deck to watch the sunset or spot whales leaping from the water. 888-270-3456; 541-547-3456: fax 541-547-4331;;

PENNSYLVANIA BEST WESTERN LEHIGH VALLEY HOTEL & CONFERENCE CENTER 300 Gateway Drive (at Routes 22 & 512) Bethlehem PA 18017; 610-866-5800; fax 610-867-9120; sales@lehigh; BUTLER COUNTY TOURISM & CONVENTION BUREAU 3008 Unionville Road, Cranberry Township PA 16066. Butler County, PA offers you beautiful settings from charming towns to the great outdoors. You can fish, boat, golf, shop, explore our history and enjoy our events. We invite you and your guests to take advantage of our relaxing accommodations including hotels, B&B’s and campgrounds. Contact Butler County Tourism & Convention Bureau today to start planning a Reunion that everyone will remember. 866-856-8444 www.visitbutlercounty .com. THE CRAYOLA FACTORY & NATIONAL CANAL MUSEUM are located in historic downtown Easton, Pa. and offer a fun and interactive experience for your next family reunion. Private rental space is available on all floors, and special programming can be offered for your special event. For more information, please call 610-515-8000. 30 Centre Square, Easton, PA 18042;; or

SOUTH CAROLINA SEA MIST OCEANFRONT RESORT – MYRTLE BEACH SC 1200 South Ocean Blvd., 29577. REUNIONS MADE EASY! Specializing in reunions from military to family at the most affordable rates in Myrtle Beach. Sea Mist’s premier oceanfront location is near shopping, theaters and golf courses. Over 600 of our 800 units have been completely remodeled, restaurants, miniature golf, 10 pools, Jacuzzis, fitness room, 17,000-sq.ft. of versatile meeting space and much more! 800-200-8687; group; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! SPARTANBURG MARRIOTT 299 N Church St, Spartanburg, SC 29306. This new jewel of the south offers 247 oversized guest rooms, restaurant, lounge, fitness center & pool. 30,000 sq ft of flexible event space, including two glorious ballrooms of 11,340 & 4,200 sq ft. Perfect to host anything from a large, formal event to a small, informal gathering. Visit for more information. Call Steve Ragland @ 864-591-3104 to book your next event. Mention this ad to receive 10,000 bonus Marriott Reward points.

TENNESSEE CHATTANOOGA CHOO CHOO – HOLIDAY INN 1400 Market Street, Chattanooga TN 37402. Themed around Chattanooga’s Terminal Station, this unique vacation complex offers 363 rooms, including 48 rooms on authentic railcars and 11 suites. Antique fountains, hundreds of roses & lilies, and unique gift shops await the Choo Choo visitor. Two outdoor pools & one indoor pool, tennis courts, 5 restaurants, over 40,000 sq. ft. of function space and complimentary airport shuttle and parking – all at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Holiday Inn. 423-266-5000; fax 423-267-4998.; KINGSPORT CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 151 East Main Street, Kingsport TN 37662; 800-743-5282; 423392-8819; fax 423-392-8803. Come to Kingsport, Tennessee and discover America’s First Frontier! Marvel at the scenic beauty...hear the music and stories...sample the mountain fare. Kingsport – your perfect vacation destination.; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

TEXAS The place for your next reunion...BAYFRONT PLAZA HOTEL, on the bay in sparkling Corpus Christi, Texas. 601 N. Water St., Corpus Christi, TX 78401. Packages include: Complimentary Suite; Full Breakfast Daily; Tenth Floor Hospitality room; Panoramic View of City, Bay, Lexington Museum. Shop downtown and trolley to the beach. Call 1-800-688-0334 to speak to our Reunion Friendly sales staff. Full catering services. Packages starting at $65.00. Visit COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT BLACKSTONE 601 Main Street, Fort Worth TX 76102. Located in the heart of downtown


BACK ISSUES Vol 1 No 1 Family, town and military reunions, adoptee search. Vol 1 No 2 Families, reunion places, fundraising. Vol 1 No 3 Reuniting the Relatives, memory books, interviewing, cemetery memorials. Vol 1 No 4 Ranches, Desert Storm reunion, camping. Vol 2 No 1 Commemorations, college memory book, how reunions change people. Vol 2 No 2 Family associations, 30th HS reunion. Vol 2 No 3 Ethnic origins, fundraising, Vietnam reunion. Vol 2 No 4 Cookbook, food/beverage tips, cruises. Vol 3 No 1 CVBs, evaluations, China Beach reunion. Vol 3 No 2 Cookbooks, family heritage, history travel, African American family reunions. Vol 3 No 3 Kids’ activities, storytelling, communicating. Vol 3 No 4 Century reunion, recipes, interviewing. Vol 4 No 1 Ancestry, riverboat reunions, videotaping. Vol 4 No 2 D-Day re-enactment, WWII battlefield tours, honoring ancestors, reunion prizes. Vol 4 No 3 African American reunions, D-Day reunions, memorial services. Vol 4 No 4 Recipes, fundraising, WWII reunion tips. Vol 5 No 1 Fundraising, love letters, diaries, Italian ancestry, WWII flight nurses.

Vol 5 No 2 Wild West reunion, WWII remembered.

Vol 9 No 4 Heritage Haunt, drama, survey, scholarships, food.

Vol 5 No 3 Flyers & newsletters, welcoming 1st timers.

Vol 10 No 1 Bylaws & philanthropy, schedule and registration form.

Vol 5 No 4 Writing family history, kid’s stuff, flyers and newsletters, recipes.

Vol 10 No 2 Kids, diaries & journals, ethnicity.

Vol 6 No 1 Family history, kudos & citations. Vol 6 No 2 Fundraising, finding reunion site, registration. Vol 6 No 3 50th HS, reunion with Dutch “savior.” Vol 6 No 4 Kids stuff, cemeteries, communications. Vol 7 No 1 Golf, delegating, reunion glossary, CVBs. Vol 7 No 2 Ethnic reunions, memory books, t-shirts. Vol 7 No 3 Dr. Ruth talks, ice breakers, invitations. Vol 7 No 4 Rainy day activities, memory books, quantity cooking. Vol 8 No 1 Found: everyone! Getting started. Vol 8 No 2 Storytelling, web pages, mystery photos, day camp for kids.

Vol 10 No 3 Oral histories, ranches, theme ideas. Vol 11 No 1 CVBs help, golf, camping, books. Vol 11 No 2 Ethnicity, family history test, legends & myths. Vol 11 No 3 Games, teenagers will talk. Vol 11 No 4 Icebreakers, games, memoirs, catering, fundraising. Vol 12 No 1 Communication, games, banquets, fundraising. Vol 12 No 2 20th HS reunion, CVBs, adventure reunions, cruising. Vol 12 No 3 Reunion survey, kids stuff, newsletters. Vol 12 No 4 Camping, ethnicity, catering, cemeteries. Vol 13 No 1 Fundraising, golf, all inclusives. Vol 13 No 2 Ranches, themes, invitations, get kids involved.

Vol 14 No 2 Fundraising: raffles, cookbooks, plan a military reunion, travel agents. Vol 14 No 3 Memorials, workbook. Vol 14 No 4 Family tree celebrities, take a bus, lady veterans, chef does his class reunion. Vol 14 No 5 Games, visit cemeteries, many family reunions, national WWII reunion. Vol 14 No 6 Food, ethnic reunions, school history. Vol 15 No 1 Snow foolin’ winter reunions, newsletters inform, evaluating keeps it fresh. Vol 15 No 3 Themes, goodies, favors & prizes, house histories. Vol 15 No 4 African American family conference, scholarships. Vol 15 No 5 Tuskegee Airmen, Valley Forge, family medical history. Vol 15 No 6 Quilts, cruises, camping. Vol 16 No 1 Down on the farm, WWII 60th anniversary reunions, attractions. Vol 16 No 2 Fundraising ideas, Tracking the wild class-mate, Co-workers reunite.

Vol 8 No 3 Databases, subpoena invitation.

Vol 13 No 3 Heritage tours and homecomings, patriotic themes, celebrate teachers.

Vol 8 No 4 Christmas in July, health histories.

Vol 13 No 4 Internet genealogy, military reunions, ethnic reunions.

Vol 9 No 1 Class search, fundraising, newsletters.

Vol 13 No 5 CVBs help, plantation and neighborhood reunions, music.

Vol 9 No 2 Goody bags, cruises, mystery photos, CVBs.

Vol 13 No 6 Camping, family associations, treasures.

Vol 16 No 5 Reunion rodeo and ranches, Reunion communications, Registration and schedules

Vol 9 No 3 Souvenirs & games, questionnaire, gaming.

Vol 14 No 1 Awards, create a reunion dvd, ethnic celebrations.

Vol 16 No 6 Family reunions, video histories, scrapbooking for kids.

Vol 16 No 3 Icebreakers, games and ethnic reunions. Vol 16 No 4 Gulf Coast open for reunions, feeding reunions, military diary.

Postage and handling for Back Issues (1st Class or Priority Mail); 1 back issue $1.60, 2-4 issues $4.05, 5 or more $8.10. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S




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REPRINTS Birthright. Reunion between adoptee and birthmother. Reuniting the Relatives. a family reunion start to finish. BOOK The Family Reunion Sourcebook by Edith Wagner. Lowell House, 1999, 249 pages, paperback, $16.95 + $2 s/h. REUNIONS WORKBOOK Reunions Workbook. Don’t do a reunion without one! $10. Perfect gifts! POSTCARD HELPERS Save the date – Use to notify reunion members that a date has been set! Time is running out – Remind your reunion members to return their reservations. 56


Add Postage & Handling for Back Issues (1st Class or Priorty Mail) 1 back issue 2-4 back issues 5 or more

$1.60 $________ $4.05 $________ $8.10 $________

BOOKS, POSTCARDS AND REPRINTS ____ Reunions Workbook $10 each $________ ____ The Family Reunion Sourcebook $________ $16.95 + $ 2 s/h each POSTCARDS (you print your information) @ 20¢ ea. or $15/hundred $________ ____ SAVE THE DATE ____ TIME IS RUNNING OUT @ 20¢ ea. or $15/hundred $ ________ POSTCARDS (custom printing) @ 50¢ ea. or $45/hundred ____ SAVE THE DATE ____ TIME IS RUNNING OUT @ 50¢ ea. or $45/hundred Add postage & handling for post cards (priority mail) ____ 100-200 $4.05 ____ 201 or more $8.10 REPRINTS ____ Birthright ____ Reuniting the Relatives

$ ________ $ ________ $________ $________

$3 each $________ $3 each $________

SUBSCRIBE TO REUNIONS MAGAZINE Six issues plus FREE Reunions Workbook Foreign orders except Canada add $36 for subscriptions. All foreign payment in US funds or drawn on a US bank. ❏ New subscription ❏ $9.99/one year

❏ Renewal ❏ $17.99/two years



L $________

❏ Check enclosed payable to Reunions magazine, inc. ❏ Charge: ❏ MasterCard ❏ Visa ❏ American Express ❏ Discover Card #__________________________________ Exp. Date _______ Daytime phone number ____________________________________ To charge orders call 800-373-7933 or fax 414-263-6331. If shipping address is different than name and address on the credit card, please provide both addresses. Name __________________________________________________ Address ________________________________________________ Address ________________________________________________ City/State/Zip____________________________________________ Make check payable and mail to REUNIONS MAGAZINE, PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211-0727

CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES Fort Worth, the historic Courtyard by Marriott Blackstone is within walking distance of shopping, entertainment, and over 30 restaurants and bars. The hotel boasts an outdoor heated pool, indoor whirlpool, and onsite workout facility. Come enjoy our recently renovated guest rooms with new plush bedding package. 817-885-8700; 817-885-8303; SAN ANTONIO CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU Come and experience the Spanish ambiance and history that make San Antonio a unique reunion destination. Call on us to help support you, and receive a comprehensive group planning guide. Member NTA, ABA and OMCA. San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau PO Box 2277, San Antonio, TX 78298. 800-447-3372, ext. 6783; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

UTAH PARK CITY MARRIOTT 1895 Sidewinder Drive, Park City UT 84060; 435-615-4560; fax 435-658-0937; creid@sunstone; Why UTAH? Fresh air, Beautiful Mountains and a great hotel. Well appointed guest rooms and impeccable service is something you can count on at Hilton. THE HILTON SALT LAKE CITY AIRPORT offers 288 rooms located only minutes from Downtown Salt Lake City. You can enjoy our Indoor/Outdoor pool and sauna. Exercise facility, complimentary internet throughout the hotel, full service restaurant and bar as well as over 9000 square feet of banquet space. Why not UTAH? Ask about our reunion specials.

VERMONT SMUGGLERS’ NOTCH RESORT At America’s Reunion Resort, you’ll experience Mountain Resort Living, award-winning children’s programs (6wks. - 17yrs.), family activities and entertainment, swimming, skiing, hiking, dining, shopping & more. Smugglers’ Notch Resort – the only resort in North America to guarantee Family Fun – Summer, Winter & Fall. For more information, call 1-800-521-0536. or visit SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! STOWE VERMONT VACATION HOMES Come to Vermont & rent a vacation home for your next gathering! Stowe Country Homes offers a wide range of rentals for any budget, from cozy

chalets to luxury homes. All are sparkling clean, well stocked, comfortably furnished & conveniently located. Concierge & housekeeping services available. Visit or call 888-277-0009.

VIRGINIA RAMADA LIMITED. 3503 Holiday Lane, Blacksburg, VA 24060, 800-684-9628; 540-951-1330; fax 540-951-4847; ramadablacks; CHESAPEAKE CONVENTIONS & TOURISM 3815 Bainbridge Blvd. Chesapeake VA 23324; 888-889-5551; fax 757-502-4883;; MOUNTAIN LAKE HOTEL AND RESORT “You haven’t changed a bit!!” – Aunts, uncles, cousins – haven’t seen your relatives in years? New additions too the family? Whether family, military, college or just a group of friends, visit us on “Top of the World” for a memorable reunion. Join us in reliving memories and making new ones. Contact the Mountain Lake Sales Department at 800346-3334 or for more information or visit our website at to view our accommodations and activities. COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG HOTELS. PO Box 1776, Williamsburg VA 23187-1776. Discover a collection of four unique hotels with varying price points, all adjacent to the 301acre Historic Area, the world’s largest living history museum. Colonial Williamsburg Hotel guests can stroll to the Historic Area’s 16 restaurants, 40 shops, and Golden Horseshoe Golf Club, or ride the free shuttle throughout the Historic Area. 800822-9127; fax 757-220-7685;; www.colonial SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

WEST VIRGINIA CANAAN VALLEY RESORT & CONFERENCE CENTER offers 250 lodge rooms, 23 cabins, and 34 campground sites in the highest mountain valley east of the Rockys. Activities include 18 hole championship golf course, paintball arena, indoor/outdoor swimming pools, mountain biking, and much more. Over 10,000 sq ft. conference space available. HC 70, Box 330 Davis, WV 26260; 800-622-4121;; www.

THE WOODS RESORT & CONFERENCE CENTER is located in the Northern Shenandoah Valley & offers lodge rooms, cabins, villas & private rentals. 36 holes of golf, 3 pools, basketball, racquetball, tennis, softball, playground, exercise room, & the Sleepy Creek Spa. Conference & dining facilities. 1694 The Woods Rd., Hedgesville WV 25427; 800-248-2222; fax 304-754-8146.;

WISCONSIN BIRCHWOOD LODGE 337 Highway 57, P.O. Box 646, Sister Bay WI 54234; 866-854-7195; fax 920-854-9385; info@birch; DAYS INN OF WISCONSIN DELLS 944 US Highway 12, PO Box 381, Wisconsin Dells WI 53965; 866-WI-DELLS; fax 608-253-5665.

WYOMING THE DUDE RANCHERS’ ASSOCIATION P.O. Box 2307, Cody, Wyoming 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 866399-2339 or e-mail; HUNTER PEAK RANCH, your reunion’s destination for mountain recreation. Located on Chief Joseph Scenic Hwy, just outside Yellowstone Park, we offer the perfect mix of accommodations, dining flexibility, and activities. Contact: Shelley Cary. 307-5873711 P.O. Box 1731 Cody WY 82414; Email:

VENDORS AND SERVICES BADGES & BUTTONS NAMETAG (PHOTO BUTTON) with alumni’ yearbook photos can be the hit of your reunion. Choose from several distinctive layouts customized with school name, colors and years, Various attachment options are available. A fun souvenir all will enjoy. We offer personalized service and quick turnaround. For more information and examples please visit us at Reunions.htm.

BOOKS THE REUNION PLANNER 11661 San Vicente Blvd., Suite 306, Los Angeles CA 90049; 800-899-6978; fax 310-820-8341.

Postcards that make your reunion point! Send e save v a s the e h t date e t da when you’ve set it!

Send TIME IS RUNNING OUT when it is!

Custom Printing – $45 p/hundred; 50¢ each, Blank cards $15 p/hundred; 20¢ each; minimum 10. Send message, check & request to: REUNION POSTCARDS PO Box 11727 ❖ Milwaukee WI 53211-0727 To charge, call 800-373-7933. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S


CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES THE FAMILY REUNION SOURCEBOOK by Edith Wagner (1999, Lowell House, Los Angeles, $16.95). Available in book stores or add $2 s/h from Reunions Magazine, PO Box 1727, Milwaukee WI 53211-0727 or charge at 800-373-7933. GIFT OF HERITAGE The Gift of Heritage product line includes exciting family history resources. They consist of ideas for enhancing a family reunion or gathering, scrapbooking, games to encourage sharing memories with family members, genealogical research resources for most ethnic origins, how to create a family newsletter, design and publish your own family Web site. Interview extended-family members with suggested questions to ask, preserve the past, shoot family videos, write your life story. Create a family documentary and computer and Internet guides plus much, much more! Receive free 10 Tips To Preserve Your Family History And Memories. Call 800-2248511. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

COOKBOOKS HERITAGE COOKBOOK.COM AS SEEN IN OPRAH MAGAZINE Create your own cookbook. Quick & easy to do. Personalize the cover with a photo and add lots more photos inside – at no extra cost. The minimum order is only 5 books. Printed in b&w or color in just 10-15 business days. Great for reunions, gifts and fundraising! Simply the best.– Visit us today at

CRUISES DISCOVERY CRUISE LINE If you’re looking for the ultimate in fun for your reunion, you should consider Discovery Cruise Line sailing daily from Ft. Lauderdale to Grand Bahama Island and offering same day roundtrip cruises and Cruise and Stay vacation packages. The price of the cruise includes three lavish buffet meals, entertainment, a Las Vegas-style casino, and more. There’s special pricing for kids and teens. Call 1-888-213-1454.

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ANCESTRAL ROOTS TRAVEL LTD – Specialist European tour operator offering ancestral tours and reunions. The focus is on personalised itineraries which bring your own families past to life. Rediscover the churches where your family worshipped, visit the houses they knew, and see the landscapes they would have seen. Visit or email info@ to discuss your plans.

POSTCARD ANNOUNCEMENTS Notify your reunion members to SAVE THE DATE (bright red, they’ll not miss it!) and when you need reminders, send postcards that say TIME IS RUNNING OUT. Fill-in cards – $15 p/100 postcards or 20 cents for blank cards – you fill in the information and address; or Personalized cards – $45 p/100 postcards or 50¢ each. Send info to be printed: for SAVE THE DATE! (name, date, & place of reunion, contact info). For TIME IS RUNNING OUT (name & date of reunion & RSVP date) + fax number or email address to get your approval before we print. Send to Reunions magazine, PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211-0727; credit card charges call 1-800373-7933 or order online;

FAMILY TREE CHARTS YOUR FAMILY TREE CHARTED Poster Size for reunions/get togethers. Really Nice! Mrs. Ross; 3700 Sulene Drive, College Park GA 30349; 404-768-5698.

MAGAZINE Subscribe to Reunions magazine Ensure a full year of reunion planning advice plus workbook. Subscribe now. Send $9.99/yr or $17.99/ 2 yrs to Reunions Magazine, Inc., PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211-0727. To charge to credit card call 800-373-7933 or visit our website

MEMENTOS DYNAMITE IMPRINTS Personalized gifts for classmates: mouse pads, mugs, magnets, key chains, t-shirts Sublimated Name Badges with class picture and up to 3 lines of text, 2 X 3 hard plastic. Yearbook DVD’s… no up front costs to committee, classmates purchase directly from us. Big plus when budget is tight! We just need a clean yearbook, and a list of music you would like. Cost to classmates $21.95 includes shipping anywhere in USA. Free Samples upon request dynamiteprints@ Rose Culver (801) 510-2775. DIGITAL MAGIC 6390 Windharp Way, Columbia MD 21045. Photos printed on-site. Take your memories home with you the same day. 410-290-9838; email: REUNION 2006/07? Add a colorful custom ribbon to your name badges that make it a ‘keepsake’ that says “you were there”! Ribbons embossed with your words (up to 20). Created expressly for class, family and military reunions, birthday and anniversary celebrations. Call for sample ribbon-idea brochure. REUNION MATE 1-800-208-6804 or FAX 419-738-8463.

PRESERVING REUNIONS DIGITAL MAGIC 6390 Windharp Way, Columbia MD 21045. Photos printed on-site. Take your memories home with you the same day. 410-290-9838; email:


REUNION PLANNING CLASSMATES.COM – THE #1 REUNION PLANNING SITE When you plan your reunion with us, you’ll have access to the world’s largest alumni database, plus you’ll find the latest tools to make a hard job a little easier. Contact your class with one message, post updates as you plan, send invitations and reminders, and create fun surveys to find out what people want from the big event. Get started now at

REUNION RIBBONS REUNION 2006/07? Add a colorful custom ribbon to your name badges that make it a ‘keepsake’ that says “you were there”! Ribbons embossed with your words (up to 20). Created expressly for class, family and military reunions, birthday and anniversary celebrations. Call for sample ribbon-idea brochure. REUNION MATE 1-800-208-6804 or FAX 419-738-8463.

REUNION WEBSITE BUILDER MYEVENT.COM Create your own reunion website with no skills. It’s fast and easy to use. Your reunion website has great features and planning tools. It will make planning much easier and everyone will love it! Features: Online registration, rsvp, ticket payment, message boards, guest book, quiz, poll, stories, photo albums, no ads, travel information, more. 7 day free trial. Only $9.95 / month. Any Questions - 877769-3836 or

T-SHIRTS REUNION SHIRTS – 800-901-2679;, SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! REUNION GEAR – America’s #1 source for reunion apparel and gifts. See our large collection of full color designs; simply add your name and event info. Choose from t-shirts, apparel, and keepsakes. Reunion Kits start at only $5.00 with a minimum of just 12. Or send us your own art, we provide free art services with orders of 36+. 1-800-451-1611 FAMILY REUNION T-SHIRTS – Always FREE shipping and setups from! We can ship to you or to your reunion destination. See over 40 unique family reunion designs which are customized with your family name, event details, and custom art at no extra charge. High quality screen printing means the design on your family reunion t-shirts will not fade in the wash! Call 1-800-851-4020 today; questions@getyourshirts .com; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

TRAVEL DIRECTORY COLORADO DIRECTORY’S FREE GUIDE of comparable reunion locations includes Places to Stay (Cabins, Vacation Homes, Lodges, Motels, Condo’s, B&B’s, Campgrounds) & Fun Things to Do. 888-222-4641. Or use our quick & easy email form at to have businesses contact you about hosting your Colorado Events such as groups, reunions, meetings, retreats & conferences.

SUBSCRIBE! CALL 1-800-373-7933 58


When you gather in Kissimmee, the results are always remarkable, affordable, and most importantly, memorable. Learn all the advantages of staying next to Orlando’s famed attractions at or 800.831.1844, ext 484.

P.O. Box 11727 ❖ Milwaukee WI 53211-0727

Reunions Magazine Volume 17, Number 1. August/September 2006