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Genealogy at reunions RSVP Where to have reunions

Display until November 30, 2006.







October/November 2006 Volume 17 • Number 2 PUBLISHER

ALUM&I – 6

Jeffrey P. Wallman

All the 70s by Michele Burk Charitable reunions share scholarships, athletic equipment, school funds, memorabilia. Classmates poll discovers 74% plan to attend high school reunion




Susie Welsh

Reunion school, reunions of dance students, flying farmers, flight attendants, Old-Timers baseball. Government agency search contacts and Colorado resource


BRANCH OFFICE – 10 Expanding family communications by Maureen Taylor Genealogy is about more than dead people … by Lauri Hassinger Write your own obit by Bette Bunker Richards Remembering Pennsylvania


Jennifer Rueth SALES

Marion Liston Senior Account Manager Sandy Lewis Account Manager OPERATIONS MANAGER

Karla Lavin



Thanksgiving reunions, Smallwood Family Reunion

Jean Salzer Andy Bordeaux

WHERE? – 17 Location makes reunion memorable Thoughts on site selection by Russell P. Baker High tech reunion hotel arrangements Let the Blauvelt journey begin A reunion home by Sunny McClellan Morton Who says you can’t go home again by Larry Bernhardt After Mom is gone by Cherise Wyneken

WRAPPING UP YOUR REUNION – 26 RSVP – 28 Invitations and registrations from many reunions

REUNION VENUES & FEATURES – 34 VENUES & PLACES Knoxville through history by Edith Wagner A goldmine for gatherings by Jacky Runice

GOLF It’s a reunion game too

MILITARY REUNION NEWS – 44 Independence is rich in history by Janeen Aggen 45th Division Thunderbirds reunion by Robin Rowan 6th US Cavalry 106th reunion, Gathering of Mustangs and Legends, Doolittle Raiders honored, Bay of Pigs legacy, Medal of Honor fakers, online military records, Navy Log

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

Boise Idaho’s Oinkari Basque Dancers are a favorite attraction. See page 38.


Janeen Aggen • Russell P. Baker Larry Bernhardt • George and Doris Blauvelt June R. Brown • Gil Bunker Michele Burk • Carolyn Clark Ann Eide • Sheryl Fils • Rosie Harnsberry Lauri Hassinger • Pam Iverson J. Lynne Wilson Jenkins • Shamele Jordon Pamela King-Williams • Rene LaViness Sunny McClellan Morton • Phyllis Naumann B. Jean Niblack • Frank Phagan Bette Bunker Richards • Karen Robertson Robin Rowan • Rosa Lee Smallwood Larry Smiser • Maureen Taylor • Arliss Treybig Jacky Utley • Sasha Walters Bill Williams • Cherise Wyneken 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.




before we start next year, let’s Butcelebrate the 2006 reunion season. Our new online Reunions Picture Gallery shows off reunions across the country. To include yours, submit a representative photograph to or Reunions magazine, PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211. Then visit the site and encourage your members to see their pictures at; click on Reunions Picture Gallery on the homepage. JUST STARTING OUT?

The 2007 reunion planning season begins now Be in touch! Mail to REUNIONS MAGAZINE PO Box 11727 Milwaukee WI 53211-0727 For charge orders call 800-373-7933 or visit or fax it to 414-263-6331. Or best of all, e-mail

For anyone new to reunion organizing, you’ve come to the right place. Reunions magazine is reader-driven, which means it’s another form of word of mouth. It answers reunion planning questions. How do you start? Where do you start? Is there anyone to help? This is the place: all we do is focus on reunion organizing. A great place to start is at the Timetable in Reunions Workbook, or online at, click on Getting Started, then on Choosing a date and the timetable pops up. Make sure you and your committee are all working with the same timetable … better yet, make sure everyone has a workbook. If you order two or more workbooks for your committee, we’ll charge you just $5 (reg. $10) for each book (mention this offer). You can order all sent to you for your next meeting or send names and addresses and we’ll ship directly. Send a check to Reunions magazine, PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211 or to charge, call 800-3737933, ext 4 and be sure to mention this offer because it is just for reunion committees. This entire issue of Reunions magazine will be online October and November 2006. Refer your committee members to articles online at SUPPORT OUR PARTNERS

The thing that distinguishes our advertisers is that they are our partners in serving reunions. They know you’re making purchasing decisions for your reunion and they want to help. They are ready to host or provide services/ products for your reunion. We urge you to contact them to determine exactly how they can help you. And it goes without saying, when they ask, you’ll answer that you “met” them in Reunions magazine. SUMMER BONUS

This summer Shamele Jordon, Lindenwold, New Jersey, represented The Family Reunion Institute, her Toomer Family Reunion and Reunions magazine at the Ebony Black Family Reunion Tour in six major cities across the 4


US. She had magazines (which just happened to have Shamele’s picture on the cover) and workbooks to share with people interested in learning more about reunions. We know Schamele made many new friends from this effort and truly appreciate her helping promote Reunions magazine. MEET AMBER DAVIS

Amber, a frequent forum visitor and excellent contributor, has agreed to be forum moderator for Some of her forum chat about reunion fundraising was in our Aug/Sep 2006 issue. She says, “The whole world of organizing family reunions was very new and curious to me, and I felt like I could definitely use help in coming up with ideas. That’s when I went online and discovered Reunions magazine.” When she discovered our forum, she signed on to converse with other reunion coordinators. “Several people have had great advice and been a good help to me, so I stick around to see how much more I could learn,” she says. Amber says she’s married to “the most wonderful man!” with two children and another on the way. Her interests include scrapbooking, photography, drawing and playing the piano. She also enjoys planning parties and special occasions, which led to her leading her family’s annual reunion. “Those kinds of things are fun to put together so people can just socialize and have a great time being together.” Amber says, “I’m looking forward to doing everything I can to make this a great community for all to come, learn and make some new friends along the way!” Join Amber to discuss reunions at SEE YOUR REUNION IN REUNIONS MAGAZINE!

Share your summer reunion triumphs with Reunions magazine. Check Media Alerts at to see what we’re looking for … what’s coming up that you can contribute to. Also, check Media Alerts for postings from other media looking for reunions to feature! LIST YOUR REUNION FREE

2007 reunions are coming in. Is yours on the list? If not, send info for your reunion listing to Include reunion name, date and place and contact info. Don’t forget your website, if your reunion has one. See reunion listings at, click on upcoming reunions. EW




There’s nothing simple about preparations for reunions at Princeton


ccording to Adrienne Rubin, Alumni Association associate director for class affairs, alumni volunteers manage major class reunions at Princeton University. Volunteers put together themes, costumes and meals, and decide what bands they’ll have. Most classes have committees of 15 to 30 volunteers who begin planning roughly 18 months before reunions. The Alumni Association provides a six-page checklist. There are panels, parties and the P-rade, the annual Saturday afternoon procession of Princetonians in their orange-and-black garb. The job of the Alumni Association is to help volunteers be successful. Many classes take time to plan and run community service events. Over four days of reunions, the university’s Dining Services serves over 28,700 meals to more than 20,000 alumni and family members. Sun or rain, 100 tents cover more than 183,000 square feet. Over 658 sections of dance floor are put down for the event, 11 miles of wiring and service cable is connected and 15,000-plus chairs surround hundreds of tables at 30 locations across campus. A partnership with YWCA Princeton provides Tiger Camp group babysitting, cooperation with A-1 Limousine shuttles people throughout campus, and an agreement with Stout’s bus company transports people to and from their accommodations. From the Princeton Packet, Princeton, New Jersey.

All the ’70s


lasses of the 1970s at San Pedro High School, San Pedro, California, are having a summer picnic. The third annual A Gathering of “The Crowd” and Friends Picnic is for all 1970s classes. The picnic is a no-host, bring-your-own-everything (and a dessert to share) affair held during the “Music by the Sea” series of free concerts. While reminiscing with classmates, old friends, family members discovers 74% plan to attend high school reunion

C recently polled its community of friends and acquaintances. Results reveal that 50% look forward to seeing best friends or former loves or crushes at their reunion. 2006 Reunion Poll findings from attendees include: ❖ 75% want to reconnect with an old friend ❖ 41% will attend to see success/ struggles of friends ❖ 32% will flip through yearbooks before the reunion ❖ 36% will get a tan or buy a new outfit for the reunion ❖ 27% said, “Why not attend my high school reunion?” ❖ 19% will rehash old times with high school friends before their reunion ❖ 16% will diet before the reunion

Reunion Resources at 6


❖ 8% will listen to music from high school days ❖ 16% want to see who looks better/ worse ❖ 74% won’t fib about anything when talking with old friends and acquaintances ❖ 12% said they might consider lying about their personal life (family, marriages, kids, divorce) ❖ When asked if they would want to go back and do high school over again, 65% said they wouldn't. However, 72% said they would do things differently (be more social, more active and less shy). “About eight million people attend high school reunions each year in the US, affirming that reconnecting with one's past is an important part of our lives,” said Lisa Sharples, senior vice president of marketing.

Alumni association formed

I Connect direct to reunion places!

and others, attendees could tour the historic Point Fermin Lighthouse. Visit Shared by Michele Burk, San Pedro, California, High School Class of 1972 Reunion Committee and co-organizer of the summer picnics.

n 2003 the Westwood (Massachusetts) High School Class of 1971 reactivated the alumni association because there was an interest in meeting and socializing with their own class and others who were in school with them. The association has grown to more than 2,200 alumni and they assist classes planning reunions. The association

is nonprofit and their mission is to advance education and stimulate interest and professional relationships between Westwood High School and its alumni. They actively support and promote the high school, provide funding for scholarships, grants and promote general fellowship and community involvement. Visit


Stonewall reunion benefits school “


he West Side is the best side,” was the theme for Stonewall Jackson West High School ’s first all-class (1941-1989) reunion, which was also a fundraiser for Stonewall Jackson Middle School. Activities included a social with a six-piece band and appetizers, a golf and doubles tennis tourn- ament, open house, brunch at Stonewall Jackson Middle School and a dinner dance. The dinner dance band performed songs from the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s, while another played music from the ’70s and ’80s. Former men’s and women’s coaches from Stonewall Jackson High School were honored. Money raised from the reunion goes to middle school maintenance, its athletic programs and other academic needs. Reunion organizers hoped the reunion will spark interest among local businesses to take ownership in the school and community. Contact Stonewall Jackson Alumni Association, PO Box 6283, Charleston WV 25362; From an article by Jessica M. Karmasek in the Daily Mail – Charleston, Charleston, West Virginia.

Class donates memorabilia


ometimes memories are less important to those who make them than to generations that follow. Batesville (Arkansas) High School Class of 1946 members donated important memorabilia to the high school as part of the class’s 60th reunion weekend. Class members spent months digging through boxes, envelopes and parcels sent by ’46ers and their families. Members were asked to donate school items: yearbooks, letterman jackets, photos, report cards, yearbooks, embroidered sweaters, programs, notes

and a letter signed by the mayor proclaiming a special appreciation day for the class of 1946. These items will be displayed permanently at the high school. Class of ’46 members hope future generations learn from their accomplishments and take steps to safeguard their own histories. Donated memorabilia can be a wonderful reminder to students. If you don’t tell them how things were, how are they going to know? From a story by Jon Trobaugh in the Batesville Daily Guard, Batesville, Arkansas.

Reunion gets fund off to good start


reunion held to help raise funds for athletics at Arthur Voaden Secondary School, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, got the drive off to a healthy start toward its $25,000 goal. A recent Vikings reunion weekend attracted close to 500 alumni to celebrate athletic and academic achievements over the past 79 years, and netted $7,000 to help relaunch the junior football program.

Organizers said they wanted to hold an event in which enjoyment and socializing accompanied fund-raising for new helmets and shoulder pads. The drive got a boost from an anonymous donation of 17 football helmets. Other fundraising events include a Poor Boy’s Lunch in fall and a golf tournament in spring. From the St. Thomas Times-Journal, Canada.

Class of 1956 endows scholarship


hen Mount Union College (Alliance, Ohio) Golden Anniversary class committee members met to plan their 50th anniversary celebration, they asked the class to raise $20,000 for a scholarship to be given annually to a deserving Mount Union student in the name of the Class of 1956. The amount would be enough to fund an annual scholarship of

$1,000, based on need and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Class members gave and pledged $20,270; an additional $10,000 pledged from the estate of a class member will eventually increase the scholarship to $1,500 per year. From Mount Union College Athletics, Alliance, Ohio.

WEB PAGE: CALL: 414.263.4567 FAX: 414.263.6331 E-MAIL: WRITE: PO Box 11727 Milwaukee, WI 53211-0727 N AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F

REUNION M A N A G E R S PO BOX 59713 • RENTON WA 98058-2713 800-654-2776 • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Help for searchers


ABCs of Planning a Family Reunion October 6, 2006 Atlanta Marriott Norcross, 10 AM to 1 PM. Complimentary lunch, Family Reunion Planning Guide. Reservations only; no walkins accepted. Contact Linda Busby, GCTS, Gwinnett CVB Education Specialist, 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 on October 7-8, 2006, 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 314-241-YMCA.



1. The Division of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA will forward a message from you to the veteran, providing the veteran has filed a claim with VA and they have an address on record. For information about VA forwarding, go to enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=579

1. The National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri, for locating suggests veterans and service members at veterans/ other-resources/find-vets.html. For links to military services and veterans organizations www.archives .gov/st-louis/ military-personnel/ other-helpful-sites. html#vets.

2. The National Contact Center, part of the General Services Administration, has links to military locators and information about finding private individuals from the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of State. Contact www.pueblo.gsa. gov/call/ locating_individuals.htm.


Bring Your Family Home to DeKalb! October 21, 2006 Embassy Suites Perimeter November 18, 2006 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.



2. The American Legion. The American Legion provides a service to locate veterans. Call the Legion library at 314-630-1366 or section=community&subsection=com _library&content=com_lib_serv.

Dance reunion recital


or 40 years Barb Ramaekers has been the instructor at Barb’s School of Dance in Columbus, Nebraska. The list of dance steps she teaches is long – tap, ballet, jazz, pointe, lyrical ballet, Irish step, clogging, cheerdance, modern and hip hop. She recently worked with alumni to perform in a special anniversary celebration at the school’s annual recital. Months earlier, they received a video to help them learn the steps. Ramaekers’ own dance teacher, Rosalie Anderson, who lives in South Dakota, attended. About 80 alumni students from Nebraska, California, Texas and Iowa performed a jazz dance as part of the recital. From a story by Jean Wilson in the Columbus Telegram, Columbus, Nebraska.


Water Park of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. October 14, 2006 More details at

ill Williams, Hampton, Virginia, an obsessive and successful searcher, shared these resources that might make your searching a bit easier.

Colorado on your mind?


he Colorado Directory ( can help you find places that provide accommodations for groups. Whether your reunion wants to stay in a vacation home or everyone wants a different type of accommodation, this website can help you find a place to stay in Colorado. Over 200 businesses offer facilities for groups of all kinds. Browse the online version or order a free 76-page directory at 888-222-4641 (toll free) or download from

You can search by town, by amenity, how far away from town you want to be and types of activities available. Activities include 4WD/ATV tours, fishing, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, museums, golfing, mine tours, train rides, hot mineral springs, restaurants, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobile rentals and tours. You can also select indoor meeting area, outdoor picnic area or conference center. Hilton and Jenny Fitt-Peaster, founder/publishers, travel for five months each year and personally visit every business in the directory.

Airborne agriculture


he Kansas Flying Farmers organized in Hutchinson in May 1946. They used planes to check irrigation equipment, chart custom cutters, look for lost cattle and transport hired hands. The family-oriented

group welcomed anybody interested in aviation and agriculture. Kansas Flying Farmers once included 700 families. Time, the high cost of flying and a dwindling number of farmers reduced the group to about 150 families. Recently, 32 Kansas Flying Farmers and their families returned to Hutchinson for a reunion. From a story by Clara Kilbourn in the Hutchinson News, Hutchinson, Kansas.

Beech Model 28, AAF Model XA-38 “Destroyer,” nicknamed the "Grizzly."

Old-Timers dwindling


he Old-Timers Baseball Reunion in Burlington, Iowa, gathers former professional and semi–professional baseball players from the area. But as they celebrate more birthdays, their numbers dwindle. In the year since the last reunion, ten friends and former teammates passed away, including the group’s most senior member, 94-year-old Lefty Hall, who attended every meeting and made it to last year’s reunion just after he had been released from the hospital. With the depleted numbers, the committee pondered calling it quits, but

core members decided to meet at least one more year. John Slocum, one of the original organizers, said, “If we can get a house full or several that say they are interested in the older folks and what they’ve done, we’d try then to continue it another year and go on from there.” Lunch is open to the public ($5) followed by recollections, then opened to family, friends and neighbors of the deceased members. From a story by Susan Denk in the Burlington Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa.

Pan Am flight attendants reminisce


t’s been decades since Pan American World Airways ‘girls’ flew together. They have earned graduate degrees, become wives and mothers, and pursued careers as ministers, chefs and librarians. When they get together to socialize, they also raise money for charitable causes. World Wings International, a social and charitable organization of former Pan Am employees, sponsors an annual reunion and has contributed millions of dollars to CARE, the humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to survivors of war and natural disasters.

Chartered in 1959, World Wings has 36 chapters worldwide. The Boston chapter celebrates its 35th anniversary this year and includes women in towns and cities from Rhode Island to Maine. The group raises about $2,500 a year, a portion of which goes to Angel Flight Northeast, which provides free flights for people in need of medical care. From a story by Kristen Green in the Boston Globe, Boston, Massachusetts.


YMCA of the Rockies, Snow Mountain Ranch October 27-29, 2006 Family Reunion University Meet Edith Wagner, editor of Reunions magazine. 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. ATLANTA, GEORGIA

January 28, 2007 Family Maxx Fun Entertainment Center June 24, 2007 Sheraton Atlanta Hotel September 30, 2007 Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center Contact Lydia Douglas, Sales Manager, Small Meetings, Atlanta CVB, 233 Peachtree Street, NE, Ste 100, Atlanta, GA 30303; 404-521-6640;; PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

16th National Family Reunion Conference March 16-18, 2007 with a pre-conference workshop on March 15th Contact Dr. Ione Vargus, 215-204-8703; PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA

17th National Family Reunion Conference March 2008 Contact Dr. Ione Vargus, 215-204-8703;




Expanding Family Communication n a recent column, I wrote about the ways families keep in touch, including family association newsletters. Just about every organization produces at least one publication, usually a short newsletter. These keep members informed about relevant news and upcoming events. But let’s face it, producing those newsie items usually falls to a cadre of volunteers under the direction of an editor. Some groups still produce their newsletters the old-fashioned twentieth century way – with a typewriter and copy machine, while others use computers. Either way, most organizations print their newsletters then gather a few individuals to sort them for mailing. Countless hours go into every publication.



There are better ways to take care of business. CREATE A FAMILY BLOG

Creating a blog really is as easy as 1-2-3. At all you need to do is create an account with a user name and password, name your blog and pick a template. Before you choose a name, search it in Google and in Google’s blog search feature to see if anyone already uses the name. Then select a design. All that’s left to do is add content. Attach photos and include web links using icons on the “create” page. You don’t need to know html or have any special computer expertise. It’s as simple as typing this sentence. The time it takes to update my blog is however long it takes me to write the piece. Once I’m done, I click “Publish” and it’s online. PUBLISH THE NEWSLETTER ONLINE

Many family associations now offer newsletters on their website as pdf files that require Adobe Acrobat (a free download at for viewing). 10


by Maureen Taylor

Create your files using a word processing program or scanner, then convert into pdf files using either the free trial (limited to five pages) or sign up for a subscription to Adobe’s converter. Upload your pages using their instructions and the conversion is done for you. All you have to do is attach the file to an email and add it to your site. LET SOMEONE ELSE DO THE WORK

In both these cases, producing all the electronic content is the editor’s responsibility. Suppose you want to keep mailing newsletters to members, but continue to struggle with how to get it all done – design, content and mailing. You daydream each time that someone else could handle some of those tasks for you. It’s not a dream. Soon after reading my article about family communication in Reunions magazine, Joe Quinn from Illustratus ( contacted me to describe his company’s services. I usually shy away from product advertisements but this seems worth sharing. Illustratus prints and mails newsletters for many organizations and is anxious to serve the family newsletter market. They offer an online template, some general content and they mail the newsletters all for a reasonable fee. Here’s what you can do with their service.

• Edit, design and proof your newsletter online. Others can also contribute content directly. • Add your logo, photographs and content. • They print and mail from your Excel mailing list. Once you’ve used their template and seen the full color newsletters you can produce, you’ll throw away your typewriter and forget the location of your copy shop. You’re probably wondering about price. Newsletters come in different lengths. For instance, a four-page newsletter (template, printing and mailing) costs from $1.01 to $1.17; an eight-page newsletter approximately doubles that. It’s a bargain for even small reunions. A minimum order of 50 is required. If you request a special design the company asks for a one-year contract. This is not a case of too good to be true. If you don’t believe me contact Joe Quinn at 866-881-8900. These twenty-first century innovations are worth considering. Take some time to think about alternative ways of keeping members up-to-date on news and explore how other reunions spread the word. Click on the links in’s category, Surnames, Family Associations & Family Newsletters to check out hundreds of other groups. It’s important to remember that a newsletter is the public reflection of your reunions. A beautiful publication is a visible reminder that your group is worth being a part of. These three solutions are quick, simple and inexpensive. You’ll be able to spend all your newfound free time in other pursuits.

About the author Maureen Taylor writes about photography and family history in her blog


Genealogy is about more than dead people and cemeteries Or, How to present genealogy at a family reunion by Lauri Hassinger he word genealogy invokes thoughts of boredom, old people, dead people, cemetery tours, gravestones and ancestral charts. When word is out that there will be a discussion about genealogy at a family reunion, the younger generation is sent to play, spouses scatter, some direct relatives also find an excuse to go get a cup of coffee (or a beer) and never find their way back. What is left is the older generation. I’ve struggled with this dilemma, trying to come up with ideas for a presentation that will make everyone want to be there. Children should learn about their heritage – if nothing else, to learn what’s important to keep. Even spouses could learn something about the ancestors of their spouse and children. So I put my creativity into developing a presentation that people would leave people talking. I am fortunate to have computer expertise. I enjoy investigating and am not afraid to ask questions. These talents led me to family discoveries that are truly


The author’s father, Allan Hassinger, Rochester, Minnesota, in front of the 1850 homestead, his great- and great-great grandparents’ home built in Slinger, Wisconsin.


32,768 is the number associated with your 16th generation paternal ancestor. It is derived by starting with one (you) and multiplying each generation by 2. Therefore, 32,768 is my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-greatgreat-great-grandfather. Generation 1 - ME/YOU Generation 2 - 2 parents Generation 3 - 4 grandparents Generation 4 - 8 gr-grandparents Generation 5 - 16 gr-gr-grandparents Generation 6 - 32 gr-gr-gr-grandparents Generation 7 - 64 gr-gr-gr-gr-grandparents Generation 8 - 128 gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-grandparents Generation 9 - 256 gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-grandparents Generation 10 - 512 gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-grandparents Generation 11 - 1,024 gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-grandparents Generation 12 - 2,048 gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-grandparents Generation 13 - 4,096 gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-grandparents Generation 14 - 8,192 gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-grandparents Generation 15 - 16,384 gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-grandparents Generation 16 - 32,768 gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-grandparents remarkable. I found the 1850s family homestead that is still occupied, and have made the discovery of 32,768 ancestors (see above). These and a few other 12


discoveries give me a lot of material, but still the question of how to make it interesting. I decided to start with the discovery of the homestead. I am also a scrapbooker

and had this adventure documented. Once I began, I found I could use pages I had already created. They were in chronological order and contain pictures and text. Using the scrapbook as a guide, I created a PowerPoint presentation with maps and pictures that told the story of finding the homestead. I tested the information on my immediate family and they were impressed. Not one fell asleep. I was ready for a larger audience. The discovery of 32,768 ancestors was more difficult. Obviously there are not many pictures and most of the information is names, dates and, oh yes, two graves. I wondered whether I’d need to serve beer and pretzels during this presentation, but I was not ready to give up on making it interesting. Again, I created a PowerPoint slide show. The internet is a handy tool that lets us travel to places from our chairs. With a few Google searches I was able to find pictures to go with the maps and charts. I relied on my genealogy scrapbook to help. I started with a brief summary about locating the information and how I made

topics. If your members like what they hear, they will come back next time rather than looking for an excuse not to attend. They may even invite you to present and they will provide the beer and pretzels. Remember, it is important to put genealogy into a family reunion. After all, it defines why there is a family with whom to reunite! But just in case you need to serve pretzels, this is a good recipe! PRETZEL RECIPE

1 bottle Orville Redenbacher’s popping oil 1 envelope Ranch dressing 2 pounds of pretzels Put pretzels in a large container. Whisk popping oil and Ranch dressing together. Pour over pretzels. Flip the container every 15 minutes for 1-2 hours to distribute the dressing evenly. Goes well with beer.

About the author Lauri Hassinger lives with her husband and son in Rochester, Minnesota. Besides cover it at one reunion is impossible. Rather scrapbooking and genealogy, she enjoys than skimming over a lot of names and dates, spending time on the Mississippi River and I recommend concentrating on a couple of dreaming of retirement there.

Scrapbooks provided the framework for Lauri Hassinger’s Power Point presentations.

the connection to this oldest generation. I used maps and pictures to show highlights of towns where our ancestors lived. Pictures were mainly of churches where family members were baptized and married. I added interesting bits of information and included genealogy charts, taking a few generations at a time as they tied into different locations. The PowerPoint technique I used is easy. PowerPoint has templates for pictures, text, or pictures and text. I had some digital pictures, and scanned others into digital format. There are a couple ways to view PowerPoint slides. You can acquire special cables to connect your computer to a television or projector, or you can save the completed PowerPoint as .jpg (a file type that is used for photographs and will play in a DVD player) and copy the .jpg files to a CD. When you save the PowerPoint presenta-tion as .jpg, it creates one .jpg picture for each slide. You can then use the television remote’s play and pause buttons to go through your presentation. (Note: This process automatically names the files “slide1, slide2,” etc. You need to rename the files “slide01, slide02,” etc., to force them to appear in the correct order; if you don’t do this, slide11 will appear after slide1.) The key to a successful presentation is to keep discussion focused. Genealogists have lots of information, and trying to




Remembering Pennsylvania


ennsylvania Colony of Nebraska enjoys annual reunions at the Ag Building at the Richardson County Fair Grounds in Humboldt, Nebraska. A display of many pictures and artifacts showed the rural and family heritage of the early pioneers who settled southeast Nebraska in the middle 1800s. Saturday night an old-fashioned watermelon feed was held at the Henry Heim historical and museum site just north of Dawson. Sunday morning the Dawson Methodist Church hosted a pancake-sausage breakfast for a free will offering to visitors. A memorial service was observed at the Methodist Church and a catered dinner was held at the fair grounds. A bus tour of area farms and historical points was offered to out-of-towners. The Heim Cemetery at Dawson hosted visitors all weekend. Contact Pennsylvania Colony of Nebraska, RR1 Box 127, Dawson NE 68337.

Write your own obit by Bette Bunker Richards


id you ever think of writing your own obituary? What would you want people to remember about your life? Try writing one for yourself. It makes for a good review. It lets you see if there is something you wished you’d accomplished and have not as yet. It can cause a big change in your life. What should be in an obituary? From a genealogist’s viewpoint, I want your name, date and place of birth, date and place of death, your parents’ names, siblings, children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. Who preceded you in death and who survived? From a historian’s viewpoint, Include your occupations, hobbies, fun times and experiences. I especially need any military service dates, rank, outfit, duties, overseas duty, branch of service and affiliation with VFW or American Legion Post. Unfortunately, many newspapers no longer print obituaries free. In Tucson, all we get without charge is a notice from the funeral home. When you run into an obituary like that it gives you virtually no information about the person, but you can contact the funeral home and usually they will give you more information. It also tells you the place of death so you can try to get a death certificate. Many government agencies have used the fear of identity theft as an excuse to block access to information for descendants, genealogists and historians. In the future, associations like the Bunker Family Reunion will be one of a few places to find information about our ancestors. We publish obituaries of Bunkers for free in the Bunker Banner. These obituaries are copied and put in BFA files as well. What happens when you are too upset at the time a loved one dies to write an obituary? You can always publish a memorial at a later time when you are not so stressed, even years later. It will cost you to publish this in the newspaper, but the BFA always welcomes these to add to our files. Later, your loved ones’ descendants will appreciate the information. Reprinted from the Bunker Banner, newsletter of the Bunker Family Reunion with permission from the author.

How do you celebrate family history at your reunion? Send stories and pictures to 14



Family prepares a Thanksgiving reunion


reparations began Wednesday at the homes of seven Turk sisters – who all live in Brazoria, Texas – for their Thanksgiving feast at the American Legion Hall. They crumbled biscuits and cornbread, added green onions and celery and then doused the mixture in chicken broth. The sisters cook enough to serve over 100 family members and friends. “We never say no to anyone who comes over to eat,” said 97-year-old Dollie Turk. “As long as there are spoons, you know.” Almost every year since the late 1970s, the family has hosted a bountiful Thanksgiving feast open to all their family and friends. The event evolved into a reunion for the 60-member-strong family. For family members who grew up in the Brazoria area but moved away, Thanksgiving is a bigger holiday than Christmas. Families come from far and

wide for the reunion. Everyone pitches in to make the feast special. A two-page handwritten list outlining everyone’s duties hangs by a clothespin from a kitchen lampshade. A quick glance offers a salivating preview: chocolate, buttermilk, pecan and apple pies, rice casseroles, various dressings, cheesecake, brisket, giblet gravy, candied yams and fruit salad. Often guests bring covered dishes as well. From a story by Jen Sansbury, Brazosport Facts, Clute, Texas.

Reunion a 200-year tradition


he enthusiasm of the younger generation gives elders the assurance the reunion will continue for another 200 years. Co-host Lois Owens said, “We just hope that if they come, they’ll look forward to bringing their children. And then maybe when they mature like we have, they'll see a need for it and work together.” The event, which dates back to the 1700s, has been held at churches or halls for the past 10 or so years, but that isn't how the tradition began. “They went house to house, just like the Pilgrims,” Owens said. “They gave thanks together. They never were hungry.” Some of the smaller children were learning firsthand the meaning of responsibility as they donned aprons and went to work. “I helped cook, and I

help serve the food,” said 12-year-old Ahkeelah Cole, who was happy it was Thanksgiving. “I like when the family gets together.” Many members have specialties. You bring your best – homemade. In addition to specialties, hosts are responsible for cooking the basics of the Thanksgiving meal: turkey, mashed potatoes, a vegetable (green beans or collard greens) and gravy. At the after-dinner program, the children sing and dance, and adults read from the Bible or recite poetry. They gather for a blessing and then close by asking who would like to host next year’s reunion. From a story by Cheryl Sarfaty in the New Brunswick Home News Tribune, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Postcards that make your reunion point! save the date

Send Send save TIME IS the date RUNNING OUT when you’ve set it! when it is!

Custom Printing – $45 p/hundred; 50¢ each Fill-in cards $15 p/hundred; 20¢ each plus postage: 100-200 cards – $4.05, over 200 – $8.10 Send message, check & request to: REUNION POSTCARDS ❖ PO Box 11727 ❖ Milwaukee WI 53211-0727. To charge, call 800-373-7933.

Family celebrates 150th anniversary


n historical marker reads: “Mormon Trail 1847 Military Road 1856 First settlement in the area by Mrs. Weltha Beebe and Abram McNeal and where were born Ann and Jennie McNeal twins, the first children of Dodge County Settlers on July 12, 1856.” Ken Beebe, Fremont, Nebraska, realized his family had been in Dodge County, Nebraska 150 years along with the realization that Fremont and North Bend were celebrating their Sesquicentennials. They went through old addresses, Christmas card lists and phone books to find as many relatives as they could. They did not use the internet to randomly find Beebes, but found it was helpful to locate people they knew about. They eventually compiled a list of 90 relatives in nine states. Some were excited about the reunion, but couldn’t come according to Ken. “A cousin in Beijing, China, won’t be able to make it. It has been really fun to find these people. We might have known they existed, but we have never met them.” The reunion will take place in the Izaak Walton Lodge, located at the site of the original Beebe family claim, with tours of the area (including cemeteries where ancestors are buried), displays, pictures and diaries to share. On Sunday the group will tour May Museum in Fremont, which includes the restored log cabin of Seneca Hager, brother of Lavina Beebe. The local Beebe relatives have collected pictures, narratives and documents for a CD for family members. “We’ve all brought different talents to the organization of the reunion,” Ken said. “One is the genealogist. She’s been doing this for years so she already had a lot done. We sent everyone (genealogical) information, and asked them to update it, make corrections, add next generations. We got that form back from everyone, whether they were coming or not.” From a story by Mary Le Arneal in the Fremont Tribune, Fremont, Nebraska.

Reunion timetable?

Click on Getting started, then on Choose a date. OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Why T

have reunions?

his is a classic photo that gives credence to why we have reunions. Dare Ruth Branch Farrior, Montclair, California, (in the wheel chair) is shown at the Branch/Outlaw Family Reunion. She was happy on her first trip in 50 years to Pink Hills, North Carolina, but, sadly, she died months later. Others in the photo (l to r) Dare Ruth’s son, Clifford Farrior, her first cousin Annie Thelma Branch Bowden and her daughter Betty Joyce Benton, Goldsboro, North Carolina.

Number one family reunion destination


rand Bahama has been named number one destination for family reunions by American Airlines. Declaring that American Airlines is dedicated to bringing families together, they offered the Ultimate Family Reunion Sweepstakes.” and the spring Reunions magazine reader Pamela King-Williams, Baltimore, Maryland, was the lucky winner. Her prize was a four-day/three-night stay at the all-inclusive Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach resort for ten family members. Williams and nine family members enjoyed the fruits of her good fortune when they traveled to Grand Bahama. While on the island the family took part in many exciting activities, including scuba

diving, parasailing, nature excursions and shopping in the famed Port Lucaya Marketplace. “We’re loving Freeport. It is a beautiful place and everyone has been so wonderful to us,” Williams said. The Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach was chosen because it is the Island’s only all-inclusive resort on a stretch of white sand beach and is renowned for its 276 ocean or garden view rooms. There are activities, programs, a kids’ club and gymnasium. From a story by Angelo Armbrister in the Freeport News Reporter, Freeport, Bahamas.

This is the Green Family Reunion with the whole family group. Only a smaller group enjoyed the American Airlines Family Reunion Sweepstakes trip to Grand Bahama.




can make reunions memorable


recent article in the Press SunBulletin (Gannett News Service) in Binghamton, New York, suggested some of these location possibilities. Ask family members for input and consider these ideas. ❖ Aunt Susie’s at the old homestead. ❖ A state park with rooms in the lodge, group camping or a picnic pavilion. Some offer houseboat rentals on a lake. ❖ A bed and breakfast or dude ranch. Take one over. ❖ A historic site or historic house. ❖ A church fellowship hall. ❖ Walt Disney World or smaller regional theme parks nostalgic parents might have visited when they were kids.

The Seideman Family Reunion may be an exception to the rule because they have met at the same farm (below) in Newburg, Wisconsin, for 73 years. Kids come back because they love the merry-go-round, which is pretty hard to match anywhere.

❖ Rotate cities. Create a trail of reunions that stop in new locations in successive years. ❖ Meet halfway. Spread travel costs evenly among all. ❖ Go international. Take a family cruise or go to the Caribbean or Canada. The US dollar is worth about $1.10 Canadian. If some family members live outside the US, consider a reunion where they live. Where you hold your reunion depends

children? For what ages? Do you want to go horseback riding? Are you experienced or do you need lessons? What kind of accommodations/meals do you prefer? Fancy? Home style? Hotel? Resort? Camping? Ranch? Bed and breakfast? How about a cruise ship? You may want to find a central reunion location so every member has an easy time getting there. Or you may chose a place and everyone gets there no matter what distance. Or you go to the old home place or rotate to cities where family members live. Make sure the location has enough attractions and activities for all ages so every member, young and old, is excited about the trip. Ann Eide, Beloit, Wisconsin, says her Christiansen Family Reunion chooses locations that most families can reach in a couple of hours of driving rather than spending a day on the road. For 35 years the Douglass-Blount Family Reunion was in the Augusta, Georgia, area where the family started. Then, according to J. Lynne Wilson Jenkins, Simpsonville, South Carolina, they voted to have the reunion bi-annually instead of annually and to alternate between Augusta and other cities. continued

on many factors and is one of your most crucial reunion decisions. Many details must be taken into consideration. Here are a very few – you’ll find more in the articles and stories that follow about where other reunions are going and why they’re going there. Do you have a special place you’d like to have your reunion? What type of terrain would you like to explore? Mountains? Desert? Beach? Do you want organized activities for




Location can make reunions memorable continued Rene LaViness plans three reunions. Two of the reunion weekends and locations are the same from year to year; the third – the LeViness/LaViness Family Reunion – is held on the same weekend each year, but in one location for two years, then another location for two years. The reunion is at the same location in Oklahoma, then two years in northwest Ohio or northwest Pennsylvania. Then, they return to Oklahoma for two years. This is to encourage folks to travel to one of the distant reunions. LaViness says “We feel if we alternate locations each year, members would be more apt to wait on the every-other-year timing and never make the trip to the other location. So, we decided to go two years at each location.” At the reunion dinner/dance which concludes each Garrett/Witherspoon Family Reunion, they request a volunteer from a different location to host the next reunion, as family members reside in various states, according to B. Jean Niblack, Decatur, Georgia. Karen Robertson writes that for 30 years the six Brolra girls had a secret meeting one night during the reunion where they decided on the location for the next reunion. It was announced to a great drum roll on the last evening as the Grand Finale of the Talent Show. Usually the family in charge finds the exact hotel or resort. They’ve altered the location a couple of times when they couldn’t find adequate accommodations or it was too expensive. Everyone saves for three years, so no one worries much about expense anymore. Then, one year, Robertson says, they did something new … and it was great. With the whole family together, they lined up by age from the oldest to the babies. Then they counted off and ended up in groups of four or five. Each group came up with all the places they thought would be good for the next reunion. Then each group had a recorder who wrote all the suggestions on big butcher paper posters on the wall. Then every person, young and old, got three votes to mark on the posters by the name of the places they wanted for the next reunion. After the vote was taken and counted, the group decision was to take a cruise next time. “Everyone felt like they had part in the decision, and that’s a first.” 18


Some reunions are picnics in the park, while many others encompass many locations including a picnic in the park. Here, the Gatson Family Reunion enjoys their picnic in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin’s McGovern Park.

June R. Brown, Baltimore, Maryland, reported that her Brown, Butler, Bing Family Reunion has been meeting every year since 1979 with a different planner each year and usually a different city. Brown and her daughter visit sites before actually booking them. They book over a year in advance to have that task behind them and concentrate on details necessary to have a really good time. Larry Smiser’s Smyser/Schmeiser Family Reunion has met every three to five years, alternating between Germany and the US. They recently had their first west coast reunion in San Clemente, California, where their theme was “Accomplishment and Diversity” with highlights of members’ personal stories. The last Smsyer/Schmeiser reunion in Dinkelsbuhl, Germany, had 50 registered for the whole event and an additional 50 for the banquet. Carolyn Clark, King Family Reunion, wrote, I’m in Iowa and travel to Denver every two years for our reunion. My cousin Patty and I are “The Committee.” I do most of the planning here while she finds the place for our reunion. We are using her church basement for the second time. Before, we used the park next to Columbine High School, but we quit after the shootings. For being 600 miles apart – so happy we have email now! – we make our reunions come together quite well. There are a lot of phone calls, emails and snail mail, especially the last few months. Basically our reunions are planned by email. A lot of work, but we sure have fun planning.

The Berry William and Earnestine Walker Iverson Family Reunion began in 1994. Pam Iverson and her mother planned their 2004 Iverson Family Reunion in Branson, Missouri. The theme was “Living History.” They traveled to Branson to tour the town and inspect the reunion resort and were extremely pleased with both. They live six hours from Branson and no family members live there. In the past, family members always hosted reunions in their towns, but Pam found planning this reunion was not difficult thanks to the help of many online resources and Reunions magazine. Frank Phagan, coordinator for the Millstead Reunion, and his wife checked out four Tennessee State Parks and found one that could handle relatives that like to rough it in an RV or rough it in a hotel room with clean sheets and bathrooms. Sheryl Fils, Marietta, Georgia, Kennedy Reunion Coordinator, reports that the purpose of site visits is to review the venues and inspect additional sites they may need for the upcoming reunion. Their reunion has been expanded from a three-day weekend to six days. For her first time planning the Duarte Family Reunion, Rosie Harnsberry, Fort Worth, Texas, visited every possible reunion destination. She wanted to make sure to find a place where there will be something for everyone (swimming, bike trails, fishing, boating, basketball, volleyball, playgrounds, shaded areas).

475 Commerce Lake Drive St. Augustine, Florida 32095 1-877-940-9501 Beautiful Comfort Suites Hotel located in Historic St. Augustine, Florida – ten minutes south of Jacksonville at World Golf Village. ❖ Banquet Space for 150 People ❖ Activity Planning Available ❖ Large Patio with Two Gazebos Overlooking Lake ❖ 162 Luxurious Suites ❖ Deluxe Continental Breakfast ❖ Indoor Heated Pool ❖ Outdoor Pool with Spa ❖ Refrigerator and Microwave ❖ Indoor Corridors ❖ Guest Laundry Facilities Area Attractions ❖ World Golf Village, Golf Hall of Fame and IMAX Theatre ❖ King & Bear and Slammer & Squire Golf Courses ❖ Outlet Shopping Malls ❖ Historic St. Augustine, Shops, Restaurants and Museums ❖ Beaches and Deep Sea Fishing

We’ll see you there! –




Thoughts on site selection by Russell P. Baker s they say in the real estate business, “Location, location, location.” The same can be said when it comes to looking for a family reunion site. As president of the Standridge National Family Historical Society I have struggled for years with the “location problem” when planning our biannual reunion. Here, from the school of hard knocks, are a few suggestions that might help. 1) Do you want to have your reunion in the same general location each time? If so, is there a central site with adequate facilities to serve as a base of operations? It might be at or near the site of an ancestral town, community or family home. It might also be near the center of a concentration of family members. 2) An area motel or hotel is usually your best bet. Be sure to check it out yourself or have a family member visit before you make a commitment. Set a date and make reservations at least a year in advance. A deposit may be required. Since hotels/ motels seem to change ownership at the drop of a hat, make a note to check on the facility at six months and again at three months before the reunion. 3) Maybe your family likes to “rough it.” If so, you might choose a nearby city, county, or state park that fits the bill. Parks operated by the National Parks Service or the US Corp of Engineers offer excellent facilities. They often charge a security deposit, day use or camping fee. Make reservations as far in advance as possible and also check out the facilities. Be sure the site has basic facilities such as a shelter in case of inclement weather, rest rooms (preferably handicapped accessible) and access to potable water. Other options are overnight camping and RV facilities, electricity, a food preparation and cooking area, swimming, sports area, etc. Many parks do not allow alcohol. Ask beforehand. 4) Do you want to move your reunion from place to place each time? By having your reunion in different parts of a state or in different sections of the country, you make it possible for a larger number of members and friends to attend. Over the years we have held family reunions in Arkansas, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina. We usually choose a site near an area of significance to our family’s early history, such as an early family home or cemetery. We avoid isolated mountain resorts or hotels in the heart of a large city. Since our reunions attract several hundred attendees, many of whom are senior citizens, we try to choose a facility that is completely handicapped accessible. We also look for an adequate number of comfortable guest rooms, large meeting room(s) for our Friday night gab fest and Saturday morning genealogy classes and a nice banquet area for Saturday night. Other amenities we need are a roomy lobby for visiting, a large area to set up our genealogical “archives and library,” convenient internet connections (we have a complete genealogical computer workshop) and adequate free parking onsite. We want a facility with an onsite restaurant, if possible. If not, there must be nearby dining establishments. Pluses are nearby fast food, entertainment, and shopping areas. One overriding factor is the facility’s proximity to local genealogical libraries and archives. Here are some additional reunion tips. ❖ Most convention and visitors bureaus are more than happy to help you find a meeting place, negotiate room rates, etc. Be sure to contact them. They get paid to help you.




Author Russell Baker and cousins at the 2004 dedication of the grave marker for Revolutionary War Soldier James Standridge in Holly Springs Cemetery, Oconee County, South Carolina, reunion.

❖ Avoid choosing a reunion time that coincides with the area’s peak tourist demand. The annual Harley-Davidson motorcycle weekend might not be the best time to find lodging in a resort community. Choose an off-season time, if possible. Motels and other facilities usually offer better off-season rates. ❖ Avoid weekends when local colleges or universities are playing home ball games. Nothing is more frustrating than to find the route to your reunion clogged with traffic for hours. ❖ Hotels/motels who cater to the weekday business traveler make most of their money during the week. Thus weekend room rates are negotiable. Most salespersons begin by quoting you their highest rate. Rates are almost always negotiable. I usually call back later asking for a lower rate. ❖ Always try more than one type of lodging. A bed and breakfast, ranch or condos might just fit your bill, while an older out of the way hotel might offer a much better rate. Get the final rate in writing. You may be asked to sign a contract. ❖ Most hotels/motels will block off a certain number of guest rooms for your reunion. I always ask how many rooms we must fill to get a free meeting or hospitality room. You can always ask for more rooms if the number attending exceeds your estimates. ❖ Ask if you can bring your own food for breaks, or the hospitality room or must you rely on the hotel to supply the eats. If so, how much will service cost? ❖ When you visit out of town facilities, ask for a free night lodging. Visit the local library or archives and tourist sights. Will your group like this area? Is it easy to get to? Is the facility easy to find? Is major highway construction going on next door to the motel? Location, location, location: it can make or break your reunion and turn your hair gray over night.

About the author Russell P. Baker is an archivist, lecturer, historian, teacher and author. He is a frequent lecturer on modern family history research theory. He has worked at the Arkansas History Commission and State Archives in Little Rock since 1970.

High tech reunion hotel arrangements


he worst thing that could happen is when your members call around for a hotel room a few months before your reunion, only to learn that all the rooms in town are $500 per night or all rooms have been taken by a large convention or sporting event. It is very important to reserve a block of rooms, often at special rates, at one or two hotels with plenty of time before the reunion. At most hotels, the minimum number of guest rooms required for a block is 10 rooms per night. If you’re holding a reception or using banquet space at the hotel that number can sometimes be less. Do not blindly call hotels in multiple locations nor reserve blocks at the first rates the hotel quotes. Get detailed descriptions of all amenities before making any decisions. Let hotels bid for your business! is a great source for easily comparing hotel online rates. It is free and very easy to use. You enter location options and dates and does the rest and you get a response from all the facilities interested in your reunion. You can compare rates and even search hotel group rates in multiple cities. You can sort through information by location, price or hotel brand names. They assign an account representative and help with hotel deals and reservations. Be sure to learn about cancellation policies, cash deposits, or other hidden costs such as mandatory resort fees. After choosing your hotel a special online booking website is set up just for your reunion free of charge. You can keep track of your members as they confirm hotel arrangements.

Let the Blauvelt journey begin


or several years the Association of Blauvelt Descendants (ABD) reunions focused on the theme “Following Gerrit’s Footsteps.” We visited the Kalmar Nyckel at Swede’s Landing in Wilmington, Delaware; we traveled up the Hudson River as ancestor Gerrit Blauvelt did to Albany, New York, and to the nearby Rensselaerwyck territory; we toured the New York City area where Gerrit farmed and raised his family and, of course, most of our 79 reunions have been held in the Tappan, New York, area. Now, it’s time to take the “Blauvelt Journey” across this great country, as Gerrit’s descendants did and visit the regions where Blauvelts traveled and settled. At the November 2005 ABD Board Meeting, the Board of Directors discussed future reunions and locations to attract current and new attendees. Our members are located in 48 states and three countries. A bold decision was reached to visit cities and states outside the traditional northeast region. Board Members George and Doris Blauvelt suggested the “Blauvelt Journey” through 2013. Locations were chosen based on ease of travel, distribution of membership, historical meaning to the Blauvelts, and interesting places to visit. The journey began in September 2006 in Tappan, New York, at our 80th reunion celebration. Seven of Gerrit’s children moved from New Amsterdam to the

Tappan Patent. From there, the journey moves in 2007 to Holland, Michigan, where we will enjoy “The Dutch Touch” and Tulip Time. In 2008, our new Board member Bart Bisgrove will plan a “Dutch Treat” in Rensselaerwyck, New York (Albany area). In 2009 Blauvelts will go “mile high” to visit Denver, Colorado, where Louis D. Blauvelt was the chief engineer for the Colorado Railroad Commission, and designer and construction engineer of the famous Moffat Tunnel through James Peak and the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains. In 2010 we will visit Portland, Maine. In 2011, the Gateway to the West, Saint Louis, Missouri, will continue the journey. Many Blauvelts went west and had to cross the mighty Mississippi River to get there. Have you ever panned for gold? Some Blauvelts did! In 2012, we’ll enjoy “Gold Rush Days” in Sacramento, California. William Hutton Blauvelt in 1849, with 99 others, sailed from New York City to California in the Gold Rush of that year. Our journey returns back East for a reunion in 2013 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and the Kennedy Space Center. Who knows where the ABD will go next? To the moon maybe? Together, we will discover where Gerrit’s descendants went, why they went and how they got there. From The Blauvelt News with permission. OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S



A reunion home I

can’t say I married Jeremy Morton only because of his family reunion, but after attending, I knew I wanted to come back every Labor Day weekend for the rest of my life. This year will mark the 38th annual family reunion of seven Riser siblings, one of whom is my husband’s grandfather, Frank Riser. “When our oldest brother died, we realized we only got together when someone died,” says Frank. “We decided to change that.” The first reunion in 1969 was in Union City Park, Indiana. Then, for several years, siblings took turns hosting at their homes in different states. Then Frank changed things. “I lived in Ohio, but my brother in West Virginia was dying of cancer. I

by Sunny McClellan Morton

everything was cleaned, top to bottom. Then, understanding that the first order of business at any reunion is food, a long row of countertops was installed. Gradually a full kitchen was added, with two refrigerators, two stoves, a sink and microwave. Storage shelves were stacked with airtight bins full of donated silverware, dishes and utensils. Three bathrooms, one with a shower, were installed. Then a sleeping loft was built over an open second-floor space with beds that fold down from the walls. Large outdoor spaces are perfect for camping, and nearby hotels house attendees who prefer more creature comforts. The mantra “reduce, reuse Riser Family Reunion headquarters is a permanent location for their celebrations. and recycle” largely financed the new reunion headquarters. Appliances, bed frames, chairs, dishes – all came from family members or garage sales. Each sibling contributed. Frank’s brother Jim even hauled a water heater all the way from Virginia Beach. Only several long tables were bought.

Considering a permanent home for your reunion? 1 Find a centrally-located, little used piece of family property. 2 Consider nearby tourist attractions that can entertain small groups. 3 Have everyone pitch in to donate furniture, appliances or other materials. 4 Build a tradition of fund-raisers that everyone loves to support. 5 Appoint a treasurer who reports on reunion finances each year. Sandra Riser Eminger (center) between her mother Drema Riser (right) and mother-in-law, Pat Eminger proudly display the back side of their Riser Family Reunion t-shirts. Love the color!

decided to hold the reunion in the field below his house so he could come.” That year they began talking about a permanent home for the reunion. They looked around the lush green valley in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, where they grew up, and decided every year the reunion would call them back home. The family member who owned it agreed to lease the field and an adjoining barn to the reunion at the rate of one silver dollar per year. The barn, formerly an antiques store, was now empty. Their West Virginia ingenuity kicked into high gear. First 22


In the beginning, Riser siblings shared reunion expenses equally. Then one year Frank brought a wooden shelf he’d made to sell as a fundraiser. Gradually fundraising ideas were added, until the reunion became self-supporting. Frank’s wife Drema makes a beautiful quilt to raffle off each year. Last year 350 balloons containing numbers corresponding to a list of prizes (including $100 cash) were sold, as well. We could also buy a guess at how many pieces of candy were in a large jar to win Wal-Mart gift certificates. And finally – my favorite tradition – we could buy chances to win prizes donated by reunion members. Last year my eye was on the handmade

Smallwood family reunion Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls for my children and a turkey roaster. I didn’t win them but came home with lots of toys and Avon products. All this fund-raising more than pays for the barn and reunion expenses. Fundraisers also get people talking and laughing. In fact, everything at the reunion is designed to bring family members closer, but in a way that is flexible rather than forced. The barn is only ten minutes from Snowshoe Ski Resort, which means that beautiful scenery and off-season tourist attractions and amenities await any small groups that wander off together for a while. My two young sons love riding the Cass Scenic Railroad, just a few miles away. The only planned activities are a barbeque and bingo on Saturday night, and a Sunday morning brunch with the fundraising finales. But the large lawn, stocked with a homemade swing set, fire pit, simple lawn games, children’s bikes and plenty of folding chairs, gives plenty of opportunity for intergenerational fun. The building and maintenance of the reunion headquarters itself is part of family history. Jim tells about an early “work party” at the barn when a troublesome rat evaded all attempts to catch it. “My poor wife Opal didn’t sleep a wink, in mortal fear that rat would come by her bed, and Frank slept with a gun next to him. Then one night he spotted the rat next to the stove. He killed the stove but missed the rat.” A slate plaque still hangs in the barn, commemor-ating Jim, Frank and their wives’ part of the “Rat-Catcher’s Club.” In fact, several momentos of past reunions hang in the barn. They remind older family members of the past and teach newcomers about the family’s rich traditions. There’s a handwritten poster with a brief history of the Risers. Photo collages show the evolution of the barn and the reunion. A fading 1981 photo with laughing women, lined up in matching jeans, is labeled “The Jean Frank Riser with the Rat Catchers Club plaque. Queens.” It reminds me, a 30-something, that the 60-something and 70-something women around me are fun and young at heart … just like me, only a few years down the road.

About the author Sunny McClellan Morton is a freelance writer whose projects include publications in historical and medical journals; coauthoring This is Kirtland!, a musical in its third production run; and editing Viktor Schreckengost: American DaVinci (TideMark, 2006). She lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her husband, Jeremy, and three children.


n August 1995 the Oklahoma Smallwoods decided we needed something to bring us together, so we invited everyone to a picnic in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. We enjoyed it so much we had another the next year and decided to do it every two years. This most recent reunion was held in Wichita, Kansas. We met for a three-day event to have more time together. Letters were sent in January with the time, date, reunion fees, color and prices of t-shirts. A follow-up letter announced room rates. Our reunion has doubled in size since we started. Everyone stays at the same hotel. I make a list of everything I need to do, everything that needs to be rented, etc., and mark off everything as it gets done. We alternate every two years between Oklahoma and Kansas. We start at a Friday night get-together with snacks and pass out t-shirts and family tree books. Saturday we have a picnic of barbecue ribs cooked by my son-in-law, hot dogs, hamburgers, baked beans and potato salad. We have a photographer take family and group shots. Our family fashion show features clothes from my son’s store, modeled by my daughters and grandchildren. Our talent show is also made up of children and grandchildren and anyone who wants to perform. Great-grandchildren also perform, which they love. We end with domino and basketball tournaments with trophies that everyone tries to win. On Sunday everyone goes to church, after which we serve dinner cooked by my four daughters, Sharon White, Karon (and husband Willie) Howard, Doris Metcalf and Elizabeth Smallwood. My children are the best cooks in town! They spend long hours cooking and baking, which makes this reunion a success. Their menu, which feeds close to 100 people, included baked chicken, collard greens, dressing and gravy, rice and broccoli casserole, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn bread and lots of pies and cakes. Reported by Rosa Lee Smallwood, Wichita, Kansas.

Think about these cities!


survey of meeting planners by Successful Meetings magazine found that there are many hotel rooms going unused because some cities are overbuilt. Add to that the cost of gas that may keep others from traveling and some planners are even finding hotel perks (reduced room rates, free meeting space, lower food and beverage costs and generous attrition and cancellation clauses) were easier to get. Consider these cities. The survey found the best cities for negotiating favorable hotel room rates are Orlando, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Phoenix, Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago, San Antonio, Denver and Philadelphia. All are very popular reunion cities, so we certainly hope you’ll do well there. OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Who says you can’t go home again?


e’ve all had wonderful trips that we tried to recreate. Most times, the second trip didn’t turn out to be as good as we remembered the first. Sometimes in fact it was a major disappointment. When I wrote comments about our 2001 trip to Smugglers ’ Notch, Vermont, I never thought we could make that trip again with any degree of satisfaction. WOW, was I wrong. I concluded that we were going to try it again in 2005 and that we should pray for snow. We do these trips in lieu of Christmas presents. With 23 children and grandchildren, buying presents is next to impossible.

On check in, each family received a package that included all individual passes, etc., for the entire stay. Believe it or not, there was not one problem in any person’s itinerary. The condos were in the same village so we were able to spend lots of quality time together. My wife Carol and I don’t ski, Liann Banks (right) is eager to ski with a new friend. so we just have fun spending time with our family whom we don’t get to see all that often. We were also the hot chocolate and popcorn headquarters for the group. I highly recommend other families give a family ski reunion a try. It is very fulfilling and I would recommend Smugglers’ Notch because of the versatility of activities for all age groups. Reported by Larry Bernhardt, Brewster, Massachusetts.

HELP FOR A WINTER REUNION? Enjoying skiing at Smugglers Notch, Vermont, at a winter reunion are the Smiths, (l to r) Chad, Pam, David and Jeff.

We did in fact have that family reunion in 2005, at Smugglers’ from December 23rd-27th. I again dealt with Kup and Julie in Group Sales and I can only comment how great it is to deal with professionals. In advance they asked for family groupings, ski lift tickets, rentals, lessons, day care and other special needs our reunion had. There were twenty-one in our group ranging in age from 1 to 72. We needed six condos with varying bedroom configurations.



Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Vermont, offers The Guide to Planning the Perfect Winter Family Vacation which includes reunion suggestions in addition to much information to help you consider all your planning options for an off season reunion. There is information about accommodations, activities and cold weather considerations. For your copy of the guide, call 800-451-8752 or email

After Mom is gone “

By Cherise Wyneken


ill we ever get together “First come, first choice.” Breakfast was again – now that Mom provided here also. The old inn had once is gone?” asked Janet as the offered hot and cold running water to family gathered for a meal dusty travelers on the stagecoach, which after Mom’s funeral. stopped there to pick up millions of Janet, the youngest of six dollars in gold bullion to be taken to the siblings, is the only female. Mint in San Francisco. Most were born in India The next couple planned the event where their father served as around a motel overlooking the Pacific a missionary for 25 years. Ocean from one of San Francisco’s steep Alan suggested, “Janet hills. Rooms were chosen here by the needs to keep in touch with couples’ choice of cost. Jerry and Rose the family. I suggest that we Marie, our hosts, planned a mini-reunion as have a reunion every two well. They rented a 12-passenger van and years.” The idea was passed drove us down the peninsula to the around and everyone agreed parsonage of our father’s former parish, it was a good one. It was where whiffs of Mom and Pop remained. A The six Wyneken siblings and their spouses at the first reunion in their bright spring at the time, so it aqua t-shirts. tear-filled morning. From there we stopped seemed an appropriate at the church itself and season to memorialize Mom’s passing in made contact with old the coming years. Each of the sibs was acquaintances, for a married so that meant planning for 12 reunion within a reunion. people. Since three of the brothers were Happy Hour and preachers, dates had to be coordinated dinner arrangements around Easter and Sundays. All but one have remained through couple lived in California, so it was all the reunions thus decided to plan events in or from that far. Except for bed and base. All agreed that two days and nights breakfast places, would be sufficient. breakfast and lunch As usually happens, when you suggest were unplanned events. something, you end up having to do it All the sites offered yourself. So Alan and his wife, Judy, were interesting places to designated to plan the first one. They visit and activities to investigated several resorts and cruises. enjoy. Each couple has They passed on information about prices been responsible for and dates available and asked the siblings paying their share of to designating first, second and third accommodations and Four Wyneken brothers enjoy golf at their first reunion in San Diego. preferences. When the poll was tabulated, meals. Alan and Judy made reservations and accommodated just six couples (plus a Plans to fill out the first round of plans for how to spend time together. permanent resident ghost in one of the reunions await arrangement by the last Since they didn’t have to travel, they rooms). Happy Hour and breakfast were couple, Ken and Margaret. What will started a tradition of having the hosts gift enjoyed out on the deck, as the adjacent they come up with? We’re ready for our the others with some item of their choice. gold mine’s stream gurgled past. family fix. Bright aqua t-shirts reading “Wyneken My husband Martin and I hosted Reunion 1993” were in full display at reunion number three. We rented two About the author breakfast the first morning. beach houses in Sea Ranch, a seaside Cherise Wyneken The first reunion was at a resort in development north of San Francisco. Some is a freelance writer of San Diego where golf, tennis and of the bedrooms were better than others, so prose and poetry. Her swimming were available. Each couple we drew straws for who would get which work has appeared in had their own cottage. Alan and Judy bedroom in which house. The plan offered journals, periodicals hosted a Happy Hour in their quarters a homelike setting with opportunities to sit and anthologies, as both evenings and made reservations for around a kitchen table, play cards and well as her book of everyone to dine together. kibbitz with the cooks. spiritual poetry, The next reunion, hosted by Larry and Two years later, hosted by Janet and Seeded Puffs (Dry Marlene, was planned around a bed and Don, we went back to Gold Country in Bones Press, Inc). She is mother of four, breakfast in the Gold Rush town of Placerville, California, and stayed in the grandmother of seven and lives with her Nevada City, California. We had the B&B Historic Carey House Hotel. The hosts husband in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. all to ourselves, as the place reserved six rooms and announced, OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Wrapping up your reunion WHILE YOU’RE STILL AT YOUR REUNION


rap-up is the last stage of your reunion. Ask for feedback. You always want to gather ideas for your next reunion. Collect all the data and information you can about the number of meals eaten in the hotel’s restaurant, from room service and number of rooms used by your group. You’ll find this information invaluable. It will demonstrate the business and economic value of your reunion when you negotiate for your next reunion. It is well worth the effort.

Tip the staff who deserve special consideration. Once you’ve returned home, make it a point to write a letter to the hotel’s general manager and recognize employees – by name – who did an outstanding job. While you’re still at your hotel or facility, pay all your bills and return borrowed equipment. Before you leave the hotel, make sure everything is okay. It’s much easier to solve problems in person than by letter, email or phone calls. STARTING YOUR NEXT REUNION!!

Evaluations, closing the books, collecting ideas, suggestions, desires of reunion members for future meetings – all are necessary steps in wrapping up your reunion. Send news releases to the hometowns of individuals who received awards or special recognition during the reunion. Everyone likes to see their name in print. Write thank you notes. EVALUATION

A crucial final step to all reunions is an honest, objective evaluation. If you are sensitive and alert during the reunion, evaluation results probably will confirm your observations and expectations. All the information you collect (positive and negative) will help you plan future reunions. Each reunion presents new challenges, problems and successes. An evaluation prepares you with ideas and suggestions from members and your committee for the next reunion. Remind everyone to share their opinions and observations each chance you get. Make it clear that the voice of members is important. If you can, get evaluations done on the spot … before everyone scatters. Collect them before members go home; it saves postage, information is still hot and anyone can write more – encourage them to send more when they get home. Include evaluations in your reunion packets. Explain that the purpose of an evaluation is to improve your next reunion and how you will use advice. Be sincere about hearing what people have to say and tell them you want to know what they liked and did not like. Be thorough and do two evaluations – one for members and one for committee members who helped organize the reunion. Keep it simple. Personalize your evaluation to fit your needs. Consider the questions and scoring system you’ll use. Cover basics. It is advisable to use a computer to analyze results for reunions over 100 people. The evaluation form should be easy to complete and tabulate. Following are suggestions about what to include in your evaluation. Add d asks for an questions which are specific to your reunion. ns tio nc fu rtant reunion looks at impo xas. Don’t get bogged down creating fancy scales. n Te , tio tto ua al Hu ev , rs n ily Reunio Sasha Walte The Cotter Fam Use something simple like 1-5 ranking, with 1 l. Submitted by el w as s ce oi ch as poor and 5 as outstanding. Also encourage narrative answers. 26


Host your special reunion at the Holiday Inn Bayside overlooking beautiful San Diego Bay. Our experienced staff will assist you in planning the perfect event. • Beautiful and spacious guest rooms • Tropical courtyard with heated pool, spa, shuffleboard, billiards • Family style restaurant and cocktail lounge • Non-smoking and disabled rooms • 9-hole putting course, exercise room • Free parking and airport transfers

Special Reunion Features • Complimentary one-night stay for reunion planner with site inspection • Complimentary hospitality suite • Welcome letter and box of chocolates in each room • Senior discounts in our restaurant • Special reunion rates

The Green Fam ily Reunion ev aluation asks qu that will produc estions that ar e some traditio e direct and illi ns because th planners re-eva cit answers ey work and ot luate what they hers that will m ar e doing and be ake Submitted by able to improv Pamela King-W e future reunio illiams, Accoke ns. ek, Maryland.

4875 North Harbor Drive • San Diego, CA 92106 (619) 224-3621 • Fax: (619) 224-3629 (800) 650-6660 • email:

If you don’t evaluate at your reunion, mail evaluations after the reunion – and hope to get them back. COMMITTEE EVALUATION

The reunion chairman and committee members should answer some different questions. Evaluate staffing, organization, site selection, the decision-making process, coordination and supervision. Don’t forget to discuss budget, fiscal controls and procedures. EVALUATIONS ON THE WEB

Sample printer friendly evaluation forms are at Go to Reunion Articles, click on family reunions and scroll to Wrapping up your reunion. Make these evaluations your own but include some of your own questions.

Evaluations on the web! OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S



RSVP: an important step in reunion success right now. Give them a little push to register now! Make members say “How can I pass up this deal?” Create irresistible follow-up. Continue to sell to members after they sign up. Make them say, “I made a good decision to go and I can’t wait!” Ideas from RegOnline newsletter.


o single item preceding a reunion is as important as the invitation – whether as a separate communication, part of a newsletter or other mailing, or by phone, fax or email. Its purpose is to notify everyone that something big is being planned. Yet there is no shortage of dull invitations. The last thing some invitations do is invite.



Reunions have made these forms for a variety of notification and registration needs. We present these as examples of what works for other reunions and what you might want to consider for yours. Each reunion has different needs, but from these samples you can glean ideas for something that might work for your reunion. They include a pre-registration letter, three simple, straight, forward registration forms and, finally, a little more complicated form taking orders for tours and a banquet as well.

Make invitations irresistible and your reunion will be a success! Create irresistible titles to capture attention. Hit “hot buttons” to cause your members to say “I need to do this!” Create irresistible reunion information and evidence to support that your reunion is worth attending. Make your members say, “I would have to be crazy not to attend this!” Create irresistible extras: discount offers or something extra for signing up


veryone needs reminding and postcards do a good job of that. Maria Moore, Fredericksburg, Virginia, sent two postcards within a month of the Svensson/Mattison Family Reunion. The first emphasizes the family’s Scandinavian background and the second is a demanding ancestor Sven, ala Uncle Sam.




he simple response form, from the 52nd Fighter Group, WWII reunion, is intended to give organizers an idea of how many plan to attend; it will be followed by much more detail in a subsequent mailing. This page was stapled into their newsletter, so did not cost extra to send and is set up for the recipient to complete, fold in thirds and return as a self-mailer, no envelope. “Complete, fold, stamp and send. Anything to make it easier,” said reunion organizer Jeri B. Sprecher.


l Campo (Texas) High School, Class of 1953, managed to efficiently include choices for two days of activities and contact information on one page. OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S





he Bunker and Cotten Family Reunions include more details that must be addressed. The explanations are brief and to the point, and include all of the details necessary for making choices and decisions.




he Utley and Toomer Family Reunions’ registrations are relatively simple but collect needed information and make points that are essential to these reunions.


he Seideman Family Reunion has a special exhibit (among an impressive collection of exhibits) to honor their members who are, or have been, in the military. There is a family tradition of serving, and all generations are included and honored. Each photo is displayed with information about the honoree’s military service, rank, dates served, unit assignments, engagements and recognitions.






through history A

visit to Knoxville, Tennessee, is a cafeteria of wonderful sights and sounds, and an opportunity to touch much history. To get the lay of the land, you’ll want to start with a downtown Knoxville overview tour with Knoxville Trolley Tours (KAT), a free downtown transit service for visitors and residents. The tour encompasses major downtown attractions and facilities, including historic sites, Market Square, Knoxville Convention Center, World’s Fair Park, Old City Historic District and more. Visit If you are lucky enough to be in Knoxville during April’s dogwood season, you’re in for a real treat. Follow the dogwood trails. Drive through the Sequoyah neighborhood, where some neighbors open their gardens for walks. Simply follow the pink lines in the middle of the street until you see green lines, which indicate you’ve reached a garden you can visit. The highlight of dogwood season is the Dogwood Arts Festival at newly-renovated Market Square. Festivities include the Foothills Craft Guild Show (the oldest artisans guild in Tennessee) and live entertainment. It is also a good time to explore local galleries on Market Square. Then, to further orient yourself, visit One Vision Plaza, new home of the Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation and Visitors Center, 800-727-8045; While there you can enjoy Blue Plate Live, a thrice-weekly live, traditional music performance broadcast on historic WDVX radio. Blue Plate Live has been a major hit with visitors since it was introduced. Catered lunches and comfortable, friendly, atmosphere accompany live radio performances. Knoxville is rich in our nation’s history. You can explore and enjoy many aspects of the region’s history that can immerse you in the Civil War, then catapult you to the atomic age of World War II. For history buffs, the East Tennessee History Center in the East Tennessee Historical Society (, Knox County Archives and 34


by Edith Wagner

autumn 2007 to visit when their signature exhibit, “Voices of the Land: The People of East Tennessee,” is scheduled to open. EXPLORE EARLY KNOXVILLE

A Knoxville Visitors Center performance by The Wilders from Kansas City, Missouri, performing for a noontime Blue Plate Live and on WDVX radio.

the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection, an affiliate of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, is one of the south’s finest genealogy research facilities. This project includes restoration of the 1874 Customs House, the core portion of the building. Visit the Knoxville Streetscape, then return in

Bleak House has a collection of Civil War reunion badges and ribbons on display. Are they the ancestors of today’s nametags?

Preservation is clearly a goal of many historic attractions in and around Knoxville. These are all very interesting steps back in history and reminders about how your ancestors lived. James White’s Fort (1786) is Knoxville’s first pioneer structure. White was a politician and general during the Creek Indian War. The fort is an excellent place to learn about life of early settlers. Contact James White’s Fort, 865-525-6514. Blount Mansion, a National Historic Landmark (1792), was home to Governor William Blount, signer of the US Constitution and Revolutionary War veteran. Contact Blount Mansion Associates, 888-654-0016; Marble Springs State Historic Farmstead was the frontier home of John Sevier, first governor of Tennessee and Revolutionary War hero. Tours of the 38-acre National Register of Historic Places farmstead include the log cabin homestead and five period outbuildings dating from 1780. Contact Marble Springs, 865-573-5508; The Armstrong-Lockett House and William P. Toms Memorial Gardens at Crescent Bend, built in 1834, is the oldest continuously occupied home in Knoxville. Crescent Bend was restored in 1977 and is furnished with 18th century antique furniture, decorative arts, and an outstanding collection of English silver. Manicured formal Italian Gardens feature nine terraces and five fountains and thousands of breath-taking, colorful blooming flowers. Contact Crescent Bend, 865-544-3000; Bleak House and the Confederate Memorial Hall (1858) headquartered Confederate General James Longstreet during the Civil War. It now features a Civil War library and museum. Contact Bleak House, 865-522-2371;


Knoxville is home to many fine eating establishments. These are a few: 20TH CENTURY SECRECY

Nearby Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was a World War II “secret city” of 75,000 scientists, constructed in 1942. It is the site of the Manhattan Project, where the US government developed the atomic bomb. A visit includes an introductory film and tour of an extensive museum that explains this very important project in our history. At the American Museum of Science and Energy you’ll learn about Oak Ridge’s leading-edge technology and why it is a mecca for scientific and technological innovations. From genetics to robotics to Internet advances, worldchanging technologies continue to be developed at Oakridge. Contact 865576-3200;

Members of USS Hocking reunion at Oak Ridge.


GREEN HILLS GRILLE, 4429 Kingston Pike, Knoxville TN 37919; 865-5580091; MARKET CAFÉ, Knoxville Hilton, 501 West Church Ave., Knoxville TN 37902; 800-hiltons; 865-523-2300; CHESAPEAKE’S, 500 Henley St., Knoxville TN 37902; 865-673-3433; NAMA (a great new sushi bar), 135 South Gay St,, Knoxville TN 37920; 865-6338539; BUDDY’S BAR-B-Q BEARDEN, 5806 Kingston Pike, Knoxville TN 37919; 865588-0528; the oldest bible in the US; a rare American-made Revolutionary War musket; a copper bleeding bowl and “bleeding” instruments; and a Continental army sword. The Museum of Appalachia can arrange a truly fun event for your reunion, including a visit to the museum, choice of several Tennessee (very yummy) country buffet menus and oldtime mountain and bluegrass music. Group size must be at least 30 people. Contact Museum of Appalachia, 865-494-7680;

the 1800s: abundant wildlife in a pristine cove setting, historic churches, cemeteries, pioneer cabins and Cable Mill Visitors Center. Kids Cove at Knoxville Zoo (865637-5331; is a children’s attraction based on life in Cade’s Cove during the 1800s. The Lost Sea (part of Craighead Caverns, an historic cave system), a Registered National Landmark, is America’s largest underground lake. The one-hour glass-bottom boat tour covers four and one-half acre caverns and focuses on the cavern’s history from Cherokee Indian heritage through the Civil War and geological development. CONSIDER THESE ATTRACTIONS Frank H. McClung Museum, a Here are more Knoxville area Smithsonian affiliate, emphasizes attractions that might interest your archaeological research in the Tennessee reunion. Valley region, including the awardTake the Cade’s Cove Loop winning exhibit “Archaeology and the Road at Great Smoky Mountains Native Peoples of Tennessee.” National Park through the 2,500The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame acre sheltered valley of Cade’s celebrates the past, present and future of Cove, preserved as it looked in the women’s game ( The Ijams Nature Center is 150 acres of woodlands, meadows, nature trails Contact these organizations for and a boardwalk on the Tennessee information and inquire about River that offers educational how they can help you plan programs. Or enjoy the scenic your reunion. Tennessee River aboard the Star of 1. Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corp, Knoxville, an authentic stern wheel One Vision Plaza, 301 South Gay St., riverboat, and learn about historic Knoxville TN 37902; 865-523-7263; sites and points of interest along the river. Or a 90-minute excursion 2. Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors aboard Three Rivers Rambler pulled Bureau, 302 South Tulane Ave., by Linday, a 1925 2-8-0 steam Oak Ridge TN 37830; 865-482-7821; locomotive. For an upcoming 50th class reunion celebration, Elizabeth Gouch, Jacksonville, Florida, says a riverboat cruise and sightseeing tour on the river are in their plans.

The Museum of Appalachia is a must visit for anyone wanting a brush with the truly authentic. This amazing assemblage is the personal collection of John Rice Irwin, founder and CEO of the Museum of Appalachia. If you see Irwin, you’ll want to thank him for creating this interesting history collection. The Museum’s 65 acres houses dozens of log structures, the Appalachian Hall of Fame (showcasing unusual mountain relics), the Mountain Heritage Room, live mountain musicians, farm animals and a craft and gift shop. The new Revolution-Era exhibit showcases 200 KNOXVILLE MARRIOTT HOTEL, 800-228-9290. important artifacts from HILTON KNOXVILLE, 865-523-2300. this period, including: Gov. John Sevier’s 1571 HOLIDAY INN SELECT DOWNTOWN, 865-522-2800. family bible reputed to be


About the author Edith Wagner is editor of Reunions magazine and loves to visit reunion places. OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S





A goldmine for gatherings by Jacky Runice


re you mining for a reunion destination that recalls the comfortable and safe atmosphere of your hometown, yet offers a wealth of big city cultural and tourist attractions? You’ve hit the mother lode in Boise, the capital of Idaho, and a capital idea for your next gathering of family, friends or veterans. Shortly after pioneering FrenchCanadian fur trappers spotted the thriving, green land surrounding the Boise River and exclaimed, “Les bois! Les bois!” (The Woods! The Woods!) The city got its name and a wealth of gold and silver miners who worked the nearby mountains and foothills. Today, visitors still marvel at the thickly wooded Boise River and the Greenbelt, a 25-mile riverfront pathway that runs through the city that’s so forested that it’s known as The City of Trees. Boise attracts everyone; families who want to fish and float on the calm Boise River; conventioneers (Boise Centre is just four miles from the airport) and high-tech companies like HewlettPackard and Micron Technology that found their Eden. They know what Forbes Magazine just learned – Boise was ranked the 4th in Best Places for Business and Careers in 2006. With a population of about 211,000, Boise boasts a surplus of museums, recreational opportunities and cultural fare for a comparable city of its size. Some of the southwest Idaho town’s unique offerings include the Old Idaho Territorial Penitentiary, one of just four territorial prisons still in existence in the US and listed as a National Register Historic Site. Your reunion can enjoy a reception or meal there, browse the museum for exhibits that detail famous inmates, lawmen and accounts of various escapes, visit cell houses, the punishment block known as Siberia, Death Row and the Gallows. Military reunion members particularly like the unique weapons exhibit that displays artifacts from the 38


Boise, Idaho, is home to the largest concentration of Basques per capita in the US, where your reunion could enjoy a performance by the Oinkari Basque Dancers.

Civil War to the present. For something completely different, take a group shot in the rose garden and grounds, designed in the early 1900’s and maintained by the Historical Society. The Idaho Black History Museum is housed in the historic original St. Paul Baptist Church and is a goldmine of historical photos and artifacts illustrating the role of African-American culture in the heritage of Idaho, the West and the nation. Get a bird’s eye view of rare falcons, eagles and a sophisticated endangered species program at the World Center for Birds of Prey. Political junkies in your group will want to visit the State Capitol building where self-guided tours are available. You may be surprised to know that Boise is home to the largest concentration of Basques per capita in the country and offers North America’s only Basque Museum and Cultural Center. Be sure to visit one of Boise’s Basque eateries for authentic roast lamb, oxtail stew and delicious fish. The Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau can help set up an authentic dinner of Basque food and wine, plus performances by the Oinkari Basque

Dancers or Basque choir. You may come home toting a cookbook of Spanish Basque recipes. The CVB will be happy to help schedule a private evening at the Idaho Historical Museum where your group can sip drinks served from the authentic western saloon bar and nibble hors d’oeuvres while learning about Idaho’s past of fur trading, gold rushes and pioneers. Then, there’s the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, Boise Art Museum, Discovery Center of Idaho, Idaho Botanical Gardens, Idaho Museum of Military History, Idaho Museum of Mining and Geology, World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame and Zoo Boise. A mere hour from city center, reunions groups can test the whitewater on some of the country’s best rafting experiences or schedule a half-day float followed by dinner outdoors overlooking the scenic Payette River. Get the feel of Idaho’s past on a trail ride by horseback or covered wagon followed by a Western barbeque and cowboy tunes. The recreated town of “Cool Water” is just 20 minutes from Boise. Change from your

boots to heels and travel about 20 miles from Boise to Canyon County’s Sunny Slope, home to fine wineries with tours and tasting rooms. Idaho’s Wine Country produces enviable premium Chardonnay, Cabernet, Riesling and Pinot Noir. When it was time for Melinda Cleaver to cobble together a reunion for the Wolfhounds (her husband’s infantry of Vietnam vets), she headed straight for the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Oh my gosh, they got me started when I didn’t even know where to begin,” she exclaimed. “The visitor’s bureau had a FAM (familiarization) week in summer of 2005 and they treated us like kings and queens, took us to hotels, events, attractions, tours, and provided three days of meals. I was able to tell everybody what I saw on the tour so they could decide what they wanted to do.” The group of about 50 settled in at the Doubletree Riverside during July 4th weekend. Lisa Edens, Senior Sales Manager and Reunions liaison at the CVB, arranged bus transportation to take the group to tour Owyhee Lake Dam and then a picnic at the Cleaver’s farm.” As a group we do one thing all together one day and the next everyone does there own thing,” Cleaver explained. “Some people went to see the Birds of Prey, some to the prison and some just walked around downtown - it’s not crowded in Boise and it’s so green and pretty.” Each veteran received a keepsake letter opener engraved with “25th Infantry Wolfhounds” and his name. “Lisa Edens really helped a lot by finding the engraver,”

Floating on the Boise River will give you a whole different view of things!

Cleaver said. “It’s real important to learn to use the Visitor’s Bureau no matter where you’re having your reunion.” The Boise CVB schedules two or three FAM (familiarization) tours each year that take place over three or four days. Planners typically stay at one hotel but tour many others to see all of Boise’s major attractions. If it’s a special FAM for military reunions, participants will visit BOISE CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

312 South 9th Street, Ste 100 Boise ID 83702 Lisa Edens • 800-635-5240 •

the Anne Frank Memorial, Idaho Military History Museum and travel 20 miles to the Warhawk Museum. You don’t have to attend a FAM tour to reap all the benefits of the Boise CVB. “If you are considering Boise, I’ll walk through all your specifications and send your Request for Proposal (RFP) to all the hotels so you don’t have to call all of them,” Edens explained. “We represent all Boise hotels, gather bids and go over them with reunion planners. I’ll put together a booklet for each reunion that lists airline, hotel and attraction information. We even have videos and flyers we can send to convince reunion members to choose Boise! Once we have them, they get save-the-date postcards to send to their members Be sure to include the Boise Tour Train, in Julia Davis Park, for an hour tour of the and help them with City of Trees.

attractions they want to see.” Many reunions include a memorial service and Edens gets the planner in touch with the right people. “Some like to have a memorial in a church while others like a private ceremony and just need a bell, bugler or a flag,” she explained, “The Navy Reserve offers a whole flag ceremony and the Boise Police Pipes and Drums is a wonderful group who perform presenting colors or a full out Pipes ceremony. I also have contacts at Mountain Home Air Force Base (about 40 miles away), an active base where guests can take tours and have lunch.” Edens goes the extra mile helping with publicity. She writes and sends a press release to the media that suggests what reunion events to cover. “If the reunion wants a welcome letter or event presented by the mayor or other public official, we act as liaison,” she said. Yet another way the CVB can help you is with sheer elbow grease. “For every 25 sleeping rooms (a reunion purchases), we offer one hour of free help that could be at registration or as bag stuffers, whatever manpower is needed.” If you think an individual site visit is necessary, the CVB will take care of everything from picking you up at the airport to checking you in at a downtown hotel. “How much the CVB picks up and what the planner pays for a site visit depends upon how many hotel nights and how big the group is,” she said. Great attractions, a home town feeling, a location against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, warm summers with low humidity and even winter temps that are relatively mild, Boise offers lots of bang for your reunion buck. It’s a goldmine of a gathering you’ll not soon forget. “Reunions are my favorite, especially military reunions,” Edens explained. “I enjoy working with seniors and I feel like it’s my way of giving back. I try to take care of them and we love them and welcome them to Boise.”

About the author Journalist Jacky Runice pens the “Family Travel” column for Chicago’s Daily Herald, as well as hotel/spa and restaurant reviews for AOL. She is a member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association and mother of three young adventurers who love travel as much as she does. OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S


Oakland Where your reunion is the center of ever ything.

Cool restaurants, great hotels, attractions, entertainment and 3 major league sports teams. 463 Eleventh Street Oakland, Ca. 94607 (510) 839-9000




More CVB resources


everal convention and visitors bureaus (CVB) have reunion planning materials available that can help some of your planning requirements. Starting with the basics, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, CVB offers the Reunion 2008 Kit in anticipation of its upcoming 250th anniversary celebration (1758-2008) as part of their “Bring your reunion to Pittsburgh!” campaign. Presented in workbook format, this will help with any reunion, step-by-step. To plan around 250th anniversary celebration events, there is a long list of events already planned including the State of Pennsylvania’s Family Reunion Month in August 2008. Also included is a list of local meeting planner partners who can be retained to help with reunion organization. For your copy of the Kit, contact Greater Pittsburgh CVB, 30th Floor, Pittsburgh PA 15219; 800-359-0758; lisa.ashbaugh@; Newport News, Virginia, Tourism Development Office offers their Site Inspection Handbook that will help organize your visits to potential reunion venues. Even a veteran reunion planner is

still not day to day meeting planners who know instinctively what to look for during a site visit. The details are in this book and worth having at your fingertips as you search for sites. Then, there are the amenities that professional meeting planners expect and you can also expect, if you learn what they are and how to get them. An impressive list of Newport News Tourism complimentary convention services include things like promotional materials and bags, name badges, signage, a letter from the mayor and lots more. Perhaps most impressive is the two-page sample Reunion RFP (request for proposal) that will help you solidify your reunion’s accommodation needs. For your copy of the Handbook, contact Newport News Tourism Development Office, Fountain Plaza Two, 700 Town Center Dr, Ste 320, Newport News VA 23606; toll free 888-0493-7386;

List Your Reunion free! Email ( Contact name, address, phone, reunion name, date, and place. Check us out at




Is golf on your reunion agenda?


ne survey of family reunion planners showed that 20% of reunions included a game of golf. That could range from an individual playing a round to reunions that set up tournaments. These suggestions are for those planning a reunion tournament. In golf tournaments, as in reunions, a cardinal rule is: don’t do it alone. Find a competent partner to help you plan your golf tournament. According to Successful Meetings magazine, 99% of resorts in America have Professional Golfers Association (PGA) members running their golf shops. PGA members complete three years of golf event/tournament management training. They maximize the resources of their facilities to your advantage. They do not play competitive events for a living; they maintain the business end of a golf facility. If you don’t use a pro, you’re making more work for yourself. Plan an event everyone will enjoy. Find out how attendees play (ask for their handicaps or average scores). The pro can choose the best format. Only a few good players? Set up the course so it’s not too difficult. Move up tees, place pins in favorable areas on the green, cut down the rough and widen fairways. Your group can be split between skill level formats and everyone still plays the course together. Ask the pro shop to work out starts; staggered, crossover start (sending different foursomes to tee off on the first and tenth holes at once), or a shotgun start (sending different foursomes to tee off on every hole, all at once). In the case of inclement weather, the pro has contingency plans to keep people entertained. CONSIDER THESE GOLF TOURNAMENT DETAILS


Choose a date. Add facility, food and administrative costs, then divide the total cost by the number of players to determine the per-player cost. Public courses are the biggest bargains. Resorts are used to handling large groups. Inspect courses. Plan more club rentals than you’ll need. Is there a required minimum of paying golfers? Are there food and beverage minimums? Is catering available? What are dress and behavior codes? Do fees include gratuities? Are there fees for outside services? Ask for course’s refund and cancellation policies. Registration forms should include player’s name, address, phone and e-mail, emergency contact information, handicaps, whether they need to rent equipment and with whom they want to play, if applicable. Choose tournament format or arrange foursomes. Have scorecards when the results are announced, so discrepancies can be settled quickly. Choose contests – hole-in-one, longest drive, closest to the pin, longest putt. Consider “branding” your reunion. Businesses do it, so too can reunions. Decide if it’s for you. Tape reunion logos to your golf cart. Wear reunion t-shirts. Brand your scorecards and rules sheets of the day’s instructions. Some from Meetings and Conventions magazine

Reunion golf tournament benefits church WEB PAGE: CALL: 414.263.4567 FAX: 414.263.6331 E-MAIL: WRITE: PO Box 11727 Milwaukee, WI 53211-0727

Subscribe! Call 1-800-373-7933 42



he Alpine (Texas) Centennial School Reunion Golf Tournament at Alpine Country Club involved those who shared the common bond of having attended the same school. But the tournament had more to do with camaraderie, friends and family. Tournament organizers made sure that everyone had a good time regardless of skill level or handicap. The first place team received a cash prize of $300, second $250, third $200,

fourth $150 and fifth $125. Special awards were a golf bag for the longest drive of the day (320 yards), a golf bag for closest to the pin, golf shirts for low scores, and pro golf shirts for the first 30 registrants of the event. Proceeds from the event were donated to Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Alpine. From a story by Dennie Miller in The Desert-Mountain Times, Alpine, Texas.

A golfing reunion


lenn Hough, Pittsburg, Kansas, spends his birthday and reunion golfing in the Gene Bicknell Celebrity Charity Golf Classic. Three generations of Hough golfers participate in the tournament, all members of the same team. Hough's three sons no longer live in Pittsburg, so the tournament is the perfect opportunity to bring the family together. The Hough brothers grew up playing golf at Crestwood Country Club, site of the Bicknell Classic. The fifth spot on the team goes to oldest grandson,

Van, 18. His brothers, Jace and Gage, caddy for their father and grandfather. Team Hough took fourth place in this year’s tournament, four shots off the lead. They stood out on the course, wearing matching polo shirts and identical white baseball hats. The hats bore the logo “Keep Smilin” in honor of Hough, a retired orthodontist. From a story by Erin Ohm in the Pittsburg Morning Sun, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Beckley Family Reunion members ready to tee off.

Sidney classmates include golf


rganizers of the Sidney (New York) Alumni Association’s Annual Reunion Weekend said the event just keeps getting bigger going into its sixth year. When weekend programs began six years ago, they included a golf tournament of 32 players and an all-class reunion luncheon. This year 112 players will golf before other activities, which include two socials, a nature walk, a pancake breakfast, a memorial service to honor class members who have died and a parade of classes before ending with the luncheon. The golf tournament (which was filled), started at 7:30 AM Friday with a second group starting at 12:30 PM. The calendar of events is on the alumni website at From a story by Mark Boshnack in the Oneonta Daily Star, Oneonta, New York.

Guys only golf reunion by Betty W. Stark


eunions come in all shapes and sizes, as this Guys-Only Golf Outing proves. For 18 years, 24 to 30 avid golfers and best buddies from the southwest suburbs of Chicago and other parts of the country have converged in Green Lake, Wisconsin, during the last weekend in May for a few days of “golf, food and drink.” For the past four years, they’ve stayed at the Heidel House, taking rooms in either the Main Lodge or the Carriage House, and rotating their golfing activities among three of the top area courses – Mascoutin, Lawsonia and Tuscumbia – all of which they rate as excellent. Tee times are usually the same each year, and Green Lake dinner venues have not varied: it’s always Norton’s Restaurant on Friday night and Alfred’s on Saturday. “We never cook!” says Tom O’Malley, one of the reunion organizers from Western Springs, Illinois. “Remember. This is a guys-only outing.” The golf outing has a very special tradition. It’s held as a tribute to the late Bob Turgeon, their friend and originator of the outing. They planted a tree in his memory on the eighth tee at Mascoutin, and each year they stop by the tree to remember their good friend and pay their respects. “The compatibility of this group is very special,” relates O’Malley. “And local business people know we’re in town when the prize money is paid and $2 bills start circulating freely around Green Lake.”

About the author Betty Stark lives and writes in Portage, Wisconsin. One in eight – or 17.3 million US travelers – played golf on a trip in the past year, according to the Travel Industry Association. Golfing travelers averaged 2.6 trips, with 10 percent golfing on six or more trips. OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Independence is rich in history


nlike destinations associated with one major battle, Independence, Missouri, and surrounding areas offer attractions which relate to many major wars. Military history buffs can begin at the National Frontier Trails Museum (318 W. Pacific), where they’ll learn about opening the Santa Fe Trail en route to the Spanish American War. Nearby Fort Osage sits on a hill overlooking the Missouri River; it is a reconstructed military and trading outpost originally built in 1808 to protect the newly purchased Louisiana Territory. Fort Osage hosts occasional re-enactments. A visit to the 1859 Jail and Marshal’s Home (217 N. Main) illustrates the “Border Wars” conflict between slaveholders in Missouri and abolitionists in Kansas, which predated the Civil War. Highlights of Civil War battles fought in Independence are shared during a narrated historical covered wagon ride through Independence. Nearby Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, one of the oldest forts still in use today, provides a chance to see the Buffalo Soldier monument and hear a narrated audio tour by Colin Powell. A glimpse of World War I artifacts, artillery, costumes, newsreel footage and weaponry is at the Truman Presidential Museum & Library (500 US 24 Highway). Harry Truman served as an officer of

Members of the annual reunion of the 82nd Rainbow Division of the US Army were visibly moved by reliving some of the key moments of World War II and decisions Truman made which strongly affected their lives and future. They are visiting the Legacy gallery, which highlights the things for which Truman is most remembered.

Battery D and was in combat during WWI. But the focus at the museum is really on World War II and the Korean War. Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb, war time propaganda, the McArthur firing, post-war doctrines such as the Truman and Marshall Plans,

Outside of the Truman Home listening to stories by a National Park Service Ranger.



formation of NATO, the Berlin airlift and the cold war are all explored. The museum library also offers meeting space for reunions. A highlight for many tours is a Truman re-enactor, in costume, who can meet with your group for a “press conference” or as a step-on guide. Truman’s Home (219 N. Delaware) is where he and Bess lived before and after his presidency. The National Park Service maintains the home just as it was when the Trumans lived there, down to Harry’s hat, coat and cane hanging in the front entry hall. Independence is also home to the Center for the Study of the Korean War, 1401 W. Truman Road. Established in 1989 and incorporated in 1991, the collection has grown from a small personal library to a major collection used by scholars, academics and community groups. For information about specific sites and events, call 800-748-7323 or visit Reunions who overnight in Independence will want to take advantage of the “Buck Stops Here” program, which offers a 45-minute step-on guide service, welcome bags and a dollar-off handling charge for luggage. Reported by Janeen Aggen.

WWII “Thunderbirds” reunion weekend Veterans to days starting with Sicily, Salerno, Italy to War II Veterans in the 45th leave legacy Cassinia, Anzio invasion on to Rome, division “Thunderbirds” World companies I, E and K, 180th Infantry Regiment, held their 29th annual reunion in Elkins, West Virginia. This is the seventh year the event has been held in Elkins, with Charlie and Peggy Harper of Montrose and former prisoner of war Tom Mathews of Grafton hosting. Veterans, wives, children and grandchildren and three ex-prisoners of war attended. The Division was activated in 1940 from the Oklahoma National Guard and many were American Indians. The proud 45th division’s combat record of 511

then the southern France invasion through Grenoble, Epinal the Vosges Mountains, Alsace, then into Germany, Bamburg, Nuremberg, and Munich. There were eight Medal of Honor recipients in the division. The reunion included Friday evening socializing, a short memorial service before lunch on Saturday, and an evening banquet. Contact Charlie or Peggy Harper, 304-636-8530. Reported by Harper’s proud stepdaughter, Robin Rowan.

Medal of Honor fakers facing crackdown


he Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation reports there are 113 living recipients of the nation’s highest military award. FBI Agent Tom Cottone of West Paterson, New Jersey, who tracks fakes, says that impostors outnumber true heroes. Impostors are literally stealing the valor and acts of valor of the real guys. Some fakers merely brag about receiving the award – which isn’t illegal – but some wear military uniforms and bogus medals. Anyone convicted of fraudulently wearing a Medal of Honor faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine. But there’s no such penalty for other medals. US Rep. John T. Salazar, D-Colo, is sponsoring the Stolen Valor Act to penalize distributors of phony medals and those who pretend to be decorated veterans. Salazar’s legislation would

make it illegal to make a false public claim to be a recipient of any military valor award, such as the Medal of Honor, a Silver Star or Purple Heart. From an article by Bill Poovey in the Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, Indiana.


ay of Pigs veterans, intent on leaving a legacy, are raising money for a $10 million multimedia museum in Miami’s Little Havana. The museum’s interactive displays will explore the invasion in the context of the Cold War and follow Cuba’s attempts to internationalize its communist revolution. The 1961 attempt by Cuban exiles and some Americans at the Bay of Pigs beach at Playa Giron to take back Cuba from Fidel Castro was a historic turning point with deep roots in Miami. Because of the failure, Castro consolidated his power, the Cuban missile crisis terrified the world a few months later, and the Soviet Union kept a beachhead in the Americas to export Marxist guerrilla movements around the Western Hemisphere for decades. From a story by Oscar Corral in the Miami Herald, Miami, Florida.

Subscribe! Call 1-800-373-7933

List Your Reunion free! Email ( Contact name, address, phone, reunion name, date, and place. Check us out at WHEN YOU’VE FINISHED USING THIS MAGAZINE, PLEASE RECYCLE IT. OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Gathering of Mustangs and Legends “The Final Round-Up”


ickenbacker International Airport, Columbus, Ohio, has been selected to host the Gathering of Mustangs & Legends, September 27-30, 2007. The 1999 Gathering of Mustangs and Legends in Kissimmee, Florida, at Stallion 51’s base of operation, amassed 65 Mustangs and 12 Legends together for what was considered one of the great aviation events of the 20th century. Since then Stallion 51 has been in search of the right time and place to recreate the magic. The skies over Columbus will be filled with the unmistakable sounds of these awesome fighters. Columbus, Ohio, is home of the 447th composite Group/332 Fighter Wing. These are the Tuskegee Airmen who flew the Mustang in WWII and safely escorted bombers during

their daring raids over Germany. Rickenbacker International Airport (Lockbourne Army Air Base during WWII) was also a B-17 training base during the war and produced many of the B-17 crews that the Mustang airman protected as they flew missions over Europe. Rickenbacker International Airport will be celebrating its 65th anniversary in 2007 while hosting an expected 100 Mustangs and 51 Legends. The event will include a massive 51-plane Mustang formation, solo and formation Mustang demonstrations, USAF Flight Demonstrations and numerous other aerial activities and demonstrations, an aviation auction, as well as ample opportunities to photograph the planes and meet the Aces, Legends and Heroes who flew the P-51 Mustang. Visit

6th US Cavalry Association Holds 106th Annual Reunion


embers of the 6th US Cavalry Association held their 106th reunion in the Chattanooga area where



they’ve held their annual reunion since 1947. They return to the post in Fort Oglethorpe for its memorial service to

honor their fallen members. Ties between the 6th US Cavalry Association and Fort Oglethorpe were always strong and veterans and their families wanted a museum depicting life at the Post and the 6th Cavalry’s contributions. The Association’s dream of a museum was realized in 1981 when the 6th Cavalry Museum opened. Association members collected items, built display cases and dioramas, and manned the museum as volunteers through 2004. Now the museum’s volunteer organization, Friends of the Sixth Cavalry Museum, oversees its management and day-to-day operations. The Friends organization has adopted an ambitious plan to improve and enhance the museum, add educational programs for the schools and bring tourists to Fort Oglethorpe to visit the museum. Their 106th annual reunion included a barbeque dinner, a banquet, and a church service, after which guests moved to the flagpole at the Post for the Memorial service and laying of the wreath at the 6th US Cavalry monument. Following the memorial service, the public joined in the 25th Anniversary celebration at the museum. Tours, living history displays, refreshments and special events took place. From The Chattanoogan, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Doolittle Raiders honored


oolittle Raiders are the heroic WWII airmen who bombed Japan in retaliation for Pearl Harbor. Some of the men were portrayed in the classic World War II film Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo but took part in a much quieter ceremony at their reunion. They participated in the ceremony of the goblets – the most somber event of their 64th anniversary reunion. The senior officer calls the rolls of the bomber crews as they stand at attention by a case of silver goblets. Each one present responds, “Aye.” But they’re hearing fewer “ayes.” Of the 80 young men who followed Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle off USS Hornet on April 18, 1942, only 16 survive. Doolittle died in 1993. All but 17 goblets stand inverted. After the last name is called, two Air Force Academy cadets serve the raiders their goblets, charged with cognac. They drink a toast, then their goblets are returned to the case, still upright. From a story by Timothy R. Gaffney in the Dayton Daily News, Dayton, Ohio.

Eight of the surviving 16 Doolittle Raiders raise their goblets for their fallen brothers during their reunion in Dayton, Ohio, April 18. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr. , USAF.

Doolittle goblets have a new home

T Eighty silver goblets commemorating the "Doolittle Tokyo Raiders" were added to the collection of the National Museum of the U. S. Air Force, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, April 19. The upside goblets represent deceased Raiders. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr. , USAF

he 80 silver goblets commemorating the 80 men who flew in the “Doolittle Raid” were added to the collection of the National Museum of the US Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, a recent US Defense Department press release reported. The goblets, presented to the raiders by Tucson, Arizona, in 1959 have taken a highly symbolic place

Navy Log


he Navy Log is a collection of names, photographs and individual stories of the men and women who have served in any of the US sea services. Each log entry contains the entrant’s name, date and place of birth, dates and branch of naval service, highest rate or rank attained, up to five top medals and awards, and five duty stations. The Navy Memorial Foundation in

Washington, DC, is encouraging sons and daughters to enroll parents who served in the sea services in the Navy Log. Enrollment in the log should be sent to Navy Log Department, Dept. Y2003, PO Box 96570, Washington, DC 20077-7685. A head-andshoulders portrait photograph may be added for an additional $25. Photos cannot be returned. For more information, call 800-6289564.

New online military records system


he National Personnel Records Center has made it easier for veterans and next of kin of deceased former military to obtain documents from military files, including Discharge Documents DD214. Former military

personnel and their dependents can get more information at From the Ex-POW Bulletin.

in the history of military aviation. In addition, the president of Hennessy Company gave Jimmy Doolittle a bottle of ‘Hennessy Very Special’ cognac, vintage 1896 (the year of Doolittle’s birth). When there are only two raiders left, these two men will open the bottle and have a final toast to their departed comrades.

Florida Korean War vets eligible for diplomas


any of Florida’s WWII and Korean War veterans left high school to serve in the military. They are eligible to receive high school diplomas if they are a Florida resident, received an honorable discharge and were in school during designated periods. The program was enacted two years ago for Florida’s 600,000 World War II veterans, more than 2,500 of whom have been awarded their high school diplomas from the Florida Department of Education. Contact the Division of Workforce Development, Florida Department of Education, 325 W Gaines St, Room 744, Tallahassee FL 32399; 850-922-5961; or the Department of Veterans Affairs at P. Box 31003, St. Petersburg, FL 33731; 800-827-1000, ext. 7400. Or download applications from or




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 ECHO VALLEY RANCH & SPA Clinton, BC Canada; 1-800253-8831; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! 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 beach-front 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:;

U.S. 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;; MESA ARIZONA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 120 North Center, Mesa AZ 85201. (800) 283-6372. Minutes from Phoenix and Scottsdale, miles from ordinary... Enjoy first class hotels, dinner theaters, desert jeep tours, golf, & more! The Mesa CVB has experience in planning great reunions and is here to assist you with finding a hotel that meets YOUR needs! Call today for your free destination-planning guide!; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! 48


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; www.scottsdaledays

ARKANSAS ARKANSAS With great facilities and activities for all, Arkansas is a natural for your next reunion. Hold yours on a houseboat, at a scenic resort, in a peaceful state park, in a music show theatre, or scores of other places. Enjoy shopping, dining, galleries, antiquing, shows, water fun, quaint villages, relaxing spas and more. Send for your free Group Tour and Meeting Planners Directory. Call 800-872-1259. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! www. HORSESHOE CANYON RANCH North Little Rock, Arkansas; 1-800-480-9635; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

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. Accommodations, 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; www.visitbuena FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON – LAX 9750 Airport Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90045; 310-649-7005; fax 310-649-7065. Close to all attractions – just two miles from beaches. 573 rooms/ junior suites. Award-winning restaurant, gourmet international Beer Bar. Over-sized heated outdoor pool. 24 hr fitness center. 16500 sf of function space for up to 1400-all on one floor. Ballroom opens to pool area. Contact rbustamante@fourpoints or visit SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! THE LAUREL MILL LODGE PO Box 368, Los Gatos CA 95031; 408-353-5851;; www.laurelmill 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.; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! 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!; www.holinnbay 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, 800-926-5096,, www.NorthstarAt 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) 585-1238,,

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, BRECKENRIDGE is a world away from everyday! Vibrant history, natural beauty, and adventures for all ages make for an ideal locale, especially in our mild mountain summers. Our full-service reservation center also books activities, lift tickets, golf, and transportation. Let our reunion expert help create the Colorado getaway you've always imagined! Breckenridge Lodging & Hospitality, P.O. Box 8329, 535 S. Park Avenue, Breckenridge CO 80424; 888-483-6140; fax 970-453-5165;; 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. SOPHIA RETREAT AND CONFERENCE CENTER P.O. Box 1620 Dolores, CO 81323; 970.882.4920; fax 866.548.7437;, COLORADO TRAILS RANCH Durango, Colorado; 1-800323-3833; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! BIGHORN MOUNTAIN LODGE 1340 Big Thompson Avenue, Estes Park CO 80517; 800-530-8822; info@BighornMtnLodge .com; 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; www.estes 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 970-7268256;; www.therockymoun HOLIDAY INN SUMMIT 1129 Summit Blvd. Frisco CO 80443; Tele 800-782-7669 Ext 136; Fax 970-668-0958; Email; SYLVAN DALE RANCH Loveland, Colorado; 1-877-667-3999; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! STONE MOUNTAIN LODGE AND CABINS 18055 N St. Vrain Drive, Lyons CO 80540 (2 miles west of Lyons on Hwy 36). Mountain setting convenient to both Estes Park & Boulder. Lyons is a picturesque small town without the bustle. Our 45 scenic acres offers Room to Roam or Relax with duck pond, pool, hiking. Outdoor group areas near pool and pond. Affordable lodging includes cabins, rooms and campsites to fit everyone‚s needs. Dogs OK. Call for special group discount! 800-282-5612;;

Postcards that make your reunion point! Send

e save save the th e date t when you’ve da set it! Send

TIME IS RUNNING OUT when it is! Custom Printing $45 p/hundred; 50¢ each, Fill-in cards $15 p/hundred; 20¢ each; plus postage: 100-200 cards – $4.05, over 200 – $8.10. Send message, check and request to: REUNION POSTCARDS PO Box 11727 Milwaukee WI 53211-0727 To charge, call 800-373-7933.



CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES 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; 800525-5788; fax 970-476-7423; 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 800-225-9033 today! SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! Suntimes@; www.sunrise

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! RESIDENCE INN CAPE CANAVERAL COCOA BEACH 8959 Astronaut Blvd. Cape Canaveral FL 32920; 321-3231100; 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; www.bestwesterncocoabeach .com. 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. 321-783-2221; 800-247-2221; www.comfort 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! 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; www. 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 50


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!

EMBASSY SUITES/MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 3974 NW South River Drive, Miami, FL 33142. 305-634-5000; fax 305-635-9499;; airport.embassy

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!

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, www.getawaytothegulf .com.

HAMPTON INN COCOA BEACH 3425 N. Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach FL 32931. Guests enjoy direct beach access, breath- taking 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 & 4Bedroom Townhomes and 4 & 5 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, discounted attraction tickets and more! Toll Free 877-477-2567; 407-597-1344; 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 shuffle-board 800-874-6996; fax 386-677-0982;; www.stay daytona .com. 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: 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. 800-2118441; 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.

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. 800-3689100;; www.oneseagrove place .com. COMFORT SUITES – WORLD GOLF VILLAGE 475 Commerce Lake Dr, St. Augustine, Florida 32092; 877-9409501; Adjacent to World Golf Village, visitors have convenient access to area courses, the IMAX Theater, and the World Golf Hall of Fame. All 162 luxurious suites come equipped with desks, microwaves, refrigerators, coffee-makers, two telephones, and high-speed Internet access. A heated indoor pool, exercise facility, outdoor pool, whirlpool, and sundeck round out the hotel’s recreational facilities. Enjoy an upscale continental breakfast and drinks at the popular Mulligan Pub in the evening. Group discounts available. or comfortsuites@ SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! 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; www. 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 1-888-2131454.

FLORIDA VACATION HOMES ALL STAR VACATION HOMES offers the most upscale selection of homes in the closest locations to Disney. Each home is within 4 mi. of Disney and offers every amenity a family needs for the perfect reunion. Choose your home from 2-3 bedroom condos or up to 7 bedroom private pool homes. Location, Luxury, Choice-Experience the ALL STAR Difference. 7822 W. Irlo Bronson Highway, Kissimmee FL 34747; 1-800-731-0337; 407-997-0733; fax 407-997-1370; reservations@allstarvacation; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

GEORGIA ALPHARETTA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 3060 Royal Boulevard South, Alpharetta GA 30022; 678-297-2811; fax 678-297-9197;; www.awe SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! ATLANTA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 233 Peachtree Street, Suite 100, Atlanta GA 30303. World-class restaurants, festive nightlife, six major league sports teams

CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES 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 – Ingrid.abrams@gatechhotel .com; 404-838-2128. 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: mgdaysinn@bell 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; 800-543-7121;; www.callaway DEKALB CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU There’s no better place for your next reunion than Atlanta’s DeKalb County, the most culturally diverse county in the Southeast. You'll find the best accommodations with convenience to The King Center, Sweet Auburn District, Stone Mountain Park, Fernbank Museum and much more. Contact DCVB at 1-866-633-5252 ext. 1094 or visit us at SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

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; 800-635-5240; 208-344-7777; fax 208-344-6236; BOISE...Feel It!

ILLINOIS RENAISSANCE CHICAGO O’HARE HOTEL 8500 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60631; 773-380-9600; fax 1-773-380-9601. 362 suites. Onsite dining and Starbucks. Pool, spa and fitness center available. 21,500 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space. Within walking distance to the ‘L’ rapid transit system and minutes from O’Hare International Airport to downtown Chicago. 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@; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

KENTUCKY ELIZABETHTOWN/FT. KNOX From military reunions to family reunions, Elizabethtown is the place to share memories & make new memories, too! Freeman Lake Park; the Patton Museum; antique & boutique shopping; the Coca-Cola Museum; historic sites. Intersection of I-65 and the Bluegrass Parkway. Elizabeth-town Tourism & Convention Bureau, 800-437-0092;

HOLIDAY INN HURSTBOURNE 1325 S. Hurstbourne Parkway, Louisville KY 40222. Conveniently located right off I64 in the heart of east Louisville's shopping/dining district. With 268 guest rooms and reception space for up to 800, we can host your next reunion. We have an indoor pool and offer on-premises dining with room service. Call today, 502-4262600; fax 502-426-0231:

LOUISIANA NEW ORLEANS CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 2020 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans LA 70130; phone 504566-5011; fax 504-566-5002. Let us assist with your family reunion planning by helping you select a date with the best hotel rates and providing you with banquet, picnic and sightseeing information. Our services are free. Please contact Leslie Straughan at 800-748-8695 x5018 or lstraughan@neworleans and be sure to ask for the Family Reunion Planner. www.neworleans SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

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

MARYLAND 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. 800462-9477; fax 301-542-0041;; www.wisp 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:;

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

MICHIGAN 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. 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; www.bay

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;; RADISSON HOTEL AND CONFERENCE CENTER 3131 Campus Drive, Plymouth MN 55441. 763-559-6600; (fax) 763-559-7516;; www.rhccmeetings .com.

MISSOURI 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; www.trout SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! SPRINGFIELD MISSOURI CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 3315 E Battlefield, Springfield MO 65804; 417881-5300; fax 417-881-7201. Springfield Missouri, “Host of Ozarks Adventures”. Explore the rolling hills of the Ozarksenjoy an adventure in Springfield, Missouri. Located in the heart of America and just minutes from Branson. Home to Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World-Missouri's #1 attraction. Springfield offers many unique restaurants and major league shopping including antique shops and flea markets. It’s a great place for your next reunion. 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. 314-5168113; fax 314-516-9310; 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! www.

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:; www. IMPERIAL PALACE HOTEL & CASINO 3535 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas NV 89109; 702-794-3286; fax 702794-3368. Center "Strip" location and moderate prices make staying at the Imperial Palace Las Vegas memorable! Everything for a reunion-vacation 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.; www.imperialpalace .com. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2006 ❖ R E U N I O N S


CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES 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; beverly;

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;;

NORTH CAROLINA 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 breathtaking 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;;

OHIO HOLIDAY INN HUDSON 240 E. Hines Hill Road, Hudson OH 44236: 330-653-9191; fax 330-656-0048; dsankoe@; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

OKLAHOMA BARTLESVILLE CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU 201 SW Keeler, Bartlesville OK 74005; 800-364-8708; jstephens;


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, or visit www.800poconos .com.

NORFOLK CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 232 East Main Street, Norfolk VA 23510. The New Norfolk's beautifully revitalized waterfront, rich military heritage, walkable downtown and central Mid Atlantic location make it the ideal destination for your next reunion. Home to such attractions as the Battleship Wisconsin, MacArthur Memorial, Hampton Roads Naval Museum and the world’s largest naval base. See why American Heritage named Norfolk “A Great American Place.” Offering over 2,600 committable hotel rooms in various price ranges. Call 800-368-3097;; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!



SEA MIST OCEANFRONT RESORT – MYRTLE BEACH SC 1200 South Ocean Blvd., 29577. REUNIONS MADE EASY! Specializing in reunions from military to family at the most affordable rates in Myrtle Beach. Sea Mist’s premier oceanfront location is near shopping, theaters and golf courses. Over 600 of our 800 units have been completely remodeled, restaurants, miniature golf, 10 pools, Jacuzzis, fitness room, 17,000-sq.ft. of versatile meeting space and much more! 800-200-8687;; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

SEATTLE SOUTHSIDE VISITOR SERVICES Fifteen minutes south of downtown Seattle and a world away from downtown prices... Seattle’s Southside is located at the I-5 & I-405 junction, just minutes from the airport. You'll find something for everyone – over 5 million sq.ft. of shopping and the Museum of Flight; 206-575-2489; 877-885-9452; fax 206575-2529; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

FRANCIS MARION HOTEL 387 King St, Charleston SC 29403; 877-756-2121;; www.francis marion Landmark hotel located in the heart of the historic district across from Marion Square and just steps to King Street’s famous shopping and world class restaurants. Within walking distance to Visitor Center, SC Aquarium and city market. Offering 230 guest rooms and suites, with over 18,000 sq ft of meeting space. Views of Charleston’s harbor; spa, concierge and restaurant on site. Newly renovated in 2006.


WEST VIRGINIA 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.; www.The WoodsResort .com.

WISCONSIN BLACK BEAR MEETING HALL, Crivitz, WI: new/upscale for up to 150 – cathedral ceiling, stone fireplace, huge kitchen (cook or cater). Accommodations: 2-bedroom waterfront units, fully furnished, completely equipped kitchens, king beds, A/C, boat slip, gas fireplace, fun themes, year-round activities, affordable prices! or 800/505-0485.

Big Cabins of East TN: We offer luxurious 1 to 12 bedroom cabin rental, which can accommodate groups with up to 300 guests. Our properties offer a variety of breathtaking views and are convenient to the area attractions of Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg. Come experience the allure of the Smoky Mountains. Call today! 1-866-305-8739 or SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

BIRCHWOOD LODGE 337 Highway 57, P.O. Box 646, Sister Bay WI 54234; 866-854-7195; fax 920-854-9385; info@birch;



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 www.bayfrontplazahotelcc .com.

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; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! 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. 307587-3711 P.O. Box 1731 Cody WY 82414; www.hunterpeak Email:

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;;

COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT BLACKSTONE 601 Main Street, Fort Worth TX 76102. Located in the heart of downtown 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; dfwms.



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.

SMUGGLERS’ NOTCH RESORT At America’s Reunion Resort, you’ll experience Mountain Resort Living, awardwinning children’s programs (6wks. - 17yrs.), family activities and entertainmnt, 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 www.smuggs .com/reunions. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

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


THE REUNION PLANNER 11661 San Vicente Blvd., Suite 306, Los Angeles CA 90049; 800-899-6978; fax 310-8208341.

MARRIOTT HOTELS OF PHILADELPHIA – multiple locations in Center City Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia region; 215-832-3059;; www.staymarriott .com/phillyreunions. 52


NEWPORT NEWS Discover the Ocean, the Ships, the Wars and the History of America minutes from Williamsburg and a short drive to Virginia Beach. Fresh seafood, USS Monitor relics, historic homes and plantations, wildlife, golf and shopping.; 1-888-493-7386. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

VEE BAR GUEST RANCH Laramie, Wyoming; 1-800-4833227; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! THE HIDEOUT AT FLITNER RANCH Shell, Wyoming; 1800-354-8637; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!



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.

CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES 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 800-224-8511. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! www.giftofheritage .com.

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 800224-8511. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!




NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REUNION MANAGERS (NARM) PO Box 23211, Tampa FL 33623; 800-654-2776;;

ALL STAR VACATION HOMES offers the most upscale selection of homes in the closest locations to Disney. Each home is within 4 mi. of Disney and offers every amenity a family needs for the perfect reunion. Choose your home from 2-3 bedroom condos or up to 7 bedroom private pool homes. Location, Luxury, Choice – Experience the ALL STAR Difference. 7822 W. Irlo Bronson Highway, Kissimmee FL 34747; 1-800731-0337; 407-997-0733; fax 407-997-1370; reservations@; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

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.

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, ftcreations@bellsouth .net.

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

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 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 www.reunion


SUBSCRIBE! CALL 1-800-373-7933

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

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REUNION SHIRTS 800-901-2679;, www.

List Your Reunion free! Email ( Contact name, address, phone, reunion name, date, and place. Check us out at

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: digitalmagic2@comcast .net. FAMILY REUNION AND TRADITIONS One of the keys to create strong family connections is by sharing traditions and developing and learning family history. Treasured keepsakes like our Family Tree Poster and Leather Family Journal provide simple ways to record family heritage and savor family stories for future generations. Visit or email for more details.

POSTCARDS POSTCARD ANNOUNCEMENTS Notify your reunion members to SAVE THE DATE (bright red, they’ll not miss it!) and when you need reminders, send postcards that say TIME IS RUNNING OUT. Fill-in cards – $15 p/100 postcards or 20¢ each – you fill in the dates and reunion name; or Custom printed 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;

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: digitalmagic2@comcast .net.



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

Reunions Magazine Volume 17, Number 2. October/November 2006  
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