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Kids Stuff Vacation homes and villas All school reunion

VOL 18 NO 4 APRIL/MAY 2008 $3/USA

Display until May 31, 2008.

in this issue DEPARTMENTS FRONT WORDS – 4 ALUM & I – 6 Beardstown alumni weekend by Allison Schurman A passion for friendship by Linda Goodwin Class reunion tips, charitable reunions, to take or not take your spouse, reunions to reduce drop outs, blogging

SCRAPBOOK – 10 Reunion school: workshops, conferences and seminars Former Atlanta football players, coaches, owners celebrate by Hal Lamar Phipps Threat Family, African American Heritage Trail, Adoption reunions, groople for reunions and more

April/May 2008 Volume 18 • Number 4




Jennifer Rueth SALES

Marion Liston Senior Account Manager



Unique Dedman family tree by Betty Isaacs Family reunion in black and white, tracking Robidous



Jean Salzer

Rooster rules Meny reunion by Martha Payne Coming home to our roots by Angeline Warren Successful organizing across generations by Jessie Muse

Andrew Bordeaux

KIDSSTUFF – 26 Family first by Maureen Taylor What do kids really want? Teen Talk: Family reunions – cigars, golfing and sneaking out by Dillon Albright Dig in…dress up…explore and grow! Planning playtime activities at your reunion, Unplugged play: No Batteries, No Plugs, Pure Fun

THEMES – 32 Themes drive Stewart reunions by Marilynn W. Stewart


Dillon Albright • Nancy V. Bennett Deb Bowen • Kevin Donohue Mary Thiele Fobian • Linda Goodwin Veronica Haynes • Betty Isaacs Hal Lamar • Jessie Muse Martha Payne • Allison Schurman Marilynn W. Stewart • Michele Swain Maureen Taylor • Jackie Utley Angeline Warren

ICEBREAKERS – 34 The getting to know you quiz by Nancy V. Bennett Icebreakers for class reunions, Trading time, Encouraging interchange, Memories break the ice

REUNION VENUES & PLACES – 36 Why not New Orleans? by Jacky Runice Desert Adventure by Edith Wagner Vacation homes and villas: lodging options for reunions Colorado directory, family celebrates 50th reunion, Townsend family celebrates milestones

MILITARY REUNION NEWS – 46 9th Infantry Division, Negro Infantry volunteers

REUNION RESOURCES – 49 A directory of reunion-friendly places, services, vendors and products. ON THE COVER Phipps Threat Family Reunion in Bloomington, Minnesota. See page 15.

REUNIONS MAGAZINE, INC. (ISSN #1046-5s235), is published 5 times per year. Send correspondence, queries, submissions, subscriptions, advertising to REUNIONS MAGAZINE, PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211-0727. Written permission from the publisher is required for reproduction of any part of this book except pages which encourage sharing. Please explain your intended use when requesting permission to reprint. Email: or fax 414263-6331. 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; © 2008 REUNIONS MAGAZINE, INC. AP R I L/MAY 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Be in touch! Mail to R EUNIONS MAGAZINE PO Box 11727 Milwaukee WI 53211-0727

pring months are important in your representative is looking for. In the past reunion planning, because this is we’ve been asked for referrals to large when things should feel as though reunions or small ones, first-timers or longFor charge orders they’re really coming together. time meetings, reunions with special call 800-373-7933 or Surveys indicate that most reunions decide activities or surprises or where members visit on their location before March, freeing the have never met, or for specific dates … remaining time for other details. If you are and they’ll come up with new ideas this or fax it to 414-263-6331. producing any printed materials (memory year, I’m sure. If you’d like your reunion to Or best of all, e-mail book, member directory, cookbook) or be considered, email info about your you’re making a quilt, this is the perfect reunion (preferably in great detail, time to review what you need to do and whose information including contact info before and during the reunion) to or contribution you still need, then follow up to prod and If your reunion fits a request from cajole help from your members. Remember that print media, we will contact you. projects require several weeks at the printer/bindery to be LISTEN TO REUNION PLANNING PODCASTS delivered in time for your reunion … and you don’t want to Note: If you’ve tried to access podcasts before and had incur the cost of shipping if they’re not delivered in time. trouble, please come back now. Three quick clicks will get NEW HOME PAGE you to whatever subject intrigues you. We encourage you to go to our new home page Awards and prizes, The art of the loving invitation by ( where navigating the site has become Leslie Lindeman, and The opening letter have been or will soon be added for your listening and learning. All are infinitely easier. All the helps and reunion topics on your provided to add to your reunion planning repertoire. mind are clearly displayed, so one click will get you to If podcasts are new to you, it’s so easy, you’ll be interior pages filled with information for your reunion. We surprised you didn’t start listening long ago. Go to hope that returning to the website as you encounter new, click on podcasts, then on the topic you challenges will become a habit, and that you’ll put want to listen to, then on mp3. Be sure the sound is on, at the top of your favorites list. then sit back and listen. Remember to send your reunion picture for the gallery and to list your upcoming reunion (send to IN THIS ISSUE We’re excited: hope you are too! As issues get closer to summer, our focus turns to what THANK YOU you’ll do at your reunion. This time we’ve included features For four years, Maureen Taylor has been writing columns about what kids really want at reunions and ice breakers for Reunions magazine about genealogy that is germaine to that will get your reunion members mixing quickly. Themes reunion planners. Now Maureen is working on new projects from the Stewarts, an intriguing family tree from the that require more of her time and she’ll no longer be a Dedmans and how Beardstown, Illinois, welcomes back regular contributor. She has been a pleasure to work with their graduates are just some of the stories that will and will still be appearing in the genealogy firmament. I encourage and inspire your reunion planning. Remember, see she’s the keynoter at the Wisconsin State Genealogy we always welcome suggestions, so if you don’t see what conference in April where you’ll still have access to her you want (look online at too), let us know. wise and talented counsel.




… we always are, but that intensifies during the summer reunion season, when we receive requests from media (newspapers, magazines, TV) for reunions to feature. We refer media to reunions with which we are well acquainted, because media representatives usually have specific ideas about what they’re looking for. There is no way for us to know in advance what each media 4

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Trying to help make reunions affordable, we have lots free for your reunion at, 24/7. Free podcasts, free reunion timetable, free picture gallery, list your reunion announcement free, free reunion chatter at our forum, free sample of Reunions magazine, free publicity for your reunion, free monthly email newsletter. Happy reunion planning. EW

AP R I L/MAY 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Beardstown alumni weekend by Allison Schurman


eardstown, Illinois, a sleepy, Midwestern farm-town, bustles with excitement during Memorial Day weekend. This small town does its part to honor veterans; however, it is the annual class reunion that draws the crowd. Beardstown may be a small town, a population hovering at 6,000, but Alumni Weekend is not a small event. Each year Beardstown calls home alumni from up to 14 classes during Memorial Day weekend for reunion parties. With an estimated 500 to 1000 visiting alumni, Beardstown businesses experience a welcome boom. Motels that struggle to fill their rooms during the year are at full capacity, and demand skyrockets for local treats such as Benny’s pizza and the Riverview Restaurant’s fried catfish. For this weekend, alumni and cash registers are full, and everyone is happy. Beardstown’s Alumni Weekend adheres to the same schedule every year. Occasionally, alumni or community members suggest changes but according to Lori Frashier, Alumni Association officer since 1989, the reunion model works because it is predictable and stable. “Every person who graduates from Beardstown High School knows who, what, where and when of their class reunions. There is never any question.

Wherever you are in the world, whether or not your class can find you, you know that you can come home Memorial Day weekend and find your classmates.” The Alumni Association is the key element in the success of Beardstown’s reunion model. The Association hosts the annual Alumni Banquet and Dance, to which all classes are invited. They supply each class with enough free invitation packets to urge everyone in their class to join the festivities. Packets include invitations to the Alumni Banquet and Dance, Chamber of Commerce information and a postage-paid envelope.

Joyous Beardstown party brings hundreds home in May.


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By paying for invitations and postage, the Alumni Association ensures that everyone in a class is invited and that there is a reunion event even if a class cannot fund an individual class party. This removes the incentive for classes to cut corners and lends stability to the event. “At this point, Alumni Weekend really runs itself,” says Frashier. Planning begins in February, when the Alumni Association contacts class chairpersons to make sure the classes start planning their reunions. Then, invitation packets are printed and given to the classes to mail. Class chairpersons plan their individual parties, typically dinner and drinks at a restaurant or bar. There are a limited number of Beardstown venues, so often two or more classes share. It is common for class chairs to reserve a party venue for the next reunion during the current one. As with the other elements of this model, if a particular venue works, then every effort is made to stick with it. The Alumni Banquet typically draws about 500 alumni and their spouses, and while some say the event lasts too long, it strengthens the community bond by bringing many generations together in one room to celebrate a common event. It is held in the high school gymnasium, and alumni enjoy dinner at tables designated for their class. The event is capped off with a “class response,” in which one member from each class welcomes and

congratulates new seniors. The party then moves downtown for a dance with music spanning the decades. There is something for everyone. Flexibility and inclusion lend to the success of the banquet. One week before the event in 2007, fewer than 300 people had purchased tickets for the banquet. Frashier was worried that they wouldn’t be able to cover costs. By Saturday, they reached the expected number of 500 people, with nearly 100 tickets purchased on the day of the banquet. “It’s hard to deal with that many additions on the day of the event, but we brought in some tables and made room,” says Frashier. “We used to say no to last minute additions, but we want as many people as possible to attend. The catering was a concern but we started planning food for 500 no matter what, and that has always worked out. We’ve never run out of room or turned anyone away.” An effort is made to keep costs low so it is not a financial burden for alumni to participate. In 2007, the banquet and alumni dues totaled $17.50, and class parties ranged from $10 to $20 per person. “When you have two people attending, the costs do add up, but then again you have to remember it is only once every five years,” Frashier adds. The Alumni Association funds the banquet and dance with alumni dues ($5 every five years), banquet tickets ($12.50) and donations. They also have a 50/50 raffle drawing at the banquet to raise additional funds. The top challenge for the Alumni Association is engaging each new graduating class. “It is up to them to keep this tradition alive,” notes Frashier. “It is my job to get them excited about the Alumni Association, and its history. It is all about bringing community spirit to life and helping them understand this is something worth preserving. Some years are more difficult than others, but you just need one person to get excited and take charge.” Frashier’s parents inspired her to get involved and become a part of Beardstown history. Both were active in the Alumni Association, and Frashier recalls the meetings at her

home when they would plan the next reunion. Classmates would share stories and laugh, and then they would think of a classmate and pick up the phone to ask, “Are you coming home?” Beardstown is changing with the world and is becoming less isolated and more diverse. According to census data, the Beardstown’s population of Hispanic immigrants grew from less than one percent in 1990 to 17.9% in 2000. Graduating classes are growing with the influx of newcomers, but reunion attendance appears to be dropping off. Many of the new graduates do not have the same multigenerational connection to the town as past classes. “I think there is less of a connection to Beardstown for many kids,” says Frashier. She hopes that they will find a way to keep the tradition alive. Throughout her nearly 20-year tenure, Frashier experienced plenty of headaches but was also often reminded of her important role in bringing together a community. A letter she received from a class of ‘31 alumna best captures what Beardstown’s Alumni Weekend means to her. During the banquet that year Frashier announced that Beardstown High School’s first female cheerleader was in attendance and asked her to stand. When the banquet ended, the cheerleaders from the graduating class went over to talk to this alumna. In the following weeks, the alumna wrote she was overwhelmed by the welcome she received. She had never thought being a cheerleader was important until the senior girls came to talk her. She was delighted and wrote that she would do her best to come again next year. Frashier chuckles and says, “Where else would women from those two age groups ever have the opportunity or interest to talk to one another?”

Jordan’s yearbook project greatly appreciated


tate Rep. Stan Jordan grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, and graduated from Andrew Jackson High in 1955. Jordan has almost every Jackson yearbook from 1928 to 1960. He takes time each day to look at obituaries in the Florida Times-Union. If there is someone who graduated from Jackson, Jordan looks through the yearbooks, finds that person’s senior picture, makes colored copies of the page and sends it with a letter to the family. “I thought, wouldn’t it be neat to get that person’s yearbook picture from when they were 17 or 18 years old, write a letter to the family and deliver it to the funeral home?” said Jordan. “Families really appreciate it.” The letter, printed on Jordan’s letterhead, expresses his condolences and tells the family that he too graduated from Jackson. If there was information in the yearbook about the person, Jordan writes about that in the letter. He encloses a copy of the cover of the yearbook, the page their senior picture is on and any pages their picture is on, if they were in clubs. Jordan said he has enjoyed looking through yearbooks, as they bring back memories for him as well. He writes about four or five of these letters a month and in the last 18 months he has written 80. From a story by Caroline Gabsewics in the Jacksonville Daily Record, Jacksonville, Florida. WEB PAGE: CALL: 414.263.4567 FAX: 414.263.6331 E-MAIL: WRITE: PO Box 11727 Milwaukee, WI 53211-0727

About the author Allison Schurman is a freelance writer living in the San Francisco bay area. In May she will return to Beardstown, Illinois, to celebrate the Class of 1988’s reunion alongside her grandfather, a Class of 1938 alumnus. When she is not writing, Allison enjoys running, traveling, and caring for her two dogs.

PO BOX 335428 NORTH LAS VEGAS NV 89033 800-654-2776 • AP R I L/MAY 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



A passion for friendship by Linda Goodwin


hen I left behind my grade school friends in Parkersburg, West Virginia, in 1970 to relocate with my family, I was a heartbroken 12-year-old who was certain she would never see any of them again. I was an only child who, in 1964, had been given this remarkable gift of settling into a neighborhood packed with kids who became as close as family, brothers and sisters. We walked to school together, were in classes together, walked home together and played together in the evenings. Gihon Elementary was a community school where we were guided by a wonderful group of loving and dedicated teachers from first through sixth grade. My childhood was idyllic in every sense until the summer we moved. In spring 2006, while preparing for my 30th high school class reunion in North Carolina, I couldn’t help but wonder if my West Virginia pals were making similar plans for their class reunion. I played around on the web and ran across Parkersburg South High’s website. When I saw that alumni button, I knew I was on to something exciting. Maybe I’d be able to locate the friends I’d left behind 36 years earlier. I composed lengthy email messages hoping a few lost friends might remember me. Slowly but surely, replies rolled in, first from some of the women and finally from one of the men who had been one of my best childhood friends. Soon we were emailing pictures and memories and stories just rolled out in gushes! As more joined the email flurry, someone related the reconnection story to members of the high school reunion committee. I was overwhelmed and apprehensive when I received an invitation to their high school reunion. On one hand, I’d be going home to my old friends for three days, a rare blessing I never thought would come my way. However, I didn’t want to intrude on reunion activities for a class which I’d only dreamed of being a member. I didn’t want to crash the party.

With reassurance from the committee, my husband and I attended three days of activities along with many of my former teachers. The reunion was more than I could have ever hoped for. After 36 years, I worried about being a stranger among these friends who experienced so much more together in junior high and high school. But it was unbelievably comfortable being among them, as though I had never left. More than old memories, I encountered a group of outstanding adults. All the little boys of my childhood had grown into incredibly good men with great wives and terrific families, although I did have to get around the deep voices and mustaches at first. All my girlfriends had gone from giggly preteens I last remembered to strong, beautiful women – wonderful daughters, wives, mothers and grandmothers. Since the reunion, we’ve become prolific emailers. The first official Gihon Elementary Class of 1970 reunion took place over dinner in Parkersburg in July 2007, and we’re talking about the 2008 reunion. Our numbers are growing, and we continue to seek friends still missing. I’m constantly amazed at how this group clicks with one another on an emotional level that goes beyond words. A year after my homecoming, we remain passionate about keeping in touch through email, cards, letters and phone calls. These friends defined for me the meaning of true friendship at a very early age.

About the author Linda Goodwin lives in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, with her husband, Jeff, and works as a legal administrative assistant for a Raleigh law firm. She is the author of numerous comingof-age short stories and poems, many inspired by childhood friends. Thirty-seven years later she continues to be blessed with their friendship and inspiration.

Gihon Elementary School comrades reunited. The author is sitting cross-legged in the front row.


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AP R I L/MAY 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Explore the unique heritage of Washington, DC.


Children visit the African American Civil War Memorial on the African American Heritage Trail in Washington DC. Credit Cultural Tourism DC

he African American Heritage Trail by Cultural Tourism DC invites residents and visitors to explore the unique heritage of Washington, DC. Discover how the capital of the United States is also a capital of African American culture and history. A free trail guidebook is available, detailing 98 significant locations organized in 15 walking or driving trails in areas such as Greater U Street, Old Anacostia and Hillsdale, Brookland, and Georgetown. A four-color map accompanies each neighborhood trail, and site listings provide exact locations, hours of operation, and admission fees, if applicable. Highlights include the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Old Anacostia, Mount Zion United Methodist Church, Heritage House, parsonage and cemetery in Georgetown, Duke Ellington’s birthplace site near Dupont Circle, and the Decatur House, one of Washington’s few remaining slave quarters. The guide is free at merchants throughout the city or visit to order for $5 shipping and handling.

Adoption reunions


nly eight states allow adoptees access to birth records and the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute would

like to see every state make birth records available to adult adoptees who want to know who their birth parents are.

For adults in the eight states who found birth parents, the Institute reports, “Outcomes appear to have been overwhelmingly positive for adult adopted persons and birth parents alike. Most birth parents actually welcome rather than fear contact with the children they gave up.” More than 50 years ago, adoptions were closed. Birth parents and adoptive parents had no contact or information exchange, and adult adoptees had no connection to their past. Total secrecy is rare now and a growing number of professionals regard it as a poor practice for everyone involved. The institute uncovered information that helps explain the benefits of openness in adoptions. It concluded that the best of all possible adoptive situations is an open one, where the birth mother meets, or at least helps choose, her baby’s new parents. Mothers who place their children and have a hand in knowing where the child is have fewer grief issues. From an opinion of Natalie Miller Rotunda in the St. Cloud Times, St. Cloud, Minnesota. WHEN YOU’VE FINISHED USING THIS MAGAZINE, PLEASE RECYCLE IT.


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AP R I L/MAY 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Former football players, coaches, owners celebrate by Hal Lamar


ver 40 years ago on October 1, 1967, toe met leather at Herndon Stadium on the campus of Morris Brown College and at WO Cheney Stadium deep within the bosom of Atlanta’s Summerhill community, where the Atlanta Amateur Football League (AAFL) was launched. Forty years later, many of those same players, coaches and team owners who went elbow to elbow on the gridiron reassembled for a grand reunion banquet keynoted by church member and former professional football great Robert Haygood.

The AAFL was born with help from Economic Opportunity Atlanta (now Fulton-Atlanta Community Action Authority), many neighborhood groups and the Atlanta Junior Chamber of Commerce, who literally went door-todoor raising $10,000 to buy uniforms for four teams: the 4th Ward Dominoes, Northwest ( Perry Homes) Vikings, Kirkwood Rams and Summerhill Falcons. Duke Foster, retired head football coach at Morehouse College, was the league’s first commissioner. The

AAFL was the first amateur football league for adults in the US. In 1968, the league doubled to eight, and created opportunities for more than 400 men to play. Some went on and played for professional football teams. The reunion grew from the idea at a wiener roast. More than 200 attended. It was started by Robert Glover, who moved to South Carolina years ago but periodically called Clarence Hiley to say they need to get together. “That’s really how this reunion committee started,” Hiley said. He noted that the committee has plans for an annual banquet with proceeds from ticket sales to fund scholarships for deserving City of Atlanta high school students. This year the league awarded huge trophies to each of the nine city high schools “to be given to the high school coaches and athletic directors to decide which of their players should get it,” said Hoyt Jackson, a former Vine City Packer turned Baptist minister. “The aim of this reunion committee is to help strengthen and increase interest and support for our city teams,” said former player-coach Freddie Robinson. “We all were born in Atlanta, raised here and so was the league,” said Hiley. “We feel that it’s more important to start where you came from.” Contact Hiley at 404-914-3800.

About the author The Atlanta Centurions, a team of Atlanta police officers, was part of the AAFL in the 1970s. Photo courtesy Hoyt Jackson Archives

Even today, many of the players with monickers like “Jo-Boy,” “Fat” and “Big Jesse” are still known by those names. Several attended the banquet on crutches or in wheelchairs. But came they did to remember a league that was inspired partially by racial troubles in Atlanta and elsewhere in the mid-1960s. “You know, I was standing at the corner of Ormond and Capitol Avenue (in 1966) when a riot broke out and (then) Mayor Ivan Allen rushed down there trying to stop it,” remembers t-shirt business owner Lovett Stovall (Price High School), who played and coached in the league. He remembers the year after Atlanta’s “hot summer,” when cooler heads caucused to come up with an activity to occupy the idle minds of young black men. 12

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Hal Lamar lives and writes in Atlanta, Georgia

Former AAFL coaches and players 40 years later, remembering football “in the hood.” Photo by Patsy Collier

AP R I L/MAY 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Wheelchair-accessible vacation ideas

W All take place in 2008 and on Saturdays, unless otherwise noted. April 19 • Atlanta Marriott Century Center May 17 • Holiday Inn Select Perimeter SUMMER SERIES

June 21, July 19, August 16 Dekalb CVB Conference Room September 13 • Courtyard Executive Park October 18 • Hampton Inn Northlake November 15 • Crowne Plaza Ravinia LUNCH AND LEARN

Thursdays, April 24 and September 25 Dekalb CVB Conference Room DEKALB COUNTY, GEORGIA

Bring Your Family Home to DeKalb! WORKSHOPS 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM LUNCH AND LEARN 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM Contact DeKalb County CVB at 800-999-6055 or 770-492-5000 Register immediately! Thursday, April 24 to 26 LAKE COUNTY, ILLINOIS

Chicago’s North Suburbs Family Reunion Workshop Experience. Join a 3-day family reunion workshop and site visits in Lake County, Illinois. Two and a half days of workshops and tours including visits to Gurnee Mills, Rinkside Sports & Family Entertainment Center, Bass Pro Shop, Independence Grove Forest. Meet Reunions magazine editor Edith Wagner. Contact Kimberly Ghys, 800-Lake-Now;; Accommodations at Illinois Beach Resort & Conference Center in Zion, Illinois, just 40 minutes from both Chicago and Milwaukee. Friday, April 25 • place TBA ALPHARETTA, GEORGIA

Plan the ultimate family reunion in awesome Alpharetta To reserve your spot in an upcoming workshop, call Alpharetta CVB, 678-297-2811.


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hen we saw this book, we wondered how many of our readers would benefit from this info. Then, on second thought, we realized many families who could use it! 101 Accessible Vacations: Travel Ideas for Wheelers and Slow Walkers, by Candy Harrington, is the first guidebook dedicated exclusively to wheelchair-accessible destinations, lodgings and recreational opportunities. Harrington, editor of Emerging Horizons, focuses this book on vacation planning needs. It contains destination information from over 101 cities, lodging options, national parks, tourist attractions and recreational activities around the world. Visit to read a sample chapter and see the table of contents.

Stonefort Reunion days


n the 1940s everyone was real friendly with one another. But that changed when people started moving away to find jobs when the mines and railroad shut down. Stonefort, Illinois, Reunion days have been held each August since 1897. It started as a tribute to soldiers from the Civil War. “When I was little, our family used to travel by wagon from our house to the reunion grounds in Stonefort,” said Maxine Lewis, 89. Lewis can remember buying hamburgers and ice cream for a nickel each and she always looked forward to the rides. One year, she said, there was a mule pulling a swing for the children. “Saturdays were also special when I was a little older because that was the day that we’d drive into Stonefort and go to the restaurant and other stores,” Lewis said. “We’d meet people and talk. We had a lot of fun.” Today, the reunion features live country, gospel and bluegrass bands, a healthy dose of local entertainers, a carnival, bingo, beauty pageant and fish fry. The next event is set to run August 19-23, 2008. Martin said a townwide flea market always precedes the reunion on the prior Saturday. Norman “Shorty” Martin, one of the organizers for the Stonefort Reunion, said his fondest memories from the reunion were airplane rides. “And we used to have stars from the Grand Ole Opry stop by and there were lots of baseball games. It was a good time for many people.” Stonefort’s population today is around 300, 75% of whom are retired. From a story by John Homan in The Southern, Carbondale, Illinois.

Great idea


ary Thiele Fobian set out lots of disposable cameras at the Knapp/Napp Family Reunion. She used a P-touch labelmaker to create labels for the cameras that read “TAKE photos, LEAVE camera.” In her welcome she mentioned that all photos would be available to everyone for viewing and ordering online.

Groople is group travel made easy

G is a group travel site with services and options for groups and online collaboration tools to make group travel easy to plan. When you use the Internet to plan a reunion, you want quick access response times. You want to speak to a live person, receive group discounts, planning tools (calendars, maps and directions) and recommendations. Groople’s specialists assist with bookings and make changes to itineraries on the spot. They work on your behalf for upgrades, add-ons, freebies and other extra services. Groople’s travel products are designed for reunions. There is online collaboration for reunion members to discuss selections online, customized search results fitting each reunion’s needs, and more than 60 events and destination pages offering recommendations and planning tips. Groople negotiates the best rates for flights, hotels, cars and cruises, and finds the best locations to fit your needs. They provide booking capability for more than 60,000 hotels on four continents, 25 islands and one mountaintop. You can collaborate and compare travel options before you make any decisions. After reserving a block of rooms, reunion members can pay for rooms individually online or in one payment made by the group leader. Go to and click on the logo (above) for reunion fare!

Reunion school kudos


he Phipps Threat Family Reunion 2007 in Bloomington, Minnesota, was a great success! Over 140 family members from California, Missouri, Chicago, Indiana, Maryland and Minnesota celebrated. The 35W bridge collapse tragedy had just occurred, which made them especially grateful to be celebrating togetherness and family. The Meet Minneapolis Reunion workshop ( gave direction and information to plan the reunion! Reunion planners are able to pick a hotel, work with vendors and park representatives and even secure a picnic area, all from your desktop.

April, July and October 2008 GWINNETT COUNTY, GEORGIA

ABCs of Planning a Family Reunion 10 AM to 1 PM, complimentary lunch, Family Reunion Planning Guide. Reservations only, no walk-ins. Contact Linda Busby, GCTS, Gwinnett CVB Education Specialist, 770-814-6056; Autumn 2008 KISSIMMEE, FLORIDA

CVB Reunion Familiarization Tour Military, family, class and retiree association reunion planners are invited. Accommodations, meals, seminars, mini-trade show, site inspections and transportation complimentary for the first attendee. Additional attendees may be charged a fee. Places are limited, first come/ first served. Contact Sara Melendez-Davis 800-831-1844 ext. 42446; October 2008 ESTES PARK, COLORADO

Family Reunion University YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park Center Contact Conference Office at 800-777-9622 November 2008 WINTER PARK, COLORADO

Family Reunion University YMCA of the Rockies, Snow Mountain Ranch Contact Conference Office at 800-777-9622 Call for dates MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA

Free reunion planning seminar. Contact Lori Kearney at 612-767-8114. Space is limited. ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Contact Nina House, Small Meetings, Atlanta CVB, 233 Peachtree Street, NE, Ste 100, Atlanta, GA 30303; 404-521-6640;; 2009

17th National Family Reunion Conference Contact Dr. Ione Vargus, 215-204-8703; AP R I L/MAY 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Unique Dedman family tree or one of our Isaacs/Beheler/Dedman reunions, I designed a family tree with four branches of our Dedman family. An artist friend drew the image onto a double bed flat sheet. Each branch was lettered in a different color and at the reunion the children signed their names with magic marker on the proper branch. It was great fun. We hung the sheet on a large room divider to enjoy. The interest in it was amazing. Our reunion was held at Cumberland Falls State Park in Kentucky and 62 were present. Family members came from Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, New Mexico, Florida, and Connecticut. I provided brochures about all the things available to do in the area. Each family made its own reservations for whatever they wanted to do. Some of the families went white water rafting on the Cumberland River, some went out on a pontoon boat on Lake Cumberland, and others went hiking, bike riding, on a train ride to an old mining town nearby, and some chose just to visit and enjoy four days of togetherness. For surprise entertainment I asked one of my cousins, a 75year-old professional dancer, to dance for us. He danced and taught dancing for many years in New York City, and only three family members had ever seen him dance. We had a sound system, spotlight, palms and music in the large ballroom where dinner was catered by the Park. He danced to the song Everything Old Is New Again. It was awesome. Also, we celebrated the 87th birthday of another cousin who came from Florida; that was very special indeed.


Family friend, Peggy Sherry, drew the Dedman family tree onto a bedsheet.

I don’t know when we’ll have another reunion but I do hope it won’t be long … a lot of us are getting old but enjoying it ever so much. Reported by Betty Isaacs, Somerset, Kentucky



he 2008 Federation of East European Family History Societies (FEEFHS) Conference will be August 1-3, 2008, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Presentations from leading experts in the fields of Central and East European Genealogy, DNA testing, Online Databases, and oneon-one research consultations will be featured. On August 3rd, an optional tour, The Rivers of Steel “Babushkas and Hard Hats Tour” will be available. Visit

Maureen Taylor’s column for this issue is in the Kidsstuff feature, page 26. The finished Dedman family tree.


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The Sister Study


he Sister Study is a landmark breast cancer study to learn how environment and genes affect the chances of getting breast cancer. Much of what is known about breast cancer risk comes from research studies involving mostly white women. However, breast cancer occurrence and survival are different for black women, who often develop the disease at a younger age and have more aggressive tumors, than white women. Even though white women are more likely to get the disease, black women are more likely to die from breast cancer. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), one of the National Institutes of Health, is conducting the Sister Study. Researchers hope to enroll at least 50,000 women whose sisters had breast cancer. They hope to double the number of minority women enrolled so the study results benefit everyone. Women in the US and Puerto Rico, ages 35 to 74, may be eligible to join the Sister Study if their sisters (living or deceased) have/had breast cancer. Women who join the Sister Study must never have been diagnosed with breast cancer themselves. To learn more about the Sister Study, visit the web site, ( for Spanish). Or call 877-4SISTER (877-474-7837). Deaf/Hard of Hearing call 1-866-TTY4SIS (866-889-4747). Newly Renovated in Summer 2008

◆ Welcome bags at check-in ◆ Framed family photo sent

after departure ◆ Complimentary HOT breakfast ◆ Complimentary high-speed

internet ◆ Cable with HBO & ESPN ◆ Fresh baked cookies daily ◆ Fully equipped fitness facility

& outdoor pool ◆ Central Florida attractions just a day trip away ◆ 5 miles to the “World’s Most Famous Beach” ◆ 5 miles to Daytona International Speedway

155 Interchange Blvd. Ormond Beach, FL 32174 386-677-9999 ◆ 877-677-9998

AP R I L/MAY 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Rooster rules Meny reunion by Martha Payne


e have had Meny Family Reunions for 16 years. We take turns hosting, alternating from Evansville, Indiana, to Griffith/Hobart, Indiana. We charge a family fee of $10.00 and $5.00 for individuals. We organize activities and have auctions to raise money to rent an air conditioned building at a park and pay for meat for everyone. Our logo is a rooster because our grandparents had a chicken house and when we were younger we fed the chickens. Our t-shirts have the rooster on them and a rooster tray is passed to the next year’s host to use throughout the year. Games include horseshoes, washers, baseball, volleyball or any activity the host/ hostess decides. In bedsheet volleyball, each team (about seven on each side) hold a sheet and send the ball back and forth with the sheet. A team scores a point when the other team loses the ball off the sheet. The catch is that

the ball is a water balloon and, oh, what fun you can have. We make and fill our own pinatas. Our egg toss is with fresh eggs. We have 3legged races: two people and one necktie. Two people stand side by side and tie their inside legs together, then race. It requires great coordination. Sleds are made of cardboard boxes with rope attached. Adults are reindeer and pull sleds with young children in the box. This is hilarious. We always bring extra clothes, for we never know what may happen. WE START EATING AT NOON.

The best part is eating. We are a mostly German family. We always have what we call flitters, a flat, square homemade noodle in chicken broth and hot German potato salad, a family specialty. Our 2008 will feature bratwurst and probably sauerkraut to go with it. The late Joe and Flora Meny were from the rural country of Haubstadt, Indiana. They raised chickens for eggs and fryers, as well as blackberries, grapes and a garden full of vegetables. All the guys in the family were in the military. We grew up on blackberry cobbler, but we had to pick them, along with getting chiggers when we did. The reward was eating from-scratch cobbler our grandmother or mother made. Throw some Jim Meny, Marshall, Michigan, 2007 reunion host, passing the Rooster Tray to Jaynell Fulcher, Owensville, Indiana, 2008 reunion host. homemade vanilla ice cream on


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top and you’re back in the hand-crankin’ days. The young kids took turns sitting on top of the ice cream maker and cranking it for a few turns. Little kids couldn’t turn for very long. With all our family get-togethers and

Adults play reindeer and pull the kids on cardboard sleds. Tommy Burlison (3), Owasso, Oklahoma, is pulled by his great-uncle reindeer, Pat and Tim Kaelin, of Elberfeld and Evansville, Indiana, respectively, brothers of the author.

being able to cook from generation to generation, we have a family of great cooks and we eat well. We have a feast when we get together … food, family and fun … in no special order. The theme for our reunion in 2008 will be “Menys at the Races.” Reported by Martha Payne, Owensboro, Kentucky, who is reunion hostess, along with her brother Tim Kaelin.

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Coming home to our roots

by Angeline Warren


ousins arrived from Dayton, Ohio, for a pre-reunion dinner. This gets us in the mood and we anticipate how good the Warren Family Reunion will be in Rocky Mount and Spring Hope, North Carolina. We started to set up and decorate at noon on Friday. It is so much fun because everyone can help and use their talents and gifts. Edwina Peaden set up the General Store Display. We added special touches. Our colors were red and white: centerpieces, balloons and a framed picture display of our marvelous seniors and other relatives. Our Friday evening Meet ‘n’ Greet was held in the hotel ballroom with light snacks. Everyone was given t-shirts to wear on Saturday, and we gave out door prizes: CDs, family photo frames, mugs, mini photo books, keychains. photo albums and gifts from a cousin’s visit to China. All the children were given piggy banks with a gold coin, encouraging them to open a savings account.

Warren family members in their reunion t-shirts designed by Tripp Turtle at Bread & Butter in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

all our Super Seniors. Thirteen marvelous seniors were present, the oldest 93 years old. Dr. Joyce Roland talked about health history and issues important to discuss with family members. Relatives talked about how they used to clear the land and farm, how home remedies were used

her aunt Annie Bee Pulley. We asked for contributions to preserve the Legacy of Blount Warren and presented them during the tour. She was very moved and touched by the gesture of love from our family. Sunday we attended Metropolitan Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, where our cousin Ada Pulley worships, followed by Sunday dinner. TIME TO RELAX

The Warren-Pulley Family Reunion

I am always so excited when I finally get the photo album of all the pictures and can sit down and just relive the event through pictures! During the reunion I have no time to take any pictures. Remember to take some time for yourself during the reunion. Or stay for an extra day just to do this. You will need it, believe me. Happy Reunion Planning! Our Warren-Pulley Family Reunion 2008 will be held in Denver, Colorado, hosted by cousins Elizabeth McDonald, Scott McDonald, Reginald Pulley and Keith Pulley. Reported by Angeline Warren, Carrboro, North Carolina.


We had 59 family members on reunion day in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Willie Mae Blount, Program Coordinator and Mistress of Ceremonies, put together a great program that included a Welcome, a Hymn and Scripture reading and Prayer. A cousin lit three candles: the first represents ancestors who paved the way and are no longer with us; the second represents those of us present today; the third is for the new generation growing up. We called the names of relatives deceased since the last family reunion. We recognized all our graduates and then 20

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and how some can be used today. At our business meeting we decided that reunions will be held every year and we changed our name to Warren-Pulley Family Reunion. We caravanned to Spring Hope, North Carolina, to see the Blount Warren Estate, home place on Webb’s Mill Road. Several cousins said this was their favorite part of the reunion! They were glad they could see the place where Ara Warren Pulley and James Wiley Warren lived. Their granddaughter, Willie Mae Blount, purchased the last 18 acres from

Warren Relatives visiting the old home place of James Wiley Warren, Sr. in Spring Hope, North Carolina.

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Successful organizing across generations by Jessie Muse


y maternal Aunt, Ruby CantyRudolph (fourth generation descendant of our first known ancestor), now 93 years old, organized the first weekend Canty Family Reunion in 1985. Biennial reunions over the past 22 years have grown from 35 attendees to as many as 350. Firsttime participants increase at each reunion, while many who attended the first reunion are no longer with us. At each reunion, someone volunteers to host the next one and selects the site, which up to this point has been in the state where the host lives. The reunion started as a loosely structured event with no budget and no specific objectives.

White was the banquet theme.

A few years after the first gathering, we designated a national treasurer, but no other officers. The treasurer created a budget, solicited donations and served as a good steward of our finances. We now advance seed money for each reunion host committee so members are not using personal funds for postage and hotel deposits. Seed money is replaced as individuals pay reunion fees. Currently each reunion pays for itself. Each year we were better organized than the year before, but still without officers. Canty Family Reunion


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Canty family picnic.

This process worked well until a few years ago, when it was time for a change. When our attendance grew to more than 300, we discussed the need for a more organized structure so we would remain strong and focused, our financial base would grow and family traditions would remain intact. Each of five family branches elected a representative to create a National Committee charged with developing bylaws to include guidelines for family reunions and a process to elect officers. At the 2007 reunion in Detroit, Michigan, we established the Canty Family National Organization and elected our first National Leadership Team – a president, three vice presidents, secretary and treasurer. The purpose of three vice presidents is to distribute project leadership responsibility among the younger generation and to enhance leadership skills and expertise. Two appointed representatives from the other two of the five family branches that attend the reunion make up the rest of the Leadership Team. This means each family branch is a part of the family leadership group. Tentative bylaws and

reunion guidelines were presented and discussed this year and will be revised for a vote prior to the 2009 reunion. The Leadership Team will provide general oversight responsibilities for family reunions and initiate programs to keep the family strong and reunions growing through passage of responsibilities from one generation to another. Our current National Leadership Team represents the family’s intergenerational transition (5th and 6th generations) and geographical areas (Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest). I have been active in almost all the reunions and organized one in Washington, DC, in 1999. As the newly elected President of the family organization, my goals are to keep the organization moving in a positive direction, set a progressive tone, establish a standard of quality during the next two years, and then relinquish my office to one of the sixth-generation persons who now holds office on the Leadership Team. As we improve our structure, perfect our organizing efforts, and design our reunion activities, we expect to inspire each succeeding generation to continue the family legacy far into the future.

About the author Jessie Muse, Mitchellville, Maryland, is President, Canty Family National Organization. Note: Jessie Muse has also written a treatise called What is a Family Reunion? which explains and stresses the need for involvement in family reunions. It is posted, with her permission, at in Toasts, speeches and dedications.

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R E U N I O N S â?–

AP R I L/MAY 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Family First “


here do I come from?” is a common question for young children to ask and one that most parents dread. Instead of launching into the birds and bees, try a little family history. Children’s sense of curiosity about themselves and the world around them naturally extends into family history. Most kids want to know about the adults in their lives, even teenagers (but they’d never admit it). Seems like introducing kids to America’s second most popular hobby – genealogy – should be easy, right? But often kids aren’t interested. They steer clear of anything that seems related to school work. So why get children involved with family history, and how do you do it? MAKE THEM THE FAMILY “CSI”

Kids are well aware of the CSI phenomena sweeping through everything. Let them try their hands at being the family forensic experts. Families are endlessly fascinating. Researching your family is a personal detective story. You discover characteristics you have in common with an earlier ancestor. For example, a musically talented child discovers that his great-grandfather played an instrument and sang in the church choir. For adoptees, research can help them connect to their adoptive family. This also means creating a sense of family by discussing the adoption process as well as why they were adopted (in ageappropriate language), how you selected their names and teaching them about their heritage. If they know their birth name, adopted children can also research their birth family. Of course, there are lots of different adoption stories, so think about how to establish that link using their history. PASS ON A SENSE OF HISTORY

At home, inject a bit of history into their daily lives. This includes personal history as well as how world history influenced family decisions. Talk about what you did when you were their age, finding a common element. My children can’t believe that their grandparents lived without modern “necessities” like a microwave. This is basic history. When was television invented and when did you 26

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by Maureen Taylor first experience it? What was your town like a few years ago or a century ago? Ask them to keep a diary, write a memoir, take pictures or create a scrapbook. The final format is whatever they would like to produce using their own creativity. It could even be a comparison of what their life is like compared to another family member’s life at their age. History surrounds kids, but they don’t think about it. They live in the present. In my kids’ case, they live for the moment without thought of what came before, so I try to incorporate history into everyday life through ordinary tasks. My son loves sports, but hates all the protective equipment. It takes only a moment to insert a comment about the lack of shin pads and helmets when his grandfather was a kid to get his attention. Instead of waiting for him to ask another question, I’ll ponder out loud, “I wonder what {insert the sport} was like when Grandpa was a kid.” I like to think of genealogy as the history of everyone in the family, even pets. No detail is too small to mention. After all, the goal is keep kids a part of the family and create a future generation of genealogists. UNDERSTAND THE WORLD

There are common threads that reappear every generation besides birth, marriage, and death. Ask any student how many times they’ve moved in their lifetime and what the readjustment was like and you have a context for mentioning immigration. Many children move at least once during their school years. The local high school uses census documents to teach about immigration and assimilation. War is another current that runs throughout family history. What is your family’s experience during wartime, the current ones and past ones? Older children can interview people, research documents and write their findings. This is part of what we do as genealogists. By teaching kids family history one step at a time, you have a chance of giving them a lifetime hobby. GENERATIONAL LINK

One of the wonderful qualities of family history is that it is intergenerational.

Children, parents and grandparents all can delve into the family’s past together. In fact, most of the genealogists I’ve spoken with credit grand- parents with sparking their interest in genealogy through casual conversation. Over the years I’ve seen whole family groups working on their mutual history together, dividing up the tasks and sharing information. Have I convinced you yet that it’s important to introduce children to family history? I hope so. If not, think about all the time you’ve spent accumulating documents, photographs and artifacts from your family. Now, to whom are you going to leave all that material? Once you get a child curious about their family history and keep them interested, you’ve found someone who’s going to take care of your efforts. Teaching children about family history not only lets you work on an activity together, it lets the kids experience genealogy first-hand by working with family members. As they save their heritage, it builds a sense of responsibility. Try these activities. • Tell a story Try sharing the silly things you did when you were their age, or ancestral exploits. For instance, my son is enraptured by the story of one ancestor who saved a town in Vermont by killing the wolves that were preying on livestock. • Share a recipe Are there foods you make for special occasions that you can teach to your children? An ordinary recipe can transform itself into a family history lesson. Everyone has a favorite holiday food, so why not discuss who likes what and come up with reasons why. Have your child interview relatives about food they like and compile a family cookbook with recipes and a biographical sketch of each contributor. In some families cherished cookbooks are passed down through the maternal line. • Look at photographs Take out those shoeboxes full of family photographs and look through them together. Even small children

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are fascinated by pictures. In fact, they are especially good at picking out small details that can help with picture identification. Older children ask more sophisticated questions: not just who is in the picture, but why it was taken. You might ask pre-teens and teenagers to help organize and identify the images in your collection. Wear clean white gloves (available at most hardware stores) when handling the images to avoid transferring dirt and oils to the surface of the photograph. Purchase a couple of inexpensive magnifying glasses to examine the pictures for clues, and soft lead pencils for writing identifying information on the back. Even if you lack the time to organize your photographs, your children will have fun looking at the images, creating stories and writing down/documenting their discoveries. • Ask them to write the family letter Is your child always full of questions? Channel that energy and curiosity into family history by having them become the family reporter. If you’re tired of writing the yearly letter, let one of kids do it and you be a gentle editor. The point of all these activities is not just family history but creating a set of traditions so your family remains in touch. Focusing on shared experiences and hobbies provides children with a sense of their place on the family tree regardless of family composition. This is one hobby you don’t want to put off until you find the time. Start it today regardless of the age of your children. After all it’s never too late to start something new.

About the author Maureen Taylor is the Photo Detective. A recent piece in the Wall Street Journal profiled her work identifying family photographs. Go to to “Watch and Listen” how she solves cases.



What do kids

e rwant?

e always urge reunion organizers to include kids in planning. There is much kids can do and many roles they can play in reunions. If you’re really lucky, some of your kids might want to serve on your committee or volunteer during planning. Some reunions wisely include youth committees to plan their own program and activities. But at the very least, you must ask kids what they’d like to do; then, take them seriously. In fact, Nick Stennet and John DeFrain, researchers and authors of Secrets of Strong Families, discovered school-age kids list “doing things together” as a key ingredient in family happiness. An article in the Keyser Mineral Daily News Tribune in Keyser, West Virginia, suggests that to keep children engaged in the reunion, give them a role to play in the success of the reunion. Let them help with arrangements, finances, chores and, of course, entertainment. Keeping kids involved not only will keep them from their electronic games, but will help build future generations of reunion-goers. HOTELS.COM OFFERS THESE TIPS.

• Involve kids in planning. Consider what special family things they like to do together, or where they’d like to explore. • Make memories. Find out what family members want to remember and experience the most. • “No Batteries Required.” While no one likes rules, facilitate togetherness by making plans for group activities: swimming, biking, painting, massages. And dedicate 100 percent to activities – no TV, no cell phones, no email! • Make plans. Ease the search for finding the right hotel for your family needs – pet-friendly, onsite restaurants, gym, spa/salon – using the search and comparison tools at or • No need to look beyond your city limits. Planning a reunion close to home is a great way to save money and get away from it all, without getting very far away. In a feature about family reunions, Better Homes and Gardens magazine made these suggestions for entertaining teenagers. Sports, dancing, relay races, family storytelling, talent shows, and nature walks are great ways to break the ice. Provide teenagers with jobs: stuffing and stamping envelopes, assembling reunion packets, making signs and banners, decorating rooms, selling t-shirts and acting as waiters. Choose a place with lots of activities (e.g., tennis, swimming, amusement park rides, bicycling, bowling, etc.). Plan a variety of multigenerational mixers, so young and old get to know each other. Plan babysitting in advance and hire professional babysitters from outside the family if you have to. But ask if your teenagers are interested in caring for their younger cousins. Keep teenagers involved in discussions of family history. Some families create games like Jeopardy, Trivial Pursuit, or Who Wants to be a Millionaire? based on their family history. Have older kids create a reunion video or take photographs. Some teachers give extra credit to teens who interview family members and write essays about their past.

Postcards that make your reunion point! Send


save save TIME IS the the date RUNNING OUT date 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 – $4.60, over 200 – $8.95 Send message, check & request to: REUNION POSTCARDS ❖ PO Box 11727 ❖ Milwaukee WI 53211-0727. To charge, call 800-373-7933. AP R I L/MAY 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S





always a place for more good ideas


e learned lots about what families are doing with kids at their reunions online. At the AfriGeneas Family Reunion Forum, Melvin J. Collier wrote that at both the Reed and Puryear Family Reunions they took time to recognize the young folk for their accomplishments. It is one of the ways to get the younger generation excited about family reunions. They also involved youngsters in a spiritual dance, in which they had a LOT of fun. Their goal is for kids to leave reunions looking forward to the next one. “What a thrill,” Collier wrote, “to hear my 9-year-old niece say, ‘I can’t wait until the next reunion!’” Collier placed a link on the family’s website to the 19 youth/young adults who were honored at the reunion as an additional way to show them that the future of the reunion rests with them. Go to and click YOUTH HONOR under “Reunion Links.” At Carmen’s reunion they had the younger kids perform a welcome skit at the beginning of the banquet. They selected an equal number of Bahamian and American kids to perform and it was simple and cute. The kids also performed during the Worship Service. Cynthia wrote that instead of hiring a photographer, she bought throwaway cameras and also entrusted a digital and 35mm camera to different age kids in the family. She told them to take any pictures they wanted of anybody but they had to return the cameras to get the film developed. Double copies were printed and the photographer chose first and gave the rest to family members who stood out in the picture. “That helped us see ’through the eyes of the next generation’ what they thought was fun and important. Oh yes, nobody gets the negatives,” Cynthia concluded.

Join a reunion discussion @


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Family reunions – cigars, golfing & sneaking out by Dillon Albright


eunions! It’s the one time you get to see all your cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents! From diapers to retirement, our family plans these big reunions all over the United States bi-annually. We must like each other enough to be consistent since this last week was our 11th reunion – making it 22 years. Although I haven’t been to all of them after only 15 years growing up in Canyon Lake, I hear they were not much worse before I came along! So every two years my family works its way towards a new location, which takes everyone a year to fight about! This is probably why we have been next to a golf course and cigar shop every time – picked by my grandfather, “Pops.” For instance, this year we went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, which, if you do not know, is home to roughly 130 golf courses, 100 putt-putt courses and 15 cigar shops – and he acts like no one notices! But that’s why we all love him. He just says, “If you don’t like it here, bring it out on the golf course!” If you knew my Pops, he has two new knees at 77 and has been shooting his age since he was 67! I was just happy to be there on the same course with him. Myrtle Beach, like Canyon Lake, is a great place for kids the age of my sister Katy and me, because it is full of teens. It is also a good thing to have cousins close to your age, which all of mine are – except for Benny, the youngest in the group, who at 9 wishes he were a teen. There are quite a few places to get homemade ice cream. I believe I walked to the Sugar Shack and the Dairy King at

least 10 times. And do not even get me started on all the shopping my sister and girl cousins did. Then we started meeting all these fascinating teenagers from Florida to New York and all of them could not be more polite. We also had next-door neighbors (teens) from a few hours out of Myrtle Beach – we were so alike but so different it was astonishing! In South Carolina they played two-a-day sports and fished. I could not help but laugh in amusement because, in California, or at least Canyon Lake, we have so much to do, yet I wonder why and how we do it all. Is it because we can or are we truly dedicated to it? So next time you’re at your family reunion, or maybe just on your family vacation, take a look around and check out the vast differences in the way teens spend their summers and realize how good we have it in Canyon Lake and how much we are the same. Oh yeah, and don’t try to beat your grandpa at golf unless you really know you can – trust me, I have been embarrassed! I learned that the hard way, having to do dishes the whole reunion. So just when you think you can, don’t test your elders because it will backfire. Just have a good time, relax and meet new people. I know I won’t forget this family reunion. For the record – to all my uncles who struggled to fix the toilet on the second night, we did not put an M-80 in it. It just broke by itself! For my aunts who stood guard so we did not sneak out to the beach after midnight, there is the picture of us skim boarding at 2 a.m. on the Grand Strand. Reunions rock!

DILLON ALBRIGHT, teen reporter for the Friday Flyer, Canyon Lake, California,

spent a week hanging out with his cousins and other relatives for the family’s bi-annual reunion, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Reprinted with permission.

Dig in…dress up… explore and grow! he curiosity of a child is boundless! Kids are natural scientists. A wonderful new hands-on learning center encourages exploration and lets you share in your child’s creative play at the Crown Family PlayLab at Chicago’s Field Museum. It is an immersive environment created especially for children 2 to 6, with activities adaptable for children up to age 10. Everything is designed to be touched, picked up, sorted, moved around, climbed on, worn or used in imaginative ways. Visit Special rates for groups of 15 or more, call Group Sales at 888-FIELD-85 (888-343-5385). Then, what better place for children to learn about aviation history than where it happened? They can experience a unique, interactive perspective of World War II aviation history related to Pearl Harbor and Hawaii’s pivotal role in the Pacific theater. The Pacific Aviation Museum spotlights the achievements of those who flew, and behind-the-scenes heroes tell little known stories that surrounded WWII, making the events and people memorable. Contact Kathryn BuddeJones,, for group prices and schedule.


Found in the Cotten Family Reunion newsletter

Celebrate a Century of Cotton CHILDCARE Saturday night and Sunday morning. Childcare for ages 1-12 will be in the Sunflower House, provided by Faith Walters and several youth. They will supervise games, crafts, movies, outside/inside play, and teach the children a special song titled Grandma’s Feather Bed to perform before lunch on Sunday. The children will join us for the first part of Sunday morning for music and the Parent-Child Dedication, if applicable. They will then head to the Sunflower House for their own special Sunday activities. KIDS’ CRAFTS AND GAMES. On Saturday morning, crafts will be available for children to “come and go” with a parent or grandparent to help them. The main “craft” will be letting the children add their handprints (with paint) to a tablecloth and sign their names. Lots of games, activities and water fun will be outside too. AP R I L/MAY 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



More kid activity ideas…

Seideman family treasure for reunions to come. Kids, and there are lots of them, at the Seideman Family Reunion in Newburg, Wisconsin, were invited to color handprints. Piñatas are always a great kid favorite. Fill with pre wrapped miniatures and let the squeals begin as seen here at the 2007 Branch/Outlaw Family Reunion in Pink Hill, North Carolina.

Planning playtime activities at your reunion hildren love to play and have fun – in fact, playtime is a marvelous, natural way for kids to connect with other kids and to mix with adults of all ages. According to Bobbie Conner, author of Unplugged Play: No Batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun (Workman Publishing, 2007. Paperback, 401 pages, $16.95), while planning your reunion you should think about two types of play to include in the festivities: 1) Playtime and games that are


just right for children to play with other children (with adult supervision), and 2) Games that get adults and children moving, playing and laughing together. When it comes to games just for children … these are a few tips and suggestions. Prior to the reunion, select a few specific indoor or outdoor games for each age group, and assemble basic materials needed to play. Consider these games. Toddlers: Laundry Basketball (laundry basket and soft balls or beanbags), Follow the Leader, Toddler Soccer (playground balls) Preschoolers: Mini Beach Blanket Toss (pillowcase and beach ball), StoryTime Stomp (children’s book with a word repeated often to shout out), Simon Says Grade-Schoolers, Preteens and Teens: Obstacle Course, Beanbag Hat Race, Skipping Rope, Flip-Flop Wheelbarrow, Three-Legged Race Designate separate play areas for each age group at the reunion: Toddlers, Preschoolers, Grade-Schoolers, Preteens and Teens. Each group needs a safe place for age-appropriate play. Appoint a few teens or adults to supervise and encourage play. These


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folks are like camp counselors who get games started and keep play friendly. Also, plan time for grown-ups and children to play together. You might call this OldFashioned Game-Time and promote this special playtime so everyone is tuned-in and ready to play. There are 704 (and, yes, they are numbered) games and play activities in Unplugged Play for toddlers to teenage. Conner’s suggestions for funny and unique games she created are Fly Swatter Volleyball (#601), Big Wig (#426), Bucket Head Games (#358, #679, #680, #681), and Fish Out-OfWater (#662). For classic games/relays (some with a new "twist"), Conner suggests Sneaker Relay & Sneaker Scramble (#688, #687), Water Balloon Toss (& variations) (#666, #692, #695), Slippery Spoons (#362), and Bean-Bag Horseshoes (#574). Bobbi Conner of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, is author of Unplugged Play: No Batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun and host of National Public Radio’s Parent’s Journal.

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Themes drive Stewart reunions he family of DeLoy and Marilynn Stewart meet for a family reunion every year during the Labor Day holiday. We have found that holding the reunion at the same time every year helps family members plan their busy lives around that weekend. They always know when the Stewart reunion will be, and although the location may change the date never does. The 2007 reunion was the 25th anniversary of Stewart reunions. When we began there were 22 of us, and our number has grown to almost 70. For 25 years we have gone camping for our reunion. We have camped at lakes so we could go boating, in the mountains, at Bobbie Wynne, Sandy, Utah, competes in the archery competition. group campsites, and at recreational campgrounds. Our needs change as children grow up or new babies are born. Each year we choose a theme, and activities and Jayden DeVroom shows off the tent/castle her food to go along with that theme. Activities are family decorated. coordinated by Aunt “Mo” and Uncle Steven, with a representative from each branch of DeLoy and Marilynn’s six children. We have had some fun themes throughout our 25 years. “Home for the Holidays” was one of our favorite themes, when we celebrated every holiday during the three-day reunion. We went trick-or-treating to family trailers and tents. When we woke up Sunday morning the We made a castle out of cardboard boxes. Everyone brought boxes and when they children found the Easter arrived we taped them together until it wound throughout the whole camp. Bunny had left plastic eggs The kids loved crawling through it; even Grandma took a turn. For fun, misbehaving children (mostly teenagers) spent all over the campground and time in the stockade. Megan Stewart, Bear River City, we had a huge family birthday cake. We celebrated Thanksgiving with a delicious turkey Utah, was caught but managed to escape. dinner minus the cranberries because they were out of season. Other camp themes we have had are Boot Camp, Survivor Camp, Western Camp and Water World Camp. One thing that never changes is the family history “church” we hold on Sunday, when we learn about our Stewart ancestors. One year we made an “airplane” out of tarps and ropes and gave everyone a ticket for a trip to Scotland. The pilot greeted everyone as they boarded the plane and the stewards served us peanuts and drinks. Unfortunately the plane never made it to Scotland, as it crashed. We exited the plane to find we were in heaven and six family members dressed as ancestors came to meet us and tell us the story of their lives. In 2006 we had a medieval theme. We had a good time learning about Scotland’s history from that era, including the royal Stewarts. We learned about clan Stewart and the Stewart crest. A favorite time at Stewart campouts is the time spent around the campfire. To go along with the theme a story was told about a dragon, and fire crystals were thrown into the fire to make colored flames. Reported by Marilynn W. Stewart, Bear River City, Utah, (also known as “Aunt Mo” and daughter-in-law of DeLoy and Marilynn Stewart). Knighting Ceremony was held with Queen Marilynn and King Deloy dubbing their NOTE: Many more pictures of Stewart’s medieval reunion theme are great-grandchildren Knights in the Order of the Thistle. From Logan, Utah, online at, click on themes under Family Reunions. Mick Johnson and father Joel are pictured here. 32

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ne of the most frequently asked questions I hear is how to introduce and mix relatives who’ve never met, or classmates or buddies who haven’t seen one another in years. Ice Breakers! Silly Games! Activities to loosen everyone up! Many of these can be arranged easily and quickly. Others require time, effort and collection of supplies and materials. Learn from these experiences of other reunions and please email ( us your reunion ice breakers. One goal for reunion organizers is to have extended family talking and enjoying themselves as quickly as possible because there “is so little time to do it.” Even adults find it hard to strike up a conversation. Reunion committee members should circulate, say hello and instigate conversations. Reserve a hospitality suite or small meeting room for a “meet and greet” welcome event. Collect stories, fun facts and

Icebreakers for class reunions


deas for class reunions to break the ice include renting a karaoke machine, creating a questionnaire and awarding prizes for guests with the most children, longest marriage, most marriages, etc., or holding a dance featuring music from the year of your graduation. Place classmates’ nametags in a fish bowl at the door. As people arrive, they pull a nametag from the bowl. The goal is to find the classmate who belongs to the tag. Ideas from an article by Teddye Snell in the Tahlequah Daily Press, Tahlequah, Oklahoma.


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obscure history to create trivia questions. Give prizes to the winners. Or select the couples who have been married longest and play “the oldywed game.” The couples who are best at guessing their spouse’s answers are the winners. The person who facilitates ice breakers and introductions at your reunion must be enthusiastic and able to sell everyone on the fun to follow. One family asked the oldest generation to introduce themselves, their families and share special events that occurred since the last reunion. Read letters and show pictures from members who could not attend. In no time, everyone’s talking and having a good time. Still some members may be uncomfortable or feel they don’t fit in. Give them a job. Ask someone to help hand out awards, greet and direct new arrivals, – any job that helps them feel involved.

More ice breakers


Queen coupons for the winning team of 6 – multi-generational, of course. It was hilarious! Sometimes the person who was the subject of the question didn’t tumble to the answer! Or at least not fast enough! We all learned things and had a great time doing it – a terrific icebreaker for our Friday night get-together for appetizers and conversation! One of the ways Veronica Haynes, Rosansky, Texas, and Jackie Utley, Jackson, Tennessee, break the ice for their families is to have a section of the family newsletter dedicated to showcasing family members. Haynes calls it “Family Spotlight” and it is designed to feature a family member who either nominates himself, another family member, or even an heirloom photograph with a departed family member for others to get to know! Family members send in a copy of a Multi-generational Sylvester Family Reunion trivia team (l to r) Carla Rhodes, photograph (always remind Dick Sylvester, Amanda Bowen and Cathy Cummings. them that items sent in become the property of the family’s organization, so they should Scramble! Get everyone to form groups only send copies, not originals) of the based on things you suggest. Everyone person or persons they nominate and she who has blue or brown eyes. Everyone writes a small feature detailing the whose favorite movie is Star Wars. interests, hobbies, occupation, Everyone who loves lasagna. Once each connection to the family, etc. She group is formed, make another suggestion. encourages persons to nominate Deb Bowen, Burlington, Iowa, had a themselves first. It works out well. Every Sylvester Family Reunion trivia game. month there is a different family member Playing according to Jeopardy rules – to describe and it keeps interest in the answers in the form of questions – they newsletter alive and well. awarded points and prizes were Dairy irculate a roll of toilet paper and ask everyone to take some squares. After everyone has squares, ask them to tell as many things about themselves as they’ve taken squares. Ask everyone to stand in a circle facing in. Tell everyone to say his/her name, then pantomime a favorite activity or hobby.

The getting to know you quiz by Nancy V. Bennett


efore heading to our family reunion last year, I realized that even though I knew my family I didn't really know them. It had been ten years or more since we were all together, and people change. Despite feeling a bit odd about it, I came up with a way to break the ice and find things to talk about: the “getting to know you” quiz. About a month before the reunion I mailed the quiz with a stamped, self-addressed envelope (SASE) to all family members, whether they were attending or not. The ones who were attending were encouraged to bring it along and there were extra copies at the reunion in case they forgot. There were lots of smiles and chuckles as we went through them. Some we read blind (not mentioning the person's name) to see if we could guess who it was. Some we could figure out right away (my dislike for turnips, and my sister Pat's dislike of spiders.) Some had deeper meaning. My nephew Doug wrote one of the things he most hated was fire. His house burned down just six months earlier. Some we never knew, like where an older family member got his name. Family friends, famous people or days of the month? Or because my sister Jeanette was supposed to be a boy (named Gene), they came up with a feminine alternative. Mine (Valentina) was based on my Valentine's birthday. The quizzes were gathered and shared and will be put into a family book. These will also be posted on a family website with each person’s picture. What fun to learn similarities to (and differences from) kin you’ve never met! These are a few tips for including this fun quiz at your reunion.

1. Keep it simple. Two page maximum. 2. Leave lots of room for answers and encourage people to write more. 3. For kids and grandparents it can be especially fun if the child “interviews” older members. This can be done with an audio recorder or with an adult helping jot things down. 4. If you don't plan on making a family book, get a big chalkboard or use a wall with poster paper to post the results. Here is the “getting to know you” quiz we used. Happy remembering! The Facts

The Fun Stuff

Your name Where were you born? Where were you raised? Married?

Who were you named for? How do you like your name? Any stories about the day or manner you were born? What special things do you recall about the various places you lived as a kid or adult (or both)? Favorite things (movies, songs, plants, etc.). Least favorite things (foods, places, jobs, a certain grade in school, playmates, etc.).

Children Occupations

About the author Nancy V. Bennett lives and writes in Sooke, British Columbia, Canada. email

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Trading time


sk teenagers to come prepared to trade school t-shirts. It may mean buying a couple extras but you’ll be giving extra support to your kids’ schools. Best are shirts that include not only the name of the school but the city and state for out-of-state cousins. If your reunion includes members from everywhere, trade souvenirs. If everyone brings one, then trading time should start as early as the first mixer/welcoming party. Encourage people to trade and re-trade. As a final activity ask everyone to show what

trade they’ve ended up with. They’ll still be trading in cars or at the airport on their way home! The Barnett Family Reunion has a special trading tradition. Each child digs into his or her toy box for something to take to the reunion. Toys are put on a picnic table or blanket. Each child’s name is put in a bag and pulled one by one, to pick a “new” toy from the pile. Whatever the ploy, fun is always the result at reunions! AP R I L/MAY 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Why not

NewOrleans? by Jacky Runice


business of Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!” New Orleans is not only viable but giving you that “come hither” look for your next reunion. As 2007 came to a close, New Orleans had a lot to boast about: new hotel developments abound and over 200 metropolitan area accommodations are open, with 38,000 hotel rooms available. The vast majority of hotel properties have been beautifully renovated and upgraded. The Marriott New Orleans Hotel, for example, is undergoing a $38 million renovation, and its brand new Photo courtesy of New Orleans CVB

here’s at least one in every family. She could be an aunt or he could be a cousin who is the eccentric of the clan: a snappy dresser with a storied past, oldfashioned in a lot of ways but will shock you with an off-color joke out of nowhere. A one-of-a-kind individual who loves to feast at the banquet of life. We love being in his or her presence because none of us has the nerve to be so free. If our family is the USA, then New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA) is that errant relative we can’t wait to see again.

New Orleans provides attractions for everyone - families, couples and singles!

Katrina came to town in August 2005 and tried her hardest to eliminate all that gleeful nonsense that makes every day a celebration in New Orleans: the rich food and sturdy drink; hot music and naughty attitude; the gorgeous Garden District and fabled French Quarter; and joyful parties that spontaneously erupt whether a Mardi Gras parade, a marriage or funeral procession winds through the legendary streets. NOLA said, “Katrina, girl, it’ll take a lot more than your fierce winds and violent waves to upend my 36

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$6.5 million lobby and restaurant were unveiled in October. The new eatery, 5 Fifty 5, offers an ambitious menu that marries New Orleans, Cajun, French and Creole cuisine based on a wood-fired grill concept. How does lobster macaroni and cheese grab you? Three of the Marriott Hotels of New Orleans are offering family getaway deals through May 2008, offering over 40% in savings, too. The hotel group has yearround packages as well, so keep your eyes on for deals.

All of New Orleans’ unique attractions, including Harrah’s Casino for gamers, the world-class Audubon Zoo, Aquarium and IMAX theater, Mardi Gras World (where the floats and costumes call home), paddlewheel cruises on the mighty Mississippi, carriage rides through the French Quarter and Central Business District, plantation, swamp and specialty tours (like voodoo and vampire tours), nightclubs and music venues are open and waiting for your reunion. Museums are open, including the New Orleans Museum of Art and Besthoff Sculpture Garden, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Contemporary Arts Center and the Louisiana Children’s Museum. The National World War II Museum begins the next phase of its $300 million capital expansion with construction beginning on an advancedformat theatre and USO Experience and Canteen. It will be the first of six new pavilions creating the expanded WWII Museum campus, America’s official museum of the Second World War, due to be completed in 2014. Visit for details. If part of your gathering takes place on a floating resort a la the cruise lines, be sure to extend your reunion to see the city’s sites. Norwegian Cruise Lines, Carnival Cruise Lines, RiverBarge Excursion Lines and Majestic America (American Queen) are sailing from New Orleans. Your biggest dilemma will be choosing where to feast, because there are more restaurants open in New Orleans today than ever before – 881 at last count! Try Café Du Mond for warm beignets under mounds of powdered sugar chased by the café’s famously rich coffee. One of New Orleans’ most enduring symbols, the streetcar, has returned to its Garden District route along St. Charles Avenue, so pencil in a ride. Getting there is a big easy, too. Louis Armstrong International Airport reported

Photo courtesy of New Orleans CVB Purple, Green and Gold are the official colors of Mardi Gras signifying Justice, Faith and Power.

Family Reunions for free assistance, or contact Leslie Straughan, Tourism Sales Manager (who specializes in family reunions) at 504-566-5018 or Mildred Richardson received an avalanche of proposals from hotels after talking to the CVB about her motorcycle club reunion. The 41 members planned a cruise out of the port of New Orleans and many wanted to see what kind of shape the town was in. So they took a few days before the cruise to dine, play at the casino and tour the fascinating aboveground cemeteries. “The hotels in New Orleans are really willing to work with you to get your group down there to enjoy the city,” Richardson commented. The Coaxum Family gathered in America’s most historic city in August 2005, just a few weeks before Katrina Photo courtesy of New Orleans CVB

132 flights in December 2007 serving 37 cities, and Southwest Airlines announced the addition of eight daily nonstop roundtrip flights to five more cities. Amtrak is operating The City of New Orleans to Memphis and Chicago, while the Crescent runs to Atlanta and New York. Where do you begin to plan an out-ofthis world reunion in the Crescent City? Ring the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) at 800-672-6124 or explore and you’re on your way. The CVB offers assistance in finding hotels, restaurants, attractions, transportation and collateral material (brochures, bags, etc.) for all kinds of reunions. And in 2007, the CVB hosted 33 reunions. “We can help select dates with the best rates and provide our Family Reunion Planner for the organizer,” explained the CVB’s Erica R. Papillion. “New Orleans is an ideal place to host family reunions because of the proximity of attractions, hotels and shopping. Almost everything is within walking distance, which allows for easy sightseeing excursions. There is also a wide variety of activities – something for everyone. New Orleans has a wealth of restaurants and special event venues and city tours,” she said. Go to the website,, and click on

Club lieutenants clad in ceremonial garb reflecting the European origins of the holiday parade on horseback preceding the parade floats.

hit. “The whole family reconnected during that reunion,” Laura Coaxum explained, “so the devastation really got to us and actually made us closer.” The New Orleans native, now a resident of Kansas, had planned a 2007 reunion in the city but a sudden death in the family cancelled the get-together. The Quillin Family is so sure about New Orleans that the 100-plus members will descend upon the city in July 2008. The CVB has already helped with hotels, tourist attractions and brochures. Patricia Quillin said the group is really looking forward to a riverboat tour and spending some time on historic Bourbon Street. She and her husband, a native New Orleanian, now reside in Memphis after the storm took their home in Bogalusa, Louisiana, about 65 miles north of New Orleans. “New Orleans is great – there’s nothing else like it,” Quillin remarked, “and all the tourist attractions are open, so why not?” Explore and you’ll soon be asking yourself, “Why not New Orleans for your next reunion?”

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. AP R I L/MAY 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



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Desert adventure


ooking for a place that is magic and different enough to keep your family talking for a long time? If you’re from a part of the world that is green in summer and white in winter, you’re in for some exciting surprises if you choose Phoenix, Arizona, for your reunion. Think: reverse seasons. In most places seasonal rates are higher in summer. Not so in Phoenix. Renowned resorts you’d never be able to consider in-season offer amazing deals during summer.

which she said always brought delight – especially to their older members. Debbie Lippert, the Fairmont’s reunion specialist, related the story of a reunion of family with many members who had never met. Lippert met with the committee and everyone was assigned a task: invitations, family tree, menus and activities. They brought old family

by Edith Wagner

retailers, just a five-minute walk away – or a resort shuttle ride. The Westin Kierland Resort is ideal for families with kids. Teenagers now have the Teen Club (ages 13-17) to call their own. It features over-stuffed furniture, cool games and the latest in technology including an Xbox 360, creating an environment that is perfect


This is resort central: so many choices. Summer – high reunion season elsewhere – is off-season in Phoenix and the best time of year for great resort prices! In fact, according to Jennifer Franklin at The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, they are significantly lower. Other places have many hotels to choose from and a resort or two, if any. Phoenix has many resorts to choose from. And resorts are a great choice of venue in this part of the world because most are self-contained, with countless activities either on the premises or very close by. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess ( has the Willow Stream Spa and one of only two AAA Four Diamond gourmet Mexican restaurants in the US, La Hacienda. Inseason, rooms here range from $349 to $459, but off-season (summer, to you), the same rooms range from $139 to $209, making a “5-diamond” reunion a real possibility. The Fairmont sales team can create a reunion package based on your needs. They can help with uniquely Arizona experiences – Jeep or Hummer tours, rafting, cowboy barbecues, "teambuilding" or treasure hunts. In fact, Barb Anderson, one of the Fairmont’s concierge team members, hosted her family reunion at the resort. She said the variety of things to do on the property – pools, golf, tennis, kids’ club and the spa – ensured an enjoyable time for everyone. The group was catered to, which made everyone feel special. The staff always greeted them by family name, 40

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Anderson Family Reunion at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

photos to share. She says “I think the most difficult part of any reunion is determining all costs per individual and collecting all of the monies!” They had a formal dinner the first evening, with one family member as Master of Ceremonies. They passed the microphone for everyone to introduce themselves and their relationship. It was a great icebreaker. The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa ( fills with families on Fridays after a week of exhibitions and business conventions. Amenities are outstanding, and in addition to two pools there is a lazy river, golf and Kierland Commons (, a popular shopping destination with over 70

for hanging out and relaxing. Westin Kids Club for ages 4-12 is supervised by resort activities staff. Westin Kids Club activities include swimming, arts & crafts, scavenger hunts, movies, games, Pumpkinville Playground and much more. Program schedule and costs can be for full or half-days. The Phoenician ( at the base of Camelback Mountain is a world class resort. The Canyon Suites at The Phoenician is a great destination for families and groups interested in a reunion. Every whim is taken care of by a personal Phoenician Ambassador: dinner reservations, golf and spa appointments and more. The many available activities include an afternoon

wine tasting with a Sommelier, exploring boutique vintages. A chauffeured Mercedes waits curbside to shuttle guests to shopping at Scottsdale Fashion Square or the Camelback Trailhead. There are six restaurants, 27 holes of championship golf, 12 tennis courts, nine pools, 11 shops, and The Centre for Well-Being. Now this would be a family reunion to remember! The Canyon Suites is a free-standing building on the most scenic locale at The Phoenician resort, situated at the base of landmark Camelback Mountain. The intimate setting offers magnificent views rich with cacti, a flowing creek, cottontail rabbits, the rolling hills of the resort’s golf course and the Valley of the Sun beyond. Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North ( is nestled in the cooling foothills of Pinnacle Peak and offers a truly handcrafted luxury resort experience – delivering impeccable, highly personalized, Five-Diamond service amid the rugged beauty of the Sonoran Desert. From the art on the walls and the cuisine in the restaurants to Native Americaninspired spa treatments and adobe-style architecture, the Resort embodies a true “sense of place” in the heart of the Arizona Sonoran Desert. High in the desert, in the cooling foothills of Pinnacle Peak, relax in Southwestern-style casitas, dine while gazing at heartbeat-skipping views, bask in sun-drenched weather and astonishing scenery, and rise to the challenge of golf at Troon North.

Enjoying the lazy river at the Westin Kierland.

Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau


Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau


Temperatures are in the high 90s during the day (though 110 degree days in summer are not unusual), cooling to 70s in the evening. Plan your days around the heat, meaning you plan outdoor activities in the early morning and evening hours, and stay in air conditioning in the heat of the day. Because you or some of your members will be eager to experience

Exploring the ancient mounds at Pueblo Grande. Photo courtesy of Pueblo Grande Museum.

a desert adventure, this is a suggested itinerary: Take a trip to the fringes of Greater Phoenix via the Apache Trail, 40 miles of steep, winding, unpaved roads to the Superstition Mountains and Tonto National Forest, dense forests of saguaro and fero cactus and several deep blue lakes. Visit Goldfield Ghost Town, where the first gold-strike took place in 1892. Pan for gold and watch an “old west” gun fight. Lunch at Tortilla Flat, the last remaining stage coach stop along the Apache Trail, for barbecue and really spicy killer chili followed by prickly pear ice cream. No matter when you visit Phoenix, the Desert Botanical Gardens, one of the world’s finest collections of desert plants, is a must, particularly for anyone who is not from the Southwest. In summer they offer popular night tours by flashlight that wind through garden trails where you will spot nighthawks, night-blooming flowers and other nocturnal creatures including possibly owls, as they awaken for the evening. Located near Phoenix’s Papago Buttes, the Gardens are open year-round. A must-see in Phoenix is Taliesin West, the “desert camp” and winter home of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright from 1937-1959. Tours led by architectural students who attend the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture include archives, residential spaces, architectural studio and drafting space, music pavilion and theaters, and you can imagine endless vistas in Wright’s time – vistas that no longer exist, as suburban Phoenix, Scottsdale, has grown up around Taliesin West. In Mesa, Arizona’s, East Valley Tribune, Julie Janovsky wrote about a recent reunion of Wright’s apprentices at Taliesin West. Last fall, 75 years after the first group of Wright’s apprentices started in 1932, former protegés, faculty and student alumni met for a reunion. They celebrated Wright’s legacy and how his ideas have endured. Visit continued AP R I L/MAY 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Desert adventure ART AND HISTORY

For 75 years, the Heard Museum has interpreted and preserved Native American culture with exhibits and artifacts such as habitat and lifeways, jewelry, pottery, contemporary Native American art and more. The Heard is a great starting place for your tours ( One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new place is to discover how its ancient past is preserved, and Phoenix has an outstanding example at the Pueblo Grande Museum & Cultural Park (, which includes a collection of petroglyphs, photographs and other exhibits. Native American history comes alive in the remnants of the Hohokam people who lived here centuries ago. Phoenix is as new as any city in the US and it’s growing at an incredible rate, but it has ties to an ancient past. The Hohokam people left amazing footprints that fascinate today. Native people populated the area for many centuries. Water is always an issue, and a


visit to Pueblo Grande (in the airport landing path) will demonstrate that it always has been. Also tour the nearby Phoenix Museum of History (, which looks at periods chronologically from Hohokam through American westward expansion. The 1951 Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Phoenix Museum of Art ( building is home to a permanent collection of nearly 17,000 works, including contemporary, European, Latin American, American and Western art, plus fashion, miniatures and a new outdoor sculpture garden. Phoenix, Arizona, is a world away from what I take for granted: green lawns and bright blue water, a significant difference from the taupe, rust and brown colors of the Arizona desert from which Phoenix rises.

About the author Edith Wagner is editor and publisher of Reunions magazine and lives in snowy Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Getting around Phoenix can sometimes be a bit perilous. Friends admit they often avoid freeways because, in spite of many and extensive, they are often reduced to parking lots. Plan your movement around the area accordingly. It does take more time to get from place to place than in most areas because it is so spread out. For some areas, METRO – a light rail system that will link Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa and Glendale later this year – will make getting around much easier; investigate it. WHAT TO WEAR

Pack comfortable, cool clothing and footwear, sunglasses, a hat, a swimsuit and sunscreen. Umbrellas are used here for shade. SPA TIME

Spa treatments are becoming an important part of reunions. Spas are plentiful at resorts and worth investigating to expand the relaxation you enjoy at your reunion. The resorts in Phoenix have renowned spas and are worth the time with such intriguing treatments as Jojoba and prickly pear polish, Desert Nectar facial, Desert journey and Agave enchantment. GOLF

Phoenix is an outstanding golf destination with ubiquitous courses, many of which are attached to resorts that include games in summer packages.


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Vacation home option for reunions


amily members look to reunions as a special opportunity to maximize quality time with one another. The comfort of a “home-type environment” can provide the ideal setting and ambiance for a truly, memorable reunion. Renting a vacation home will change your reunion experience. There’s a vacation home within a two-hour drive of most metropolitan areas in the US. So no matter where Grandma lives it’s likely that you can find a vacation rental home close to her. At websites – such as – you can find the one that’s right for you. The ambiance of a condominium, villa or vacation home encourages socializing as well as privacy, common living areas (living room, dining area and kitchen), with separate bedrooms and bathrooms for parents and kids. Many rental properties have children’s programs and activities that allow parents some quiet time. You’ll have more room and you’ll have the amenities you need to make your reunion special.

An important benefit of rental units to families is access to kitchens. For many the idea of entertaining or throwing steaks on the grill accompanied by a bottle of good wine represents pleasure and relaxation … not a chore. Of course, there is also the convenience. Children do not eat just three times a day, if you include endless snacks and beverages. Parents with babies and toddlers like the idea of a kitchen to warm milk and space to spread out. The kitchen also represents savings because eating out often costs more per person per day than lodging. The kitchen provides flexibility to dine in, especially for breakfast, or dine out. Most families appreciate that rental properties are equipped with washer/dryers either in the units or onsite. Vacation rental properties often provide the same amenities as resort hotels: pools, whirlpools, tennis, golf, water and snow sports. Reunions are a time of bonding and growing relationships. And a condo, villa or vacation home may be just the right place.

Family celebrates 50th reunion


he Henriksen family spent their 50th annual week at cottages at a small resort on the Hamilton Lake chain near Loretto, Michigan. They hung a clothesline between two cottages with poster boards full of pictures from the black and whites of the 1950s to digital photos of today. The pictures captured 50 years of the first generation growing older, a second generation watching babies grow into adulthood, and the third generation playing at the lake’s edge. For many years the annual gatherings were at cottages along Lake Michigan. The socializing of an increasingly large group put the Henriksens at odds with

other renters who came for a quiet week. The family left the cottages 26 years ago for a small inland lake resort where five families rent all the cottages on one site. They now spill out to rent other weekly rental cottages or motel rooms nearby. The family has easily solved the task of feeding such a large group. Each family group takes a turn, on a designated day, providing meals for the entire group of about 80. That way, there is only one day of cooking for everyone in the week-long gathering. From a story by Peggy Bryson in the Escanaba Daily Press, Escanaba, Michigan.

Colorado directory


he Colorado Directory lists cabins, camper cabins, mountain lodges, bed and breakfasts, motel (596 with cooking facilities), vacation suites, condos and 11,066 campsites. The 64-page guide can be requested at 888-2224641, or viewed at, where it also can be downloaded or ordered for mail delivery – at no cost.


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Townsend family celebrates milestones


he year 2007 brought much for Dave Townsend and his wife Karen to celebrate. They had their 30th wedding anniversary and daughter’s graduation from James Madison University. And what better way to celebrate than by including people they love most and hosting a family reunion. The Townsend family is already close; Dave, his sisters Nancy and Judy, their spouses and children, see each other often but have difficulty getting the entire group of 16 together. Dave had been thinking about a big trip, to bring everyone together and have a special experience. He wanted to take the family somewhere to spend a week and started researching online what all-inclusive options were available. “Trying to take a group of 16 out to eat at a restaurant or hotel normally means we would be seated at different tables,” said Townsend. “We wanted to eat together and do activities together and I wanted to find a destination that would accommodate that.” After ruling out hotels where the group would lose that closeness and compete with other guests to do things like swim in a pool, Dave began investigating large villas. Having been to the Dominican Republic on business, he searched all-inclusive villas in the country and found Villa Flor de Cabrera, a huge 10-bedroom, 12-bathroom beachfront luxury villa on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. He immediately knew that the secluded 18,500 square foot home would provide the allinclusive amenities he desired and allow the family to feel as though they were together in a home but still have their own space. That sense of togetherness was essential to fulfilling the spirit of their reunion. Dave contacted Jason Matthews of North Coast Management (, a professional management company responsible for many of the exclusive luxury villa rentals in the Dominican Republic. He relied on North Coast Management to ensure that his reunion would be a memorable experience and booked a week’s stay at Villa Flor de Cabrera. “This was a big experience for us and a financial investment,” said Dave. “I wanted to know I could trust that this trip would be in expert hands.” Many family members played golf at Playa Grande Golf Course, considered by many to be the “Pebble Beach of the Caribbean.” In-villa spa services were enjoyed after a relaxing day swimming in the pool or ocean. One of the most memorable touches was the family dinners. At the first family dinner Dave’s sisters presented him and Karen with a glass bell. Each night a different family member would ring the bell and share a thought about what their family meant to them. “My family wrote us poems and presented us with thoughtful tokens of appreciation,” said Dave. “It meant more to me than anything. I am so thankful we have that memory together.” The north coast of the Dominican Republic isn’t as developed as other parts of the country so the region offers an authentic cultural experience. Although the family spent the majority of the week together at the villa, they did check out their surroundings. The city of Cabrera, a short distance from the villa, is relatively untouched by tourists. The nieces and nephews went into town the first night for local flavor and discovered local delicacies, like Presidente beer. Their concierge also made arrangements for scuba diving, a hobby of Dave and Karen’s for more than 20 years. “We did two dives and really liked what we experienced,” he said. Dave’s extended family also has a shared love of baseball, a

wildly popular sport in the Dominican Republic. Dave’s nephew, Mark Freed, played professional baseball for seven years with the Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks, and several family members work for baseball organizations in the US. Knowing that the Townsend family enjoys the sport, Frankie, a gardener at the villa, invited the family to a local baseball game.

The Townsend family at Villa Flor de Cabrera.

Down a dirt road from the villa, the local baseball field was vastly different from fields in the US. The players had only one baseball and two bats; the catcher didn’t have a chest protector and home plate was worn down to the size of a dinner plate. What the teams had was a passion for the game, which is evident throughout the country in the countless stadiums, fields and Major League Baseball (MLB) training camps. As Dave put it, “This is pure as baseball gets.” Touched by the experience during their reunion trip, the Townsend family repaid the locals in Cabrera by sending boxes of baseball equipment to local teams. As Dave and his family recounted their experiences and spoke of the lack of baseball supplies, their friends and business associates offered to chip in and send baseball pants, balls, bats and a full set of catcher’s gear. The Mayor of Cabrera presented the items to the players. “We had such a great experience during our reunion that we are looking to visit again for other life milestones,” said Townsend. “My family is still in contact with some of the staff from the villa who helped us have such a great experience.” “Staying at Flora de Cabrera was like staying at a resort hotel, with us being the only guests.”

THE COBB GALLERIA CENTRE Atlanta, Georgia APRIL 11-13, 2008 $10 for adults; children under 18 free! Your opportunity to meet representatives from vacation rental resorts and companies. Special deals and discounts at the show only that you can apply toward your next reunion, workshops including ones about reunions, trip giveaways and prizes. Call 877-604-2867 or email; AP R I L/MAY 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Sons & Daughters In Touch

Old vets see the future Kennedy Space Center gantry.


ons and Daughters In Touch (SDIT), is a national organization for sons, daughters, family members and friends of US service members who were killed or remain missing as result of the Vietnam War. They have launched a major fundraising campaign to benefit construction of the planned Vietnam Veterans Memorial Center in Washington DC. SDIT’s campaign, “Honoring Every Name on The Wall,” will raise at least one dollar for each name (58,256) inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. SDIT will present a check for at least $58,256 to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) at the Father’s Day Rose Remembrance Ceremony at The Wall in June. Tony Cordero, founder and chairman of SDIT, says, “For the past quarter century The Wall undeniably has helped preserve the legacy of our fathers and has been a sacred place for us and all Americans to honor their memories, their service and their sacrifice for our country.” Cordero is one of five children of Air Force Maj. William E. Cordero (Panel 2 East, Row 15), who was shot down over Laos on June 22, 1965. To make a tax-deductible contribution, go to, click on “Honoring Every Name on The Wall,” then on “Donate Today.” Donations checks can be sent to SDIT, PO Box 100366, Arlington VA 22210. Please note on the check that it is to support the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Center.


he old veterans of a historic air war were blown away when they got up close and very personal looks at the real launch pads of NASA’S Space Station. The vets are members of the Florida Chapter of the 8th Air Force at a reunion in Cocoa Beach, Florida, and this was a highlight tour of the reunion. A bus tour guided by two retired veterans of the Space Center went into restricted areas of the base, where the public is not allowed. The reunion members saw what others never see. The November 2007 reunion brought together veterans of the WWII airwar of the 8th Air Force in what, for some, may be their last reunion. All said this reunion was the greatest. More reunions are planned but some veterans will not make them. Shared by Forrest S. Clark, member of the FloridaChapter of the 8th Air Force Historical Society, Kissimmee, Florida.

8th Air Force Veterans visit Apollo One launch pad where three astronauts died in 1967.

Honor WWII era



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he memory of America’s World War II generation is preserved in the physical memorial and through the World War II Registry of Remembrances, an individual listing of Americans who contributed to the war effort. The Registry’s four databases can be searched for names of those whose service and sacrifice helped win the Second World War. The Registry includes the names of Americans who are: • buried in American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) overseas military cemeteries; • memorialized on ABMC Tablets of the Missing;

• listed on official War and Navy Department Killed in Service rosters now held by The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); or • honored by public enrollment in the Registry of Remembrances. Free account at Information required: title/rank, honoree name and status, WWII veteran or civilian on the home front or killed in WWII, hometown, state, branch of service, honoree’s wartime activity. Photos can be added for $15.00. From an article in the Utley Family Update, Utley Family Reunion.

AP R I L/MAY 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



WWII veterans renew and remember


arm and welcoming Grand Rapids, Michigan, hosted the 62nd WWII 9th Infantry Division Association’s reunion last year. Veterans groups included the 39th, 47th and 60th Infantry Regiments, wives, widows, sons and daughters, gathered for a mix of laughter, sharing, comradery and remembrance. Excitement for this reunion was so high that many veterans and families arrived one or two days early. The Sons & Daughters Auxiliary and the Ladies Auxiliary provided support and manpower. A divisional banner and an M-37-3/4 ton military vehicle, peppered with roses and carnations, greeted arrivals. Displays, sign-in boards, books, DVDs, handouts and raffle items brightened the room. The division was featured on the front page of the Grand Rapids Press. Special touches included Governor and State tributes, US Capitol gift and certificate,

letter of recognition and radio interviews with the veterans. Saturday morning, the traditional memorial service included the bagpiper’s mournful Amazing Grace, and a Color Guard from the American Legion Matt Urban Post 40, Monroe, Michigan. A moment of silence commanded remembrance of those missing or killed in action during WWII, those deceased after the war and the many veterans too ill to attend. Veterans from state chapters placed a carnation in the Octofoil floral piece featuring the insignia of the 9th Division. In addition, all widows received a flower. In the evening, attendees enjoyed a formal banquet at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum. Everyone was touched by visiting President Ford’s burial site and touring the museum. Each day of the reunion, the Board

A banner and M-37 military vehicle welcomed attendees to the WWII Ninth Infantry Division Association reunion.

Bagpiper Roger William Billings plays Amazing Grace while leading the Color Guard up the aisle to begin the memorial service.

of Governor’s meetings took care of business: the bid for next year’s reunion, financial concerns, nominations for offices and other issues. Other participants explored museums, stores, ice cream shops and the internationally renowned Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Parks. Prior to Sunday’s dinner, a group reunion picture was taken. At the final banquet, red, white and blue Octofoil flags tucked in white napkins colored the room. After a lovely meal, final gifts were distributed, raffle drawings were completed and the winner of the sealed auction was announced. Diminished in numbers, but not in spirit, the WWII veterans vowed that as long as two men of the 9th Infantry Division were alive, a reunion would take place. With their buddy relationships renewed and their eight war campaigns recalled, they were replenished.


Negro Infantry Volunteers



ohn J. Walsh, Toms River, New Jersey, president of the National Amphibious Veterans Association, gives a Navy Well Done to the Welk Resort in Branson, Missouri. Walsh commended them for the excellent courtesy they extended the reunion. The whole hotel staff were excellent.


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ssociation of Negro Infantry Volunteers is an organization comprised of some of the first African American soldiers to fight alongside white infantry during World War II. The association’s hope is to assemble veterans from all branches of the military who have served from World War II to current day Iraq.

Veterans have the chance to discuss issues they faced as soldiers and share ways they can encourage and continue to support those currently serving in the military. Contact Mae Campbell, at maecampbell4; 615-731-6251 or Kenitha Grooms-Williams at kagwilliams@hotmail .com; 504 912-2157. From an article in The Chattanoogan, Chattanooga, Tennessee.


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. You’ll find these resources and more at 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 DOMINICAN REPUBLIC VILLA FLOR DE CABRERA Cabrera, Dominican Republic. Relax in lavish style in our ultra-luxury beachfront vacation villa destination. Ten (10) generous bedroom suites, beachfront, tennis court, pool and fully staffed incl. gourmet chef. Only 7 miles from the Playa Grande Golf Course and several other local beaches. 90 min. from Puerto Plata. ph: +1.809.589.7065 web: or SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! GOLDEN DOLPHIN VILLA Cabrera, Dominican Republic. Enjoy a magnificent private estate and luxury vacation villa for all your vacation needs. Nine (9) gorgeous bedroom suites, ocean views, tennis court, pool, stables, full staff. Only 7 miles from the Playa Grande Golf Course and several other local beaches. 90 min. from Puerto Plata. ph: +1.809.589.7065 or SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! VILLA CASTELLAMONTE Cabrera, Dominican Republic. Enjoy an eight (8) bedroom private luxury vacation villa for an exceptional and unique vacation experience in the Caribbean. This is a perfect reunion destination with spacious bedroom suites, individually designed interiors, semi-private beach, massive private pool, game/ media room, wine cellar and a fully dedicated staff. Only 7 miles from the Playa Grande Golf Course and several other local beaches. 90 min. from the Puerto Plata airport. ph: +1.809.589.7065 web: or rentals@northcoastmanagement .com. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

US DESTINATIONS NATIONAL At today’s Howard Johnson®, you will find just what you need for your reunion. Starting with our Best Rate Guarantee, complimentary high-speed Internet, newspaper, Rise & Dine ® Breakfast and TripRewards® points, you always get the comfort you expect at a rate that’s always thoughtfully priced. So are you ready to go HoJo? We thought so! Too book a reservation visit or call 1.800.I.GO.HOJO®. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

ALABAMA THE MOBILE BAY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU Located on the beautiful Alabama coast, Mobile is the ideal location for your family or military reunion. Our historic downtown offers a superb selection of attractions and restaurants within easy walking distance of several affordable hotels. The nearby USS ALABAMA Battleship Park is perfect for a military reunion ceremony with memorials honoring World War II, Korean and Vietnam veterans. Call 800-566-2453 x 4 or visit to obtain your free 2008 Reunion Planner. We host many reunions and will be honored to host your event.

ARIZONA A PLANNING GUIDE FOR FAMILY REUNIONS IN ARIZONA Escape to Phoenix or Tucson for a weekend catch-up, relaxing vacation or one grand celebration. View our helpful guide to planning a perfect family reunion in Arizona. www.arizonafamily FOREVER RESORTS offers vacations for a lifetime with 46 destinations to choose from and enjoy. From wilderness lodging in Northern AZ to our smooth-water raft trip from the base of Hoover Dam…from touring the famed Southfork Ranch to awe inspiring views of the Rockies. Not to mention, 12 houseboat marinas including Lake Powell. Come see why we are the ideal spot for reunions. 480-998-7199 x 7114; fax 480-998-9965; mkien@ForeverResorts .com; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

Best Western DOBSON RANCH INN 1666 S Dobson Road, Mesa AZ 85202. Central location, complimentary full hot breakfast buffet, full service catering, ample indoor/outdoor 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, free high-speed Internet access and Dale Andersons “The Other Place” restaurant. 800 5281356; 480 831-7000;; www. 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!; www.visit SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! HOLIDAY INN PHOENIX WEST 1500 N. 51st. Avenue, Phoenix AZ 85043; 602-484-9009 x 517; fax 602-484-0404;; ESPLENDOR RESORT 1069 Camino Caralampi, Rio Rico AZ 85648. Esplendor Resort is a 179-room full service hotel just 50 miles south of Tucson, Arizona. The hotel offers world-class golf on the Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed golf course, tennis on four lighted courts and an Olympic sized outdoor pool. Spacious guestrooms offer private patio or balcony overlooking spectacular Arizona sunsets. Toll Free: 800-288-4746; reservationsaz@hhandr .com;

ARKANSAS BEL’ARCO RESORT AND CONFERENCE CENTER over looking Bull Shoals Lake, # 2 Crestline Road. 25 Acres, 53 hotel rooms, some with kitchens, two condos, restaurant, 8000 sq ft meeting space (6 break out rooms), pool, game room, marina next door, 3 golf courses within 20 mile, White River Trout fishing. Catering to corp. meetings, church retreats, family reunions. 1-866-235-2726. HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, ARKANSAS America’s First Resort. Planning a reunion in Hot Springs offers you one destination with a million possibilities. Enjoy art galleries, museums and architecture, our relaxing spas, theme parks, rivers and lakes, music and magic shows, thoroughbred racing, a botanical garden and more. Come indulge yourself in our hospitality. 800922-6478. or SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! THE LODGE AT MOUNT MAGAZINE STATE PARK, ARKANSAS Reconnect with family or friends at this mountain resort lodge while you enjoy the view from Arkansas’s highpoint. Guest rooms and cabins. Conference and meeting rooms. Indoor pool, plenty of outdoor activities and nature programs. Make this reunion one to remember. Call 1-877-665-6343 for group rates or log on to SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! SPRINGDALE ARKANSAS Centrally located Springdale offers endless possibilities for great reunions. Surrounded by great attractions, including the Jones Center for Families offering endless activities. Minor league baseball, Northwest Arkansas Naturals, museums, art galleries, and water sports and much, much more. 800-972-7261; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

CALIFORNIA PLANNING GUIDES FOR FAMILY REUNIONS IN CALIFORNIA Escape to Los Angeles, Orange County or San Diego for a weekend catch-up, relaxing vacation or one grand celebration. Click into your favorite area listed below to view a helpful guide to planning the perfect family reunion., orangecounty familyreunion .com,

rooms, over 9,000 square feet of indoor space, numerous out-door function areas, exceptional catering and more. Activities abound in historical and adventurous settings, from spa to hiking to skiing, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is the perfect setting inside and out! 877-635-8920; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! LAUREL MILL LODGE PO Box 368, Los Gatos CA 95031; 408353-5851;; FAIRMONT NEWPORT BEACH DELUXE FOUR DIAMOND HOTEL FREE shuttle to John Wayne Airport, Fashion Island Mall, South Coast Plaza & Balboa Island. Guest rooms feature highdefinition flat panel TV, DVD/CD player, complimentary safe, minibar and coffee maker. Hotel provides 22,000 square feet of meeting space, bambú Restaurant and Lounge with live music, Willow Stream Spa, complimentary 24-hour fitness center, heated outdoor pool & Jacuzzi. For group rates contact Nancy Ruffner at 949-9555632 or email 4500 MacArthur Blvd., Newport Beach, CA 92660. OAKLAND CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 463 11th Street Oakland CA 94607; 510-839-9000. Oakland is California’s bestkept 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 majorleague sports. Call or email today for your FREE Visitors Guide.; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! ONTARIO CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU 2000 E. Convention Center Way, Ontario, CA 91764; (909) 937-3000. In the center of Southern California positioned between Los Angeles and Palm Springs, Ontario has over 30 brand name hotels and 2,500 rooms within walking distance of the convention center. LA/Ontario International Airport offers more than 250 daily flights on most major airlines. Under an hour from Ontario are mountain ski resorts, fresh-water fishing lakes, Pacific beaches, wineries, day spas, desert cities, world-class golfing, Disneyland and Hollywood; truly making Ontario the center of it all!; HOLIDAY INN SAN DIEGO BAYSIDE 4875 N Harbor Drive, San Diego CA 92106; 619-224-3621; 800-650-6660; fax 619-2241787. 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! dos@; ALISAL GUEST RANCH & RESORT Is a 10,000 acre full-service resort and working cattle ranch located just outside the Danish village of Solvang, approximately two hours north of Los Angeles & 40 minutes north of Santa Barbara. 73 cottages with woodburning fireplace, two 18-hole golf courses, seven tennis courts, private lake for fishing and boating, horseback riding on over 50-miles of trails, swimming pool, petting zoo, extensive children’s activities and meeting facilities for up to 150 people. 1054 Alisal Road, Solvang CA 93463. 805-688-6411; fax 805-688-2510; reservations@; 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,,

FOREVER RESORTS offers vacations for a lifetime with 46 destinations to choose from and enjoy. From wilderness lodging in Northern AZ to our smooth-water raft trip from the base of Hoover Dam…from touring the famed Southfork Ranch to awe inspiring views of the Rockies. Not to mention, 12 houseboat marinas including Lake Powell. Come see why we are the ideal spot for reunions. 480-998-7199 x 7114; fax 480-998-9965; mkien@ForeverResorts .com; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! BUENA PARK CONVENTION & VISITORS OFFICE 6601 Beach Blvd. Suite 200, Buena Park CA 90621-2904. Come see why we are the ideal spot for reunions and family vacations. We are home to five major tourist attractions including Knott’s Berry Farm and only ten minutes away from Disneyland. Accommo-dations, restaurants and shopping are all within a mile! Beaches and mountains close by. Call 800-541-3953 for a free Travel Planner, or fax 714-5623569.; www. TENAYA LODGE AT YOSEMITE 1122 Hwy 41, Fish Camp CA 93623. Set in the Sierra National Forest, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite creates inspired reunions. The Lodge features luxurious guest AP R I L/MAY 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S




BED & BREAKFAST EASTHOLME IN THE ROCKIES BED & BREAKFAST 4445 Hagerman Avenue, Cascade CO 80809. Elegant 1885 Victorian Inn listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Located just minutes from Colorado Springs at the foothill of Pikes Peak. Lodging accommodations for 26 people. Reunion packages include lodging and full gourmet breakfast. Meal plans for lunch & dinner available. Abundance of local attractions, restaurants & activities for the family. Perfect Colorado destination getaway. 800-6729901;; A PLANNING GUIDE FOR FAMILY REUNIONS IN COLORADO Escape to Denver, Steamboat Springs or Aspen for a weekend catch-up, relaxing vacation or one big celebration. View our helpful guide to planning a perfect family reunion in Colorado. INDIAN MEADOWS MOUNTAIN RETREAT Located up the Cache La Poudre Canyon 31 miles from Ft. Collins, Colorado. Our modern rooms can accommodate up to 45 people and still room for tents. The main lodge has a great space for gathering, use of the commercial kitchen, with seating in Tea Room and fireplace for a cool night. There is game room with pool table and lots of fun for kids. Volleyball, basketball and horseshoes, the old fashion fun family time. With a 7 acre island to explore and tubing on our river. Come and join us in 2008. Season runs June through October. or call us here at 1-970-881-2000 or TOLL-FREE 1-877-459-2316. BRECKENRIDGE has something for every visitor and every visit! Vibrant history, natural beauty, and adventures for all ages make for an ideal locale, especially in our mild mountain summers. Our fullservice 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; 888483-6140; fax 970-453-5165;; www.breckresortsgroups .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! 800-44-ESTES; fax 970577-1677;; COLORADO ROCKIES – BEST WESTERN LAKE DILLON LODGE located 70 miles west of Denver, within 11 miles of Keystone, Copper Mtn, & Breckenridge Resorts. Full-service hotel includes banquet & catering facilities, volleyball and horseshoe pits, indoor pool & Jacuzzi, great family rates, and O’Brien’s Restaurant & Bar. Year round recreation for everyone. Visit us at, 800-727-0607, 970-668-5094, sales@, 1202 N. Summit Blvd. Frisco, CO 80443. LUXURY GATED ESTATE IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS Reconnect, Relax and Rejuvenate at the Bella Vista Estate. Located just 7 miles outside Steamboat Springs, Colorado your family will have access to all this resort town has to offer: Skiing, Snowmobiling, Sleigh Rides, Strawberry Park Hot Springs, Horseback Riding, Whitewater Rafting, Hiking Trails, Mountain Biking, Alpine Slide and much, much more. Sleeping up to 26 in pure comfort, the Bella Vista has panoramic views of Lake Catamount, the Yampa River Valley and the Continental Divide. Onsite property managers provide vacation planning, concierge, maintenance, housekeeping and shuttle services. Other amenities include: in-ground pool, indoor hot tub, pool table, pinball, arcade games, outdoor fire pit, tennis court, basketball, satellite big screen TV and built in bar. Visit our website: for a full property description, floor plan, virtual tour and image gallery, or call 970-879-4449 to reserve your dates today. COLORADO TRAVEL GUIDE COLORADO VACATION DIRECTORY: Make your search for the perfect family reunion destination easier! FREE FAMILY REUNION DESTINATION LOCATION SERVICE: www.TheCVD .com/groups and click on “EMAIL US your Request for Group Accommodations.” We will then send your requirements to Cabins, Vacation Homes, Lodges, Motels, Condo’s, B&B’s, Campgrounds that can accommodate your desires and they will email you directly with additional information. OR order our free Colorado Vacation Directory for a printed copy to compare reunion locations includes Places to Stay & Fun Things to Do. 888-222-4641.

COUNTRY INN & SUITES OF CAPE CANAVERAL 9009 Astronaut Blvd. Cape Canaveral FL 32920. “Closest Hotel to the Port!” 2000 sq. ft. of meeting space. 151 Spacious Guest Rooms, including garden tubs, Children suites & Jacuzzi Suites. Free local calls, free high speed internet, Arcade, Fitness Center, 48,000 gallon salt water/ mineral pool, Jacuzzi w/waterfall & Children’s pool with large waterfall. FREE Upscale Continental Breakfast! Park & Cruise Package with FREE parking & FREE SHUTTLE!! Come see the difference of staying at the Country Inn & Suites of Cape Canaveral. 321-784-8500; fax 321-784-8500;; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! 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. Enjoy our warm and friendly home-like atmosphere in spacious suites, with fully equipped kitchens and appliances. Open April 2006 this impressive Key West style hotel offers; Heated Pool, Spa, Lounge, Complimentary Full American Breakfast Buffet, Complimentary Weekday Social Hour ( Mon-Thu)., Complimentary High Speed Internet Access.; 321-323-1100. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! BEST WESTERN COCOA BEACH 5600 N. Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach FL 32931. Anything you want for your ocean retreat: from Standard Courtyard rooms to private balconies. Enjoy the Durango Steakhouse & Lounge, Poolside Veranda Bar, and just a short walk to Cocoa Beach Pier entertainment. 800-962-0028; 321-783-7621; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! COMFORT INN & SUITES RESORT & CONFERENCE CENTER 3901 N. Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach FL 32931. Our five acre tropical beachside resort in the heart of Cocoa Beach is just 300 feet to the beach, near Ron Jon’s & restaurants. Choose from Ocean & Courtyard view suites, standard rooms and efficiency rooms. Lush courtyard surrounds heated pool, whirlpool, snack bar, outdoor grills & Lagoon Lounge. 321-783-2221; 800-247-2221; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT COCOA BEACH 3435 N. Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach FL 32931. Make this your most memorable stay ever! Sun, Sand, Surf, and Cruise, plus free high speed Internet access, restaurant, lounge, Whirlpool rooms, two-room suites, private balconies, refrigerators, fitness center, heated pool, laundry facilities, and more… 321-784-4800; www.courtyardcocoabeach .com. 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.cocoabeachdouble SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! HILTON COCOA BEACH OCEANFRONT 1550 N Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach FL 32931. Take pleasure in the area’s largest ocean front pool deck; direct ocean front location on 300 feet of sandy beach. Enjoy the heated pool, Tiki bar, two restaurants, and lounge. This full service hotel has a new large exercise room, high speed Internet, and many more amenities. 800-526-2609; www.hiltoncocoabeach .com. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! HOLIDAY INN COCOA BEACHf OCEANFRONT 1300 N Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach FL 32931. An oceanfront, full service resort, our hotel has a wide selection of accommodations. From standard guest rooms to suites; or upgrade to two-level lofts and villas, you’re sure to enjoy your stay with us. Olympic size heated pool, tennis, volleyball courts, and more…1-800-20-Oasis; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! HAMPTON INN COCOA BEACH 3425 N. Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach FL 32931. Guests enjoy direct beach access, breathtaking ocean views, sandy beaches, cruises, historic villages, out of this world space experiences, the World Famous Surf Shop and free high speed Internet. Rooms also include continental breakfast, private balconies, refrigerators, and microwaves; 877-49-Beach; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! FLORIDA’S SPACE COAST Orlando’s Closest Beaches, 72 miles of Atlantic Beaches. The Ultimate Florida Vacation! Attractions, including Kennedy Space Center, shopping, dining, accommodations and recreation on land or sea. All very affordable for groups from 30 to 300. Reunite on the Space Coast and create a memorable experience you’ll cherish for a lifetime. Call 877-57-BEACH or visit SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! EMERALD COAST CVB, INC. DESTIN-FT. WALTON BEACH FL 1540 Miracle Strip Parkway, Ft. Walton Beach FL 32548; 850651-7647; fax 850-651-7130.

DELAWARE SHERATON DOVER HOTEL 1570 North Dupont Hwy, Dover DE 19901. An extensive renovation in 2006 provides a grand setting for your memorable gatherings. Enlarged rooms and extraordinary meeting facilities, enhanced by remodeled lobby and atrium areas, make the Sheraton Dover Hotel the perfect location for every event, from small family get togethers to large military reunions. Call us at 302678-8500, ext 4293. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! 50 R E U N I O N S ❖

KISSIMMEE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 1925 East Irlo Bronson Highway, Kissimmee FL 34744. In Kissimmee reunions are our specialty. We offer planning assistance to reunions of all sizes and budgets. Let us help you make planning your next reunion easy. Call for information regarding Kissimmee’s meeting venues and services. 407-944-2484; fax 407-847-4114; meet@florida; www.Meetings.Florida SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! ORLANDO VACATION HOMES & CONDOS FOR FAMILY REUNIONS! VillaDirect directly manages and rents the newest pool homes, townhouses and condominiums in the Disney area. Choose from over 500 fabulous vacation homes, designed for family comfort – with spacious rooms, luxurious furnishings, private pools and game rooms for family entertainment. All our homes located near Disney and other major attractions. Toll free – 1-877-259-9908. Website: THE BLUE HERON BEACH RESORT 13428 Blue Heron Beach Drive Orlando FL 32821. The Family Suite can sleep six and the Deluxe or Sunrise Suites sleep eight. Every unit has a full kitchen, dining room, living room with a sofa sleeper, bunk beds, a second full bath, washer and dryer and a balcony that overlooks Lake Bryan. We have pools for all ages, fitness rooms, nature trails and watersports available from our dock. Enjoy the fireworks every night from the top observation landings! Guests can walk to adjacent restaurants and supermarket. Information 407-387-2910: SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! COMFORT SUITES ORLANDO 9350 Turkey Lake Road, Orlando FL 32819 Relax in the luxury of newly furnished accommodations. We have all the amenities for your convenience to make your stay more enjoyable. Our tropically landscaped courtyard with heated pool; kiddie pool; Jacuzzi; playground, Tiki Bar and Grill. Hotel is 2 miles to Universal Orlando and 2.5 miles to Sea World, 6 miles to Walt Disney. Orlando Convention Center is 2.5 miles. The Florida Mall is 5 miles from hotel. 407-351-5050; fax 407-3637953;; www.comfortsuites FLORIDAYS RESORT ORLANDO 12550 Floridays Resort Drive at International Drive South, Orlando FL 32821. Located just two miles south of SeaWorld on International Drive, offers spacious twoand-three bedroom Grand Suites, with room for everyone. The free shuttle to the attractions and the I-Drive trolley makes it easy to get around town. With two heated swimming pools, game room, fitness center, and poolside bar and grille, you’ll want to spend quality family time right here at the resort. 321-329-4022; fax 321-3294001;; GLOBAL RESORT HOMES Disney area vacation homes for family reunions Choose from over 250 homes located in the top resorts. We have great group rates and reunion rates. Been in the area for over 13 years. Fully furnished luxury homes with pools. Great incentives for the group planner. Call Andrew Jordan at 1-800-280-9516 HAMPTON INN – DAYTONA/ORMOND BEACH 155 Interchange Blvd., Ormond Beach, FL 32174; P: 877-677-9998, F: 386-6770663; Email: Hotel fully renovated by June ’08. Enjoy our beautiful new rooms featuring Hampton’s Cloud Nine Bedding Experience, along with free internet access and expanded cable with HBO & ESPN. Complimentary HOT breakfast each morning and fresh baked cookies each evening in the lobby. All reunion guests receive a welcome bag at check-in and the coordinator is sent a framed family photo after departure. Hotel features a brand new pool area and a fully equipped fitness facility. We are just 5 miles to the “World’s Most Famous Beach,” the Daytona International Speedway and Central Florida attractions are a day trip away. An ideal location for your family reunion – Make It Hampton! SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! PANAMA CITY BEACH FLORIDA 1500 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 Royal American Hospitality. 800-224-GULF, COMFORT SUITES – WORLD GOLF VILLAGE 475 COMMERCE LAKE DR, ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA 32095; 877-940-9501; 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 SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! FLORIDA VACATION HOMES AWARD VACATION HOMES 1536 Sunrise Plaza Drive, Suite 100, Clermont FL 34714. Over 150 new luxury vacation homes just minutes to Disney. Offering 3 to 6 bedroom private pool homes many with spas, game rooms, lake views, multiple master suites and many character themed kids rooms. All homes are fully furnished and equipped for a guest every need. Stay in the comfort of home

CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES for less than the cost of a hotel room. Every home is featured on our website at Call for more details; 352243-8669; fax 352-241-0960; DISNEY / UNVERSAL STUDIOS AREA “PRIVATE POOL” HOMES “WE DO REUNIONS” Offering over 250 “private pool” homes all 7-12 minutes to Disney. Homes4uu has successfully handled many reunions during our 10 years in the Disney area. All homes are kept CLOSE TOGETHER!! The cost savings is huge vs staying in area hotels. Fully furnished “executive level” homes ranging from 2-7 bedrooms sleeping 6-16 people. Considering the Disney area for your next reunion? Toll Free: 888 746-5446

GEORGIA ATLANTA’S COBB COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU Home to Six Flags Over Georgia, Six Flag’s White Water and just 10 minutes northwest of downtown Atlanta, and the NEW Georgia Aquarium and World of Coke. Cobb County boasts easy interstate access, free parking, a multitude of restaurants, attractions, shopping, golf and parks. For FREE assistance with planning your reunion, contact the Cobb County CVB at 1-800-451-3480 or visit us at SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! GWINNETT CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU (ATLANTA) Minutes from Atlanta, the GCVB provides a FREE Reunion Planner, group welcome bags with gift; and free lodging assistance! Gwinnett has 97 group-friendly hotels with 33 of Atlanta’s best parks, and easy I-85 access to Six Flags, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Home, the new Aquarium and Stone Mountain Park! Call Cricket Elliott toll-free at 1-888-494-6638, ext 6049; direct at 770-8146049 or by email at to plan your next Atlantabased reunion today! SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! COURTYARD ATLANTA AIRPORT NORTH / VIRGINAL AVENUE 3399 International Blvd, Hapeville GA 30354. Tanya Howard, 678-772-8323; fax: 404-559-1234; Tanya.howard@; COURTYARD ATLANTA AIRPORT SOUTH / SULLIVAN ROAD 2050 Sullivan Road, College Park GA 30337. Tanya Howard, 678772-8323; fax: 404-761-0650;; www. COURTYARD ATLANTA CUMBERLAND CENTER 3000 Cumberland Blvd, Atlanta GA 30339. Deborah Barnes, 770-3352567; fax: 770-952-2409;; www. COURTYARD ATLANTA EXECUTIVE PARK / EMORY 1236 Executive Park Drive, Atlanta GA 30329. Cindy Stuart, 678-7647494; fax: 678-669-116;; .com/ATLEP COURTYARD ATLANTA GLENRIDGE / PERIMETER 5601 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, Atlanta GA 30342. Gretchen Moore, 404-427-0172; fax: 404-851-1938;; COURTYARD ATLANTA GWINNETT MALL 3550 Venture Parkway, Duluth GA 30096. Ann Austin, 404-838-5629; fax: 770623-0198;; COURTYARD ATLANTA MARIETTA/1-75 NORTH 2455 Delk Road Marietta GA 30067. Deborah Barnes, 770-335-2567; fax: 770933-0489;; COURTYARD ATLANTA MARIETTA/WINDY HILL 2045 S. Park Place, Marietta GA 30339. Deborah Barnes, 770-335-2567; fax: 404-933-0394;; .com/ATLWH COURTYARD ATLANTA MIDTOWN/GEORGIA TECH 1132 Techwood Drive Atlanta GA 30318. Brenda Brickell, 678-427-0929; fax: 404-607-1020;; www.marriot .com/ATLMN COURTYARD ATLANTA NORCROSS /I-85 6235 McDonough Drive, Norcross GA 30093. Ann Austin, 404-838-5629; fax: 770840-8768;; COURTYARD ATLANTA NORTHLAKE 4083 LaVista Road, Tucker GA 30084. Cindy Stuart, 678-764-7494; fax: 770-9082950;; COURTYARD ATLANTA NORCROSS/PEACHTREE CORNERS 3209 Holcomb Bridge Road, Norcross GA 30092. Ann Austin, 404838-5629; fax: 770-246-9152;; www. COURTYARD ATLANTA PERIMETER CENTER 6250 Peachtree Dunwoody Road, Atlanta GA 30328. Gretchen Moore, 404-4270172; fax: 770-396-0762;; www. SPRINGHILL SUITES ATLANTA BUCKHEAD 3459 Buckhead Loop, Atlanta GA 30326. Brenda Brickell, 678-427-0929; fax: 404844-0131;; JEKYLL OCEANFRONT CLARION RESORT & SPA 975 North Beachview Drive; Jekyll Island GA 31527; 912-635-2531; fax 912635-9072:;

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; sales@; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

IDAHO 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, snow skiing, unique and historic attractions like the Warhawk Air Museum, 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; ledens@boise; BOISE...Feel It!

ILLINOIS LAKE COUNTY, ILLINOIS Chicago’s North Suburbs Family Reunion Workshop Experience Late Spring 2008. Join us for a 3 day family reunion workshop and site visits in Lake County, Illinois, home to Six Flags Great America and KeyLime Cove Water Paradise & Meeting Resort opening in March, 2008. For information, contact Kimberly Ghys at 800-Lake-Now; More details to come at 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; www.lake

IOWA GREATER DES MOINES CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 400 Locust Street, Ste 265, Des Moines IA 50309; 800-451-2625; 515-286-4960; fax 515-244-9757;;

LOUISIANA EXPERIENCE JEFFERSON, THE GATEWAY TO NEW ORLEANS! With plenty of easy access hotels, world-class dining, terrific shopping, swamp adventures, first-class fishing, meeting spaces, and more, this is the place for your reunion rendezvous! Contact the Jefferson Convention & Visitors Bureau at 504-7317083, 1-877-572-7474 (toll free), or log on to our website, SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

MAINE SAMOSET RESORT on 230 oceanside acres, in Rockport, ME, offers AAA four diamond service and quality and features 18-hole championship golf, newly remodeled guestrooms, meeting space, dining, health club, indoor pool and outdoor pools, hot tubs, tennis courts. With the ideal setting and amenities for relaxation, Samoset is the perfect reunion setting for all ages. 220 Warrenton Street, Rockport ME 04856. 877-237-3610; fax 207-594-0048; www.


Grand lawn areas, spacious sandy beach, and swimming pool allow for endless relaxation and recreation on the premises. Ideal for single families or gatherings. Kitchen units, cookout areas. Linens, daily maid service, cable, WiFi & more. 508-487-0585. Email:;

MICHIGAN DETROIT METRO CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU Thinking of meeting in Detroit? We offer great services such as tracing your family history, securing permits for area parks, searching for hotel accommodations and much more. Detroit is home to great family fun attractions including The Henry Ford, America’s greatest history attraction, the Detroit Zoo, fine museums and numerous festivals and events. 1-800-CALL-DTW (225-5389), SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! KALAMAZOO COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 141 E. Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo MI 49007. Discover Hospitality. With a diverse and rich community culture, Kalamazoo is an ideal destination for reunions, offering more than 2,800 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. 800-888-0509; fax 269-488-0050;; www. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! GREATER LANSING CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU Greater Lansing, Michigan is a great place for a family reunion, meeting or special event of any kind. Centrally located, offering updated meeting facilities, affordable lodging and lots of fun entertainment and nightlife options – All right in the palm of your hand! For help planning your reunion call 1-866-377-1402 or visit MISSION POINT RESORT perched on the southwestern shore of historic Mackinac Island, overlooking the Straits of Mackinaw. 243 pleasingly appointed rooms & suites, four distinctive restaurants, banquet & catering facilities. Affordable & activities for the whole family to enjoy make us the ideal setting for family reunions & retreats. 1 Lakeshore Drive, Mackinac Island, MI 49757; 800-8335583;; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! BAROTHY LODGE 7478 Barothy Road, PO Box 69, Walhalla MI 49458; 231-898-2340; fax 231-898-3106; barothylodge@ carrinter .net;

MINNESOTA WORRY-FREE REUNIONS AT CRAGUN’S RESORT 11000 Craguns Dr, Brainerd MN 56401: 800-CRAGUNS (272-4867). Since 1940 Cragun’s has taken pride in creating memorable’s why: 1) trained coordinator will help plan it all, 2) arrival “Welcome” and registration areas with planned activity agendas, 3) activities including golf outings, lake cruises, picnics, fishing contests, horse drawn trolley rides and more, 4) indoor facilities to ensure you a “weather-proof” reunion, 5) private gathering areas, 6) special celebration meals, 7) professional group photos, 8) and best of all, enjoy a safe, secure friendly environment. Come to Cragun’s for your reunion. Named “One of MN’s ideal locations to hold a Reunion.” by AAA. Call for FREE Reunion Planning Packet or visit:

WELCOME TO THE BWI AIRPORT COMFORT INN & SLEEP INN SUITES a pet friendly hotel & conference center with over 330 spacious guest rooms and suites. Offering a 24 hour FREE BWI Airport Shuttle, FREE Hot Breakfast and FREE wireless High speed internet. We also have over 8,000 sq feet of conference and banquet space. Baltimore Light Rail is adjacent to the hotel. We offer over 20 restaurants and shops within walking distance. Full Service restaurant onsite. 6921 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd., Baltimore MD 21225. Contact: Tammera M. Bolsch, Tele 443-457-1212; Fax 410355-2854;, BURKSHIRE MARRIOTT CONFERENCE HOTEL 10 West Burke Avenue, Towson MD 21204. Convenient to the Baltimore Inner Harbor, Amtrak at Penn Station, BWI airport, and accessible from I-95. The hotel offers 11,000 sq ft of flexible meeting space including 17 meetings rooms, breakout rooms, a newly renovated restaurant and lounge, and the Stoneleigh room that can seat up to 200. This Baltimore MD hotel is a favorite for business, weekend getaways, and family leisure travel. Visit BurkshireMarriott .com and let us customize your reunion package; 410-324-8100.

MEET MINNEAPOLIS the Official 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;;


TUPELO CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU Tour a classic car museum filled with over 100 antique and classic cars, go wild at an exotic animal park, experience Elvis Presley at his birthplace and museum, shop at one of the state’s largest malls and revel in our many exciting year-round events. Tupelo… the Place to Go! 800.533.0611 or SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

GREATER MERRIMACK VALLEY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 9 Central Street, Suite 210, Lowell MA 01852. 800-2159805; fax 978-4594595. Just a half-hour from Boston the Greater Merrimack Valley is rich in history and natural beauty. The region offers the unbeatable combination of lower costs, first-class facilities, easy accessibility, and our commitment to give your reunion all the attention it deserves! CAPE COD BEACH COTTAGES N. TRURO, MA Kalmar Village, 674 Shore Rd., N. Truro, MA … various size cottages and efficiency rooms are available in a superb seaside village setting across from the National Seashore sand dunes on the Truro / Provincetown line.

MISSISSIPPI COLUMBUS CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU (MISSISSIPPI) So much history, so much charm and such a warm and friendly atmosphere. In Columbus you can enjoy it all…The most gorgeous antebellum homes to tour – some open daily for tours. Quaint shops restaurants to savor…The birth-place of the worldfamous playwright Tennessee Williams. Bring your group or family to Columbus and let the quaint charm of our lodging facilities, unique attractions and first-class dining rejuvenate your soul! 800327-2686 or SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

MISSOURI A PLANNING GUIDE FOR FAMILY REUNIONS IN MISSOURI Escape to St. Louis or Kansas City for a weekend catch-up, relaxing vacation or one big celebration. View our helpful guide to planning a perfect family reunion in Missouri. AP R I L/MAY 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S


CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES THE BRANSON/LAKES AREA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU Located in America’s heartland, Branson, Missouri is the perfect destination for your next reunion because we offer so many choices of entertainment, lodging, attractions, dining and more. Remember, in Branson, our value is unrivaled, our scenery breathtaking and our time-honored Ozarks hospitality inviting. Call us toll free at 800-636-8573 or visit our website at and request a 2007 Reunion Planner Sales kit. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

NATIVO LODGE 6000 Pan American FWY, Albuquerque NM 87109. Nativo Lodge is a culturally distinct hotel offering a unique hotel experience. Combining rich and vibrant Native American cultural aspects with contemporary elements, this 146-room fullservice hotel features the best of modern amenities. Enjoy the indoor/outdoor pool and Jacuzzi, fitness center or relax and savor evening cocktails in the soaring atrium. Toll Free: 1-888-628-4861;;

When you walk into WILDWOOD SPRINGS LODGE, you take a walk back in time. You are cordially invited to visit our facilities for your next family reunion. Your meals will include freshly prepared, from scratch, home style food served in the unique setting of the historic Wildwood Springs Lodge dining room. Wildwood Springs Lodge offers a variety of activities for young and old. The Steelville area is rich with history, and natural beauty. Visit www.wildwood, email us at or call us at 573-775-2400.

HOTEL ENCANTO DE LAS CRUCES 705 S. Telshor Blvd. Las Cruces NM 88011. The grand Spanish Colonial style of the fullservice Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces creates an ambiance reflective of the area’s rich Spanish and Mexican Colonial history and tradition. Services include an exercise room with state-of-the-art equipment an outdoor swimming pool, and two unique upscale venues for dining and nightlife entertainment. Only minutes away from historic Old Mesilla. Toll Free: 866-383-0443; confirmation;


HOTEL PLAZA REAL 125 Washington Avenue, Santa Fe NM 87501. Just steps away from historic Santa Fe Plaza, Hotel Plaza Real is a picturesque boutique hotel offering 56 deluxe suites and guestrooms most featuring private balconies, wood burning fireplaces and the most luxurious bed in Santa Fe. Toll Free: 1-877901-ROOM (7666);; www.santafehotel plaza

FOREVER RESORTS offers vacations for a lifetime with 46 destinations to choose from and enjoy. From wilderness lodging in Northern AZ to our smooth-water raft trip from the base of Hoover Dam…from touring the famed Southfork Ranch to awe inspiring views of the Rockies. Not to mention, 12 houseboat marinas including Lake Powell. Come see why we are the ideal spot for reunions. 480-998-7199 x 7114; fax 480-998-9965; mkien@ForeverResorts .com; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! THE LODGE AT WHITEFISH LAKE offers 65 spacious rooms & suites and 2- or 3-bedroom condominium units. 8000 square feet of meeting space. Boat Club lakeside dining, full-service marina, Spa, exercise facility. High-speed Internet in rooms. Wireless in public areas. Minutes from Whitefish & Whitefish Mountain Resort. 1380 Wisconsin Ave., Whitefish, MT 59937. 1-877-887-4026,

NEVADA A PLANNING GUIDE FOR FAMILY REUNIONS IN NEVADA Escape to Las Vegas for a weekend catch-up, relaxing vacation or one grand celebration. View our helpful guide to planning a perfect family reunion in Las Vegas. FOREVER RESORTS offers vacations for a lifetime with 46 destinations to choose from and enjoy. From wilderness lodging in Northern AZ to our smooth-water raft trip from the base of Hoover Dam…from touring the famed Southfork Ranch to awe inspiring views of the Rockies. Not to mention, 12 houseboat marinas including Lake Powell. Come see why we are the ideal spot for reunions. 480-998-7199 x 7114; fax 480-998-9965; mkien@Forever; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! DESERT ROSE RESORT 5051 Duke Ellington Way, Las Vegas NV, 89119; Phone 800-811-2450, Fax 702-597-3345; Spacious renovated one and two bedroom suites with full kitchen separate living room, dining room and a relaxing balcony. Each room is modern and beautifully decorated; Property features continental breakfast each morning; location is just minutes from the famous Las Vegas Strip, McCarran Airport. Resort consists of 284 suites in addition to newly refurbished pool and Jacuzzi with BBQ facilities and shaded seating; Banquet space available for special events. This property makes for a perfect reunion of any kind. Email: SarahMarie Vergara, Sales Manager svergara@shell; Established in 1980, PRESTIGE TRAVEL & CRUISES is the largest travel agency in Nevada and a Representative office of the American Express Travel Services Network, with over 1,700 locations worldwide. By combining the strength of American Express with our local expertise, you have access to the best available rates and offers on worldwide cruises and tours. Our long established supplier relationships allow us to negotiate the best value on air fares, hotel rooms, transportation and other meeting services. We specialize in reunions and groups. Contact us at (800) 431-6117. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! CIRCUS CIRCUS HOTEL & CASINO RENO 500 N. Sierra St. Reno NV 89503 Whether business or pleasure brings you to us, Circus Circus Reno offers over 1,500 rooms, six sensational restaurants, a unique Midway of Fun, an expansive casino floor with all the latest gaming action, and state-of-the-art convention facilities. Free airport shuttle and parking available. Call 800-8943588 or visit for more information. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

NEW MEXICO HOTEL ALBUQUERQUE 800 Rio Grande Blvd NW, Albuquerque NM 87104. Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town exemplifies “Albuquerque Style,” a unique blend of New Mexico’s Pueblo, Spanish Territorial and Western cultural influences. A landmark hotel nestled in the heart of the historic Old Town Plaza and museum district. This fullservice hotel offers convention facilities, two delightful restaurants and an upscale bar & lounge. Toll Free: 800-237-2133; hotelabq@; 52

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LODGE AT SANTA FE 750 N Saint Francis Drive, Santa Fe NM 87501. The Lodge at Santa Fe is a blend of Northern New Mexico’s distinct Anasazi cultural elements. This 128-room full service “Santa Fe-style” hotel offers guests convenient access to the ultimate in world-class art, shopping, and dining. Relax and enjoy fabulous cuisine and the view from Las Mañanitas restaurant, or cocktails in the comfortable piano lounge. Toll Free: 888-5634373;; www.lodgeatsantafe .com

NEW YORK FORT WILLIAM HENRY RESORT AND CONFERENCE CENTER 48 Canada Street, Lake George, NY 12845 888-389-4554. Balancing traditional elegance with Adirondack charm, this New York State landmark hotel provides guests with exceptional service only surpassed by spectacular views of Lake George and the surrounding Adirondack Mountains. 193 Guestrooms, ample free parking, onsite restaurants, spa and museum. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! QUEEN OF THE AMERICAN LAKES Lake George, NY: 32 miles of crystal clear water ready for fun, relaxation, exploration and building memories. Surrounded by picturesque mountains, Lake George is a family destination paradise with Adirondack flare. 4 hrs from NYC and Boston, less than 3 hrs from Montreal via interstates. 1 hr from Albany International Airport. FREE VACATION GUIDE. Luisa Sherman at 518-668-5755 or 1-800-705-0059. reunions@, Niagara USA With the awesome majesty of Niagara Falls, historic venues like Old Fort Niagara and the Erie Canal, wineries, quaint villages, casino gaming and world-class sport fishing, this region offers something for everyone in your group. For FREE assistance with all your planning needs, including collecting rates from area hotels and tour companies and providing welcome bags for your attendees, contact Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation at 1-877-FALLS US ext. 305 or or visit WESTCHESTER COUNTY OFFICE OF TOURISM 222 Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains, www.westchestertourism .com; north of New York City and gateway to Hudson River Valley, is the perfect place to reunite. Choices include; cocktails in a castle, meet in a mansion, barbeque on a beach, gather on a golf course or frolic at Playland Amusement Park. Call 914.995. 8502, fax 914.995.8505 or email for your free planning guide.

OHIO AKRON/SUMMIT CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 77 E. Mill Street, Akron OH 44308; 800-245-4254; 330-374-7560; fax: 330-374-7626;; www.visit; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! BERTRAM INN & CONFERENCE CENTER 600 North Aurora Road, Aurora OH 44202. Located minutes from Geauga Lake in the historic Western Reserve. Offering 225 deluxe guestrooms & suites, heated outdoor pool, fitness & game room, banquet facilities, casual & fine dining restaurants onsite. Area activities include spa, golf, fly-fishing, shopping, museums, horseback riding, canoeing & amusement parks. Local & airport shuttles. Virtual tour at www. For reunion packages contact Amy Feller at 330-995-7628. HOLIDAY INN AKRON – HUDSON 240 E. Hines Hill Road, Hudson OH 44236. The Holiday Inn Akron Hudson, nestled in the back yard of Ohio’s only National Park and perfectly located in between Cleveland and Akron. Offering 239 comfortable rooms and banquet space accommodating up to 300 people, deluxe sized

indoor pool with game room, sauna, whirlpool and fitness center, Cruisers Nightclub & Hudson Room Restaurant. Retreat packages available, call 330-653-9191, ask for our sales department. www.

OKLAHOMA A PLANNING GUIDE FOR FAMILY REUNIONS IN OKLAHOMA Gather in Oklahoma City or Midwest City for a weekend catch-up, relaxing vacation or one big celebration. View our helpful guide to planning a perfect family reunion in Oklahoma.

PENNSYLVANIA GETTYSBURG CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU For 144 years people from around the world have made Gettysburg, PA their destination to regroup, reconnect, and remember the Nation’s history. The scenic views, outdoor activities, affordable accommodations, and friendly small-town people bring guests back each year. Why not let Gettysburg show you an historical good time – come to Gettysburg for your next reunion, where history lives and the fun never ends! PO Box 4117, Gettysburg PA 17325; 717-334-6274; fax: 717-334-1166;; CONVENTION VISITORS BUREAU OF GREATER MONROEVILLE With easy access to major thoroughfares, and minutes from downtown Pittsburgh, Monroeville is your gateway to fun in Western PA. Choose from professional sports, amuse-ment parks, renowned golf courses, museums or historical sites. And, the arts abound in the region with seasonal festivals, concerts and theatre. With your pick of motels or hotels, burgers or lobster, mall or boutique, the choice is yours. 1-800-527-8941; www.visitmonroeville .com. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! HAMPTON INN CENTER CITY PHILADELPHIA The Hampton Inn offering 250 guest rooms, Complimentary Breakfast, Indoor Pool, Fitness Center, Concierge and about 4,000 square feet of meeting space, is the perfect place for your family to gather. Our hotel is located within walking distance of Philadelphia’s most popular attractions. Contact Kerry Fledderman for special FAMILY REUNION RATES! 267-765-1104; Kerry.Fledderman@hershahotels .com. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! THE INN AT POCONO MANOR Is a 3000 acre resort with 250 beautiful guestrooms nestled at 1800 feet atop the Pocono Mountains, a perfect reunion getaway! The Inn features; fine dining, panoramic mountain views, 36 holes championship golf, full service spa, indoor/outdoor pools, fly fishing, clay shooting, ATV Tours, hiking, indoor tennis, playgrounds & horseback riding. On site winter activities include; dog sledding, snow-mobiling, ice skating, cross country skiing and more. Groups of 10 or more rooms contact our Sales Dept and refer to code RM0708 for special rates/packages. PO Box 95, Pocono Manor, PA 18349. 800-233-8150; fax 570839-0708;;www. SOUTH CAROLINA ATTRACTIONS RIPLEY’S AQUARIUM Myrtle Beach SC, staffs experienced special event managers who are fully qualified to tailor extraordinary events for any group. Our catering team will create magnificent menus for any occasion including: Breakfasts, gourmet dinners, themed events, incredible family reunions & receptions. Please contact us at 1-800-724-8888 ext. 269 or at SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

SOUTH CAROLINA At 14 stories the HOLIDAY INN RIVERVIEW stands tall. This unique Charleston landmark offers guests 180 nicely appointed guest rooms and a full service restaurant with panoramic views of Historic Charleston and the Ashley River as well as complimentary shuttle service to the heart of the city for shopping and tours. Enjoy easy planning with our experienced staff. Ask about special incentives for event planners. 301 Savannah Hwy, Charleston SC 29407. Contact Megan O’Hara Owen at 843-460-1440; fax 843-766-8355;; www.holidayinn.wm/ DAUFUSKIE ISLAND RESORT & BREATHE SPA provides a safe atmosphere for a reunion your family won’t soon forget. With Inn rooms, cottages & private homes, 36-holes of golf, trails to explore by bike & full equestrian center, we easily accommodate groups of all sizes. Located between Hilton Head Island & Savannah. 800-960-9089. 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!

SOUTH DAKOTA RAPID CITY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU Nestled at the base of the legendary Black Hills, Rapid City lies at the heart of the American experience, just minutes from the highest concentra-

CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES tion of public parks, monuments and memorials in the world. Explore the South Dakota Air and Space Museum and Ellsworth Air Force Base, then cap it all off with exciting tours and fine dining before winding down in luxurious and affordable accommodations. Visit or call 800.487.3223. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

TENNESSEE CHATTANOOGA AREA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU We are ready to host your next family or military reunion. Our Staff works closely with the hotels, attractions, tour companies and you to provide exactly what you need to have a great reunion. Contact Christina Petro at 800-964-8600 ext. 3017 or by e-mail at for free help planning your next reunion! SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM For your free Tennessee Vacation Guide, call 1-800-GO2-TENN ext. 052 or visit

TEXAS A PLANNING GUIDE FOR FAMILY REUNIONS IN TEXAS Escape to Austin, Dallas, Houston or San Antonio for a weekend catch-up, relaxing vacation or one big celebration. View our helpful guide to planning a perfect family reunion in Texas. www.texasfamily FOREVER RESORTS offers vacations for a lifetime with 46 destinations to choose from and enjoy. From wilderness lodging in Northern AZ to our smooth-water raft trip from the base of Hoover Dam…from touring the famed Southfork Ranch to awe inspiring views of the Rockies. Not to mention, 12 houseboat marinas including Lake Powell. Come see why we are the ideal spot for reunions. 480998-7199 x 7114; fax 480-998-9965;; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! SAN ANTONIO HOLIDAY INN HOTELS 1-888-MEETING;

UTAH THE RED MOOSE LODGE 2547 N. Valley Junction Dr. Eden, Utah 84310; 877-745-0333 Reminiscent of a grand 1930’s style vintage ski lodge, makes the perfect mountain getaway for reunions, weddings, business conferences and retreats. Paradise in Every Season nestled between two ski resorts, Powder Mountain and Snowbasin, Pineview Lake and a Championship Golf Course; golfing, skiing, boating, fishing, hiking and biking are just a few of the area activities.;

VERMONT SMUGGLERS’ NOTCH RESORT At America’s Reunion Resort, you’ll experience Mountain Resort Living, award-winning children’s programs (6wks. - 17yrs.), family activities and entertainment, swimming, skiing, hiking, dining, shopping & more. Smugglers’ Notch Resort – the only resort in North America to guarantee Family Fun – Summer, Winter & Fall. For more information, call 1-800-521-0536. or visit SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

VIRGINIA NEWPORT NEWS is minutes to Williamsburg and a short to Virginia Beach. Here you can discover the ocean, ships, history and the great outdoors from one central destination. Whether getting together with old classmates, shipmates or “familymates,” Newport News provides the perfect location and services to make your reunion a success! From our convenient location, outstanding services and support, the best value and plenty to see and do, Newport News will make your next reunion a memorable one. Call Cheryl Morales at 888-493-7386 or email her at to book your reunion. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! NORFOLK CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 232 East Main Street, Norfolk VA 23510. 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 2,000 committable hotel rooms in various price ranges. Call 800-368-3097; dallen@; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

WYOMING THE DUDE RANCHERS’ ASSOCIATION P.O. Box 2307, Cody, Wyoming 82414. Helping people find quality Dude and Guest Ranch vacations since 1926. Let us help you find the perfect all inclusive location for your next reunion call 866-399-2339 or e-mail info@dude;

PRODUCTS & SERVICES AIRPORT PARKING Park Ride Fly USA is the fastest growing seller of offsite airport parking on the Web. All pre-paid parking reservations include complimentary shuttle service, luggage assistance, and $100,000 of

Automatic Flight Insurance provided at no additional cost. Visit and click on Park Ride Fly for discount airport parking at more than 50 U.S. airports and start saving today!

BADGES & BUTTONS NAMETAG (PHOTO BUTTON) Using the alumni’ photo we create a custom labeled button incorporating your school name, colors, and reunion year. Attachment options and accessories are available. We offer personalized service and quick turnaround. Visit us at

COOKBOOKS PLATE FULL OF a coaching guide for family memory cookbooks. It’s fun and easy to use. Perfect for reunions, family get togethers or designing family keepsakes. It puts you in control with no limits on the number of stories, photos or recipes. The PLATEFULL OF MEMORIES CD contains templates and sample materials to put it all together. Open the cd, customize materials for your family and you are on your way! For more information visit our website at www.platefullofmemories .com or contact us by phone at 612-203-2103

CRUISES CRUISE PLANNERS – WE HAVE THE BEST PRICES AFLOAT! Best rates on all cruise lines. For more information and free brochure, Contact Your Vacation and Reunion Specialists: 1-888-707-SAIL (7245). SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

REUNIONS 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 MEMENTOS REUNION ‘08? Colorful, embossed custom ribbons (in your words) add a “touch of class” to your event & name badges. Ideal bookmark-keepsake that says “you were there.” Created expressly for class, family and military reunions. Class Ribbons available in school colors. For sample ribbon and idea brochure: REUNION MATE 800-208-6804 or


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 (plus S&H) or 20 cents each – you fill in the date and reunion name; or Custom printed cards – $45 p/100 postcards (plus S&H) 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). Also provide 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 x4 or order online;

PRESERVING REUNIONS JUST SPECIAL PHOTOS preserve special photos on CD or DVD. Customized Presentations set to music. Preserving your special photos is our specialty. Unique fundraiser with 60% return. See Demo at Just Special Photos, 3430 E Jefferson, Ave 641, Detroit MI 48207. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! MAKE A REUNION MEMORY BOOK We know how important your upcoming reunion is and School Annual wants to help you preserve these memories. Why not create your very own memory book! Our unique online page creation allows a multiple user interface. School Annual has the tools to make a fast, fun and easy way for your group to celebrate and share their story. Start building a new tradition; contact me for information and ideas to create your personal Reunion Memory Book. School Annual Publishing Company, 500 Science Park Road; Suite B, State College, Pa. 16803; 800-436-6030; fax 800436-6048;;

REUNION RIBBONS REUNION ‘08? Colorful, embossed custom ribbons (in your words) add a “touch of class” to your event & name badges. Ideal bookmarkkeepsake that says “you were there.” Created expressly for class, family and military reunions. Class Ribbons available in school colors. For sample ribbon and idea brochure: REUNION MATE 800-2086804 or

T-SHIRTS AMERICA’S #1 SOURCE FOR REUNION APPAREL AND GIFTS T-shirts, Totes, Keepsakes & Gifts Easy-To-Order. Fun-To-Wear. Fast-Turn-Around. Beautiful and colorful reunion designs as featured on Good Morning America, personalized for your event! Browse our huge selection of quality apparel and exciting new products. Shop our Reunion Kits for great package pricing and low minimums! REUNION GEAR 1-800-451-1611

TRAVEL AGENT GROUP TRAVEL NETWORK Personal travel industry relationships are the backbone of our company. Not only do we have contracts with each of the attractions, restaurants and hotels that you will be using during your trip, we also have the personal relationships with their staff to ensure that the prices and service you receive are second to none. (866) 563-3703 /

TRAVEL DIRECTORY COLORADO VACATION DIRECTORY Make your search for the perfect family reunion destination easier! FREE FAMILY REUNION DESTINATION LOCATION SERVICE: and click on “EMAIL US your Request for Group Accommodations.” We will then send your requirements to Cabins, Vacation Homes, Lodges, Motels, Condo’s, B&B’s, Campgrounds that can accommodate your desires and they will email you directly with additional information. OR order our free Colorado Vacation Directory for a printed copy to compare reunion locations includes Places to Stay & Fun Things to Do. 888-222-4641.

TRAVEL PLANNING Groople, the leading online group travel planning and booking site, is now a preferred supplier for Reunions magazine. The partnership will provide several advantages for the Reunions magazine customers including the ability to have their own reunion web page on Groople’s newest social networking site, GroopVine. Other advantages include the ability to easily search for hotels that are most appropriate for reunions, get rates instantly for up 9 rooms and rates within 24 hours for more than 10 rooms, and book air and car for your reunion. Groople has booked thousands of reunions and understands the challenges and needs of the reunion organizers. Groople can accommodate special needs of all ages and help the organizer find the right travel solution. Find us at

VACATION HOMES CONDOS VILLAS Following is a list of vacation homes, condos and villas. For more details, see the full listings on preceding pages. When you contact them, please let them know you found them through Reunions magazine.

Arkansas BEL'ARCO RESORT AND CONFERENCE CENTEr over looking Bull Shoals Lake. 866-235-2726.


Utah THE RED MOOSE LODGE 877-745-0333

Dominican Republic Contact: VILLA FLOR DE CABRERA ph: +1.809.589.7065 web: www.flor GOLDEN DOLPHIN VILLA ph: +1.809.589.7065 www.golden VILLA CASTELLAMONTE ph: +1.809.589.7065, www.villa-castella

WEBSITE BUILDER/ REGISTRATION 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, family tree, guest book, quiz, poll, stories, photo albums, no ads, travel information, more. 7 day free trial. Only $9.95 / month. Any Questions – 877-769-3836 or

Please patronize our advertisers. AP R I L/MAY 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S


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

Reunions Magazine Volume 18, Number 4. April/May 2008