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❖ Camping

& adventure

Food ❖ Newsletters ❖

VOL 18 NO 5 JUNE/JULY/AUGUST 2008 Display until August 31, 2008.


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in this issue DEPARTMENTS

June/July/August 2008 Volume 18 • Number 5



You can go home by Joe Zelenz Class reunion offers this old teacher chance to meet young adults by Leslie Criss Reunions with Miss Hooker and Miss Rosetta Multiclass reunion, Contact Contest, looking for an old yearbook, remembering good ol’ days, charitable reunions, soldier classmates remembered, Dear Me



Jennifer Rueth

Reunion school Guides from Louisville, Florida’s Black history, Pensacola, do-it-yourself web sites, reunions of community pool, YMCA camp, towns, Freedom Center comes alive, Mummers

Marion Liston Senior Account Manager





Saving Searl by Jessica Gray

Karla Lavin



Fabulous at 40 by Lisa A. Alzo, MFA Is your family reunion ho hum? by Verlene E. Wallace Reunions: Harmelinks, Vackettas, Taylor-Dennis, Horner-Sims, and White-Miller Rainy day ideas for kids

CAMPING & ADVENTURE – 26 Island getaway and geocaching by Anne Chlovechok Maintaining family unity by Tracy Reichdan Reunions: Bile, Camp T. Frank Soles and more

FOOD – 30 Pencil food safety into your reunion planning Keep food poisoning off your menu Considering catering? Inspecting the hotel caterer What reunions eat Crowd pleasers

NEWSLETTERS – 34 Family newsletters by Audrey Buswell Passing the newsletter torch by Laurie J. Hassinger Many reunions stay in touch: Van Valkenburg, 173rd Airborne Brigade, Gallegos/Trevino, Neptune (NJ) High School, Cotten

REUNION FEATURES VENUES & PLACES – 38 It’s so easy to fall for Niagara by Jacky Runice Some Gettysburg addresses for your next reunion by Sarah Jaquay

MILITARY REUNION NEWS – 45 USS Norris DD/DDE 859, Japanese American Veterans, Vietnam and Iraqi engineers, Bulge Survivors, Newport News FAM

REUNION RESOURCES – 48 A directory of reunion-friendly places, services, vendors and products. ON THE COVER Skipping rocks at the creek (front to back): Liam Reichdan (4), Colin Reichdan (2), Coleson Harrington(2), Schuyler Jensen (4). See page 28.

Jean Salzer Andrew Bordeaux CONTRIBUTORS

Lisa A. Alzo, MFA • Lucy Bowen Tom Bozeman • Audrey Buswell Anne Chlovechok • Leslie Criss Bettse Folsom • Jessica Gray Laurie J. Hassinger • Veronica Haynes Al Hill • Gertie Loretta Hurley, MBA Sarah Jaquay • Thelma Harper Jones Bill King • Carol Lanza • Ed Mehl Steven C. Napper • Martha Payne Tracy Reichdan • Marilynn Stewart Jackie Utley • Verlene E. Wallace Sasha Walters • Angeline Warren Barbara Williams • Joe Zelenz 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. J U N E/J U LY/AUGU ST 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Be in touch!

A shout out!

Mail to R EUNIONS MAGAZINE PO Box 11727 Milwaukee WI 53211-0727


During summer months we frequently “broadcast” requests (to readers whose email addresses we have) to participate in ’ve met lots of reunion organizers in media projects that arise. It could be a the last couple months at workshops For charge orders national or local newspaper, magazine, TV that, I hope, have helped advance your call 800-373-7933 or or radio show. We get many requests for reunion planning. Best of all, while I visit interview contacts in summer – when we always enjoy meeting new people, readers or fax it to 414-263-6331. need to know about as many reunions as we of this magazine came to workshops as Or best of all, e-mail can, to satisfy the requests. well: what a joy to meet you, too, in If you want your reunion to be Shreveport, Louisiana, Flint, Michigan, considered, we need stories to tell about and Atlanta, Georgia. your reunion, when and where it will be held, how many But the one I really want to tell you about is a dream attendees you expect, how long you’ve been meeting and how come true for me. I’m just back from the “workshop to end to get in touch with you before and during the reunion. It is not all workshops” – although I certainly hope there will be uncommon for a reporter or producer to call Friday afternoon many more just like it, all over the country. Lake County or Saturday morning for a weekend contact. Will we know how (Illinois) Convention and Visitors Bureau welcomed 30+ to reach you? family reunion planners for a three-day experience that Even after all this, we may never call for what we know introduced the area to planners. In addition to eating about your reunion. Last year producers wanted reunions lavishly, we visited hotels, resorts and attractions, and I where family members would meet one another for the first had the pleasure of providing several sessions about time, or where someone was going to be surprised. Most are for reunion planning basics. If you are looking at the very reunions in a specific place on a specific weekend and we centrally located Chicago area for your reunion, Lake have no advance clues. Even we are regularly surprised! County, Illinois, in the northern suburbs, is close to On the other hand, the stories and information we receive O’Hare Airport and perfect for your reunion, too. are often perfect for Reunions magazine, so the time you spend Contact the wizard of Lake County reunions, telling your story is not completely lost. Kimberly Ghys, 800-LAKE-NOW When there is enough advance notice, we include media HAVE YOU VISITED REUNIONSMAG.COM LATELY? requests on our website. We leave requests up only as long as We’ve redesigned our home page for easier navigation media are looking, so visit and click on to find what you’re looking for. And there is so much that media alerts to keep up-to-date. is new: you must bookmark it in your favorites and return CONTRIBUTE TO FUTURE ISSUES often, particularly as you face details for this summer’s We are always collecting material for features, such as reunion: go often for ideas about kids’ stuff, games, those about camping, cruising and quilt-making. Has your heritage touring, health workshops … you get the idea. reunion been held on a cruise, at a ranch or in an all-inclusive Also look for new podcasts and check regularly for resort or theme park? Do you take tours? Have you done summer media alerts and new contests and sweepstakes. fundraising projects? Planned activities for all ages? Pictures NEWSLETTERS! INVITATIONS! COMMUNICATIONS! of reunions always make us happy. Reunions magazine wants SEE EXAMPLES ONLINE! to celebrate your reunion, too. Post yours online. We are posting past and current BE THANKFUL reunion newsletters, invitations and other materials If your reunion planning has experienced a glitch or two, be online. All to suggest reunion communication ideas to of strong heart when you learn about Jackie Utley’s dilemma you. We will also occasionally include some in the this year. In February tornadoes destroyed 80% of the magazine, but we’re able to display far more online. The dormitories at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, home benefit? Reunion organizers are great at running with of the Utley Family. The Old English Inn, where the Utleys good ideas. This is one of them. Everyone is looking for hold their reunions, announced that they’d offered the hotel to good ideas and formats to entice members to their the college as housing for 350 displaced students, closing the reunion. Send to with “Reunions hotel to the public at least until the end of the year. Well, that invite” in the subject line. was in February and by the end of April the hotel agreed to KEEP THE CELEBRATION GOING honor the reunion’s party contract and help by finding rooms Add your reunion to our picture gallery. Check for reunion guests elsewhere. A happy ending … specifications at Enjoy your 2008 reunion season. EW



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J U N E/J U LY/AUGU ST 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



You can go home


embers of the Waukegan (Illinois) Township High School (WTHS) Class of 1947 celebrated their 60 year reunion. At ages 76 to 79 and by their own admission, they are indeed, seniors once again. Because their numbers are dwindling, they invited members of classes before and after theirs whom they knew and were friends with in school. They sent a press release, and local media was generous with coverage. In fact, a story in the Waukegan News Sun prompted a number of hometown folks to attend. Friday featured a tour of the city, and participants who have lived in distant places were impressed. The hometown tour included the city’s Lake Front and the new City Hall, where the city engineer conducted a review of where the city has been, where it is now and where it is going. The greatest treat was visiting the recently renovated historical Genesee Theater, where many classmates held hands while watching movies of the day. Class member Pat Booth-Lynch, an author, wrote a reunion mystery story, A Touch of Gold, distributed to attendees upon their arrival to develop a solution before departing. The final gathering was at a farewell brunch on Sunday, also attended by the lone surviving faculty member, Ms. Elenore Moore. A candid camera video (reproduced on DVD) was distributed to those attending; copies were also sent to classmates who were unable to attend, with a letter expressing regret that they had not been able to come to the reunion. It has been the class’s practice to hold a reunion every five years. In consideration of the age of class members, they will hold a reunion – in Las Vegas – when most of them will be 80. Reported by Joe Zelenz, Cedar Hill, Texas. Editor’s note: After we prepared the above, we learned from one of Joe Zelenz’s classmates, Pat Booth-Lynch, that Zelenz was honored at the 60th reunion because “he kept the class united as a cohesive unit” all these years. He was presented with a plaque and a 55-page “Memory Book” that included stories, pictures and poems submitted by classmates lauding him and praising his efforts. BoothLynch, who designed the book, added that Zelenz “is truly Waukegan High’s hero.” She noted that Zelenz was too humble to have ever told us that!


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Waukegan News Sun

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Class reunion offers this old teacher a chance to meet young adults

by Leslie Criss

Editor’s note: This is from a teacher, which is a definitive answer to the oft asked question: should we invite our teachers to the reunion? To be a teacher in the right sense is to be a learner. I am not a teacher, only a fellow student. SOREN KIERKEGAARD

St. Martin’s Class of 1987.


embers of the St. Martin High School (Mississippi) Class of 1987 assembled in Biloxi for their 20th reunion. I was invited. And though I’ve sworn never to attend another class reunion of my own, this one I attended. I was, it seems, the only teacher invited. I could tell you the reasons those former kids gave me for my inclusion; instead, I will hold them in my heart. For weeks before the reunion I wondered if it would be odd to be the only adult in attendance. Then I was reminded: These folks are closing in on 40. So, I went. And I was touched by excited squeals of “Miss Criss” and bold embraces by handsome young men and beautiful young women. Some of them I recognized immediately. Others took some

PO BOX 335428 NORTH LAS VEGAS NV 89033 800-654-2776 • 8

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time. But eventually in their adult features I caught a glimpse of the faces still smiling from the pages of old yearbooks. This is the class whose members, at least some of them, suffered through my English classes twice – once as 8th graders, and again as sophomores, after I moved to the high school. Bless their hearts. We got to know each other well. And as it must be for all teachers, I hoped to somehow make some difference in their lives, to teach them something they’d find useful in the world. Two Saturday nights ago I received the rare gift of hearing, in my lifetime, the effect my time as a teacher had on my form er students. One guy, introducing me to his wife (also an English teacher), said he’d never had me as a teacher, but the word in the hallways all those years ago was, “Miss Criss is the go-to person if you ever have a problem.” Two folks actually thanked me for making them learn to diagram sentences, something that drew deep sighs of disapproval during the long-ago learning process. My friend Robin told me I was the

first teacher who treated them like they were human beings. I had no idea – I was simply being who I am. I never chose to teach. I wanted to be a writer. I majored in English and landed in a classroom where I stayed six years. There’ve probably been times when I allowed myself one of those if-only-I’dnot-wasted-those-years moments. No more. Things work out like they are supposed to. I was right where I was supposed to be. To the members of the St. Martin Class of 1987: Thanks for all I’ve learned from you. And for the opportunity to see what amazing human beings you’ve become.

About the author Miss Criss taught 7th and 8th graders English for four years, and later taught 10th, 11th and 12th grades for two and a half years. After graduate school at the University of Mississippi, she started a second career in journalism and has been a columnist, feature writer and editor at several Mississippi newspapers for 18 years. Originally appeared in and reprinted with permission from the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.


The Contact Contest


he Cornell University Class of 1998 committee came up with this very clever way to find classmates. It is a contest, which we expect to be copied! This was their message. Want to come to Reunion “on the house?” We are looking for the classmate who can provide current contact information for the greatest number of our classmates. The winner will receive complimentary reunion registration for one (meals, registration fee, University fee, etc., not including accommodations). Participating classmates were to gather as many contacts as they could and send the information via email (to include as much up-to-date information as possible: name, undergraduate major, married name, email, phone address, employer, etc.). A deadline date and email address to which the list should be sent were included.

Looking for an old yearbook?


o are lots of others. This is from a Dear Abby “discussion” recently in response to someone looking for an old high school annual/yearbook. Given the response, this is clearly something that interests lots of people. These are some suggestions for places to find old yearbooks. Put an ad in the paper where the high school is/was located. Old yearbooks can be found on eBay where there is a large selection under the “yearbook” category, also under “annuals.” Contact the local library. Old annuals are occasionally donated and sold at book sales by Friends of the Library. Staff will alert whoever sorts donations to keep an eye out. Other places to look are historical societies, antique/collectibles stores, Craigslist and alumni associations. WEB PAGE: CALL: 414.263.4567 FAX: 414.263.6331 E-MAIL: WRITE: PO Box 11727 Milwaukee, WI 53211-0727


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Multiclass reunion Litchfield High School Classes of 1978, 1979 and 1980 are planning a 30-year reunion. We found this note in the Gadsden, Alabama, Times and asked why three classes were planning a reunion together.



usan Jackson wrote that when they were in junior high, the Board of Education changed Litchfield Junior High into a high school. Therefore, the classes of 1978, 1979 and 1980 were together for junior high and high school and formed a



close bond as the transition was slowly made. We were a small school. We often had classes together. We played sports and in band together and had clubs such as Junior Red Cross, Junior Civitans, Spanish Club that included all the students. Close friendships were formed among all the classes. Friendships formed in struggles are lasting. And now, after 30 years, the School Board decided their 30 year experiment was a mistake and Litchfield High School no longer exists.

There is a new mega-high school all city students attend. Many successful adults came from those first classes at Litchfield. We have a reunion every five years for all classmates who attended during 19781979-1980. We make no distinction between those who graduated and those who moved, transferred to another school or did not graduate. Shared by Susie Jackson, Glencoe, Alabama.

Class of 1952 honor teacher


lla Wheeler Wharton Hooker, 98, was hired in 1945 to teach English literature and grammar at West Columbia (Texas) High School, and at ColumbiaBrazoria ISD until she retired in 1970. West Columbia Class of 1952 reunion organizers didn’t have to worry about her not showing up. She hasn’t missed a reunion yet. Fifty-five years after the Class of 1952 graduated, the students honored Hooker

at their class reunion. West Columbia City Council and trustees passed resolutions honoring her, proclaiming that she has continued to enrich the lives of her former students and never missed a reunion of the Class of 1952. It recognized her for her service as an educator, mentor and friend to the students, and for her interest in the lives of the students she taught. From an article by Erin McKeon in the Brazosport Facts, Clute, Texas.

With Miss Rosetta again


iss Rosetta, kindergarten teacher to a generation of West Hartford (Connecticut) children, joined a reunion of members of her first class, now in their late 60s, channeling their inner five-year-olds. “She gave a lot of us a good start,” said one of the classmates. Members of Ann Rosetta’s 1944-45 Charter Oak Elementary School class recalled the hallmarks of kindergarten: graham crackers and milk, the fish pond built into the classroom, blankets at naptime, Miss Rosetta singing to them. Another said, “I figure this is going to keep us younger. We all feel like kids now.” Rosetta’s arrival didn’t change that. She hugged them, remarking at how they had changed since kindergarten 63 years ago. They called her Miss Rosetta; she

called them “the kids.” They shared vivid memories of each other and the woman who helped them learn to love school. These were the first children Rosetta taught after graduating college in 1944. It was her first class. The meeting with Miss Rosetta coincided with the Hall High School Class of 1957 50th reunion. Several of the students admitted to a childhood infatuation with Rosetta. Rosetta assumed her familiar role, standing before them and telling stories to her kindergartners about a 33-year career at Charter Oak Elementary School. She was named an Outstanding Elementary School Teacher of America in 1974. From a story by Arielle Levin Becker in the Hartford Courant, Hartford, Connecticut.

LIST YOUR REUNION FREE! Email ( Contact name, address, phone, reunion name, date, and place. Check us out at

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Giving back

Class presents $4,000 gift



he Lorain (Ohio) High School Class of 1957 raised $4,000 from its members as a way of giving back to the community that raised them. It was distributed as gifts ranging from $100 to $1,100 to the Lorain Public Library, Lakeview Park Rose Garden, Palace Theater, Mary Lee Tucker Clothe-aChild, Second Harvest Food Bank, Black River Historical Society and Vietnam Memorial Park. Along with the donations, the Class of 1957 issued a challenge to other classes to do likewise. From an editor in The Morning Journal, Lorain, Ohio.

Join reunion chat @

arblehead (Massachusetts) High School received a gift of over $4,000 and a plaque in memory of former classmates of the Class of 1962. One of the classmates suggested that the class should “give back” to the school from which they received both a good education and fond memories. So the class gift became an

integral part of the planning. Classmates designated that the gift be used to purchase needed educational materials for the high school. From an article in the Marblehead Reporter, Marblehead, Massachusetts.

Alumni donate to media center


he Montgomery Blair High School Class of 1956 Reunion Committee donated $1,800 to the school’s media center. The money was left over from the committee’s 50th class reunion and donations from members of the class. Some of the donators specifically requested

that the money be donated to the media center. The media specialist suggested they might purchase a work station or two with video-editing software. From an article by Emily Hsiao on Silver Chips Online, Silver Spring, Maryland.

Editor’s note: So many class reunions are combining charitable “giving back” to their celebrations that we’re adding a section called Charitable Reunions to the class reunion section at We know many classes will be interested and can find great ideas in these stories.


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Dear Me: How’s it going?


magine reaching back through the years to have a conversation with the person you were 10 years ago. Quincy (Illinois) Notre Dame English teacher Pat Lask has her seniors write a letter to themselves to open at their 10-year-class reunion. Lask doesn’t read the letters. She places them in an envelope, tapes it shut and addresses it to the class president. It sits in the school’s Development Office until the reunion organizer collects it. Jamie Busen collected the letters for the Class of 1997 the day before the reunion. She was excited about reading her letter. Busen recalls she stayed after class to finish a 10-page letter to herself. She remembers writing about the expectations she had and the kind of person she hoped she would be. She praised Lask for providing a link between students’ future and their past. “I think it’s just kind of cool being 28 and reading what an 18-year-old wrote.” The letter has been in the back of her mind through the years, while some of her classmates can’t remember writing them. Reunions have featured the letters for about five years and another 10 years worth await their turn. Although Lask doesn’t attend reunions she knows the letters have become important. She now asks seniors to produce a video as a final project in which they explain what they learned from literature or life. They have to tell a story with a musical background. She hopes the videos will be around for students’ 20th reunion. From a story by Holly Wagner in the Quincy Herald Whig, Quincy, Illinois.

Fallen soldiers remembered at class reunion Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend. I still have about 150 days left on what I plan to be my last deployment. Hopefully, I will be able to catch up with all of you at the next one …


hen SFC Daniel Miller’s fellow 1982 Sheridan High School graduates received his email declining the invitation to their 25th high school reunion, they were glad at least to have heard from him. Four days later, they learned the correspon- dence had been his last. Miller and fellow Sheridan High School grad Scott Carney were killed when their Humvee rolled over in Herat, Afghanistan. To commemorate Miller’s life, class members planned the reunion to include a special dedication to him and to provide his six children – who attended with his wife, Anne – with an opportunity to learn about who their father was. The main goal was to provide Miller’s wife and children with something to look back upon. From the Lancaster Eagle Gazette, Lancaster, Ohio.

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Louisville Multicultural Visitor Guide


All take place in 2008 on Saturdays, unless otherwise noted. All prefer or require advance reservations. Most are free or at a nominal fee. Call for information.


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

he Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) released its 2008-2009 Multicultural Visitors Guide. A new feature by local writer Ron Cooper is called “Explore the Possibilities: Take a Tour of Louisville,” about three themed itineraries including family fun, the multicultural experience and Kentucky’s Bourbon tradition. The 84-page, full-color Guide still includes a list of annual multicultural events and information about Louisville’s diverse communities and neighborhoods. A minority Vendor Directory is included and Guides are available in Spanish. Contact 888-LOUISVILLE (1-888-568-4784) or download a copy at


Thursday, 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 – 1:30 PM Contact DeKalb County CVB at 800-999-6055 or 770-492-5000 July 11 and October 10, 2008

Tour Florida’s Black History


elebrate Florida’s rich Black History with Visit Florida’s Black Heritage Trail guide. The guide includes AfricanAmerican landmarks and legacies from across the state and is available free at Take a trip down the Trail and be sure to stop off along the way for exciting sights, sounds, and celebrations.


ABCs of Planning a Family Reunion Friday, July 11 Atlanta Marriott Gwinnett Place Friday, October 10 Atlanta Marriott Norcross 10AM to Noon, lunch & complimentary Reunion Planner provided; reunion vendors; hotels; preview of all Gwinnett has to offer family reunion planners. Advance Reservation required. Please contact Linda Busby at 770.814.6056 or October 2008 ESTES PARK, COLORADO

Family Reunion University YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park Center Contact Conference Office at 800-777-9622

Pensacola Bay Area Visitor Guide


he Pensacola Bay, Florida, Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) has published its 2008-09 Visitor Guide for Pensacola, Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key. The Visitor Guide includes hundreds of business listings, hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, attractions and more. Visitors can look to the guide for Pensacola facts, travel tips, maps, sample itineraries and a 2008 calendar of events. To request a guide, contact 800874-1234;

m o r e o n w w w. r e u n i o n s m a g . c o m 14

R E U N I O N S ❖ “Do It Yourself Websites”


website is a great way to share vital reunion details, collect information and entertain guests. A website acts as a communications hub where everyone can view details of events, maps, hotel information and much more. With website tools you can manage guest lists, send broadcast emails, accept registrations and sell tickets (by credit card). There are also photo albums, quizzes, polls, a guest book, music, video and easy to use content management tools. has released a new platform that provides an unprecedented level of control over color and design for “do it yourself” reunion websites. The company has special features for high school reunions ( and family reunions ( The key is still ease of use. Anyone who can surf the net can build and customize a great website on and make updates. has many new designs with themes specifically for class, family and military reunions. You can try a free trial for seven days. Go to and click on the affiliate logo. Website packages start as low as $9.95 a month.


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

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

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

Contact Renee Cobb, Flint Area CVB, 316 Water St, Flint MI 48502; 888-230-2586; MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA

Considering a motorcoach for your reunion?


he National Motorcoach Network has just what you need to start. Their 20 Consumer Tips for Chartering a Motorcoach is available at You’ll want to read the tips before you start planning. The Consumer Tips is also the basis for a podcast at about how to hire a motorcoach for your reunion.

Free reunion planning seminar. Contact Lori Kearney at 612-767-8114. Space is limited. SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, LOUISIANA

Contact Suzanne Manfredi, Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau, 629 Spring St, Shreveport LA 71101; 318-222-9391;


Send reunion workshop information to Listings are free as 17th National Family Reunion Conference a resource to our readers. Vargus, 215-204-8703; Contact Dr. Ione J U N E/J U LY/AUGU ST 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Maple Hill Pool reunion


owners Grove, Illinois, community pool was founded in 1958. Pool officials are looking for people with memories and memorabilia of its early years for a 50th anniversary party. The club’s float in the Downers Grove Fourth of July parade this year will include former and current swim team members. Anyone who has ever been part of the Maple Hill community is invited to the pool for swimming, hot dogs and ice cream. For info call 630-964-0430. From a story by Samantha Nelson in the Downers Grove Reporter, Downers Grove, Illinois.

YMCA camp celebrates 50 years


ver the past 50 years, thousands of children have traveled through the gates of YMCA Camp Tippecanoe in Tippecanoe, Ohio. This year they will celebrate a 50-year anniversary. The Camp is searching for alumni to serve on a 50th anniversary committee, attend alumni family events throughout the year, and give back to the camp that so influenced their childhood. Former summer campers and staff members should contact Scott Weigley at 800-922-0679;

Bayonne (New Jersey) reunion in Florida


eunion Chairman Nat Saltzman, a Florida resident, expected about 150 (half winter birds, the rest Bayonne transplants living in Florida). At its peak, the Florida reunion drew as many as 400, but time has taken its toll and the reunion is held every other year. For information, call Saltzman at 561-330-8450. From The Jersey Journal, Jersey City, New Jersey.

Looking for “hometown heroes”


apid City, South Dakota, is in the middle of America – an ideal location for reunions with members scattered across the US. The Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) has revised its “Hometown Hero” campaign to encourage local residents to suggest the city as a reunion host. Those who successfully attract reunions to Rapid City will be recognized as “Hometown Heroes.” The CVB can develop a proposal which identifies host hotels, room rates and property inspections; develops itineraries; and helps to arrange welcome receptions and welcome packets. Visit From the Rapid City Journal, Rapid City, South Dakota.

Share a piece of history


ishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa in Santa Fe, New Mexico, invites readers to share memories, photographs and memorabilia from visits to Bishop’s Lodge as part of The Piece of History Campaign to help celebrate the resort’s 90th anniversary during 2008. Participants automatically will be entered into a sweepstakes for a vacation package. Submit photographs and stories by email to jbelcher@bishops Submit memorabilia (e.g., brochures, matchbooks, menus, ashtrays, or souvenirs bearing Bishop’s Lodge logo) to Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa, 1297 Bishop’s Lodge Rd, Santa Fe NM 87501.


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Freedom Center comes alive Moving! Inspirational! Powerful! The National Underground Railroad Freedom is unique in the nation and is listed as “one of Ten Great Places to Absorb the Reality of Slavery.” – USA TODAY, 2007


ver 90% of visiting groups consistently rate their Freedom Center experience as satisfactory or very satisfactory. It offers interactive exhibits and multimedia experiences about historical slavery in this country and in the world today. “If you see only one museum, this should be it.” – HONOLULU ADVERTISER.


Family FreedomFest – Saturday, July 26, 10 AM to 6 PM. Free admission to day-long festival featuring museum tours, family entertainment, live bands, children’s activities, and food from around the city. Donations accepted. For information call 877-648-4838. Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War Exhibit – October 17, 2008 to January 11, 2009 Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War shows how Lincoln’s momentous struggle to save the Union transformed the nation and its Constitution. It addresses the three principal constitutional crises of Lincoln’s presidency – secession, slavery and emancipation, and civil liberties during wartime – prompting visitors to examine current challenges to constitutional liberties. Created by the National Constitution Center. For information call 513-333-7557. FREEDOM CENTER HELPS TRACE FAMILY ROOTS

The Freedom Center’s John Parker Library offers free family history search resources and volunteers to guide you through the process. Search the US census from 1790 to 1930, Social Security Death Index, Ellis Island, military, state and county records and surname databases. Library is open by appointment; call 513-333-7654. Learn more at

Mummers String Band entertain reunion


lan Lissy started a Philadelphia club in Platina, Florida, last spring that is up to 56 members. He’s helping Marsha Decker at the Hochman Branch of the Jewish Community Center of the Greater Palm Beaches. The JCC also hosted reunions of folks from New England, The Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn, New York. The Philadelphia reunion even enjoyed 45-member Sun Coast Mummers String Band from Sarasota. Mummers are mostly men who wear elaborate sequined costumes with towering feather headdresses and parade in Philadelphia on New Year’s Day, a tradition going back to the late 1700s. The club had a barbecue in January, a “pizza schmooze” in February, and a buffet at Lox Around the Clock in March. From a story by Marci Shatzman, also a Philadelphian, in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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hey traveled from as close as just down the street to notecards, a cookbook with as far away as Germany, from California to recipes from Searl Massachusetts, from Florida to Michigan, and from 10 descendants, reunion buttons, other states in between. and wild plum jelly made by Though they were family, most of them had never met. And Simon’s mother, Wilma Walter. realizing they’d shaken each other’s hands for the first time At the end of the weekend, only the night before makes their tireless efforts last weekend after all the hard work was to repair Searl Ridge complete, family members Cemetery all the more were amazed at the results. amazing. “It’s just amazing, all the “I was so nervous about things we’ve accomplished. bringing all these people It’s just beautiful now. It together from all over the actually gives me goosebumps country and Germany, since to think about it,” said Helen many hadn’t met each other; Pohl of Panora, Iowa. but I was amazed that when Rick Marshall of Granite we got to that cemetery it was Works in Dixon aided the like we had all known each family all day Friday in the other for years. And everyone complicated work of resetting knew their role and what they the more than 100-year-old Timothy Searl’s headstone before. Timothy Searl’s headstone after. were supposed to do. I really tombstones. felt a common purpose and Simon said they still have sense of family,” said Dorrie some funds left over to direct Simon, event organizer. Marshall to place a clear coat According to Simon, the on the stones to help preserve family reset 32 tombstones of them a few more years. The Searl ancestors, pouring new rest of the funds will be bases with concrete. It is directed to the Ridge estimated they used 4,920 Cemetery Association for pounds of concrete from 82 maintenance costs. bags of Sakrete. “This has been an When a tombstone was experience of a lifetime. Being discovered in bad shape, it able to find all three stones was removed and cleaned with and fix them up. It’s just bleach and dishwashing great,” said Grant Misbach of detergent on a makeshift table. Provo, Utah. Restoring Searl Ridge Cemetery was approached enthusiastically. Photo by Deb Bowen It is estimated nearly seven Misbach and his two sons gallons of bleach and dish- washing detergent were used to and grandson traveled to restore three of their ancestors’ scrub away the dirt and grime. While it was cleaned, a wood tombstones, one of which was discovered to be for sale on eBay frame, measured to fit its proportions was made, and a new in December and was later returned to the family. hole was dug. “It’s just so wonderful to meet all these new relatives. No Buckets of concrete were then hauled to the hole and matter how much you read about your history, you get so much poured in. The tombstones were carefully placed in the bed of more out of it when you actually come and see it. We all need to concrete, and some of the larger stones were provided extra know our heritage. The more we know, the more we can supports to stay level. appreciate what they did,” Misbach said. The cost of supplies and clean-up were $1,200, Simon said. Reprinted with permission from the In turn, the family raised $2,200 to cover costs. Donations Bureau County Republican, came from sales of Searl Ridge 2008 calendars, Searl Ridge Princeton, Illinois Photos by Dorrie Simon



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Fabulous at 40 O

by Lisa A. Alzo, MFA

“e-vite” ( Figlar’s son, Soon Pak. The front featured the words, n July 4, 1967, John John Guy, and his wife, Mary – the head “Happy 40th ALAFFFA” using Figlar’s “PeeWee” Figlar packed a reunion planners – once again did a original ALAFFFA logo as the “0” for picnic basket, gathered his fabulous job organizing, shopping for the the number “40,” and the high school wife and children, and drove reunion and preparing the food. Everyone photos of each of the seven siblings were out to South Park near his home in enjoyed a special lunch of rigatoni, salad displayed in mini-portraits across the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He invited his and bread. Later in the day, they dined back. John Anthony Figlar gave special sister, Gerry Abbott and her husband on chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, fruit, shirts to ALAFFFA members who Mickey and their two children, and his assorted baked goods and “the Pot” (a celebrated milestone birthdays in 2007. sister, Margie Figlar, along to celebrate family recipe of kolbassi and sauerkraut A special shirt designed in remembrance Independence Day. And despite the mixed with some “secret” ingredients). A of John “Pee-Wee” Figlar (who would unusually cold and miserable weather, special birthday cake signed in icing by have turned 80 in 2007) was given to his the family had fun just being together. each ALAFFFA member was also served. granddaughter, Kayla Figlar. Then a The gathering grew each year until, Special t-shirts were designed by moment of silence was observed to pay eventually, all seven Figlar siblings tribute to all of the deceased ALAFFFA brought their families to members. the park to join the Under the direction of Luanne festivities. A commercial Francesangeli, the activities committee artist, Figlar designed a kept everyone entertained with several logo and came up with an special themed events. There was a acronym – ALAFFFA – “Guess that Song” 80s Trivia Challenge formed from the last names by Jeannie Pak. An “ALAFFFA of the seven siblings – WhoDunit?” written by Lisa Alzo and Abbott, Lizanov, Alzo, Luanne Francesangeli, asked members: Figlar, Figlar, Figlar, and “Where’s ALAFFFA-Man?” Augenstein. A tradition Other activities included a softball was born, with the promise ALAFFFA’s 40th birthday cake, signed in icing by reunion attendees. game and ALAFFFA’s very own “Cornhole” to always come together once a year for the reunion as a tribute to their parents, John and Veronica Figlar, who taught their children the importance of staying together as a family. LAFFFAMan made his first appearance (in costume) during the family’s Figlar recounted in 1991: Halloween-themed reunion in 2000. After a six-year hiatus, the family “From that day, that first Fourth sent him a special invitation to return for the 40th milestone reunion. The of July, we had picnics at South “mystery” played out this way: Park and we haven’t missed a year ALAFFFA-Man failed to show up on time for the reunion. His empty car was found since … and I would like to see it along the Pennsylvania Turnpike with the reunion invitation strewn across the going on until I can’t go anymore. front seat. Clues found on the scene pointed to an apparent “suspicious” I’ll be dead, but I hope [you guys] disappearance. A list of suspects was provided (one from each of the seven core will keep on doing the same thing families) along with their respective motives. every year – try to get out there for the reunion …” M ICKEY ABBOTT – He believed there was room for only one jokester in the family. Sadly, Figlar’s prediction about his H ELEN LIZANOV – She did not like it that ALAFFFA-Man’s costume was more not being able to attend came true when creative than hers. he had a heart attack and passed away in L ISA ALZO – She could not find his branch on the family tree. 1995. But his legacy lives on. Forty years later, the family continued Figlar’s JOHN GUY F IGLAR – He didn’t like ALAFFFA-Man’s silly games. vision when three generations of ED F IGLAR – He always received the blame for mishaps at previous family reunions. ALAFFFAs gathered at the Community L AUREL F IGLAR – Although a quiet one, she always seemed to be the chief instigator House in South Park to enjoy a day of in many classic ALAFFFA whipped cream pie fights over the years. food, fun and family. TODD AUGENSTEIN – He heard ALAFFFA-Man was NOT a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Several “ALAFFFA-ites” helped organize the 40th Birthday Bash. Those members who participated followed a series of clues which eventually revealed Reunion invitations went high-tech when that Mickey Abbott was the guilty party. ALAFFFA-Man did eventually show up Lisa Alzo created and sent them using for the reunion, in costume, bringing his own unique sense of humor to the celebration.

ALAFFFAMan Cast of Characters



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game (a bean bag toss game that has two opposing teams pitching bean bags in innings into a box with a hole at the top – the first team to score 21 points at the completion of an inning wins). See www.cornhole-game .org/Cornhole-Game-Rules.html. Soon Pak designed a special Cornhole board in honor of ALAFFFA. Later in the day, everyone gathered to watch a special screening of “ALAFFFA Idol” produced by Keith Abbott and his son Derik, which showed clips of various singing performances from ALAFFFA members over the years, interspersed with comments from the “judges.” Then, Helen Lizanov gathered the other surviving founding members – Joe Figlar, Mike Figlar, Gerry Abbott and Margie Augenstein – to pay tribute to ALAFFFA with a song she wrote in honor of the special day (to the tune of “Sixteen Candles”). Forty candles on the birthday cake ALAFFFA is 40 Make no mistake Blow out the candles And make a wish or two ALAFFFA is 40 And here’s a song for you Next followed the traditional ALAFFFA “Surf’s Up!” toast with everyone gathered in a circle with a shot of Malibu Rum or other beverage to do the wave and toast ALAFFFA. A few things have changed over the years since that very first ALAFFFA picnic. The dates and locations have varied. Several family members have passed on, and new members have been added. However, the one thing that

Kayla Figlar holds up the shirt presented in honor of her late grandfather, ALAFFFA’s founder, John “Pee-Wee” Figlar.

has remained constant is the strong family ties that keep bringing everyone together year after year. Cheers to ALAFFFA – they’re “fabulous at 40” and the best is yet to come!

About the author Lisa Alzo is the official ALAFFFA Family Historian. She is the author of six books and numerous magazine articles, and can be reached via her web site:

The official group photograph of the 40th ALAFFFA Family Reunion. J U N E/J U LY/AUGU ST 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Is your family reunion ho hum? by Verlene E. Wallace


ur Rash-Hines Family Reunions for the past 60 years can be attributed to my Dad. He insisted the family get together for a picnic every fourth of July. My Dad came from a large family not far from Mother’s equally large family, which was not too distant from Mount Vernon in Southern Illinois where I was born and raised. If no one else came, our family of 12 children still made it to the park on the fourth of July because there was always plenty of family there. My Mom packed baskets filled with potato salad, ham, stuffed eggs, pies and cakes. The kids played on the swings and slides. The older ones played baseball and tug o’ war. Those with sweethearts took canoe rides on the lake. There was a carousel, a zoo with caged animals, birds, reptiles, etc. Plenty of interesting things to keep us busy till time to eat and fireworks after dark. Time passed, families grew, married and drifted away. We still attended the reunions, but interest had waned. It became a ‘Ho Hum’ day. We’d ask each other “How are you?”, eat, give a few Tupperware door prizes, clean up and go home. After attending one such reunion, driving home with plenty of time to think, I felt it was time to put new life

into our reunions. We have many elderly people coming each year and we are fortunate to have use of the park’s air conditioned recreation building, which we rented passing the hat for contributions. I wondered how we could get enough money to not only pay rent, but also to spice up our door prizes with more imaginative items such as McDonalds’ Gift Certificates or fishing rods.

These sumptious cakes are Cake Walk prizes: yum.

A fundraising Cake Walk is a game with music played while participants step onto (10-12) numbered squares in a circle on the floor. When the music stops, a number is called and the person standing on the number wins a cake. We charge $1 for three turns around the circle.

The Rash-Hines Family Reunion


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Auctions are enjoyable, I’ve found over the years. If our family could be coaxed into having one, what a fun way to make money for expenses! I consulted some family members, then decided to announce our auction. In our newsletter we inserted the carefully worded phrase: “Bring gently used items for our auction.” Reunion day we had tables of items. I made cardboard bidding numbers. We kept a record of bids and money owed. We had great fun buying each other’s ‘junk’ and made over $400 for our fund. The auction fever caught on: we had enough money for interesting door prizes. We could hire a magician and a balloon man. We have kids’ games, a piñata, grab bags, cake walk, and guess the number of candies in a jar. We have found people seem to give more freely since we started our FUNd raisers. We like it that way, because we love giving it all back!

About the author Verlene E. Wallace is second to the youngest of 15 children who has three children, four grandchildren and three great grand children. She is writing childrens stories now after getting back to writing recently and has published articles and poems. She lives in Indiana where she helps care for two of her grandchildren.


he Harmelinks celebrated their 150th reunion with 285 registered attendees. Oldest Bernice Harmelink, Oostburg, Wisconsin, holds the youngest attendee, almost three-month-old Hadley Kay Harmelink, Bernice’s 2nd cousin three times removed, daughter of Eric Harold and Kerri (Graff) Harmelink of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Rainy day idea for kids


he kids are cooped up because of rain and looking for something to do. provides a fun and educational outlet for hours of indoor amusement. With trustworthy links to over 1,300 web pages, is the official US government kids’ site – so you know it’s safe. Children from kindergarten through eighth grade can play games, go back in history, sail the seven seas, and much more. Do your kids dream of being astronauts? Do you have a budding Picasso? How would your kids like to read the diary of a day in the life of a Park Ranger? They’ll find lots to interest them at Separated into two sections, Grades K-5 and 6-8, is easy to navigate. Kids quickly can find information and activities geared to their grade level. Loaded with great tips, facts, projects, games, and exercises, there is always something new and exciting on J U N E/J U LY/AUGU ST 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Vackettas at 75


homas Vacketta, 18, of Auburn Hills, Michigan, admitted he wasn’t too happy about attending the 75th consecutive Vacketta Family Reunion. But he changed his mind when he got there. “I see it’s important to learn family history. It may be my turn to step up and help one day.” Tony Chiaffredo, 36, said it’s important to participate because it’s tradition and “it gives you a sense of where you came from. It’s great to hear the family stories.” The reunion meal featured fried chicken and Italian bread and many family recipes. It wouldn’t be a reunion without peach pudding and banana cake. A one-day picnic has grown to include an informal gathering on Friday evening; a lunch and golf outing Saturday, followed by a more formal meal in the evening and picnic Sunday. Shared by Joan Griffis, Danville, Illinois, and Largo, Florida, from the News-Gazette, Champaign, Illinois.

Where We Come From


here We Come From was the theme of the first Taylor-Dennis, Horner-Sims, and White-Miller Family Reunion of about 130 people at Mingo Creek Park in Washington, Pennsylvania. Members were asked to bring family tree information, old photos and photos of immediate families as well as photos and information about family members who served in the military. A computer and printer/scanner were available to scan photos which were immediately returned to their owners. They were also asked to bring donations that represent the area or state where they live. Books, gifts or decorative items were suggested, as long as it represented “where you come from.” Items were used for prizes and an auction and to get an idea of how far they’re spread out and where they live. A silent auction of baskets full of great things helped pay for the reunion and give them a start on next year. Prizes were given to the oldest, youngest, farthest traveled, longest married, most children, most grandchildren, most greatgrandchildren, family with the most members present, oldest former military member present and the most years served in the military. They dedicated the reunion to family military members and honored them. For those who arrived early, there was a meet and greet coffee/punch/cookie reception. The main course, drinks and dessert were provided and everyone was asked to bring a covered dish to share. Games were provided for kids and adults. Contact Carol Taylor-Lanza, or Norma Taylor-Tarajkowski,

FREE Announce your reunion on

Send reunion, name, date, location and contact info to 24

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J U N E/J U LY/AUGU ST 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Island getaway


ach year the children and grandchildren of Eugene and Marian Mullen, growing ever more widely dispersed, take time to gather somewhere for a family reunion. In the past, we rented houses and camped at a very nice family campground with a water park. But this year we were interested in bigger water. The ocean was out: too far from most of us and too expensive. Instead we looked at the natural resources available to the lucky people who live in the Midwest: the Great Lakes and their 31,000 islands. With a sister in Chicago and one in Rochester, New York, we could have chosen Lake Michigan or Lake Ontario. But most of the family is still in Ohio, which made Lake Erie the obvious choice. And Lake Erie boasts some of the loveliest islands in the lakes. Just a short ferry ride off the North Coast of Ohio are a number of little islands, all featuring fabulous views of Lake Erie and offering leisure time fun for adults and children. Closest to the mainland, four miles north of Marblehead and 12 miles from Sandusky, is Kelley’s Island; at four square miles, it is the largest American island in Lake Erie. There is a vineyard and Kelley’s Island award-winning Wine Company. A brewery brews award-winning, handcrafted beers. Both have excellent restaurants. There is fun shopping on the island and, for entertainment, there is a butterfly house where kids can see caterpillars turning into butterflies, an amazing mansion to tour and a state park with awe-inspiring glacial grooves carved about 18,000 years ago. Cedar Point Amusement Park is a ferry ride away and one can go deep lake fishing and even parasailing. Plenty to occupy anyone. My family likes to camp, so we chose the state park campground on the north end of the island, rather than lovely bed and breakfasts and rental homes. We arrived Friday evening and set up camp. Each family group had its own campsite and we managed to be placed near each other. Sites are available for booking exactly six months to the day before you want to arrive. Call early for the best sites! The campground is right on the lake and the view is spectacular! The beach is tidy, bath houses are clean and fairly convenient, and the speed limit is low, so it’s safe for kids on bikes and scooters. We cooked over the fire each meal, and tried out a new camp 26

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by Anne Chlovechok stove and Dutch oven I received for Christmas. Yum! In the evenings the park showed free movies and we saw a Perseid meteor shower each night. We made lots of wishes! My reunion highlight was Saturday, when we all went geocaching (see sidebar). Kelley’s Island has many geocaches hidden al over. There are traditional caches, a couple of Earth caches (which challenge the cacher to find a certain geographic location, usually interesting or educational, of which the Glacial Grooves cache is one) and even an

Molly Chlovechok (14) back, Brianna Chlovechok (12) middle, and Cooper Chlovechok (8) in the foreground on the Kelley's Island Ferry.

WHAT IS GEOCACHING? eocaching is best described as G an international treasure hunt. Go to, enter the zip code where you plan to cache … or hunt for treasure. Presto! All area caches appear and you choose which to find. Input longitude and latitude coordinates of the cache into your handheld GPS and you’re ready to go. A geocache is a container, ranging in size from a tiny nanocache (enough for a rolled log sheet) At the Kelley's Island Country Club Cache are (l to r) Anna to a five-gallon bucket full of “swag” Ingerson (12), Elizabeth Marr, Devon Marr (14), Anne or trading items. Most caches are Chlovechok and Maddie Seubert (12). about the size of a gallon milk jug or a metal ammunition container. They generally contain a log book and pen for you to log your visit, and trading items – key chains, small toys, personalized trading cards, coins and other small things. Take little things to leave in caches you find. Caches are in hollow trees, under rotting bark, under rock piles, in abandoned out-houses, in bushes, under bridges and anywhere someone clever thought to hide one. Later, return to the website and record your visit, indicate whether you found the caches you sought, and what you traded. If you’re lucky, you might find a trackable item in a cache. Travel bugs and geocoins are tags and manufactured coins with numbers etched upon them, trackable on the geocaching website. Once you’ve logged one onto your cache account, you can watch its progress around the world! If you are curious, check them out on eBay. You’ll be amazed at the variety! underwater cache! Invariably it’s one of the “newbies” who finds a difficult cache. At the end of the day, we headed triumphantly back to camp with our little collection of McDonalds toys, and key chains, and even a travel bug which I relocated to a cache in the Cambridge, Ohio, area upon returning home. I’m addicted to the sport, and like to infect as many friends and family as I possibly can. That way, more people will hide caches for me to find! On Sunday we took the ferry to Cedar Point for the day. We had a great time, spent too much money and barely made it back to take the last ferry to the island

that night. In fact, everyone had such a good time, we’ve decided to return next year. I hope there are more caches hidden on the island by then! Google Kelley’s Island, and Kelley’s Island Ferry Boat for information.

About the author Anne Chlovechok lives with her children in southeastern Ohio, where she is a staff writer for the Daily & Sunday Jeffersonian. She enjoys camping with her family, her Girl Scout Troop and her BSA Venture Crew. In her spare time, she enjoys a good murder mystery.

Long weekend ushers in long-awaited camping


emorial Day weekend means a camping and family reunion tradition that’s lasted decades for the Ray and Robbie Bile family of Oroville, California. The Biles, with a couple dozen relatives and friends, took over four campsites at Cherry Hill Campground, northeast of Butte Meadows, California, for a reunion that stretched to almost a week. Sunday morning, members from several generations sat in chairs surrounding a fire ring, where a pot of coffee warmed and foil-wrapped, freshlycaught trout baked. Teenagers balanced on the creek-bank rocks, trying to tempt fish from the chilly water. The Biles drove their motor home and established camp, where four of their

five children and multiple grandchildren and great-grandchildren joined them with tents, lawn chairs and fishing gear. Some stayed one night, others longer. Robbie Bile admitted it was her favorite campground and campsite. “I cry if we don’t get this one,” she joked. Ray Biles said he didn’t think they would have gotten the spot if they hadn’t come early. The family tries to get together to camp every Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend, he explained. They occasionally go other places, but most often to Cherry Hill, which is operated by the Almanor Recreation Area of Lassen National Forest south of Chester, California. From a story by Chris Gullick in the Mercury-Register, Oroville, California.

Campers, counselors return for Somerset reunion


he second reunion for camp alumni of Camp T. Frank Soles, in Rockwood, near Laurel State Park, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, brought back by popular demand since Sue Fletcher, McKeesport, arranged the first in 2004. Camp Soles has been a popular yearround destination for families, school groups and summer programs since it opened in 1955. It was built on 263 acres by philanthropist T. Frank Soles, who turned it over to the McKeesport YMCA. More than 80 former campers came from southwestern Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, New York, Florida and Spain, some bringing children and grandchildren. Tibor Nagy, one of the first campers Fletcher contacted for the 2004 reunion,

returned from Texas. He had been sent to Camp Soles by the American Red Cross shortly after he and his father fled political oppression in Hungary. “He didn’t know English and he learned it from camp songs,” Fletcher said. The reunion included three days of work projects – upgrading the bathhouse and restoring the campfire area – then fun. Some alumni stayed for the whole week, others came for a few days, and many just spent a day. The reunion promised favorite activities from the past, and others, such as a climbing wall and zip line that may not have been there a generation ago. Visit From a story by Maryann Gogniat Eidemiller at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Lone Star adventures


exas offers exciting outdoor adventures. Kayaking, boating and tubing adventures are available on many of the state’s coastal and inland waterways. And beaches offer surf, sun or places to build sand castles on miles of sunny beaches along the Texas Gulf Coast, from Galveston to South Padre Island. Campers and hikers will find an abundance of options at Texas’s state and national parks, scenic hiking trails,

primitive to RV campsites, and abundant wildlife viewing. The Big Bend National Park in West Texas encompasses more than 800,000 acres of mountains and beautiful desert scenery to explore. The Palo Duro Canyon State Park in the Texas Panhandle offers majestic sites for camping and hiking. Visit or call 8008888-TEX for free Texas State Travel Guide, Official Map and Accommodations Guide.

Safe hiking tips


very year, hundreds of Americans get lost, injured and even die while hiking through remote sections of national parks and other wild spots in the US. Members of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees (CNPSR) share their five survival tips for safer hiking. 1. Have a plan and share it. 2. Make sure your equipment, clothing and food are appropriate for the trip. 3. Know your limits, and those of others in your group. Use a buddy system. 4. Always bring proper emergency equipment; at a minimum, a first aid kit. 5. Know in advance what to do if things go bad. Park rangers typically encourage hikers in genuine distress to “hug a tree,” which means staying where you are until help comes to you.

Go to camp!


amily camps have seen an incredible surge in popularity as families look for more ways to make the most of their precious – and scarce – time together. Now, makes it easy to find year-round camps that offer something for every member of the clan. Family camps are one of the fastest growing camp trends, showing a 215 percent increase in popularity over the past 15 years, and aren’t limited to summer anymore. Family camps are structured to offer programs for all age groups, and allow the family to enjoy that all-important time together.

Easy reservations


OA, the largest system of campgrounds in North America, and ReserveAmerica, the leading outdoor recreation reservation provider, have integrated their reservation systems to allow visitors to ReserveAmerica’s reservations website to book camping reservations directly at hundreds of participating KOA campgrounds. Participating KOAs will offer ReserveAmerica visitors reservations for their famous Kamping Kabins, Kottages and Lodges, along with tent and recreational vehicle campsites. Visit J U N E/J U LY/AUGU ST 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Maintaining family unity by Tracy Reichdan


or years, my family of six siblings lived within an hour of one another, allowing us to enjoy weekly Sunday dinners together. As circumstances changed, we spread out from Boston to San Diego. I especially mourned the loss of our frequent visits as one day when I realized that my sister and I hadn’t seen each other for over a year. Immediately I knew we needed to start family reunions to maintain our family unity. For the first reunion we traveled to Rocky Mountain National Park. We carefully evaluated our housing options for a family of 26. The main factors in our choice were to be able to change the date quickly (a new baby attended at four weeks old), 11 of our number were under the age of four, the capability to bring trailers, being in nature and, of course, budgets. Glacier Basin campsite inside of Rocky Mountain National Park fulfilled all our requirements, allowing the more adventurous of us to tent camp, and the old and feeble (or old and pregnant as it turned out) to park RVs. Being a goal-oriented family, we created an objective for our reunion, which was to reconnect, visit and record some family history. With this objective in mind, we planned appropriate activities conducive to meeting our purpose. Planning our vacation with no previous reunion experience quickly became a logistical nightmare. Everyone had an opinion – none of which matched anyone else’s. We also had to consider different incomes and budget expectations. Grandpa offered a great solution to the opinion chaos which afflicted the planning process. Views could be offered but not always accepted. The hosting family had the final decision. Next everyone was asked to please understand that not all

The kids enjoyed several small hikes every day with grandpa. (left to right) Schuyler Jensen (4), David Reichdan (7), Kathryn Reichdan (1), grandpa Terry Harrington, Emma Jensen (2).


here are no grizzly bears, but there are black bears with color from black to T cinnamon. They are dangerous if disturbed. Do not feed. Bears are unpredictable. Store food in closed cars or tie food containers high above the ground between two trees. NEVER keep food in a tent. Mountain lions are generally calm and quiet. If you encounter one, stop and stay calm. Back away slowly. Try to appear large and fight back, if necessary. ✔ Do not go out alone. Keep children with the group. ✔ Be alert for animals crossing the streets at night. ✔ Alert rangers if you sight bears or lions. desires could be met, but be happy. However, as we assembled the itinerary, we kept all of these ideas in mind, doing our best to accommodate everyone’s needs and wants. Since our reunion was six days, we tried to include something each person would enjoy and keep with our connectivity goal. We chose events which permitted plenty of conversing. Our youngest ones loved the daily activity of skipping rocks at the creek and exploring with grandpa as they squealed with delight over each


Rocky Mountain National Park, 1000 Highway 36 Estes Park CO 80517-8397; 970-586-1206; Campground reservations 877-444-6777; Online cam at YMCA OF THE ROCKIES, ESTES PARK CENTER

Contact 800-777-9622; 28

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new discovery. They didn’t set any time or distance records, but those who remember still talk about investigating nature with grandpa. We played hide-nseek near the campsite and follow the leader (including funny walking and silly arm gestures as well as crazy noises). During quiet time every afternoon, when the small children and grandpa napped, the older children were given “nature challenges.” They participated in rock throwing contests, nature scavenger hunts, drawing in the dirt, searching for animal trails and hiking with willing adults. We also brought along our family history and genealogy, which we shared and updated during the quieter moments. One day was spent exploring Estes Park, shopping and riding the tram. The kids loved feeding the chipmunks. Some children had to eventually be carried away screaming because they

Oakland desperately wanted to take their new chipmunk friends home as pets. Grandpa treated the kids to sweets. Every evening found us around the campfire enjoying a warm dessert while we visited. Older children stayed up nightly to hear shared family stories. Key words were carefully recorded from each story and later written in detail. Grandpa told stories about growing up on the farm and killing his pet turkey for Thanksgiving. Grandma enjoyed putting puzzles together with her grandmother when she was a little girl. We even shared recent stories, like the sons and sons-inlaw popping paint balls in mom’s newly decorated living room, getting fluorescent paint all over her new white curtains. At the end of our reunion, the main objective had been met. We enjoyed each other’s company and our family unit grew stronger despite the distances separating us. As an added bonus, the young cousins left with endearing friendships and looked forward to planning another date to see each other again. Happily, we had established a new family tradition of reunions, which we continue to enjoy.

About the author Tracy Reichdan is a freelance writer who resides in Littleton, Colorado, with her husband and five children. Her family continues to enjoy family reunions on even years.

Where your reunion is the center of ever ything.

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

Climbing up and sliding down the mountain was fun and kept many of the young cousins busy and entertained.

J U N E/J U LY/AUGU ST 2008 â?– R E U N I O N S



Pencil food safety into your reunion planning Food safety advice for family reunion planners from the USDA.


amily, fellowship, pride and a link to one’s past are allimportant aspects of a family reunion. And food brings them all together beautifully. Selecting the menu and determining how food will be prepared are pressing decisions for reunion planners. If your reunion plans include everyone sharing the cooking, be sure to follow the four easy lessons of Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill to prevent harmful bacteria from making you or your family sick. CLEAN: Wash hands, utensils and cutting boards before and after contact with raw meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and egg products. SEPARATE: Keep raw meat, poultry and seafood apart from foods that won’t be cooked. COOK: Use a food thermometer – you cannot tell food is cooked safely by how it looks. Cook food to a safe minimum internal temperature: beef, veal and lamb steaks and roasts to 145°F; pork chops and ground meat to 160°F; poultry, casseroles and leftovers should reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F throughout. CHILL: Chill leftovers and takeout foods within two hours (one hour in temperatures above 90°F) and keep the fridge at 40°F or below. Whether you plan to take food across town or host the event in your backyard, follow these additional food safety recommendations for a safe and successful reunion. TRANSPORTING FOOD: Keep cold food at or below 40°F. Place cold food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs. Place an appliance thermometer in the cooler to ensure that food temperature remains safe. Keep hot food at or above 140°F, wrap well and place in an insulated container. REHEATING FOOD: Use a food thermometer to check that food is cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature. Use a stove, oven or microwave to reheat food to 165°F. Bring sauces, soups

and gravies to a rolling boil. If reheating in a conventional oven, set the oven temperature no lower than 325°F. When reheating food in the microwave oven, cover and rotate food for even heating. Always allow standing time before checking the internal temperature of food. Consult your microwave owner’s manual for recommended times and power levels. Reheating food in slow cookers and chafing dishes is NOT recommended because foods may stay in the “Danger Zone” (between 40 and 140°F) too long. SERVING FOOD: Similar rules follow as with transporting food. Once food is cooked or reheated, it should be held at or above 140°F. Cold food should be held at or below 40°F. Keep food cold on the buffet table by nesting serving dishes of food in bowls of ice. Use small platters and replace them with fresh refrigerated platters of food often, rather than adding fresh food to a serving dish already on the table. MORE INFORMATION

Cooking for Groups: A Volunteer’s Guide to Food Safety, available online at, is the perfect companion for your family reunion planning. It takes you through all the steps necessary to safely plan and serve food for your family reunion. To order printed copies, email A virtual representative, “Ask Karen,” is available to provide food safety information 24/7 at Also contact the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline with food safety questions. Food safety experts at or toll free at 888-MPHotline answer questions in English and Spanish.

Keep food poisoning off your menu


ust to make the point for food safety, take a lesson from these reunion experiences. The first is from a report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). A family reunion of 53 in West Virginia, included 53 relatives from Florida, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. More than half came down with diarrhea or vomiting; six sought medical care for their symptoms. Four others who weren’t at the reunion, but live with reunion attendees, also got sick. After interviewing 48 attendees, health officials zeroed in on three menu items that appeared to be related to the outbreak: chicken, scalloped potatoes 30

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and a chocolate cheese ball. The CDC does not mention whether the foods were made by the same person, weren’t stored safely or whether people were passing food without first washing their hands. A norovirus outbreak linked to the family reunion caused the illnesses. Noroviruses are America’s leading cause of upset stomachs, according to the CDC. A story by Laura Baziuk in The Leader in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, tells about how an outbreak spoiled a family reunion. About 140 people were at the New Westminster Royal Canadian Legion campground for the reunion, which was spoiled when 25 family

members, from children to seniors, complained of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Ambulances took 18 to Surrey Memorial Hospital and isolated them from other emergency patients. A medical health officer with Fraser Health Authority said it was an outbreak of gastro-intestinal illness, which is fairly contagious. Its flu-like symptoms can be caused by food toxins, bacteria or parasites. Gastrointestinal illness is not fatal, nor is the Norwalk virus unless symptoms are aggravated. To avoid the spread of gastrointestinal illness do not share food or water, and wash hands often.


Considering catering?

iring a caterer can relieve much hassle on reunion day(s). To find a caterer, ask around for recommendations – and include the convention and visitors bureau in those you ask, if you are working with your CVB. You will soon know who is good … and whom to avoid. Ask the caterer you choose for three additional references and make the calls. It’s an assurance that this part of your reunion will work. Ask for the caterer’s license to do business and health-department certification, and inspect the caterer’s facility. As in all things reunion, you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time because last-minute planning means you’ll pay higher food and labor costs. And before committing to a final menu, ask for a tasting. You have many options for the extent of catering you can hire. KFC can cater a fine chicken dinner for any size group, but you must call ahead. Their menu and quality are familiar to you, and you might find it an easy way to cater a meal. If your reunion is in a hotel, you will likely work with the food and beverage department, which sometimes can also cater an offsite picnic or sack lunches for some activities. On the other hand, you might want the wider range of possibilities that an independent caterer can provide. There is usually a pretty extensive menu to choose from, as well as options such as simply delivering the food (leaving you to set up and serve), or you can choose to have the caterer set up, serve and clean up. Caterers are familiar with local venues and many can provide equipment, furniture and supplies you’ll need, including flatware, linens and even dishware. You’ll need to decide how the meal will be served. Will it be buffet-style or a plated meal? If you choose a buffet, select foods that stay fresh. It will make a difference if food is prepared on-site or made in advance and transported. Just make sure you settle all these details in advance, and that you and the caterer are on the same page of a memorable reunion meal. Determine exactly when the caterer needs a final head count (usually 48 hours before the reunion) and honor their need to know so they can have your order prepared in time. Allison Bell of the Powell-Moody Family Reunion in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, wrote that in the past, they

Inspecting the hotel caterer


f you use the hotel’s caterer, there is much to look for and learn according to Meetings and Conventions magazine. Assess the hotel’s catering department during site inspections. Evaluate the catering manager; note his/her attitude and friendliness. On an inspection tour your impressions are visual. Evaluate manners, attire and professionalism of catering staff. Are servers polite and efficient? Are hands clean? Do they wear hair nets? Are floors, cutting boards, sinks, ovens, refrigerators and storage units clean? Hotels should be happy to let you taste and evaluate food quality. Is the menu clear? Does food look fresh? Are plates, glasses and silverware clean? Are napkins clean? The hotel contract should spell out all catering needs, including service, costs (plus gratuities), health-law compliance, insurance and schedule for catering events.

The Banks, Hill, Outlaw Family Reunion normally meets in Snow Hill, North Carolina. When Thelma Harper Jones hosted her family in Washington, DC, she hired Evonne Edwards of Evonne & Family Catering.

had a banquet at a hotel and a picnic the next day. Family members would cook for the picnic. Those who volunteered were in such a lousy mood by the time festivities began that they decided to pay someone else to do all the work. Now, one of her cousins, a licensed caterer, prepares all the food so no one has to cook, deliver food or serve. Catering the meal is seen as a smart decision rather than a social faux pas as it might have been in the past. “Women are running careers and businesses,” says Jack Fisher, owner of Chef Jack’s Catering in Waukesha, Wisconsin, “They don’t have time to cook anymore.” In Greater Milwaukee Today, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mary Lou Santovec wrote that Fisher has noticed several trends in reunion food over the years. Early in the summer the menu choices revolve around “family fun food” such as brats, burgers and hot dogs. Later on, after everyone has had their fill of traditional cookouts, the preferred choices are chicken breasts, grilled pork ribs, shaved ham and turkey. Steak sandwiches show up on the menu at the end of summer. Some form of pasta, vegetable, fruit or potato salads generally accompany the entrees. Whatever the choice, the emphasis is on casual. This isn’t the time for champagne and caviar.

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What reunions eat alter and Barbara Williams, Niceville, Florida, hosted the Williams, Sanders, Johnson, Keith, and Kimbrough Family Reunion on the Emerald Coast in Destin, Florida. Williams’ son-in-law, Minister Derek Cox, blessed the food. They had a buffet of “Diligent” of Ipswich was the ship that brought the first pasta salad, tossed salad, Folsom, John Foulsham and Mary Gilman, to the Colonies in assorted dressings, roast beef, 1638 from Hingham and Norfolk, England. The crest is in the “alleged Folsom Family Crest/Coat of Arms,” according to baked chicken, mashed Bettse Folsom, Kansas City, Kansas, who made the cake potatoes, gravy, steamed “with each section a different flavor.” vegetables, rolls, fruit cobbler, and beautiful strawberry-filled sheet cake with family names and logo on it. Dutch oven cooking is a tradition at Stewart Family Camp Outs, There was also tea, coffee and a paywhich have themes each year. When their theme was a medieval camp as-you-go bar. out they ate without flatware. (l to r, front) Toby Wynne and R.D. Stewart, The best part of the Meny Family (l to r, back) Steven Stewart and Richard Stewart. Reported by Marilynn Stewart, Bear River City, Utah. Reunion, wrote Martha Payne, Owensboro, Kentucky, is eating. “We are a mostly German family. We always One proud mother wrote, “On Sunday everyone have what we call flitters, a flat, square goes to church, after which we serve dinner cooked homemade noodle in chicken broth, by my four daughters. My children are the best and hot German potato salad, a family cooks in town! They spend long hours cooking and specialty. Our 2008 will feature baking making the reunion a success.” Their menu, bratwurst and sauerkraut.” which feeds close to 100 people, consists of baked The late Joe and Flora Meny chicken, collard greens, dressing and gravy, rice originated in the rural country of and broccoli casserole, macaroni and cheese, Haubstadt, Indiana. They raised mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn bread and chickens for eggs and fryers, lots of pies and cakes. blackberries, grapes and a garden full Tom Bozeman wrote about the 50th R.E. of vegetables. “We grew up on Bozeman Reunion of descendants and friends. “It blackberry cobbler,” writes Payne, was a gala affair with barbecue brisket as the main “but we had to pick them along with dish. Side dishes varied from barbecue beans to getting chiggers when we did. The salads, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, and a reward was eating from-scratch cobbler Pete Napper provides fine barbecue at the Napper box of crispy chicken because you can’t have a Family Reunion in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. our grandmother or mother made. family reunion without fried chicken. And, of Reported by Steven C. Napper, Harrisburg, Throw some homemade vanilla ice course, that sinful stuff, dessert.” Pennsylvania. cream on top and you’re back in the Lucy Bowen, hand crankin’ days. One of the young kids sat on top Bakersfield, California, of the ice cream maker and cranked it for a few wrote that her family turns, taking turns. Little kids couldn’t turn for very makes a family reunion long. With all our family get-togethers and being tablecloth, which is an able to cook from generation to generation, we have a excellent keepsake and family of great cooks and we eat well. We have a can be used at other feast when we get together. Food, Family and Fun … reunions. She hemmed in no special order.” three yards of white According to Al Hill, a highlight of the fabric, and put out Warren Family Reunion cake from Angeline Warren, Poindexter Family Reunion in Winston-Salem, permanent colored Carrboro, North Carolina. North Carolina, was a barbecue meal. He explains markers (because they there are two primary BBQ styles in North Carolina: Eastern won’t fade) and asked all attendees to sign their names and (whole pig with a vinegar sauce) and Lexington (pork shoulder draw pictures if they chose. At each reunion another tablecloth with a similar sauce that has a little ketchup mixed in). is created, building wonderful memories.



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Strawberry cake a highlight

Crowd pleasers



.C. Snow, staff writer for the News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, wrote that family reunions are a part of the Southern heritage. His was held in Yadkinville, just west of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Snow says he ate meats and vegetables sparsely, saving space for a tour of the long table laden with every kind of dessert imaginable. “Missing, though, along with the dear ones who prepared them, was Alva’s traditional cherry cobbler made with cherries picked from her own trees, and Jessie’s moist, mouth-watering coconut cake.” But Snow’s favorite was strawberry cake – not the tough, dry shortcake – but real, delicate cake, made by his niece Yvonne, following her mother’s recipe and generously strewn with the last of the season’s strawberries.

Years of experience


eunions happen like clockwork for Sonnie Johnson’s family because every five years she holds the event at her home at Tin Fish Lake near Crosby, Minnesota. One hundred people from across the country gather for three to four days to camp, swim, boat and eat nonstop. Johnson and her three sisters started the first reunion more than 20 years ago. They and their daughters set a date, put together an invitation, design a menu, assign cooking, shopping and cleanup tasks to family members (posters list daily duties). Johnson and her husband transform the garage into a cook-and-eat shack with long tables and cold drinks and snacks all day. “We tried to get by with two meals a day initially, but found people wanted three,” she said. Guests stay several days, so they plan events like a Little Olympics for kids, talent shows, card games and bingo. They also march in the Fourth of July parade. Over the years, they’ve collected recipes for a crowd using favorite family recipes, doubled or tripled. Breakfast means oven French toast or pancakes, or biscuits and gravy, or an egg bake with leftover ham from dinner the night before. Lunches are kept simple: cold cuts and cheese, bread and chips. Dinner is more substantial with easy large-scale entrees: lasagna, turkey, ham. With a guest cabin on her property and another family member’s cabin nearby, they have plenty of refrigerator space and stoves. “We keep food safe for everyone,” she said. Costs are kept to a minimum, with Johnsons covering most of it. Some family members bring turkey or ham or other substantial food items, others bring beer and drinks. Some just write a check. Johnson’s tips: Choose the date as early as possible and let people know about nearby accommodations. Have a committee plan food, shop and cook or have the event catered. From a story by Lee Svitak Dean in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Minnesota.


igger is not always better, and more is not always merrier – at least if you’re the one doing the cooking for a crowd. But if you plan realistically and have lots of help or experience, you can pull off a family reunion barbecue, say caterers and home cooks who host large-scale parties. CATERING OR DO-IT-YOURSELF?

Before jumping into an extravaganza, be realistic about your budget. If you try to do it yourself to save money, it still costs time and labor. And you might actually save money by hiring a caterer. Hire a caterer if you don’t have a lot of cooking skills, if the party site doesn’t have kitchen facilities, or if you want to be stress-free. Do you want to do all the cooking or do you want to visit? MENU CONSIDERATIONS

• Consider how the food will hold up if made ahead, or if it has to be transported. • Grilling requires vigilance. Someone must be willing to check the meat temperature with a thermometer. • Avoid messy items. Use clear plastic over the tablecloth and floor. • Streamline and simplify. Use pre-made salads or sandwich fillings. • Consider preparation options. Should one person stand at a stove browning all the hamburger or should five people each make one batch in crockpots? SERVING THE MEAL

• Have someone dish up food for portion control; if you have a self-service buffet, people will take more. • The more variety on your buffet, the more people take. If you serve both turkey and ham, people will take a little of both. • You need variety to please everybody. • Serve the least expensive side dishes first. People fill their plate with tossed salad first, then side dishes; present the main dish last, because it’s the most expensive. • For better traffic flow have separate tables for drinks and desserts. • Create eye appeal. Place dishes or trays at varying heights atop sturdy blocks or pedestals. It’s also a good way to create space to fit more food onto the buffet. • If people are bringing food for a potluck, have post-it notes, masking tape or labels to write names on bowls and platters. From Valerie Phillips, Jeffrey D. Allred and Keith Johnson in the Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah. J U N E/J U LY/AUGU ST 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Family newsletters by Audrey Buswell


ome families stop at nothing to keep in touch. While the majority of families have a reunion once a year and are lucky if half of their known relatives show up, some put in the effort to send out a family newsletter to keep everyone updated. For families like the Burnettes, Utleys, Blauvelts, Fergusons, Tuckers and Bunkers, keeping in touch with relatives is a fulltime job. And by the looks of their newsletters, they do a pretty amazing job. The average family newsletter is around four to six pages and is filled with everything from family updates to old family documents recently uncovered. It is a great way to learn what family members are up to and have accomplished in recent history. For example, the Ferguson newsletter’s “Family Matters” section highlights family members; for example, Mitchelle Patterson and Ron Murray for their marriage, George and Malaika Patterson for their newborn daughter, and Gitana Robertson for a safe return home from Iraq. Some family newsletters hold a special place for scholarship opportunities. The Ransom-Sease Family Newsletter features a descriptive section for students seeking a higher education. The family scholarship offers two separate opportunities, one

The Tucker family dedicates two pages for their Hall of Fame inductees. They honor graduates like Michael Pouncey II, sport achievements like Mike McLeod’s – who was Yale’s second Ivy League Rookie of the Year, other school achievements, and wedding announcements. The Tucker children can look forward to participating while keeping everyone informed.

for a medical student and the other for any major in college. However, applying for this scholarship is not an easy task; it is just as difficult and competitive as other scholarships. Family newsletters not only include old documents, genealogy, family scholarship opportunities and reunion updates, they also include ways for family members to get involved. The newsletters have fundraising ideas and other opportunities. For family members who feel as if they are a little out of touch, fundraising is a perfect way to get involved and to learn about the rest of the family. Newsletters are so unique and are a great way to involve everyone and get updates on the lives of their family. If for some a reunion once a year isn’t enough and it’s a little too difficult to keep in touch with everyone, then a newsletter is ideal. Family pictures, stories, history and updates all in one newsletter is perfect for the families who don’t live right next door to each other.

About the author Audrey Buswell was an intern for Reunions magazine and is a student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Utley family newsletter holds a special front page edition “Honoring Our Veterans,” in which they honor veterans who have passed away and family members still serving our country. Another special feature is “Cousin Spotlight” page; in this particular case, Elmer Massey was spotlighted, which includes Elmer’s detailed family history and memories of his grandparents and parents.


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NOTE! See more newsletters online in “Getting the word out” @ Submit your newsletters as pdf or jpg files to

Passing the reunion newsletter torch by Laurie J. Hassinger


he family newsletter, The Hassinger HEXchange, has been in our family for over 25 years. In the beginning a few family members took it on for long periods of time. Then a tradition was started to rotate the editor every two years. The unwritten rule is that if another editor does not step forward, it will stay with the current editor for the next two-year term. Editorship is determined in the business meeting at the end of the reunion. I was editor for two years and decided to start my campaign early. I published the attached article in my final newsletter. It must have worked, as an eager editor willingly and enthusiastically raised her hand high when volunteers were sought. There was even word afterwards that another was thinking about it.

WHY YOU WANT TO BE EDITOR OF THE FAMILY NEWSLETTER 1. You can use up all those address labels you get in the mail. 2. You can enhance your skills in persuasion and motivation. There is no greater challenge than motivating a family where procrastination runs deep in their blood. 3. You can enhance your resume. Editor, YOUR NAME Family Newsletter. 4. You can develop your computer skills using email reminders, mail merge, publishing and publishing addendum for late submissions. 5. You can improve your project management experience. Determine publishing date, send reminders, get ready to publish, receive late submissions, get ready to publish, more late submissions, publish, send, more really late submissions, send regret email to submitter. 6. You can use your accounting skills and try to stay on budget. Estimate cost to publish issues times number of families which includes printing costs, postage, envelopes, paper, printer ink divided by number of families who will pay. 7. You will learn to smile and laugh when your own family is on the delinquent list. 8. You will become a wine connoisseur. It takes practice to learn which wine or beverage goes best with each task. See 5 above. 9. You will get to know your relatives. Many submissions come with unpublished stories and shared experiences. Friendships are renewed. 10. You will learn that the easiest part of the newsletter is taking 10 to 15 minutes to write and submit an article. I promise I will always send my submission on time and pay the subscription promptly. 11. You will learn that family is all about love and that keeping the newsletter going is important for all of us. I write this in jest but sincerely ask each of you to give the opportunity some thought and prayer. It is a wonderful opportunity. A special thank you to all the past editors; you are what holds the family together.

WEB PAGE: CALL: 414.263.4567 FAX: 414.263.6331 E-MAIL: WRITE: PO Box 11727 Milwaukee, WI 53211-0727

Subscribe! Call 1-800-373-7933

J U N E/J U LY/AUGU ST 2008 â?– R E U N I O N S



Many reunions stay in touch


he National Association of the Van Valkenburg Family, Inc. (NAVVF), publishes a quarterly newsletter that is mailed to members throughout the US, Canada and abroad. This is the primary tool for advertising reunions, along with their website ( Merchandise containing the Van Valkenburg Family Crest is made available for purchase at each reunion and in the newsletter. Between yearly meetings and reunions, members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade (Separate) are kept up to date through national and chapter newsletters. The newsletters inform members about what is happening with the reflagged brigade in harm’s way (now serving in Afganistan), in other chapters around the world and in their local chapter. The newsletter also offers support and is a place where members are able to share their story and learn about the history of the brigade. One of the ways Veronica Haynes, Rosansky, Texas, has developed to break the ice for her Gallegos/Trevino family and rev them up for the annual reunion is to have a section of the family’s monthly newsletter dedicated to showcasing a family member. It is called “Family Spotlight” and is designed to


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feature a family member who either nominates him/herself, another family member or even an heirloom photograph of a departed family member for others to get to know! Family members send in a copy of a photograph of the person or persons they nominate and she writes a small feature detailing interests, hobbies, occupation, connection to that family. She encourages persons to nominate themselves first. It’s worked out well. Every month there is a different family member to describe and it keeps interest in the newsletter alive and well. Haynes always reminds them that items sent become property of the family organization, so they should only send copies. Bill King, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, reports that the one thing they’ve found to be very successful is a newsletter called the “e-Blazer.” The Blazer was/is the name of the student newspaper at Neptune (New Jersey) High School; they added the “e” in front of it. King periodically sends news of interest to the class to a list numbering about 200. If they merely posted it to a web site they’d be counting on classmates to go there regularly to check for updates. This way they deliver news directly to classmates.

J U N E/J U LY/AUGU ST 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



It’s so easy to fall for

Niagara here are just a handful of immediately recognizable wonders in the US: the Grand Canyon and Mt. Rushmore, to be sure, one carved by the Colorado River over millions of years and the other engraved in rock by men over 15 or so years, but both silently majestic sights. The third would have to be the vast, roaring splendor of Niagara Falls, a natural marvel in a region with such a cascade of things to do that you should wonder why you haven’t put it on your list of reunion destinations.


by Jacky Runice

Observation Tower where a glass elevator soars with dramatic views of all three Falls and descends to the base and the Maid of the Mist Boat Tour. Everyone must ride on the Maid of the Mist at least once in their lives – it has been ferrying passengers around the basin of the Niagara Falls since 1846. If there are kids, teens and other speed demons in attendance, consider a ride aboard a powerful Niagara Whirlpool Jet Boat ( or 888-438-4444). Ages 6 and over can experience the majestic Niagara River

FALLS Maid of the Mist, a world-famous scenic boat tour of the American and Canadian Falls, is a spectacular half-hour ride.

Niagara Falls is more than a honeymoon destination. The area offers boatloads of arts and entertainment, museums and history and plenty of outdoor recreation to delight your troops. “Niagara USA is one of the most scenic and adventurous places in the world, making us the perfect location for your reunion,” commented Reanna Darone, Reunion expert at the Niagara Tourism and Convention Center. A must-visit is Niagara Falls State Park, the country’s oldest state park open yearround. “The Falls is illuminated with colored lights nightly,” she explained. “There are fireworks shows on US and Canadian holidays and every Friday and Sunday in the summer months. Too tired to walk the park? Hop on and off the narrated trolley!” The Niagara Scenic Trolley stops at all major park attractions and offers park history along the threemile route. You’ll want to get off at the 38

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canyon in an exciting way. “You can also enjoy a two-hour narrated cruise along the only working double set of locks on the Erie Canal at Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises,” said Darone. “They can host a meal before or after the cruise for your group.” Are you wondering whether your group will look at the Falls and say, "Okay, now what?” The Niagara Tourism and Convention Center has waves of ideas. In addition to the Falls, Niagara boasts three other areas with tons of activities: the River, Lake and Canal regions. The Lake region is rich in agriculture, so be sure to stop by apple orchards and wineries. Other activities include trophy freshwater sport fishing and rides on a 1928 vintage fully-restored Herschell Carousel at Olcott Beach Carousel Park. Golf courses, museums and parks dot the Canal region. And pencil in a stop at Old Fort Niagara

in the River region. “Rich with over about the Tourism people is 300 years in history is Old Fort positive,” chuckled McDonald. Niagara, home to the oldest original “There were 110 of us and we meet buildings on the Great Lakes,” yearly so it’s a lot of work to get a Darone said. “The Fort has the reunion together. The Tourism people longest military presence of any site submitted hotel ideas to us to begin in North America thanks to the Coast with; we chose Comfort Inn and, boy, Guard Station Niagara. The Fort’s they were very accommodating,” brand new welcome center houses McDonald said. “They had the one of 12 surviving US flags made biggest hospitality room we ever had before the War of 1812. A sister to the and at other places we needed two Star Spangled Banner, this flag rooms, which broke up the group, so measures 24 x 28 ft.” Military this was very nice and the room was reunions and history buffs will open all day. The hotel even gave us a welcome the 20-minute drive to the wine and cheese party. The hotel Buffalo Naval Park, the largest inland backs to the park, which was nice Naval Park in the country. It’s home because anyone could just walk over to missile cruiser USS Little Rock, to the Falls for a daylight view or see Fletcher Class destroyer USS The the colored lights at night. The Sullivans and a WWII vintage Tourism people helped us find bus submarine, USS Croaker. transportation that took us on a Once you’re sold on jumping right ‘Round About New York’ tour where into a Falls reunion, simply get in we rode the Maid of the Mist and touch with Reanna Darone at Niagara The Lockport Erie Canal, in Lockport, New York, is a narrated 2-hour cruise viewed the Falls from the Canadian past many historic sights and five original locks. Cruise includes being raised Tourism by calling 877-FALLS US. side via the Skylon Tower. The view is and lowered 50 feet in the only double set of locks on the Erie Canal. “We are a one-stop shop sending out phenomenal. The next day, the bus tour RFPs (requests for proposal) to all hotels met last September to recall the WWII took us to the Naval Park in Buffalo and and sending you proposals from hotels Coast Guard outfit. “Niagara Tourism we had our memorial service on USS Little that can accommodate your needs. We arranged everything for us,” Zartner Rock and had a Hank Reunion Group provide guests with welcome bags and explained, “from the fantastic stay at the photo. Afterward, some people chose to help with tour ideas,” Darone added. Comfort Inn to meals, tours and take a History and Architecture bus tour Staff can clue you in on the Wine Trail, transportation in the area.” The group of Buffalo and others spent more time in farm visits, the carousel museum and the enjoyed a ride on the Maid of the Mist, a the park. We used the banquet room at the Fatima Shrine, as well as fantastic visit to Fort Niagara and an extraordinary hotel and the Mayor of Niagara Falls shopping and dining. meal at the Top of the Falls restaurant. welcomed us before our banquet. The Ken Zartner was thrilled to have the Joel McDonald and Mary Irish had a Niagara Tourism people arranged the visit entire reunion of USS Cepheus set up and similar experience when it was their turn by the mayor.” The US Navy Destroyer handled by the Niagara Tourism folks. to get the gang from USS Hank DD 702 group held its Niagara Falls reunion last Thirty-eight members and their families back together. “Everything I can say September, too. Start falling in love with how easy it is to make some misty, water-colored reunion memories by contacting the Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation at 877-FALLSUS or surf over to

About the author

USS Hank DD702 reunion aboard the USS Little Rock.

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. J U N E/J U LY/AUGU ST 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



R E U N I O N S â?–

J U N E/J U LY/AUGU ST 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S


Gettysburg addresses





ee ‘Fields of Freedom’ first, then walk the battlegrounds,” Robert Monahan, Jr., chief executive officer of Gateway Gettysburg (, suggested to my husband Bob and me when we visited last spring. We saw this moving film about those bloody July days in 1863 when more than 50,000 Americans were killed, wounded or captured for principles they cherished. It took some time to compose ourselves before we could venture onto the battlefields at Gettysburg National Military Park and the Cemetery ( I’d never visited Gettysburg before. But anyone who’s ever been inspired by Lincoln’s famous address, the pastoral setting of the immense battlefields and who understands the national significance of this costly conflict, knows why Gettysburg is a popular reunion destination, especially for military groups. SPACIOUS DIGS AND GREAT GRUB

Until recently there were few options for hosting large gatherings near Gettysburg. With the 2006 opening of Gateway Gettysburg, however, that’s also part of the past. Gateway Gettysburg is a 100-acre campus adjacent to the battlefields and just a mile from the quaint downtown. The Marriott Courtyard and Wyndham Gettysburg offer a combined total of 400 hotel rooms and suites, as well as a plethora of meeting and banquet spaces (many of these being ADA-compliant). AN INSPIRATIONAL FILM AND A MEMORABLE DAY

Monahan grew up in Gettysburg near the battlefields and played on them as a child. He took the real estate for granted until he saw the movie Gettysburg in 1993. “I didn’t get the battle’s importance until I saw the movie. I knew I wanted to do something so others would get it.” Monahan started by making Fields of Freedom, which shows on two 3-story-high theatre screens every day. 42

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National Park Service Rangers are always helpful answering questions, here at Peach Orchard on the Battlefield.

He is the movie’s executive producer and has friends in high places, including former President George H.W. Bush, who narrated the Gettysburg Address for the film. Trevor Jones composed the musical score and the London Symphony Orchestra performed it. “People who have been here a dozen times get it after they see Fields of Freedom,” he said. What inspired Monahan to develop the entire project was “to have a place for larger groups to gather, especially veterans.” He claims Gettysburg has the “oldest Memorial Day parade in the country” and he personally hosts a group of visitors that day. “A bus brings Iraqi vets up here from Walter Reed for the day. They see Fields of Freedom, get a private tour of the battlefield and have lunch at the Wyndham’s Restaurant 1863. The Commandant of the War College [in nearby Carlisle, Pennsylvania] comes and it’s very meaningful,” he said. GEARING UP FOR SMERFS

Gettysburg attracts more than military groups. Renee Foley, sales manager at the Wyndham Gettysburg, is a selfproclaimed “SMERF.” “I work with social, military, educational, religious/reunion and fraternal/family groups,” she said. Foley said 20,000+ Harley-Davidson enthusiasts visited last summer. There are many reasons – beyond the mustknow history – to convene at Gateway Gettysburg, including nearby golf, hiking, shopping, tennis, skiing and amusement parks.


We love historic properties, so we spent three nights at the charming Best Western Gettysburg Hotel on the square in downtown Gettysburg. This landmark, established in 1797, is across from the David Wills House, where Lincoln completed his stirring Gettysburg Address. For intimate gatherings in a welllocated country setting, The Herr Tavern & Publick House, founded in 1815, fits the bill. Only two miles from town, it was the first Confederate field hospital during the battle. It’s a completely restored bed & breakfast with common rooms that overlook the whole battlefield from Peace Light to Little Round Top. On the first day of combat, July 1, 1863, fighting began in the fields surrounding the Tavern. The Confederates commandeered the Tavern and surgeons began operating upstairs in what is now Room 4. Some say spirits of the wounded still linger, but they welcome all guests. Proprietor Steven Wolf restored the inn so well that it’s on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Hospital food is usually prepared to eject the patient quickly. If Tavern Chef Charles Stockman had been feeding recuperating soldiers, I’m not sure they would have continued to fight. WE STILL THANK IKE

A lagniappe for history buffs is that former President Dwight D. Eisenhower retired on a farm near Gettysburg. The



National Park Service conducts fascinating tours of his home at the Eisenhower National Historic Site (, which consists largely of Dwight and Mamie’s original belongings. I was born during Ike’s second administration and felt I knew


In January, Gettysburg was named one of the “15 places every kid should visit” by Budget Travel magazine. “It’s never too early to learn about the sacrifices of those who came before,” the article read. NOTE:

the couple personally after touring the home that was the first and last house they owned. I’ve always been grateful for Eisenhower’s public service. After learning that a friend and admirer of Eisenhower purchased acreage around

the battlefields so the former president’s views could never be obstructed, we felt a new level of gratitude. Because of his foresight, we were looking at the same views those brave boys saw in 1863 instead of staring at a mall or parking lot where the battlefield used to be. A presidential-themed venue just 10 minutes south of town is the Eisenhower Hotel & Conference Center. Their Allstar Family Fun & Events Complex has more than enough indoor and outdoor attractions to make anyone’s offspring clamor to return for next year’s family reunion: party rooms, indoor and outdoor soccer fields, miniature golf, a 14-acre fishing lake with paddle boats, arcade games and rides, plus batting cages and a full-service snack bar.

About the author Sarah Jaquay is a freelance travel writer based in Cleveland, Ohio.


ettysburg’s battle and its aftermath are given even fuller interpretations at two new sites, the Museum & Visitor Center at Gettysburg Military Park and the David Wills House in downtown Gettysburg (slated to open November 18, 2008). The new Museum and Visitor Center adjacent to the battlefield is a public-private partnership between the Gettysburg Foundation and the National Park Service at Gettysburg to preserve 300,000 Civil War artifacts and 700,000 archival items located there. Situated at a low point in the terrain, it will not obstruct views from major interpretive points. It will provide a new home for the famous Gettysburg Cyclorama, the 360-degree circular oil painting depicting Pickett’s Charge (aka “The High Water Mark at Gettysburg”) by French artist Paul Philippoteaux. The David Wills House is on the square in downtown Gettysburg. Attorney David Wills played a pivotal role in securing a portion of the battlefield as a National Cemetery for Union soldiers. He also invited President Lincoln to Gettysburg for the Cemetery’s dedication in November 1863. Indeed, Lincoln stayed at Wills’ home the night before his momentous speech and touched up his final draft there. Visitors will gain a deeper understanding of the battle’s aftermath and its effect on the town. While the National Park Service owns the Wills House, the Main Street Gettysburg Association will run it. For more information about these sites and updated opening information, please go to: or

Everyone is curious about artifacts and relics from Gettysburg battles. J U N E/J U LY/AUGU ST 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Bring history alive!


he 145th Annual Gettysburg Battle Anniversary at the Redding Farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, is planned for Independence Day Weekend. There will be over 10,000 reenactors from around the world, 400-plus mounted cavalry and 100 cannons. Six major battles will be

At the end of the charge to the Union center, hundreds are left on the field.

recreated during the event. One of the biggest is the massive reenactment of Pickett’s Charge: a thundering roar of all the cannons precedes the charge of wave after wave of Rebels first marching, then charging into massed Federals at the wall‚ before final impact. Pickett’s Charge concludes with the reenactors paying homage and respect while a bugler plays Taps. Living history that stimulates every sense. Tickets and information at; 717-338-1525. Also contact the Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-337-5015; Photo credit


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Vietnam and Iraq era engineers meet


eterans of a Vermont National Guard engineering unit that spent a year in Vietnam invited members of the same unit, due home from Iraq, to their reunion. The current guard engineers did one of the most dangerous jobs in Iraq, finding and defusing roadside bombs. Vietnam vets wanted to make sure younger vets get services they need from the Department of Veterans Affairs or other groups. From an article by Wilson Ring in the Barre Montpelier Times Argus, Barre, Vermont.


ighlights of the USS Norris DD/DDE 859 reunion in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, were a trip to the Alabama Theatre, where a brief history of the Norris was read and members stood to a standing ovation. They also enjoyed a tour of USS North Carolina in Wilmington, North Carolina, with a memorial service, ringing the ship’s bell 21 times, and tossing a wreath overboard to honor deceased crew members Here Ed Mehl, left, and Bert Johnson are interviewed for local TV station WWAY. Reported by Ed Mehl, Dagsboro, Delaware.

A stamp of approval for Japanese American veterans?


ore than 30,000 Nisei, secondgeneration Japanese Americans, volunteered for military service during World War II. Many joined the mostlyNisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team and 100th Infantry Battalion, whose valor under fire made it among the most highly decorated units in US military history. Others joined the Military Intelligence Service as interrogators, translators and interpreters, crucial roles credited with shortening the war by as many as two years. About 300 Nisei women served in the Women’s Army Corps and Cadet Nurses Corp. Now, as Japanese American World War II veterans rapidly dwindle in number,

their supporters are pushing for a commemorative postage stamp in their honor. To support the campaign, visit, call 714-534-5139, or email Letters of support and petitions may be sent to: Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, USPS Stamp Development, 1735 North Lynn St, Ste. 5013, Arlington VA 22209-6432. Please send a copy to: JACL Headquarters, ATTN: Nisei Stamp Campaign, 1765 Sutter St, San Francisco CA 94115. From a story by Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, California.

Bulge survivors don’t go down easy


t the national chapter of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge annual reunion, there was no shortage of tales of the winter of 1944-45 in the Ardennes. The group’s president, Stanley Wojtusik, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, said, “We’re down to about 8,000 members who served with the 106th Infantry Division

and survived ‘six months too long’ in Stalag 4B. We started out with about 22,000, but the Veterans Administration report is that 1,100 American veterans from the World War II period are dying every day.” From a story by Dan Moran in the Waukegan News Sun, Waukegan, Illinois


newly commissioned medallion is part of a mission to perpetuate the legacy of Gen. Douglas MacArthur and all who served in his command from 1941 to 1951. Medallions ($10) may be ordered from Sektor Registry, PO Box 501005, San Diego CA 92150. You must provide your unit designation and dates of service. David Valley is the executive director of the General MacArthur Honor Guard Association (GMHGA), comprised of men who served in the General’s security unit from 1941 to 1951.

Veterans share stories


he release of Ken Burns’ The War, a documentary chronicling the events of World War II, inspired to help veterans create and share their autobiographies. The website is dedicated to collecting stories from veterans and offers the service free. Visit .htm and write a life story. Participants can also choose to be part of the Veterans History Project collection at the Library of Congress. J U N E/J U LY/AUGU ST 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S


Postcards that make your reunion point! Send save save the the date date when you’ve set it! Send

TIME IS RUNNING OUT when it is! Custom Printing – $45 p/hundred; 50¢ each Fill-in cards $15 p/hundred; 20¢ each plus shipping: $5 p/hundred. Send message, check & request to: REUNION POSTCARDS PO Box 11727 ❖ Milwaukee WI 53211-0727

To charge, call 800-373-7933.


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Second Seconds


hen the 2nd Fighter Squadron reunion attendees arrived at their senior status and were no longer able to drive themselves to reunions, many of their children, the second generation, began to attend, as well. Those “second Seconds” have become good friends and understand the challenges and rewards of our senior parents. I encourage each veteran to share with your children the possibility of attending the Indianapolis reunion, not only to provide you with

travel, but also to allow your kids to sit with their parents’ friends and comrades, and listen and learn and understand what our parents went through, both the veterans away from the families, and the families and wives away from the veterans. Don’t let the legacy fade; please talk to your children!! From Prop Wash, The Official Voice of the Americn Beagle Squadron Alumni and the 52nds Fighter Group Reunions, February 2008 (PW Vol 18, #1).

Reprinted with permission from Jeri Sprecher, editor and “second Second” herself, who adds: “The only way we can continue the understanding and history of our group, and of any group, family or military, is to involve the next generation, and with the age of the WWII veterans, the sooner the better!!”

Students’ mission honors veterans


orth Colonie, New York, social studies teacher Dan Weaver launched an effort to appreciate military service not one day a year – Veterans Day – but all year. “Students and others should be thankful for veterans’ service every day,” Weaver says. “Each person should make and take an opportunity to thank a veteran or a member of the armed forces, for their duty to the nation and us.”

More than 1,000 names of veterans who attended North Colonie schools are listed in the Honor Roll on the district’s Wall of Remembrance. The wall honors men and women who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Panama, the Persian Gulf War, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, as well as during peacetime. From a story by Terry Brorua in the Albany Times Union, Albany, New York

‘Electronic spooks’ recall service


eventy-five Army Security Agency (ASA) Korean War veterans participated in their 12th annual reunion in Lincolnshire, Illinois. Other GIs were puzzled by ASA personnel, considering them “electronic spooks” who worked in highly secured compounds containing mysterious large radio antennas. These top secret compounds were collecting confidential information by monitoring enemy radio communications. In the Army’s organizational structure, the top-secret service reported to battlefield commanders and the National Security Agency collecting North Korean and Chinese coded radio intelligence, and tracking enemy troop movements through use of sophisticated radio direction-finding equipment, according to reunion host Ed Collins. At a banquet, an Army representative from the Freedom Salute Team honored the veterans and presented commendations to each of them for their military service during the Korean War. From the Waukegan News Sun, Waukegan, Illinois

Planners discover ships, oceans and history


ilitary reunion planners representing four branches of the US military and six states attended a Familiarization Tour (FAM) of Newport News, Virginia. Highlights of the tour, hosted by Newport News Marriott Hotel at City Center, were stops at The Mariners’ Museum, the US Army Transportation

Museum and the Virginia War Museum. There was also a driving tour to the Victory Arch and the Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. To receive a Military Reunion Kit or learn more about future FAM tours, contact Cheryl Morales, 888-493-7386;

Reunion Planners FAM Tour at Victory Arch in Newport News. J U N E/J U LY/AUGU ST 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



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

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 www. to obtain your free 2008 Reunion Planner. We host many reunions and will be honored to host your event.

and city. The sections which follow list books and


publishing, cruises, fundraising and mementos, invitations,

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. 800 528-1356; 480 831-7000;;

photography, preserving reunions, postcards, and other products and services. Many resources include e-mail and web page addresses. Start on our web page www.reunions and in just one click, go directly to other resource pages – a wonderful way to visit, get more details and in some cases even place orders. We encourage you to tell the listings you contact that you learned about them from REUNIONS MAGAZINE. And if at any time you find any info that is inaccurate or e-mail or web links do not work, notify us immediately at; PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211-0727. And by all means, feel free to comment and/or suggest changes and additions you’d like to see in this section. REUNIONS MAGAZINE will not be held liable for information presented as facts in these ads. We reserve the right to edit and/or refuse any material submitted for publication.

INTERNATIONAL DESTINATIONS 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@ SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

US DESTINATIONS 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! 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;; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! 48

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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; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

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. 800-922-6478. or 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 BUENA PARK CONVENTION & VISITORS OFFICE 6601 Beach Blvd. Suite 200, Buena Park CA 90621-2904. Come see why we are the ideal spot for reunions and family vacations. We are home to five major tourist attractions including Knott’s Berry Farm and only ten minutes away from Disneyland. Accommodations, restaurants and shopping are all within a mile! Beaches and mountains close by. Call 800-541-3953 for a free Travel Planner, or fax 714-562-3569.; www.visitbuena LAUREL MILL LODGE PO Box 368, Los Gatos CA 95031; 408-353-5851;; www.laurelmill FAIRMONT NEWPORT BEACH DELUXE FOUR DIAMOND HOTEL FREE shuttle to John Wayne Airport, Fashion Island Mall, South Coast Plaza & Balboa Island. Guest rooms feature high-definition flat panel TV, DVD/CD player, complimentary safe, mini-bar 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 949-955-5632 or email nancy.ruffner@fairmont .com. 4500 Mac Arthur Blvd., Newport Beach, CA 92660.

OAKLAND CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 463 11th Street Oakland CA 94607; 510-839-9000. Oakland is California’s best-kept secret. Just minutes to San Francisco by rapid transit, ferry, bus or car. Breathtaking waterfront views. Unique, affordable venues for reunions of all sizes. World-class jazz, restaurants and major-league sports. Call or email today for your FREE Visitors Guide.; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! 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 619224-1787. Host your reunion at the beautiful Holiday Inn San Diego Bayside across from San Diego Bay. Our experienced staff will assist you in creating a very special event. Complimentary hosp suite and special reunion rates. Beautiful guest rooms, heated pool, spa, shuffleboard, ping-pong and billiards, exercise room, family restaurant and cocktail lounge, free pkg, in-room movies, coffee makers, refrigerators, hair dryers. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!; ALISAL GUEST RANCH & RESORT Is a 10,000 acre fullservice 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 805688-2510;; 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,,

COLORADO 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 full-service reservation center also books activities, lift tickets, golf, and transportation. Let our reunion expert help create the Colorado getaway you’ve always imagined! Breckenridge Lodging & Hospitality P.O. Box 8329, 535 S. Park Avenue, Breckenridge CO 80424; 888-483-6140; fax 970-453-5165;; www.breckresortsgroups .com. 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. 800-672-9901;; 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 970-577-1677;; www.

CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES 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. DESTINATIONS WEST PO Box 3478, Winter Park CO 80482. We offer the finest home rentals in Winter Park, Grand Elk, and Grand Lake – Spacious, luxury homes with large gourmet kitchens, game rooms, private hot tubs and large decks for reunions or specialized group meeting. Complete concierge services including catered meals with a personal chef, pontoon rides on Lake Granby, hiking and biking, enjoying a thrilling white water rafting adventure or heading to the Continental Divide on an ATV tour. From Slopeside, To Lakeside, In Town, or On the Greens.;; 800.545.9378. 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.

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 302-678-8500, ext 4293. www. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

FLORIDA 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; capecanaveralfl. 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. 800962-0028; 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, tworoom suites, private balconies, refrigerators, fitness center, heated pool, laundry facilities, and more… 321-784-4800; 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.cocoa 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; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! HOLIDAY INN COCOA BEACH 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; 850-651-7647; fax 850-651-7130. 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;; www.Meetings.FloridaKiss .com. 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: SEMINOLE COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU 1230 Douglas Avenue, Suite 116, Longwood, FL 32779. Just a stone’s throw away from all the major attractions of Central Florida, and within a 15-minute drive from its more expensive neighbor Orlando, Seminole County is the perfect destination for reunions. With flexible accommodations, dining, shopping, golf and recreation options, Seminole County’s charming villages and natural beauty will make your reunion one to remember. Call 800-800-7832 or visit SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

SOUTH SEAS HOTEL 1751 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach FL 33139. Located in the heart of south beach, you will find the newly renovated, oceanfront South Seas Hotel. From room discounts to a tropical, poolside oasis, we can host your reunion and deliver a tailor-made and memorable event. For reunions of all types, consider us for large gatherings up to 700 people or maybe for the casual Friday night before-the-main-event get together.; www.southbeachhotels .com 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 407387-2910: SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! 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 two-and-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 321-329-4001;; www.floridays HAMPTON INN – DAYTONA / ORMOND BEACH 155 Interchange Blvd., Ormond Beach, FL 32174; P: 877-677-9998, F: 386-677-0663; 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! PALM BEACH GARDENS MARRIOTT 4000 RCA Blvd, Palm Beach Gardens Fl 33410 Five miles from the Palm Beaches, next door to Downtown at the Gardens and the Gardens Mall, known for fine shopping and dining, golf within 3 miles from hotel. Full service hotel, outdoor tropical pool and spa, #1 night club in the Palm Beaches our Club Safari onsite, Starbucks lobby bar, high speed internet access and fitness center. Dedicated staff to achieve the highest quality of service and attention to detail that will make your reunion a memorable event! Phone 561-630-1335 or email 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, 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 for less than the cost of a hotel room. Every home is featured on our website at Call for more details; 352-243-8669; 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? www. / Toll Free: 888 746-5446 J U N E/J U LY/AUGU ST 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S


CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES 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 HILTON ATLANTA AIRPORT 1031 Virginia Avenue, Atlanta GA 30354. 404-559-6831; fax 404-767-0844; travell_williams@; HILTON GARDEN INN WINDWARD 4025 Windward Plaza, Atlanta-Alpharetta GA 30005 We offer the perfect vantage point to the best that is Georgia for your upcoming family reunion. Ideally situated to go out and explore our historic downtown, local shopping and all the charm of Alpharetta and just a short drive south into all that Atlanta has to offer. The hotel features The American Grill Restaurant, evening room service, indoor pool, fitness center and event space. 770-360-7766; fax 770-7534570;; www.atlanta JEKYLL OCEANFRONT CLARION RESORT & SPA 975 North Beachview Drive; Jekyll Island GA 31527; 912-635-2531; fax 912-635-9072:; SAVANNAH GETAWAYS 509 E. McDonough Street, Savannah GA 31401; 866-690-2074;; www.

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 208-3446236;; BOISE...Feel It!

ILLINOIS 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. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

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; info@des;

KENTUCKY LOUISVILLE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU Do something original and affordable in a city guaranteed to have people talking about their memories at the next reunion. Order your free Reunion Planning Kit and the Louisville Multicultural Visitor Guide, by calling 888-LOUISVILLE/888-568-4784 or visiting Stop by our new Visitors Center in downtown at 4th & Jefferson Street. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

LOUISIANA BATON ROUGE AREA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 730 North Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70802. From the distinct tastes of local cuisine to the soulful sounds of blues and gospel, Baton Rouge is a city that celebrates life to the fullest! With a wide variety of museums, antebellum homes, entertainment and dining options, shopping and more, it’s Authentic Louisiana at Every Turn. Visit our Web site at or call 800-LA ROUGE. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

MARYLAND HAMPTON INN & SUITES BALTIMORE INNER HARBOR 131 East Redwood Street, Baltimore MD 21202 The Hampton Inn & Suites Baltimore Inner Harbor is an upscale hotel offering the ultimate in modern amenities, comfort and service in the heart of Baltimore’s Financial District. This hotel features 116 spacious rooms with microwaves, refrigerators and over 1,500 square feet of meeting space. Rooms are standard with a coffee maker, iron and ironing board, and complimentary in-room movie channel. 410-539-7888; fax 410-539-7405; hampton.baltimore@alliance; 50

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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 443457-1212; Fax 410-355-2854;, 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 Burkshire and let us customize your reunion package; 410324-8100.

MASSACHUSETTS GREATER MERRIMACK VALLEY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 9 Central Street, Suite 210, Lowell MA 01852. 800-215-9805; 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! www.merri 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. 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:;

transportation and help secure special discounts at area attractions. Best of all – it’s all free! 800-445-7412 ext. 8114;;

MISSOURI THE BRANSON/LAKES AREA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU Located in America’s heartland, Branson, Missouri is the perfect destination for your next reunion because we offer so many choices of 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! 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, email us at or call us at 573-775-2400.

MONTANA RPM, vacation rentals in Big Sky, near Yellowstone Park, offers a variety of log cabins, mountain retreats, luxury homes and condos, each accommodating up to 14 people. Properties located in the heart of Big Sky, near golf, hiking, horseback riding, fly fishing, rafting, world-class skiing, sleigh rides, snowmobiling. 3080 Pine Drive, Big Sky, MT 59716 (866) 9954455 or


320 GUEST RANCH, located in the heart of Yellowstone Country, 12 miles south of Big Sky, has a variety of accommodations – cabins, chalets, 3-bedroom homes – all with the comforts of home including fireplaces and kitchens. The ranch can accommodate up to 200 people. Activities on the ranch: fly fishing, BBQs, bonfires, horse trail rides, snowmobiling, sleigh rides and snow shoeing. World class alpine and x-country skiing nearby. 205 Buffalo Horn Creek, M/M 36 on Hwy 191, Gallatin Gateway, MT 59730 (800) 243-0320,; www.320

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!

MONTANA’S FLATHEAD VALLEY is the gateway to Glacier National Park and home to Flathead Lake and Big Mountain Ski Resort with an abundance of recreation and cultural treasures. Discover picturesque towns, championship golf, museums, galleries, shopping, fine cuisine and true western hospitality. Flathead CVB, 15 Depot Park, Kalispell, MT 59901; 800-5433105; fax 406-257-2500;; www.montanasflathead SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

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; 800-833-5583;


BAROTHY LODGE 7478 Barothy Road, PO Box 69, Walhalla MI 49458; 231-898-2340; fax 231-898-3106; barothylodge@;

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: 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

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: Sarah-Marie 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! ATLANTIS CASINO RESORT SPA RENO 3800 S Virginia Street, Reno, NV 89502. Atlantis Casino Resort Spa is the destination property for adventure with exciting gaming in an exotic oasis, just minutes from Lake Tahoe. With 1,000 spacious and beautifully appointed rooms, full-service European Spa &

CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES Salon – guests truly experience paradise. Our premier chefs delight your senses at any one of the eight exceptional restaurants. Complimentary airport shuttle, acres of free parking and valet available. 775-824-4400; fax 775-825-1170; www.atlantis 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 800894-3588 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 full-service hotel offers convention facilities, two delightful restaurants and an upscale bar & lounge. Toll Free: 800-237-2133;; 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 146room full-service 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: 1888-628-4861;; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! 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-ofthe-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: 866-3830443;; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! 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: 1877-901-ROOM (7666);; www.santa SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! 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: 888-563-4373;; www.lodgeatsantafe .com. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

NEW YORK FORT WILLIAM HENRY RESORT AND CONFERENCE CENTER, 48 Canada Street, Lake George, NY 12845 888-3894554. 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. www.fort 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 1-800705-0059., www.LakeGeorge

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 www.niagara-usa .com 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 kab6@westchestergov .com for your free planning guide.

NORTH CAROLINA RAINBOW LAKE RESORT Enjoy thirteen cottages on a private trout stocked lake in the heart of the Blue Ridge mountains, 50 minutes from Asheville. Each cottage is distinctively decorated with original works of art, hardwood floors, fully-equipped kitchens, full amenities some with fireplaces, 1 to 4 bedrooms. Gazebo and 2000 sq.ft. pavilion for events. Fishing and boating are free.; 828-862-5354. HAMPTON INN CHARLOTTE 8419 North Tryon Street, Charlotte NC 28262. The Hampton Inn Charlotte-University Place is located in the university area – seven miles from the Uptown Area and four miles from Lowes Motor Speedway. While visiting Charlotte you may want to shop at Concord Mills, visit the racing shops, tour the University of NC at Charlotte or experience Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. We welcome you to our newly renovated hotel where you’ll enjoy our beautiful rooms and outdoor pool! 704-548-0905; fax 704-548-0971; dstewart@;

OHIO BERTRAM HOTEL& CONFERENCE CENTER 600 North Aurora Road, Aurora OH 44202. Located minutes from Wildwater Kingdom in the historic Western Reserve. Offering 224 deluxe guestrooms, suites & hospitality rooms, heated outdoor pool, two fitness, two business centers & game room, banquet facilities, casual & fine dining restaurants onsite. Area activities include spa, golf, fly-fishing, shopping, museums, horseback riding, canoeing & amusement parks. Local & airport shuttles. Virtual tour at For reunion packages contact Liz Palchick at 330-995-7624. NATIONAL UNDERGROUND RAILROAD FREEDOM CENTER 50 E. Freedom Way, Cincinnati OH 45202, is the nation’s newest monument to freedom, spotlighting courageous acts from the Underground Railroad and beyond. Interactive and engaging, it has 8 galleries, 2 theaters, a dialogue area, research and education areas. Group tours and facility rental available. 877648-4838 or SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! DOUBLETREE COLUMBUS WORTHINGTON 175 Hutchinson Avenue, Columbus OH 43235. Located in North Columbus, Ohio, the Doubletree Hotel Columbus Worthington is only 8 miles from Ohio State University, and the property features 306 newly renovated guest rooms. Thanks to over 17,000 square feet of meeting space, this property can accommodate family reunions, military reunions, and school reunions of any kind. Start planning today!; http:// 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.

OREGON BANDON BEACH VACATION RENTALS 54515 Beach Loop Road, Bandon OR 97411. 4 vacation homes on one property. Great for family reunions or group retreats. Located across the street from the Pacific Ocean, on 2 acres of land. Lots of grass area to meet and play. Each home has a full kitchen, washer/dryer and a

gas BBQ. Come to Bandon to play golf, charter fish, go crabbing, shopping, dining or just to play on the beach. 888-441-8030;

PENNSYLVANIA 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@ VALLEY FORGE CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU 600 W. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting PA 19462. DO WHAT WASHINGTON DID. SET UP CAMP IN HISTORIC VALLEY FORGE FOR YOUR NEXT REUNION! Quality hotels, unique offproperty meeting sites, world class shopping and fine dining. Thirty minutes from Philadelphia. Surrounded by great regional attractions. Get a free Valley Forge Meeting Planners Guide. Contact Courtney Pozo: 610-834-7971,or or visit 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, snowmobiling, 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 570-839-0708; .com;

SOUTH CAROLINA DISCOVER BERKELEY COUNTY The Heart of the American South If you’re looking for the “Southern Jewel” everyone is talking about, you’ve finally found it! Berkeley County, just minutes from Downtown Charleston and 1.5 hours from Myrtle Beach, cradled in what is quickly becoming known as the “emerging new south”. Known for its natural beauty, scenic landscape, rich culture and exciting history, Berkeley County lures visitors from around the world. And, because of its gorgeous climate, visitors can enjoy attractions, events, water sports and local culture all 12 months of the year. 21 hotels, of which many have received awards, offer a variety of services to ensure your stay is most comfortable and enjoyable. For planning assistance, contact Elaine M. Morgan, Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 968, Moncks Corner SC 29461; 843-7618238; fax 843-899-6491; Mention this ad for special group discounts! SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! 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 843766-8355;; www.holidayinn.wm/chs-river EMBASSY SUITES COLUMBIA-GREYSTONE 200 Stoneridge Drive, Columbia SC 29210; 803-252-8700. Reunions To Remember. Whether it’s military, school or family, a reunion means a lot of things to a lot of people. To us it means the opportunity to provide you and your reunion party with the services and amenities for which we are famous. Our hotel is the ideal setting for your reunion. Besides the perfect weather and bright surroundings, we offer great meeting and banquet spaces, creative and professional staff, 214 spacious two-room suites, complimentary full cooked-to-order breakfast and nightly Manger’s Reception. Make Plans To Come To Columbia! 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. 800-9609089. J U N E/J U LY/AUGU ST 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S 51

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

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 concentration 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!


230 guestrooms and can accommodate school reunions, family reunions, military reunions, and more with over 7,000 sq ft of meeting space. Start planning your reunion today in beautiful historic Richmond!

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;

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!

ATTRACTIONS NATIONAL UNDERGROUND RAILROAD FREEDOM CENTER 50 E. Freedom Way, Cincinnati OH 45202, is the nation’s newest monument to freedom, spotlighting courageous acts from the Underground Railroad and beyond. Interactive and engaging, it has 8 galleries, 2 theaters, a dialogue area, research and education areas. Group tours and facility rental available. 877648-4838 or SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

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!

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 www.ripleys


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

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 cmorales@ to book your reunion. DOUBLETREE HOTEL RICHMOND DOWNTOWN 301 West Franklin Street, Richmond VA 23220. Nestled in the heart of Richmond, and walking distance to the Virginia Commonwealth University, the Doubletree Hotel Richmond Downtown features

Postcards that make your reunion point! Send save save the the date date when you’ve set it! Send

TIME IS RUNNING OUT when it is! Custom Printing – $45 p/hundred; 50¢ each Fill-in cards $15 p/hundred; 20¢ each plus shipping: $5 p/hundred. Send message, check & request to: REUNION POSTCARDS PO Box 11727 ❖ Milwaukee WI 53211-0727

To charge, call 800-373-7933. 52

R E U N I O N S ❖

BADGES & BUTTONS is your source for buttons. For over 37 years, we have led the industry in the development of faster, better, easier, button-making machines and parts to be used at home, at school or at the office. Shop Badge-A-Minit for FREE Shipping, FREE Lifetime Guarantee & FREE Tech Support. Visit or call 800-223-4103. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

COOKBOOKS THE COOKBOOK PEOPLE FAMILY REUNION COOKBOOK SOFTWARE Write, organize and print a family reunion cookbook from your own computer with Matilda’s Fantastic Cookbook Software. There are no extra charges or contracts. 27 templates give you a variety of cookbook designs you can print with your home printer. 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

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

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

Custom printed cards – $45 p/100 postcards or 50¢ each. Send info to be printed: for SAVE THE DATE! (name, date, & place of reunion, contact info). For TIME IS RUNNING OUT (name & date of reunion & RSVP date) + fax number or email address to get your approval before we print. Send to Reunions magazine, PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211-0727; credit card charges call 1-800-373-7933 or order online;

PRESERVING REUNIONS 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 800-436-6048; parris.;

REUNION PLANNERS NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REUNION MANAGERS (NARM) PO Box 335428; North Las Vegas NV 89033; IN CHARGE OF PLANNING YOUR CLASS BASH? AT CLASSMATES.COM, you’ll have access to time-saving toolsand the world’s largest alumni database-to make your job easier. Contact your entire graduating class with one message. Create surveys to find out what your attendees want to eat, see, and do. And when details (inevitably) change, post event updates on the fly. Plan at and reunite relaxed. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

REUNION RIBBONS 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

T-SHIRTS **FAMILY REUNION T-SHIRTS by** Experience the advantage of buying manufacturer direct. Our designs make the difference, our graphic art’s staff will help you customize a special design with all your reunion details free of charge. Free banner or cookbook offer, free shipping and friendly customer service. Don’t buy until you get our price! Call toll free 1-866-661-4348 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 www.reunion

TRAVEL PLANNERS 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 / 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

J U N E/J U LY/AUGU ST 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S


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

Reunions Magazine Volume 18, Number 5. June/July/August 2008  
Reunions Magazine Volume 18, Number 5. June/July/August 2008