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Halloween theme reunions Cruising John Denver remembrance Display until October 31, 2008.



September/October 2008 Volume 19 • Number 1 PUBLISHER / EDITOR IN CHIEF

Edith Wagner

ALUM & I – 7


Pride of Snow Hill by Thelma Harper Jones

Jacky Runice

Online reunion registration and reunion mystery


SCRAPBOOK – 10 Reunion School They’d rather be in Colorado by Renee Wahlen Tillema

Jennifer Rueth SALES

Marion Liston Senior Account Manager

Club de Skinautique 50th reunion by Judy Thorson Ross


Newport News tour, Bourbon Country citizenship, and internment camp alumni

Karla Lavin

BRANCH OFFICE – 16 Freedom Center’s John Parker Library, open records and Midwest Genealogy Center


Jean Salzer Andrew Bordeaux CONTRIBUTORS

MASTERPLAN – 18 A spooky reunion by Sunny McClellan Morton Planning a winter family vacation? Malones are TV One’s Winning Family reunion! Evaluating your family reunion by Tracy A. Reichdan 65th anniversary reunion by Alice R. Marks Longtime McFarland traditions by Gen Brechtel Tucker Purry family celebrates royal days by Stephanie Suell

Lisa Alzo • Wendy Angst Gen Brechtel • Sheri Cooley Brown Sarah Jaquay • Kathy Jill Johnson Thelma Harper Jones Margaret Malsam • Alice R. Marks Chuck Morris Sunny McClellan Morton Fred Nelson • Kaye Olson Leo E. Ours, Jr. • Tracy A. Reichdan Judy Thorson Ross Anne K. Stillwell-Heard Stephanie Suell Renee Wahlen Tillema • Bill Williams

A family reunion … WHY! by Sheri Cooley Brown Thinking about cruising? Cruising, a carefree fun way to celebrate by Margaret Malsam

MILITARY REUNION NEWS – 31 Military tributes secure reunion success by Kaye Olson Ranger redux, 5 tips for getting veterans to tell their stories, USS LST-325, Tennessee honors veterans

REUNION RESOURCES – 34 Reunion Resources A directory of reunion-friendly places, services, vendors and products

ON THE COVER The Banks/Hill/Outlaw Family Reunion in Washington DC.

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. SEPTEM B ER / OCTOB ER 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S




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

to assure growth and improved reunions, you can find a sample form and more suggestions at; click on “wrapping up your reunion.”

elcome to the challenge! We hope For charge orders Reunions magazine helps with call 800-373-7933 or ideas, suggestions, examples and visit REMEMBER THE PICTURES countless demonstrations of what or fax it to 414-263-6331. Check requirements for photo other reunions do. submission at’s Reunions Or best of all, e-mail This magazine, Reunions Workbook Picture Gallery. Continue your reunion’s (free with your subscription) and celebration by showing the world your fine are designed reunion group. specifically to help you plan a memorable reunion for your family, classmates, buddies, friends, campers, co-workers, CELEBRATE THIS YEAR’S REUNION! neighbors … Ask questions and join the discussion on our Send a report and pictures to … website forum. Listen to podcasts about the subjects that we’d love to consider it for a future issue. Need inspiration? will arise throughout your reunion planning process … and Read the reports in this and other issues, or go to suggest subjects for future podcasts. to “help us write this magazine” and And if you’re still wondering whether a reunion is what answer the questions! It’s that easy. you want to do, learn from Sheri Cooley Brown’s comment. PATRONIZE OUR PARTNERS A beloved aunt who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer The advertisers and Reunion Resources at the end of this just before the reunion barely made the event but did. That issue are our partners in helping you succeed at this reunion chance to be with her will be cherished, and proved that challenge. They all include ways to contact them and we urge having a reunion was even more important than imagined. you to do just that to determine what they can offer your REUNIONS AND THE ECONOMY reunion. In fact, if you go to Reunion Resources online, you’ll be able to link directly to many of them from just one place. We couldn’t help wondering how reunions are affected Our advertising partners represent businesses who by the current economy. We contacted convention and understand and are ready to serve your reunion. visitors bureaus that offer reunion workshops and learned Then, when you’ve patronized our advertiser partners, tell their events have been very well attended and that us about it. Tell us what will help other reunions. If ever you contacts for future reunions are up. And directly from encounter a resource you think should be in the magazine, planners like you, we’ve heard that reunions are too suggest it to them and to us. We are always eager to learn important and that reunions will go ahead as planned, about new reunion resources. even if some members are not able to attend or if the length of reunions has to be altered. AND … WHILE YOU’RE ON THE WEB In fact, Mike Redmond in Indiana’s Southside Times Look at all the new material we’re adding as examples for wrote that going to the family reunion is not “optional.” you to get ideas, compare, tweak and improve. We’re talking Your attendance is not “requested.” Going to the family about newsletters, invitations, programs – samples from reunion is like a command performance, only without the other reunions. At, click on “getting performance part. That said, everyone we talk to looks the word out.” forward to their reunions … which is, of course, one of the LOOKING FOR A REVIEWER reasons everyone has a good time. The Reunion Planner: The Step-by-Step Guide to Make The importance of reunions trumps downturns, Reunion a Social and Financial Success! recently Your distractions and disadvantages, and groups continue to launched the new 7.2 software program with many new assemble their members regularly. Long may reunions live! enhancements and capabilities. They have offered a copy for SUMMER WRAP-UP … review. If you’d be interested in reviewing the software, BEFORE THE 2008 REUNION SEASON IS OVER … please send a request to including a EVALUATE! brief summary of your reunion. The reunion chosen will be In this issue Tracy Reichdan summarizes an evaluation her expected to write a review for other reunions. Our very best as you start this rewarding challenge of family did, with comments that led to improvements in their reunion planning. EW reunions. If you’re inclined to use this tried and true method



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Online registration successful

The State College (Pennsylvania) Area High School – Class of 1975.


martybird on our forum wrote about online reunion registration. I used paypal for my high school reunion and it worked incredibly well. We were able to process lastminute registrations which was a BIG plus. One of the committee members suggested we add a line item called “Donation of Support” that included three levels named for school colors and mascot: 1) Maroon ($25-$49) 2) Gray ($50-$99) Fred Nelson says this is the best reunion committee in the world! 3) Lion ($100+) (l to r) Pam (Watkins) Wild, Fred Nelson, Pat (Igo) Keffer. Class members were able to enter their donation amount as part of their registration and charge the balance to their credit card. The vast majority of donations were for $100, most of the rest were $50. We even received donations from class members who were not able to attend. Google Pay charges 30% less so I’m going to evaluate it for the next reunion. We used the funds to have an even better reunion with lots of extras. Also, we banked some for use at our 35th reunion in 2010. Note: Much to my amazement we took in an additional $2,500. Initially I thought I had a software error so I had to audit the number and I was almost knocked over when I found it was indeed correct! Reported by Fred Nelson, Fayetteville, New York (aka Smartybird at

Join reunion chat @




Green County Training School


Some of the scholarship winners (l to r) Tyrell Sutton, Briana Jones, Cheniece Hill, Sharekka Harper, and Kimberly Bizzell.

Laura Bush hosts classmates


he Class of 1964 Midland, Lee and Carver High School graduates were hosted by First Lady and fellow classmate Laura Bush at the White House recently. Friday evening, more than 500 Midlanders watched President Bush arrive aboard Marine One on the south lawn of the White House. The Bushes stood in a receiving line for three hours, shaking hands and taking photos with attendees. Saturday night a dance featured the band Jellyroll playing music from the mid-60s, and drinks and mini hamburgers, pizza and chicken fried steaks. Each grad could bring one guest – most often it was a spouse, but some brought a child or sibling. A former Japanese exchange student attended, as did classmates now living in Australia, England and Turkey and several who’d never before attended a reunion. From a story by Ruth Campbell in, Midland, Texas.


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reene County Training School-South Greene High School (GCTS-SGH) held their annual reunion in a newly-built community center in Snow Hill, North Carolina. The alumni association contributed $25,000 to building the new community center, and award annual scholarships. Reunion activities during the Memorial Day Weekend included Friday hospitality night (DJ and dancing); Saturday prayer breakfast, alumni meeting, dinner and dance; Sunday worship and an old fashioned picnic; and a golf tournament on Monday. Visit Reported by Thelma H. Jones, Washington DC

A Touch of Gold


uring the first evening of the Waukegan (Illinois) Township High School (WTHS), Class of 1947 reunion, classmate Pat BoothLynch, LeHigh Acres, Florida, announced that she had written a mystery, A Touch of Gold, involving a reunion. She distributed copies to anyone who wished to read it. Since it contained a rather unique surprise ending, she hoped it would stimulate some thought and perhaps inspire a bit of controversy as to the true culprit in the mystery. It wasn’t Pat’s intention to have class members concoct a solution prior to the end of the gathering. However, the following day there were several stimulating informal discussions about who really killed the villain. Booth-Lynch was amazed to discover that so many attendees had read the script later that evening and formed some fascinating conclusions. Pat Booth-Lynch has generously offered to share her novella, A Touch of Gold, with any reunion interested in incorporating it into your program or anyone who wants to take up the challenge of solving the mystery. Contact her directly with your request at She’ll send the story as an email attachment.




New Newport News, Virginia’s CD driving tour


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. DEKALB COUNTY, GEORGIA

he Newport News Tourism Development Office has released a new audio CD driving tour, Passport to Newport News. The tour directs visitors to the city’s historic sites and attractions with turn-by-turn directions. Accompanying directions are stories about each location, brought vividly to life by actors and sound effects, which transport you back in time, as if you were actually experiencing the event first-hand. Twenty-three points of interest are showcased, filled with information and a reference map. The entire audio tour takes about three and a half hours. The Passport to Newport News audio CD driving tour is available for $12.95. Contact Cheryl Morales at 888-4937386;

September 13 • Courtyard Executive Park October 18 • Hampton Inn Northlake November 15 • Crowne Plaza Ravinia LUNCH AND LEARN Thursday September 25 DeKalb CVB Conference Room 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.

Internment camp alumni meet



September 13, 9:00 AM – 1:30 PM Oakland County October, 9:00 AM – 1:30 PM COBO Center (Wayne County) Topics will include: DMCVB – Who We Are, Do and Don’ts for Planning a Successful Reunion, Metro Detroit Parks and Hotels 101. Register online or by phone up to two months prior to each event. Contact Nikki Donald, Account Executive, Tour & Travel Sales, Detroit Metro CVB; 313-202-1972. ALPHARETTA, GEORGIA

October 25 • Hotel Sierra April 25, 2009 Hyatt Place, North Point Parkway Plan the ultimate family reunion in awesome Alpharetta. To reserve your spot, call Alpharetta CVB, 678-297-2811. GWINNETT COUNTY, GEORGIA

October 10, 10 AM-1 PM Atlanta Marriott Norcross ABCs of Planning a Family Reunion Complimentary lunch, Family Reunion Planning Guide. Reservations only, no walk-ins. Contact Linda Busby, GCTS, Gwinnett CVB Education Specialist, 888-494-6638; WINTER PARK, COLORADO

October 24-26 Family Reunion University YMCA of the Rockies, Snow Mountain Ranch Contact Conference Office at 800-777-9622. 10

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he Poston III internment camp in Arizona closed over 60 years ago. About 120,000 Japanese-Americans were interned shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. As many as 18,000 were sent to the three Poston camps. The Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego, California, organized a reunion. About 400 former Poston III internees gathered, centered around alumni of Parker Valley Junior-Senior High School, which served the camp’s children. While living conditions were harsh, many memories of the camp are positive. Internees forged lifelong friendships. The camp had Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops. Students organized dances and formed sports teams. A reunion exhibit featured medals awarded to Japanese-American servicemen during World War II, photographs of life in Poston III and artwork made by internees. From a story by Helen Gao in the San Diego Union Tribune, San Diego, California.

Get Bourbon Country citizenship


ouisville is a great entry point for exploring the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, starting with the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) exhibit at the Visitor Center downtown. The state boasts seven distilleries on the Trail, or you can experience the taste and mystique of bourbon at eight designated bars that make up the Urban Bourbon Trail Passport. Each is wellstocked with at least 50 bourbons, some with as many as 150. The Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau invites you to journey the Urban Bourbon Trail and its Passport Program. Record stops along the Trail in your Bourbon Country Passport and be rewarded with a special gift after visiting. Each location is identified with its address and a short description, pointers on how to taste bourbon like an expert, and a guide to the distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Visit


November 14-16 Family Reunion University YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park Center Contact Conference Office at 800-777-9622. Meet Edith Wagner, Reunions magazine editor. KISSIMMEE, FLORIDA

Autumn 2008 CVB Reunion Familiarization Tour for reunion planners includes 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 MelendezDavis at 800-831-1844, ext 42446; FLINT, MICHIGAN

March 2009 Contact Renee Cobb, Flint Area CVB, 316 Water St, Flint MI 48502; 888-230-2586; Call for dates ATLANTA, GEORGIA

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

Contact Sheila Nickelson at 800-445-7412. Space is limited. SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, LOUISIANA

Contact Suzanne Manfredi, Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau, 629 Spring St, Shreveport LA 71101; 318-222-9391; 2009

17th National Family Reunion Conference Contact Dr. Ione Vargus, 215-2048703; Send your reunion workshop information to Listings are free as a resource to our readers and updated regularly at




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They’d rather be in Colorado by Renee Wahlen Tillema


s the aspen trees turn yellow and snow covers the highest peaks of the Rocky Mountains, a family reunion of uniquely related people takes place in Aspen, Colorado. They come from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Germany and all corners of the US. The only way these people are related is through the music of singer/songwriter John Denver. Denver was killed on October 12, 1997, when his experimental plane crashed into California’s Monterey Bay. Around the country, fans who knew Denver only through his music gathered for makeshift memorials and tributes. Some traveled to Aspen, Denver’s long-time home, as a way to pay respect to a man they admired. Each year fans return to this beautiful city nestled in the Part of the Aspen in October events include benefits for environmental causes. The mountains. More and more people come to connect with Pinecreek Cookhouse in Ashcroft was host for just such an event in 2007. mountains, nature, music and each other at Aspen in October. Harold Simpson, from find a common thread through the words and music of Hoopeston, Illinois, who was at John Denver. the first official Aspen in October The ten-year anniversary of Denver’s passing was on gathering in 1998, said it was land purchased and cared for by Denver himself. Known amazing how people who had as an environmentalist, he created the Windstar never met came together after Foundation near Old Snowmass as a way to promote Denver’s accident. “Many felt environmental education. Many events during Aspen in something should be done to October celebrate the spirit of service to others and celebrate the life of a man who environmental concern. There are clean-ups and tree had such a positive impact on so plantings at the John Denver Sanctuary in Aspen, singmany,” Simpson said. “In online alongs at an assisted living center, highway clean-ups, conversations, it was decided and auctions to benefit wildlife conservation Aspen would be the place and organizations. the week surrounding October “My wife and I do the primary organizing and tend to 12th, the date.” the majority of the details,” Simpson said. “People ask if Harold and his wife, Cathy, they can help and thankfully always seem to be there organized the first annual when we need them. We do very few actual job campfire in the spectacular assignments and it usually flows amazingly smoothly. Maroon Bells-Snowmass The costs we incur, we consider our gift to the wonderful Wilderness area near Aspen to people we’ve met.” share stories and sing songs on Carolyn Churchill made her first pilgrimage to Aspen October 12th to honor Denver’s from her home in Lake Villa, Illinois, for the fifth legacy. Music is a central theme. anniversary in 2002. She made many friends through Impromptu guitar music around internet websites, forums and posting boards. It was a the campfire and scheduled special year because the bronze “Spirit” statue of concerts are held throughout the Denver was dedicated at the Windstar Land week at Aspen-area venues. Conservancy. Churchill said, “For me it was a way to Attendance grows each year and mourn John Denver again and carry on his work. It’s a Aspen in October bridges one week vacation for me to concentrate on what I love, generations – it is a multiwhich is John Denver’s music and being around people cultural, multi-generational The author, Renee Wahlen Tillema, and her children, who share that.” event. No matter their age, Toller and Bree, in front of the bronze “Spirit” While the Aspen in October events may have started economic background, or what John Denver statue at the Windstar Land as a way to pay tribute to a musician, it has evolved into a Conservancy near Old Snowmass, Colorado. language they speak, visitors family reunion – a family united through the inspiration of John Denver. WEBSITES OF INTEREST

information about past and future Aspen in October events.

Windstar Foundation, the environmental educational organization started by John Denver in 1976.

About the author A John Denver fan for many years, Renee Wahlen Tillema considers herself part of the JD “family.” The editor for InSpire Magazine, Renee lives in Wisconsin with her family. She vacations in Colorado once a year and enjoys hiking, horseback riding and visiting the Windstar Land Conservancy. SEPTEM B ER / OCTOB ER 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Club de Skinautiques 50th reunion

by Judy Thorson Ross

Over 200 commemorated the 50 anniversary of the founding of Club de Skinautique, Bottineau, North Dakota.


lub de Skinautiques (French for nautical skiers) is pronounced Skeenow-teeks. It became a water ski club in 1959 and incorporated as a non-profit in 1961. The club performed its first ski show in 1958 and has performed every summer since. Membership is open to anyone 13 or over who loves water skiing. Members include Americans and Canadians. Prospective members must demonstrate proficiency at slalom deep water starts and

two other types of skiing that may be tricks, bare foot, saucer, jumping, or knee boarding. The first water show was a request from the Lake Metigoshe Improvement Association (LMIA) in Bottineau, North Dakota, as entertainment for their poorly attended annual meeting. Several hundred people watched from a nearby hillside. The club’s lake home, in the beautiful Turtle Mountains of north central North

Dakota, is a natural lake on the USCanadian boundary, surrounded by about 1,000 summer homes. Year-round recreation includes fishing, boating, snow skiing, snowmobiling and, of course, water skiing. The club owns a tournament model “Hydrodyne” 20’ ski boat rigged with Mercury motors and considerable other water ski equipment. They perform four to five full ski shows each season from Canada to South Dakota. Their traditional Fourth of July show is reason for many families to gather at Lake Metigoshe. In July 2007 the club held a 50th reunion at Lake Metigoshe attended by more than 200 members and spouses. The Sunday afternoon show included 55 alumni. The crowd attending the 50th anniversary ski show was the largest in history and hundreds lined the hillside. The reunion was a huge success, thanks to co-chairs Gwen and Mary Issendorf. Visit

About the author Judy Thorson Ross, of Minot, North Dakota, is a member of Club de Skinautiques.

Podcasts on reunion planning topics.

Listen online – 14

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




Genealogists support open records he Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) contends there is no proof that open records significantly contribute to identity theft or terrorism. APG says open records are rarely used by identification thieves and maintains that the benefit of open access to records far outweighs any potential abuse. A group of professional genealogists formed the Keeping Genealogical Records Open Workgroup (KGROW) and they say, “Open records and transparency in government are the best protections we have against 21st century fraud.” The KGROW recommends that “lawmakers respond to the identity theft problem, not try to prevent a nonexistent problem.” Further, they encourage that “private companies and government improve their protection of personal data.” The Case for Open Public Records position paper is at Contact Kathleen W. Hinckley, CG, Executive Director, Association of Professional Genealogists, PO Box 350998, Westminster CO 80035-0998; 303-422-9371;



Q? & A! Evelyn Hines wrote, “My family is really having a time counting the years. Our Q? first reunion was held in August 1912. I say our 100th year celebration should be 2011, not 2012. I’m having a hard time convincing family that you can’t count the years we’ve gathered like you count a birth. I’d like to get this settled before our family meeting or, better yet, be able to show why they can’t just subtract the current year from the year our reunions began.” our answer we turned to Mary Thiele Fobian, one of our favorite genealogists, A!OneFor and this is her response. aspect of the problem is that people are thinking in terms of “anniversary” rather than the number of the reunion. A first reunion that took place in 1912 has its first ANNIVERSARY in 1913 and its 100th ANNIVERSARY in 2012. The disagreement can be brought to an end with the investment of just a couple minutes: on a sheet of paper, list all the years from 1912 to 2012, and next to each year write the number of the reunion: 1912 = 1st reunion 1913 = 2nd reunion (1st “anniversary”) 1914 = 3rd reunion (2nd “anniversary”) … etc. When you reach the year 2011, the reunion number will be 100.

New Midwest Genealogy Center istoric Independence, Missouri, is H rich in genealogy resources including the new Midwest Genealogy Center. Holdings offer extensive microfilm and microfiche sources, including US census records, Civil War histories, Native American records, biographical archives, Black family history records and 60,000 titles of families’ genealogies. The Center offers ample facilities for researchers and oversize parking spaces to accommodate RVs. All resources and classes are free, as are appointments with experts.

Contact Midwest Genealogy Center, 3401 S. Kiger Road, Independence, Missouri; 816-252-7228; Nearby sources for family history buffs include the Jackson County Genealogical Society Research Library, the Merrill J. Mattes Research Library at the National Frontier Trails Museum, the Jackson County Historical Archives and research library, and the Family History Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (

American Legacy Magazine Launches Family Reunion Registry


merican Legacy, a magazine of AfricanAmerican history and culture, now has a “Family Reunion Registry” section

at, where families can inform relatives about their reunion activities.

The Freedom Center helps trace roots he Freedom Center’s John Parker Library in Cincinnati, Ohio, with the Church of T Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, offers free family history search resources and volunteers to guide you. Available are the 1790 to 1930 US censuses, Social Security Death Index, as well as Ellis Island, military, state and county records, and surname databases. The library is open by appointment; call 513-333-7654. Here’s what others say about their visit to the FamilySearch Center. “This has been the most informative visit. I am most grateful.” “Great! I found people in my family that I did not know.” “The staff was very helpful, making an otherwise difficult experience an exciting and rewarding one.” “I was able to find more in an hour today, than I have in two days of looking on my own.” 16

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spooky reunion by Sunny McClellan Morton


ast Labor Day, the Riser Family celebrated its 40th annual reunion in Slatyfork, West Virginia, with candy and costumes. It was two full months until Halloween, but no one cared. We hung decorations, put on costumes and trick-or-treated our way through Labor Day weekend. The year before, we’d had a patriotic theme to celebrate a family member’s

Aunt Sandy (Sandra Riser Eminger) as the purple fairy godmother, matron saint of festivities.

military service. The theme idea went over so well, we decided to keep it up. Aunt Sandy, an organizer extraordinaire, picked Halloween. Each family got an email in advance, asking us to bring decorations, candy and costumes for everyone (not just the kids!). I was a little nervous about the idea, I admit. I’m not exactly a costume queen, though my three kids love to wear theirs. I threw my only costume in the car along with the kids’ favorite dress-ups. Once I got to the reunion, I relaxed into the “spirit” of things. First we helped decorate. In the tradition of a “trunk-or-treat,” each family chose a spot outdoors to decorate the trunk of 18

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their car, a picnic table, the front of their tent, or in our case, the wooden jungle gym. There were purple lights, inflatable jack-o-lanterns and lots of sinewy spider webs. My oldest son, Jeremy, was the most enthusiastic, threading his way through our web-covered jungle gym to hang a string of lights and a pair of pumpkin windsocks. We dangled fuzzy spiders and wrapped stuffed ghosts around wooden posts. The decorations Jeremy and Sunny (the author) Morton as knight and dame. were ones Aunt Sandy chose from post-Halloween clearance tables last November. Of course, once people dressed up, Meanwhile, to my surprise, nearly children and adults alike started clowning every adult donned a costume. Aunt around. Kids of all ages showed off their Sandy was a purple fairy godmother, the favorite alter-egos. A pre-teen Dracula matron saint of our festivities. There was trailed her long cape gracefully across the a ghoul, a 1920s flapper, and an African lawn. A three-year old Buzz Lightyear ran queen. Cousin Patricia got clever with a around stunning people with his built-in “cereal killer” costume, a bleeding outfit laser zapper. A baby Little Miss West covered with labels from various boxes of Virginia charmed the older folks. My cereal. There were even couples’ husband the knight even challenged a costumes: Dr. Seuss’s Thing 1 and Thing grandma ghoul to a duel … and lost. 2, and my husband Jeremy and I as But I think my favorite moment was knight and dame (above). when my six-year old son, dressed in his A few of the kids hadn’t brought pirate costume, saw his great-grandmother costumes, but other young cousins also dressed as a pirate. Great-grandmas helped out, even those who didn’t know don’t get much cooler than that! What a each other well. A few loaned parts of fantastic way for generations to connect. their own get-ups. An older cousin Finally we had a costume parade and wrapped a younger one in a colorful trick-or-treating at each family’s sheet, toga-style. decorated spot. Everyone is still

Holiday theme tips from Aunt Sandy 1. Pick a holiday theme that sounds like fun. It doesn’t have to be the right season. Fourth of July, a St. Patrick’s Day parade for an Irish clan, Christmas in July. There are so many possibilities! 2. Decide the theme well ahead of time so you can stock up on after-holiday sales. 3. Give each family plenty of notice and maybe specific assignments: flags for Fourth of July or three dozen hard cooked eggs for Easter egg dyeing. 4. Allow time to relax and get into the spirit. Don’t over-schedule holiday-themed activities or they become too “planned.” 5. Involve adults as well as kids. It makes for a lot of laughs!

laughing. It set a relaxed tone for the rest of the reunion weekend, which we enjoyed sans costumes. Of course, we’re already gearing up for our next reunion theme: Easter. Who cares if it’s Labor Day weekend? I’m already determined to find the most eggs during the Easter egg hunt.

To see more of the clever Riser Family Reunion costumes, go to, click on themes.

Mike Figler, Helen Lizanov and Mickey Abbott at the ALAFFFA Halloween reunion.

More Halloween ideas


Pirates in the family! Jeremy Riser Morton and his greatgrandma Drema Riser.

For more theme ideas, explore

rom her vast experience with theme reunions (always in July), Lisa Alzo, Ithaca, New York, offers these ideas for a Halloween theme party. • HALLOWEEN: Do the “Monster Mash” and have a “ghostly good time” with this theme. • FOOD: “SandWitch” tray (cut out the bread into scary Halloween ghosts, pumpkins, etc.), caramel apples, popcorn balls, lots of candy! • DRESS: Your favorite Halloween costume! • DECORATIONS: Pumpkins, Halloween decorations; black and orange lights and streamers, novelties. • ACTIVITIES: Costume contest (most creative, scariest, funniest, etc.), pumpkin carving contest; scary stories. Trick-or-Treat for the kids. Do the “Monster Mash.”




Planning a winter family vacation? M

any families have a tradition of a winter vacation: skiing, snowboarding, tubing, ice skating. But where do you start if you’re new to winter vacations? One resource for novice winter vacation enthusiasts is The Guide to Planning the Perfect Winter Family Vacation, by Smugglers’ Notch Resort in northern Vermont. It offers tips for laying the groundwork for a great first experience on the slopes. Planning is key. Hold a meeting to determine what everyone’s interests are. If some want to ski all day, every day, you’ll select a different destination than if some want to ski and others prefer to luxuriate at a spa. What are your lodging requirements and space needs? Would you be content with a hotel room, or would a fully-equipped condominium better suit your needs?

Winter hiking is a fun family activity.

Research destinations by word-of-mouth and the internet, and take advantage of toll-free numbers. Canvas friends, coworkers and relatives about places they’ve been for winter vacations. Use the internet to explore suggestions and narrow the field to destinations that best match needs and interests identified by your family. Ask questions left unanswered by your research. A responsible and responsive reservations staff is a good indication of strong customer service. Choose the right dates. When you’ve identified your top destinations, determine when their programming is fully available and when packages are offered. Look at cancellation policies in case unforeseen circumstances prohibit your travel. When you’ve chosen your destination, and it offers activities you know you want to participate in, book them prior to arrival whenever possible. If you need cold weather clothing just for the reunion, borrow it or shop at early season ski sales. Ask if your resort offers rental outerwear. Plan clothing to layer, since this is a more efficient way to adapt to the temperature changes. Don’t skimp on good quality weatherproof mittens or gloves and socks. Smugglers was voted number one family ski destination by SKI Magazine readers. Copies of The Guide to Planning the Perfect Winter Family Vacation are available at 1-800-451-8752;

For many, their first memorable time on the slopes was at Smugglers’ Notch in Vermont.


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Reunion wins reality show


hen Tracy Malone, Atlanta, Georgia, heard about TV One’s national family reunion reality television show, she nominated her own family for the title of “TV One’s Greatest American Family.” Tracy was certain the Malones of Crawford, Mississippi, would be ideal contestants for the show. The TV people agreed. The Malone family was selected from about 400 applicants, and named a finalist when show producers narrowed contestants down to seven families.

The Malone Family Reunion was a winner of TVOne's Family Reunion show: games and competitions among family reunions. As you can see, the family treasury just got a $25,000 boost! Winning team includes (l to r) Steve Bland III, Jossie Malone Redmond, Johnnie Malone, Torrie Carter and Cantrell Brooks.

Then, in July, at the Malone Family Reunion at the old home place in Crawford, there were many new guests: TV show producers, camera operators and more. Each episode included entertaining and compelling stories ranging from folklore to embarrassing situations, from wounds to healing, and from disappointments to triumphs. As an element of surprise, the families compete in the TV One Challenge. The competition categories include: best family reunion fare, most talented and the overall winner of sports and games. After winning the majority of the challenges, the Malones were named “TV One’s Greatest American Family” and were awarded $25,000 in cash and prizes to support the next family reunion, including airline and train tickets and crates of gourmet food. From stories by Vicky Newman and Neal Wagner in The Commercial Dispatch, Columbus, Mississippi.

The Malone Family: A Family Reunion CD includes original songs by family members and friends. The CD is available for purchase $17 at, click on shopping page.

Evaluating your family reunion by Tracy A. Reichdan

F CONSIDER EVALUATION Each year at this time we suggest evaluation as a technique to understand and improve your reunion. This year Tracy Reichdan describes her experience. We see it as an opportunity to get well deserved pats on the back but also some constructive criticism, suggestions, new ideas and, if you’re lucky, volunteers to help. For more information about how to evaluate your reunion, including sample questionnaires, visit Click on Wrapping up your reunion. Adapt it to your needs and share your findings with our readers. Send to

ollowing our first family reunion, when we camped several days at Rocky Mountain National Park, we asked everyone to evaluate the gathering, including both positives and negatives. We concluded that we met the main objective which we set during the planning process: to reconnect, visit, and record some family history. Evaluation of our reunion has led to greater reunions. But mostly, we learned more about ourselves and how we could better enjoy spending time together. From the feedback, we learned many things to improve our get-togethers. These are just a few. We will still: • Ask everyone for an opinion during the planning process. • Divide up the food detail which allows each family to share their favorite camping fare. • Include many nature activities for the children. • Have the reunion at the beginning of September when it is less crowded. • Provide an open schedule, allowing

plenty of visiting time instead of packing our days with activities. • Bring a copy of the family genealogy to share and update. We receive a lot of great information about in-laws’ families by doing this. • Evaluate successes and improvements following the reunion. These are things we’ll do to improve the next reunion. • Provide more things for children to do besides nature experiences (for kids who prefer to avoid outdoor activities) • State specific arrival and departure dates and times. (We ended up with family members who visited for weeks.) • Include camping tips for inexperienced campers. • Teach everyone about altitude issues (or point out environmental issues unique to specific areas).

About the author Tracy Reichdan, Littleton, Colorado, is a freelance writer and mother of five. Her family enjoys reunions in even years.




Sixty-fifth anniversary and reunion I

t was not a big family reunion, but we are not a big family: five kids, their families and enough friends to make 50 for our banquet. Because people drove or flew from both Atlantic and Pacific coasts, Canada and the Heartland, we decided it had to last three days. After all, Murray and I were celebrating a landmark anniversary, our 65th. With a teaching professor and kids in school, the weekend after the fourth of July was chosen to avoid holiday traffic and congestion. Living in Colorado Springs is a big bonus, for we have beautiful scenery and many tourist attractions. We settled on Drury Inn, which provided such luxuries as a full breakfast and happy hour and a pool and party room where we could meet. It was easy to find from the interstate, close to restaurants, and close to a mall for the teenagers.

put our spare change and a few bills into a glass jar and sealed it up. Everybody had fun guessing the amount of money. The little kids guessed outrageous amounts, which added to the fun. On

Murray and Alice Marks

Marks Family Reunion on the occasion of Murray and Alice’s 65th wedding anniversary.

We gathered on Friday afternoon and caravanned to the Flying W Ranch for a chuck-wagon supper and Western show under the stars! Saturday morning one group took off for a ride up Pike’s Peak on the cog railway, while others toured the awe-inspiring Garden of the Gods or went shopping in Old Colorado City. Others went swimming or rested while they became acclimated to our altitude – 1000 feet higher than Denver, the mile-high city. I set up board games and a jig-saw puzzle in the party room. Murray and I 24

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Sunday morning we awarded the jar to our grandson Matthew, who had guessed a number closest to the actual total. Early on Saturday afternoon we all met dressed for pictures. A professional photographer spent more than an hour taking photos of family groups, singles and the whole tribe. These went into a memory album and were used to illustrate a family calendar for Christmas gifts. Our lovely banquet was catered at the Officers’ Club on Peterson Air Force Base where security was tight. Our four

by Alice R. Marks

daughters and I wore corsages so our local friends could identify our visiting girls. Before dinner we had punch and appetizers and background music was from the 40s and 50s. We had copied nearly 100 old and new pictures from our albums and taped them to large cardboard sheets displayed on easels. Everybody loved finding their own pictures and identifying others, which brought up many family memories. After dinner, pictures were free for the taking and there were none left. There were five tables, with ten places each, so each of our five kids was host or hostess at one table. Some were filled with their own children, others were scattered with friends and neighbors. We sat at the table hosted by our deaf daughter, Joyce, and introduced her and her deaf husband, Craig. Everyone else stood and introduced themselves. There was a disposable camera on each table and we urged everyone to use them. We got wonderful, crazy snapshots, but no one ever got a picture of our anniversary cake! We had specified no gifts, but as usual the kids paid no attention to their parents. Our oldest daughter, Lynn, a quilter, presented us with a beautiful handmade quilt with family names and dates. Joyce had gathered pictures of the five kids, twelve grandkids, and four greats into an album. There were also essays, poems and tributes each of our kids had written. They still bring tears of joy and love – what a treasure! Sunday morning we bid goodbye to some who were returning home and others who were continuing a vacation. Those left gathered Sunday night in the party room, where we played a family name game of bingo with prizes from the dollar store. We ordered pizza and ended our reunion, laughing and enjoying our last night together. Now as I turn the pages of the calendar we made of those precious photos, I can relive that joyful family reunion.

About the author Alice R. Marks, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 85, is the mother of five children, 12 grandchildren and four greats. Her youngest daughter was born deaf which led her into Special Education. Alice has a Masters Degree in Speech Pathology and taught almost 20 years. She is published in magazines and anthologies.



Longtime McFarland traditions MASTERPLAN

by Gen Brechtel


n 1950 it was my turn to plan a McFarland Family Reunion. I was just a bride of four years and I really didn’t know how to plan one. All I knew was that reunions had been a family tradition ever since our grandparents George and Mary E. McFarland moved their nearly grown family of eight children to the banks of Elk Creek, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, long before I was born. Reunions were a way to keep in touch with scattered family members. As the children left home, whenever there was a holiday or special occasion, they came back to celebrate in my grandparents’ big house. Then there were more people than room, and celebrations became a big community event. Finally, the community initiated annual community rodeos and built a community hall where such large gatherings could be held. But it was not the same as the old gatherings, where small children played on rubber-tire swings hanging from cottonwood trees and bigger ones played ball following big potluck dinners. While the babies slept, adults sang a spell and played bridge until supper. After adults had eaten, the farm bell rang

The McFarland Family Reunions are not complete without music. Here the McFarland Family dance band.

for children to fix their plates with the remaining bounty. On warm summer days they sat on the grass in the shade of giant cottonwood trees. After Grandpa died in 1942, Grandma left the ranch and moved to Rapid City, South Dakota. The first picnic I planned was not as big as former gatherings. Children played on playgrounds and there was horseshoe pitching for adults and foot racing for children. Reunions have grown steadily. There are prizes for ones coming farthest, the oldest of Irish decent, the team stuffing the most inflated balloons into a pair of pantyhose worn by a man and numerous other things such as nail driving and slipper kicking contests, piñatas, ball throwing, foot races and, more recently, soccer or other sports. One year we even had a yodeling contest. Now we hold a reunion every four years, with a different family in charge each time. Since there are over 200 descendants plus guests, we hold it in a park with a cook26

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Gen and Robert Brechtel arrive at The McFarland Family Reunion in a horse drawn wagon, driven by Dr. Kovarik.

shelter in case of rain. Hosting adults make all the plans and arrange for game prizes. One year, the host couple furnished homemade chokecherry jam. The hosts usually ask others to be responsible for activities, such as contests or games. And because we have very large families, we ask others to spread the news to their siblings. At each picnic someone volunteers to arrange the next gathering. Usually the date is set and a list of those present with addresses is given to the prospective hosts. At Christmas, a family letter is sent reminding them of the date and place; email has helped. Sometimes members send contributions to help, especially if they have a long distance to travel. This helps with expenses such as paper table covers, plates, plastic ware and meat. Occasionally someone furnishes prizes rather than a potluck dish. Frequently, those traveling pick up a container of food at a grocery store or deli. We do not assign specific dishes because everyone brings food to serve eight or more people, so there is always plenty. Someone always furnishes cups and big insulated jugs of ice tea, lemonade, hot coffee. Last time someone brought a plastic pool of ice to float salads, which worked very well. The hosts also arrange to have coolers with ice to keep food cold after the meals. Best of all, there is still singing. Our reunions would not be complete without music, especially Irish songs or ones our grandparents cherished, such as My Wild Irish Rose, Grandpapa, Silver Threads Among the Gold or I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen. We include a request for instruments to accompany the singing, too. Reunions are as close as we come to the Good Old Days when we dropped in for a neighborly visit without prior notice or invitation.

About the author Gen Brechtel and her husband Robert grew up on farms in western South Dakota where they summer now and winter in Arizona. They have 34 grandchildren and 36 great-grandchildren, two of whom are in the Navy. Gen has been a freelancer for many years.

Memoir of a 40-year family reunion


ncle Bob Wolfe’s memoir of his 40year family reunion, The Secrets of Successful Family Reunions ($16.99), offers insightful observations about family reunions. His is a reunion of 60+ people started on a family farm and moved to church camps and state park lodges to accommodate changing family needs. He demonstrates the evolution of a reunion from inception by seven siblings through four generations. The third generation now has enough lifelong investment to be taking over and sustaining this fascinating enterprise. As you might guess, there have been many lessons, triumphs and discoveries in 40 years and Wolfe is genuine in mentioning many, which, if you read carefully, will answer reunion questions you may not yet have thought to ask. The best audience for this book is small and medium size reunions because of its concentration on smaller venues. Also, given the reunion’s maturity, there is little about the problems of start up that plague many new reunion planners.

The Secrets of Successful Family Reunions is now available @ Order your copy today!

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. SEPTEM B ER / OCTOB ER 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Tucker Purry family celebrates royal days


am a member of The Tucker Purry Family. We are descendants of Callie Purry and Elnora (Tucker) Purry from Spartanburg, South Carolina. My ancestors relocated there from Santuck, South Carolina, in 1910, bringing their house with them. Since then we have been known throughout Spartanburg as putting on one of the best and biggest reunions ever! Our reunions have been every two years since the 1970s. As a small child I remember the fun, laughter and huge amounts of food that came along with family gatherings. Reunions draw 250300 family members and generally last one full week. Our family is organized in chapters according to Elnora and Callie’s eight children. Locations are where the most family members live. Chapters are in Spartanburg, Detroit, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Every two years the baton is passed to a member of our younger generation in a different chapter. However, I have often volunteered because I enjoy planning activities! We hold at least four days of activities just to get around to meeting all the cousins, aunts and uncles from all over the world. We have several family members in the military stationed overseas.

I send quarterly newsletters to keep members connected and informed about deadlines and activities planned. This year I established a family website, Our schedule of activities is awesome and we have a great time. Everyone is truly exhausted after the reunion and we really need that one-year break in between. The first day is our “Meet and Greet,” when we have ice breakers, offer light refreshments, and distribute schedules and gift bags. The second day is “Queens Day!” All the women wear tiaras and are pampered by the men. Even our young girls are treated like royalty. The men do the cooking and I incorporated “Everybody’s Birthday” into this day as well. I buy two big cakes and ice cream and we celebrate everyone’s birthday, complete with party hats and balloons! The third day is “Kings Day!” where the men wear crowns and take their turn at being pampered. We also do a “Family Auction” this day. Family members bid on family heirlooms. The money is put back into the reunion. I also arrange for door prizes. On the fourth day, “Heritage Day,” we wear t-shirts and watch past family reunion videos. That evening we all dress

in white and conduct a memorial ceremony for those who have passed on. The fifth day is “Children’s Day,” a whole day dedicated to the kids, outside games, bowling, dance contests and skating, and we top it off with a cookout and DJ. The sixth day is often a free day when family members visit local attractions. We gather that evening for “Family Competition Time.” We compete in “Ole School versus New School” basketball, spades games and hula hoop contests. The seventh day, Sunday, we visit our home church or have our own church service. Most family members depart on Sunday. I am the host representing the Philadelphia Chapter for our 2008 reunion and will be incorporating all the above into four days. I am also planning a Homecoming day for the older members, inviting all their old classmates to hang out for the day. Reported by Stephanie T. Suell, Columbia South Carolina, who, when she visited Reunion magazine’s website and subscribed to the magazine, found it amazing that “others out there … have a passion for families and planning reunions like I do!”

Children’s Day blindfold ice cream game


ids are paired in twos; one must feed ice cream to the other from behind their back and blindfolded. The first to finish is the winner. They also throw chocolate marshmallows at their partners and the team who eats the most is the winner. It makes for a lot of laughter and entertainment for the adults. Pairs of players (l to r) are Shauntel Jones (11) and Brooke Malone (12), Mai Smith (8) and Jacqualyn Smith (11) and Callie Smith Jr., called C.J. (13) and Mariah Jones (12).


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A family reunion …WHY!

by Sheri Cooley Brown

“The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.” - R EV. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, J R.


ne day while I was browsing highlight was when the family through an old issue of Reunions matriarch Ethelene, “Aunt Shiny,” magazine, it occurred to me to write Cooley-Horne and the patriarch about the Cooley/Shelton/Chiles Ozell, “Uncle O,” Shelton were 2006 Family Reunion in Richmond, honored. Both got a big boost by Virginia. I dedicate this to my being recognized. Less than three cousin, Sheila Cooley of months after the reunion, our Pennsylvania. Because of her hard beloved “Aunt Shiny” succumbed. work, diligence and awesome talent On Saturday we went to Hadad’s this article would never have been Lake and were blessed with a written. She has truly brought our wonderful day with lots of fun in the family together again. sun. The temperature was perfect. Before Sheila and I started Oh, and I cannot forget the tasty planning for this family reunion, I can food. Did you notice I keep recall attending only two family mentioning good food? Is that a sign reunions. I found out about a third one we enjoy eating? We took many when my Aunt Doris Cooley-Guy was pictures because Sheila and I showing me pictures from a reunion wanted to give each family a CD over 10 years ago. Where were my containing photos from the weekend. family and I? Where were the family Cousin Marcus and I put together a members who lived out of state? For CD of our family’s past and present several years, Sheila and I kept asking memories. Before all the so-longs, older family members when we were see-you-laters and goodbyes were going to have another family reunion. said, we decided to have another Decked out in their reunion t-shirts are (l to r) Dejah Vincent (8), Mariah The question was never answered. Frye (14), Andre Cooley, Jr. (15), Kyaira Mango (7) and Tranisha Cooley. reunion in two years. Then several family members As I wrote this article I In loving memory of died, including my Mother, became overwhelmed with Ethelene “Shiny” Robnett Cooley-Taylor, and tears; happiness, sorrow, and Cooley Horne with Ethel Davis. grandparents, as well as other loss were reawakened. Life’s relatives. It was about a year change happens in the blink of and a half after our grandfather, an eye. I hope you understand James “Cliff” Cooley, died in why I feel family reunions are 2002 that Sheila and I finally so very important. If we had not decided to go ahead and plan a held our reunion, two of our family reunion. beloved family members would Slow response from family have missed a golden moment members did not discourage us. with family. Without carrying I lived in Richmond, and many on the love, history, fellowship emails, a few trips for Sheila and legacy of your family, you from Pennsylvania to Richmond, will lose a very valuable phone calls and many late connection to who you were and nights kept things working. who you are now. So plan a Several months before the family reunion. It does not have reunion, Sheila’s wonderful to be elaborate. It can be mother, Dalthrine “Dell” something as small as a Davis-Cooley, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This cookout in a backyard or park. You will never regret it. Sheila, made having a reunion even more important. Dell did not want our family, and I are happy we truly celebrated “Bringing the to come but since all her caregivers were attending, she had no Family Together.” choice. And she had a wonderful time. We enlisted the help of our children, aunts and a few cousins. About the author We had a dinner on Friday night at Dorey Park in Henrico Sheri Cooley Brown lives in Richmond, Virginia. This is her County, Virginia, full of fellowship, remembrance, and lots of first written submission. Articles in Reunions Magazine and a delicious food. Everyone received a “goodie bag” with a t-shirt, genealogy seminar she attended inspired her. She felt compelled an awesome family booklet, health tips and other things. A to share her story of the importance of family reunions. SEPTEM B ER / OCTOB ER 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Thinking about cruising?


a carefree fun way to celebrate


ruises are popular for all kinds of reunions. Cruising is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to travel with a large group. You can visit several destinations and only have to unpack once. One low price includes meals, snacks, basic beverages, many activities and live entertainment. A cruise ship is an all-in-one resort with options for the young, the not-so-young, and even the hardest-to-please traveler. Swimming, dancing, dining, children’s day camps, teen-only nightclubs and even rock-climbing, ice-skating and surfing – you can find just about any leisure activity on cruise ships these days. And today, cruise ships travel the Caribbean, Hawaii, British Columbia, Alaska and the Mediterranean. Cruising is an easy reunion to plan. Seating everyone together for meals is no problem. Ships arrange special events (sometimes for free), private cocktail hours and photo sessions. And they all give discounts. The standard tends to be one person free for every eight cabins. The biggest challenge is finding the right ship. If you’re couch potatoes, you want a destination like the Caribbean. If everyone’s active, think about Alaska. Summer is family cruising season, but ask your travel agent about the ship’s atmosphere. In fact, ask your agent about everything. Travel agents book nearly all cruises and they know the ships. Three- or four-night sailings are popular because they cost less. All cruise lines are accustomed to handling groups, though a few have attractive selling points for big families. Carnival Cruise Lines includes “fun points” to use for a private cocktail party, poker chips or photo sessions with a pro. Royal Reunions on Royal Caribbean arranges onboard scavenger hunts and trivia contests. Groups on Holland America ships earn extras such as unlimited soft drinks and free snorkel gear. Family favorites on Princess Cruises include movies on a 300-square-foot screen by the pool, as well as a 24-hour buffet. So if you’re considering a cruise reunion, call a cruise specialist agent now!


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by Margaret Malsam

The author, her husband, married children and their spouses, and all nine grandchildren pose for a photo on the cruise.

or many years my husband and I dreamt of a family reunion cruise with our children and nine grandchildren. As our 50th wedding anniversary approached, it was “now or never” so we decided to go for it. It took us almost a year to decide where and when we wanted to go. Our son, Paul, did preliminary internet searching, then we booked our cruise through a super efficient travel agent who managed the details and got us extra amenities. Because most of us live in the Denver area, we chose a four-night cruise off the California coast on Royal Caribbean’s Monarch of the Seas. We wanted a cruise to meet the needs of three generations, and this ship provided ample entertainment for all ages. A cruise is always filled with exhilarating experiences for me. I love to be pampered and eat great food! I also like to relax and not move from hotel to hotel or figure out where to dine every night. One of the biggest cruise ship bonuses is that it allows togetherness without sacrificing freedom and independence for each family. During the day, we selected


At dinner after renewing their wedding vows, waiters tied Malsams’ hands with a scarf.

shore excursions or engaged in ship activities. Then we got together each evening for a gourmet dinner. While meals and ship activities are included in the cruise price, shore excursions are extra. Our four-night cruise started and ended in Los Angeles with port stops at San Diego, Catalina Island, and Ensenada, Mexico. Each port was delightfully different, with many options


Ranger redux

A for activities. In San Diego, some went to Sea World and the San Diego Zoo. At Catalina Island, my husband and I rented a golf cart, the most popular way to tour the island’s winding pathways. Shore excursions at Ensenada included a gala Mexican fiesta and a bus ride to La Bufadora, a naturally occurring sea blowhole spraying water 60-100 feet into the air. There was ample opportunity to buy Mexican crafts everywhere we went. On the ship, some sprinted around the sports deck, swam in the large pool or sunbathed in the pleasant Pacific sun on the ship’s top deck. Others participated in trivia contests and youth craft programs, including face painting and science labs. We watched spectacular sunsets at sea and temperatures ranged in the 70s and 80s. We enjoyed the entertaining magic and musical shows after dinner. Some gambled, participated in karaoke and danced to lively lounge music. Others stayed up for the beautiful chocolate/ice carvings buffet and late night comedy shows. Our cruise climaxed with a formal renewal of our wedding vows at a Mass celebrated by a long-time priest friend who accompanied us on the cruise. Afterwards, all three generations shared memories filled with loads of laughter and smiles. At dinner, the waiters presented us with a small dessert topped with a candle and symbolically tied a scarf around our hands. While we blew out the candle, our family sang Happy Anniversary. Most anniversaries or family reunions require renting a hall, hiring a photographer, caterer, disc jockey or band, and sending invitations. It’s not that way with the cruise. Cruising is more fun, lasts longer, and builds family togetherness while creating fond memories. Compare the prices for yourself!

About the author Margaret Malsam is a former Denver Post business writerphotographer. Her book is Camping Circus. She has published over 300 articles in magazines and newspapers, including Country Woman, Midwest Traveler, Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, and previously in Reunions magazine.

MALSAM FAMILY MEMBERS COMMENT ON THEIR CRUISE EXPERIENCE. “It surpassed my greatest expectations.” “Despite all the people on the ship, there still was plenty of room. Even the casinos weren’t crowded.” “The joy on the children’s faces was very special.” “I can see why people like cruises. It eliminates lots of planning and allows individuals to relax.” “There was something for all ages from sensational meals to activities day and night. I feel it is a safe environment where parents can feel comfortable leaving kids at the ship’s day or night camp and have time alone.”

ircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-61) served from 1957 to 1993 with various ship-wide departments and suborganizational divisions. The ship’s Intelligence Center (i.e., CVIC), known as OZ Division, was comprised of both ship’s company and air wing personnel. In 2006, Chuck Morris, Chief Petty Officer (CPO) in OZ 1983-85, wondered about his former OZ boss. Internet searches and queries ended successfully so Morris wondered whether a reunion of OZ shipmates might be possible. He had conducted formal annual evaluations and still had records, so he contacted his local Social Security Administration (SSA) office and inquired about submitting a list of OZ people for search. The SSA office and the US Navy’s Worldwide Locator Service accepted the list and forwarded pre-printed letters to individuals for whom they had current information. Once the OZ group was contacted, a place and date for the reunion were chosen from several options. One of the members worked at the Riverside Resort & Casino in Laughlin, Nevada, which was selected as the site. The event included a Welcome & Social to revisit old friends, relive some shipboard memories, share sea stories, and to take a Navy/Ranger quiz to see how much everyone remembered, with prizes for the most correct answers. There was also an informal dinner, with several Navy & Ranger presentations, concluded with toasts to the Navy, to the Ranger, to the ladies in attendance, and to friendships.

5 tips for getting veterans to tell their stories


eo E. Ours, Jr., Tampa, Florida, is the author of Hospital on Wheels: World War II MASH, the story of his father’s travels as a medical technician with the 662nd Medical Clearing Company during WWII. Ours maintains WWII photos and ideas for getting veterans to share their stories at Memories of those lost in battle can be extremely hard to discuss. Many veterans simply wanted to resume the lives they’d postponed and participate in the freedom they helped to guarantee. As a potential remedy for this hesitation to share recollections, Ours developed ideas to serve as “ice-breakers” to open the floodgates. 1. Ask to discuss the war so their family will have a record of their service for future generations. 2. Find a movie about the war or battle they may have taken part in to stimulate discussion, asking if it portrays events correctly. 3. Explore old military photos and inquire about what was going on when the picture was taken, who the people are. 4. Ask detailed questions about uniforms and medals to spur dialogue about military service. 5. Use war news stories to spark discussion about their war. If you hit a sensitive subject, back off and have a secondary list of topics the veteran may feel more comfortable discussing. SEPTEM B ER / OCTOB ER 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S



Military tributes secure reunion success


pecial recognition at any gathering of veterans is meaningful for participants. The organizing committee increased ways to honor their band of brothers at a recent reunion of the WWII Ninth Infantry Division. Committee members developed a packet (cover letter, national newsletter validating the reunion and one-page Division history) to send potential contributors. Time, good communication and follow-up proved key. During the reunion veterans appreciated these special recognitions. Later, thank you letters expressed appreciation of everyone involved.

by Kaye Olson seal throughout the gathering. State Representative Tribute: Request a State Representative to recognize the veterans group. This tribute can express appreciation for the veterans’ sacrifice, describe their war campaigns and commend exemplary service and bravery. Allow eight to ten weeks. Follow-up is essential. STATE LETTER OF VETERAN RECOGNITION: The State

Representative who provides the tribute or proclamation can also provide a special letter to veterans that welcomes Governor’s Proclamation pays them and their families to the state, tribute to the WWII veteran participants. thanks them for attending the reunion, and expresses appreciation for their courage, commitment and sacrifice during military service. A similar request can be made to the mayor and county executive for welcome letters or perhaps personal appearances to welcome veterans. Allow six to eight weeks. Follow up several times. NEWSPAPER COVERAGE: Call the largest newspaper in the reunion city and ask for the journalist who covers veteran features; or the local convention Floral Octofoil of the WWII Ninth Infantry Division honors veterans. and visitors bureau could The following ideas cost very little: recommend someone. US flag and certificate, Governor’s Explain the upcoming Proclamation, State Representative reunion, give some history of Shadow box highlights the Tribute, State Representative letter of WWII 9th Infantry Division. the group and their war veteran recognition, newspaper achievements. Send coverage, vintage military vehicle and background material to increase the probability of welcoming banner and insignia items. coverage. Allow six weeks. These tributes can be used in a number Journalists do not always consider military of ways. The US flag and certificate reunions newsworthy, but they’re eager for veterans’ were given to a veteran at the final stories. Offer names and contact numbers of reunion evening banquet. Others were included members who had significant war experiences. Follow on a display table or as personal copies up within two weeks of the reunion. If possible, ask if in registration packets. the article can come out 3 to 4 days beforehand to allow new members to attend and stimulate TV or US FLAG AND CERTIFICATE: Contact radio interest. your US Representative or Senator’s Two Ninth Infantry Division members were office to request an American flag that interviewed and photographed. The veterans were has flown over the US Capitol in excited to see their division on the front page of the Washington, DC, to honor the Armed newspaper. Their pride was indescribable; it was the Services’ group. In this case, the US first time since the war they’d been honored this Representative was a veteran himself way. Association members secured newspapers for and a strong advocate. The process, each veteran or family member. This was truly a requiring several follow-up phone calls reunion highlight. took a full three months. The certificate Newspaper front page features WWII Ninth specifically acknowledged the Division. VINTAGE MILITARY VEHICLE AND BANNER: Ask the Infantry Division veterans. reunion hotel if a banner and vintage military GOVERNOR’S PROCLAMATION: Contact vehicle can be placed at the entrance. Poll local the State Representative who serves the members, the VFW and American Legion for an old military reunion city to request this tribute. Allow 10 weeks or more, vehicle. Each association has a large banner that displays the since research of the group’s wartime missions may be written military insignia and name of the group. The banner, along into the document. During the last four weeks, follow up with the vehicle, often decorated in flags or flowers, welcomes several times and proof-read the document carefully, since participants and provides visibility for the Armed Services errors do occur. Display this record of recognition with its State 32

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group. (A decorated M-37 3/4 ton vehicle honored the veterans the full three days at the Ninth Infantry Division reunion.) This might take several weeks to arrange. INSIGNIA ITEMS: The insignia of any military association is cherished by all veterans, so find many ways to display the emblem. A 36” floral Octofoil (insignia of the Ninth Infantry Division) stood proudly throughout the gathering. Cloth tote bags given to attendees bore the emblem. One committee member created a shadow box which became a 3D divisional display listing division and campaigns in the background, a US flag in the middle and an insignia shoulder patch in the front. This was a gift given the final night along with a large bottle of wine with the emblem on the label. At the final banquet, red, blue and white insignia flags tucked in white napkins sparked a touch of acknowledgment. Allow eight weeks. AFTER IT’S OVER

Send a group picture to for the Picture Gallery. Also, email a report about the reunion for publication. There are so many ways to acknowledge military groups. As WWII veterans march up in age, followed by Korea and Vietnam warriors, it’s imperative to honor their courage and sacrifice. Nothing boosts the success of a military reunion like showers of tributes for the heroes.

WWII ship travels on Mississippi this summer


n August and September 2008, USS LST-325, a World War II amphibious vessel, will cruise the Mississippi River, docking for public tours. The LST-325 is designed to land battle-ready tanks, troops and supplies directly onto enemy shores. The floating museum ship is the only working LST ship remaining of 1,050 built. The decommissioned LST325 is now docked for tours in Evansville, Indiana. USS LST-325 itinerary: Aug 27-Sept 3 – Moline, Illinois – Quad Cities; Sept 3-9 – Clinton, Iowa; Sept 9-15 – Ft. Madison, Iowa. For more information, visit

Tennessee honors veterans


ennessee is the first state to name a day to mark Vietnam military service. Organizers of the event said their parade was the first official homecoming celebration for Vietnam soldiers. On March 29, 2008, Tennessee’s first official Vietnam Veterans Day, over 1,000 Vietnam veterans and hundreds of onlookers gathered in Crossville, a small town on the Cumberland Plateau. Scooter Dyer and his friend Dann Dunham worked for over a year petitioning Governor Phil Bredesen for the holiday and developing the two-day event. Recognition offers closure and pride, Dyer said, things he and his friends were not offered in the early 1970s by the American public, embroiled then in a political debate over Vietnam. From a story by Joan Garrett in the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

About the author Kaye Olson, Detroit, Michigan, is a National and State member of the Ninth Infantry Division Association. She was National Chair of the Gift Committee for the recent WWII 9th Infantry Division reunion. She has authored two books and writes for national professional journals, newsletters and magazines.

A decorated M-37 3/4 ton vehicle honored Ninth Infantry Division reunion. SEPTEM B ER / OCTOB ER 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 and city. The sections which follow list books and publishing, cruises, fundraising and mementos, invitations, photography, preserving reunions, postcards, and other products and services. Many resources include e-mail and web page addresses. Start on our web page www.reunions and in just one click, go directly to other resource pages – a wonderful way to visit, get more details and in some cases even place orders. We encourage you to tell the listings you contact that you learned about them from REUNIONS MAGAZINE. And if at any time you find any info that is inaccurate or e-mail or web links do not work, notify us immediately at; PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211-0727. And by all means, feel free to comment and/or suggest changes and additions you’d like to see in this section. REUNIONS MAGAZINE will not be held liable for information presented as facts in these ads. We reserve the right to edit and/or refuse any material submitted for publication.

US DESTINATIONS NATIONAL At today’s HOWARD JOHNSON®, you will find just what you need for your reunion. Starting with our Best Rate Guarantee, complimentary highspeed 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®. 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;; www.Forever SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

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

ARIZONA 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;;

ARKANSAS THE LODGE AT MOUNT MAGAZINE STATE PARK, ARKANSAS Reconnect with family or friends at this mountain resort lodge while you enjoy the view from Arkansas’s highpoint. Guest rooms and cabins. Conference and meeting rooms. Indoor pool, plenty of outdoor activities and nature programs. Make this reunion one to remember. Call 1-877-665-6343 for group rates or log on to MountMagazine SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

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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 800-5413953 for a free Travel Planner, or fax 714-562-3569. tourbp@buena; LAUREL MILL LODGE PO Box 368, Los Gatos CA 95031; 408-3535851;; FAIRMONT NEWPORT BEACH DELUXE FOUR DIAMOND HOTEL FREE shuttle to John Wayne Airport, Fashion Island Mall, South Coast Plaza & Balboa Island. Guest rooms feature highdefinition flat panel TV, DVD/CD player, complimentary safe, mini-bar and coffee maker. Hotel provides 22,000 square feet of meeting space, bamb£ 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 4500 MacArthur Blvd., Newport Beach, CA 92660. 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, freshwater fishing lakes, Pacific beaches, wineries, day spas, desert cities, world-class golfing, Disneyland and Hollywood; truly making Ontario the center of it all!; HOLIDAY INN SAN DIEGO BAYSIDE 4875 N Harbor Drive, San Diego CA 92106; 619-224-3621; 800-650-6660; fax 619-224-1787. Host your reunion at the beautiful Holiday Inn San Diego Bayside across from San Diego Bay. Our experienced staff will assist you in creating a very special event. Complimentary hosp suite and special reunion rates. Beautiful guest rooms, heated pool, spa, shuffleboard, ping-pong and billiards, exercise room, family restaurant and cocktail lounge, free pkg, in-room movies, coffee makers, refrigerators, hair dryers. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!; www.holinn ALISAL GUEST RANCH & RESORT Is a 10,000 acre full-service resort and working cattle ranch located just outside the Danish village of Solvang, approximately two hours north of Los Angeles & 40 minutes north of Santa Barbara. 73 cottages with woodburning fireplace, two 18-hole golf courses, seven tennis courts, private lake for fishing and boating, horseback riding on over 50-miles of trails, swimming pool, petting zoo, extensive children’s activities and meeting facilities for up to 150 people. 1054 Alisal Road, Solvang CA 93463. 805-688-6411; fax 805-688-2510;; NORTHSTAR-AT-TAHOETM 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,,

GREATER WILMINGTON CVB Nestled in the heart of the MidAtlantic, along the I-95 corridor, Delaware’s Greater Wilmington and Brandywine Valley offers meeting/event planners and their attendees,’ unparalleled variety to experience ... tax-free! Easily accessible by I-95, Amtrak (80 trains daily) and Philadelphia International (20 minutes), Greater Wilmington offers more than 6,000 guest rooms and the ability to accommodate 1,600 attendees. To unlock all that this tax-free destination has to offer, the Greater Wilmington, DE-CVB holds the key. Please explore us at or call 800-489-6664. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

COLORADO 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 970-5771677;; 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,, 1202 N. Summit Blvd. Frisco, CO 80443. COLORADO VACATION RENTALS BRECKENRIDGE has something for every visitor and every visit! Vibrant history, natural beauty, and adventures for all ages make for an ideal locale, especially in our mild mountain summers. Our fullservice reservation center also books activities, lift tickets, golf, and transportation. Let our reunion expert help create the Colorado getaway you’ve always imagined! Breckenridge Lodging & Hospitality P.O. Box 8329, 535 S. Park Avenue, Breckenridge CO 80424; 888-483-6140; fax 970-453-5165;; www.breck

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 321784-8500;; canaveralfl. 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; 800-3333333; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! RESIDENCE INN CAPE CANAVERAL COCOA BEACH 8959 Astronaut Blvd. Cape Canaveral FL 32920. Enjoy our warm and friendly home-like atmosphere in spacious suites, with fully equipped kitchens and appliances. Open April 2006 this impressive Key West style hotel offers; Heated Pool, Spa, Lounge, Complimentary Full American Breakfast Buffet, Complimentary Weekday Social Hour ( Mon-Thu)., Complimentary High Speed Internet Access.; 321-323-1100. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! BEST WESTERN COCOA BEACH 5600 N. Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach FL 32931. Anything you want for your ocean retreat: from Standard Courtyard rooms to private balconies. Enjoy the Durango Steakhouse & Lounge, Poolside Veranda Bar, and just a short walk to Cocoa Beach Pier entertainment. 800-962-0028; 321-783-7621; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! COMFORT INN & SUITES RESORT & CONFERENCE CENTER 3901 N. Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach FL 32931. Our five acre tropical beachside resort in the heart of Cocoa Beach is just 300 feet to the beach, near Ron Jon’s & restaurants. Choose from Ocean & Courtyard view suites, standard rooms and efficiency rooms. Lush courtyard surrounds heated pool, whirlpool, snack bar, outdoor grills & Lagoon Lounge. 321-783-2221; 800-247-2221; www.comfortinncocoabeach .com. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT COCOA BEACH 3435 N. Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach FL 32931. Make this your most memorable stay ever! Sun, Sand, Surf, and Cruise, plus free high speed Internet access, restaurant, lounge, Whirlpool rooms, two-room suites, private balconies, refrigerators, fitness center, heated pool, laundry facilities, and more ... 321-784-4800; 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. 321783-9222; 800-55-Beach; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! HILTON COCOA BEACH OCEANFRONT 1550 N Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach FL 32931. Take pleasure in the area’s largest ocean front pool deck; direct ocean front location on 300 feet of sandy beach. Enjoy the heated pool, Tiki bar, two restaurants, and lounge. This full service hotel has a new large exercise room, high speed Internet, and many more amenities. 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; www.hamptoninn SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES 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 Emerald Coast CVB, Inc. Destin-Fort Walton Beach – Okaloosa Island a reunion planner’s paradise with 24 miles of sugar white beaches and emerald green waters, 16,000 first-rate accommodations, 400 events & festivals, water sports, superb coastal cuisine, championship golfing, Air Force Armament Museum, Big Kahuna’s Water Park, art galleries, nature trails and the largest fishing fleet in Florida. Emerald Coast Conference Center offers 35,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space and gourmet catering. Let us make your reunion planning easy! Contact Sherry Rushing, CTIS,, 1-800-322-3319; 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;; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! THE BLUE HERON BEACH RESORT 13428 Blue Heron Beach Drive Orlando FL 32821. The Family Suite can sleep six and the Deluxe or Sunrise Suites sleep eight. Every unit has a full kitchen, dining room, living room with a sofa sleeper, bunk beds, a second full bath, washer and dryer and a balcony that overlooks Lake Bryan. We have pools for all ages, fitness rooms, nature trails and watersports available from our dock. Enjoy the fireworks every night from the top observation landings! Guests can walk to adjacent restaurants and supermarket. Information 407-387-2910: www.blueheronbeachresort .com. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! BEST WESTERN CASTILLO DEL SOL HOTEL 205 S. Atlantic Avenue, Ormond Beach FL 32176. Guest rooms have pillow top beds, refrig., coffee maker, pvt balcony, ocean front with kitchens. Restaurant open daily for breakfast, mtg space, ocean front sun deck & fire pit, ocean front htd pool, laundry facilities, business center, vending/ice machines, free parking, free WIFI, and free local & toll free calls. 386672-6711; fax 386-676-9494;; www. 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! 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 RENTALS 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? / Toll Free: 888 746-5446

GEORGIA ATLANTA’S COBB COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU Home to Six Flags Over Georgia, Six Flag’s White Water and just 10 minutes northwest of downtown Atlanta, and the NEW Georgia Aquarium and World of Coke. Cobb County boasts easy interstate access, free parking, a multitude of restaurants, attractions, shopping, golf and parks. For FREE assistance with planning your reunion, contact the Cobb County CVB at 1-800-451-3480 or visit us at

HILTON ATLANTA AIRPORT 1031 Virginia Avenue, Atlanta GA 30354. 404-559-6831; fax 404-767-0844;; GWINNETT CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU (ATLANTA) Minutes from Atlanta, the GCVB provides a FREE Reunion Planner, group welcome bags with gift; and free lodging assistance! Gwinnett has 97 group-friendly hotels with 33 of Atlanta’s best parks, and easy I-85 access to Six Flags, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Home, the new Aquarium and Stone Mountain Park! Call Cricket Elliott toll-free at 1888-494-6638, ext 6049; direct at 770-814-6049 or by email at to plan your next Atlanta-based reunion today! SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! DOUGLASVILLE CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU With a great location near Atlanta and over 1,800 hotel rooms why not choose Douglasville, Georgia! For details on complimentary services, including welcome bags and name badges, contact the Douglasville CVB today and let us help plan your next reunion. For more information call us at 1-800-661-0013 or email us at JEKYLL OCEANFRONT CLARION RESORT & SPA 975 North Beachview Drive; Jekyll Island GA 31527; 912-635-2531; fax 912635-9072:; CALLAWAY GARDENS RESORT offers exciting activities and seasonal events for all ages, plus exceptional accommodations and cuisine. Golf, tennis, butterfly center, biking, fishing and much more! Ask about our remarkable reunion packages when you call. U.S. Highway 27, Pine Mountain, GA 31822; 800-543-7121; sales@callawaygardens .com; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! SAVANNAH GETAWAYS 509 E. McDonough Street, Savannah GA 31401; 866-690-2074;; www.savannah

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 and let us customize your reunion package; 410-324-8100.

MASSACHUSSETS 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 . 508-4870585. Email:; THE RED LION INN, 30 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA. New England’s most famous historic inn. Outstanding cuisine & banquet facilities, award-winning wine list, luxurious rooms & guesthouses, antiques & art, fitness center, nightly entertainment. Central to Berkshire cultural attractions, outdoor recreation & outlet shopping; golf course privileges & spa nearby.; 413-298-1604; www.redlion SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!


RECONNECT IN LAKE COUNTY Lake County’s natural spaces and fun places are the perfect place for your next reunion. Our world-class attractions and more than 50 lodging properties will make your next reunion a resounding success. For free Reunion Planning Assistance call 1-800-Lake-Now or email us with your reunion planning questions to; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

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! GREEKTOWN CASINO – HOTEL is the best venue for your group. The hotel offers theme buffets, 25,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, rates based on double occupancy, and is located in the heart of Detroit’s Greektown entertainment district. More than 26 restaurants within walking distance, over 100,000 sq. ft. of gaming space and great entertainment. There is also a people mover stop located in Greektown Casino. 1200 Saint Antoine, Detroit MI 48226; 877-GCH-5554; www. 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;



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!

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 reunions ... here’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: ST. CLOUD AREA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU Granite Country USA! 525 Highway 10 South, Suite 1, St. Cloud MN 56304. 1-800-264-2940 x112; 320-202-6712; fax 320-656-0401;;

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 jampacked with memorable experiences. BOISE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU PO Box 2106, Boise ID 83701; Lisa Edens; 800-635-5240; 208-344-7777; fax 208-344-6236; ledens@boisecvb .org; BOISE ... Feel It!


LOUISIANA BATON ROUGE AREA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 359 Third Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70801 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.

MARYLAND UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center, 52 King George Street, Annapolis MD 21402. Designed specifically for those who participated in military operations while in US service. Tour focuses on role of Naval Academy in supplying officers and midshipmen in various conflicts. Tour includes audio-visual presentation and walking tour. Tour time: 2 hours 30 minutes. Tour price: $8.00. Call for tour package and dining information: 410-293-8687; fax 410293-3365;; WELCOME TO THE BWI AIRPORT COMFORT INN & SLEEP INN SUITES a pet friendly hotel & conference center with over 330 spacious guest rooms and suites. Offering a 24 hour FREE BWI Airport Shuttle, FREE Hot Breakfast and FREE wireless High speed internet. We also have over 8,000 sq feet of conference and banquet space. Baltimore Light Rail is adjacent to the hotel. We offer over 20 restaurants and shops within walking distance. Full Service restaurant onsite. 6921 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd., Baltimore MD 21225. Contact: Tammera M. Bolsch, Tele 443-457-1212; Fax 410-355-2854;,

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. BRANSON’S POINTE ROYALE CONDOMINIUM RESORT & GOLF COURSE Spacious 1-4 bedroom fully-equipped condos on 18-hole golf course. Scenic setting on Lake Taneycomo. Golf, tennis, indoor/outdoor/kiddie pools, exercise room, trout fishing, playgrounds, meeting facilities, restaurant, lounge, catering. Convenient to shows/ attractions. Concierge/packages. Condos are ideal for reunions with lots of gathering space. 158-A Pointe Royale Dr., Branson MO 65616; 800-962-4710; fax 417-334-5620:; www. SEPTEM B ER / OCTOB ER 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S 35

CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES INDEPENDENCE, MO TOURISM DEPT., 111 E. Maple, Independence, MO 64050; 866-657-MEET. Let Independence welcome your reunion group, all at a great value and in a convenient location. Enjoy nationally recognized heritage and cultural attractions, one-of-a-kind restaurants, great shopping, outdoor activities, a variety of accommodations and more. Add in a trip to nearby Kansas City or an afternoon of professional football or baseball. We provide itinerary planning, discounts and other assistance. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! www. 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 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; 800-543-3105; fax 406-257-2500; fcvb@fcvb .org;

NEVADA 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! TEXAS STATION GAMBLING HALL & HOTEL TEXAS STATION HOTEL & CASINO Plan your next reunion at Texas Station. We have a 200 room hotel with lovely accommodations and 40,000 square feet of meeting space to accommodate reunions from 25 to 1,000. We also have a 60 lane bowling center, movie theaters with a food court and four fabulous restaurants. We are located just 10 minutes away from the glamorous Las Vegas Strip. For information call 702-6318292 or check out our website at 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 & 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; CIRCUS CIRCUS HOTEL & CASINO RENO 500 N. Sierra St. Reno NV 89503 Whether business or pleasure brings you to us, Circus Circus Reno offers over 1,500 rooms, six sensational restaurants, a unique Midway of Fun, an expansive casino floor with all the latest gaming action, and state-of-the-art convention facilities. Free airport shuttle and parking available. Call 800-894-3588 or visit circusreno .com 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;; NATIVO LODGE 6000 Pan American FWY, Albuquerque NM 87109. Nativo Lodge is a culturally distinct hotel offering a unique hotel experience. Combining rich and vibrant Native American cultural aspects with contemporary elements, this 146-room 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: 1-888-628-4861;; HOTEL ENCANTO DE LAS CRUCES 705 S. Telshor Blvd. Las Cruces NM 88011. The grand Spanish Colonial style of the fullservice Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces creates an ambiance reflective of the area’s rich Spanish and Mexican Colonial history and tradition. Services include an exercise room with state-of-the-art equipment an outdoor swimming pool, and two unique upscale venues for dining and nightlife entertainment. Only minutes away from historic Old Mesilla. Toll Free: 866-383-0443;;


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HOTEL PLAZA REAL 125 Washington Avenue, Santa Fe NM 87501. Just steps away from historic Santa Fe Plaza, Hotel Plaza Real is a picturesque boutique hotel offering 56 deluxe suites and guestrooms most featuring private balconies, wood burning fireplaces and the most luxurious bed in Santa Fe. Toll Free: 1-877-901-ROOM (7666);; 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 Mánitas restaurant, or cocktails in the comfortable piano lounge. Toll Free: 888-563-4373;; www.lodgeat

NEW YORK FORT WILLIAM HENRY RESORT AND CONFERENCE CENTER, 48 Canada Street, Lake George, NY 12845 888-389-4554. Balancing traditional elegance with Adirondack charm, this New York State landmark hotel provides guests with exceptional service only surpassed by spectacular views of Lake George and the surrounding Adirondack Mountains. 193 Guestrooms, ample free parking, onsite restaurants, spa and museum. 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 518668-5755 or 1-800-705-0059., SURFSIDE ON THE LAKE Conveniently located in the village with private sandy beach, boardwalk, pool and decks; overlooking the majestic waters of beautiful Lake George. 144 well maintained rooms with modern amenities and banquet hall overlooking the lake. Let us help plan your reunion with a complete itinerary and meal options. Scenic cruises and excursions, museums, natural attractions, shopping and more ... 400 Canada St, Lake George, NY 12845; 518-668- 2442; fax 518-668-3202; website; e-mail: daniel@ 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

NORTH CAROLINA HIGH POINT CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU PO Box 2273, High Point, NC 27261. Centrally located in the scenic Piedmont of North Carolina. World-class hospitality. Easily accessible from major highways including Interstate 40 and Interstate 85. Unique venues and comfortable accommodations. Vast array of restaurants from elegant dining to southern cooking. Museums depicting High Point’s heritage. Visit to plan your reunion today or call 800.720.5255 and ask for Marva Wells. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

OHIO 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. 877-648-4838 or 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. 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.

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! 267765-1104; 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 off-property 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 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; THE CHATEAU RESORT 300 Camelback Road, Tannersville PA 18372; 800-245-5900; fax 570-620-0910.

SOUTH CAROLINA At 14 stories the HOLIDAY INN RIVERVIEW stands tall. This unique Charleston landmark offers guests 180 nicely appointed guest rooms and a full service restaurant with panoramic views of Historic Charleston and the Ashley River as well as complimentary shuttle service to the heart of the city for shopping and tours. Enjoy easy planning with our experienced staff. Ask about special incentives for event planners. 301 Savannah Hwy, Charleston SC 29407. Contact Megan O’Hara Owen at 843-460-1440; fax 843-766-8355;; www.holidayinn.wm/ 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; 843-761-8238; fax 843-899-6491; Mention this ad for special group discounts! SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! SEA MIST OCEANFRONT RESORT – MYRTLE BEACH SC 1200 South Ocean Blvd., 29577. REUNIONS MADE EASY! Specializing in reunions from military to family at the most affordable rates in Myrtle Beach. Sea Mist’s premier oceanfront location is near shopping, theaters and golf courses. Over 600 of our 800 units have been completely remodeled, restaurants, miniature golf, 10 pools, Jacuzzis, fitness room, 17,000-sq.ft. of versatile meeting space and much more! 800-200-8687;; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!


VIRGINIA NEWPORT NEWS is minutes to Williamsburg and a short to Virginia Beach. Here you can discover the ocean, ships, history and the great outdoors from one central destination. Whether getting together with old classmates, shipmates or “familymates,” Newport News provides the perfect location and services to make your reunion a success! From our convenient location, outstanding services and support, the best value and plenty to see and do, Newport News will make your next reunion a memorable one. Call Cheryl Morales at 888-493-7386 or email her at to book your reunion. NORFOLK CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 232 East Main Street, Norfolk VA 23510. Norfolk’s beautifully revitalized waterfront, rich military heritage, walkable downtown and central Mid Atlantic location make it the ideal destination for your next reunion. Home to such attractions as the Battleship Wisconsin, MacArthur Memorial, Hampton Roads Naval Museum and the world’s largest naval base. See why American Heritage named Norfolk “A Great American Place.” Offering over 2,000 committable hotel rooms in various price ranges. Call 800-368-3097;; SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! WYTHEVILLE Small town … Big Experience! History, dinner theatre, 45-acre animal park, outdoor recreation, new winery, Indian village, gem mine/pioneer town, shopping, scenic drives, herb farm, accommodations/ dining. Wytheville Meeting Center 1-877-347-8307, www.VisitWytheville .com, SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!




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

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

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

PRODUCTS AND 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!



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 tools-and 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 www. and reunite relaxed. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

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. 877-648-4838 or www.freedom 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 1-800724-8888 ext. 269 or at

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

BOOKS All of the following can be purchased at www.reunions shopping or call 1-800-373-7933, ext. 4. Family Reunion by Mary Quattlebaum. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, $16 + s&h. The Pick A Party two book set, by Patty Sachs, party-planning expert. Pick a Party, The Big Book of Party Themes and Occasion, 100 theme party plans for holidays, milestone occasions and special events. Pick-A-Party Cookbook includes menus, recipes and table decoration ideas for the 100 theme parties. Regularly $20 for the set, only $16.00 + $2 s/h + sales tax for Florida residents for Reunions magazine readers! The Miles of Smiles: 101 Great Car Games & Activities by travel writer Carole Terwilliger Meyers. May be the ultimate solution for back seat squabbling on the way to your reunion. Keep kids entertained all the way there. $8.95 + $2.25 s/h; + sales tax for California residents. Secrets of Successful Family Reunions by Robert W. Wolfe a.k.a. Uncle Bob. A how-to-book for successful family reunions that helps pass values to the next generation. $16.99 + s/h. Treasure and Scavenger Hunts How to Plan, Create, and Give Them (3rd ed) by Gordon Burgett. 134 pp. $17.95 + s/h; $15.95 digital format. Your Living Family Tree: Keeping your family together forever through print, photos, sound and video by Gordon Burgett. 174 pp. $15.95 + s/h; $12.95 digital format. The Family Reunion Survival Guide How to Avoid Problems With Your Family Without Avoiding Your Family by Laurence A. Basirico. 92 pages, paperback, $11.95 + s/h + sales tax for North Carolina residents. All of the above can be purchased at www.reunions or call 1-800-373-7933, ext. 4.

BOOKS & SOFTWARE THE REUNION PLANNER 11661 San Vicente Blvd., Suite 306, Los Angeles CA 90049; 310-820-5554; fax 310-820-8341; lindah@; 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. COOKING FOR LARGE GROUPS – CD Over 1400 recipes. PC compatible only. Call 800-373-7933 for system requirements. $49.95 + s/h.

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

THE MALONE FAMILY CHOIR: A FAMILY REUNION An original gospel CD opening with a song you’ll want to play to say Welcome to Our Family Reunion! at your family reunion. $17 (includes S&H). Purchase at or call 1-800-3737933, ext. 4.


POSTCARDS POSTCARD ANNOUNCEMENTS Notify your reunion members to SAVE THE DATE (bright red, they’ll not miss it!) and when you need reminders, send postcards that say TIME IS RUNNING OUT. Fill-in cards – $15 p/100 postcards (plus priority mail S&H) or 20¢ for blank cards – you fill in the information and address; or Personalized cards – $45 p/100 postcards (plus priority mail S&H) or 50¢ each. Send info to be printed: for SAVE THE DATE! (name, date, & place of reunion, contact info). For TIME IS RUNNING OUT (name & date of reunion & RSVP date) + fax number or email address to get your approval before we print. Send to Reunions magazine, PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 532110727; 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;;

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

REUNION SOFTWARE FAMILY REUNION ORGANIZER (for Windows 95/98/ME/XP) organizes reunion guest list, finances, schedule, and assignments. It will even create a family reunion web page! $29.95 + $5 s/h + sales tax for Utah residents. Purchase at or call 1-800-373-7933, ext. 4

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 CUSTOM SCREEN PRINTING AND EMBROIDERY Customize T-shirts and many other items for your event. Use one of our fully customizable screen print templates or a stock embroidery design and there is NO set-up charge! Quick, friendly service. A portion of every sale goes to benefit children’s charities. Contact us for a no obligation quote.; or 240-398-3526.

TRAVEL PLANNING GET FREE BIDS FROM HOTELS One easy way to find a hotel is to let hotels bid to host your reunion. It’s call a reverse auction. It’s simple – try it, to see for yourself: www.reunionsmag.hotelplanner .com/. Just enter your desires and see who responds! A great planning help and it’s free. VACATION HOMES & RENTALS 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 rentals@north 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 rentals@north 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: www.villa-castellamonte .com or SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! 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 www.awardpool 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? / Toll Free: 888 746-5446 BRECKENRIDGE has something for every visitor and every visit! Vibrant history, natural beauty, and adventures for all ages make for an ideal locale, especially in our mild mountain summers. Our fullservice reservation center also books activities, lift tickets, golf, and transportation. Let our reunion expert help create the Colorado getaway you’ve always imagined! Breckenridge Lodging & Hospitality P.O. Box 8329, 535 S. Park Avenue, Breckenridge CO 80424; 888483-6140; fax 970-453-5165;;

WEBSITES TRAVEL PLANNING & SOCIAL NETWORKING Groople, a preferred supplier for Reunions magazine. Advantages for Reunions magazine customers include your own reunion web page on Groople’s newest social networking site, GroopVine, easily search for hotels that are most appropriate for reunions, get rates instantly and book air and car for your reunion. Groople can accommodate special needs of all ages and help the organizer find the right travel solution. Find us at

WEBSITE BUILDER MYEVENT.COM Create your own reunion website with no skills. It’s fast and easy to use. Your reunion website has great features and planning tools. It will make planning much easier and everyone will love it! Features: Online registration, rsvp, ticket payment, message boards, family tree, guest book, quiz, poll, stories, photo albums, no ads, travel information, more. 7 day free trial. Only $9.95 / month. Build a family website at or a class reunion website at SEPTEM B ER / OCTOB ER 2008 ❖ R E U N I O N S


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

Reunions Magazine Volume 19, Number 1. September/October 2008  
Reunions Magazine Volume 19, Number 1. September/October 2008