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Christmas Family Reunion Neil Armstrong’s last reunion Fundraising Ranch reunions

Display until January 31, 2013.

Vo l 23 n o 2 n ov e m b e r / d ec e m b e r / jan uary 2013 $ 3 / U SA


in this issue Departments front Words – 4 ALUM & I – 6 A very special 65th class reunion with Neil Armstrong Phi Alpha reconvenes by Greg Lister The Reunion Project, a blog by Scott Ryan

BRANCH OFFICE – 10 Animoto enhances the reunion experience Families: Daniels, Roush/Rausch, Graue Mill, Ashe and Fischer Passing on family legacies

Scrapbook – 12 Reunion School Hospitality Answerman by Dean Miller Make it a photo-safe holiday by Maureen Taylor Tips for planning reunion travel Sharing memories, choir and radio reunion, Peru, Indiana reunion, Virginia’s Executive Mansion, and North Carolina’s Century Farm Family program

Masterplan – 18 Christmas Family Reunion in Santa Claus, Indiana by Donna Christmas Pagano Christmas reunion is a tradition Thinking Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah in July? Schürch Family Gathering by Margaret Sherk Brown Family Reunion meets at Coco Key by Celanese L. Floyd Holmes family meets in Charleston by Gail Taylor Robinsons meet where most members live by Carolyn McCoy Masons regroup by Paula Sheagley An empowering woman by Michael Watford Ranch reunions – 24 Do you dream of a ranch reunion? Sylvan Dale reunions Dolin family’s ranch reunion On getting along – 27 How to facilitate healing at your family reunion by Jeanine DeHoney Repairing family squabbles on Thanksgiving Day Family reunion might offer chance to be a peacemaker Fundraising – 29 Paying for reunions USS Eugene A. Greene offers opportunity by Robert J. Clark Myevent.com fundraising Fundraising roundup; reunions: Dominique, Echols-Henderson, Mayo, Harvey-Sparm-Moore-White, Orahood-Harp, Whitehurst, and Huntington High School. What other reunions do; reunions: Wilson, Ford, Becker, Saffore-Scyffore What is Crowdfunding?

Military Reunion News – 34 Military reunions are joining forces … literally by Justin Daniel Beaton 446th Bomb Group meets in Arlington by Dean Miller USS Iowa, National Museum of the United States Army, National Museum of the US Air Force, USS Nitro Association

Reunion Resources – 38 A directory of reunion-friendly places, services, vendors and product On the cover Christmas Family Reunion in Santa Claus, Indiana, see page 18.

November/December/January 2013 Volume 23 • Number 2 Publisher / Editor in Chief Edith Wagner Travel Editor Jacky Runice Art Director Jennifer Rueth Sales Marion Liston Senior Account Manager Operations Manager Karla Lavin Administrative Staff Josh Evert Nicole Dettmering Ksioszk hospitality answer man Dean Miller student intern from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Justin Daniel Beaton Contributors Cindy Baker • LaTanga Blackson Tina Burton • Donna Christmas Robert J. Clark • Niko Cook Sandra Davis • Jeanine DeHoney • Bob Eberlein Celanese L. Floyd • Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE Lenora Harper • Genna B. Katz Don Klock • William Laney Greg Lister • Carolyn McCoy Scott Ryan • Paula Sheagley Margaret Sherk • George Smith Gail Taylor • Maureen Taylor • Patricia Taylor Jim Timmons • Michael Watford • Ne’El Whitehurst Pamela Williams Reunions magazine, Inc. (ISSN #1046-5s235), is published 4 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: editor@reunionsmag.com or fax 414- 263-6331. Tear sheets of reviews and reprints required. Reunions magazine, Inc., will not be liable for information presented as facts contained in any of our advertising, byline stories or materials. We reserve the right to edit and/or refuse any material submitted for publication. We solicit participation and take responsibility for submitted materials. Unless accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE), submissions and photos will not be returned. All materials sent for purposes of publication become property of Reunions magazine, Inc. Subscriptions: US and Canada $9.99/yr, $17.99/2 yrs. All other addresses, call for rates. 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 editor@reunionsmag.com | reunionsmag.com © 2013 Reunions magazine, Inc. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER/JANUARY 2013 v Reunions 3


FRONT WORDS

Be in touch! o start my day I go to the gym, first thing! The other day in the pre-dawn darkness on my way into the gym, I encountered Necia Wallace who eagerly told me she had just enjoyed her first reunion with her mother’s family, people she never really knew. “Your magazine really inspired all this and they want to meet again!” she exclaimed. Just the right thing to say to make a GREAT day! This issue signals winter which can be as busy a reunion season as any, though more for planners than participants except for special holiday reunions. We feature some holiday reunions in this issue and, as you can see on our cover, we highlight the Christmas Family Reunion. Yes, the Christmas family! And you’ll discover that the Christmas family met in Santa Claus, Indiana. Really. No joke! Read more on page 18. In this issue, you will read about Astronaut Neil Armstrong’s last class reunion just weeks before his death. You can dream about having your reunion on a ranch and all the fun that means and there are lots of new fundraising ideas. The FUN in FUNdraising should help you successfully separate money from your members while they have fun doing it. And check out crowdfunding, a new way to raise money. If you decide to use this intriguing way to raise funds for your reunion, use our facebook page to promote it! Then, check out lots more web pages of fundraising ideas under the title “Paying for your reunion.” We have been adding lots more content and pictures to our web site where you can read or listen to reunion planning podcasts. Find ideas for where to go and stay, how to communicate, what to do at your reunion, and there’s always free stuff being added along with contests and sweepstakes. In fact, there’s a $20,000 family reunion sweepstakes for 5 nights at Embassy Suites that closes December 31, 2012. And be sure to enter our Flip-PalTM giveaway by December 15th. We urge you to contact the convention and visitors bureau where you plan to meet. Many are our partners and appear in this issue. Contact them to learn what they offer. They are all great friends to reunions. And for hotel comparison shopping look at reunionsmag.hotelplanner.com. If you do book through reunionsmag.hotelplanner.

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com, many of the hotels will comp your room and your reunion may be eligible for a cash rebate. To learn more, listen to our podcast “Hotels are looking for your reunion.” I just got the question again: how can our reunion be in the magazine and on the cover? Pictures on the cover are from stories inside. Submit both for our consideration. Cover pictures MUST be vertical and 300 dpi or higher. We edit all copy so make sure all the facts are there and we’ll make it a story. Also question from reader, Latrice Grant, Brunswick, Georgia, whose grandparents, Frank and Daisy Gulley, came from families of 13 children each. She wants to know how others with such large families have structured their reunions. Send your suggestions to editor@reunionsmag.com. Add your voice and your reunion to our 2012 Reader Survey, which will help make our information formats relevant to you. Link to the survey from our web or facebook pages or request the link from editor@reunionsmag.com. For your time, we’re offering a one year free subscription to Reunions magazine. Do it now, please! Finally, a shout out to the reunion planners and CVB in Columbus, Ohio, who made my visit to their workshop a real joy! Now I look forward to seeing planners at the 5th annual planning workshop in Fairfax, Virginia, February 16, 2013 (see page 15 to register). Happy holidays and see you next year! EW Photo credit Danny Wasserman, wwww.TUIphoto.com

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Mail to Reunions magazine PO Box 11727 Milwaukee WI 53211-0727 call 414-263-4567 visit www.reunionsmag.com fax 414-263-6331 e-mail editor@reunionsmag.com

461st and 484th Bombardment Group Reunion, see page 34.


alum & I

Very special 65th class reunion

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y now everyone knows of the sad passing on August 25, 2012, of astronaut Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on the moon. What most people don’t know is that a few short weeks before his death, Armstrong was once again “just a classmate” at his Blume High School 65th class reunion in Wapakoneta, Ohio. Armstrong was always a very private person, and his classmates honored his wishes as he joined them to mark their milestone reunions. The former University of Cincinnati aerospace engineering professor spent time talking with each of his classmates, updating them about the achievements and whereabouts of his two sons and grandchildren. When he was asked to make some remarks, he reminded them that he joined the Class of 1947 in the latter part of their freshman year. He said he “immediately noticed there were a lot of pretty girls in this class and a lot of them were really bright.” He got a laugh when he said, “We didn’t have any bright boys in the class that I noticed!”

Blume High School, Wapakoneta, Ohio, Class of 1947

Neil Armstrong with classmates Kenny Weber, Jan Briem and Becky Steinke.

The class reunion coincided with Wapakoneta’s annual Moon Festival, celebrating Armstrong’s historic walk on the moon and his famous pronouncement that it was “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” He left his footprint on the city in many ways, with businesses, a museum, an airport and streets named after him and the Apollo program. Based on reports from William Laney, managing editor of the Wapakoneta Daily News and Don Klock, Wapakoneta, Ohio.

Class reunions are good therapy and a good time Saving Memories Forever™ records, saves, and shares memories “one story at a time” using a private and secure online service. With its free iPhone App, the process is fun, seamless and easy! Check out the How-To video at SavingMemoriesForever.com Build and share an engaging, captivating story online today! 6 Reunions v reunionsmag.com

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acing a class reunion can be a daunting task. But fear not. It’s worth the effort. For at least one sweet, nostalgic night you can revisit the best parts of high school without worrying about the silly stuff. I once heard “… nobody, regardless of stature, ever gets over high school.” Class reunions have a therapeutic value; they do help you get over high school, no matter how nervous you might be about attending. Rest assured, after many years, your presence at a class reunion is met with happiness by many. Classmates don’t care about what you wear, or whether you have hair. You may not remember everybody, but you may be surprised to find out who does fondly remember you. So remember this when you receive your next class reunion invite: It’s that golden opportunity to go back in time to celebrate the memories, both good and bad, and prove your parents right – that time heals all wounds. From a commentary by Connie Prosher in the Chanhassen Villager, Chanhassen, Minnesota


Phi Alpha reconvenes

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am a member of Phi Alpha Literary Society at Illinois College, Jacksonville, Illinois, a small liberal arts college founded in 1829. The college has a rich history that includes a strong connection to the Underground Railroad. Illinois College was a center of the abolitionist movement because its president, Henry Beecher (brother of author Harriet Beecher Stowe of Uncle Tom’s Cabin fame), was an outspoken opponent of slavery. A grand jury indicted a group of students for harboring runaway slaves, and two campus houses are believed to have been part of the Underground Railroad. Illinois College may be the only college in the country where individual organizations continue to include literary, fraternal and social activities. Initial literary society formation on the campus began in 1843 due to strong interest in intercollegiate oratory and requests for organizations specializing in literary and forensic expression. Seven literary societies – three women’s and four men’s – still flourish at Illinois College. They hold weekly business meetings and literary programs where members offer debates, orations, essays, declamations, dramatic monologues, readings, extemporaneous speeches and individual compositions. They also offer many services and social activities that benefit society members, all Illinois College students and the Jacksonville community. Among the visitors and lecturers on campus during the early years were Abraham Lincoln, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bronson Alcott, Mark Twain, Horace Greeley and Wendell Phillips. Many

speakers, including Lincoln, were sponsored by literary societies, a tradition that continues today on campus as centers for literary debate and criticism. Phi Alpha was founded in 1845. Abraham Lincoln was an honorary member. We hold initiation (pledging) annually early in spring. At a college of only 1200 students and three other men’s groups to compete, Phi Alpha sees 5 to 15 pledges a year. Brotherhood, a common bond and friendships are strong. The shame is that with time, connections do not always stay as white-hot. In a 2010 college quarterly, I read that Phi Alpha held a special reunion on campus during homecoming for a group from the 1960s. My 35-year reunion was scheduled during the 2011 homecoming, which would make a wonderful time to hold a Phi Alpha 1970s reunion. I attended college from 1972 to 1976 and pledged Phi Alpha in 1973. That means I interacted with brother Phis who started school up to four years before and four years after me. Thus, my association put me in a unique position to know most of the people who attended during the decade of the 70s. I was excited about a reunion but saw many obstacles. I live in Nashville, Tennessee, have not been there in a long time, had no network with the college and no database to communicate with brother Phis. In spite of the obstacles, I forged ahead. First I contacted brothers I kept in touch with. They all thought the reunion

was a good idea and offered to help. I contacted the college alumni affairs office, where Pam Martin was extremely helpful. We penciled in the event for homecoming and it was now official. The planner of the 60s reunion thought it was a good idea, but told me not to get too excited. He was happy he did the 60s reunion, but disappointed with the response and turnout. I set up a facebook page, a website, and a page on LinkedIn. I got an updated Phi directory and contacted every Phi by email, phone or postcard. I worked on reunion details and my database by googling names for updated addresses, and searched facebook and LinkedIn for names. The one piece of advice I can give to future reunion planners is communicate, communicate, communicate. The college knew the reunion plan was going well and my efforts would bring people to campus for homecoming. The college offered to create a special mailing to all of the Phi Alpha brothers with a final reunion schedule and announcement. Many (like me) had not been back in 20+ years. Dick Bales, who lives in Chicago, got a call at 7AM the morning of the reunion from his old roommate, yelling at him for not coming. Dick got in his car and drove straight through to attend. We had a Friday BBQ and several opportunities to meet on Saturday. We averaged 10 pledges a year, which totals 100 pledges; of those, 62 attended – an outstanding success. Reported by Greg Lister, Brentwood,Tennessee

1970s members of Phi Alpha Literary Society at Illinois College, Jacksonville, Illinois

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alum & I

The Reunion Project, a blog by Scott Ryan About this blog

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cott Ryan, a 1988 graduate of Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is blogging about his experience searching for classmates ahead of his 2013 25th high school reunion. Contact Scott at 248-945-9950; sryan@cbs.com, subject line: “The Reunion Project.” Editor’s note: Scott Ryan has given us permission to share his search for classmates.

April 27, 2012

Every so often, I find myself taking on some sort of project. It can be anything: work, coaching kids, cleaning out the garage (okay not that one). But being the curious type, I decided to go on a scavenger hunt. I’m trying to track down all my high school classmates for a milestone reunion next year. Think of it as a jigsaw puzzle with about 400 pieces spread across the US and the world. Some people (read: almost all) couldn’t be bothered with a challenge like this. Most probably hated high school, but I’m willing to bet many are curious to learn where so-and-so lives, who got married, who looks nothing like their senior photo, who just had a baby (or grand-baby), and who’s famous. I can’t take any credit for finding classmates for our first two gatherings. Actually, I can’t even remember how they found me. I moved several times, and “technology” to find people for our first reunion was still phone books and snail mail. Despite many classmates still living in town, many dropped off the reunion radar. For our second big reunion, the internet came into play. Websites were devoted to everything: food, TV shows, body parts, even high school reunions. But a lot of people were still out of reach. Where are the rest of my classmates? Maybe they’re hoping someone will find them. Maybe they didn’t like me or won’t remember me. Regardless of the reason, I’m on a mission to find them. It’s a long journey I’m anxious to take. May 11, 2012 One Down, 399 To Go

How do you start looking for 400 classmates? There are days when I have trouble finding my keys, let alone a bunch of people I’ve lost touch with. I got a spreadsheet from the last reunion listing 8 Reunions v reunionsmag.com

who was in our graduating class. It had names, addresses, etc., but no way to know if it was still current. If I locate eight people a week, it’ll take me a year to find everyone. I started with myself: a slam dunk. One down, 399 to go. Then, I reached out to people on facebook (hey, “everybody” uses it and I have to know how to use social media as part of my job). I started with people who knew me for the chance to work on my “sales pitch.” Fortunately, there was already a facebook group that contained about half of my classmates. I sent out an initial flood of emails. After about a day, I got a response. I was a little nervous. Would she be glad I contacted her? Mad? Not even know who I am? Did I even have the right person? I did and she was glad to hear from me and was already excited about the prospect of seeing everyone after 25 years. A definite morale-builder. A few more trickled in each day. By the end of the first week, I’d heard from 50 classmates. Most offered the same sentiment – they’re excited to see everyone and can’t believe how long it’s been since high school. Finding 50 classmates in a week seemed like a big deal, but I knew that pace couldn’t be sustained for very long. I knew a lot of hard work was ahead. Like any streak, it would have to come to an end. May 25, 2012 Let’s Look At The Map

It’s fascinating learning where my classmates live. More than 60% of the first 100 are still in Virginia. Of those who aren’t, popular places include North Carolina, near Washington, DC, Texas and Florida, popular vacation spots when we were kids. I’ve learned our class has reached more than half of the US states plus a few foreign countries. We have a presence in nearly every state on the East Coast. Even a few classmates are here with me in Michigan – but they don’t all know it because I haven’t contacted them yet. I wonder how people ended up where they did. A job offer, or maybe that’s where their spouse is from? Maybe they just wanted to live somewhere that wasn’t overrun with tourists every summer. Several have even recently moved back to Virginia. I haven’t wanted to pry, but it is curious. Could they have been

homesick? Or maybe they just wanted to start over? Hopefully, that’ll increase the chance they’ll be at the reunion. I might make a virtual map, with pins where everyone lives. It will probably look like a jellyfish centered in Virginia, with thicker tentacles stretching north and south, and thinner ones stretching toward Ohio, Texas, and due west toward Colorado and Nevada. I’m excited to see the snapshot of our class starting to come into focus. I hope everyone will stick around to see the finished product. June 8, 2012 The Voice

Every week I go through the same routine: I look for classmates who have checked in, I keep searching for ones we can’t find, and I make about a dozen calls. Some weeks are more successful than others. One week I reached five people. Another was a complete bust – I contacted a single person. Regardless of how fruitful a week, there is one constant: A woman’s voice saying, “I’m sorry, but the number you’ve dialed has been disconnected” or “is no longer in service.” And therein lies my frustration. I do my homework and make sure I’ve got the right person before I call. I’ve only had a few wrong numbers, but dozens of disconnected ones. I’m guessing people have just moved and I don’t have their most current address and phone number. But the news isn’t all glum. I recently put two long-lost classmates in touch. Each had been wondering what had happened to the other. A good deed for the day. Virtually everyone I’ve contacted has been nice, even if we didn’t know each other in school. But when it comes to returning messages, the response has been pretty low – less than five percent. The same goes for emails. It makes me doubt my efforts, and whether I got the right person. I’m just hoping that people are busy and put it on their to-do list. When I started, I worried I was going to lose track of the responses. Now, more than 60% of the way toward my goal, the real challenge is keeping track of my own notes, remembering who I’ve called and when. A definite test of my organizational skills. It’s a test I seem to be cramming for every week.


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June 22, 2012 At A Loss

I occasionally uncover bad news. As much as I want to hear that everyone is doing great, a few from our class are no longer with us. So far, our class has experienced five deaths I know of. One person died before our ten-year reunion, so nearly everyone knew about her. Another kept a blog about her ailment in the years before she died in 2010 – she was a wife and mother, and many people followed her Scott Ryan writings online. Two of the three others I found the hard way. Looking for any sign of them online, their names popped up in an obituary column. But even then, I’m not certain I’ve got the right person. The hard part is trying to find a friend or relative who can confirm I’ve got the right person. Sadly, I was correct in both cases and felt bad for the person I contacted, because I unwittingly stirred up the person’s emotions. One person said they had been friends with that classmate since high school. In the other case, there were enough details in the obituary, including her picture, so I didn’t need to look any further. News of the fifth classmate’s death was passed along by another classmate. In fact, I write this just days after experiencing a death in my own family. Unfortunately, this list of deceased classmates will only grow as time goes on – and it’s the one list I don’t want to look at. … to be continued …

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branch office

Graue Mill reunion

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t was the 160th anniversary of the Graue Mill being built when descendants of the Graue, Ashe and Fischer families gathered and many met for the first time. The historic mill was the center of economic life in the Fullersburg, Illinois, area, between what is now Hinsdale and Oak Brook, during the later half of the 19th century. Friedrich Graue bought out his brother-in-law, Jurgen Asche, after the mill opened in 1852, and the Graue family operated it for 60 years, until about 1912. Now owned by the DuPage County Forest Preserve District and operated by the DuPage Graue Mill Corporation, the mill still grinds cornmeal for visitors and is a popular school field trip destination. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and believed to be an Underground Railroad stop for black slaves escaping to the North. The restored Frederick Graue house is adjacent to the mill. Artifacts donated by family members were on display at the reunion, including the deed in which Frederick gave the mill to his son for “one dollar and love and affection.” From a story by Susan Dibble in The Daily Herald, DuPage, Illinois

Roush Family launches history book

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he 83rd national Roush/Rausch Family Reunion was held at the University of Rio Grande, Rio Grande, Ohio, where they kicked off work on a new history book. They also had a family banquet, catered family picnic and auction to cover reunion costs. Three family genealogists at the reunion assisted anyone needing help on their Roush ancestry. The Roush Family in America is beginning work on the fifth volume to update lines of the family, and to add missing ones. The series began in 1929. Any information not previously published in the early volumes may be submitted, as well as corrections. The deadline for submission is August 1, 2013. Paper copy submissions should be sent to Roush Book, c/o Gallia County Historical Society, 412 Second Avenue, Gallipolis OH 45631. No electronic submissions will be accepted. The family is too large for the association’s historians to compile families, so descendants must submit their material to be included. From an article in the Pomeroy Daily Sentinel, Pomeroy, Ohio.

Animoto enhances the reunion experience

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ecently, we received a wonderful slide show by LaTanga Animoto claims it’s easier, faster and more fun than ever to Blackson from the Neal Family Reunion. What an amazing produce professional-quality videos from their photos and videos. way to tell your reunion story! And if you’re wondering whether or Their website walks you through a very simple, streamlined not to plan a family reunion, watch this and you’ll be convinced! process – selecting photos and video styles and adding music in LaTanga used Animoto (link it right next to the slide show just minutes. They offer tools and templates for you to become a when you look at it!), which promises to be an easy way to present great digital storyteller; even the least tech-savvy can look like a your pictures and videos and add words and music. Ain’t serious video pro. Animoto even has an iPhone app that allows technology wonderful? you to create Animoto videos from your iPhone without ever According to Animoto, you can select photos and video clips touching a computer. from Facebook, Flickr, Picasa and Instagram, and upload from Getting started with Animoto is easy and the service is your computer. You can select music from their collection of available for free for unlimited free 30-second videos. Very hundreds of tunes across dozens of different genres or upload affordable plans include unlimited videos of 10 minutes or less your own mp3. Then you can share your video on Facebook, for $5 per month or $30 per year; HD and DVD are available for Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and email, from their iPhone app. You $6 and $3, respectively. can even download your video to a DVD. Animoto link at reunionsmag.com/picturegallery/picture_gallery.htm.

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Passing on family legacies

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liezer (Eli) Nussbaum, MD, one of the premiere pediatric pulmonologists in the US (www.elinussbaum.com), says adult children need to think creatively about how they preserve and pass along their parents’ stories. Documenting names, dates and milestones limits the audience, but recounting events that shaped your parents’ lives, and their reactions to them, preserves their legacies. He suggests: v Make a StoryCorps recording to archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress (www.storycorps.org). v Create a digital slide show with soundtrack. Choose an interesting time, event or story to share. Add photos, music and narration. Caption the photos with names, dates and places. Share your show at a public site online. If your parents are still living, involve them in the process, if possible. If your parents are already gone, you need to do it before you can’t remember their stories. Lorine McGinnis Schulze wrote several Olive Tree Genealogy blogs about starting a genealogy and family hope chest. Here’s what she keeps in her treasure box: original family documents (land records, deeds, marriage certificates, birth and baptismal records, death certificates, etc.), family bibles and journals, her grandmother’s brother’s WWI paybook and records, school report cards, wedding invitations, letters, postcards and more. She only keeps original items that belonged to someone in her family. She says it’s always fun to take a trip down memory lane when she reorganizes the treasures. Responding to Schulze’s blog, Candace says she’s made a three-ring binder with a page for each item in her collection, with a picture, listing who first owned it, how it descended to her, and where it is now and any stories connected to the piece. Another respondent, Jim Gill, was hesitant to store paper, photos, etc. in a wood box. He said acid-free storage boxes may not be pretty but are healthier for your treasures.

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scrapbook

WDIF radio reunion

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reunion covered the entire lifespan of WDIF-FM in Marion, Ohio, from sign-on in 1975 until the call letters signed off in 2007. The station became a broadcasting legend as the “different sound in Central Ohio.” Former staff members traveled from as far away as Florida and California to share stories and memories. Everyone who worked at the award-winning WDIF remembered it as an outstanding radio station that lived up to its earlier promotional slogan: “the small market station with big market ideas.” WDIF news reporter Dennis Milligan, now news director at television station WBTV in Charlotte, North Carolina, created the facebook group that led to the reunion. Mulligan met his wife, a WDIF receptionist, more than 30 years ago. The couple returned to Marion for the first time in many years to attend the reunion. She said she “can’t express how much I enjoyed seeing folks I knew so long ago, catching up and wondering what had become of so many others. What a trip ... so many memories.” They recalled the “WDIF Body Watchers,” “Kids for Christmas” charity magazine and the “WDIF Stereothon,” which raised thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society and American Red Cross. From a story by reunion organizer and original WDIF news director, Bob Bender in the Marion Star, Marion, Ohio.

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Choir reunion produced “amazing sound”

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early 200 Dickson County (Tennessee) High Concert Choir alumni presented an evening of amazing sounds from Mozart to Moses Hogan. The concert featured many works performed throughout Cindy Freeman’s 38-year career as director of choral activities Moses Hogan at the high school. Concert Choir alumni met for a weekend of intensive rehearsals and nostalgic reminiscing. Thanks to facebook, Freeman reconnected with hundreds of her former students, many of whom are close friends. “It has been such a Mozart treat to find so many of my past students and reunite,” said Freeman. She began teaching choral music at Dickson County High School in 1974. She built a program of excellence that had a profound influence on hundreds of students. So many alumni signed up to participate that it became necessary to hold the concert and rehearsals at Dickson First Baptist Church. From a story by Michael Meise in The Tennessean, Nashville, Tennessee.


Hospitality Answerman by Dean Miller

Q?

We’re close to signing a contract with a hotel for our next family reunion, but I’m worried about some of the extras the hotel wants to charge us for besides our rooms and our banquet. Is there anything we can do to make sure we don’t end up with a much higher bill than we’re expecting?

A!

Yes, you’re right ... hotels do offer many services besides rooms and catering. And they’re going to want you to pay for some or all of them, sometimes regardless of whether or not you use them. You’ll want to know – in advance – what extra charges and fees the hotel may apply to your reunion, which are optional, and which are likely to affect you. Let’s take a look at fees you may be asked to pay, or which may apply to your reunion. Depending on the size of your group and the time of year your reunion is taking place, you may be able to get some or all of these charges waived or reduced. But ... you must ask for these concessions, and you must make sure that anything you and the hotel agree to is clearly noted in your contract – before you sign it! This is a partial list. 1. Resort fees. These are typically added on by resorts or hotels with significant recreational facilities (golf, tennis, a swimming pool, horseback riding, etc.) If you can’t get them waived in your negotiations, try to get them lowered, or ask to have your room rate reduced by an amount equivalent to the resort fee. 2. Early check-in fee. Again, these are most common at resort

properties, but ask the hotel if these are charged. If they are, be sure your attendees know so they adjust their travel schedule to arrive later or to check their bags at the bell stand and go out for a nice lunch while waiting for their rooms. 3. Telephone and WiFi fees. Telephone charges are easily avoided by using your cell phone. The only times you should ever need to use your room phone are to call the front desk or to call another guest room. Many hotels offer complimentary use of their business center computers or allow you to go online for brief periods for less than the charge for a full day’s use of WiFi service. 4. Parking fees. If the hotel offers free parking, ask to have this included in your contract, in case the hotel changes their parking policy between the time you sign the contract and your reunion date. If there is a parking fee, try to get it waived or reduced in your negotiations. 5. Health club, swimming pool and gymnasium fees. As with parking charges, try to find a hotel that offers complimentary use of their health club and pool. Typically, suburban properties are far more likely to offer this amenity than downtown hotels or resorts. A hotel that charges $8.00 a day for using the pool and health club will cost a family of four $32.00 per day just so that dad and three children can splash in the pool for an hour while mom takes a nap. Again, if you can’t get the charges waived or reduced, try to negotiate “pool passes” with the hotel. And … if your reunion group includes a large number of children, make sure the hotel’s pool is large enough to accommodate everyone who might want to swim at the same time. If the hotel has a smaller pool, they may limit how many

people can use it at once. Some hotels will allow you to “buy” an extra hour or two of pool time past normal closing time for a “pool party” or similar event if you agree to pay for having a lifeguard or two on duty. 6. Additional person(s) fee. Some hotels quote a rate that includes an additional charge for each extra person in the room, beginning with the second person. Try to negotiate a “flat” rate that covers up to four people in the room, or a rate that states that children under the age of 18 stay free in the same room with their parents. If you want breakfast included, it’s best to include breakfast for two adults, and then pay a pre-set price for additional breakfasts. Be sure to ask about special breakfast pricing for younger children. 7. Housekeeping gratuity. Some hotels will ask you to pay this as a separate charge. Ask to have this fee waived, or agree to a set fee for the entire reunion group up front, with the clear understanding that the money is to be given to the housekeeping staff who will be attending to your group’s rooms. 8. Safe fee. Some hotels will charge you for having a safe in your room, even if you don’t use it to store anything. You should decline this fee, and advise anyone needing to secure valuables (computer, camera, etc.) to do so at the front desk. Virtually all hotels provide the use of safe deposit boxes at the front desk for free.

Again, by asking your hotel salesperson about any and all fees which might apply, and carefully reviewing the list, you should be able to avoid – or reduce – many of these charges entirely! You may have to engage in some extended negotiations with the hotel on some of these items, and you’ll need to remember that a true negotiation always involves each side giving up things to obtain other things. For example – if the hotel has offered you three complimentary upgrades to suites, and this isn’t terribly important to you, offer to forego the suites in exchange for something that is important to your members, such as free parking and/or free use of the hotel’s pool. Or let them know you’ll spend a few dollars more per person on your banquet dinner, if they’ll waive the “extra person” fee for your guest rooms. The objective – as always – is to make sure you pay a fair price for services you’ll be receiving, and that your members don’t feel that they’ve been “nickled and dimed” at every turn at what should be a festive event. Hope your reunion goes well!

About the Hospitality Answerman

Dean Miller is national sales director for Visit Fairfax and a great friend of reunions. He will host a reunion planning workshop February. He can be reached at 703-752-9509 or dmiller@fxva.com

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Most of these events are sponsored and presented by convention and visitors bureaus. They take place on Saturdays unless noted and, for the most part, are for people planning reunions in their area. All prefer or require advance reservations and are free or at nominal cost. For information about new events – added online, as soon as we learn about them – visit reunionsmag.com and click on workshops, conferences and seminars.

Alliance of Military Reunions

Cobb County, Georgia

Contact Skip Sander | 412-367-1376 | MilitaryReunions@aol.com AllMilitaryReunions.org

Contact Melissa Legaux | 800-451-3480 | mlegaux@travelcobb.org

Alpharetta, Georgia

Contact Brian Cheek | 800-354-2657; bcheek@experiencecolumbus.com | www.experiencecolumbus.com

Contact Sandra Johnson | 678-297-0102 sandraj@awesomealpharetta.com

Columbus, Ohio

Athens, Georgia

Contact Athens CVB | 706-357-4430 Atlanta, Georgia

November 9, 2012 Contact Chantel Ross-Francois | 404-521-6638 crossfrancois@atlanta.net See workshop video at reunionsmag.com Greater Birmingham, Alabama

Contact Tara Walton | 205-458-8000, ext 206 Branson, Missouri

August 19-22, 2013 Military Reunion Planners Conference Contact Kimberly Carr, KCarr@BransonCVB.com | 800-214-3661 explorebranson.com/groups/reunions.php

2012 Reunion Planning Workshop in Columbus, Ohio.

DeKalb County, Georgia

Contact Vicki Baptista | Vicki@visitcabarrus.com | 800-848-3740

November 10, 2012 Contact Carol Murray | 800-999-6055

Northern California

Detroit, Michigan

Cabarrus County, North Carolina

Contact National Reunion Services | 888-425-8664

Contact Jennifer Ollinger | jollinger@meetdetroit.com | 888-225-5389

Chesapeake, Virginia

Douglasville, Georgia

Contact C. Jeff Bunn | 888-889-5551 | jbunn@cityofchesapeake.net

Contact Randi Miles | milesr@ci.douglasville.ga.us | 678-715-6069

Make it a photo-safe holiday

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haring pictures is a great gift for everyone on your gift list. If you’re considering giving a personalized photo gift, these are a few tips to make it a photo-safe holiday.

Don’t send an original

Instead of mailing an original heritage photo, make a copy. Use a photo kiosk, or scan and send it as a high resolution (300 dpi) jpg file. Be sure to caption pictures

If you compile favorite family pictures on a CD, remember to include a photo key to identify who’s who. Use CD liner notes in Word, or a CD label program. 14 Reunions v reunionsmag.com

Choose good quality materials

Magnetic albums are inexpensive, but glue strips destroy family pictures. Select albums and papers labeled “acid- and lignin-free” to prevent your images from coming in contact with those damaging substances. Plastic sleeves should read “non-PVC” or “Mylar.” Read the fine print about photo products online. Ask customer service about the archival quality of their items. Lament over lamination

Here’s a golden rule about handling pictures: do nothing to an image that can’t be undone. Never, ever, laminate. Poor quality plastic, glue and heat create a preservation disaster and the item you intended to save now faces destruction. From Maureen Taylor’s newsletter, The Photo Detective.


Dunwoody, Georgia

Louisville, Kentucky

March 2013 Contact Andy Williams | AndyW@CVBDunwoody.com 678-244-9804

Contact Saundra Robertson | srobertson@gotolouisville.com 502-379-6110

Durham, North Carolina

Contact Chelsey Jean Morrison | chelsey@durham-cvb.com Estes Park, Colorado, YMCA of the Rockies

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Contact Casey Kluber | caseyk@meetminneapolis.com 612-767-8106

Family Reunion University November 2-4, 2012, February 8-10, 2013 Contact Group Reservations at 800-777-9622

Newport News, Virginia

Fairfax County, Virginia

Contact 678-216-0282 | visitpeachtreecity.com

February 16, 2013, 5th annual reunion workshop Reunions magazine editor, Edith Wagner, speaker Contact Dean Miller | dmiller@fxva.com | 703-752-9509 www.fxva.com

Contact James Dean | jdean@nngov.com | 888-493-7386 Peachtree City, Georgia Prince George’s County, Maryland

Prince George’s Community College, Largo Campus Contact Family Affair | www.pgcc.edu | 301-322-0797

Flint, Michigan

Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana

Contact Courtney Irish | cirish@visitflint.org | 810-232-8902

Contact Kevin Flowers | kflowers@sbctb.org | 800-551-8682

Fredericksburg, Virginia

Winter Park, Colorado, Snow Mountain Ranch

Contact: Kimberly Herbert | 800-260-3646 or ksherbert@fredericksburgva.gov Greenwood, South Carolina

Contact Lindsay Burns | 864-953-2464 Lindsay.Burns@cityofgreenwoodsc.com Gwinnett County, Georgia

Contact Cricket Elliott-Leeper, 770-814-6049, orceleeper@gcvb.org Kalamazoo, Michigan

Contact Lisa Kukulski | 269-488-0056 lkukulski@discoverkalamazoo.com Kissimmee, Florida

Contact Jadeine Shives | 407-742-8255 jshives@visitkissimmee.com

YMCA of the Rockies, Family Reunion University Contact Group Reservations | 800-777-9622 YMRC – Your Military Reunion Connection Jacksonville, Florida November 7-10, 2012 Charleston, South Carolina November 12-15, 2012 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina February 8, 2013 Long Beach, California May 6-9, 2013 Albuquerque, New Mexico June 7-10, 2013 Portland, Oregon July 27-29, 2013 Virginia Beach, Virginia October 9-12, 2013 Contact Ymrcusa@gmail.com | yourmilitaryreunions.com

Lake County, Illinois

Contact Kimberly Ghys | lakecountyreunions.com | 800-Lake-Now

Sharing memories made simple – and more fun (NAPS – Picture this: You can view, edit and share your favorite photographs and videos on your favorite gaming device, because photo sharing is a built-in capability of the PlayStation 3 (PS3) system. It has had basic functionality for showing digital pictures, then a few years ago added a free Photo Gallery application for sorting and creating your own albums. The recent introduction of the new PlayMemories Studio application, which allows photo- and video-sharing, has been taken to the next level, allowing you to edit, manage and share your photos and videos straight from your PS3. There’s no better way to enjoy memories from family reunions and other special occasions than on your big-screen TV through your PS3. Part of the larger PlayMemories Online initiative, the PS3’s PlayMemories Studio app allows you to access your photos and videos anytime, anywhere, from your smartphone, tablet, TV or

computer. There are also several helpful, easy-to-use features. v Editing and enhancing take advantage of the power of the PS3 to zoom and scroll through photos, and to edit HD video content with the device’s wireless controller. You can also add visual and sound effects, such as slow motion or frame-by-frame playback, and insert captions and scripts. v Organizing and viewing. You can view content stored on your PS3 and on your cameras, smartphones, external hard drives and storage devices while connected via a USB cable, without the need to transfer them. Searching and sorting images by date or location is easy to do. v Sharing and sending an album or postcard from the PlayMemories app is a great way to let those close to you see your latest and greatest photos and videos. For information, visit http://us.playstation.com/psn/play-memories/ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER/JANUARY 2013 v Reunions 15


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If you grew up in Peru, Indiana … reunion

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eru, Indiana’s, reunion came about from a facebook group called “If you grew up in or around the town of Peru, Indiana.” Within months, the group grew from 0 to nearly 2,500 members, with people from all over the country connecting about their hometown. People communicated through the page, and felt it would be fun to get together for a reunion. Over 85 families attended from all over. People of all ages shared stories and pictures dating across several decades. Questions were asked on the page: did you know my husband/father/mother, were you neighbors with, and whatever happened to … Asked why she was returning, one woman said, “I had a perfect childhood in a perfect small town called Peru, Indiana!” Peru is part of Miami County, with a population of over 35,000. It is known as the Circus Capital of the World and has

Ray Abbott and Joey Kelly Liberty Grade School “kids” from the 1950s and 60s.

been winter headquarters to seven of the world’s major circuses. They host an amateur circus performance every summer that brings fans of all ages from all over the world. Joey Kelly, grandson of Emmett Kelly, attended and said, “I am proud of my circus heritage and the history of Peru. No matter where I hang my hat, in my heart, Peru is home.” Contact: “If you grew up in or around the town of Peru, Indiana” facebook page. Thanks to Tiffani Tendell, NALA Press Project, Ventura, California.

Joey Kelly

Tips for planning reunion travel

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nce you have selected your destination, contact the Convention and Visitors Bureau to let them know you are planning your reunion there. They can contact all of their vendors on your behalf, asking for special offers and deals for your group. If you are flying for your reunion, ask the airlines about their group policy. Some airlines offer a free ticket for every 10 or 15 purchased, if you fly as a group. Ask your hotel about their group policy, as well. Some hotels extend a complimentary room when 15 or more rooms are booked. Also negotiate breakfast into the room rate and ask what other extras they can provide. Many hotels are willing to negotiate to

Executive Mansion ‘family reunion’

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irginia Governor Bob McDonnell and first lady Maureen McDonnell hosted a “family reunion” for former residents of the Virginia Executive Mansion and their descendants in advance of the mansion’s bicentennial in 2013. Nearly 300 attended. Five former governors, 14 descendants of Patrick Henry and six descendants of the mansion’s first occupant, James Barbour, attended. Other attendees represented 39 governors. They brought items symbolizing an administration – from portraits to letters to detailed family trees. The items were displayed at the mansion. From a story by Olympia Meola in the Richmond Times Dispatch, Richmond, Virginia.

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get your business. Ask if they offer complimentary airport transfers or free parking. Also look for sightseeing and attractions deals for your free time. Attraction passes are a great way to give everyone in your group the freedom to see what they want while saving everyone money. Check www.smartdestinations.com for more information in a number of cities. If you have a large group (40-45 or more), consider hiring a bus for touring. The cost for the bus with a guide for a day can be quite reasonable when divided among 40 people. The local CVB will also be able to help you locate bus companies. Reported by Genna B. Katz for -SmartDestinations.com

Family Farm Century Program

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he Century Farm Family reunion is held every four years to honor the heritage of farms in North Carolina that have been owned continuously by the same family for at least 100 years. There are more than 1,600 Century Farms in North Carolina. A farm is eligible for membership if all or part of it has been owned continuously for at least 100 years by a blood relative of the original owner, or a legally adopted child of a descendant. Continuous residence in North Carolina by that relative or descendant is not required. Proof of ownership for 100 years or more by the same family is required. Proof can be a title abstract, original deed or land patents. Other authentic land records may be acceptable in some cases. Most states and Canadian provinces have century or centennial farm programs. For information visit www.ncagr.com/paffairs/century or write 1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001 or call the NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, 919-707-3001. From an announcement in the Richmond County Daily Journal, Rockingham, North Carolina.


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Christmas Family Reunion in Santa Claus, Indiana by Donna Christmas

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ot everyone has a Christmas family dinner in July, but that was the case this year when Santa Claus, Indiana, played host to 58 Christmas family descendants. This was not a typical family reunion with aunts, uncles, and cousins; many who attended were 11th and 12th cousins! Everyone with Christmas ancestors from around the world was invited, and all those attending knew how they fit into the Christmas family. The group spent time visiting and studying a genealogy chart created by Robert Ransom, Hampton, Virginia, Christmas t-shirts were designed whose grandmother was a Christmas. especially for the event by Debbie Apple, daughter of Mary Christmas There was also a scroll made by Ginger Wooten, Greenfield, Indiana. Christmas Beatty, who has done extensive research on the Christmas family and wrote a book and several articles about her Christmas family who resided in Warren County, North Carolina, during the 1700s. On the first reunion day in Santa Claus, Indiana, many visited nearby Abraham Lincoln’s Boyhood National Memorial. Lincoln spent much of his boyhood in Spencer County, Indiana. Others enjoyed the cooling water of the pool and some visited the Santa Claus Christmas Store and Holly Tree Christmas Shop just across the street from their hotel. Matthew Hickey, Franklin, Indiana, and George Willette, Greensburg, Indiana, accepted the Avalanche Challenge at Santa’s Candy Castle; their pictures were added to the gallery of those who successfully drank the 1/2 gallon giant milkshake (24 oz. whole milk and almost a pound of gourmet cocoa mix, blended with ice, and piled high with whipped cream), the world’s largest cocoa beverage. They received bumper stickers attesting to the fact that they survived the Avalanche. After enjoying some of the Christmas-themed places around town, everyone returned to the Celebration Room at Santa’s Lodge and enjoyed a lunch catered by St. Nick’s Restaurant. Tammy Christmas Willette, Greensburg, Indiana, emceed the event and introduced Melissa Brockman, executive director of the Spencer County Visitors Bureau, who brought goodie bags for everyone. She introduced Pat Koch, whose family owns the theme park and water park combo, Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari. Koch talked about her facility. Shannon Christmas, Washington, DC, presented Christmas family history and explained a bit about DNA testing to help identify ancestors. He said the two George Bushes, Barack Obama, and Tennessee Williams are all Christmas descendants. (Why didn’t they come to our reunion?) Following Shannon’s presentation, others were asked to share stories that had been handed down, something they remembered from childhood that was meaningful as they were growing up.

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One family member shared the story of her most memorable Christmas . . . but not her favorite one. When she was about eight years old, she wanted a toy Pyrex baking set she had seen at the five and dime. She ran down the stairs on Christmas morning and looked for a box the size the Pyrex baking set came in. Not seeing it, she threw a royal fit! “I told Santa I wanted that for Christmas and he didn’t bring it! I’m going back to bed and I’m staying all morning.” Neither her Mom nor Dad encouraged her to stay and open her gifts, nor did they say, “I bet Santa brought you something just as nice!” She said she had already learned from her dad that a person “is only as good as his word.” So off she went to spend Christmas morning in her room. Around 11:30 AM she began to worry about what would happen when she did go downstairs. At noon she decided she could not spend the rest of her life in her room, so she reluctantly made her way back downstairs. She was greeted as if it were her first appearance of the day, “Come and see what Santa brought you for Christmas.” Christmas Family Reunion

The first box she opened was a box about a foot square. It contained the Pyrex baking set she had wanted so badly! She said she was so ashamed! She learned that day not to say things she didn’t mean and that things are not always the way they seem. After dinner, which ended with peppermint ice cream, a Memorial Service was held for three Christmas descendants who had passed away since the 2011 reunion. A welcome was extended to six new little Christmas tree ornaments added to the Christmas Family Tree during the past year. Interesting facts about a Christmas descendant. Two towns in Carroll County, Tennessee, were named after a Christmas descendant. McLemoresville and Christmasville were named after John Christmas McLemore, son of Nathaniel and Ann Pealer Christmas McLemore. He was also a co-founder of Memphis after he bought Andrew Jackson’s land in 1824. He was surveyor general and in 1861 laid out Chickasaw City, which later became part of Memphis.


Thinking Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah in July?

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f you plan to have a Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah theme at your summer reunion, think ahead and be prepared for a full celebration of just what you would expect in December. But in December you should do all your organizing to ensure having holiday things you’ll want/need in summer.

Activities

Make crafts an activity at the reunion. Bring craft kits or materials kids can use at the reunion. Use completed crafts for a gift exchange or sell to family members as fund raisers or let the kids keep them and take them home as presents for themselves, to use as decorations or to give as gifts … at the real holidays! Remember the paper chains you made in school? Do it again. Collect colored papers. Kids can

cut and assemble the strips. Or have each person take 10 or 25, write the names of others on their paper strips and put them together as a chain. Use the chains to decorate your reunion. At the end of your reunion, disassemble the chain, have everyone take a name and do something special for that person. Do a favor, offer a service or just an extra long hug and “I love you.” If you don’t live close, send a card, email or call just to say hi. Holiday stories

Don’t forget Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah stories. Take holiday story books to the reunion and read to the kids or the whole group. How about a special performance or reading of The Night Before Christmas? Or the real Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah story? Look for pop-up books that really hold young kids’ attention.

Pagano Christmas reunion is a tradition

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he Paganos’ annual Christmas reunions have been a family tradition for over 67 years in Roseto, Pennsylvania. “It’s much easier to keep in contact now, with facebook and e-mail,” said Andrew Pagano, Bethlehem, Pennsylvannia. “I remember being a kid and getting gifts from Santa at our reunions. That’s something you never forget.”

Every year, two families are appointed to be in charge of everything, including food, invitations and decorations. Forty adults and 20 children join in festivities, games, food and family time. Over 100 years ago, Luigi Pagano and Filomena Confalone married, and remained in Roseto for the rest of their lives. They raised 10 children – three boys

and seven girls; of the five who are still living, four remain in the area. Santa Claus stopped with gifts for all the children. This family passes down old stories and pictures to their children. From a story by Stacy Libertore on Lehighvalleylive.com Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.

Mean Santa gift exchange

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he Smith House Reunion at Christmas has a voluntary Mean Santa gift exchange after lunch. Those who want to participate, bring a wrapped gift valued between $10 and $20. Each participant receives a ticket when they check in a gift. Tickets are drawn one at a time. The person whose ticket is drawn can select one of the wrapped gifts to open in front of everyone. If that person likes the gift s/he can keep it. If s/he doesn’t like the gift, however, s/he can pick an already-opened gift s/he likes

better. S/he simply needs to take it from the person who holds it, and give that person the unwanted gift instead – hence the name “Mean Santa.” With this type of exchange, it’s best to hold the last ticket drawn to assure getting the gift you really want. Children might not want to receive a set of wine glasses or a gift certificate to Starbucks, so wrap and label gifts that are appropriate for kids. Reported by Greg Smith, Cumming, Georgia.

Web page: reunionsmag.com Call: 414.263.4567 Fax: 414.263.6331 e-mail: editor@reunionsmag.com write: PO Box 11727 Milwaukee, WI 53211-0727 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER/JANUARY 2013 v Reunions 19


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Schürch Family Gathering

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he biennial reunion and genealogical gathering of the Schürch (Sherk/Shirk) Family Association of North America was held at the Niagara College, Niagara–onthe-Lake, Ontario, Canada. Some common variations of the name are: Sherk, Sherck, Shirk, Sherick, Sherrick, Sharick, Scherch, Scherck, Scherich, Scherk, Schirch, and Schürch. Other spellings also exist. Two Nations-One Family was the theme for this celebration of 200 years of peace between Canada and the US. It coincided with events commemorating the War of 1812 across Ontario. Reunion participants attended the re-enactment of the Siege of Old Fort Erie at Fort Erie, Ontario. Thursday, there was a ‘pre-reunion’ winery tour and golf. Friday and Saturday historical seminar topics included Schürch family history, preservation of old photographs and documents, Regency fashion, “What Schürchs are doing today,” and a presentation about Anabaptists during the War of 1812. Also Friday there was an 1812 Bicentennial coach tour about local history and museums, with an optional walking tour of Niagara-on-the-Lake. On Saturday, The Anabaptist Tour helped participants understand the lives of their ancestors during the War of 1812. Other reunion highlights included opportunities to meet with family genealogists, self-guided tours of ancestral farms, activities for children, silent and live auctions, Friday night BBQ, Saturday night banquet with entertainment, and Sunday worship service. The Schürch Gallery, a new project, was kicked off at the reunion. It promises to be the largest collection of Schürch faces in one place. Members are encouraged to share old photos for scanning. Visit www.schurchfamilyassociation.net or www.schurch.us, email schurchreunion@gmail.com. Reported by Margaret Sherk, Elora, Ontario, Canada.

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Brown Family Reunion meets at Coco Key

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he Brown family traveled to Orlando, Florida, for the experience of a lifetime! This will go down as one of our best family reunions to date. Our experience at CoCo Key Orlando was totally awesome! Everyone, from the youngest to the oldest, thoroughly enjoyed themselves. From the time we arrived until we left, there was never a dull moment. There was something for everyone. Whatever your pleasure, CoCo Key has it. The staff is wonderful, the resort is refreshing and the water park is fantastic! Our family has been raving about CoCo Key since our return, and some have already made plans to return! CoCo Key Water Resort Hotel and Water Park in Orlando, Florida, is a fun-filled adventure! Reported by Celanese L. Floyd, Fitzgerald, Georgia.

Holmes family meets in Charleston

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he Holmes Family Reunion meets every two years for three days in Charleston, South Carolina, where their great-grandparents settled. They tried to move it to a different location, but got little response. There are typically 70 to 85 people, but more than 150 could potentially attend. Planning is done by monthly conference calls starting ten months before each reunion. They promote reunions by mail and word of mouth and are beginning to get into social media now. They tested a website but didn’t really have any experts, so are trying to engage the younger generation. They spread the cost over the potential number of attendees and events. Their traditions include genealogy, having the eldest members speak at each event, a picnic, banquet and Sunday church celebration together. One year GMAC sponsored a workshop at the opening reception where they discussed family financing. They had a “Why I love my family” essay contest for children up to high school and awarded trophies to everyone who entered. Reported by Gail Taylor, St. Louis, Missouri.

Flip-PalTM Giveway! Deadline December 15th Scan documents and pictures that members want to share with everyone! To enter, email your name, address, email, and reunion name to editor@reunionsmag.com with “Flip-Pal” in the subject line.


Masons regroup Editor’s note: The following summary is from emails I received during June and July 2012 from my friend Paula Sheagley, Cañon City, Colorado, as Mother Nature forced big changes in Mason Family Reunion plans.

Colorado wildfires threatened, then destroyed nearby beautiful forest and closed main roads that led to their destination, Red Feather Lakes resort area west of Fort Collins – but not their determination to meet on time! Photos from Patti Havenar and Tara Mason Knowles.

June 24th

The plans for our Mason Reunion are changing rapidly due to the horrific fires that are exploding in our state. With Colorado burning up, especially in the Red Feather Lakes destination area, we are going to revamp everything and come up with alternate plans. I keep telling the siblings and families that we can “reunion” anywhere, as long as we’re together! The Waldo Canyon Fire is very, very volatile and heading toward the tourist areas of Manitou Springs. The smoke is so thick all around us here in Cañon City, it makes being outdoors very uncomfortable. June 29th

We “kids” have been burning up the text/email routes with messages about our well-being and what alternate plans we should make. Plans are going to continue for “somewhere” in Colorado because so many of us now live in this area and my sister from Florida is flying into Denver next weekend. Brother Bill in Red Feather near the High Park Fire has a home and lodge in that area but now that area is out of the question. Sis Patti and family live in northern Denver way out on the outskirts on several acres. Pam and I will stay in her RV there. I told the siblings we MUST have homemade ice cream churning in the backyard, as that was a tradition at our grandparents’ Phillipsburg, Kansas, home during reunions. What fun!! My sister-in-law (Libby) performs with her guitar and is a beautiful singer. She would be able to lead us in group singing, another big Mason tradition. Those who have campers will be able to park at Patti’s place. With so many living around Denver, a lot of the family will be staying with each other in homes. So our plans are going to be innovative to make sure everyone is accommodated comfortably and economically and we will celebrate our first reunion since losing our parents. With all the health problems that have surfaced for many, we feel more compelled than ever to have this reunion!! So, as you can see, we are going to make the best of all this and it will be wonderful! Will keep in touch.

On Saturday night we had a trash can feed – you cook everything in a trash can over a fire. Just as we placed everything out to eat, rain began to pour! We quickly moved everything inside. The rain was pretty significant, as we had to move the reunion due to the fires; having this wonderful downpour in Colorado was a blessing, so who could complain!

June 30th

Yes, it has been a very somber summer so far. Finding bodies in the Colorado Springs area has taken their fire to new heights, as we had been rejoicing earlier that there were no injuries or deaths. But, not the case now. And today, a new fire on the western slope. Our reunion will be staged at Patti’s home in northeast Denver on her “acreage.” It has room to romp, play volleyball and park RVs. Excited about the big trash-can feed supper Saturday night – literally a huge trash can layered with veggies, sausage, etc., and cooked with a propane burner. Kids will have squirt guns, balls, a trampoline, room to run and new cousin relationships to explore. Older cousins will have the Denver nightlife when we elders have retired. And just this morning, we girls made our plans to squeeze in shopping the day before the first huge gathering. All will be good, as we will just celebrate being together again. Let the laughter and the magic of old memories and the making of new ones begin! Funny how we never grow up in one another’s eyes when in the company of family! That’s what’s magical about REUNIONS. July 4th

No fireworks here! Colorado has banned them … thank heavens! $1000 fine if even caught lighting one single anything! In fact, Denver is in one big cloud of smoke today from the big fire blazing across the border in Wyoming. Was so heavy in the air up here in northern Denver that it actually made us cough. July 10th

L to R: Zach Johnson (7), Madison Tatinski (8), Ethan Knowles (6), Allie Taylor (9).

Wonderful time had by all 43 who gathered. Thank you, Patti, for hosting it at your wonderful home after being relocated due to the high country fires. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER/JANUARY 2013 v Reunions 21


ranches

Dolin family’s ranch reunion

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Dolin Family Reunion

eronimo Trail Guest Ranch, Winston, New Mexico, is small, with three cabins and a maximum capacity of 15. This summer we hosted the Dolin Family Reunion (14 in attendance), ages 5 to 72! It was one of the most fun and memorable weeks of our entire season! The Dolins had the ranch to themselves, as well as our undivided attention. Many of them rode horses for the first time on beautiful trails, hiked to historic and scenic places, had campfires with s’mores, and enjoyed a couple of picnic days with lunch on the trail, swimming in the creek and more hiking and exploring! We showed them some of our favorite places, including an area we call the “Dwelling Canyon.” History in this canyon ranges from 50 to 1,000 years ago! The Mimbres People were in this area from 750AD until 1150 AD and you can still see pictographs (paintings on the rock walls) and ruins of cliff dwellings, and even find pottery shards they left behind! About 100 years ago Basque herders brought sheep up through the area, and you can see the stone shelters they built. And starting in the 1930s-40s there was tin mining in this same canyon and you can see claim markers, old equipment and evidence of the mining process! Mrs. Dolin said this about their stay: “Our family had an absolutely great time at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch. The entire experience is a memory we will all cherish from trail rides, to hikes, to campfires. We were able to spend quality time together without the stresses of TV or cell phones. Being “off the grid” is an experience everyone should enjoy. We were really able to relax and spend good time with each other. The ranch is an oasis in the Gila. Our family will fondly remember the staff and their sense of peace and tranquility. Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch made an impression on our children that they will remember forever, and that is priceless!!” Visit www.geronimoranch.com or email info@geronimoranch.com Reported by Meris Esterly for Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch.

Sylvan Dale reunions

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ylvan Dale Guest Ranch (sylvandale.com) hosted eight family reunions over the recent 10-week Dude Season, including one family from India! Sylvan Dale’s 3200-acres are a one-hour drive from Denver. They have offered legendary hospitality since 1946. They raise cattle, horses, and hay … an authentic western experience. Their “all-inclusive” reunion includes a full week of horseback riding on handsome, friendly and reliable ranch-raised and -trained quarter horses. Horseback activities include lessons, trail rides, cattle work, team penning, gymkhana (games on horseback) and overnight pack trips. Guests can also choose fly-fishing, trap shooting, rock climbing, guided nature hikes and yoga classes. More fun includes campfires with s’mores, hayrides, old-time hoe-downs and a classic cowboy serenade. When the dinner bell rings, there is wholesome ranch fare made from fresh local products and home baked goods. Outdoor cookouts accent the western life style and feature beef grown on the ranch!

In 1977 Kris Vance wrote that they took their three young sons to Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch. For their 50th anniversary 34 years later, they took their three sons plus their wives and nine grandchildren back to Sylvan Dale. They went horseback riding, trout fishing and – an adventure to learn about – “mob grazing.” As they were packing to leave, an 11-year-old grandson said, “When I get married and have a family I’m going to take them back here.”

Former congressman hosts trail-ride reunion

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aul Findley, the former 11-term US Congressman from the 20th District in Illinois, hosted trail rides from 1966 to 1981 to get away from politics and enjoy family, friends and the outdoors. More than 30 years after the last trail ride and a week after his 91st birthday, Findley hosted a reunion for riders.

24 Reunions v reunionsmag.com

It’s estimated that 2,000 to 3,000 people participated in the rides over the years, with the largest featuring more than 500 horses. For all 16 rides, Findley was aboard Clancy, a Connemara horse. A lot of people came back year after year out of respect for Congressman Findley. His fellow riders presented him with a custom-

made riding saddle, with the Congressional Seal embossed on its horn and fenders. The saddle is housed in Findley’s office at his alma mater, Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois. From a story by Steven Spearie in The State Journal-Register, Springfield, Illinois.


ranches

Do you dream of a ranch reunion? D

Wayne Fahsholtz

ude ranches are the original Western vacation. The Dude Ranchers’ Association’s (DRA) 104 North American member guest ranches range from rustic, no-frills working ranches to luxury resort-style ranches offering five-star cuisine and spa treatments. The DRA (duderanch.org), established in 1926, was founded “to preserve, protect and promote the unique experience and identity of a dude ranch vacation.” The DRA’s members must complete a rigorous two-year inspection and approval process, and uphold the dude ranch industry’s utmost quality and service standards. According to Colleen Hodson, DRA executive director, dude ranches are rooted in American tradition and principles: think horses, hats, hospitality, heritage, honesty and heart. Membership in the Dude Ranchers Association is a prestigious designation. The DRA can help you plan the perfect reunion at one of its all-inclusive dude ranches, incorporating team-building exercises, spa facilities, unique on-site lodging options, and a variety of activities ranging from horseback riding to hiking, fishing and more. Visitors of all ages are able to spend quality time in some of the country’s most awe-inspiring locations, from valleys complete with untouched Rocky Mountain backdrops to desert sunsets across the Southwest. Priced competitively with those of similar all-inclusive vacation options, most events, meals and activities are included in the cost of a ranch visit. A wide variety of accommodations are available, especially if you book early in the year. Western activities such as horseback

Enjoy the view at Padlock Ranch.

riding and fishing are the norm, but resort-style ranches offer guests nontraditional activities as well. There are kid-friendly programs like the Ute Scouts Packtrip at Latigo Ranch (latigotrails.com), where children learn about cowboys and sleep in real tipis in a special campsite. The Buckaroo Youth Program at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch (sylvandale.com) offers river tubing, riding instruction and an overnight campout on Eagle Ridge. Plan a family week at the Heart 6 Ranch (heartsix.com), where Dad can fish, mom can get a massage, and the kids have free reign on acres of wild land. Focus Ranch (focusranch.com) is a real

Fly fishing at Diamond D Ranch.

Focus Ranch is a real working cattle ranch.

working cattle ranch located in the mountains of Colorado. Guests can share in day-to-day operations. Horseback riding and cattle are mainstays, and fly fishermen, photographers, hikers, naturalists, bird watchers and fitness enthusiasts can explore their interests. Also in Colorado, High Lonesome Ranch (thehighlonesomeranch. com) is a high-end guest ranch. This unique dude ranch has taken on significant conservation and restoration projects geared to preserving the Western landscape of the Rockies. Padlock Ranch (padlockranch.com), in Wyoming between the Big Horn Mountains and the prairies of eastern Montana, prides itself on being a successful, sustainable

working cattle ranch. It is a family destination that offers several adult-only experiences: working on the ranch, hunting, fishing and photography. Diamond D Ranch (diamonddranchidaho.com) is Idaho’s premier all-inclusive guest ranch, home to spectacular riding, fishing and more. Surrounded by the Salmon River Mountains, this traditional dude ranch offers activities including horseback riding (of course), fly-fishing, hiking, gold panning, swimming and many evening activities. Rancho de los Caballeros (SunC.com) is a historic ranch resort on 20,000 acres in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. Opened in 1948, the ranch has been family-owned and operated since its inception, and offers a unique combination of traditional resort and western activities for the whole family, including horseback riding, trap and skeet, nature hikes, desert cookouts, awardwinning golf and a full-service spa. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER/JANUARY 2013 v Reunions 25


masterplan Editors note: Ben and Mable Ford Family Reunion grandchildren were asked to interview an elder of the family and write the story. This is one of them.

An empowering woman by Michael Watford

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’ve been privileged to spend 21 years in the presence of a wonderful woman – a woman whose very being exudes an unfathomable amount of happiness. Hilda Estella FordWaters was born in 1935 in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, to Ben and Mable Ford. She lived in a house not far from where she lives now. Her childhood was full of love from six brothers and four sisters; there was no way she could ever feel lonely. Her childhood was fun-filled and joyous. The family always spent time with each other, attending church, Sunday school, and regular family get-togethers. They were pretty much inseparable. Hilda went to school at Douglass Elementary and at what is now known as Frederick High School. They had to walk a mile to the bus stop every morning. Now I see why the Ford family was so athletic, with a training regimen like that. Hilda also inherited loveable personality traits from her parents. Her mother held annual Easter Egg Hunts and Christmas parties. One of the biggest family events of the year

Hilda Estella Ford-Waters and Michael Watford.

had to be the family picnic, when the whole family got together. They swapped stories and ate, just as we do at our modern day family reunion. The family picnic eventually grew into the “Ben & Mable Ford Family Reunion.” They had a variety of things going on, from unofficial talent shows to family bands playing for them. When her mother died in 1974, Hilda took it upon herself to keep family customs alive, and the get-togethers seem just as

Robinsons meet where most members live

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he Robinson Family Reunion starts each of its annual reunions with a light fare meet-and-greet and pictures from the previous reunion. Everyone briefly tells highlights from the year. We meet in an area of Pennsylvania where we have the most family members, and the greatest number of older family members. Because the organizers have few volunteers to take over, they’ve started to incorporate younger family members in the planning, which has gone well. They pay for the reunion with family dues, fundraising, as well as out of pocket. They enjoy a banquet, entertainment, scavenger hunt and going to shopping outlets. They always honor the deceased relatives with a candlelight ceremony. Reported by Carolyn McCoy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 26 Reunions v reunionsmag.com

good as they always were. During my time interviewing Hilda I had a chance to walk through her children’s memories. I heard about how she took her children to her mother’s for dinner every Sunday. There were funny memories: the kids would take up a collection before playing baseball at her mother’s so they could replace any windows they broke. Togetherness is the foundation for this family, and Hilda is most definitely the support beam for this house of love built by this family. She integrated the strength of her father, along with the loving spirit of her mother, into herself and meshed them together. This combination made one of the greatest people I’ve ever met. The family she helped build will never diminish, as long as the family that she’s brought together, year after year, continues to keep the foundation strong.

About the author

Michael Watford, Forestville, Maryland, is Hilda Estella Ford-Waters’ grandson.

Reunion helps family bond

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lizabeth Shoemake writes that the thing that makes her giddy is her annual Cousin Reunion. She joins her sisters and female first cousins on a get-away to the Gulf Coast to one cousin’s home. The reunion begins on Wednesday, with some trickling in the rest of the week, and they hang around until they absolutely must leave on Sunday afternoon. They spend the majority of their time talking, laughing, eating, reminiscing, and laughing some more. One grown niece said a few hours spent with her cousins was fuel for her, filling her soul with much needed food of family closeness. Cousin Reunion is an unbreakable bond from a set of common grandparents, and the blood that ran through them to our mothers or fathers. It is the common thread that weaves them together and binds them tight. Most of their parents have passed, so it is entirely up to the cousins to maintain the family bond. Whether it is for a few hours or a few days, that time together truly is fuel for the soul. So, come on cousins, you know who you are. I am ready to go! Elizabeth Shoemake writes for the Hattiesburg American, Hattiesburg, Mississippi.


on getting along Editors note: Throughout the year we get questions about how to handle problems that come up at some reunions. Holiday time, the end of one year and the start of the next, seems like a good time to consider some solutions. Thus, the following. Hope these help.

How to facilitate healing at your family reunion

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hat happens when you plan a reunion and you expect it to be a celebratory occasion, but it’s marred because of a longstanding feud among family members? Do you turn a blind eye and hope the feuding family members keep their distance? Or do you take on the role of mediator and use the reunion as a catalyst for healing and strengthening the bare threads in their familial relationship? When my husband’s aunt began to plan their first family reunion, there was dissension among a few family members. His aunt was determined not to let that get in the way of her dream of family renewing relationships. The reunion of family who hadn’t seen one another in years was long overdue. The youngest generation needed to know who their kin were and about their ancestry. The family elders were getting older and dealing with serious illnesses. We needed to enfold ourselves in their wisdom and grace because their days with us were numbered. So she pressed forward, but she also realized there must be healing because wounded emotions in some had festered for too many years. She took conscientious steps to ensure that healing would begin. The family reunion would be a place we came to eat, laugh, love and mend. And she was successful. If you are planning a reunion and are worried about brokenness in your family being counterproductive to the jubilation you are trying to create, these are some steps to help facilitate healing. Initiate a phone or letter intervention with the feuding family members months before your family reunion. Mention nothing about the issue they’re upset about or the name of the family member they are upset with. Keep the conversation light. Focus on the positive in their life and your expectations of a wonderful time of fellowship at the reunion. Use your invitation to start the healing process. Insert phrases such as “the renewal of kin,” “mending fences,” or “having an unbroken familial chain” into your invitation, along with words that are celebratory and joyous. My husband’s aunt wrote in the invitation an open apology to any family member who was offended by any offense done intentionally or unintentionally by anyone in the family.

She gathered information about everyone’s accomplishments, listing long-married couples, new homeowners, entrepreneurs, civil service workers, college graduates and other successes, for a short newsletter she sent before the reunion. This was an ideal catalyst for making sure every family member felt valued. Begin and end your reunion with prayer. Prayer is restorative. It is an instrument of peace and reconciliation, especially at a family reunion when there is brokenness among family members. When you pray, ask for abundant love to bind you together as a family and for God to begin to wipe the slate clean of things that have hindered that love in the past. At the reunion, you may be so busy you miss arrivals. Have one or two Family Reunion Greeters who can be your eyes and ears when you are preoccupied. They make sure each family member feels at ease and welcome. They are pivotal in defusing any bad feelings. Gather together for a group hug. Hugs certainly feel good, both giving and receiving. And it turns out their effects are more than skin deep. A study by University of North Carolina researchers found that hugging prompts an elevated release of oxytocin, which is known as the “bonding” or “cuddle” hormone, and encourages loving and caring feelings. Plan healing activities that defuse animosity. Laughter is a balm for the spirit. Ask a family comedian to perform. Ask adults to choreograph a dance or musical for children to perform. It is difficult to stay irate when you see adorable children singing their hearts out.

by Jeanine DeHoney

Do not put feuding family members in awkward positions. Do not seat them together at dinner. Your reunion is neither the time nor place to settle their disagreements and rehash deep hurts. After the reunion, if both parties agree, you/they can meet at a mutually agreedupon place to discuss their feelings and work on healing the relationship. The reunion is a time of celebration. Shun hot button subjects that add flames to an already brewing family feud. Steer conversations away from gossip or disapproving of family members even if/ when you agree. Find something good to say about a family member, no matter how far-reaching. Have a renewal ceremony. Give each family member two pebbles – one to release (throw in a lake/river/stream if one is nearby) to signify a release of negative things, and one to keep to signify holding onto positive things or dreams or visions. Remember, family reunions are not for dredging up old problems, but healing them. Continue to reach out to members who refuse to be forgiving and decide to boycott the reunion. Maybe they will open their hearts as you extend yours outside of the reunion. Just be thankful for who’s encircled around you, even the ones who still have a slight scowl, and enjoy your blessed family.

About the author

Jeanine DeHoney, Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania, is a former daycare teacher. As a freelance writer she has contributed to many magazines, e-magazines, blogs and essay anthologies.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER/JANUARY 2013 v Reunions 27


on getting along

Family reunion might offer chance to be a peacemaker

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n an advice column in Tribune Media Services, Reverend Billy Graham was asked, “Should we even go to our reunion?” The person worried because some in their extended family hadn’t spoken in years, and she was afraid that instead of being a happy time it could be tense. Graham accepted that it could be tempting to take the easy way out – which in this case probably would be to stay away. But, he continued, the easiest path isn’t always the right path. He feared that staying away might create misunderstanding (and even conflict) because she didn’t even know if those who might cause problems would be there. But a more important issue is this: God may want you to attend. Your example could help others realize the importance of family harmony. Suggest to your hosts that they plan enough activities to keep people occupied. They also might collect old photos from family members that could bring back pleasant memories (and provide amusement!). Finally, Graham suggests that you surround your plans with prayer, and ask God to help you bring your family closer.

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Repairing family squabbles on Thanksgiving Day

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hanksgiving is dedicated to cultivating and expressing our thankfulness to God for all His many blessings. Family is certainly a blessing, but for some it’s a mixed blessing. Family bonds can be strained by challenges and frustrations; sometimes the strain leads to rupture and estrangement. Thus, countless Americans get together with trepidation. But we can learn something from early Thanksgivings, when efforts made on both sides were destined to forge a lasting alliance. Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoag, saw Pilgrims as a potential ally against the threat posed by his Narragansett neighbors. Massasoit and the Pilgrims entered into a treaty which stood for 50 years. Wampanoag and the Pilgrims left their bows and arrows behind them when visiting. Friendship and peace ensued! In other words, communicate to family members that we intend to leave our “bows and arrows” behind. While those words apply at all times, they nevertheless seem especially apropos around this time of year. Adapted from a first-person essay by Eugene Curry, pastor of First Baptist Church, Granada Hills, California, in the Baptist Press New


fundraising

Paying for reunions

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aying for reunions is a dilemma faced by all planners. Fundraising is one significant way many reunions pay for parts of their event or extras such as scholarships or underwriting members who could otherwise not afford to attend. We never

cease to be amazed and enthralled by how clever and creative reunion planners can be in raising money. These are some examples. Please share your own ideas of what you’ve done to help support your reunion. Send to editor@reunionsmag.com

USS Eugene A. Greene offers opportunity

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obert J. Clark, Louisville, Kentucky, explains that the USS Eugene A. Greene (DD/DDr-711) Association Reunion has an opportunity raffle. (Using the word “lottery” entails legal restrictions, so they sell “opportunity tickets.”) This has been an effective fundraiser for the Association and a lot of fun! Raffle tickets (one dollar each, or seven for five dollars) are for items donated by the attendees. All raffle items are arranged on a long table. A Tupperware container with a slot on top is placed beside each item. Clark keeps track of each item and container by labeling the item and the corresponding container with a matching number. People place “opportunity tickets” in containers of their choice. They may put all their tickets in one container, or one ticket in each container.

Diane Clark offers a container Zac Zacany to draw.

A picture of a “Sailor Dog” donated by Jerry Stern and auctioned by Robert J. Clark.

At the banquet, the donor or person who made the gift is recognized and the container is handed to an attendee to draw the lucky winning number. The winner picks up his or her item after the banquet. People love this approach!! Raffle items have included knitted throws, hand-carved items, Navy books, pictures, artifacts, food baskets, American and Naval flags, watches and wood crafts. Revenue from the raffle pays for the Greene Association’s newsletter mailings, as well as food and drink for the reunion. They raise several hundred dollars, and excess funds are donated to Tin Can Sailors and The Navy Memorial Association. Reported by Robert J. Clark, Louisville, Kentucky.

Myevent.com fundraising

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f your reunion is planning a website, you’ll want it to include the capacity for fundraising. For example, MyEvent.com provides ecommerce transactions that are processed on your website, enabling you to accept online payments for registration fees and for donations. According to Rob Hirscheimer, MyEvent.com makes it easy for anyone to plan a fundraising event, no matter how large or small. MyEvent.com websites offer merchant accounts and their credit card processing rates are only 3.75%, the lowest cost charged by any provider for this type of service. All MyEvent.com websites come with a 7-day free trial, with no credit card required, so you can test it. As you construct your website, MyEvent offers help at 877-769-3836. MyEvent.com offers Reunions magazine readers a 20% discount by entering Reunionsmagazine20 when you set up a web page. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER/JANUARY 2013 v Reunions 29


fundraising

Fundraising roundup v Cindy Baker, Wauseon, Ohio, says the Dominique Family Reunion has a family garage sale in spring, then at the reunion they auction family keepsakes, have a 50/50 raffle and pass the hat. v Sandra Davis, Round Rock, Texas, says the Echols-Henderson Family Reunion is small, but they have two-and-a-half days of fun camping at Texas State Parks. They play bingo each year to pay for next year’s prizes and postage for invitations.

v Tina Burton explained that the Mayo Connection is organized in four chapters: (1) Moneta/Roanoke, Virginia, (2) Charlottesville, Virginia, (3) Washington, DC/Maryland, and (4) Boston, Massachusetts/New York. Each chapter has approximately 10 to 15 members which includes a president and vice-president. One chapter plans for the reunion for two years. The planning chapter holds fundraising activities to help offset the cost of the reunion, and the other chapters contribute as needed. For example, if the planning chapter sells raffle tickets to raise money, the other chapters help sell those tickets as well. is sample r brought th t Patricia Taylo the Newpor to er ld ho license plate anning pl n io un re ia, News, Virgin workshop.

v When the Harvey-Sparm-Moore-White Family Reunion began to travel outside of California, they created a Family Fund and assessed members for participation, with quarterly fees to support some of the activities. v Kevin Corvo in Columbus Local News, Columbus, Ohio wrote that Orahood-Harp Family Reunion members contributed handmade goods, collectibles and other items for an auction. Proceeds were used to purchase and install new gravestones for John R. and Elizabeth E. Orahood. John R. Orahood’s new headstone recognizes his military service in the Civil War. The new markers stand next to, rather than replace, the original markers at Millcreek Cemetery in Raymond, Ohio. 30 Reunions v reunionsmag.com

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he Whitehurst Family Reunion produced a Souvenir Booklet and sold ads to family and friends. As an incentive, those who bought a full-page ad received a free Souvenir Booklet. They raised around $1000. They used Microsoft Publisher to build the pages and had then bound and printed it at Office Max. Black and white pages kept costs down. You can ask your printer (Office Depot/Office Max) when they will have a sale on color ink pages, and have your booklets printed that day.

Booklet cover

Fundraising on reunionsmag.com v Auctions v Raffles v Flea Markets v Car Washes v Corporations v Theatre Parties v Badges v Banners v Buttons v Cookbooks v Calendars v Food v Quilts v T-Shirts v Crowdfunding


fundraising

What other reunions do Wilson Family Reunion

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amela Williams, Fredricksburg, Virginia, reported that they raffled off “theme baskets” for their 2011 reunion, Ten committee members provided baskets containing items in various themes – beach, fishing, family history, etc. One of the lessons learned from this event was that you should always charge enough for tickets. Other fundraising projects were a “Nine Fruits of the Spirit” program, biggest loser competition, and a Christmas holiday raffle, which made $1,463. One of the fundraisers for their 80th reunion in 2012 was a directory/ad book. For the “Nine Fruits of the Spirit” program, each of nine ministers gave a message on one of the nine fruits of the Spirit taken from Galatians 5:22, 23 in the Bible: love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. Each minister donated $50 toward this fundraiser and donations were also accepted from family members and friends who attended the service. It was a great fundraiser with a great message!

Benjamin and Mable Ford Family Reunion

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enora Harper, Upper Marlboro, Maryland, writes that past fundraisers of the Benjamin and Mable Ford Family Reunion include a family quilt which raised $800, theme baskets (each branch gets a theme and must work as a team to create a basket) which made $450, a souvenir ad book, and a silent auction. They have held outdoor movies, charging a fee and selling

snacks. On off-years between reunions they have major fundraisers, such as a silent auction at their annual Easter egg hunt. A reunion attendance fee is charged, and they also sell a reunion DVD. They host silent auctions at most reunions – it keeps the fun in the meetings. Future fundraisers they plan are a family cookbook, fashion/ talent show, bus trip, The Benjamin & Mable Ford Legacy” DVD, and a storybook with family pictures. They also celebrate an Easter Sunday egg hunt with gift bags and books for all the children, a silent auction for adults, a Summer Play Day for Children (giant moon bounce, outdoor games and food) and a silent auction. Becker Family Reunion

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riting in the Yankton Daily Press (South Dakota), Linda Wuebben reported that, in order to raise money for hall rent and ice cream, all the Becker cousins were invited to donate items for an end-of-the-day raffle. Items came from all over the country and wine was a popular prize. A silent auction also was held, with many priceless mementos of Becker trivia. Several large frames contained old photos of Bernard and Martha Becker, other descendents and even an advertisement from a 1920s Wynot newspaper which invited the public to a dance in the Fordyce Hall where the Becker Family Orchestra (Bernard’s sons and daughters) played.

Benjamin and Mable Ford Family Reunion

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fundraising

Saffore-Scyffore Family Reunion

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he Saffore-Scyffore Family Reunion committee had a “Service-Giving” Project. They asked every family member 18 years or older to bring one non-perishable food item for gift baskets. The gift baskets were donated to a less fortunate family (external to their family). The 2012 family reunion celebration registration fee was $50 per adult (18-64 years of age). The registration fee covered the Friday “Opening Night Family Meet and Greet” expense, as well as the reunion picnic. There was no registration fee or t-shirt cost for family members 65 and older. T-shirts were prepaid only, with no inventory for sale at the

reunion. Prices were $12 each for youth through adult XL and $15 for XXL and larger. Meal Sales are events they host where they sell a particular prepared dish. They have sold barbecue and chicken dinners, baked goods, snow cones, nachos and funnel cakes. Typically, when they have meal sales it’s in connection with another event. Food sells!! Christmas wreaths and other Christmas decor are great items to sell as well, handcrafted and wrapped per order. This year, a family member has started selling “diaper cakes” as a fundraiser – a great item for baby showers.

Saffore-Scyffore Family Reunion Fundraising Letter:

How are the fundraising activities going in your area/chapter?? Whenever we travel a great distance, many variables must be considered. One major item is cost. It’s costly to travel, lodge, eat and be entertained. Fundraising places everyone on an even playing field, regardless of your personal income level. Everyone in the family has fundraising experience; some of you have fundraised for your church, school and community/social groups. So let’s place these skills and our networking circles to work and raise the money necessary to relieve the tension and financial strain, so we all can have a great time at the reunion. Every family member can make an impact, even if you’re the only family member in your geographical area. This is not just an adult effort; let’s make sure our children are engaged and working as well. Many of us are employed, some are in school and others have specific commitments. I can certainly understand that everyone has a full agenda, but let’s take the time to do what we need to do. Listed below are just some of the fundraising ideas that have been researched, but please do what’s comfortable for you and members of the family in your area. Yard/garage/estate sale Car wash Bake sale Meal sale Candy sales On-Line auctions Patron list/monetary donations Product donations to sell; candles, popcorn, Christmas wreaths, nuts/snacks, entertainment coupon books, cookie dough, holiday gift wrap and supplies Community concert on the park Please feel free to submit other fundraising ideas you may have. If you are interested in being a fundraising captain and leading a fundraising team in your area, please contact me. We want as many fundraising teams as possible. If your local or regional area would prefer to operate as one team, that’s fine as well; just appoint a leader and have that individual contact me. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we can have a lot fun in the process. Let’s get Excited, Pumped, Motivated and Charged about doing something that will benefit the entire family. Be Blessed and look for more information to come. Niko Cook Phone numbers and email

32 Reunions v reunionsmag.com


What is Crowdfunding?

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ocial media has changed the way we do business and the way we raise funds. Crowdfunding is a method to fund a project, business or cause, on the internet. It is a way to raise money from strangers. People make a pitch, set a fundraising goal and a deadline for raising funds. Potential contributors review pitches and decide if they’d like to support the ideas. People are not investing in the project, they are funding it. They don’t own any part of the project. The federal government is reviewing these sites so they may change. Review rules, terms and conditions carefully! Kickstarter is a popular crowdfunding site. You describe your project, state a funding goal, deadline and what rewards patrons will receive, if fundraising is successful. Pledges are made with a credit card which won’t be charged until the project is successfully funded. If you don’t reach your goal by the deadline, no money changes hands. To interest potential contributors, you must stand out, engage your community and close the sale. Choose the right crowdfunding site. Explore many to determine their specific audience. Explore Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, CauseVox, FirstGiving and gofundme. Look for a target audience that seems sympathetic to your cause. Most backers commit at the very beginning and very end of a project. Write response and thanks emails for the beginning, middle and end of a project. Have FAQ-type pre-written emails to respond quickly. Pitch your project passionately. Make a great first impression. Include a description, image or video to help you stand out. Give a detailed explanation of exactly how you’ll use their money and keep all costs transparent. Use your best storytellers, images, pictures, videos. Use all your social networks to drive people to your crowdfunding request. Continually drive people to your project page. Your project has a better chance if it’s small. Instead of funding for your whole reunion, select a worthy project (scholarships, funds to get elders to the reunion or entrance fees, for example) and concentrate on that. Promise to include recognition in the reunion program and announcements, offer a reunion t-shirt for larger contributions, a named scholarship or activity. People love to be recognized. From an article by Rich Brooks and John T. Unger in Social Media Examiner.

Two reunions we found on gofundme

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he first reunion was created by Ellis Elite-Eight in Gainesville, Florida, in the Celebrations & Events section. “2012 Reunion was great but due to economic downfalls many of our family members were unable to attend. In order to get everybody here and be able to provide amenities and food for all we need to raise seed money. Our goal is $5000, which will help us lower the family fees and … make the 3 day event more affordable. Anything you can donate is greatly appreciated, no amount is too small. Thank you! Ellis Elite 8 2013, Treasury Committee” The second reunion (http://www.gofundme.com/Family-Reunion-with-Dad) was created by Linda Costello, whose goal was $1,000 (she raised $1,010). This was in the Babies, Kids & Family section. “My family lives all over the country. ... I live in Arizona. One of my brothers lives in Northern California, and the other lives in Massachusetts. My youngest sister lives in Florida and my other sister lives in Massachusetts. My dad, now in his mid-80s, also lives in Florida. My mom lives in our hearts. “My sister in Massachusetts is hosting a Family Reunion the first week in August. She has great plans for activities we can do together and a big barbecue/party to celebrate all of us together again. The last time we were together was years ago. “I really want to go, but right now, due to too many extenuating circumstances, I don’t have the money in my budget for airfare. And I really feel as though I need to be there. “Have you ever gotten a feeling that you REALLY MUST do something? That’s how this feels to me. And because it’s so strong, I am doing something that I would never do. I am appealing to others to help me out. ... Any donation would help.” NOVEMBER/DECEMBER/JANUARY 2013 v Reunions 33


e military reunion news

Military reunions are joining forces … literally by Justin Daniel Beaton

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ike any Hollywood movie, each and every military group has a story to tell. The difference is that military group stories are a whole lot more fascinating than a movie. But unlike what’s seen in a short, two-hour movie, the story goes on for these brave men. They continue to reunite years after their shared experiences in battle formed their unfathomable closeness. What makes it so special, in fact, is their commitment to one another even when the sights and sounds of those fateful times remain but a memory in their hearts. Unfortunately, the reality is that as time passes, the numbers in their ranks dwindle downward, and fewer and fewer men are able to reunite regularly. The spirit of brotherhood that lives in these men, however, doesn’t allow them to be discouraged by such reality. Instead, they band together, much as they did decades earlier. The result is military groups combining to form joint reunions that allow them to continue to bond through the common theme that interweaves the lives of each and every brave veteran. There are many reasons why it’s beneficial for military groups who have experienced attrition in their ranks to combine with others to form joint reunions. “As time marches on and our ranks thin, this is advantageous in that there is strength in numbers, as we deal with host hotels and tour vendors,” says Dave Blake, member of the 461st Bomb Group (see picture page 4). Dave’s squadron and their sister group, the 484th Bomb Group, have experienced first-hand the effects of attrition. Last year they held their first-ever joint reunion, and intend on doing so again this year. They are even considering adding a third, the 451st Bomb Group. It’s easy to understand how difficult expenses become as the ranks dwindle, so aside from the continued brotherhood (obviously the main reason), a huge reason for combining reunions is because costs simply become too much for a single depleted military group to bear on its own. Gary Chesser, Navy veteran with the USS Charles S. Sperry DD697 Association, whose upcoming reunion will take place in Oklahoma City, expressed a similar sentiment about this still relatively new concept of combining thinned-out ranks for reunion purposes. Chesser revealed that it’s tough “dealing with hotel contracts which are becoming less friendly to smaller military groups.” It is truly unfortunate, considering the sacrifice these men have made for the safety of our country during their lives. However, the fact of the matter is that the hosting venue or hotel is still a business. The solution, of course, is the fusion of ranks to spread out costs and minimize the hardships and stresses that come along with a smaller-size reunion. This issue of attrition in the ranks has even changed the way reunions go about their respective processes. “Three options are prepared according to the best location with the best deal to choose from, and then it’s by popular vote for the coming year,” said Chesser, refering to how a location is selected for their

34 Reunions v reunionsmag.com

reunion. Many military organizations still want to meet annually to commemorate and celebrate their legacies. Many groups face similar issues Chesser deals with when preparing for reunions and are forced to plan more strategically. It isn’t as easy as it may have been once upon a time, but that doesn’t stop these men from getting together annually. A prime example of how marvelously teaming up works out for all the groups involved is the joint USS Rankin Association/USS

USS Rankin/USS Muliphen Reunion

Muliphen Association reunion. Last year they held their reunion in Charleston, North Carolina, at the Sheraton Airport Hotel. “There was a total of 104 attendees from the Rankin and 29 from the Muliphen.” said Skip Sander, veteran of the Rankin who heads The Alliance of Military Reunions. Some of the events included a “Civil War in Charleston” tour with a trip to The Citadel, lunch in the Charleston City Market, a visit to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center to check on the restoration of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley after 137 years on the bottom of the Charleston Harbor, a visit to the world’s largest naval and maritime museum, Patriot’s Point, and a lunch in the CPO mess with a vast amount of enjoyable time spent aboard USS Yorktown (CV-10). When asked how it all came together, Sander had this to say: “I met two leaders of the Muliphen group during an Alliance event. We talked about joint reunions. The first step was for the Rankin to invite Muliphen leaders to our reunion in Branson in 2010. Several came and a good time was had by all.” He explained that there is still a “hurdle to overcome” because the Muliphen is accustomed to having their reunion in spring, while the Rankin usually has its reunion in fall – a small detail to work out considering the amount of good that’s come from yet another example of the joining forces. Those brave souls celebrating these reunions are among our nation’s finest. The battles the men from these military groups have endured together are just as honorable and fascinating as the countless memories they could tell you about, if you had several hours to spare. But due to the attrition in ranks, what’s their biggest battle now? Oh it’s not much more than a few pesky hotel managers, which is nothing these historic heroes can’t handle.

About the author

Justin Daniel Beaton is a third-semester intern with Reunions magazine from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


military reunion news e

446th Bomb Group meets in Arlington

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n a humid spring day, members of the 446th Bomb Group Association gathered at the US Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, to lay a wreath in honor of their fallen brothers-inarms. The ceremony was part of the association’s 2012 four-day reunion which featured comraderie, fellowship, and remembrances of their time together during World War II. The ceremony was attended by Group Captain Robin Adlam, assigned to the British Embassy in Washington, who spoke of the group’s “unflinching commitment and steadfastness in the face of adversity,” and their participation in the D-Day invasion of Normandy. A dozen members of the original group were able to attend the reunion; friends, family, children and grandchildren swelled the reunion

The 446th Bomb Group Association.

Laying the wreath at the US Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.

attendance to more than 100. Gathering in Fairfax County, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, the airmen from “The Greatest Generation” recalled their time serving together in England during the war. Reunion attendees took full advantage of the long list of one-of-a-kind attractions found throughout the National Capital area, visiting those that had special meaning for them. Those included the World War II Memorial, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (home of the Enola Gay), Dodona Manor (home of George C. Marshall), and the Holocaust Museum. Reported by Dean Miller, National Sales Director, Visit Fairfax.

National Museum of the US Army

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eterans’ organizations, military associations, community groups and membership associations have an opportunity to be forever remembered in the National Museum of the United States Army, planned for Fort Belvoir, Virginia. According to the Army Historical Foundation, groups that sponsor the museum’s Veterans’ Hall will have their organizations’ names permanently displayed on its donor wall. The Hall will be a space where groups can host official functions. It will also feature the Registry of the American Soldier, a searchable database of Army veterans. Visit www.armyhistory.org

National Museum of the US Air Force

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ne of the most powerful weapons and icons during the Southeast Asia War is the centerpiece of an updated exhibit at the National Museum of the US Air Force at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. The exhibit opened in conjunction with a reunion of the B-52 Stratofortress Association. “The Boeing B-52 is one of those special aircraft that resonates with visitors of all ages,” said Dr. Jeff Underwood, museum historian. “It has served with the US Air Force for over half a century, and it will continue serving long into this century.” The exhibit teaches visitors about the B-52’s important role in the Southeast Asia War, the men who flew it in combat, and those who kept it in the air. See www.nationalmuseum.af.mil. Admission and parking are free. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER/JANUARY 2013 v Reunions 35


e military reunion news

USS Nitro Association Editor’s note: In the last issue we included Jim Timmons’s description of the USS Nitro reunion in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This is more information we found interesting about the Nitro organization.

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he USS Nitro Association (www.ussnitro.org) is an IRS chapter 501.c19 organization with a constitution and bylaws that were voted upon and accepted in 1999 and are amended as needed. The bylaws say reunions will be held every other year, but members want to meet annually. Reunion locations are voted on by members and rotated between defined regions of the country each year, so each region will see a reunion once every four or five years. They choose a different city in each region. Several years ago, they instituted a donation program by which the Association gives at least half of the funds raised at a raffle/ auction (typically $500) at their annual dinner, to a military charity. The charity could be a base chaplains’ fund, USO or Navy and Marine Corp Relief Society or a national charity like USS Nitro store

USS Nitro archives

Fisher House (low-cost housing near medical facilities for military families). For the past five years or so they have also conducted a POW/ MIA table ceremony prior to a dinner. This is a very solemn ceremony to honor those who are not with us. Each reunion includes a wreath-laying, bugler and taps, chaplain, and reading names of members lost since the last reunion. At each reunion, an extensive collection of Nitro archive items and memorabilia is displayed in the hospitality room, and a ship’s store offers items for sale. They have visited active ships and talked with and told stories to young sailors. They meet with sailors who have the same jobs, and vets are amazed at what’s happening now. Active sailors are surprised to learn from vets about how things were just a few short years ago. Again, I thank Jim Timmons and Bob Eberlein for their hospitality at their recent reunion.

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nown as the Battleship of Presidents, USS Iowa became the Los Angeles area’s newest museum attraction this summer. The World War II battleship, which has hosted Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, was towed from San Francisco Bay to Los Angeles in May. With nearly 1,000 people aboard, the historic ship docked June 9th at its permanent home near the World Cruise Center in the Port of Los Angeles, Berth 87. Visit www.pacificbattleship.com for ticket information. Admission is free for children under 6 and residents of the State of Iowa with valid state-issued ID. 36 Reunions v reunionsmag.com

USS Iowa


CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES

Welcome to Reunion Resources!

CALIFORNIA

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 editor@reunionsmag.com; 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.

Palm Springs, California guarantees blue skies and sunshine for your reunion. A collection of new hotels, boutique inns, and vacation home and condo rentals are available to host large and small groups. Visitors the world over are lured to Palm Springs for its storied Hollywood legacy, Native American heritage and stellar collection of mid-century modern architecture. Palm Springs is less than 2 hours from Los Angeles or San Diego. The Palm Springs International Airport offers direct flights from major cities all across the U.S. and Canada. Palm Springs. Like no place else. Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs CA 92262 760-778-8415 | www.VisitPalmSprings.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

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.

CANADA Echo Valley Ranch & Spa P O Box 916 Jesmond Clinton British Columbia V0K 1K0. Discover why TripAdvisor has named Echo Valley the #3 hotel property in all of Canada, with peace and serenity in a luxurious wilderness setting. Call 800-253-8831 or e-mail info@evranch.com www.evranch.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

UNITED STATES ALABAMA GREATER BIRMINGHAM CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 2200 Ninth Ave. North, Birmingham AL 35203 Birmingham is becoming one of the most celebrated reunion cities in the southeast. There are lots of details to see to – good planning is hard work. The Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau is here to help. For more information regarding reunion services, please contact the Convention Bureau at 205-458-8000 or 800-458-8085 | fax 205-458-8086 twalton@birminghamal.org www.birminghamal.org SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

ARIZONA White Stallion Ranch 9251 W Twin Peaks Road Tucson AZ 85743. Immerse yourself in the welcoming atmosphere of the Southwest ranching lifestyle. Call 888-977-2624 or e-mail info@whitestallion.com www.whitestallion.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

Rancho de los Caballeros 1551 S. Vulture Mine Rd. Wickenburg AZ 85390. Escape to Rancho de los Caballeros for a historic guest ranch retreat, where guests young and old can enjoy a wide range of western activities. Call 800-684-5030 or e-mail info@sunc.com www.ranchodeloscaballeros.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

ARKANSAS Horseshoe Canyon Ranch HC 70 Box 261 Jasper AR 72641. H.C.R provides a central location, longer seasons, and activities including Horseback riding, Rock Climbing, River trips, and one of the longest zip lines in the U.S. Call 800-480-9635 or e-mail info@gohcr.com www.gohcr.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! 38 Reunions v reunionsmag.com

PALM SPRINGS VISITOR CENTER

Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch 2116 Greenhorn Ranch Rd. Quincy CA 95971. Serving up the best hospitality in the west for over 50 years! Come see for yourself. Memories are waiting to be made that families, just like yours, have been taking home for generations! Call 800-334-6939 or e-mail ride@greenhornranch.com www.greenhornranch.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

HOLIDAY INN SAN DIEGO BAYSIDE 4875 N Harbor Drive, San Diego CA 92106 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 hospitality 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. 619-224-3621 | 800-650-6660 fax 619-224-1787 | dos@holinnbayside.com www.holinnbayside.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

COLORADO COLORADO VACATION DIRECTORY Make your search for the perfect family reunion destination easier! FREE FAMILY REUNION DESTINATION LOCATION SERVICE: www.TheCVD.com/groupsreunions 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, and Campgrounds that can accommodate your desires; each one will email you directly with additional information. OR download our free Colorado Vacation Directory to compare reunion locations, which includes Places to Stay & Fun Things to Do. www.TheCVD.com/OrderForm.html

The High Lonesome Ranch 0275 County Road 222 DeBeque CO 81630. Find your inner cowboy, enjoy breathtaking scenery, and leave with your family bonded as never before. Ford streams, ride miles through cottonwoods, never cross a public road. Equestrian

adventure in riding lessons, cattle drives, round ups, roping, team penning, reining, obstacles & more. Culinary greatness, western luxury, and 5-star hospitality. Call 970-283-9420 or e-mail info@thehighlonesomeranch.com www.thehighlonesomeranch.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

Colorado Trails Ranch 12161 Country Rd 240 Durango CO 81301. Fun-filled adventures await you at Colorado Trails Ranch near Durango. Call 800-323-3833 or e-mail info@coloradotrails.com | www.coloradotrails.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

C Lazy U Ranch PO Box 379, Granby CO 80446. C Lazy U is Colorado s premier guest ranch, offering seemingly limitless activities and fun group programs such as cattle pushing, ropes courses and more! Call 970-887-3344 or e-mail ranchassocleads@clazyu.com | www.clazyu.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

Latigo Ranch 201 County Road 1911 PO Box 237 Kremmling CO 80459 Put yourself in these photos. Hundreds of other grandparents have discovered Latigo Ranch is perfect for a family reunion. Check us out on trip advisor http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Reviewg33507-d12335 5-Reviews-Latigo_Dude_Ranch_ Nordic_Center-Kremmling_Colorado.html Call 800-227-9655 or e-mail info@latigotrails.com www.latigotrails.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch 2939 N County Road 31D Loveland CO 80538-9763. Western reunions year round! Authentic Colorado ranch in the Rocky Mountain foothills. Call 877-667-3999 or e-mail ranch@sylvandale.com www.SylvanDale.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD

EL COLORADO LODGE 23 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs CO 80829 800-782-2246 | 719-685-4699 fax: 719-685-4699 | sbrock@sbcglobal.net www.el-colorado-lodge.com

Sundance Trail Guest Ranch 17931 Red Feather Lakes Road Red Feather Lakes CO 80545. Small, flexible, relaxed. Strong focus on families playing together. Horseback riding (not nose-totail), rock climbing, white water rafting, disc golf, hiking, fishing, evening campfires. Only 2 hours from Denver. Pets welcome! Call 800-357-4930 or e-mail ride@sundancetrail.com www.sundancetrail.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

Lost Valley Ranch 29555 Goose Creek Rd Sedalia CO 80135. Enjoy our secluded AAA rated Four Diamond working cattle ranch while exploring 40,000 remote acres of the Pike National Forest on our remuda of 130 horses. Call 303-647-2311 or e-mail info@lostvalleyranch.com www.lostvalleyranch.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!


CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES The Vail Racquet Club Mountain Resort The only property in the Vail Valley located on 20 spacious acres of Colorado beauty. Our 1-3 bdrm condos and townhomes provide all the comforts of home, that’s why families & groups choose to make the VRC their reunion destination. Activities for all ages: hiking, tennis, swimming, cycling or good old childhood exploring. Have a BBQ in our beautiful park area. We are a Colorado tradition of family, fun and friends. The Vail Racquet Club Mountain Resort: 4695 Vail Racquet Club Drive, Vail CO 81657. 800-428-4840 | sales@vailracquetclub.com www.vailracquetclub.com

BEAVER VILLAGE CONDOMINIUMS Our condos are clustered in a campus style layout making it easy for us to group your rooms close together. The condos have 1,2,3, & 4 bedrooms, so couples, families & extended families can find the right fit. We have a meeting room (100 pp max) , catering kitchen & an outside deck with grill. Our team works closely with the group leader to honor special requests. In town location close to hiking, biking, rafting & more. 800-824-8438. Visit: www.beavercondos.com | www.beavercondos.com/ family-reunions-winter-park-colorado-coloradofamily-reunions

FLORIDA THE BEACHES OF FORT MYERS & SANIBEL 2201 Second St., Suite 600, Fort Myers, FL 33901. Share a tradition of timeless beauty and endless opportunity for togetherness. Whether on the pristine sands of beautiful beaches, on t he glistening waters of the Gulf of Mexico, or in countless charming towns, your family comes together when you get away here. To begin planning your reunion, visit FortMyers-Sanibel.com for more information. TELEPHONE: 239-338-3500 U.S. & Canada: 800-237-6444 www.fortmyers-sanibel.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

SEMINOLE COUNTY. FLORIDA’S NATURAL CHOICE This ideal reunion location near Orlando offers a setting of unsurpassed natural beauty. Your group will enjoy a more relaxed, less crowded environment that’s still within minutes of world-class theme parks. Acres of parkland and more than 2,000 rivers and lakes offer endless nature adventures. Enjoy Florida’s newest properties for less than most Orlando hotels. For expert planning assistance, call 800-800-7832 or visit www.VisitSeminole.com/Reunions SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

STAR ISLAND RESORT & CLUB 5000 Avenue of the Stars, Kissimmee FL 34746. Located just 4 miles to Walt Disney Theme Parks, our Mediterranean styled Resort & Spa offers spacious mini suites, 1 & 3 bedroom Villas with kitchenette, full kitchens with all the comforts of home. Enjoy tennis, basketball, pools & putting green, Jet Ski & paddleboat rentals, children’s activities, BBQ grills, indoor & outdoor function space available to rent. Group rates for 5 or more

units. For group reservations call 800-789-0715 and mention Reunions Magazine when calling. We look forward to hosting your reunion! www.star-island.com

FLORIDAYS RESORT ORLANDO 12562 International Drive, Orlando FL 32821 Located just two miles from SeaWorld and Disney on International Drive, offers spacious two-andthree bedroom Grand Suites, with room for everyone. The free shuttle to the attractions and the I-Drive trolley makes it easy to get around town. With two heated swimming pools, game room, fitness center, and poolside bar and grille, you’ll want to spend quality family time right here at the resort. 321-329-4026 | fax 321- 329-4001 jcooper@floridaysorlando.com www.FloridaysResortOrlando.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

GEORGIA ATLANTA PERIMETER HOTEL & SUITES 111 Perimeter Center West, Atlanta GA 30346 Find sanctuary in 121 deluxe guest rooms and 154 fantastic suites complete with the W Signature Bed, Bliss™ Sinkside Six amenities and balconies in all rooms. Suites feature a full kitchen. Free shuttle service within a 3-mile radius, which includes Perimeter Mall and MARTA stations. Banquet spaces with full catering available. For reservations, call 770-396-6800; fax 770-394-4805; GMWAtlantaPerimeter@whotels.com www.whotels. com/atlantaperimeter SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

CROWNE PLAZA ATLANTA PERIMETER at RAVINIA 4355 Ashford Dunwoody Rd, Atlanta, GA 30346 Located in Central Perimeter area nestled on a 45 acre park, with waterfalls, terraced gardens, facilities for gatherings of 10 to 1,000. 495 guestrooms, 33 spacious suites. Featuring a three story greenhouse atrium lobby, fitness center, indoor pool with sundeck. Across from the Perimeter Mall. Free shuttle to area restaurants, parks and MARTA station for downtown attractions. Visit www.cpravinia.com or call 770-395-7700. Mention this listing for 10 % off reunion banquet pricing. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

EMBASSY SUITES ATLANTA PERIMETER CENTER 1030 Crown Pointe Pkwy, Atlanta GA 30338. 770-394-5454. All suite, upscale, renovated hotel located in beautiful Dunwoody, just steps away from Perimeter Mall, Perimeter Shoppes and more than 30 area restaurants/dining facilities. Hotel features complimentary amenities such as: cooked-to-order breakfast, Manager’s Reception, area shuttle, parking deck, indoor pool/sun deck, Precor fitness center and business center. Hotel offers an onsite restaurant with Starbucks cafe, meeting space and wireless internet throughout. Flat screen TV’s in all suites. Easy access to downtown via MARTA. Hilton Family Hotels. Book at www.atlantaperimetercenter.embassysuites.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

ATLANTA MARRIOTT PERIMETER CENTER 246 Perimeter Center Parkway NE, Atlanta, GA 30346 The Hotel is located adjacent to Perimeter Mall and the Dunwoody MARTA station offering easy access to all city attractions. Amenities include onsite restaurant and lounge, room service, indoor/ outdoor swimming pool, meeting and banquet space for up to 350 people and complimentary hotel shuttle within a 2 mile radius. Ask about our special reunions packages. Call 770 394-6500 or visit www.atlantamarriottperimeter.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

STAYBRIDGE SUITES PERIMETER CENTER EAST 4601 Ridgeview Road, Atlanta-Dunwoody GA 30338 Staybridge Suites is an All-Suite Hotel and offers a premier location in the Dunwoody – Perimeter Area within walking distance to some of the best Restaurants and Shops Atlanta has to offer. Minutes away from attractions like Stone Mountain, Six Flags, Zoo Atlanta, Hartsfield Airport and the Georgia Dome. Fantastic amenities like Free Full Breakfast, Free Shuttle within a 3-Mile Radius, Free Internet, Free On-Site Fitness Center and Guest Laundry! 678-320-0111 | Fax: 678-320-0250 Reservations: dos.atlpr@wm.staybridge.com Website: www.staybridge.com/atlanta-pr 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 milesr@ci. douglasville.ga.us | www.visitdouglasville.com

CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU OF DUNWOODY, GA Just 10 minutes outside Atlanta in DeKalb County, Dunwoody is the best location for your next reunion. Minutes away from Stone Mountain Park, Georgia Aquarium, the MLK Center and more! Home to five excellent hotels with tons of meeting space and all within walking distance to Perimeter Mall and shuttle services to MARTA! Call today to plan your reunion: 678-244-9800 or visit www.cvbdunwoody.com/ SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

Macon-Bibb County CVB Let the Macon-Bibb County CVB help plan your reunion! Call us first to help you find facilities, accommodations and create itineraries for your event. We can arrange guided and self-guided tours of our attractions and offer complimentary services, such as registration assistance, information specialists, coordination of bus rentals, and a downloadable Visitor’s Guide that includes area maps. Go to VisitMacon.org or call 800.768.3401 today, and learn how we can make your next reunion a success! SEE OUR DISPLAY AD! NOVEMBER/DECEMBER/JANUARY 2013 v Reunions 39


CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES IDAHO

MICHIGAN

Bar W Guest Ranch

ASPEN HILLS RETREAT/REUNION CENTER

THE BENZIE COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU

2875 Hwy 93 West Whitefish MT 59937. Experience true western hospitality in the heart of Glacier country in Northwestern Montana! Time will run a little slower, things will seem a little easier, and every day will feel like Saturday. Check us out! Call 866-828-2900 or e-mail info@thebarw.com | www.barwguestranch.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

2080 Swan Valley Hwy, PO Box 340, Ririe ID 83443 208-538-7140 | aspenhills@swanvalleyretreat.com www.swanvalleyretreat.com Looking for an unforgettable reunion site for your family? Get back to Nature, and Re-Unite! Aspen Hills Retreat sits on acres of meadows and Aspen/Pine forest in the beautiful mountains of Eastern Idaho, a mecca of outdoor activity … perfect for your next reunion! Area recreation includes: golfing, horseback riding on mountain trails, hiking, photography, scenery, bird watching, fishing on the South Fork of the Snake River. Natural hot springs pool, and a cool pool with giant slide, zip line on the mountainside. Many more adventures listed on our website. Our facility includes retreat house with large deck – perfect for relaxing and soaking in the beauty and serenity of the mountain setting. A large Quonset hut is available for large groups for eating in the shade, with electricity for evening activities … ables and chairs are available. Large firepit, gas grill, electric stove and refrigerator help in feeding the troops! Plenty of space for tents, campers and RV’s. Come and enjoy!

ILLINOIS Lake County, Illinois Plan an unforgettable reunion in Lake County, Illinois – We’ll work together to help you plan an event that lets you explore all the excitement of Lake County. From entertaining attractions like Six Flags to our convenient, centralized location close to Chicago, there are so many reasons to choose Lake County for family friendly fun. For free Reunion Planning Assistance call or email us with your reunion planning questions. 800-LAKE-NOW tourism@lakecounty.org | www.lakecounty.org SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

“The Most Beautiful Place In America” Located along Michigan’s northwest coast of the Lower Peninsula, the gateway to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and serenely positioned on Lake Michigan. Benzie County is an optimal location for your reunion, wedding, meeting or event. Facilities to fit nearly every need from world class resorts to private homes and cottages on our pristine lakes, rivers, and woods. www.visitbenzie.com or call 800-882-5801.

MINNESOTA WORRY-FREE REUNIONS AT CRAGUN’S RESORT 11000 Craguns Dr, Brainerd MN 56401: 800-CRAGUNS (272-4867). Since 1940 Cragun’s has taken pride in creating memorable 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: www.craguns.com/157

MINNEAPOLIS SAINT PAUL

2001 North Roselle Road, Schaumburg IL 60195. Contact: michelle.lobell@medievaltimes.com; www.medievaltimes.com/chicago | 866-731-9313 ext. 2422 SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

is the perfect location for your next reunion. Meet Minneapolis represents the entire MSP metro area with over 17,000 hotel rooms. Use our FREE service and hotels will compete against each other for your business. We also provide your group with FREE guides, maps, and coupons along with tour ideas, group friendly restaurants, and sample itineraries. Let us help you plan your next reunion to Minneapolis Saint Paul. 612-767-8106 caseyk@minneapolis.org | www.minneapolis.org

INDIANA

MISSOURI

MEDIEVAL TIMES

RACCOON LODGE FOR 2013 On 2,000 acre lake, furnished apartments, boat docking and wave runner rentals, heated pool, wireless Internet, peaceful wooded lakeside setting. Call 765-344 -1162 or book online at: www.raccoonlodge.com | SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

IOWA WATERLOO CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 500 Jefferson Street, Waterloo, IA 50701. Visit John Deere Tractor Assembly Plant, Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum, Galleria De Paco, and Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo. Plus, enjoy family attractions like Lost Island Water Park, Phelps Youth Pavilion, and Bluedorn Science Imaginarium. Info: 800-728-8431; Lonnie@TravelWaterloo.com www.TravelWaterloo.com

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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 live music shows and family entertainment, lodging, attractions, dining and more. Remember, in Branson, our value is unrivaled, our scenery breathtaking and our authentic Ozarks hospitality inviting. Call us toll-free at 800-214-3661 417-243-2117 or visit our website at ExploreBranson.com and request a Reunion Planner Sales kit. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

MONTANA Elkhorn Ranch 33133 Gallatin Rd Gallatin Gateway MT 59730. A vacation for all ages! Families and friends share horseback rides, kids programs, fly-fishing, nature hikes and white water rafting in the Montana Rockies. Call 406-995-4291 or e-mail office@elkhornranchmontana.com www.elkhornranchmontana.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

NEVADA GOLD COAST HOTEL & CASINO Located just minutes west of the Las Vegas Strip, directly across from The Rio and The Palms. This friendly resort personifies all that is best about Las Vegas and features 712 rooms and suites, 30,000 square feet of conference space, full-service casino, five restaurants, showroom/lounge, 70-lane bowling center, race/sports book, a poolside fitness center, and shuttle service to the heart of The Strip. 4000 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103 | 702-251-3560 | 800-331-5334 x 400 www.goldcoastcasino.com | SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

ATLANTIS CASINO RESORT SPA RENO 3800 S Virginia Street, Reno, NV 89502 Atlantis is Reno’s Newest Hot Spot for Reunions! Atlantis boasts 50,000 SF of flexible meeting space. Stay in Reno’s newest resort rooms, featuring pillow-top mattresses and 42” HDTV’s. Dine in eight distinct award-winning restaurants. The Atlantis Steakhouse proudly serves Allen Brothers USDA Prime steaks. Network at the ten captivating bars and lounges. Escape to Spa Atlantis winner of Spa Finder “Readers’ Choice” award! Sales Department 800.994.5900 sales@AtlantisCasino.com | AtlantisCasino.com

GRAND SIERRA RESORT AND CASINO is just five short minutes from the Reno/Tahoe International Airport and just 45 minutes from majestic Lake Tahoe. With 1,995 rooms and suites, a full service casino, 10 distinct restaurants, an 1,800-seat theater with headlining entertainment, branded retail shops, a cinema, a 50-lane championship bowling center, outdoor thrill rides, aqua golf driving range, and Fun Quest Family Fun Center, you’ll never run out of fun and exciting things to do. 2500 E. Second St., Reno, NV, 89595 866.473.6672 | www.grandsierraresort.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

NEW MEXICO Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch 1 Wall Lake Rd. Winston NM 87943. Have the ranch to yourselves for your small reunion (15 max)! Enjoy horseback riding in the breathtaking Gila National Forest. Call 575-772-5157 or e-mail info@geronimoranch.com www.geronimoranch.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

See our display advertiser index on page 9


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CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES PENNSYLVANIA

TENNESSEE

VALLEY FORGE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

CHATTANOOGA AREA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

1000 First Avenue, Suite 101, King of Prussia PA 19406. Still the best place to meet - Valley Forge. Washington’s famous encampment site is just 18 miles from Philadelphia and offers more than 60 hotels, 11 conference centers and reunion-friendly hotels with complimentary hospitality rooms and free parking. Destination features world-class shopping at the nation’s largest shopping mall, King of Prussia, as well as premium dining and entertainment on its many quaint Main Streets. Contact Courtney Pozo, Convention Sales Manager: 610-834-7971 or 800-441-3549 | Fax: 610-834-0202 pozo@valleyforge.org or visit www.valleyforge.org

DOUBLETREE SUITES 640 Fountain Road, Plymouth Meeting PA 19462. Located in Plymouth Meeting, a beautiful suburb of Philadelphia, the DoubleTree Suites is an all-suite property that specializes in military, family, and class reunions alike! 8,000 sq ft of flexible meeting space for you to relax and reminisce with family and friends. Also offering an in-house restaurant, lounge, indoor pool, and fitness center! 610-879-4147 | fax 610-879-4242 alison.hacker@hilton.com www.doubletree.com/plymouthmeeting

SOUTH CAROLINA SANDS RESORTS 201-74th Ave. N., Myrtle Beach, SC 29572 Everything you need for a Great Reunion is at Sands Resorts. With accommodations ranging from Oceanfront Rooms to 1, 2, & 3 Bedroom Suites and flexible meeting space, Sands is well-equipped to handle groups of all sizes. Regardless of which Sands’ location you select, reunions can depend on great service and fabulous amenities at our collection of oceanfront resorts. 800-840-2601 | groupsales@sandsresorts.com www.sandsresorts.com 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 | groupsales@seamist.com www.seamist.com | SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

SPRINGMAID BEACH RESORT 3200 South Ocean Blvd. Myrtle Beach SC 29577 This popular, oceanfront resort is close to the airport and Myrtle Beach’s popular attractions! With nearly 500 flexible oceanview rooms & suites, pools, lazy rivers, 2 onsite restaurants and catering, plenty of indoor & outdoor event spaces, 18 hole mini-golf course, game arcade, fitness center, free wi-fi and a 1068 ft fishing pier, there’s so much to do! Contact Sharon Kemerer | skemerer@springmaidbeach.com | 843-315-7173 or 800-770-7198 | www.springmaidbeach.com 42 Reunions v reunionsmag.com

We are ready to host your next family or military reunion. Our Staff works closely with the hotels, attractions, tour companies and you to provide exactly what you need to have a great reunion. Contact Christina Petro at 800-964-8600 ext. 3017 or by e-mail at chrisp@chattanoogacvb.com for free help planning your next reunion! ChattanoogaMeetings.com | SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

UTAH PARK CITY LODGING, INC. represents over 150 vacation rentals throughout Park City’s three world-class resort areas: Park City, Deer Valley and Canyons. Choose from a large variety of accommodations, ideally suited for your reunion, wedding or special event. Our knowledgeable staff is here to assist you in creating a memorable family experience in the mountains of Park City, Utah. Call 855-263-7793 destinationspecialist@parkcitylodging.com www.ParkCityLodging.com Let our knowledgeable staff assist you in creating a memorable mountain experience.

VIRGINIA CHESAPEAKE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 860 Greenbrier Circle, Suite 101 Chesapeake VA 23320. Can you hear it? That voice inside, beckoning you to get together. Reconnect with friends, families and memories. The refuge, the waterways, the beach – so close you can enjoy them all. For more information on planning a family or military reunion in Chesapeake, VA, call 888.889.5551 or go to www.visitchesapeake.com

VISIT FAIRFAX / FAIRFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIA. Enjoy everything that Northern Virginia has to offer. From the monuments and memorials of nearby Washington, DC to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens, Fairfax County is an ideal location for your military or family reunion. Call us at 703-790-0643 or visit our website today at www.fxva.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

NEWPORT NEWS Get closer to ships, history and the great outdoors with one central destination: Newport News. Get all this, plus Williamsburg and Virginia Beach, too! Whether getting together with old classmates, shipmates or relatives, Newport News provides the perfect location and services to make your reunion a success. We offer the best value and plenty to see and do! Let Newport News make your next reunion a memorable one. Call Barb Kleiss at (757) 926-1442 or email her at: bkleiss@nngov.com to book your reunion. www.newport-news.org

VisitNorfolk 232 East Main Street, Norfolk VA 23510 Norfolk’s beautifully revitalized waterfront, rich military heritage, walkable downtown and Coastal Virginia 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 5,000 committable hotel rooms in various price ranges. Call 800-368-3097 dallen@visitnorfolktoday.com www.visitnorfolktoday.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

WEST VIRGINIA CANAAN VALLEY RESORT - Davis, WV Four season resort state park featuring 150 comfortable lodge rooms, 23 secluded cabins/ cottages and 34 campground sites. Seasonal activities include indoor/outdoor pools, golf, skiing, scenic chairlift rides, hiking/biking trails, and more. Meeting rooms and banquet services available for your reunion needs. Karen Rhodes 304-866-4121 x 2681 or rhodesk@canaanresort.com www.canaanresort.com

WYOMING 7D Ranch P O Box 100 Cody WY 82414. Come enjoy a true western horseback experience in some of the greatest country in Wyoming. 7D Ranch will provide your family with a customized week of fun and lifelong memories. Call 888-587-9885 or e-mail ranch7d@wyoming.com www.7dranch.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

The Dude Ranchers’ Association 1122 12th. Street Cody WY 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 colleen@duderanch. org | www.duderanch.org SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

Red Rock Ranch P O Box 38 Kelly WY 83011. Outstanding horseback riding, kids program, fly fishing, trapshooting. The ideal family reunion vacation, just ask the families who return year after year. Call 307-733-6288 or e-mail info@theredrockranch.com www.theredrockranch.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

Vee Bar Guest Ranch 38 Vee Bar Ranch Road Laramie WY 82070. Located in the Snowy Range Mountains in Wyoming, the Vee Bar is fun for the whole family! Call 800-483-3227 or e-mail veebar@veebar.com www.veebar.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

Padlock Ranch 8420 US Hwy 14 Ranchester WY 82839. At the Padlock, you can live a week in the life of a working cattle ranch through our Working Ranch Vacations. Call 800-655-2848 or e-mail emily@padlockranch.com | www.padlockranch.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

Eatons’ Ranch 270 Eatons Ranch Rd. Wolf WY 82844. For over 125 years we have shared our way of life. We invite you to join us and experience everything Eatons Ranch has to offer. Call 800-210-1049 or e-mail info@eatonsranch.com www.eatonsranch.com SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!


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CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES online service. With its free iPhone App, the process is fun, seamless and easy! Visit our website at SavingMemoriesForever.com and check out our How-To video. Build and share an engaging, captivating family story online today!

REUNION PLANNERS PRECISE PLANS – REUNION PLANNER

ENTERTAINMENT MEDIEVAL TIMES 2001 North Roselle Road, Schaumburg IL 60195. Contact: michelle.lobell@medievaltimes.com; www.medievaltimes.com/chicago | 866-731-9313 ext. 2422 SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

PRESERVING REUNIONS Saving Memories Forever™ helps families record, save, and share memories “one story at a time” using a private and secure

44 Reunions v reunionsmag.com

PO Box 771842, St. Louis MO 63177. Contact Christal Rogers, 314-334-0158 toll-free 866-836-1781 | Inquire@Precise-Plans.com website: Precise-Plans.com

Family Reunion Planner: Strengthening the Bonds of Family A family reunion can be a truly memorable experience. At www.your-family-matters.com, our goal is to be your one stop source for a stress-free reunion. From the planning stages to the actual event, we will set up itineraries, find

accommodations, set up meals, suggest free time activities and venues, order t-shirts and arrange photographs. We are located on the memorable Emerald Coast of Florida, home to Florida’s most beautiful beaches, and yet still convenient from most of the Southeast. Contact us today @ 817-680-8831 to get started. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!

T-SHIRTS MAKE THE BEST REUNION T-SHIRTS! Design reunion shirts online - it’s fun and easy! Create your own design or have us create a design for you. From infant sizes to adult 6XL, you’ll find the perfect shirts for your reunion. FREE shipping, AFFORDABLE shirts, FREE expert-design help, and GUARANTEED delivery dates! Visit www.customink. com/reunionwbk or call 1-877-803-5885 today! Use voucher code RW210 to save $10 on your order of 6 or more shirts. SEE OUR DISPLAY AD!


CATALOG OF REUNION RESOURCES PRODUCTS & SERVICES All of these products can be purchased through Reunions magazine. Please call 414-263-4567.

BOOKS Family Reunion, by Mary Quattlebaum, Illustrated by Andrea Shine. Thoughtful and fun, this book gives glimpses of family togetherness and tradition through various poetic forms, including free verse, a sonnet, haiku, a ballad and more. $16 + s/h. 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 + s/h. THE FAMILY REUNION SURVIVAL GUIDE: How to Avoid Problems With Your Family Without Avoiding Your Family by Laurence A. Basirico. (2003, Identity Publishing, $11.95). A book about relationships at family reunions and how to enjoy them. Based on original research. 2106 Coy St., Burlington, NC. (336) 584-1442. The Pick A Party book set, by Patty Sachs, party-planning expert. Book #1: Pick a Party, The Big Book of Party Themes and Occasion, 100 theme party plans for holidays, milestone occasions and special events. Book #2 Pick-A-Party Cookbook, Includes menus, recipes and table decoration ideas for the 100 theme parties in Book #1. Regularly $20 for the set, only $16.00 + $2 s/h) for Reunions magazine readers. Secrets of Successful Family Reunions, by Robert W. Wolfe a.k.a. Uncle Bob A how-to-book for successful family reunions. Whether simple or elaborate it helps those who wish to pass their values to the next generation. 2008. $16.99 + s/h. Treasure and Scavenger Hunts (3rd ed.) How to Plan, Create, and Give Them, by Gordon Burgett Communications Unlimited, 2007, 134 pp. $15.95 + s/h or $12.95 digital.

Your Living Family Tree: Keeping your family together forever through print, photos, sound and video, by Gordon Burgett Communications Unlimited, 2008, 174 pp. $17.95 + s/h or $15.95 digital.

FOOD PREPARATION How Many?! How Much!?, A Step-by-Step guide to cooking for a large group, by Jennifer Cole. This book will help you with menu planning, recipe costing, recruiting helpers, budgeting. Spiral bound, 73 pp.$19.95 plus $4.95 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 414-263-4567.

MUSIC The Malone Family Choir: A Family Reunion is an original gospel CD opening with a song you’ll want to play to say Welcome to Our Family Reunion! at your family reunion. CD $15 or tape $10 + s/h.

POSTCARD ANNOUNCEMENTS Notify your reunion members to SAVE THE DATE (bright red, they’ll not miss it!) and when you need reminders, send postcards that say TIME IS RUNNING OUT. Fill-in cards – $15 p/100 postcards or 20¢ each + s/h – you fill in the date and reunion name; or Custom printed cards – $45 p/100 postcards or 50¢ each + s/h. Send info to be printed: for Save the date! (name, date, & place of reunion, contact info). For Time is running out (name & date of reunion & RSVP date) + fax number or email address to get your approval before we print. Send to Reunions magazine, PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211-0727; credit card charges call 414-263-4567.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER/JANUARY 2013 v Reunions 45


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

www.reunionsmag.com TM

Reunions Magazine Volume 23, Number 2. November/December/January 2013  

Inside: The Christmas Family Reunion, Neil Armstrong's last reunion, Fundraising, and Ranch reunions.

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