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Family reunions are a special time and organizing one takes time. Use the following worksheets to help get things in action.
Use this checklist and ideas to plan your next family reunion celebration gathering; the links at the bottom also provides additional planning information and tools for a thorough planning experience.
Photography and Recording Committee:______________________
Date of Event:
Day of Week:
Estimated # of People:
Address of Site:
Estimated # of Invitations:
Contact Person #1:
Contact Person #2:
SITE LOCATION WORKSHEET
Web Site Address?
Base Rental Fee:
Fee Per Hour Extra:
Pre-set up allowed:
Fee for Tables:
Fee for Chairs:
# of Tables Needed:
# of Chairs Needed:
Fee for Table Clothes:
Alcoholic Beverages Allowed?
Food on Site?
Plenty of Parking
# of Restrooms
Covered outdoor Pavilion
RSVP Due Date:
Final Head Count
Rental pickup date and time:
Potential site location visited
Chairperson selected for each committee
Gather cost estimates for Budget
Check for proposed date to avoid conflicts
Begin designing invitation
Develop press release listing for family reunion web sites
Select program entertainer, MC, family speaker
Compile mailing list, data base, email listings, etc.
Investigate the need for special permits, licenses, insurance, etc.
Select photographer for event; arrange for photo session and assignment
Gather written contracts for site, catering, entertainment, decorations, etc.
Finance committee drafts initial budget
Family Crest/Shield for printing needs
Order plaques, certificates, trophies, other awards or gifts
Send reunion announcement in local newspapers
Determine menu with caterer and family sponsor
Mail invitations, registration forms, and other information
Put together registration/welcoming packets
Provide caterer with an estimate of guests expected
Confirm transportation needs for elderly
organize guest homes, hotel accommodations, etc.
Prepare name tags
Assign head table seating if desired
Formalize Lunch program (or other program) agenda
Print program or other special handouts
Meet with committee and helpers
Write checks for payments due
Gather receipt book, mobile credit card terminal/equipment, etc.
Load up all required materials, equipment, packets, etc.
Provide or arrange transportation for VIP’s and guests
Initiate a cock-tail hour for VIP’s and guests
Recheck all necessary equipment
Welcome banner about 10'
Registration guest book
DJ, band or professional story teller
Survey forms for evaluation purposes
Name Tags and markers
Souvenir T-shirts, caps, aprons
Web site for reunion notices
Welcome packet, newsletter, etc.
AGENDA PLANNING for LUNCH PROGRAM
Present selves to designated area for the program area
Greetings & Special Words of thanks
Special Message, purpose of celebration and gathering
Special Scripture or Poem
Declaration of family crest, values and beliefs
Vocal or instrumental
Blessing of the Family
Spokesperson or Minister
Special Remembrances for those lost this year
Special Prayer or Verse
Recognition for new family members, elder birthdays and other special significances
Presentation of Family Record Certificate, Family Tree and/or Family Bible
Meal or other Activities
|A Family Reunion Planning Checklist|
1. Appoint a coordinator for the event.
a. Plan and organize well beforehand.
b. Rely on the needs and desires of your extended family.
c. Notify the extended family that "we're all going to get together."
d. Track down the relatives, including relatives in Finland.
2. Make a master list many months ahead.
a. Consult relatives for other distant relatives asking for names and addresses.
b. Use older family members as sources of information.
c. Look through family albums, old letters, etc.
d. Use a personal ad in local papers telling of the reunion and to track
down lost relatives.
3. Create a family file for now and for future use. Include:
a. Names, addresses, and telephone numbers.
c. Standing in the family, for example, second cousin, great uncle, etc.
d. Special interest, for example hobbies, spare time activities, etc.
a. Involve relatives, thereby creating a greater interest.
b. Organize teams for the various tasks.
ii. Food and lodging. Families could be grouped together in campus housing
iii. Activities and entertainment.
iv. Collecting family memorabilia.
v. Creating a family tree and/or history.
vi. Miscellaneous details.
c. Appeal to people's interests and abilities.
d. Recruit a liaison for each branch of the family to:
i. Keep each branch up to date.
ii. Give head count of who will attend.
iii. Relay information from the main organizers to each of the teams.
5. Keep a reunion notebook.
a. Add or delete pages as necessary
b. Assign a separate section to each team.
c. Decrease chance of snafus, misunderstandings, and disappointments.
6. Planning the event.
a. Options are endless with only one rule: The affair should suit your
family's interest and needs.
b. When? In conjunction with other events in the area
i. Allow relatives sufficient time to make arrangements.
ii. Emphasize special significance.
c. Family poll.
i. How long for the reunion? One day? Two days? Etc.
ii. Cost of the reunion.
iii. Special interests.
iv. Do it yourselves or let professionals do the work?
i. Campus residence halls?
ii. Local motels?
iii. Nearby campgrounds?
f. Invitations should be exciting and imaginative.
g. Feeding the family.
ii. Be aware of any special dietary needs.
7. Enjoy yourselves
a. Ice breakers to reacquaint and greet all relatives.
b. Variety is the spice.
c. Stengthen memories via videotaping your reunion.
d. Family history. Write it and print it up
e. Family tree. Your reunion is a good time to compile or update
the family tree.
8. Establish a tradition
a. Keep in touch with the relatives with whom you reconnect at the reunion.
b. Start a family newsletter.
c. Plan a next reunion.
d. Do not let it stop here.
Family Reunions - Celebrating Your Roots! Tips for Planning Your Reunion
by Carole E. Neal, June 20, 1998The most important thing parents can give their children are Roots and Wings!
Make decision to have a Reunion
- WHEN will it be held?
- WHERE will it be held?
- HOW long will It be?
- WHO will be invited?
- COMPILE mailing list (database of family members)
- SEND "Save The Date" Notice
- Involve members from each branch of the family; get input from, and involve, the young family members.
- Set a timeline for completing tasks or assignments
- Committees meet as needed
- Establish back-up or contingency plans
- Host Family, Coordinator
- Financial - Select the Treasurer
- Program [Theme, Reunion Colors, Schedule of Activities, Banquet Program/Speakers/Script, Picnic, Church Service, Tours, other activities based on your family’s interests and for all age groups]
- Registration [name badges, goodie bags]
- Decorations, Flowers
- Food - Meals, Refreshments [Catered? Pot Luck?]
- T-shirts, Other Keepsakes
- Reunion Booklet, Family Directory
- Family History - Information & Exhibits/Displays
- Other (Video, Photography, Banner, Prizes)
- First, an immediate mailing should be the "Save the Date" notice. Thereafter, send out information updates periodically
- Include due dates for response, as well as a return mailing address
- Include tidbits of information about family ancestors
- Give clear instructions on how to order reunion items
- When making arrangements with service providers, confirm everything in writing. Be specific!
- Set a budget and registration fee schedule
- Include copy of budget in an early mailing
- Request bank to open a free, temporary checking account in the name of your reunion
- Keep reunion funds separate from personal funds
- Can also consider a permanent account if you decide to establish a family association
Schedule of Activities
- Contact the local Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as the local Chambers of Commerce for information regarding sightseeing tours and other activities, printed information, and hopefully, promotional giveaways.
- The first activity sets the tone for the reunion. Make it festive. Have get acquainted games. Assign committee members to act as greeters
- Allow for "free" time, especially for a first reunion. This allows folks to just talk and get acquainted or reacquainted and allows for informal sharing of family stories. In other words, don’t have something scheduled for every minute of every day.
- At appropriate point, re-emphasize the times for various activities
- Provide written directions to activity locations
- Tap into family talent pool
- Contact local hotels and request a block of rooms be held in the name of the reunion
- Negotiate group rate
- Request promotional giveaways and printed information from local Convention and Visitors Bureau, Chambers of Commerce, or local businesses
- Download information from internet
- Design - reflect reunion’s theme and colors
- Prepaid? Pre-delivered, or pick up at reunion?
- Possible fundraising activity
- Cover designs
- Outline of activities
- Banquet program
- Welcome letter from local officials
- "In Memoriam" section
- Family history
- Family directory
- Family business cards (support our own)
- Family photos
- Formal photos: family elders, group photo, other
- Recommend professional videographer
- Include on-camera testimonials from attendees
- Invite local officials - formal welcome
- Banquet keynote speaker
- Pre-reunion press release, and/or
- Post-reunion newspaper article
- Internet postings
- Family newsletter
- Color-coded by family branch
- Have backup materials on-site
- Devise organized method for recording and maintaining registrations, keepsake orders, correspondence, confirmations, and other reunion Information
Family Business Meeting
- Decide particulars for next reunion
- Discuss/decide other family business
Ideas For Family Projects
- Repair of ancestral grave sites; headstones
- Establish family Youth Scholarship Fund
- Create family Investment Club
- Make a family Heirloom Quilt
- Person who traveled the farthest
- Oldest attending
- Youngest attending
- First to register
- Most grandchildren
- Pay all outstanding bills
- Send final communication
- Include final Financial Report
Family Tree Record
FAMILY REUNION PLANNER - Page2