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Follow Friday - Family Reunion Planning 101
Summer is in the air and that generally brings with it family reunions. This year will prove to be a very exciting summer for myself, because on July 3rd and 4th, we will be celebrating another Kowalsky Family Reunion.
Our family reunions occur every 5 years, first because we are a very large crowd, there will be some 250 of us gathering this year. It spans two days and will include everything from a dinner and dance, to a BBQ, meet and greet, and opening ceremonies, that include two national anthems, a prayer and a few other surprises I can’t reveal here in case any families members are reading.
I am sitting on the committee this year, my career in years past has never afforded me the time to be involved before and I am enjoying the experience and hope I am bringing some ideas to the table.
I primarily decided to join the committee because my cousin and I have been working on a family history book for the last 3 years with the intention of its release at this family reunion.
We have been holding a formal family reunion every five years for the last 30 years. Before that we had gatherings but they were never quite so formal or organized. The family has always been large, and it has grown exponentially in the last 20 years, since I have 45 cousins who are all married with children and some with grandchildren.
The reunion committee currently meets about once a month to stay ahead of details and make sure everything gets booked in good time, the hall, caterer, portable toilets, DJ and entertainment.
We are a proud bunch, and we celebrate our Canadian heritage, Polish and German heritage and since some of my cousins were born and currently live in the United States, we are sensitive to having an American element at the reunion despite celebrating in Canada. Many will be interested to know when they get their history book this year that they are just as much Irish as Polish.
If you have yet to plan a family reunion or are in process of planning one, I’m sure you can join me in attesting to the fact that it can be an overwhelming and thankless job.
This Follow Friday I would like to direct your attention to a little magazine and website that can help take some of the stress out of planning a family reunion.
Reunions Magazine and http://www.reunionsmag.com/ provides and extensive list of tools to help you organize your reunion. The website and magazine consist of a variety of articles and podcasts all formulated around offering you ideas and how-tos for planning your reunion. Everything from choosing a date and place, to getting the word out, ideas on how to finance your reunion to suggestions for activities and games and icebreakers. They also offer up some ideas on how to include some family history and genealogy in your reunion.
Reunions Magazine is published four times a year at a very affordable rate of $3.00 an issue. They also offer a reunion workbook to help keep you organized and on task for $9.95. The website provides a forum where you can post questions and discuss your reunion questions or offer up some fresh ideas to others who are overwhelmed by their project.
With my own family reunion only three short weeks away, I have turned to Reunions Magazine on several occasions to bring some ideas to our committee. Check them out and make your next family reunion an event to remember.