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Family Reunion Planning Committees

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Family Reunion Chairperson

  • Provides coordination between other committees and provides "big-picture" guidance for reunion planning and execution.
  • Recognize and thanks volunteers
  • Welcome family members when they arrive at your family reunion and help everyone feel comfortable
  • Troubleshoot any problems

Food Chairperson & Committee

(I highly recommend having a committee to work with the food chairperson. Feeding a large group of people with different tastes is perhaps one of the, most difficult parts of planning a family reunion. You can make it easy on yourself by selecting a menu that relates to your theme, or perhaps one that celebrates your family’s heritage. Take advantage of family cooking specialties such as Dutch Oven cooks, Aunt Mo;s onion rings, Grandma’s potato salad,, Uncle Richards’ Homemade Root Beer or Uncle Ben’s Turkey Steaks. Cooking hot dogs over the fire, Tacos in a Bag or using Pie Irons (recipes for these foods can be found at www.familyreunionhelper.com) can also lighten the food committee’s load. You can ask families to provide their own lunch but eat as a group for breakfast and dinner.)

  • Plan menus
  • One option is to find a caterer or restaurant to do at least part of the work for you.
  • For group meals, assign each family (or families) to one night of dinner duty or another meal.
  • Determine and reserve needed equipment (tents, barbecue cookers, tables, etc.).
  • Purchase required nonperishable. Arrange for their storage and delivery to the site.
  • Make assignments for preparing meals, cooking and cleanup
  • Make shopping list
  • Buy paper plates, napkins, tablecloths and plastic silverware
  • Ice for keeping food cold
  • Provide bags and boxes for garbage and don’t forget a container for recycling aluminum cans.
  • Make assignments for set up and clean up at each meal.

Family History Chairperson

  • Purchase or make a guest book to collect signatures, addresses, and other important information, as well as serve as a permanent record of the reunion.
  • If you have a large family, you may want to provide name badges to help family members become better acquainted with each other.
  • Make displays of family history pictures or a family tree wall chart.
  • Make a family history page for each person at your family reunion to fill out. Ideas for questions and sample pages can be found at Journal Page Samples & Question Ideas.
  • Prepare a family history presentation as determined by the reunion committee.

Invitation and PR Chairperson

  • Provide decorations, invitations, and signs
  • Invitations should create interest and anticipation
  • Be sure to include directions to the reunion site.
  • Mention if the guests should bring along any special clothing or equipment.
  • Include special assignments such as food assignments, decoration assignments or activity assignments. (The more assignments you give out the better participation you will have.)
  • Make signs to post along roadways directing your family members to the reunion site.
  • If RSVP is required, include an RSVP date, along with an e-mail address, phone number, or mailing address to which they can respond.

Events Chairperson

  • Plan activities and entertainment
  • Make assignments to individual families (when our family gets together, each of the original six children plan an activity. This year we are having a circus/carnival theme at our family reunion and each of the “Big Six” will provide a carnival type game.)
  • Responsible for awards, certificates and prizes
  • Arrange for some ongoing activities that family members can do on their own such as basketball, croquet, badminton, and volleyball.
  • You don’t need to occupy everyone all the time, but planned activities and ice-breakers at your family reunion will provide an easy way for people who do not know each other well to comfortable spend time together. Include activities that will appeal to all ages and further family knowledge of shared heritage. You may also want to award prizes for special distinctions such as oldest family member or longest distance traveled to attend.

Photography Chairperson

  • In charge of the photographer, videographer, and memory album. Hires professionals or takes responsibility for taking photos themselves.
  • Can put together a digital scrapbook of the family reunion for raising reunion funds.
  • Schedules time for “whole group” family reunion photo.
  • Takes individual photos of families in costume.
  • Can put together a family slide or presentation of the previous years family reunion to be viewed at one of the evening presentations.
  • Distributes copies of family reunion portraits – don’t forget to include postage when charging for photos.

T-Shirt & Souvenir Chairperson

  • Order T-shirts or other family reunion souvenirs
  • Find a company that designs T-shirts or a family member to design a custom shirt.
  • Determine sizes and number of shirts.
  • Collect T-shirt money
  • Distribute shirts at the family reunion

Finance & Fundraising Chairperson

  • Plan fund raising activities for your family reunion such as an auction or raffle.
  • Manage all funds and banking responsibilities
  • Collect all monies from fees and fundraising activities.
  • Manage donations and expenses associated with planning and executing the family reunion
  • Track Expenses
  • Make financial report available to reunion chairperson and family

Facilities Chairperson

If you are having your family reunion at a hotel or resort, you may want to have a facilities chairperson. A facilities chairperson should determine the following and make reservations with the most appropriate site:

  • Your group’s per night budget, Number of rooms required, Hotel’s location, Amenities (on-site restaurant, pool, in-room kitchens etc.), Meeting space and catering services available, Shuttle service and parking
  • Negotiate and book facilities and coordinate lodging
  • Meet with hotel staff, visit facility
  • Be the liaison between hotel and family members during family reunion activities.

Click here to download a PDF version of the Family Reunion Chairperson document

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