However, mini-reunions can easily substitute if time is short or the season is busy. This can be a luncheon, or meeting at someone's house for light refreshments and plenty of chatting. A simple meet and greet can be utilized to form committees for a larger reunion down the road.
The last Givens Reunion that I attended was in 2003, I believe--that might also be the only one I attended. My "cousin", Foye G. was my partner in crime and we did a pretty good job of getting folks there and arranging for lunch to be catered. I don't think either one of us could have done it by ourselves. And, to be honest, it was a great success because we had folks who were excited to add their support by attending, bringing old photos, contributing items for an auction (the money was used for cemetery upkeep), and one couple even brought their computer and scanner along.
We "advertised" on the radio, at the Rootsweb Message Board, in the newspaper, and via telephone and snail mail. Now, of course, we have Facebook! So getting the word out is probably at least a third of the preparation for a successful get together.
There are books and articles about organizing family reunions. Local libraries haven't completely lost their value; if you can't afford to go out to a bookstore and buy or order via the Internet, you should be able to find sources to give you ideas and remind you of essentials. Fortunately, there are plenty of free resources via the World Wide Web, too. Here are a few to check out:
- Temple University operates a Family Reunion Institute in their School of Social administration; see their web page and check out their suggestions.
- Planning a Perfect Family Reunion is broached by the Genealogy Section of About.com, and I have to say that you can make a perfect plan but don't expect to always have a perfect outcome. There are too many variables involved and you want to be flexible according to what people feel like doing. Most reunions need a period where the attendees (and children) can get a little "down time" in. Keep the schedule open for just visiting and maybe a family auction, games for the kids--whatever.
- Finally, use your search engine to find articles on this topic and utilize one of the best genealogy portals available on the Internet: Cyndi's List