Saturday, February 23, 2013

Gathering the Generations

I found this little booklet recently while culling some of the books in our personal library. I forgot I had it. I could not find a publishing date anywhere in the book, but looks fairly recent. It's a little guide to help one plan a memorable reunion. Chapter contents include = Making a Master List, Family File, Teams or Committees, Reunion Notebook; Family Liasons, Planning the Event, Family Poll, Public Sites, Lodging, Invitations, Feeding the Folks, Activities and Entertainment, Ice Breakers, Variety is the Spice . . ., Extra Projects, Gathering Data, Establishing a Tradition, Keeping in Touch, and Seeing You Again Next Year!

Since the beginning of the Rush Reunion some twenty odd years ago, we have naturally completed some of these chapters and moved beyond, but it gives me various ideas for invitation design ideas or activities that could be included in a future reunion.

And while I've got your attention, I just want to say that as the second Reunion secretary [the first was my sister-in-law], the directory I use to address the envelopes for the reunion notices still needs updating. Some of the older generation are graduating to heaven and the younger generation our son's age are moving out on their own and/or getting married. I NEED THEIR ADDRESSES PLEASE! Personally, I think it would be a nice idea if we could get a photographer come to the reunion and take photos of family groups for a directory like one gets at church. Would anyone like to be in charge of setting one up and letting me know in advance [like April for the following July], so I could include the information with the invitation?

We also have several books published on the Rush family tree and inter-related branches [see the book list on the side menu of this blog] and David sets up a table every year at the reunion with info, the books and photo albums to pass round. He LOVES sharing family information.

Our reunion planning committee was and is a loosely formed decision crew. One person, G.R., took charge of the renting the picnic shelter where we hold the reunion every year and still does. I remember some discussion about when to hold it and as most of the family were from the area and farmed, it was decided to have it after harvest in June and before the Missouri State Fair in August and the only open day then at the airpark shelter was on the second Saturday of July which has become the family tradition. He also puts an advertisement in the local papers for the reunion.

After a few years, the city of Eldon, MO. began charging a low rental fee for the park shelter [ammenities: natural air, level concrete floor, picnic tables, electrical outlets, playground, skatepark, basketball, tennis court  and a softball field, johnny-on-the-spots, a pool, parking and getting to watch airplanes take off at the airpark] versus buildings with artificially cooled air.
My father-in-law, N.R., paid for the stamps and stationery to send out the invitations until last year. I've designed the reunion invitations since I was handed the baton and stuff the envelopes, but I know my husband would appreciate help with the cost of the postage and stationery as we sent out approximately 160 invitations last year, give or take a few.

Several years ago, another Mrs. Rush took on renting the park pool for a couple of hours near Reunion Day which is a much welcome, cool activity. I hope she continues with it. It's been fairly well attended.

We do gather the family together around several picnic tables loaded with a potluck dinner [that's lunch time for you city folks]. There are some excellent cooks in the family! There has been talk of gathering recipes for a family cookbook for several years and if you would like to be in charge of that, go for it! Just let me know, in advance of the reunion, so I can add it to the invitation. 

There are many activities in this book that give me food for thought. If you can locate a copy, perhaps this booklet can be a springboard for your family reunion too! See ya!

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