(Note from Ralph Terry ... The following planning guide and samples at the bottom of this page were written by Mary Alice (Terry) Larson following the CHS Class of 1960 reunion. Some things have changed or do not apply since this was written. I have made corrections when changes were noted.)
Planning Guide and Samples of To-Do Lists
The idea of a planning guide came about as a result of reunion planning
and execution by the last several classes,
with advice and suggestions from many classmates of previous years.
It is a compilation of the "things we learned" from many.
It is not intended as rules to live by but as indicated, a guide toward possibilities.
CHS ANNUAL ALL CLASS REUNION
HOW TO DO IT? FIRST, PLAN TO HAVE FUN!
It is a very good idea to begin laying groundwork for your class 50th Golden Reunion early, even in previous years. If your class has been in contact over the years it will be easy to circulate information. If yours has not been in communication, find your classmates and discover what talents and skills they are able to bring to your reunion. Lots of phone calls and sleuthing may be needed! Do this at least the year before and attempt to keep info current.
A strong committee can take on jobs and carry them out with great success. Having several committee meetings through early spring and summer of reunion year provides an opportunity to make plans, find ways to accomplish the tasks, then carry them out. The more you are able to streamline the process, the easier the job will be! You may feel the need for a chairperson or co-chairpersons.
The ultimate plan is to put the event together in such a way that you, the host class, are able to enjoy the party and be happy with a job well done with a minimum of blood, sweat and tears!
- Locate your classmates. Phone, phone, phone! Update contact information.
- Line up committees and volunteers and get contact numbers and email addresses for each.
- Schedule a planning meeting no later than early March of your year, and others as needed.
- Create/select a theme, if possible. It's fun and useful to have an idea to work from.
IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS - IT'S YOUR REUNION! DO IT ANY WAY YOU WISH!
RESERVE THE BILL FRANKLIN CENTER. DO THIS AS SOON AS THE CURRENT REUNION ENDS!
Make sure your reservation covers Reunion Day, Saturday, as well as Friday for decorating.
This location is the only indoor venue large enough for such an event in Coleman. Outdoor events for a group of this size are highly problematic - in 2000 the second Saturday in October brought in a cold front with drizzle and almost sleet.
Visit the center prior to set up to determine best use of space. (See sketches of the building layout on the following link.)
Banners – If you decide to have a class banner, designate someone to order it and to be responsible for hanging and removal (including ladders, ropes,etc.) Ask the Chamber of Commerce about their special requirements for hanging banners within the meeting hall.
A "Welcome Bluecats" banner was made and gifted by Pat Blake Melrose, Class of 1960, in 2010, and has been passed on to later classes.
Franklin Center equipment (via Chamber of Commerce): Find out what the Chamber provides for you (number of chairs, tables, sound system, clean-up, etc). Also ask about security requirements.
YOUR CLASS DOES NOT PAY FOR THE REUNION. It pays for itself with the funds from registration and the CHS Alumni Association reunion fund. Speak with the CHS Alumni Association treasurer to learn how to manage reunion expenses
Some classes have chosen to have an auction or a silent auction, or both. These have generally been good fundraisers.
Registration information and forms are available on the chsbluecats.com website. Classmates who have viable email addresses will receive forms and information via email. Registration packets are also mailed to classmates who do not have email addresses. Postal mailing has become very expensive; please encourage classmates to provide and update email information. "Contact Us" link provides an easy opportunity to update.
Onsite check in and registration tasks are handled by members of the host class and the alumni association.
The CHS Alumni Association will fund scholarships to two graduating seniors. The association scholarship chairman will handle the process.
CHS ALUMNI ASSOCIATION GOLF TOURNAMENT
The golf tournament committee of the CHS Alumni Association plans and carries out the Annual Golf Tournament as a way to generate money that goes into the CHS Alumni Association Scholarship fund.
PUBLICITY IS ESSENTIAL!
Advertise your event in the Coleman newspapers (paper and online) and via the Reunion Website. Post your notices on Facebook occasionally.
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CLASS
Find people in your class who can search for and call classmates. Use the internet to search for long-lost classmates. Every classmate found is another success!
PLANNING THE PROGRAM FOR YOUR MAIN EVENT
Once the program outline and time schedule has been planned, the "paper" program you will distribute at the reunion will need to be designed and printed. Classes have performed skits, had barbersharp quartets to entertain....find your strengths and use them! In planning the program, time should be allotted for each segment and a time limit should be indicated. A crowd does not want to hear long speeches, but it always seems to happen.
VENDORS AND SERVICES –
Coleman people/service providers to be contacted
(obtaining cost quotations where needed):
Chamber of Commerce
Current Alumni Association Scholarship Chairman
Newspapers, paper and online
Photographer for class photos – Ralph Terry Studios has provided this service in the past, but make arrangements with him.
Food vendors and caterers for lunch - Choose a caterer experienced in feeding 300 people or more. Ask for references and call those references. Sample offerings if possible
Early Coffee and Breakfast Snacks, drinking water, ice, serving supplies, and any catered meals must be considered and decided upon. In the past we furnished out own coffee urns. Check with the Chamber.
Dance - Decide whether to have a band or a DJ for Saturday night dance. Choose and contract with provider. Many folks come mostly to continue visiting.
Supplies and equipment - Assign people to purchase supplies as needed - paper goods, sodas, water, etc.
If any additional equipment is needed arrangements must be made.
Sound system – check with the Chamber and do a "trial" run.
Local set up help – such as FFA students. Also, custodian at the center may be hired to set up the room.
Security for the dance - Coleman police department officers (2) are required for security since people BYOB..
RESOURCES AND PEOPLE
Sample forms and checklists are included with this document. Some are for planning, some for registration, some for program, and miscellaneous.
There are many people from past and present classes and from the community who are willing to provide information and suggestions, from the number of donuts to buy to program planning.
When you need help, you will find that anyone who has worked on a previous reunion will be happy to share experience and ideas. Just ask!
If you are interested in contacting resource people, please send a message through the "Contact Us" link on the Reunion website: chsbluecats.com
ONCE AGAIN, HAVE FUN!
Since it is your class's 50th anniversary you will probably plan additional events for them only. The registration form and a program for your class should include these. If you have classmates who can host and plan these locally, fantastic!
Past classes have had cookouts, fish-frys, Bluecat football attendance, and other kinds of parties on the Friday night preceding. Many have planned a Sunday morning breakfast. By Sunday the class will feel especially special, and everyone will feel they have had a hand in providing a good time for all.
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