My family reunion is over 80 years old. At one time, we were with my great grandmother's family but at some point the families decided to separate and hold their own reunions at different times of the year. Ours is on a weekend that is following a big church celebration that brings home a lot of our family and this was great until about 10 years ago. Every year we have less & less people coming to the gathering until now it seems that only my immediate family is there and my 1st cousin's immediate family. At one time there was over 300 people in attendance, we had games, small carnival, hayrides and sooo much food that we donated the extra to the women's shelter. Now we don't even have 50 people in attendance.



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Mar 22, 2013
Be extraordinary
by: Lydia

They need to WANT to come back. So make a big deal out of the next reunion. Do something different; something spectacular that has purpose and meaning for YOUR family.

If there's not enough time to make a BIG deal for this year, start NOW in talking up next year. I would recommend that you get buy-in/support from a key member of each family branch. Perhaps each family could plan their individual family reunion as part of the bigger extended family reunion. Spend a good amount of time gathering names and addresses of EVERYONE so that EACH family member receive a personalized reunion invitation. Tell them that this reunion will be different - a rare opportunity for the whole family to be together - and that if they aren't there, they will be missing out. Get people talking and interacting as soon as possible. You could set up a family reunion website or many families have good success with a private Facebook group. Find and point out commonalities between individual family branches, which often means highlighting the original matriarch and patriarch in some way. You all share the same family history - focus on that.

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