Reunion mementos and souvenirs can be cherished items and can also help defray some reunion expenses. These are some examples. What have you done that was a great success or not that you are willing to share with other reunion organizers? E-mail the editor at Reunions magazine
Tote bags, a popular item Arliss Treybig, Burt(t)schell Reunion, explained she had to order tote bags about six weeks before the reunion to receive them in time. She had to place a minimum order of 50 and when she ordered, there were fewer than 50 people registered so she had no way of knowing how many to expect or whether anyone would be interested in tote bags. But not everyone who wanted one had an opportunity to buy a tote bag because they were all sold. Others gave theirs up to send to cousins in France.
Great decoration and identification items Reunion Mate specializes in decorative reunion products. Reunion theme items include a Welcome poster or banner (personalized with class or reunion year), colorful pennant and dazzler strips, as well as customizeable balloons, name badges, and table markers ... "Reserved for the Class of 79."
Reunion committees will want to explore customized 2" x 7" ribbons that can be imprinted with your specifics: school name, graduation year, military division, motto or slogan, family name, reunion date and location. Choose ribbons to match your reunion decorations or coordinate with school or military colors. Selecting the same color ribbons can be a unifying memento or different colored ribbons can help identify family branches.
Its easy to identify old classmates or military buddies with name badge ribbons that have a 2" school, yearbook or military picture attached. You can also order special ribbons to identify committee members, teachers, special guests and spouses, and to acknowledge award-winners like the light-hearted "Who Came The Farthest" ribbon.
Reunion Mate also authors a reunion planning newsletter and checklist, sharing tips and ideas for a successful event. The newsletter and a color brochure detailing various reunion items is free; call 800-208-6804; www.ribbons4reunions.com
1st and 7th Emergency Rescue Squadron Members of the World War II 1st and 7th Emergency Rescue Squadrons are thankful for military training enabling them to save lives rather than take them during their Mediterranean, India and Okinawa service. They were organized in 1943 by General Hap Arnold. Their annual Peoria, Illinois, reunions began in 1993. The group is small, 30 to 35 of about 100, who are still alive and physically able to travel each year to reminisce and renew friendships.
Each year, organizer, Chuck Dill of Morton, Illinois, develops memorabilia of their service together. He incorporates their Squadron Insignia on lapel pins, paper weights, t-shirts and coffee mugs. This year Dill created "Tales of Terror," a book with stories by 40 or more members of their experiences, incidents and rescue missions flown during 1944-45. They saved 300 to 350 airmen ... Americans, British, French, Germans ... from the sea where they were left due to Germany bombing raids damage.
Dill says, "Our ranks are thinning as are most WWII veterans. We lost over 40 members in the last eight years, not including those unable to attend due to age and physical condition. I have been fortunate to organize our group each year and have the support of many wartime friends. Without them, we have nothing."
Bookmark loving reminder
A bookmark to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Nelson Family Reunion will be a pleasant reminder for members year round.
Each year a theme is selected with the theme this year being quilts. In spite of inclement weather, about 75 members attended and made watching last year's reunion video a hit. shared by Ellen Nelson Catron, Charlotte C H VA