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FREEBIES FROM REUNIONS MAGAZINE

Free subscription to Reunions magazine
To qualify for a free subscription, we must learn about your reunion.
Note: some of your answers may be used in magazine features. Tell us about your reunion.

Free podcasts
New ‘how-to plan a reunion’ podcasts added all the time. Listen now or upload to your iPod or mp3 player! Check back for new subjects regularly. And it’s all free.

Free reunion timetable
Just starting a reunion or need a list to guide you? Print a timetable free. Follow the timetable throughout your planning. For a more detailed list: order Reunions Workbook.

Free reunion planning workshops
Listing of reunion planning workshops all over the country. Most are free but require advance registration. If you don’t find one close to you, contact your convention and visitors bureau and ask when they will be doing one and suggest they register it with Reunions magazine.

Free giveaways and contests
Check giveaways and contests. New ones added all the time.

Free picture gallery online
Is your reunion picture in the gallery? If not, email or mail to Reunions magazine, PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211.

Free upcoming reunion announcements
Email your upcoming reunion info (reunion name, date, place and contact information) to the editor. Join this growing list of reunions.

cover_v27n1Feb2017_ReunionsMagazineFree copy of Reunions magazine
Subscription info here, includes Reunions Workbook.
View or download this issue.
Download the forms for free!

Free publicity for your reunion
There may be media (newspaper, other magazines and TV) opportunities, if we know about your reunion. Send details, that amount to a story we can tell, about your reunion to editor@reunionsmag.com. Note: most TV contacts come on very short notice, often the day or weekend of the reunion, so include contact info before and during your reunion. See media alerts for known projects.

Free monthly email newsletter
News, contests and sweepstakes, reunion-planning reminders, new podcasts. Sign up here.

Free reunion evaluation form
When wrapping up your reunion, request this evaluation form.

Free goodies and goodie bags
Many convention and visitors bureaus (CVB) offer planning guides; see below. Souvenirs and goody bags often are available for reunion groups. Contact them early because some are not able to consider requests on short notice. Also ask your hotel if they provide any freebies for goody bags.
ALSO! listen to our podcast called How to fill a reunion goodie bag

Free rooms for reunion coordinators
Use our reverse auction site reunionsmag.hotelplanner.com to explore and book a participating hotel and you may qualify for free rooms. The rooms required per night vary among hotels. Participating hotels will specify the required rooms per night to qualify for free rooms. Read your hotel offer comments for details. If a hotel does not specify in their comments, then they do not participate in this offer.


FREEBIES FROM MANY SOURCES

REUNION PLANNING FORMS

Louisville (Kentucky) Convention and Visitors Bureau has generously shared the planning forms included in their Family Reunion Planning Guide. Adapt them to your specific needs. They include a survey and forms for budget,  keepsake souvenir order, press release, agenda program and evaluation. Click to download the forms (320k file)

Reunion Planners Notebook/Reunions magazine v26n2 is a compendium of reunion planning forms from the time of the reunion idea through reunion day activities and forms to evaluation the reunion. Free forms available for download. Or fillable digital forms available for sale at Etsy.com/shop/reunionsmagazine.

REUNION PLANNING KITS

These materials are offered to reunions who are planning your reunion in that area.

GwinettCVB_105x137Gwinnett (Georgia) Convention and Visitors Bureau’s ABC’s of Planning a Family Reunion – what to do 3,6, 9 months out is a planning calendar, helpful hints and more. Also available are free assistance finding group rooms, park or banquet facilities and other planning assistance, welcome bags for reunion planners, and quarterly family reunion workshops for planning – all free of charge.
Request Gwinnett ABC’s of Planning a Family Reunion

 

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The Chicago Southland Family Reunion Planner covers such topics as how to find the perfect site, how to prepare for your reunion, how the Chicago Southland CVB can assist with your reunion and other important information. Ask for Chicago Southland

 

 

Louisville_KY_2009_105x136

A “How to” Planning Guide For Family Reunions and Gatherings in Louisville.
This step-by-step planning guide is designed for planners who want to ensure that their family and friends, as well they, enjoy a fun-filled reunion in Louisville. Request Louisville “How to” Guide

 

 

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Gorgeous Prince George’s County, Maryland
Family Reunion Guide
include planning tips and resources for your reunion in their area.  Supplies are limited. Request Prince George’s

 

 

branson

Branson Reunion Planner provides wide range of information to make Branson/Lakes, Missouri, area a perfect reunion location.

 

 

 

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Branson Reunion Planner Sales Kit is available to any/all planners. (Military, Family & Class Reunions)

Request Branson’s FREE 2010 Reunion Planner

 

 

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Pennsylvania Dutch Family Reunion Planning Guide
This guide is intended to help you throughout your reunion planning process including committee formation, managing logistics, communicating, fundraising to ensure a wonderful time.
Request PA Dutch Planning guide

 

ACCOMMODATIONS

Free rooms for group coordinators from reunionsmag.hotelplanner.com
If you use the reverse auction site, reunionsmag.hotelplanner.com, you may qualify for free rooms for group coordinators from participating hotels only.  The required rooms per night may vary among hotels.  Read your hotel offer comments for details. Participating hotels will specify the required rooms per night to qualify. If a hotel does not specify in their comments, then they do not participate in this offer.

Carefree’s Military Discounts
Carefree RV Resorts offers a 50% discount to active and retired military servicemen and women and their families at 50 parks on Sunday through Thursdays. Guests must show military ID. Each park has wireless internet or wi-fi and rental cottages. Visit www.carefreervresorts.com.

NewportNews_SiteInspection

Newport News, Virginia, offers its Site Inspection Handbook, a very useful tool for the person who will be inspecting places under consideration for your reunion.
757-926-1400; 888-493-7386.

 

 

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Start planning your dream reunion on a ranch by requesting The Dude Ranchers’ Association’s Directory, Horses, Hats, History and Hospitality.

 

 

 

Homewood Suites by Hilton bundles freebies; a full kitchen, suites that sleep six or more, breakfasts, dinner on certain nights (including beer and wine), grocery service so your  favorite foods are waiting for you in your room.

Mississippi hotel reservations
Free hotel locator service for the State of Mississippi.
Toll free number is 888-388-1006.

logo_fl_3-Palms

  • Complimentary Room for Reunion Planner
  • Upgrade Room to 2 bedroom suite for Planner
  • Complimentary Hospitality/Banquet space
  • Welcome Gift Upon arrival for Planner
  • 3100 Parkway Boulevard, Kissimmee, FL 34747
  • 407-396-2229 Ext. 2205 | Palmshotelandvillas@gmail.com
  • www.thepalmshotelandvillas.

ACTIVITIES

“ASK GRANNY”©
Ancestral Chart and Family Group Record
designed to make recording Family History easy and fun. Charts (plus other instructional materials) downloadable to print out at 11 x 17 size or email to your local copy store for printing. Use in a family reunion workshop. Get priceless family memories, names and places on paper or as a fun activity for grandchildren and children to actually “Ask Granny” about family names and places.  For instructions to download, email ask granny or visit www.askgranny.us.

Create a walking map
Many reunions plan walks as part of their program but are unfamiliar with the territory. Create your map with distances. Free membership allows you to save and print routes.

Create the Good
If your reunion includes community service activities, you’ll want to explore AARP’s Create the Good program, small actions = big results.  Suggestions are to help older family and friends. Three projects offer tool kits.  Operation Emergency Prepare, to help others be prepared for emergencies. Rx Snapshot helps others manage meds and Operation Energy Save helps save money and conserve energy.

free_stuffFree things to do in…
Maximize your time and resources in many cities. Long lists of free things to do in 22 major cities. Visit mrfreestuff.com

 

 

National Park FREE days
Enjoy this opportunity to see National Parks. A complete list of events by park or state is available at www.nps.gov.
National parks are a wonderful resource for all Americans. 265 of almost 400 national parks never charge an entrance fee. Of those who do, there are entrance free days every year. In 2013 the entrance free days are:

April 22-26 (National Park Week)
August 25 (National Park Service Birthday)
September 28 (National Public Lands Day)
November 9-11 (Veterans Day Weekend)

More information @ http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm.

 

aquarium

Ten Family Reunion Activities and Family Reunion Ideas
http://www.atlanta.net/reunion/10ways.html

 

Louisville_bourbon_105x141

Visit Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Trail
Louisville, Kentucky’s Urban Bourbon Trail Passport program, open to anyone age 21 and older, features nine participating sampling stops. Individuals who collect nine unique stamps receive a t-shirt and premium prize making them a “Trail Master.” Those who visit at least four locations receive a t-shirt and are deemed a “Trail Blazer.”

Pace is up to participants. The Passport includes a map and guide to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail distilleries. Passports can be picked up at stops on the Urban Bourbon Trail, at the Louisville Visitors Center or visit www.JustAddBourbon.com.

flowers

Grownups like coloring too!
When the kids are coloring, adults can too!

FreePintable.net now offers free coloring sheets adults! Take a look!

They say coloring is a stress reliever so the reunion planner should enjoy some quiet moments of coloring with the kids!

 

ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS

kids_crafts

4kraftykidz.com
4kraftykidz.com offers loads of free, fun activities and content for children. Here, you’ll find free coloring pages, craft ideas, birthday party plans, educational resources, and more.

 

 

 

activities_village

Activity Village has thousands of coloring pages, crafts, puzzles, printables and lots more for kids at your reunion.

http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/

 

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Coloring and dot to dot sheets
FreePrintable.net has many coloring and dot to dot pages
you can print off for a craft table activity at your reunion. There are lots of cars, trucks and outer space images for boys and fantasy, fairies and flowers for girls.

More free coloring pages:
http://www.jonra.com/village/cbook.htm
http://www.coloring.ws/coloring.html
http://www.dltk-kids.com/coloring.htm
http://www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/cut-and-color/

Countries and cultures coloring pages
Coloring pages with ethnic and geographic (maps) themes. Most modern pages but some include folklore and ancient mythology. http://www.coloring.ws/countries.htm

Dover Books
More coloring pages and puzzles from Dover Books. Sign up to receive FREE Dover Coloring pages every week.

cotton_candy

Free stuff at Disney World!
Yes, there is lots of free stuff at Disney World, if you know what/where you’re looking. See this extensive list, particularly a free family reunion button to publicly proclaim your celebratory status. Maps, stickers, treats, transportation: plan carefully and you’ll find lots of free stuff.

 

 

 

 

Free summer bowling for kids
Kids Bowl Free program is sponsored by hundreds of bowling centers around the country. Register kids age 15 and under at a participating bowling center (some centers 18 and under) to receive an email link to print weekly coupons good for two free games a day, at that center only, for the whole summer. Daytime only; shoe rentals not included.

Now, the Kids Bowl Free Program is a proud supporter of the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) encouraging everyone to adopt more active lifestyles. Bowling participation will be reported regularly to the White House.

Fun for kids
Plan activities for kids at your reunion and you’ll avoid dreaded boredom. Check all the free coloring sheets, games and activities for kids at crayola.com.

HSNP_Jr_Ranger_activity

Junior Rangers
National Junior Ranger programs at 300 national parks engage children and families in the stories of their national parks. Children complete activity books during park visits then, share their answers with a park ranger to receive an official Junior Ranger badge or patch and Junior Ranger certificate. List of participating parks at http://www.nps.gov/learn/juniorranger.htm.

 

WebRangers
The National Park Service’s on-line Junior Ranger program, WebRangers, offers   more than 50 games to learn about your National Parks.

Just Cuz!
The St. Anthony (Idaho) Family History Center is introducing youth to descendancy research using a PowerPoint presentation called “Just Cuz!” Its purpose is to identify and become acquainted with as many living relatives as you can find. “Just Cuz!” has several links with step-by-step instructions about how to enter data, add notes and even add pictures and other multi-media such as audio and video.

Kids tour Pearl Harbor free
Polynesian Adventure Tours – Gray Line Hawaii offers “Kids Go Free” to six popular Pearl Harbor tours. It’s a wonderful learning experience for all generations.”

Kids ages 11 and under good for one child per paid accompanying adult to:
·
Pearl Harbor, Arizona Memorial & Punchbowl National Cemetery of the Pacific
·Battleship Missouri Memorial, USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor
·Pacific Aviation Museum, USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor
·Pearl Harbor Heroes Adventure Tour
·Pearl Harbor, Circle Island Tour
·Grand Circle Island, Kualoa Ranch and Dole Pineapple Plantation Tour

A pilgrimage to Pearl Harbor is a must for Americans of all ages. These experiences bridge generations, create new memories and carry forth the legacies of these legendary ships.
Visit www.polyad.com.

rad_road_trips

Rad Road Trips.com
Keep kids occupied during those long, sometimes boring, road trips! Rad Road Trips.com has lots of activities including Rad Road Trips passports that include lot of games and brain teasers kids will get excited about!!

 

Watermelon freebies!
The National Watermelon Promotion Board offers freebies appropriate to kids, stickers, coloring sheets and books and recipes for mom! http://www.watermelon.org/freebies.as

wishes_and_rainbows

Wishes and Rainbows

Some reunions have financial/money management workshops for adults. Why not a money workshop for kids? Wishes and Rainbows, is an available comic book children’s story by Debra Carpenter-Beck about the introduction of colored flowers into a town that has never seen color. The book is designed to stimulate kids’ imagination as they explore the economic problem of scarce resources, various methods of allocation, and how societies react to alleviate such problems. Available in quantities of 25. View .pdf file online.

 

 

Word Search Maker
Make your own custom word search worksheets at A to Z Teacher Stuff. A variety of options are available including font size, font style, lowercase or uppercase letters, grid shape, word placement, and more.

APPS

QRcode_REU_100x100Quick access to your web site
Encourage your reunion members to access your reunion website from their mobile devices. Develop and download your own QR (quick response) code free for your reunion web site at http://qrcode.kaywa.com/.

Then to read the QR code, you’ll need a QR code reader from
http://www.mobile-barcodes.com/qr-code-software/

To see how it works, hold your phone or mobile device over our QR code and you’ll go directly to reunionsmag.com!

Virginia travel apps
Sending a local map to attendees is still good practice, but now some convention bureaus offer free apps that show off their destination. In Virginia, for example, there are apps for the entire state, as well as Fairfax County, Lynchburg and Williamsburg. Ask if your destination has an app to download.

trip_sosTripsos
Tripsos is a free app that culls the most accurate online info and maps into handy guides for more than 8000 locations. It can be downloaded to Androids, iPhones and iPads to make your planning and reunions easier to plan and enjoy.

ATTRACTIONS

Free museum weekends
The first full weekend (Sat and Sun) of the month, Bank of America offers Museums on Us. Requires photo ID and any valid Bank of America/Merrill Lynch credit or debit card. Click here for the list of participating museums in your area, and to learn more about the Museums on Us® program.

 

newportLots of savings in Newport News!
Newport News Tourism Development Office (NNTDO) released its latest Coupon Book for groups visiting the city. It’s 45 pages of percentage and money-off coupons, free admissions and buy-one-get-one-free offers for attractions, hotels, restaurants and retailers in Newport News. More ways to save planning time and money in Newport News, contact Convention Services Program, 888-493-7386, bkleiss@nngov.com.

 

 

President’s Passport
Passport to explore Charlottesville (Virginia) Area Historical Attractions.
The President’s Passport program brings together three historic sites — Monticello, Montpelier and Ash Lawn-Highland. It includes insider travel tips and over 50 special offers for area businesses and sites. It is cosponsored by the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau (CACVB). Sign up at www.monticello.org/passport.

Want to know how it works?
We’re great fans of factory tours, particularly the ones that are free and offer free samples: a win/win! Check out factorytoursusa.com and add some free touring to your reunion program.

Plan your Disney reunion!
A free DVD will help you plan your Disney reunion. Includes tour of Theme Parks, Water Parks and Resort hotels at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida and tour of the Disneyland® Resort in California. Includes pocket-sized planning guides, planning tips, and information on special events. Offer only available to US and Canadian households. Click here.

Quad Cities’ freebies
Located on the Mississippi River the Quad Cities are Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa; Rock Island and Moline/East Moline, Illinois; and surrounding communities, just a 2½-hour drive west from Chicago, Illinois. Enjoy a free tour of Quad Cities’ icon the late Isabel Bloom’s sculpture workshop. What boy (minimum age 13) wouldn’t want to see combine assembly at John Deere? Or for you group of 20 or more, see how Boetje’s Mustard is made (boetjesmustard.com). Let the Army Corps of Engineers explain the Lock & Dam system on Rock Island Arsenal.  Free audio tours on CD or for iPods available for Rock Island’s historic Broadway District. Rock Island also offers an Augustana College Historical Highlights Walking Tour and City of Rock Island Architectural & Neighborhood Tours.

CONFERENCE CALLING

Patricia Gayle, Portsmouth, Virginia, shared this golden resource with us as a way to have planning committee meetings on conference calls. She says she’s been using the service since last summer and it works well. BV (Basement Ventures) FreeConferencing, www.thebasementventures.com, is on-demand, free conference calling available anytime—no advance notice or conference call details are required. You can use it from anywhere at anytime, featuring a 250-person capacity and up to six hours for each call.  Only domestic long-distance rates apply, determined by each conference caller’s long-distance carrier. Just provide each caller with the date and time of your call as well as the dial-in number and bridge code.

GIVEAWAYS AND CONTESTS

New giveaways and contests added all the time.

CRAFTS

Dawn’s Cross Stitch
Dawn’s Cross Stitch
offers a nice selection of free counted cross-stitch patterns. Categories include penguins, birds, marine wildlife, oriental flowers, cats, roses, rabbits and more. Cross stitch would`be a great skill for grandmas to share with grandchildren at a reunion!

crafty_kids4kraftykidz.com
4kraftykidz.com offers loads of free, fun activities and content for children. Here, you’ll find free coloring pages, craft ideas, birthday party plans, educational resources, and more.

 

 

 

 

 

DECORATING YOUR REUNION

Many large hotels have themed decorations stashed away in closets or stock-rooms. They might have décor pieces/props/server uniforms. Common themes are beach party, luau, baseball, Wild West, patriotic (red, white, and blue), etc. While the hotel would prefer to charge for using props or decorations, you should inquire about what they have available, and negotiate using their props or decorations for free or at a reduced rate. Say, “I’ll sign a contract today if you agree to dress up my cookout on your patio with your beach party props!” A great suggestion from Dean Miller, National Sales Manager at Visit Fairfax.

Free flowers
Make table decor for practically NOTHING! Borrow 20 or buy ivy bowls (looks like a goldfish bowl with a ruffly edge). Local greenhouses pluck off the blooms to keep plants growing nicely. They just throw them out for mulch! You can pick up literally hundreds of flowers for NOTHING! Gerainiums, fuscias, roses, you name it!

Candles and mirrors
Use mirrored tile and candles. The mirror reflects the light twice. Call florists and ask if you can have leftover petals and greenery. They can save these up to a week and you can sprinkle the petals around the candles for a nice flower touch. If you tell the florist it’s for a reunion and you will give them advertising in your program, they may help for free.

Rustic jars and flowers
Ask committee to clean and keep clear glass bottles or jars; the size of a mayonnaise, applesauce, or spaghetti sauce jar down to a relish or jelly jar to a baby food or pimiento jar. Group jars of different sizes on the table, and place water and cut flowers (wildflowers look especially good in these “rustic” containers) and/or votive candles inside.

DOOR PRIZES

Reunions magazine occasionally has giveaways and contests with prizes that are intended to be used to door prizes. Other sources include the convention and visitors bureau you should be working with anyway, so ask! Contact local businesses and reunion members employers, promise advertising in your printed materials and recognition at the reunion.

ENTERTAINMENT

Chicago free this summer!!
Chicago free this summer!!
Neighborhood Scavenger Hunts, tours, festivals, free concerts, with family programs and open rehearsals of the Grant Park Music Festival. Contact the Chicago Visitor Centers at www.explorechicago.org.

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Pasadena’s free value card
Save hundreds of dollars with Pasadena (California) CVBs free Simply More Value Card. Discount offers from 45 of Pasadena’s most popular restaurants, national retailers, one-of-a-kind boutiques, museums, attractions, bed and breakfasts, tours, spas and more and a detailed, user-friendly city map. Request the card at 800-307-7977 or on VisitPasadena.com. Tell them Reunions magazine sent you!

 

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Something special for Military Reunions
Something special for Military Reunions that book #1 Hits of the 60’s Show in Branson Missouri.  Ahead of the show date, you send pictures of reunion attendees while they were in the Armed Forces. The show puts the pictures on a video to music. God Bless America is one song they use, but they will customize the music to the reunion. They do not charge for the production of the video, it is their way of giving back to the men and women who served for our country. Contact Nita Tate at 866-339-1960; www.1hitsofthe60s.com

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Newport News, Virginia, Tourism Development Office (NNTDO) offers a coupon book of percentage and money-off discounts! Many coupons offer free admissions, free food and even free merchandise at attractions, hotels, restaurants and retailers: all things reunions are looking for. Contact Cheryl Morales at 888-493-7386; cmorales@nngov.com.

EVALUATION FORMS

When wrapping up your reunion, check these evaluation forms.  Also check Reunion Planners Notebook for additional evaluation forms and instructions.

FAMILY TREES

ftt

More than 60 family tree templates to choose from, ranging from two-generation to seven-generation designs as well as a stepfamily tree and a cute teddy bear tree for schoolchildren!

FREE ROOMS

Use our reverse auction site reunionsmag.hotelplanner.com to explore and book a participating hotel and you may qualify for free rooms. The rooms required per night vary among hotels. Participating hotels specify the required rooms per night to qualify for free rooms. Read your hotel offer comments for details. If a hotel does not specify in their comments, then they do not participate in this offer. Also ask about a rebate after you’ve completed your reunion.

GENEALOGY

“ASK GRANNY”©
Ancestral Chart and Family Group Record
designed to make recording Family History easy and fun. Charts (plus other instructional materials) downloadable to print out at 11 x 17 size or email to your local copy store for printing. Use in a family reunion workshop. Get priceless family memories, names and places on paper or as a fun activity for grandchildren and children to actually “Ask Granny” about family names and places.  For instructions to download, email ask granny or visit www.askgranny.us.

Climb your family tree
FreePrintable.com has many family tree templates for your consideration. Some of these might be designs you’d not consider but since a family tree is almost a requirement to display at family reunions, you should take a look. And look particularly at the family trees for kids. Click here.

Family tree hosting
TribalPages.com is a free, family tree hosting website that offers many features including, GEDCOM import; photos; charting display and print-out; family tree mapping and reports. Create and send custom newsletters and poster-size charts, which are excellent visuals to take to a family reunion. (Source: Weekly Buzz)

Family tree templates and ancestor charts
Kevin Savetz’s family tree templates include nine new designs of four-, and five-generation illustrated family trees as well as a stepfamily tree and a cute teddy bear tree for schoolchildren. More than 60 family tree templates to choose from, ranging from two-generation to seven-generation designs as well as a stepfamily tree and a cute teddy bear tree for schoolchildren!

Genealogy teleseminars
Maureen Taylor offers teleseminars about photo identification and preserving precious family photos at www.askmaureentaylor.com.

Genealogy webinars
Many genealogists offer webinars about many topics including some specifically for reunions.
Free when they air; pre registration required.

Generous Genealogists is a cadre of people who love searching and helping others who need help in their searches. They are all volunteers and their services are free though donations to meet their web and other expenses is welcome.

Gramps_LogoTypeGRAMPS, is free Genealogical Research Software, gives you the ability to record the details of an individual’s life as well as complex relationships between various people, places and events. Your research is kept organized and searchable.

 

Just Cuz!
The St. Anthony (Idaho) Family History Center is introducing youth to descendancy research using a PowerPoint presentation called “Just Cuz!” Its purpose is to identify and become acquainted with as many living relatives as you can find. “Just Cuz!” has several links with step-by-step instructions about how to enter data, add notes and even add pictures and other multi-media such as audio and video.

Many Roads
Learn how to conduct genealogy research. 50+ free genealogy courses to help develop skills, knowledge and collect genealogy information.

RootsMagic Essentials’ is free family tree builder
RootsMagic Essentials is genealogy software for getting started searching for family history. Includes features such as the ability to add an unlimited number of people and events, pictures and media management, SourceWizard to write your source citations, powerful merging and clean-up tools, dozens of reports and charts, support for international character sets, New FamilySearch integration, and the ability to share data with other people and software programs.

GOODIE BAGS

Many convention and visitors bureaus (CVB) offer planning guides, coupon books and souvenirs for reunion groups. Contact them early because some are not able to consider requests on short notice. Also ask your hotel if they provide any freebies for goody bags. ALSO! listen to our podcast called How to fill a reunion goodie bag.

HEALTH

Health information resources
If you plan to include a health workshop in your reunion program, look to Uncle Sam for handouts about conditions that could potentially be hereditary in your family. Subjects include allergies, asthma, cholesterol, depression, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. These and more available at pueblo.gsa.gov.

Family Reunion Toolkit about how to end stroke
The American Stroke Association’s Family Reunion Toolkit offers health tips about how to combat stroke, the No. 3 killer and a leading cause of severe, long-term disability. The kit includes reunion planning tips and activities to help families reduce the risk of stroke, reproducible posters and handouts, a family health history tree, suggested stroke awareness activities and a stroke awareness message from clergy. Call 888-478-7653, or visit website.

Family Reunion Health Guide
The National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP). Family Reunion Initiative can increase awareness about kidney disease and its connection to high blood pressure and diabetes.  A Family Reunion Health Guide provides three sample approaches to present information about kidney health at family reunions. The Guide is free to download at nkdep.nih.gov/familyreunion/guide.htm.

Create a family health history
Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, says she likes to think of family health history as an heirloom to help current and future generations live longer, healthier lives.

Creating a Family Health History, from the NIHSeniorHealth, a health and wellness website is designed especially for older adults. My Family Health Portrait, is an online tool that helps collect information about your own family health history including disease risk, the role of genetics and ways to promote the health of family members. Use reunion time to assemble this information that is important for you, your children and grandchildren.

Generations of Wellness Virtual Family Reunion
“The Generations of Wellness Virtual Family Reunion,” is an interactive online tool designed to put a healthy spin on family gatherings from UnitedHealthcare. Several activities include a health family tree and body mass index and hip hop dancing calculators.

IMPRINTS/PERSONALIZED MEMENTOES AND SOUVENIRS

Badgeaminit.com
Badge-A-Minit button-making machines come with FREE Shipping, FREE Lifetime Guarantee & FREE Tech Support.  www.badgeaminit.com or call 800-223-4103.

Dynamite Imprints
Personalized gifts DVDs, classmates purchase directly. Free Samples upon requestwww.greatgifts4reunions.myevent.com.

Free art services
Personalize imprinted t-shirts, apparel, and keepsakes. Reunion Gear, 1-800-451-1611; www.reuniongear.com.

Reunion t-shirts
Free graphic art help to customize a special design with all your reunion needs. Free banner or cookbook offerwww.cacprintwear.com. Toll free: 866-661-4348.

INVITATIONS

POLL YOUR MEMBERS
Who’s available?

Poll your members to learn what date to choose for your reunion. WhichDateWorks.com, a simple, hassle-free planning solution and it’s free!
Plans big and small are now easier than ever with WhichDateWorks.com!

MAGAZINE SAMPLE

Sign up for a sample copy of Reunions magazine.

MEDIA ALERT

There may be media (newspaper, other magazines and TV) opportunities, if we know about your reunion. Send details, that amount to a story we can tell, about your reunion. Send to editor@reunionsmag.com. Most TV contacts come on very short notice, often the day or weekend of the reunion, so include contact info before and during your reunion. See media alerts for known projects.

MILITARY

BlueStarMuseums

800 museums offer free admission to military

A new National Endowment for the Arts program, Blue Star Museums, is giving active military personnel and their families free admission through Labor Day. Blue Star Museums with the endowment and Blue Star Families, has more than 800 museums in all 50 states including at least 30 children’s museums. The free admission, also available to active duty reservists and active duty National Guard. A snazzy interactive map has the list of participating museums at http://www.nea.gov/national/bluestarmuseums/index.php.

B&Bs for Vets!
Inns and B&Bs across the North America are offering complimentary stays for military and veterans on November 11, 2013, in observance of Veteran’s Day and in gratitude for their service. For a complete list of participating inns and B&Bs, visit www.bnbsforvets.org (in the US) and www.bbcanada.com/bbforvets (in Canada). Proof of military service required.

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Brown Paper Tickets Salutes
US veterans, active military and immediate family members are eligible for free event tickets every day of the year through Brown Paper Tickets Salutes. Event organizers donate and ticket buyers purchase extra tickets for those who have verified US military service as a way of saying thank you for serving our country. Brown Paper Tickets and Veteran Tickets Foundation, also known as Vet Tix, a nonprofit 501c(3) organization matches donated tickets after Vet Tix verifies military service records, giving donors the confidence of knowing their gift will be enjoyed only by those who served. Possibilities include live events, music festivals, comic book conventions, sporting events, comedy shows, farm-to-table dinners, cooking classes, plays, concerts, burlesque, roller derby and much more. View upcoming events and register for this lifetime benefit.

Something special for Military Reunions
Something special for Military Reunions that book #1 Hits of the 60’s Show in Branson Missouri. Ahead of the show date, you send pictures of reunion attendees while they were in the Armed Forces. The show puts the pictures on a video to music. God Bless America is one song they use, but they will customize the music to the reunion. They do not charge for the production of the video, it is their way of giving back to the men and women who served for our country. Contact Nita Tate at 866-339-1960; www.1hitsofthe60s.com

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Honoring Military Heroes
Louisville, Kentucky, honors its military heroes at several memorials; the Purple Heart Trail, The Patriots Peace Memorial, Zachary Taylor National Cemetery and The General George Patton Museum at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Reflect on the heroism of those who served the country. “Honoring Military Heroes” itinerary is posted on the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau’s website.

Join The Alliance of Military Reunions!
The Alliance of Military Reunions is a cooperative networking and support organization of, by and for military and naval reunion groups. Learn more at http:// www.allmilitaryreunions.org. If you’re not ready to join, go to http://allmilitaryreunions.wufoo.com/forms/z7x4m1/ to put yourself on the non-member contact list for occasional emails to keep you updated as the Alliance develops.

Kids tour Pearl Harbor free

Polynesian Adventure Tours – Gray Line Hawaii offers “Kids Go Free” to six popular Pearl Harbor tours into 2011. It’s a wonderful learning experience for all generations.”

Kids ages 11 and under good for one child per paid accompanying adult to:
• Pearl Harbor, Arizona Memorial & Punchbowl National Cemetery of the Pacific (value of $23.00)
• Battleship Missouri Memorial, USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor (value of $42.00)
• Pacific Aviation Museum, USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor (value of $38.00)
• Pearl Harbor Heroes Adventure Tour (value of $57.00)
• Pearl Harbor, Circle Island Tour (value of $44.00)
• Grand Circle Island, Kualoa Ranch and Dole Pineapple Plantation Tour (value of $45.00)

A pilgrimage to Pearl Harbor is a must for Americans of all ages. These experiences bridge generations, create new memories and carry forth the legacies of these legendary ships.
Visit www.polyad.com.

VeteransRetreat

Retreat helps wounded veterans

“Thirty percent of all returning soldiers are coming home with traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress disorder,” said Tim Suereth, of South Florida, founder of Veterans Retreat. “Americans owe these injured Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Seamen a debt we can never repay. Veterans Retreat hopes to motivate them to maintain a positive attitude on life and future possibilities.”

Veterans Retreat sponsors deep-sea fishing trips, sailing instruction, scuba diving certification, introductory flight instruction courses and more. These recreational and sporting-related healing retreats are provided at no cost to participants and are funded entirely by contributions from individual and corporate sponsors.
Contact: Veterans Retreat, 1602 Alton Road, #476 Miami Beach, FL 33139.
www.veteransretreat.com/

New Jersey Veterans Helping Veterans Nationwide (NJVHVN) certificate of thanks

NJVHVN recognizes and honors US Military Veterans, Reserves and Active Duty for their service to our country. They provide a personalized certificate of thanks and will send 1 to 500 or more at a time. Reunions or individuals submit names, rank when soldier got out (NOT PAY GRADE), branch of service and an address to mail to. Add contact email for questions about spelling or rank. Certificates usually sent by 2-day mail. They also make personal certificates. So you can request a certificate for just one person; a grandchild can order one for h/her grandpa! Contact Jackie Mills millsnjveteran@gmail.com.

MISCELLANEOUS

Certificates for appreciation and lots more
FreePrintable.com offers countless preprinted forms for scholarships
to recognize achievements, specifically for kids, thank you and appreciation and if you want to go all the way and award certificates for participation, they’re there too.

Tax free
Greater Wilmington, Delaware, is a tax-free destination. Call 800-489-6664; VisitWilmingtonDE.com.

Don’t know Houston?
Ask Veronica, online concierge, for examples of free things to do around town.
To ask Veronica a question, simply log on to VisitHoustonTexas.com/AskVeronica, or click on the Ask Veronica icon on the homepage. You can ask Veronica a question or search categories to read previously answered items. Most questions are answered within 24 hours.

Global Greeter Network
Personal walking tours were started by Big Apple Greeter, the model for cities around the world, but the only North American cities are New York, Chicago, Houston and Toronto. Greeters are residents who take you on a private, unscripted stroll through a neighborhood or off the beaten path. Greeters are all volunteers who love their city and want to share it with groups of no more than six. No fees, no tipping. Reserve a few weeks in advance to be assigned a local escort with expertise in what you want to see. Chicago, for example, offers the choice of 40 special-interest areas (skyscraper architecture, Irish American heritage, synagogues) and more than 25 neighborhoods (Little Italy, Polish Chicago, North Michigan Avenue, the Loop). If your tour takes you beyond walking distance, you’ll use free passes on public transportation.

Here’s a site that may help you construct a banner or logo for your reunion. Thanks to Gordon Govier who shared this idea.

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The program finds letters in photos that people have uploaded to Flickr. Click on http://metaatem.net/words/ , enter your word. You’ll receive a code you insert into a website to make a title. To make a graphic file you need graphic editing software, such as Adobe Elements, to capture the image and then edit it.

NEWSLETTER: REUNION PLANNING

Free monthly email newsletter includes news, contests and sweepstakes, reunion-planning reminders, new podcasts.  Click here to subscribe.

PATRIOTIC/FOURTH OF JULY

6 Patriotic Freebies from hellolittlescout.com.

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PICTURES

Panoramic group pictures
No charge for set up, no minimum purchase required in the San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi and Houston, Texas, areas. Visit our website at www.herdonpanoramics.com

Panorama Photos
40 x 60 inches. yes – everyone’s face is visible. Free premiums and most of the time no charge for set up. Atlanta Panoramic, 800-873-2577; www.AtlantaPanorama.com

Picture Gallery
Is your reunion picture in the gallery? If not, email or mail to Reunions magazine, PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211.

PLANNING

Take the guess work out
Here’s a dandy way to judge how much alcohol you’ll need to buy for your party. The evite drink calculator asks how long the party will be, how many people will be drinking, and estimate how much and what you’re serving and viola! the numbers are right there. On the same site, you’ll find a party budget calculator too! Accuracy can save you money.

PODCASTS

How-to plan a reunion podcasts answer many of your questions and dilemmas. Listen now or upload to your iPod or mp3 player! it’s all free.

RECIPES

If you’re having a potluck for your reunion, ask cooks to bring recipes to share. Get free recipe cards.

SUBSCRIPTION

To qualify for a free subscription to Reunions magazine, we must learn about your reunion. Note: some of your answers may be used in magazine features. Tell us about your reunion.

TIMETABLE

Just starting a reunion or need a list to guide you? Or you’ve planned lots of reunions but could really use a timetable? Print this timetable for free. Follow the timetable throughout your planning. For a more detailed list: order Reunions Workbook.

TOURING

Explore Chicago
The Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture showcases hundreds of treks, tours, itineraries, and other urban adventures downtown and throughout the neighborhoods, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Experience the city in a new way, brimming with adventures. Audio tours also available. Treks and tours throughout the city posted daily on the Urban Excursions blogs. http://www.ExploreChicago.org/summer.

UPCOMING REUNIONS

Email your upcoming reunion info (reunion name, date, place and contact information) to the editor. Join this growing list of reunions.

WEATHER

Weather: the fickle reunion guest

Are you planning a picnic? cookout? pool party? Want to know what the weather will be? For any reunion that includes outdoor activities, weather is the fickle guest: you want it shine down on your event but you know there’s always a chance you’ll not be so lucky. Here are some ways to add to your weather intelligence.

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Wunderground
When you’re planning your dates and activities, you can see what past history does to predict future weather on wunderground.com. Scroll down to “view calendar” and click on years back. You’ll see what the weather was like on your reunion dates for many years back. Is there a pattern in what you see? Too much rain? Or none at all? Then make your decision and, as always with weather, take your chances!

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AccuWeather
Closer to your reunion, AccuWeather (accuweather.com) can now stretch its long forecast out to 25 days. This forecast predicts weather patterns and can predict warm, cold, wet and dry spells. Click on forecast, then on month. Of course, you can’t get details that far out but it can help you plan.

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RainedOut
Finally, on the day/weekend of your reunion, you might want weather alerts if you’re facing the possibility of changing plans or rain out. Yes, RainedOut! It is a free service that enables you to send instant alerts to your entire reunion. It is used to cancel events, give directions, recruit volunteers, send reminders, and much more. Messages can come from a net-connected PC or a standard cell phone. RainedOut instantly and simultaneously broadcasts alerts to mobile phones (via SMS text message), email accounts, web pages, RainedOut Page, facebook and Twitter. Visit RainedOut.com.

WEBSITES

Class reunion web pages
ClassQuest provides web pages free that include space for profiles, photographs, stories and message boards. Classquest.com

Free trial
Create your own reunion website.
7 day free trial. Great features and planning tools. Online registration, rsvp, ticket payment, message boards, guest book, quiz, poll, stories, photo albums, no ads, travel information. Call 877-769-3836; www.myevent.com. Promo code reunionsmagazine20 for 20% off..

QRcode_REU_100x100Quick access to your web site
Encourage your reunion members to access your reunion website from their mobile devices. Develop and download your own QR (quick response) code free for your reunion web site at http://qrcode.kaywa.com/.

Then to read the QR code, you’ll need a QR code reader from
http://www.mobile-barcodes.com/qr-code-software/

To see how it works, hold your phone or mobile device over our QR code and you’ll go directly to reunionsmag.com!

WORKSHOPS: REUNION PLANNING

List of reunion planning workshops all over the country. Most are free but require advance registration. If you don’t find one close to you, contact your convention and visitors bureau and ask when they will be doing one and suggest they register it with Reunions magazine.

FREE Virtual Family Reunion Planning Workshop
11:00 AM CST, bimonthly. You can join by telephone from anywhere. To register, send an e-mail to webuildlegacy@gmail.com, or call Niko Cook at 847-873-2271. You will receive a FREE family reunion planning toolkit, hear from industry experts, and participate in a “live” question and answer session with a panel of reunion professionals. Limited virtual seats are available.


REQUEST FREE PLANNING GUIDES
FROM CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

Click on any link provided, to request a planning guide.  Be sure to Include your full name, address, contact info and the guides you’d like. This offer is available for North American addresses only.

ALABAMA

MobileBay_105x114MOBILE BAY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU
Rely on us to make planning your reunion easy and affordable with these services: Direct contact with hotels to obtain rates and banquet pricing, a single proposal packet detailing military sites, attractions, dining and transportation, follow-up to answer all your special needs, sightseeing service to coordinate your leisure activities.
Request Mobile Bay Planning Guide

COLORADO

CO_traveldire_105xMake your search for the perfect family reunion destination easier!
FREE FAMILY REUNION DESTINATION LOCATION SERVICE
Request Colorado Vacation Directory

 

FLORIDA

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Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau offers Share the Heritage guide highlighting the area’s African-American historical sites and attractions. To receive a free copy downloaded at http://www.DaytonaBeach.com or request here.

 

 

 

 

GFL_Urban_Guide100x231Greater Fort Lauderdale’s Urban Guide is tailored to the needs of the culturally diverse traveler including insightful vacation ideas, tips and planning resources in the friendly beach resort setting. Accommodations, events, attractions, festivals, music and dance concerts are all included. Tips and inspiring ideas for family events, games and projects to bring relatives even closer together. Request here.

 

 

GEORGIA

CobbCVB_105x212Experience the “Very Best of Atlanta!” Shopping, history, attractions. Cobb County has it all. Southern hospitality with all the trimmings.
Request Cobb County Visitors Guide

 

 

 

ILLINOIS

download-2Quad Cities 2018 Activity Guide
Available here.

 

 

 

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The 2015 Chicago Southland Visitors Guide is 88 colorful pages featuring information on accommodations, dining, things to see and do, arts & culture, shopping, transportation and other visitor amenities in Chicago’s 62 south and southwest suburbs, the 2015 Visitors Guide contains many family-friendly events and features – See more here.

 

 

 

 

 

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The 2015 Chicago Southland Discount Coupon Book has 53 coupons offering great specials on dining, attractions, things to see and do, and services in the Chicago Southland, the 2015 Coupon Book is a wonderful compliment to the Visitors Guide to help keep your getaway budget-friendly. The Coupon Book is distributed to visitors from out of town at local area hotels and visitor information centers, as well as sent to visitor inquiries. – See more here.

 

 

 

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The 2011-2012 DuPage County Visitors Guide just a few miles west of Chicago, DuPage County couples the excitement of the metro area with suburban convenience, charm, safety and value; accommodations, attractions, shopping, dining, recreation, events and more.
Request DuPage County Visitors Guide

 

 

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Reconnect naturally in Lake County, Illinois, Chicago’s northern suburbs. Half way between O’Hare and Milwaukee airports, perfect central location. Ask for Lake County, Illinois

 

 

 

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Woodfield Chicago Northwest 2013 Visitor Guide
Showcases eight Chicago Northwest region communities and a comprehensive directory of accommodations, attractions and dining options for visitors. Available here.

 

IOWA

download-2Quad Cities 2018 Activity Guide
Available here.

 

 

 

KENTUCKY

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Kentucky & Barkley Lakes
Kentucky’s Western Waterland–Vast Shores & Open Doors!

Free vacation guide. 1-800-448-1069.
www.kentuckylakebarkley.travel

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Ask for Louisville Multicultural Visitor Guide

Multicultural Visitor Guide for Louisville
The 84-page, full-color Guide still includes a list of annual multicultural events, noted minority Louisvillians, information about Louisville’s diverse communities (African-American,  Hispanic/Latino, Asian and Southeast Asian, Jewish, European, Middle Eastern, African and international students), neighborhoods and historic and international places of worship. A minority Vendor Directory is also included.
Request Louisville Multicultural Visitors Guide

LOUISANA

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Forever New Orleans The music is playing and our famous chefs are doing their magic. Request your free visitor guide filled with detailed information on hotels, restaurants, attractions, shopping and over $150 of valuable discount coupons. Request Forever New Orleans

 

 

MARYLAND

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Comprehensive guides to Maryland’s African-American Heritage and Underground Railroad: Maryland’s Network to Freedom that depict the struggle of the enslaved attempting to escape to freedom through Maryland’s Underground Railroad. Request guides

 

 

MICHIGAN

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2016 Traverse City Visitor Guide
Great for reunion planners, especially the sections about restaurants, lodging choices, transportation and climate. This issue also includes a special article about intergenerational travel to TC written by former Boston Globe writer Julie Hatfield.  View the guide online or request a copy.

MINNESOTA

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The Austin (Minnesota) Convention and Visitors Bureau is a one-stop shop for all reunions. The Austin Official Visitors Guide will help you with itinerary planning, entertainment options, dining and lodging.
Request Austin Minnesota Visitors Guide

 

 

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How can you take the worry out of planning your reunion? Since 1940, Cragun’s Resort on Gull Lake in Minnesota has taken pride in creating memorable family events that will exceed your expectations. And although we’ve become the largest year-around family resort, we’re still the friendliest. Named “One of MN’s ideal locations to hold a family reunion” by AAA.
Request Cragun’s FREE Family Reunion Planning Kit

 

MISSOURI

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Explore Branson

Explore Branson Reunion Planner provides wide range of information to make Branson/Lakes, Missouri, area a perfect reunion location.

Request a Reunion Planner Sales Kit, which includes a current Branson Vacation Guide, Show & Attraction Guide, and a Reunion Guide

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Independence, Missouri, An American Original, offers its Visitors Guide and invitation to visit the Queen City of Trails. Learn about highlights such as the Truman Library and Home, beginning of the Sante Fe, Oregon and California Trails and explore the new Midwest Genealogy Center.

Request Independence, Missouri, 2010 Visitors Guide

NEW MEXICO

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Get started planning a Santa Fe visit with the Official Santa Fe Visitors Guide. Find out about the city’s fascinating history, deep cultural roots, Old World charm, beautiful natural setting, and then get together with your friends, family, or classmates in the City Different.
Request the Official Santa Fe Visitors Guide

 

NEW YORK

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Lake George Area Travel Guide Ready For You!
Without a doubt, this newly released guide for 2008 is essential for making your vacation plans to the Lake George Area of New York’s Adirondacks!
It’s all about the outdoors, making memories and experiencing hidden area treasures like never before! And it’s easy, this guide has the most informative details on how to get out and enjoy your vacation, no matter what the season! Request Lake George planning guide

 

NORTH CAROLINA

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Come & Play in Wilmington/  Cape Fear Coast North Carolina
Historic Wilmington * Carolina Beach * Kure Beach * Wrightsville Beach
Request 2010 Official Visitor’s Guide Wilmington Cape Fear planning guide

 

 

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Wilmington’s African-American heritage
Wilmington, North Carolina, is among the most historically significant African-American regions in the US. African-American ancestry is traced back to the 1700s. The City of Wilmington’s free African American Heritage Guide includes religious, educational, social and cultural sites; copies available here.

 

 

OHIO

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Find out why Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands is an ideal reunion destination. Begin here by requesting the Lake Erie Shores & Islands Travel Planner which provides photos and details of all the area has to offer, and then follow-up with a call to our Group Sales Coordinator for personalized assistance. Request Lake ErieTravel Planner

 

 

PENNSYLVANIA

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Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau’s 2010 Meeting Planner is a comprehensive planning guide that spotlights the benefits of hosting an event in the region centrally located for reunions that have members east and west/midwest and introduces the destination. Request Hershey Harrisburg Planner

 

 

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Philadelphia Official Visitors Guide

Download the Philadelphia Official Visitors Guide and download app (iTunes) include “10 Reasons to Love Philadelphia Right Now,” showcasing “Cheesesteak 101,” everything visitors want to know about the City’s highlights.

 

VIRGINIA

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Lots of savings in Newport News!

Newport News Tourism Development Office (NNTDO) released its latest Coupon Book for groups visiting the city. It’s 45 pages of percentage and money-off coupons, free admissions and buy-one-get-one-free offers for attractions, hotels, restaurants and retailers in Newport News. More ways to save planning time and money in Newport News, contact Convention Services Program, 888-493-7386, bkleiss@nngov.com.

WISCONSIN

doorcounty2012 Official Door County Visitor’s Guide

Door County Wisconsin’s 2012 Official Visitor Guide is filled with useful information about what to do, where to stay, where to dine, the arts and history of the County. To order call toll-free at 1-800-527-3529 or view on-line at DoorCounty.com. Published by the Door County Visitor Bureau.

 

 

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