Carole Neal, as a revered elder, former reunion planner, current Reunion Champion and recipient of the 2014 Neal Family Reunion Ambassador Award was asked to make remarks at the Welcome Dinner. She agreed to let us share her remarks as ideas you might also consider for your reunion.
by Carole Neal
2014 Neal Family Reunion: “A City, a Family, a People – United in Love, Heritage and Grace.”
The words I started off with are “action” words. They are the reasons for having a family reunion.
- Connecting and Re-Connecting: to meet and visit with family, some of whom we have not met before, to establish and strengthen a family bond.
- Celebrating: we come together to celebrate our family roots, our heritage, and the Neal Family Legacy.
- Honoring and Remembering: we gather to honor our family elders and our forbearers, to remember their lives and the valuable lessons they imparted.
- Sharing: family reunions are a time to share family stories and family history
- Learning: we gather, also, to learn and become familiar with the family story so that it is passed down, generation to generation
- Welcoming: family reunions also are a time to welcome new additions to the family; the family tree continues to grow with births, adoptions, marriages.
- Enjoying: This is our time to enjoy the company, the fellowship, the food, and the special fun-filled and memorable activities that have been planned for this special weekend.
Since our Millennium Reunion, held in 2000, we have reunioned in July every other year.
2000 Winnsboro and Monroe, LA
2002 San Jose, CA
2004 Winnsboro and Monroe, LA
2006 Baltimore, MD
2008 San Francisco, CA
2010 New Orleans, LA
2012 San Antonio, TX
2014 Kansas City, MO
Family members live across the United States. Everyone may not be able to attend each and every reunion But with technology, those who are unable to attend can still feel a part of the reunion through videos and pictures, hearing firsthand accounts from those who did attend, and from information posted online.
While their physical presence is not with us, I somehow feel that our parents and other family members who have passed on are here with us in spirit. Those Neal siblings:
and their spouses are smiling down, pleased to see us come together one more time to celebrate family. And we also are pleased that our cousins from the Philip Neal line are here to celebrate with us.
Family members and guests, I hope that over this special weekend each person puts into practice those action words that I stated and leave the reunion with wonderful, fond memories of our time here in Kansas City: a City, a Family, a People: United in Love, Heritage, and Grace.