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Thread: High School Reunions

  1. #51
    MRD
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    Charity,

    Make it affordable. That seems to be the biggest complaint I hear about reunions. At 10 years, people are startiing families, have only been working a few years if they went to college and the expense of paying a LOT for the reunion can be a lot.

    At our 10 year, they used posterboard (decorated it) and did a top ten list of songs, movies, albums, etc. from the year we graduated. They had a lot of "memorabila" there and they had a memorial to the 3 members we had lost since graduation which was nice as I didn't know about 2 of them.

    The centerpieces on the table were easy too. Cut a square about 6 inches. on top of that glue a strip of paper into a circle (you have just made a graduation cap, but upside down) then put fake flowers in your school colors (ours were blue and white) in the center and viola! easy.

    Have a DJ and make sure he will only play songs from the 4 years you were in school. Those songs are the ones everyone remembers fondly and ties to important events in their highschool lives.

    Invite the teachers. We loved seeing some of our favorite teachers and the principal again and the teachers love to see what their students have done with their lives. And from our experience, they don't stay long.

    We also made nametags from the yearbook using the senior picture. Just copied the photos, glued them onto nametags, added each persons name. It helped when it came time to recognize people as there were a few that had changed considerably.

    We have had a 10, 15 and a 20. Were to have a 25th last year, but the classmate that has done all of our reunions died suddenly and no one was able to carry on, so we didn't have one. Not sure if I would go back. My husband graduated a year ahead of me, we went to his 10th and he refused to go to anymore. Said he sees who he wants to see. We only live about 35 miles from where we graduated and I do see people from time to time. But I had a blast at the 15 and 20 reunions. Most of the cliques had disappeared and everyone was much more comfortable with their place in life at the 15th. At the 10th everyone was still trying to impress everyone else, but 5 years later, it wasn't so bad and by 20 it was even better. And that one was very relaxed BBQ with DJ and danicing later.

    Oh, for the 10th we had a picnic for the families in the afternoon and then the evening dinner was just for adults. The picnic was nice because those with kids got to show them off a little bit and it was a more relaxed atmosphere than the dress up part.

    Your local newspaper is a good resource and should do this for free. We would give them the list of names that we hadn't been able to find (I worked on the committee for the first one) and ask them to print:
    Do you know where these people are? The Class of 1980 is looking for them.
    And people around town (relatives or friends that weren't in our class) could call a phone number and tell us where these people went. We found quite a few that way.

    We also started on ours 1 year before as finding everyone is the biggest challenge. And we sent out save the date announcements about 6 months in advance because people out of town have to have time to make arrangements especially if flying or getting time off work to make the trip.
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  2. #52
    Wild thang Rattus's Avatar
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    Nothing on earth could compel me to go to a class reunion *shudder*.

    Actually, a couple of days ago I got an e-mail from Classmates.com (whom I have repeatedly tried to disengage from) telling me that I had a message from B, my best friend at the school I went to (my real best friends went to another school). I got all excited and went about trying to figure out how to get the message, preferably without paying for it, when I remembered "oh yeah, I stopped hanging out with B because she was a bigot". Yep, no reason for me to ever see any of those people again.
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  3. #53
    FORT Fogey veejer's Avatar
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    I still live in the small town that I graduated high school from in 1978, so I still see lots of my classmates. We've had a 10, 20 and 25. At the 10 everyone still hung in their cliques, but had mellowed by 20.

    At the 20, I took my husband home when he got bored, and then went back as the club was only a few minutes from our house. At the 25, we drove separately. I told him that he can stay home from the next one totally if he would like to.
    Quote Originally Posted by myrosiedog View Post
    Invite the teachers. We loved seeing some of our favorite teachers and the principal again and the teachers love to see what their students have done with their lives. And from our experience, they don't stay long.
    The teachers were invited to our 25 and it was great!!!

    Living in the same town is a little strange as my kids have had a few of the same teachers I had, and many of their teachers were kids that I went to school with.

    Our high school band does an alumni band night during one of the fall football games. That is fun because you see band geeks from the grades around you. I'd like it if we had a reunion that way, say 1975-1980.

  4. #54
    FORT Fogey charity's Avatar
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    I like the invite the teachers idea.

    Here are my thoughts, so give me some feedback. There's NOTHING to do in my hometown so I thought on the Saturday of the reunion-
    3:00pm: meet at the old high school to look around, meet and greet, then people can follow eachother the 45 minutes to the next town
    4:00pm- check into rooms at the hotel (for those that are staying in the hotel)
    5:30pm- dinner at the hotel's restaurant or in hotel's banquet room for around 50 people
    8:00pm- go to hotel lounge or bar for drinks, dancing, and more relaxed atmosphere

    Then Sunday morning-
    10:30am- meet for brunch at the hotel restaurant

    I thought it would be nice to do it this way so noone is drinking & driving from place to place, they can just walk to each thing since it's all on the same property. What am I missing? Do we need an awkward social hour where people ask the same questions? Does someone need to get up and speak? Do we need a cake? Should we do some type of activity? Is that enough time for everything? HELP! eek!

  5. #55
    Trouble in my life just1paul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muduh View Post
    Hey Gabriel, funny story. In high school, I had a huge crush on a football player. He found out about it and treated me like gum on his shoe from then on. Flash ahead ten years. We're at the reunion, my 6'5" husband and 5'3" me. For some reason, the football clod came over to say hello to me. He asked if I knew who he was and I said yes. He said was I SURE? I said yes again. Then some little demon in me spoke up and said "I thought you were taller". He came back with some nonsense about all women wearing high heels and I raised my foot to display my perfectly flat sandal. I wouldn't take anything for that encounter.
    Thats priceless - wish I could have been a fly on the wall to see his expression.
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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by charity View Post
    I like the invite the teachers idea.

    Here are my thoughts, so give me some feedback. There's NOTHING to do in my hometown so I thought on the Saturday of the reunion-
    3:00pm: meet at the old high school to look around, meet and greet, then people can follow eachother the 45 minutes to the next town
    4:00pm- check into rooms at the hotel (for those that are staying in the hotel)
    5:30pm- dinner at the hotel's restaurant or in hotel's banquet room for around 50 people
    8:00pm- go to hotel lounge or bar for drinks, dancing, and more relaxed atmosphere

    Then Sunday morning-
    10:30am- meet for brunch at the hotel restaurant

    I thought it would be nice to do it this way so noone is drinking & driving from place to place, they can just walk to each thing since it's all on the same property. What am I missing? Do we need an awkward social hour where people ask the same questions? Does someone need to get up and speak? Do we need a cake? Should we do some type of activity? Is that enough time for everything? HELP! eek!
    From my experience I think a cocktail hour before dinner is a good thing...people can move around more, see who's there, you get past most of the shrieking greetings, while at dinner people tend to sit with one group. Then moving for drinks/dancing shakes things up again. The name tags with blown up old picture is a good idea, we did that once and it did help, especially for people whose first reunion was 20 years after graduation! Use BIG print for the name tags even if you aren't that old....helps with the awkward greetings if you don't have to peer at their chest! Don't let people put their name tags on their hips, etc.! Definitely keep the music to the right period--VERY important for getting people up and moving to it! Ask people to bring their old yearbooks... it's a lot of fun seeing what people wrote in them all those years ago. Just make sure they put their names on them! We've often had something as a gift that was symbolic of the school...we were a beach school so beach towels, beach carry bags, etc., with the reunion year and the logo from the yearbook our year, but that's not necessary. The memorial poster is also a good idea... gets added to each reunion. We've also raffled off a symbolic souvenir... the winner returns it the next year for the next raffle. Raised "starter money" for the next reunion. In our case it was a set of logo-ed glasses from that time from a local business, but it can be anything... cheerleader pompoms, whatever, from your year.
    The no drinking/driving thing is also an excellent way to go, although not so good for those who still live nearby. You can try to encourage even those to stay at the hotel.

  7. #57
    MRD
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    We also gave goofy prizes to the one that had traveled the fartherest (road map) to be there, the ones married the longest, who had the most kids (birthcontrol pills - really candy in a bottle that said birth control), who had changed the most, who had not changed, etc.

    Can't remember all the prizes and what they were for. They also asked everyone at the dinner to stand up and say a little about what they were doing now. Each person just got a few minutes to say: Hi, I'm _____ I've been married 4 years, have 1 kid, graduated from state u and work as an accountant now.

    Ask if any one still has memorabilia and if they can bring it. We also got some stuff from the school. Everytime our football team scored a touchdown, the cheerleaders threw mini footballs with the team mascot on them to the crowd. The school gave us some and they threw those out.
    We also had a football, baseball and basketball, and cheerleading uniform on display and the school also gave us a few things that they had we could borrow to use for decorations.
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  8. #58
    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
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    charity, I don't know how far you've gone with this, but I thought you might welcome some advice about the financial/planning side of things.


    1. Form a committee. Small ones of three or four work best.
    2. Some banks can open special accounts for reunions and the like. I'd highly reccomend opening one of those rather than using anyone's personal account.
    3. Figure out a budget and stick to it.
    4. Keep a ledger of all expenses, right down to postage. If anyone decides to accuse the planners of wasting money or of thievery, they can look through the books.
    5. Require at least a portion of the money ahead of time. At a hotel, you'll be required to pay a deposit to hold the space and you'll need money to do that. You don't want to use your personal money because people may bow out and you'd never see it again.
    6. Do a cash bar, not a host bar. If people are paying for each drink as they go, they are less likely to get too crazy with drinking.
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

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  9. #59
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    We generally have funds left in our account and decided that anytime someone from our class dies, we would use the account to send flowers from our class to the funeral. We've also done this for a couple favorite teacher's funerals too. I know, morbid, but its a nice touch and something we've found that the families have thought a lot of. Unfortuatnely we seem to be doing it more often and we're just in our early 40's.
    Que me amat, amet et canem meum
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  10. #60
    FORT Fogey charity's Avatar
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    I need to be careful with how we do the money, because I could definitely get screwed. It may be tough to get people to commit to helping, much less commit to giving some upfront money. I don't even know if I can find everyone. I counted around 100 people in our class through the years and there are only like 30 on classmates, with 10 of those on Myspace now. I'm going to use the group forums there to get feedback from those 10 people and try to get others on there to comment & give ideas.

    COCKTAIL HOUR- Where do you generally do one of these? Would it be okay to do it in a hotel lounge area? And, wonder if it costs money to do a 'cocktail hour' in an area where guests/customers of the hotel already are?

    DINNER- Would it be in poor taste (or would I even be able) to just reserve a group of tables in a restaurant or do you think we need to pay the $3000 or whatever to get one of their banquet rooms to eat in?

    I'd like to plan it at the least expense possible- with most being postage and envelopes- because we're from such a small town and people are cheap. I know sometimes reunions cost a lot, and some are okay paying for that, but I worry that a high fee would keep some people from coming to the reunion.

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