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Mark Angelo Askew is the author of "Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Guide Workbook and Keepsake" and the founder and director of the Family Reunion Planning Group that established November as Annual Family Reunion Planning Month.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

How To Make A Family Reunion Flyer

Follow these six simple steps to make your family reunion invitational flyer in minutes.

1.  First select and download a printable family reunion flyer template. Many full featured flyer templates can be found simply by using the keywords "family reunion flyer" at top search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo!  After downloading your flyer template import it into your Ms Office or compatible document editor.

2.  Reunion Theme - Locate the text boxes on the flyer template. Text boxes allow the user to enter and edit text over the flyers embedded graphic. The theme should be positioned near the top center of the flyer above all other text to be entered. Experiment with various font colors, faces and styles such as bolded, large size text.

3.  Family Reunion Slogan - Now add the family reunion slogan. This can be centered within a text box under the theme using a smaller sized font.

4.  Family Reunion Date(s) - Now enter the family reunion date(s). Although numerical month, day and year is sufficient it's usually best to spell out the day(s) and month so users will know exactly what day of the week they are to attend.

5.  Family Reunion Activities - List as many planned activities under the date text box as available space allows. List activities according to rank of importance or significance while including those that will appeal to the majority of attendees.

6.  Contact Information - Add full name(s), email address, home and cell phone numbers, fax and family reunion website address and any special RSVP deadline instructions.

Send online invitations and keep up with RSVP's using one of the following resources and applications:

Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social - An award winning event planning web app with everything you need to plan your next family reunion. - Personal event planning website with tools to create a family reunion web site, history page, family tree and essential tools to plan your family reunion event.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Family Reunion Planner Guide & Keepsake Book.

The Family Reunion Planner Guide & Keepsake Book includes a timeline planner, checklists, budget list, themes and associated itineraries and dinner programs. The keepsake features include a signature of ownership page, an event details page, an event planning journal and a family recipe compiler complete with sections to record the history behind the family recipe. And it also includes one of Mark Angelo Askew's popular family reunion poems "Finding Our Way Home."
Family Reunion Planner - A Reunion Planning Guide Workbook  and Keepsake
Family Reunion Planner
A Reunion Planning Guide Workbook & Keepsake

The keepsake features include a signature of ownership page, an event details page, an event planning journal and a family recipe compiler complete with sections to record the history behind the family recipe. Other keepsake features include an heirloom record, family tree worksheets and other genealogy worksheets. 

The reunion planning workbook includes planning tutorial for individual planners, groups and committees. There are recommended games and activities, itinerary, survey letter and luncheon/dinner programs. Worksheets also include site evaluation, possible locations and activities, committee organization and departmental worksheets

About the Author:

Mark Angelo Askew, native born Marylander, artist and author promotes basic principles to strengthen the bonds through reunion planning, genealogical discovery, art and crafts, music and creation. 

Regarding the inspiration to write this particular book Mark says, "I've been married for over 30 years and have received five of the greatest gifts from this union. My wife, Brenda, two sons, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. I did not know such a joy existed. With so many opting not to marry, I wanted to do something that promotes the value of our most precious resource, the fully committed family. 

Nothing comes close to the deep impressions committed family life makes on our hearts and minds." Why this focus on commitment? Mark continues, "Deliberately choosing one another bespeaks validation, love and approval. Learning the secrets and pattern of natural endowments and the wise use of them leads to rewards that help us value life itself. It helps us put things in perspective, humbles us and with some guidance gives us an understanding of our core being no other experience can."

Not Just A Guide Book

The Family Reunion Planner Guide & Keepsake Book  is not just a guide to help you plan, organize and manage your family reunion event. 
If you love unbreakable family bonds the activities are designed to strengthen them.
If you love wisdom and hope the poetry is written to enhance it.
If you appreciate a good read the dialogue takes you on a planning adventure.
If you like inspiration the activity ideas will inspire you.
If you thrive on order and direction the guidance will help.
If you like fun and meaningful family reunions with lots of support you'll find out how to get it.
If you like keepsakes and mementos the book itself is a keepsake complete with ownership page, journal and recipe book.
If you like Fimark's Legendary Heritage Heirlooms collections the artist and creators are the authors of this book. .
If you like getting big packages in the mail order the book.
If you value family heirlooms this book is perfect as it includes genealogy record forms as well.
If you like the poem, "Finding Our Way Back Home" by Mark Angelo Askew, you'll love it's in there too.

Curious about what's inside? Take a look inside." Read up to 12 pages now and let us know if you like it here and here .

The Family Reunion Planner Guide & Keepsake Book Makes a great personal keepsake heirloom and a valuable gift for dads, moms, genealogy buffs, reunion planners, family historians, family writers, committee members, family cooks, and the elders of the family.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Memorials - Bridge To A Fulfillng Future

Many times when we've lost a loved one we step away from the past in order to deal with the present and plan for the future. Certainly this is essential to our survival. But we must always take time out to remember, in order to heal, console and be able to truly move on. That said, a memorial can be a bridge to the future. A granting to oneself persmission to fully connect to ones past and still plan for a fulfilling life. 

This weekend many will be following a national celebration to remember lost loved ones. Some will be engaged in festive celebration. Others will choose to spend the day in somber reflection. Some may not know just what to do. A few may even dread the days activities for fear they will slip back into mourning.

Mourning is a necessary process the mind and body require in order to flush itself of shock, feelings of sudden abandonment and dispair.  At the end of the process one is better able to embrace the memory of the loved one and draw comfort from what they have been given by that one.

The day this process takes place is not important. Whether it is best you  surround yourself with friends and family or are alone with your thoughts all depends on what works for you. What matters most is that we allow the process to run it's course and see it thru.

How do some choose to remember? It all depends on what works best for you and yours.

Fun Family Crafts
One family made a family photo tree.  With each photo placed on the tree a biographical paragraph was written underneath. Each family member contributed one sentence to the biography.

Another family worked on a keepsake memory book. The in memoriam page was the project of the day. Each family member examined several photos and tried to remember the story behind them. Others read excerpts from past journals. The process lead to clarity of memory, a few tears and a lot of laughter.
This process helps each family member to respectfully build a bridge, a clear reconnection to that loved one while learning to accept the fact that we all have our place in time.  As we embrace the memories in such a way, others will learn to embrace the memory we leave others, building yet another bridge that connects the past to a fulfilling future.

Other families just talk. Starting off each topic with "remember when" can help each family member contribute to the discussion while finding a way to trigger a fond memory that opens the doors to a happy place everyone can still enjoy does wonders.

Family Reunion Keepsake Memory Bookket Maker

Friday, May 20, 2011

2012 Family Reunion Planning

Here are some interesting family reunion statistics to help you with your 2012 family reunion planning.

A recent report regarding family reunions revealed that 35.1% had reunions of 51-100 in attendance. 18% had attendees of 26-50 and 11% were 101-500, while almost 20% had reunions of 200 attendees or more. The largest group had 1,000 attendees.

68% started planning their reunions one year in advance while 21% who started two years in advance.

46% reported their reunion lasts three days, while almost 20% meet for two days. Many family reunions were held as many has 30, 40 and 50 times. 40% of locations are chosen with everyone voting on the choice.

With baby boomers still earning an income and living longer healthier lives making for a larger family group. These large family groups are merging traditional celebrations under the theme of family reunion.  That said, people older than 65 years old appear to enjoy attending family reunions just as much, if not more so, than younger middle aged adults with an astounding 75 percent of seniors stating they look forward to attending their family reunions.

32 percent of families prefer the recreational parks for their event whereas 22 percent make us of restaurant/banquet halls. 18 percent of family reunions were being held at resort or scenic locations.

  • Large groups have just as much fun as the smaller groups and visa-versa
  • Plan at least a year in advance
  • Send out invitations to all family members and expect good support from those 45 and older.
  • Put forth a little extra effort to get younger family members involved.
  • Plan a two or three day event.
  • Use a park for lunch one day and a banquet hall for dinner the next
  • Don't rule out a resort or cruise. Many love the change of scenery
For more information consult your family reunion planning reference guide.  Happy Family Reunion Planning!


Plan your next family reunion with this gripping guide, nostalgic family heirloom, workbook and keepsake . A reunion planning guide no family reunion planner should be without.

Mark & Brenda Askew
Authors of
Fimark's Family Reunion Planner
 - A Reunion Planning Guide Workbook and Keepsake

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Timely Reminders

Event planners the family reunion season is upon us. In one week many of you will be enjoying your family reunion event and many will be going back home with lasting memories, more support and assurance thanks to your efforts. We commend you for your hard work.

We would like to remind you of a few follow up tasks necessary to making your event flow smoothly:

1. Make certain all members have their t-shirt orders.(See the timeline checklist in the Family Reunion Planner) Point them to the website if they have not ordered. or*/

2. Follow up with department heads and make sure everyone has what they need including materials and supplies. (See the materials and supplies checklist in the Family Reunion Planner)

3. Remind them of their responsibilities. (See the department worksheets in the Family Reunion Planner)

4. Some family members may have recently run into a snag attending. Render support where needed.

5. Follow up with vendors and facility managers to make sure you will recieve the timely quality services you expect.(See the timeline checklist in the Family Reunion Planner)

6. Make certain family members know how to reach their destination. A few families tend to get lost traveling to every event. Send them directions via email or post mail. Have them follow a capable traveler.

7. Get help wrapping up your final tasks. No need to do it all yourself. Invite a couple of extra hands over and put in a long night completing tasks.

8. give yourself a day of rest before the big event.

9. Don't have the Fimark's Complete Family Reunion Planner application yet? Download your copy now at - Also available in paperback.

Happy Family Reunion Planning!
Mark & Brenda

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Making A Family Reunion T-shirt Quilt

You've carefully saved them year after year. As they accumulated, every now and then you looked them over trying to remember some of the activities of the special day. For some time you hesitated to find a reason to put them on for fear you would eventually wash away the family reunion logo and slogan and fade both the art and the memory of that moment in time. So back into the dresser drawer, storage bin or closet they go.
Now there is a reason, a very important and meaningful reason, to take your family reunion t-shirts out of the closet and bins and put them back in circulation. And just what could this good reason possible be?
It's time to make a family reunion quilt? Not just any quilt. A family reunion t-shirt quilt.

Family Reunion T-Shirt Quilts
Like other family reunion quilts, this quilting project will bring the family together like no other. It will speak of years of reunions and thus serve as a historic monument, a keepsake and heirloom. So how do we get started?

1. Materials
You'll need several family reunion t-shirts, a block grid, 9 block patches, scissors, light colored pencil, a hand sewing kit with pins, a ruler and coordinated block patches. For extra quilt blocks rry Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts quilt block patches, iron ons & appliques as well as quilting kit supplies and materials.

2. Family Reunion T-Shirts
Your family reunion t-shirts are the main feature of your quilt. That said, choose shirts that are in good condition, less faded and the material is in good condition. Avoid using shirts with small holes, torn threads or worn.

3. Block Grid
The basic nine patch quilt block pattern is the base for your quilt. In order to enlarge or reduce any block pattern you need to create a grid. Determine the number of blocks in the grid. For example a 9 patch quilt has 9 blocks of equal size. An 18 patch quilt has 18 blocks of the same size. Make your block grid accordingly. Having made the grid look over the patterns of your t-shirts and determine the most uniform or meaningful placement. You may wish to place them in chronological order. Perhaps the color pattern will be your guide. Or the themes will determine the order.

4. Block Patches
To determine the number of inches for each square look over the t-shirts you will be using. Find the shirt with the widest printed graphics. Using a ruler measure the edge of the graphic end to end length and height. Now add two to 4 extra inches to the length and height of the quilts back to serve as a border along the edges.

5. Cutting Out The Tshirt Blocks
You want your quilt patch blocks to be cut so that they are placed symetrical. Each will need to be the exact same size whether you're making a quilt that's nine squares or 18.  Your t-shirt block pattern should measure 8x8 or 10x10 or 12x12, etc. Cut a piece of poster board into a pefect square using the measurements determine. This will be your standard block pattern to be used when cutting the block patches from each t-shirt. Carefully place the standard block pattern on the shirt so that the logo and slogan is centered vertically and horizontally. Trace around the edge of the block pattern using a light colored pencil. Now using your scissors cut out the patch. Make certain the scissors are sharp so as not to pull and tear the threads of the shirt.

6. Adding Coordinated Block Patches
If you only have a few t-shirts consider adding coordinated block patches. Try this using Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts quilt block patches, iron ons & appliques, as well as quilting kits.

Your block patches can display colorful family reunion theme images printed on iron-on paper and transfered to patch face.  You'll find family reunion theme images ideal for family reunion iron-on transfers at Fimark's Family Reunion T-Shirt Designers

7. The Quilt Border
Next measure material the full size of your quilt adding 4 inches to the pattern. The will be the quilts back and frame. The additional inches are to half-fold over the edge of the quilt.

8. Preparing For Stitching
Now using sewing pins attach each patch, seam to seam, until the 9 blocks are prepared for sewing.

9. Sewing Your Quilt
After pinning the seams between your patches lay them over the quilt backing material face up and perfectly centered. Commence sewing along the seams of all the patches thru the back material. You can do this by hand or using a sewing machine.  

10. Completing The Border
Half-fold the quilts back material over the edge of the sewn patches and create a small seam. Sew along the seams edge.

Ready For Display
In no time your t-shirt quilt is complete and ready for display. What memories this quilt will trigger as you enjoy a new family heirloom to last for generations.

T-shirt graphics provided by Fimark Home Online at

Monday, May 9, 2011

How An Author Said Thank You To His Parents

After many years of compilation and editing.and over 5000 file downloads family reunion event planners, the founder of Legendary Heritage Heirlooms, an online resource for family reunion planners, craftspersons and art collectors released his new book "Family Reunion Planner - a Guide Workbook and Keepsake."
Before the book could be released I had to approve the final proof. Once approved and distribution began, the book was picked up at I then decided to present the copy to my parents as a gift of thanks.

You see, all that I am has much to do with the hard work of two spiritual minded people who love each other deeply, my parents. I owe them so much. Even as I write this I am welling up with gratitude.

Just last Sunday, May 8th 2011 Brenda and I presented the book to Mom and Dad. Dad read the Forward, Table of Contents and Acknowlegements page to Mom. He began to tear up as he realized the acknowlegements were about them. Mom was deeply moved and quietly smiled as she peered at the words on the pages for some time.

After turning most of the pages and defining the value of the book Mom began to talk about her greatest joy. Her great-grandchildren. Two girls, bubbly and bright. Full of life, wonder and affection. One which came to her thru my loins. The house was filled with laughter as we talked about their budding personalities.
Before the last pages were turned and the book closed, we all came to realize that each of us contributed to it's contents in one way or another. I must say, thanks to this book, it has been accomplished. I was able to say thank you from the deepest innermost recesses of my heart to theirs.

When leaving Dad and Mom thanked us. I turned and thanked them for being who they are. We all hugged and parted.

With the help of this book, we feel a stronger bond as we carry out what is said in scripture, Honor thy father and thy mother" and "See good for all your hard work. "Knowing that others the world over will be equally honored and touched as their children fill the pages of this book with their own story and present it to their parents I felt a unique connecting force to a bigger family, mankind.

Fimark's Family Reunion Planner A Reunion Planning Guide Workbook & KeepsakeFimark's Family Reunion Planner by Mark A. Askew.
The book is now available at and

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Five Fun Family Reunion Themes

If you're like most of us you're probably planning to have a family reunion in June or July and have only weeks to find and organize fun and meaningful family reunion activities. The best way to start is deciding upon a reunion theme. Themes are not only a source of inspiration, they serve as a guide and basis for the events activities.

Looking for fun and meaningful family reunion themes? Don't despair. Looks like someone has done all the work for you. Well almost. While there is a reunion theme page that lists five popular themes families have been using for years, you'll still have to decide which theme you'll actually use. That may not as easy at it sounds. Each theme is a keeper.
Preview the Five Family Reunion Themes along with associated logo, fliers, invitations, poems and t-shirt ensemble. I personally love the glowing tree logo for the "Traditional Family Reunion. Even better, each theme has it's own invitations, fliers, certificate and poems.

Fimark's Family Reunion Planner A Reunion Planning Guide Workbook & KeepsakeLet's say you decide on a theme among from theme list and you want to take your reunion planning to the next level. If you're an apps person who likes to work with online or stand-alone software just download the Family Reunion Planner software.

If you're a keepsake kind of person who likes to work from a hardbound or paperback book complete with worksheets get Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Guide Workbook and Keepsake.  I love this book.  Just after the event details page it open with an excerpt from the poem "Finding Our Way Back Home". 

As you advance through the pages planning the event excerpts of the poem seem to follows you anticipating the very experiences you'll likely have bringing the event to fruition.

There are keepsake journal entry pages and a family recipe compilation section. The Themes section covers all the steps necessary to plan a meaningful family reunion event and details suggested  activities and banquet dinner programs. 

In addition to this there are genealogy research worksheets and forms for family history presentations.Looks like you'll have your family reunion event planned and organized in no time at all.