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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.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Family Reunion Mentoring

The people who matter most will always love you no matter how old you get. That's a lesson I learned at a very young age.  And as it goes, over time, our  roles change. We  stop being known as someones child and become better known as someones mentor.  Some teens are calling me granddad now. It was shocking at first. But now I consider it a necessary reality. Why? Because now they listen when I have something to say and they give their heart when they experience a prediction come true or when wisdom imparted bears good results. It's teaching at it's very best.  And what an unequivocal achievement when alas you're dubbed their mentor.

When does mentoring begin? How is it done? It begins when children look to us for help and we respond in kind. Mentoring builds qualities needed to raise ones quality of life and become a productive, constructive member of society. When we take our child out for a swim, to fish, play ball or sit under the stars. When we teach them to share, care and be supportive of others family members. When we help them discover their own natural endowments and talents. When we recount our family history, present genealogy and lessons we learned growing up.

Music Video: "Cutest Baby Faces Ever"
Music: "Kaylah's Nursery Room"
Composed and Performed By: Mark Angelo Askew

Looking Back and Seeing Good
Fellow mentors, I believe one day when we look back we'll see so much good for all our hard work that it will justify the sacrifices we made to host new life. To help them get a firm hold on the real life requires three important lessons:

1. Appreciating the value of our natural environment
2. Taking responsibility for ones own actions
3. Making the world a better place for all inhabitants

Keep Making Them Grow
It goes without saying, this is the first step toward maturity. We begin maturing when we advance from mimicry and pretending and start asking questions to reveal the reason and logic behind what people believe, think and do. All things considered, it feels good to be all grown up. No longer just mimicking society just to fit into the cramped narrow spaces offered by the prominent and their envious masses. We choose a path that frees us from all forms of exploitation so that we can live life to the fullest while protecting our own interests and that of others. That said, how can we give our youth the tools to help them grow into responsible productive adults?

You can't imagine the joy I felt when I first discovered my grandfather on my mothers side was an engineer, musician and carpenter, on my fathers side a dependable construction worker and his grandfather, a doctor of theology. That's the beauty of family mentoring.  And what better occasion to begin that discovery then at the next family reunion?

With so many generations coming together for one big reunion, children can readily find much needed guidance and discover innate gifts, interests and abilities among their ancestors, progeny and within themselves.  They are bound to sense real meaning and purpose in their lives as they identify with those who matter most, family. And as they develop a strong sense of belonging, they are compelled to protect, assure and nurture others in kind. Job well done! Happy family reunion planning from one mentor to another.

Get help planning organizing and managing your family reunion using Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social app. Click on the link on this page or in profiles and start your journey planning a memorable family reunion today.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Need Help Planning Your Reunion?

If you're planning to have your family reunion in June, July or August you need to complete all tasks yesterday. Need help completing tasks for your family reunion? Stay calm. Just drop me a line at and I'll show you how to get your event up and running in no time at all.

A great way to start planning the event is using an event planning web app. But not just any app. Some apps are just fancy checklists with a few bells and whistles.  Event planning involves cost estimation, timely and effective communication, access to vendors and familiarity with event task assignments. That said, you need tools essential to performing budget cost calculations, following an event planning calendar timeline and creating a contact database. 

Tools that help you decide on event theme, slogan and associated activities are essential. Tools that help you rally the masses and send out essential event details cannot be underestimated. Enter Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app. A reunion planning tool that's been continually refined since 2005.

As a family reunion planner you'll be running committee reports, printing and emailing worksheets for committee meetings as well as reviewing a task check off list. Tasks include surveying possible locations for the event, booking hotel accommodations, creating a dinner reception program, and reception floor planning. Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app helps you do all that and so much more.

Many reunion planners don't realize that Fimark's Family Reunion Planner package comes in three different formats to suite your planning preferences. 

1. The Online application for Google Plus and Facebook users.

2. A spreadsheet formatted planner with attendee contact database, t-shirt order and survey report compiler.

3. The 132 page eBook workbook.

The book includes the timeline planner that allows you to find out what task you should complete month to month. That means family reunion help is now online. Get started planning your reunion today.

Today Fimark is featuring a family reunion planning package that includes the popular Family Reunion Planner software program download with the Family Reunion Planner Guide Workbook and Keepsake eBook. And it's all for just $39. You save a whopping $10!

Even better, you don't have to wait for anything to come in the mail to get started. You order and the web app link is sent to you via email. Is that a great deal or what? This special summer fest reunion planning offer will not last long. Get Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app via link on this blog.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Family Reunion Invitation Goes To 77 Million Relatives

I was amazed when I stumbled upon this story about a man embarking on a family reunion involving over 77 million relatives. How will he pull this off? Where will they meet? I admit, there is a belief in my circle of colleagues that one day we will all have enough information about our family lineage to know concisely how we are all related. A world chronological family tree, if you will, connecting us all both by blood line and the logs of history.

Today the closest thing we have to a world history and chronological log is the compilation of books we call the Holy Bible. It takes a few weeks to read the entire Bible, But it would take a lifetime to read and study the whole compilation of the book of man. How would one begin? The fact is we already have begun, just read the Bible and you will see an ancient family tree masterpiece of considerable proportions. But many have tried to take that chronology to the next level in an effort to unite the world of today. How so?

Enter and MyHeritage. These genealogy tracking tools and family tree builders have made significant strides towards establishing wide ancestral connections. Interestingly these connections involve thousands of genealogy researchers formed over a relatively short period of time.

These applications create family trees with roots and branches extending to other family trees ultimately connecting scores of family groups together thus proving that we are all connected to a diverse and densely populated stream of cousins, nieces and nephews leading to oceans of races, cultures and beliefs. Amazed?

Consider A.J. Jacobs, satirical author of a number of books regarding his laughable self-exploration fails and successes. Jacobs took on the study of family lineage in order to rediscover and define himself in this complex world of cultural diversity. What did he find? Jacobs, a man of Jewish decent made genealogy connects to thousands of non-jewish relatives from Gwyneth Paltrow to Barak Obama and beyond. Who would think? As a matter of fact, by the time his research was done, he found that he was related to some 77 million people around the globe. He's already sent out invitations to a 2015 family reunion. A record family affair if he pulls it off. His basis; To promote human kindness.

Unveiling a common kindred cord beyond racial and cultural barriers to make people stop and reason on the value of human kindness is a noble endeavor indeed. Proof of the words I often heard spoken over satellite radio by Maya Angelou herself, "We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike."

Still, is blood line all that is needed to appeal to our humanity and unite this diverse world or is there some deeper core in our being that needs to be tapped, a spiritual commonality perhaps? That said, there are those who consider themselves related simply on the basis of a shared hope and set of basic principles they personally choose to live by. "Love conquers all." "Be peaceable with all men." "Do to others as you would have them do to you." "Freely forgive." Certainly nothing complicated in this set of principles. And what wonders they work out in our relationship with others both in the home and those we interact with in everyday life. Once the ultimate set of principles is found and lived by, we will not hesitate to admit that we are all related in every possible way.

Congratulations Jacobs on embarking upon a worldwide family reunion event. Suffice it to say the world is watching to see how this project will unfold. While our approach to uniting a diverse world may be very different, we may share a similar sentiment. "Peace to all men of goodwill."

Planning a family reunion? Looking for event planning ideas, inspiration, genealogy worksheets and event planning apps? Make good use of the reunion planning tools featured on this blogs profile links.

Monday, June 2, 2014

8 June Reunion Planning Reminders

School is out and fun family reunion activities are just around the corner.  In the next few weeks many of you will be plunging cannon ball right into your family reunion event. Some will be traveling back home for a traditional family reunion while others will be breaking new ground with creative themes like a full fledged family reunion cruise to remote exotic islands. Others will be donning colorful family culture costumes with taste buds ready for a family reunion food fest.

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

1. Make certain all members have their t-shirts ordered and delivered. (See the timeline
checklist in Fimark's Family Reunion Planner web app.) Point them to the t-shirt ordering website if they have not yet ordered  t-shirts. 

For great family reunion t-shirt design ideas go to*/

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 departmental worksheets in the Family Reunion Planner web app)

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 receive
the timely quality services you expect. (See the timeline checklist in the Family
Reunion Planner web app)

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 or have someone help the setup GPS navigation.

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. Be sure to give yourself a day or two of rest before the big event.

Don't have the Fimark's Complete Family Reunion Planner application yet?
For more ideas for your summer reunion look inside Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app. Follow the link on this page or access it from my profile.

Happy Family Reunion Planning!

Mark & Brenda

One Family Reunion 4,500 Strong

This is amazing. 4,514 family reunion attendees. Congratulations to the Porteau-Boileve family on the biggest family reunion event on record. That's number could easily fill a stadium. Planning your event was no small task. This family was successful on so many levels for 5 basic reasons.

1.  They achieved full support
2.  They chose a cause everyone could aspire to and a common goal to reach
3.  They sent a message to the world regarding the importance of family union
4.  They held an event to be remembered and talked about for generation
5.  They esteemed basic family values simply by showing up and being counted.

This record is a not one to be broken, but rather a standard to be imitated. A springboard from which to leap and a standard from which to set the bar.

The Porteau-Boileve family is a community in and of itself empowering and inspiring families the world over to stay connected, get organized and remain supportive.

To all you family reunion planners out there who are still wonder if  you can pull off your next family reunion. The answer is... Yes you can! How? Learn from the Porteau-Boileve family.  Create a cause everyone can believe in. Aspire to inspire with a theme and common goal.  Consider activities everyone will enjoy and talk about for a lifetime, making them want to show up and be counted.

Need help getting started? No problem. Make good use of the family reunion planning tools listed on this blog page.