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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, January 15, 2017

Family Reunion Timeline Checklist

1. Incoming 2017
2. Making Plans Making Memories
3. Reunion Preparation Reminders 
4. Raising Funds

Here is a shout out to family reunion planners in Canada, Germany, Paris, France, New Mexico, and the Bahamas. 

1. Incoming 2017
Can you believe that 2016 has come and gone? And here we are quickly moving thru January 2017. Before you know it we'll be sipping a frosty glass of lemonade to the beat of "Family Reunion" on a warm sunny afternoon while the young'ns laugh and play. Yes, the cup of 2017 will be half full and the rest about to be swallowed. 

That said don't drink down that cup of life too quickly. Savor every moment. Enjoy the family and remember the good times. All we really have are our memories, the present time, and those we can only hope to make tomorrow. What are your New Years resolutions? How close are you to meeting your goal? Here's an important one:

Spend more time with family even if it means writing letters, making phone calls or video conferencing. Make it happen.

While you're at it keep everyone apprisedsed of the progress planning the next family reunion. Now is the time to check where you are on the "Family Reunion Timeline Checklist" found on your copy of Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Guidbook and Keepsake. Wrap up collecting photos, stories, genealogy research and start making definite plans to put together your photo and genealogy presentations. Plan to have it all completed by the end of February or early March. 

If you're booking a reception hall follow up on this now. Order supplies early or when materials are least expensive. By now everyone should know how much family reunion dues are and most of the funds should be collected by months end. Commence ordering T-shirts now if you have not done so. You'll need time to examine a sample, approve it and have them start printing. When the shirts arrive you'll need to check each one and return a few for replacements. Plan to have your t-shirts on hand by April. Touch base with all committee members to make sure they are making progress on assigned task.

4. Raising Funds
By now you should have a good idea of how much funding is needed to pull off the reunion event. First look for ways to cut down on expenses without compromising quality. Is there a need to have more funds on hand? Consider having an auction to raise money. Start planning now. A great time for an indoor Auction is during the cold season. Outdoor auctions are good for the warmer dryer season. What will you sell? 

If you have crafty family members ask them to donate items. Check out some flea markets for collector's items you know certain family members will have to have. Put up some items you own that some of your family members have shown an interest in. Create gift baskets. Order bulk greeting cards and sell them in packs. Have someone bake a few pies. Others can sell family coupons for home cooked Sunday meals. Make it clear how much you're looking to get with the sale of each item. Your aim is to meet or beat that goal. 

TIP 1: Have a family member erect a goal scoreboard and write out the goal and how close you are getting to the goal each time an item is sold. This will focus attendees interest on meeting the goal and encourage participation. 

TIP 2: Have you inspected and appraised the family heirlooms? Perhaps a few family members are willing to pay a few bucks for the honor of temporary ownership. Most of all enjoy the moment of planning. Before you know it, it will all have passed and you will have made many sweet memories to savor.

Find a checklist app, t-shirt and fundraising app, worksheets, memory booklet maker in Fimark's Family Reunion Social Planning web app. Get your copy of this award winning Family Reunion Planner at

Happy Reunion Planning Everyone!

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