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Mark Angelo Askew is an author, minister, motivational speaker, event planner, entertainer, illustrator, and web app developer. Mark is also the founder of Angelo and Marie's Fantastic Bubble Show, currently on tour throughout the east coast.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Our History Our Story

Hello family reunion planners! In celebration of Black History Month I watched the BET Awards the other day. Has this been a month for honoring history or what? Actors, writers, singers, poets, history makers and artists were acknowledging the contributions people of color have made nationally and internationally.

Still so many who have done much to instill courage, hope and educate the soul go unnoticed. It's good to know that they find their reward in the work itself and the good fruitage it bears over the years. This is enough for them. To these unknown heroes we wish to say congratulations and thank you. Brenda and I send our love hope and greetings to their families the world over. Many families have already taken the time to show their appreciation in meaningful and imaginative ways.

Our Story
Fimark Home Online's family reunion planning group began in the year 2005. The concept evolved when my wife Brenda and her sister Shawn decided to attend a Galla event by none other than Ethnic Expressions. Inspired by their rich decor and art I encouraged Brenda to join me in promoting our own line of fine art, greeting cards, portraiture services and clothing line. Our cousin LaTavia immediately came on board and the two of them proved a perfect team.

 Brenda, and her cousin LaTavia successful planned family reunions, community outreach events, weddings, receptions and parties. So planning an event that would feature our products and services was a breeze. We soon got the idea that we should focus on family reunion events. Before long our primary focus became Family oriented event planning products and resources. For me, an artist and web developer by trade, taking Brenda's Reunion Event Planner and turning it into an award winning web application with easily downloaded templates was a no-brainer. Now we feature most of our products online with a focus on services aimed at the family. Find out more at http://family-reunion-planner.fimark.net

Our Recent Contribution
Our most recent contribution is "Fimark's Family Reunion Planning Guide and Keepsake", a 132 page reunion planning guide book. It contains our signature planning timeline, tips tools and worksheets for the individual planner as well as planning committess. It include many keepsake feature, an ideal heirloom. The Book is available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. You can access it at http://astore.amazon.com/best-sellers-book-store-20

Did You Know?
To date well over 600,000 visitors have passed thru our online doors. We average scores of family reunion announcements per month. Thousands of users have downloaded our application and templates. Our web application was mention in Woman's Day Magazine and our reunion event planning work acknowledged by Bigelow Tea. We are grateful for the many awards and acknowledgements we have received from Cnet, ZDnet, Familyreunion.com and many others. Fimark's Family Reunion Planner ranks number one for family reunion software and we are now listed on scores of top family software download sites. We are proud to have made our contribution to family reunion event planning. Happy Family Reunion Planning!

Don't have access to the award winning family reunion planning web application yet? Go to ... http://family-reunion-planner.fimark.net

Friday, February 10, 2012

How To Organize And Manage Your Reunion

Wanting to throw a successful family reunion is one thing. Planning, organizing and successfully managing the event is another. Yet thousands of our readers and web application users have done just that with a little help. The question is how did they do it? Here's 6 ways to plan organize and manage a great reunion event.

1. Delegate ASAP
Form a reunion committee comprised of at least one additional member per 20 attendees. Get volunteers to commit asap. Delegate all tasks. Your task is to follow up with the progress of each task delegated and keep everyone from getting in the other persons way.

2. Get The Word Out
You've heard it said "if you build it they will come?" That may be true when it comes to planning a special event. But if no one tells them you built it you won't get much company. That said, it's important to get the word out as early as possible.

3. Advance Communication
Often good communication in well in advance is all that's needed to rally support. At the very least give them an idea when the event would take place, how they can help and when the next meeting will be. Details can follow later. Now they can schedule time off or adjust their vacation plans to include the reunion. That said, I recommended that the reunion be planned at least 7 months ahead of time.

4. Mark Good Use Of Worksheets
To keep reunion meetings from getting bogged down with too much information and little time to follow up with delegated tasks make use of reunion committee worksheets, review action item and followup promptly.

For example, if there is a need to schedule a tour of a hotel site, order catering and have a professional on location photo shoot one needs to know when to make calls, who to contact and when to follow up with that person. To avoid forgetting important tasks all that's needed is a timeline checklist and worksheet.

5. Great Reunion Planning Tools
We recommend making good use of reunion planning tools that include a timeline checklist with preparation reminders, attendee database, scheduling worksheets, committees assignment sheets, reunion needs lists, meal planner checklists, a music checklist, supplies list, invitations, flyers, itinerary template, dinner program template, announcement submitter, budget and cost estimator as well as other essentials for time and cost effective family reunion planning.

6. One such planner is called Fimark's Family Reunion Planner 3.0. Check out the free evaluation version at...
http://family-reunion-planner.fimark.net/step1.html


Happy Family Reunion Planning!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Black History Month Observation Tips

While January 2011 went out as quickly as it came, winter is still showing it's frosty face. Here are a few winter weather reminders Brenda and I try to keep in mind each winter.

1. Grab a few bags of de-icer on the way home.
2. Keep a few shawls hanging around in each room and in the car so when the temperature drops you can wrap up instead of turning the heat up all the time.
3. In case of power loss pick up some battery operated lamps. Oil lamps are also useful as these generate both light and heat when electric power is out. Place them in a safe area.
4. Check your roof for leaks when the weather is mild and patch them up quick. Heat escapes from rooftop leaks and raises your heating bill significantly.
5. Heat the room your in rather than the whole house. This will save hundreds of hard earned dollars each year.

Did you get a chance to make a dent in your new goals for 2012? Brenda and I did. As part of a group that serves the community voluntarily I managed to put in over 50 hours. In addition I'm preparing for many events that promote family unity and good citizenship in March and April.

February is a great time to get up to speed regarding the years
monthly observances. It's a time to review how you will contribute
and support causes and principles that have much meaning to you and
your family.

Monthly Observances:

February - Black History Month - See http://black-history.fimark.net

Black History Month,(BHM)is an obervance of important people and events in the history of the African Diaspora. It is celebrated annually in the United States and Canada in the month of February, while in the UK it is held in the month of October.

Black History Month was established in 1976 by African-Americans for
the Study of African-American Life and History. The month-long
celebration was an expansion of Negro History Week, which was
established in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, director of what was then
known as the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History.

Initially celebrated almost exclusively by those of African heritage,
taking place outside of the view of the wider society. Increasingly,
however, mayors and governors, especially in the North, began
endorsing Negro History Week and promoting interracial harmony. Now
Black History Month is a national observance oberserved by all races. Family Activities That Focus on Black History Month:

Join or form a Family History Society

Donate to your favorite black charity

Visit a black museum or art gallery

Write about your families contribution to black history

Read a grade level book regarding notable black achievements to your
children

Volunteer in some way to give back to the community

Visit sites that focus on contributions from African Americans
http://black-history.fimark.net
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_History_Month

Other Monthly Observances

November - Named November as "Family Reunion Planning Month"
Be proud, it is our group for which you are a member, that spearheaded the movement to name November Family Reunio Planning Month. What can you do as a member? Increase membership and support.
Read group Manager, and author Mark Askews contributions to wikipedia.org at...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_reunion

Family Reunion Planner and Keepsake
A Family Reunion Book inspired by Brenda Askew and written by Mark Askew that helps you plan your family reunion and document your heritage. See more at http://family-reunion-planner.fimark.net