Forest Hills Foundation for Education
Reunion Planning Tool Kit
1. Getting Started
- Start, ideally, two years in advance of the actual dates of the reunion. However, if you have only a year or even less, a nice reunion can still be planned in a short amount of time.
- Often the location of a reunion needs to be booked a year in advance. See below for venue suggestions.
- Locating classmates can be time consuming. Facebook can be your friend.
Both Anderson & Turpin have facebook pages on which to request classmate contact info.
(Anderson High School Alumni or Turpin High School Alumni Association)
2. Committee Formation
- Include a variety of former students to provide balanced planning and encourage diverse, creative ideas to help attract as many of your former classmates as possible. (See Appendix B for a list of possible sub committees.)
- Classmates who were active in school activities.
- Class officers.
- Sports participants.
- Organization leaders.
- Other classmates willing to help, especially those that live in the area.
3. Select Leadership and a Date
- Once the committee has been formed, there are some important decisions to make immediately.
- Select a chairperson with strong leadership and organizational skills.
- Select a treasurer with strong accounting skills.
- Select a secretary to maintain records and minutes for future reference.
- Select a date as soon as possible.
- Inform the Forest Hills Foundation for Education of your reunion date and event details.
- As soon as your plans are finalized, contact your school to have your reunion plans posted on its website.
- Contact the school principal’s office to schedule a tour of the school.
4. Start-up Funds
- Funding for temporary operating expenses such as postage, printing, and deposits can be a problem, especially for a first-time committee. The committee members could advance “seed money” for these operating funds and, later, their donations could be used toward paying for part or all of their registration fees. Another idea is to approach alumni-owned businesses to sponsor an activity in exchange for some advertising. Be creative. Use the Internet to appeal to other grads for some start-up funds.
A common concern:
- Opening a bank account. Rather than using a committee member’s personal information to open a short-term account, it is recommended that your group apply for a tax I.D. number.
- Apply for a number specifically for this purpose at no cost. Go to www.irs.gov and look under the EIN link.
- All vendor arrangements for the reunion should be in writing with no exceptions. Be sure that all contracts contain the type of service, date, time, price, equipment to be used, menu items, tips, etc.
6. After the Party is Over
- Schedule a post-reunion meeting or gathering to celebrate a job well done with other committee members.
- Discuss what worked well and what didn’t work so well.
- The secretary should record responses for reference for planning the next reunion.
- Discuss who will be responsible for housing the records, leftover yearbooks, decorations, etc.
- Discuss what to do with leftover funds.
The Foundation can help you:
Make a gift to your high school. Set up a scholarship. Honor a teacher.
Think of creative ways to support your alma mater.
Enjoy! Reunions are fun and rewarding.
Thanks for your efforts.
Remember to keep in touch and to inform the Foundation of address changes of which you become aware.
For additional resources and help, please contact:
Forest Hills Foundation for Education at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7859 Five Mile Rd., Cinti, OH 45255 513-688-8400
Capacity: 200 seated; 250 standing
Catering: Yes, choose from their approved list
Amenities: Projector & AV equipment available
Carnegie Center of Columbia Tusculum
3738 Eastern Ave., Cinti, OH 45226 513-473-5745
Capacity: 200 seated; 350 standing
Catering: Yes, only Jeff Thomas Catering
Amenities: 10 x 70 ft. projection screen
Holiday Inn Eastgate
4501 Eastgate Blvd., Cinti, OH 45245 513-943-5817
Catering: must use theirs
Amenities: Hotel rooms on premises
4450 Eastgate South Dr., Cinti, OH 45245 513-943-3600
Capacity: 600 seated
Catering: must use theirs
Amenities: ample parking, projection screen
4609 Kellogg Ave., Cinti, OH 45226 513-533-3810
Capacity: 150 inside, 150 ouside
Amenities: sand volleyball
890 Eight Mile Road
Catering: Yes, choose from approved list
Amenities: Dance floor, white tent
Coney Island – Moonlight Gardens
6201 Kellogg Avenue
Capacity: Minimum 150
Amenities: Daytime gatherings can use basketball, volleyball, mini golf
Sweetwine Banquet Center (Vineyard Golf Course)
600 Nordyke Road
Catering: Any licensed caterer
Amenities: Various A/V equipment
3187 Linwood Avenue, Mt. Lookout
Amenities: Valet, various A/V equipment, DJ
Grove Park Grille
6735 Kellogg Avenue
Capacity: 50 in private room, 80 on deck
Amenities: Outdoor patio
1101 St. Gregory Street, Mt. Adams
Capacity: 20 to 70 in private space
Amenities: Projection screen & dvd player available
940 Pavilion Street, Mt. Adams
Capacity: 2 private spaces available, one for 50 to 150 & another for 25 to 90
Amenities: Catering and outdoor patios
Treasurer and Finance Committee—
– Prepare budget for committee.
– Establish checking account.
– Maintain all financial records & pay bills.
– Establish a theme for the reunion and design table and room decorations from your era.
– Display class memorabilia that might include letter jackets, pep club sweaters, buttons, bumper stickers, play programs, or pictures. Example: If you graduated in the 1970’s, items might be a lava lamp, beanbag chair, and an eight-track tape and tape player.
Registration and Mailings Committee—
– For help finding missing classmates, a commercial Web site that may help is www.classmates.com. There is a nominal charge for their service.
– Prepare items for check-in areas such as nametags with graduation photo, name in large print, and current city and state of the attendee.
– Ask for volunteers (perhaps from the class before or after yours) to serve as hosts for each event.
– Design registration materials to be sent out—a sample invitation letter is available to be downloaded from this site.
– Create your class website with email of a contact person and link to the alumni web page:
Create your class facebook page. Again, include the email address of a contact person. Keep in mind there are other Anderson & Turpin high schools out there so you may want to include Cincinnati in the page name to avoid confusion. i.e. Anderson Class of ’75 (Cincinnati)
After the reunion, send a copy of your updated address list to the Foundation at email@example.com to aid in future reunions and mailings.
Note: Neither the Foundation nor the Forest Hills School District are able to use their bulk rate postage meters legally for your reunion mailings. A direct mail marketing company is sometimes able to help for a nominal fee, but many classes use postcards or simple one-page folded flyers. Or, classes are choosing to skip the mailing altogether and are choosing to communicate exclusively via facebook and email. While this saves money, you may be missing those classmates that don’t use facebook.
Reunion Activities Committee—
Contact your school to schedule a school tour.
Consider a golf outing, late night breakfast, or a family picnic.
Site and Food Selection Committee—
- Set the dates and select a location. Contact motels, hotels, country and golf clubs, banquet halls, and other facilities to host your events. (See list of possible reunion sites below.)
- Secure a block of rooms for out-of-town attendees. Many hotels/motels will offer a discount whether you hold your event at their facility or not. Ask them!
- Select a menu (or caterer) for your event and determine the final price to charge those attending. Be creative with your food and beverage choices. How about a hog roast or serving six-foot submarine sandwiches?
The Forest Hills Foundation for Education is happy to provide suggestions for possible locations, caterers, activities, services, and commercial websites that may assist reunion planners as they make decisions regarding their special event. The Foundation provides this information as suggestions to find helpful resources and does not endorse any one business, service provider, or web site. The Foundation asks you to be cautious when working with online resources.
Faculty Contact Committee—
- Invite some of your favorite teachers. Decide as a group who to invite.
You may need to provide transportation to the event for these special guests.
- Mail a postcard six months to a year in advance to let classmates know reunion dates and provide a phone number or e-mail address for a contact. Finding lost classmates is difficult, even when they may live locally. Try newspaper ads and broadcast public service announcements during winter holidays to catch people who have returned home for the holidays.
- As the date draws near, send press releases to local media.
- Ask your school office if they can post your information on their outdoor marquees.
Reunion book— Will your class publish a yearbook of reunion activities and personal biographies? If you decide to do this, get bids from several printers (you may be able to have printing done as an alumni donation). Sell ad space to alumni with business interests. Have the general committee make final approval.
SAMPLE REUNION INVITATION LETTER
We can hardly believe it’s been ____ years since our (graduation or last reunion). We don’t want to let another year go by without the opportunity for all of us to get together to get reacquainted and make new friends. A group of your classmates has formed a committee and planned a reunion for the weekend of (Month) (date)-(date), (year). We hope you will make plans now and be able to attend.
Activities will include a:
- (casual gathering/elegant affair/picnic at (your class’s favorite place) Friday evening (date) from (6:00-10:00 p.m.) Saturday (date) will be a formal dinner/pig roast/picnic at (location from (time) to (time))
- A tour of the school will be held (date and time).
Many of our classmates will be there and it promises to be loads of fun!
Please indicate which of the events planned you will be able to attend, and return your registration no later than *(Date) to: (Name of Contact Person) (Street Address) (City, State/ Zip)
NOTE: (A higher cost at the door encourages pre-registration and allows you to be able to estimate number attending.)
Friday (Date) event at (Location) $Cost_ if pre-paid by *(Date above) $Cost__ if paid at door
Saturday (Date) event at (Location $Cost_ if pre-paid by *(Date above) $Cost__ if paid at door
Gift of $____________ to _____ High School’s Scholarship Fund.
Make this check payable to (Name of Committee Person accepting reservations) and mail to: (Address)
REMEMBER TO INFORM THE FOREST HILLS FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION
ANY TIME YOUR REUNION INFORMATION CHANGES
Current Last Name ______________ Maiden Name _________________ First Name____________
Previous last name if remarried ____________________ Preferred Nickname__________________
School______________________________ Year of Graduation ______________________
Previous address __________________________________________________________________
Phone # (Optional)_____________email address (Optional)_________________________________
Business information (Optional)_______________________________________________________
Work Phone # (Optional)_____________________________ Birth Date (Optional)_______________
Mail to: Forest Hills Foundation for Education, 7550 Forest Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45255