Hear ya loud and clear. May I suggest that communication start electronically via emails and family newsletters. It doesn't cost postage to send out an email to folks letting them know that an event is being planned so this way they can start saving their pennies. In terms of the other problems, some folks have to learn the hard way. Hate to say this but it may take sickness or worse before some things change, unless some of the younger ones step up and exert their right to plan a reunion that others would be interested in attending.
Good luck on dealing with this situation.
Peace and Blessings.