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Family Reunion Forum

Need a shoulder...

Hello Everyone,

It's been a while since I have been on this message board and I apologize. I have been BUSY!!!
Now I'm writing because I need a shoulder or two, three, more.
I am coordinating my family reunion this year which is the first time it is being moved out of our home state. When I was asked to do it, I first spoke with my siblings who also live here in order to get their help and form a committee. First let me say that unfortunately my siblings are not as family oriented to the family as I am. For their own justified reasons, they don't keep in contact with the extended family and almost never return to our home state. I do and take my children who now know the area better than me and I grew up there! Therefore it was a task to convince them to help me from the beginning. They voiced concerns such as not knowing "those people" and not being sure that "they will pay their fees, etc. "
However, they did agree and we went at it with much anticipation by giving it our all. We sent surveys out to potential guest, got a hotel to host it for us at a tremendous discount, got companies to give us huge discounts on food and even got the Chamber of Commerce here to donate items. We have been working for the past two years doing all this.
Then we sent out registration forms with all the information on it to the families such as cost and deadlines. Our deadline was March 9th for 1/2 of the cost. We set the cost at the most minimun we could and just asked for 1/2 of it per family with a count of how many would be attending. I also followed up the mail with personal phone calls to all of them to assure they had gotten it. No one told me they hadn't received it. Over the past two years I have been in constant contact with most of them by email and phone calls.
Well, our deadline came and went with not one person sending in the registration forms or any money! My family was upset and wanted to cancel the whole thing. Once again I begged them to hang with me. We had verbal and written contracts with companies that we missed because we didn't have any funds to secure them. The previous committee didn't turn the funds over to us that they should have so up to that point we had been working out of our own pockets. So I went back and got extensions on our contracts and started calling folks again asking what happened. The extension was April 7th. Everybody said that they were definitely coming was going to send in their fees and etc, etc. I tried stressing the importance of the deadlines and that we had to meet our contractual obligations so we needed them to act fast. Most promised to do so. Then April 7th arrived with only 5 families responding. My siblings were furious! A letter was drafted to send out cancelling the reunion. I have an uncle who lives out of state who has been burning up my phone trying to get me to convince my siblings not to cancel. One of the reasons is that of the 5 that paid, 3 are people who have NEVER attended any of the past reunions but is excited about attending ours. Some folks are like my siblings, won't go back to our home state and are excited that it was finally moved to a different state. These are relatives that we haven't seen in over 30 years!
Then this uncle who has been a tremendous help to me called folks from our home state and asked them to be honest with him about why they haven't sent in funds and if they truly plan to attend. To our amazement, they told him that they didn't have a problem with the small amount we were charging but they had problems with being told they had to stay in hotels! In our past reunions no one ever tried to secure hotel lodging for out of town guest and the town only had one 4 star and 2-3 rinky dinky hotels for us to stay in. The bulk of the family is still in the home state but by the time they accomadate their own immediate families, there is no room for out of town guests, so we go to hotels. Here, there are are 5 of us who have spouses, 2-3 children, 2-3 bedrooms and 1 1/2- 2 baths. We are expecting 120 families. We are the host family who will have duties during the reunion to assure everything goes right and then try to get some fun in ourselves. Most of these people have never been outside of the homestate and definitely not here so they have no idea of how to get around this huge city. How is it that they expect us to accomadate them in our homes and pull off all the things we have to do? It's unreasonable! That's why we got the hotel and have designated family here including myself to also stay at the hotel to assist them in case they need it.
Then the other problem is that some of them are saying they plan to attend but will bring their funds with them, will look for a cheaper hotel when they get here or only plan to come for one day and wants a discount on the cost.
I just can't beleive this! Two years of planning a professional type reunion and it comes to this. It's not like they didn't know this was being planned because they ASKED us to host it. We have been in constant contact these past two years letting them know where we were in the planning, asking for their opinions and letting them know about costs. Now they want us to entertain them in our homes too, won't send in money but don't want us to cancel it. I have told them over and over that if our dealines are missed, I can't ask my siblings to do anymore. We have spent over $500 out of our pockets that we know we won't get refunded but we did it because we were the host family, it's expected of us. My siblings (and I) are NOT going to do anything else.
Since the last deadline was also missed, we met and reluctantly agreed to extend it one more time, the end of this month. My siblings are angry at me because I was the one who got them in to this, the extended family that have sent in their money is begging me not to let the reunion get canceled and others are saying "Hold on, I'm coming."
I am about to lose my mind up in here. Anybody have suggestions?
Pray? That is all I do. But as I told my uncle faith without works is dead. And a reunion without funds is dead....

Lorine


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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