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Family Reunion Forum

This Year's Reunion Experience! :)

Greetings Forum,
This is my reunion experience for 2007. This year, my cousins in Omaha, Nebraska planned the very first Danner Family Reunion. Back in 1999, a cousin came into contact with me via the AfriGeneas Surname database I believe. Prior to that initial contact, I had no idea that my great-grandmother's second oldest brother, Mack Danner, migrated to Guthrie, Oklahoma c. 1890. The family (Uncle Mack had 14 children) later moved to Omaha, Nebraska c. 1925. Finally, after years of communicating with them via email, my parents, aunt, uncle, other "down South" relatives, and I finally got a chance to journey to Omaha to meet them for the very first time. We are still on a natural high!

On Friday evening, there was a Get-Acquainted Night at the Marriott hotel. We played a game called Truth and Lies, which was a lot of fun. On Saturday, the family had the option of (1) going on a trolley ride around Omaha; (2) going to the Mall; or (3) going to the Children's Fun Center for the kids. We choose No. 1, as we all were quite curious about Omaha. Luckily, the weather was absolutely beautiful and cool. The Midwest had just endured a bad storm system. Prior to that storm system, that area had also been bombarded with high temperatures. God blessed us this past weekend with temps in the low 80's! Thank You God!

Then, on Saturday night, we had a banquet at the hotel. It was fabulous. In my history presentation, I was proud to announce to the family that my aunt's daughter, who carries our ancestor Louisa Bobo Danner's mitochondrial DNA, took the DNA test, and it revealed that we are linked to the Fulani people. The family was so overjoyed that they gave my cousin a LOT of cheers and a standing ovation. One of my cousins came up to me after the banquet, and she was truly overwhelmed. She shared that right after I had announced that, she text-messaged her Nigerian friends right there during the banquet to let them know that she's one of them.

The reunion concluded with a family worship service and an early picnic on Sunday. We had a blast! Everyone was so thrilled about the outcome of this first reunion that several family members immediately accepted the call to plan the 2009 reunion, which will be in St. Louis, and the 2011 reunion, which will be in Chicago. The family was adamant about keeping this going.

For this first reunion, nearly 100 family members were in attendance. The committee did an awesome job. And this was the first reunion I attended where I could simply go and enjoy the family and the festivities, and I didn't have to do any work!! Yippee! :)

Like Nicka, I am going to place some pictures online soon. This reunion reflected how much reunions are so vital to the African-American community, and how reunions are not only about connecting with family you know, but also connecting with those you've never met. I LOVE FAMILY REUNIONS!

Below is an old picture of the Mack Danner Family.

Mel


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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