HOW TO PLAN A REUNION
Form a Committee
Call local classmates to form a planning committee. For help the Mepham Alumni Association can provide a list of local classmates, including addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses, where available. (see contacts below.)
If you are not successful in finding enough volunteers, place a notice on our Mepham Alumni Facebook page, or send email to your classmates who have registered on Classmates.Com. Stress that if there are no volunteers there will be no reunion.
Even classmates who are not local can participate by helping to find missing classmates, working on souvenirs, putting together a reunion booklet, or helping with computer tasks.
Contact the Mepham Alumni Association for information and help. Find out if they will be having a mailing soon so that you can announce the intention to organize a reunion and ask for volunteers. Contact the Webmaster (see below) to post a similar announcement on the Mepham Alumni web site.
- Hold a meeting of that committee to make basic decisions:
- The date(s) that would be acceptable
- What would be included - dinner/dance, cocktail party, brunch, something at Mepham, gathering at someone's home, etc.
- An acceptable price range
- Suggested locations for the activities
Then assign people to check on those places discussed as possibilities: their availability, the price, and what it includes, for example open bar vs cash bar, choices of food, cash advance, and deadlines. The preliminaries can be done over the phone.
Note: The Mepham Alumni Association has New York State tax exempt status (when discussing prices with potential facilities.)
- Get a mailing out to your classmates with at least the basic information of date and an idea of what will be planned. You may want to solicit suggestions to get them involved as well. You will need addresses of missing classmates, so include that list in the mailing. It's also nice to include a membership form for the Alumni Association, which will lend you some "upfront" money to get started. At some point you will probably want to open a checking account. Using the Alumni Association tax exempt status will help. Call the Reunion Coordinator or Webmaster for assistance.
- At your next meeting decide what place(s) you will use, the exact date(s), and what price you will need to charge. Keep in mind your expenses for several mailings; printing a reunion program with list of classmates; decorations; cost of invited guest(s), such as your class advisor; music; etc. Plan on having money for a follow-up newsletter after the reunion, and possibly a directed donation for something at Mepham.
How often the committee meets depends on available time and need to discuss; the telephone can substitute for some needs, but the first two meetings pretty much have to be done as a group.
The first mailing is your "early warning" to alert your classmates so they can make plans. If you do not have a specific date, at least give an idea such as "Spring 2004."
The second mailing will give specific information. By then you should know the exact date and cost, have suggestions on lodging, and you may want at this time to include a questionnaire or even ask for upfront money for the reunion. If you ask people to pay in advance be sure that you tell them a cut-off date by which time they can get a refund if they find that they cannot attend.
If you want a response to questions or money solicitation be sure to include an self-addressed envelope. You will have a very low response if you do not enclose an envelope.
The number of mailings will vary according to need and time available. The final mailing should include specific directions to the various activities, and may be to all classmates or only those indicating their attendance.
Search for Classmates, an Ongoing Project
- Assign one person to coordinate this project, although you may have many people working on it.
- From your yearbook, graduation programs, etc. make a full list of all your classmates, including those who were in your class but may have not graduated. A computer will be helpful for keeping track of everything.
- From the Mepham Alumni Association get the addresses available for your class.
- From the Mepham Alumni Association get a list of possible siblings of your Missing List (which is posted on the Mepham Alumni web site, Mepham.Org). This "possible sibling list" is made available only to those committees that are planning and running their own reunion, and is not available to commercial reunion companies.
- Begin contacting people to find your missing classmates. It is much more efficient and inexpensive to make this contact by phone. A short phone call will quickly determine whether the contact can provide the address you want. You can make many short phone calls for the price of one postage stamp, and you get an immediate answer. From our experience, most people do not respond to inquiries by mail!!! When making your calls be sure to start by identifying yourself as calling for the Mepham Alumni Association, and say why you're calling.
- Be sure to inform the Alumni Association of all addresses you find so we can keep our database up-to-date for you. This is important. Send all changes, including phone numbers and email addresses to Registrar@Mepham.Org.
For information on how to run a Mepham High School reunion go to Suggestions for Having a Reunion or contact our Reunions Chairman or Webmaster:
1491 Carroll St, Wantagh, NY 11793
75 Weaving Lane, Wantagh, NY 11793