​​COLEMAN HIGH SCHOOL BLUECATS
Sponsored by CHS Alumni Association

The idea of a planning guide came about as a result of reunion planning
 and execution by the last several classes, 
with advice and suggestions from many classmates of previous years.  
It is a compilation of the "things we learned" from many.  
It is not intended as rules to live by but as indicated, a guide toward possibilities.




CHS ANNUAL MULTICLASS REUNION

HOW TO DO IT?  FIRST, PLAN TO HAVE FUN!


It is a very good idea to begin laying groundwork for your class 50th Golden Reunion early, even in previous years. If your class has been in contact over the years it will be easy to circulate information. If yours has not been in communication, find your classmates and discover what talents and skills they are able to bring to your reunion. Lots of phone calls and sleuthing may be needed!  Do this at least the year before and attempt to keep info current.

 A strong committee can take on jobs and carry them out with great success.  Having several committee meetings through early spring and summer of reunion year provides an opportunity to make plans, find ways to accomplish the tasks, then carry them out. The more you are able to streamline the process, the easier the job will be! You may feel the need for a chairperson or co-chairpersons.

The ultimate plan is to put the event together in such a way that you, the host class, are able to enjoy the party and be happy with a job well done with a minimum of blood, sweat and tears!

Online registration through the Reunion Website may increase your attendance and scholarship donations greatly.  If you decide to use PayPal, funds will be deposited directly into your bank account for a small fee.  Many people appreciate the opportunity of credit card convenience. In 2010 about one third of more than 300 registrations were online.  The small fee charged for transactions online is generally offset by increased registrations and revenue for the reunion which makes it economically successful.

  1.  Locate your classmates.  Phone, phone, phone!   Update contact information.
  2. Line up committees and volunteers and get contact numbers and email addresses  for each.  These are your new best friends!​
  3. Schedule a planning meeting no later than early March of your year, and others as   needed.​
  4. Create/select a theme, if possible.  It's fun and useful to have an idea to work from.
     


IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS - IT'S YOUR REUNION!   DO IT ANY WAY YOU WISH!


1.    RESERVE THE BILL FRANKLIN CENTER.  DO THIS AS SOON AS THE CURRENT REUNION ENDS!  
A deposit will be necessary and that should be paid from the reunion expenses account.  This location is the only indoor venue large enough for such an event in Coleman. Outdoor events for a group of this size are highly problematic - in 2000 the second Saturday in October brought in a cold front with drizzle and almost sleet.

a.  Franklin Center (via Chamber of Commerce). Find out what the Chamber provides for you (number of chairs, tables, sound system, clean-up, etc). Also ask about security requirements. Visit the center prior to set up to determine best use of space.  A link to information for the Bill Franklin Center is included on the website with sketches of the building area.
b.   Banners – If you decide to have a class banner, designate someone to get prices, be responsible for hanging and removal. (including ladders, ropes,etc.) Ask the Chamber of Commerce about their special requirements for hanging banners within the meeting hall.
A"Welcome Bluecats" banner was made and gifted by Pat Blake Melrose in 2010 and has been passed on to later classes. See notes for hanging on the Bill Franklin Center.


2.      PAYING FOR THE REUNION
YOUR CLASS DOES NOT PAY FOR THE REUNION.  It pays for itself with the funds you receive from registration.  You should receive financials of income and expenses from the previous class after their reunion. A consolidated bank account from previous reunion profits will provide startup money to work with, but most classes establish their own reunion bank account.  After expenses have been paid and designated scholarship donations deposited, your residual (profit) will pass on to the consolidated reunion fund for the next host class, thus closing your bank account.  

Since the registration form usually has a place for Scholarship Donations, that money must be put into the CHS Alumni Association Scholarship fund when closing your account after the reunion.  These funds may not be used for reunion or operating expenses.

Some classes have chosen to have an auction or a silent auction, or both. These have generally been good fundraisers. Monies derived from the auctions and the 50/50 raffle traditionally belong to the hosting class for their treasury.


3.      REGISTRATION PROCESS
May be handled by the alumni association.  TBD


4.      SCHOLARSHIPS

The CHS Alumni Association will fund scholarships to two graduating seniors. The association scholarship chairman will handle the process.  


5.     CHS ALUMNI ASSOCIATION GOLF TOURNAMENT - the golf tournament committee of the CHS Alumni Association plans and carries out the Annual Golf Tournament as a way to generate money that goes into the CHS Alumni Association Scholarship fund.


6.     PUBLICITY IS ESSENTIAL - advertise your event in the Coleman newspapers (paper and online) and via the Reunion Website.  Post your notice on Facebook occasionally.


7.    COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CLASS - You may wear out several phones drumming  up workers and finding people. There are probably people in your class who may not be willing or able to do anything else but who can work the phones like crazy!  Anything you can do to get a hook in is another success.


8.      PLANNING THE PROGRAM FOR YOUR MAIN EVENT - Once the program outline and time schedule has been planned, the "paper" program you will distribute at the reunion will need to be designed and printed.  In planning the program, time should be allotted for each segment and a time limit should be indicated. A crowd does not want to hear long speeches, but it always seems to happen.


9.      VENDORS AND SERVICES –
Coleman people/service providers to be contacted
(obtaining cost quotations where needed):

a.      Chamber of Commerce

b.      CHS counselor

c.       Current Alumni Association Scholarship Chairman

d.        Newspapers, paper and online 

e.      Photographer for class photos – Ralph Terry Studios has provided this  service in the past, but make arrangements with him.

f.     Food vendors and caterers for lunch - Coleman area vendors used in the    past include Big O's, Sharon's Catering in Abilene, Hidalgo's Mexican Food, Best Fried  Chicken, Primo Pasta in Early.  Choose a caterer experienced in feeding 300  people or more.  Ask for references and call those references.  Sample offerings if possoble

g.      Early Coffee and Breakfast Snacks, drinking water, ice, serving supplies,  and any catered meals must be considered and decided upon.

h.      Dance - Decide whether to have a band or a DJ for Saturday night dance.  Choose and contract with band.

i.       Supplies and equipment - Assign people to purchase supplies as needed - paper goods, sodas, water, etc.
 If any additional equipment is needed (extra tables, chairs, etc), arrangements  must be made – rental, pick up, return.
j.       Sound system – check with the Chamber and do a "trial" run. 

k.      Local set up help – such as FFA students. Also, custodian at   the center may be hired  to set up the room.

l.       Security for the dance - Off-duty Coleman police department officers have      been available for the evening at a reasonable rate. (Check at Chamber.)




RESOURCES AND PEOPLE

Sample forms and checklists are included with this document. Some are for planning, some for registration, some for program, and miscellaneous.

There are many people from past and present classes and from the community who are willing to provide information and suggestions, from the number of donuts to buy to program planning.  

When you need help, you will find that anyone who has worked on a previous reunion will be happy to share experience and ideas. Just ask!

If you are interested in contacting resource people, please send an email through the "Contact Us" link on the Reunion website:    http://bluecat50.sharepoint.com/Pages/ContactUs.aspx


ONCE AGAIN, HAVE FUN!

Since it is your class's 50th anniversary you will probably plan additional events for them only.  The registration form and a program for your class should include these.  If you have classmates who can host and plan these locally, fantastic!

Past classes have had cookouts, fish-frys, Bluecat football attendance, and other kinds of parties on the Friday night preceding.  Many have planned a Sunday morning breakfast. Some used the class meetings time slot on Saturday afternoon for a special program.  By Sunday the class will feel especially special, and everyone will feel they have had a hand in providing a good time for all
Sample Invitation Letter