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Class 70th birthday celebration

Forums: General Discussion
Created on: 03/13/16 02:44 PM Views: 1224 Replies: 10
Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 2:44 PM

We're considering having a class 70'th birthday celebration in 2017. For Admin who had/or are having success organizing: how was your venue Contract guarantee handled? In our locale, we must guarantee at least 50 people/non refundable. Our Reunion Committee has disbanded. My classmates procrastinate - I'm concerned signing a Contract. Thank you.

Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 4:37 PM - Response #1

You could post such an announcement, asking your classmates to send in enough funds* to secure the venue - the amount they send will be deducted from their 'individual total cost' once it is determined.

This far out, looks like YOU get to pick the date, since you have no committee!

And, you can ask for NEW volunteers as well!

* - [non-refundable - unless enough money is NOT sent in to pay for the minimum]

Edited 03/13/16 4:39 PM
Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 4:46 PM - Response #2

We had the same concerns. But have not signed any contract and probably won't.
We were successful with a meet and greet and may try that since everyone buys their own drinks and food. Additionally we do not have to have a room we just work with the hotel to ensure they have enough help when we show up at the lounge.

If you would like to talk directly 978-387-8001.


Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 4:52 PM - Response #3

My class of 1973 hosted a 60th birthday celebration last year. We were lucky enough to have the brother of one of our deceased classmates offered his beautiful lake house property for our event at no charge. We hired a Food Truck -- and as a result - we did not charge our guests for attending. Each classmate was asked to bring a wrapped gift in the $15-$20 range. All guests left with a present --- which added to the fun.

Our only expenses included the few $$$ spent on decorations for the patio area, and 2 Port-a-John (we didn't want our guests to go in and out of the host's home). In communication before the event to the guests (thru the website of course) we let folks know that donations were welcome to 1) pay for the port-a-john, and 2) monies above the port-a-john would be donated to hospice (in memory of the host's sister who had died in 2009)

I received emails for a couple weeks about our June 2015 event with 10 thumbs up for the outstanding venue and everyone raved about the food truck.

Weeks leading up to the big party - one of our classmates interviewed a # of our school family members and put together a video of the interviews. He also paid respects to those who are no longer with us. The video was played on a big screen the night of the party and almost a year later- folks are still talking about it.

I'm attaching the fab video.........It's about an hour long - and while you might not have an interest in seeing a video involving folks you don't know - maybe it will give you an idea to have something like this done for your class.

Very Happy

Edited 05/20/17 4:01 PM
Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 5:05 PM - Response #4

In fact, we are having a Turning 70 Party this year too. The idea was first offered by one classmate at our 50 year reunion - rather than waiting until our 55th to meet again.

We prepared a survey for our classmates - would you attend? would you bring a guest? We offered multiple choice responses like Very Likely to attend, Likely to Attend, No interest. Based on responses we received, 80% of respondents said Very Likely or Likely. So we proceeded to plan. Our 50th was a huge success so we went back to the same venue. While we had 125 attendees at our 50th, we now only signed a contract for a 60 person minimum. We were able to have the venue agree to only $100 deposit so if we must cancel for lack of numbers, it would be a small loss.

Our party is scheduled for September. As soon as we had the contract signed (several months ago) we sent out a Save The Date email and said details will follow later. Just last night I created an Event on the website where people can begin to register. However - knowing it is still 6 months away, I asked that if they are not registering now they could respond to another few quesions...will you attend the Main event? Will you attend the golf outing, etc. We'll see how this goes to see how early I start nagging.

Edited 03/13/16 5:06 PM
Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 5:46 PM - Response #5

Elena, I sympathize with your situation, which is similar to ours.

For our 40th and 45th, we used the banquet room at a local hotel, which required a catering contract, with a minimum $2000 fee. We had plenty of attendees for the 40th but barely broke even for the 45th --- the procrastinators nearly put us in the red, financially. Needless to say, it was very stressful. What saved us were a couple of classmates who donated the difference at the reunion. It seems the odd numbered reunions are the toughest to get people to commit to. The even ones, 40th, 50th, 60th, etc. always seem to draw a larger crowd.

One suggestion: if you happen to have one or two in your class who are blessed financially, and are willing to put up the contract deposit money to get the ball rolling, and possibly make up the difference at the end, that helps. It's too bad things are so expensive these days!

Edited 03/13/16 5:47 PM
Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 6:13 PM - Response #6

Our class is small, 84 in 1960; 10 less than that for our 70th birthday party. One of our classmates offered her home for our afternoon picnic. While she offered to supply much of the refreshments, most folks brought snacks, wine, beer, etc. One brought the birthday cake. It was a great time. Not a huge turnout, but very much enjoyed by those attending.

We have had a couple of other picnics. We had our 55 year reunion last summer, a 3 day event. Only one event required reservations, and that was a lake cruise in the afternoon which included a light lunch. Most of us are happy with daytime activities - no night driving!

Pretty sure we will do more picnics.

Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 10:32 PM - Response #7

Thank you for all your replies & details - much appreciated! Our 3-day 50th was Oct 2015. We sold out one month prior. Our class continues to remain connected on our website & we had a few successful post 50th - local gatherings. After our 50th, classmates posted they want to gather before our 55th. A poll was sent and good feedback for a group 70th, sounds promising. However, asking classmates to commit with funding a year in advance is questionable. An informal & organized no host, pay as you go, might be possible. In our metropolitan locale, some venues are already booked for 2017. Several classmates who attended our 50th live out of town. It's a puzzlement predicting how many, if any, would fly back for a laid back evening. We do have funds remaining in our class bank account. Will report back if anything is decided & finalized. Having chaired 5 reunions over 25 years, certain no one says chairing a class gathering or reunion is their career goal! Thanks for all your good suggestions - much appreciated.

Edited 07/18/16 4:44 PM
Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 11:06 PM - Response #8

Irma - your video is amazing!! Thanks for posting...

Monday, March 14, 2016 at 5:36 AM - Response #9

Elena - I'm so glad you took the time to watch it.

The video wound up being quite the money-maker - as regardless of it being uploaded to YouTube a week or so after the event - I was slammed w/ requests for copies. It was relatively inexpensive to burn the copies (my husband is the tech guru---it was somewhat time consuming - but he offered his services). In spite of the low cost to burn - a poll taken = classmates suggesting $20/DVD. We sold a ton of 'em, resulting in our having made several hundred $$$. Those $$$t went towards the donation to hospice, to our local Shepherd's Center, and we sent a nice size check to our food vendor for his great services. (Guests at the party of course paid for their food at the time of purchase)

Edited 03/14/16 5:52 AM
Monday, March 6, 2017 at 5:28 PM - Response #10

Our east coast 70th birthday bash will be held on a Saturday evening late September 2017 - paid classmates to date will attend from the UK, PA, NJ, California, Fl and North Carolina. Our private dining room, bar & dance floor can accommodate only 29 more. No worries if our numbers don't increase since we found a venue that doesn't require any minimum - our space does have a maximum number for classmate accommodation. Online only invitation posted on our website. There's no need to "sell" this event - procrastinators might lament! We're considering hosting a complimentary casual dinner Friday night get together at a classmate's home for out of town classmates arriving the day prior. Thank you Class Creator and tech support for the ability to maintain a private, secure home on the web for classmates to connect and reconnect. Current website stats nearly has high as prior to our 50th. Doing the happy dance!

Edited 03/10/17 5:30 PM
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