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Need Suggestions for Reunion "Prize" Awards

Forums: General Discussion
Created on: 03/03/11 07:45 PM Views: 30866 Replies: 15
Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 7:45 PM

Evening All...
I was wondering if any of you have any ideas for some suggestions on awarding prizes for such things as "Who traveled the farthest" "Who has been married the longest" Ect. I need the questions some of you might have used to do this activity. We would like to give some out during the reunion. Also any suggesting about what kind of "Gifts" were given at your reunions for these categories would be much appreciated as well.

Thanks!Smile

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Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 8:31 PM - Response #1

Hey Anita! We only had a drawing for door prizes, since we were kind of slack and didn't really spend a lot of time collecting data, but at the reunion we had a blast. We have a great classmate who has always been very popular with everyone in the community. He has worked for Little Debbie forever. He donated cases of Little Debbies. So we pulled names out of a hat and took photos of the winners with their boxes. Everyone loved them, even folks from out of town since they could give them to their parents/families with whom they were staying. Okay, we are easily entertained. My point is, it isn't so much the prize, but the thought and presentation.

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Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 8:36 PM - Response #2

Good Morning Anita ~ for what it's worth here is what our committee did. Classes of 1959-1961

AWARDS

Ball & Chain Award
For being married the longest
_____________________________ ‘~ 51 years
Ball & Chain

Arithmetic Award
For having the most children, grandchildren, & great grandchildren
__________________________ (1961) ~ 17
Calendar to help remember birthdays & anniversaries

Come Fly With Me Award
For the person that traveled the farthest
_________________________ (1961) ~ 2,389 miles
His own airplane (toy)

Doctor, Doctor Stay Away
For the person taking the most prescription medication daily
_____________________ (1962) ~ 10
Weekly pill Box (very large)

Walk-a-thon Award
For the person who could have walked to the reunion
_______________ (1961) ~ 3.7 miles
Bus token

What ever you choose enjoy it.

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Edited 03/03/11 8:37 PM
Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 8:47 PM - Response #3

Hi Anita,
YOur imagination and The Dollar Store can go a long way in keeping it Fun and low-cost. If you have the funds, the possibilites incrrease, but Gag gifts were easy and a de'stresser of sorts.
The one with the most ex's was given a giant eraser, the one with the longest marriage, a deck of magic cards, the one with the most grandchildren, some coloring books,etc, the one with the newest grandbaby, some baby wipes, the newest "parents" (some of the energetic/late-bloomer guys have some tiny young-uns) toys, bubbles, or baby wipes,etc, a giant comb for the guys who had the least hair, a map or town for the one who had been gone the longest...
The one who had never attended a reunion (there were a more than a few) we gave calenders so they could keep track of the dates...a travel book or atlas to the one who had not moved very far (there are some that live in the homes they grew up in...) and the one who traveled the farthest, a travel clock...one bit of advice, you might want to get a few "extra", just in case you need them! The ideas almost jump out at you from the "school" aisle. Nothing over a dollar makes it even more fun!
I also made an emergency trip to the local Goodwill/Salvation Army and had great success with finding simple, affordable things. We filled some very nice things with "basket-like" fruits,nuts etc and the were popular in the raffle.
We had quite a bit of success with the ideas of "donations" from this forum. There is an excellent form letter from one of the admins that i used, made many calls, and many were eager to help, get a free bit of advertising on the night, the program and the web site, and the worst that can happen is that they can say no. The coffee places, restaurants,florists,delis, pizza places,liquor stores and bars etc were all on my list.
The surprises were wonderful and they really helped break up the sometimes uncomfortable times, we had many that had never been to a reunion and didn't realize that they might have Fun!
The Dollar/99 cent stores also have gift bags and party favors that some might find handy for decorations. Even those MardiGras beads in school colors were fun! I purchased vases for the flowers without breaking the budget, which was essentially zero, but it all worked out beautifully.
You may want to solicit a "volunteer" or confidante or two to help you...Many hands make light work. Good help is still hard to find, but many realized that it can be "Fun" and it helps make it all more meaningful.
I am sure that others here will have more excellent ideas and insights, but just wanted to tell you to "Have Fun"!
We also did the 50/50 which was quite fun for those that participated!
HAVE FUN!

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Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 9:12 PM - Response #4

HI Kris, Could you tell me where I could find the form letter you talked about...
Thanks, Gary

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Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 9:25 PM - Response #5

Hi Gary,
I originally found it in a "search" or the forums for "donations/local businesses" and i just copied the premise of the letter, made it specific to our school and what I wanted to say. I do not live in town, so I did a bit of calling, e-mailing and I sent the letter to any of the classmates who wanted to use it...some have connections in town and it came in handy when they wanted an idea of what to say, etc...
Good Luck and Have FUN!
Try this forum...donations from local businesses

p.s One of our classmates sent a very nice check "out of the blue" before our reunion and it was such a blessing in so many ways. Especially since it arrived during a week i wanted to quit planning the entire thing... Once it was announced that he was a "donor", others came up to me at the reunion and said they would have been glad to help "if they had known"...so if the spirit moves you, share your needs or concerns, or just casually mention that you are open to help in all forms. You will be surprised at the "angels in disguise"! They are everywhere!Cool

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Edited 03/03/11 9:29 PM
Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 9:29 PM - Response #6

Hey Gary when you get the info on where she got the letter, would you pass it along to me. I'll give you my regular email address rhdesktop@gmail.com.
thanks, Richard

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Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 10:13 PM - Response #7

Well...you all have given me plenty to think about...thanks so much for your ideas! I am definately going to use many of them...in fact, maybe all of them...LOL Thanks for taking the time to get back to me...and I am still open to anyone else who has some ideas they would like to share!

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Edited 03/03/11 10:13 PM
Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 10:26 PM - Response #8

We also made our classmates aware that "donations" above the cost per couple were welcome. The generosity of folks is heartwarming. The main "award" we made was to our teachers who attended, of course, at our age, class of 1960, we only had about six that were still alive and able to attend but to each of them and to a few "prize" winners we gave a coffee table book of photographs of our hometown, Natchitoches, Louisiana, the oldest town in the Louisiana Purchase.

Hmmmm, I do two classes and this appeared on my brother's Class of 1961 site.

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Edited 03/03/11 10:28 PM
Friday, March 4, 2011 at 7:38 AM - Response #9

Well, we haven't had our reunion yet, but I think the prize will depend on whether or not you want to give a token gift (i.e. breakfast for 2 at the reunion site, movie tickets, casino tickets, etc.) or a memorable gift (i.e. professional current group alumni photos, a choice of memorabilia articles that might be for sale, etc.). We're not having our reunion in the city of our High School (N.Y.C.) because it may be cost prohibitive for some and also we're a small school of 75 girl graduates. So we're asking alumni to bring with them some kind of article uniquely native to where they currently live to donate to a silent auction, the proceeds of which will help to pay for the door prizes of sorts. That takes care of 2 birds with 1 stone.
However, ours is a 50th reunion set for 2013 and I would appreciate any input on more kinds of prizes and for what. All I've thought of is: come the farthest, married the longest, married the most times, the most grandchildren. What else??QuestionSad

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Edited 03/04/11 7:41 AM
Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 9:27 AM - Response #10

A few of our classmates are or are related to local merchants, and when approached, there were glad to donate a few inexpensive items.
One of the classmates* is quite handy with ‘needle and thread,’ and she made and donated as door prizes four pillow case sets with the school logo on them.
A few gift cards were purchased from ‘national chain’ merchants as well.

I like the idea of things like most grand kids, traveled farthest, etc, but the committee did not want to set down and enter the data in a spreadsheet or collate the info, so that idea was scrapped as simply too time consuming.


* - she made a quilt with school related items on it, that we auctioned off or $450.00 Saturday night! [the money went to a local charity.]

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Monday, August 22, 2011 at 2:08 PM - Response #11

Hi Kris,
I'm really taking to heart the things you have said. Our school was located in NYC. Our reunion will be in Sunset Beach, NC. Our alumni range from Vermont to California, to Florida (so far) and only 36% of our graduates have joined the site thus far. We have time, but my concern is donations from 'local' businessmen. The reunion will be 3 days, 2 nites in a town picked by numerous surveys of classmates. Should the letter to local businessmen be worded differently so the 'donated prize' can be used immediately?
So far I've created 3 committees (Research & Retrieve for missing classmates, Decorations & Decor for table decorations, special wall decor, hospitality room decoe, and Photos and Photography which is self evident). However, I need a strong sentence or 2 under the 'donations' button to encourage help. Any suggestions?
Lastly, our alumni consists of 72 girls from a private school. So far about 50% of the 36% have committed to attending. If I get 50% of our classmates to attend, I think we'll be doing quite well. Remember, most have changed their name, and as you can see, most have moved. I'd be appreciative if anyone reading this this could point me in the direction of of the form letter not only to businessmen but also to alumni.
You're right! Angels are everywhere.
BarbaraVery Happy

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Monday, August 22, 2011 at 4:02 PM - Response #12

Hi Barbara,
It sounds like you are well organized already and that will really be a bonus in your Reunion FUN, with your proactive approach! So much of what I learned is/was by trial and error, I really admire your forethought.

Try this Forum, the last entry has an attached document. It should come through...let me know if you cannot find it. You can modify it to your liking or needs.
reunion donations from local businesses/letter/pdf file

For your donation question, perhaps you may want to phrase your request in the form of an announcement. You could thank everyone for their eager enthusiasm to attend the reunion. A reminder of the hard work being donated, the memories to reconnect being priceless, there is still a need in these trying times to defray costs as much as possible. Each and every donation is eagerly welcome to ensure the Best Reunion Ever and appreciated more than words can express. While understanding that this may not be possible, on the chance that it is a possibility, any help, all donations and donors (aka Angels in Disguise) are welcome and celebrated!

As far as to "where" the donations are coming from...the way that I see it, you can get the best of both worlds! Geography in these days of "googling" is just a small challenge. I haven't lived anywhere near our town for years, but used the local Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business site, googling the city's site for ideas and businesses. I simply called the ones I could or had time for and asked to speak to the person in charge,etc. It was really very simple, some said yes readily, others said no,but thanks for asking, but it was only a phone call away.
Asking for an e-mail point of contact, I followed up with an e-mail where I said that I would. Some just gave me a verbal okay and told me to stop by when I was in town,I took their name and made a verbal commitment. I never sent any requests by regular mail. Most were more than happy to help. You can try both the area where your school was, and the town you will be partying in, enthusiastically explain your desire to make an impact on their business and good services and they will be eager to help you make it happen!
I explained that we wanted to create a win/win situation and we would give them web site front page advertising and a shout out during our reunion and on our evening program. "Free" advertising is always welcome, no matter where you live!

A very helpful classmate who lived in town made the rounds to some local bars and almost all of them donated a bottle of wine or spirits of some sort, or complimentary tickets to their establishment. Alcohol is a big hit with our classmates, but the other "stuff", even the fruit and nut bowl, with avocados,dried fruits etc from Trader Joe's was lovely placed in "like-new" serve ware that I found at the Goodwill in town! I found plastic wrap at the dollar store and put a bit of ribbon on them all and it was all very last minute stuff, but it turned out great.
Our "gag gifts" were not formal, nor did I do any surveys. I was pretty busy with everything else, but our classmates( a married couple) that acted as Emcees did a spontaneous survey with those that showed up...we had "leftover" gag gifts that were saved for another reunion,etc and the investment was minimal compared to the Fun and rewards it brought in. The gag gifts were a fun factor to fill the evening and generate some laughs and conversation starters...Sometimes in our troubled world, ones "troubles" don't seem so bad to another and I really wanted to get the jokes and laughter going, as well as alleviate the anxieties almost everyone had. Unfortunately I was so busy with so many other things that I missed most of the evening's highlights, but hope to see the video of the festivities sometime before our next reunion! I vow to plan better "next time" so that I can really look at it all from a different perspective. My goal was accomplished, primarily proving to our class that we are "Reunion Worthy" and we should continue this tradition into the future...Thanks to ClassCreator for their ability to get the class"talking" before the reunion, it was "easy" and those that thought that they would stay home because they wouldn't "miss anything' soon found out that they did indeed miss something very, very special! Thanks again to Brad and his Crew!

Anyway, I am sure that the other admins have some excellent advice for you and the others. It would be great to hear from those who have just experienced their reunions to give us some insight into their successes, hit and misses,if you will!
Thanks again!
Congratulations once again on being so proactive and organized! You are sure to have the Best Reunion Yet! Have FUN every step of the way!

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Edited 08/22/11 4:05 PM
Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:18 PM - Response #13

Thanks Kris for all your upbeat help. Sometimes I do get overwhelmed especially since computers are new to me. I really liked the idea of contacSmileting the BBB and Ch of Com in Sunset Beach to find businesses to e-mail. However, it sounds as though I should pick a particularly outgoing classmate to head a committee to do this. BTW, our 50th reunion is in 2013 and our class has never yet had a reunion. So apathy has made its face known also. But I saw on one of these threads from CC a way of setting up a crossword puzzle concerning our school. Hopefully that, and some music videos (all of us liked Elvis) will help keep interest. I think finding a good DJ will be one of the hardest jobs.
I really appreciate the time you've taken to answer my concerns, and I definately will post a report &/or video of the reunion. If we have the money I'd like to be able to give a video to each attendee.
Thank you again.
Barbara
Smile

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Monday, August 22, 2011 at 8:29 PM - Response #14

Hi Barbara,
Your "very First" reunion! What a grand Celebration on all levels!!! You may need more time to catch up on everyone's lives! (Don't make that decision about your web site duration until after the FUN!!!You will be a Rock Star!)
Thanks for your kind words. After avoiding the task of "asking" (one which I would rather not do...) I decided that if it was going to happen, I might as well try. I sent out an e-mail to classmates, eager for any suggestions. Some have their own businesses and they donated services/products,etc.
Once you suggest the need or idea, you may be very surprised at who (and what) comes up with great ideas! It may not happen as fast as you might like, but it will happen!

Places like our local bakeries, bowling allies, deli's, burger dives/pubs, florists and coffee shops were on my list.
Chains like Biggby Coffee, Starbucks, Panera Bread, Chili's, or any others you might think of can be used anywhere they are found. Once I decided "It can't hurt to ask"...I was very surprised! The rejections were inconsequential in the long run, and I endorse or plug/or stop by those that were supportive when I am in town. Time's are challenging, and every little bit was most appreciated. Many could trade whatever they "won" with someone else. Most were ecstatic to take anything home! We ran out of "raffle tickets" early on due to the great response and I used name tag remnants to improvise. It was one of the very Fun surprises for all, and it really helped cut the awkwardness and anxiety level of not recognizing others, etc etc....We placed many of the goodies on a large table and the emcee couple kept some fun stuff as surprises,etc. We had more than one or two that had NEVER been to a reunion! That was a special prize...a 5-year calendar so that they would make it to the next one!
I purchased 2010 eye-glasses for our 2010/35th reunion at Party City before the New Year so that it would be a souvenior for the year also,(i think some first-timers got those for finally making it to the party!)
I also had inexpensive tea lights for the tables that we sent home with anyone who cared to keep them...they were very inexpensive and an encouragement to remember the warmth of friendship and to keep the fires burning! I sent the flowers and vases home with classmates' wives who cared to take them, as encouragement to let their spouses return in the future!
For those that may not know it, but aren't afraid to ask, our local "gas" company (not the gas and electric, but the kind that fills businesses oxygen/gas/helium tanks,etc) allows helium tanks to be borrowed for the weekend, at no charge, filled with helium, as a donation to reunions held in town. All you have to do is ask.It was a huge bonus and most greatly appreciated! We just purchased balloons at Party City which can be repurposed if not used.
The options are almost endless, limited only be imagination, time and energy! But if you get a cohort in your efforts, it will be good for everyone and they will feel great about contributing to the Fun! Just remember to give lots of shout-outs, as many will "work for praise"! The Joy is really in the journey and giving back...the fun and memories will be priceless!
Have a great time brain-pooling and planning and have an even more remarkable weekend and Reunion!
Have FUN and thanks again!

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Edited 08/22/11 8:32 PM
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 2:22 AM - Response #15

Thank you, Kris!!ExclamationExclamationSmile

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Edited 08/23/11 2:23 AM
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