A new National Endowment for the Arts program, Blue Star Museums, is giving active military personnel and their families free admission through Labor Day. Blue Star Museums with the endowment and Blue Star Families, has more than 800 museums in all 50 states including at least 30 children's museums. The free admission, also available to active duty reservists and active duty National Guard. A snazzy interactive map has the list of participating museums at http://www.nea.gov/national/bluestarmuseums/index.php.
Brown Paper Tickets Salutes
US veterans, active military and immediate family members are eligible for free event tickets every day of the year through “Brown Paper Tickets Salutes.” Event organizers donate and ticket buyers purchase extra tickets for those who have verified US military service as a way of saying “thank you for serving our country.” Brown Paper Tickets and Veteran Tickets Foundation, also known as Vet Tix, a nonprofit 501c(3) organization matches donated tickets after Vet Tix verifies military service records, giving donors the confidence of knowing their gift will be enjoyed only by those who served. Possibilities include live events, music festivals, comic book conventions, sporting events, comedy shows, farm-to-table dinners, cooking classes, plays, concerts, burlesque, roller derby and much more. View upcoming events and register for this lifetime benefit.
Something special for Military Reunions
Something special for Military Reunions that book #1 Hits of the 60's Show in Branson Missouri. Ahead of the show date, you send pictures of reunion attendees while they were in the Armed Forces. The show puts the pictures on a video to music. God Bless America is one song they use, but they will customize the music to the reunion. They do not charge for the production of the video, it is their way of giving back to the men and women who served for our country. Contact Nita Tate at 866-339-1960; www.1hitsofthe60s.com
Honoring Military Heroes
Louisville, Kentucky, honors its military heroes at several memorials; the Purple Heart Trail, The Patriots Peace Memorial, Zachary Taylor National Cemetery and The General George Patton Museum at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Reflect on the heroism of those who served the country. "Honoring Military Heroes" itinerary is posted on the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau's website.
Join The Alliance of Military Reunions!
The Alliance of Military Reunions is a new, cooperative networking and support organization of, by and for military and naval reunion groups. Learn more at http:// www.allmilitaryreunions.org. Reunions magazine is a member of the Alliance and, for a limited time, we can sponsor you to join the Alliance, free. They have agreed to waive the $25 initiation fee for any group that includes the words "Sponsored by Reunions magazine" in the comments box on the online Membership Application.
If you're not ready to join, go to http://allmilitaryreunions.wufoo.com/forms/z7x4m1/ to put yourself on the non-member contact list for occasional emails to keep you updated as the Alliance develops.
Kids tour Pearl Harbor free
Polynesian Adventure Tours - Gray Line Hawaii offers “Kids Go Free” to six popular Pearl Harbor tours into 2011. It’s a wonderful learning experience for all generations.”
Kids ages 11 and under good for one child per paid accompanying adult to
• Pearl Harbor, Arizona Memorial & Punchbowl National Cemetery of the Pacific (value of $23.00)
• Battleship Missouri Memorial, USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor (value of $42.00)
• Pacific Aviation Museum, USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor (value of $38.00)
• Pearl Harbor Heroes Adventure Tour (value of $57.00)
• Pearl Harbor, Circle Island Tour (value of $44.00)
• Grand Circle Island, Kualoa Ranch and Dole Pineapple Plantation Tour (value of $45.00)
A pilgrimage to Pearl Harbor is a must for Americans of all ages. These experiences bridge generations, create new memories and carry forth the legacies of these legendary ships.
Retreat helps wounded veterans "Thirty percent of all returning soldiers are coming home with traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress disorder," said Tim Suereth, of South Florida, founder of Veterans Retreat. "Americans owe these injured Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Seamen a debt we can never repay. Veterans Retreat hopes to motivate them to maintain a positive attitude on life and future possibilities."
Veterans Retreat sponsors deep-sea fishing trips, sailing instruction, scuba diving certification, introductory flight instruction courses and more. These recreational and sporting-related healing retreats are provided at no cost to participants and are funded entirely by contributions from individual and corporate sponsors.
Contact: Veterans Retreat, 1602 Alton Road, #476 Miami Beach, FL 33139. www.veteransretreat.com/
Tax free Greater Wilmington, Delaware, is a tax-free destination. Call 800-489-6664; VisitWilmingtonDE.com.
Don't know Houston? Ask Veronica, online concierge, for examples of free things to do around town.
To ask Veronica a question, simply log on to VisitHoustonTexas.com/AskVeronica, or click on the Ask Veronica icon on the homepage. You can ask Veronica a question or search categories to read previously answered items. Most questions are answered within 24 hours.
Global Greeter Network
Personal walking tours were started by Big Apple Greeter, the model for cities around the world, but the only North American cities are New York, Chicago, Houston and Toronto. Greeters are residents who take you on a private, unscripted stroll through a neighborhood or off the beaten path. Greeters are all volunteers who love their city and want to share it with groups of no more than six. No fees, no tipping. Reserve a few weeks in advance to be assigned a local escort with expertise in what you want to see. Chicago, for example, offers the choice of 40 special-interest areas (skyscraper architecture, Irish American heritage, synagogues) and more than 25 neighborhoods (Little Italy, Polish Chicago, North Michigan Avenue, the Loop). If your tour takes you beyond walking distance, you'll use free passes on public transportation.
Here's a site that may help you construct a banner or logo for your reunion. Thanks to Gordon Govier who shared this idea.
The program finds letters in photos that people have uploaded to Flickr. Click on http://metaatem.net/words/ , enter your word. You'll receive a code you insert into a website to make a title. To make a graphic file you need graphic editing software, such as Adobe Elements, to capture the image and then edit it.
Panoramic group pictures
No charge for set up, no minimum purchase required in the San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi and Houston, Texas, areas. Visit our website at www.herdonpanoramics.com
Panorama Photos 40 x 60 inches. yes – everyone’s face is visible. Free premiums and most of the time no charge for set up. Atlanta Panoramic, 800-873-2577; www.AtlantaPanorama.com
Picture Gallery Is your reunion picture in the gallery? If not, email or mail to Reunions magazine, PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211.
Take the guess work out
Here's a dandy way to judge how much alcohol you'll need to buy for your party. The evite drink calculator asks how long the party will be, how many people will be drinking, and estimate how much and what you're serving and viola! the numbers are right there. On the same site, you'll find a party budget calculator too! Accuracy can save you money.
How-to plan a reunion podcasts answer many of your questions and dilemmas. Listen now or upload to your iPod or mp3 player! it's all free.
The Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture showcases hundreds of treks, tours, itineraries, and other urban adventures downtown and throughout the neighborhoods, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Experience the city in a new way, brimming with adventures. Audio tours also available. Treks and tours throughout the city posted daily on the Urban Excursions blogs. http://www.ExploreChicago.org/summer.
For any reunion that includes outdoor activities, weather is the fickle guest: you want it shine down on your event but you know there’s always a chance you’ll not be so lucky. Here are some ways to add to your weather intelligence.
When you’re planning your dates and activities, you can see what past history does to predict future weather on wunderground.com. Scroll down to “view calendar” and click on years back. You’ll see what the weather was like on your reunion dates for many years back. Is there a pattern in what you see? Too much rain? Or none at all? Then make your decision and, as always with weather, take your chances!
Closer to your reunion, AccuWeather (accuweather.com) can now stretch its long forecast out to 25 days. This forecast predicts weather patterns and can predict warm, cold, wet and dry spells. Click on forecast, then on month. Of course, you can’t get details that far out but it can help you plan.
Finally, on the day/weekend of your reunion, you might want weather alerts if you’re facing the possibility of changing plans or rain out. Yes, RainedOut! It is a free service that enables you to send instant alerts to your entire reunion. It is used to cancel events, give directions, recruit volunteers, send reminders, and much more. Messages can come from a net-connected PC or a standard cell phone. RainedOut instantly and simultaneously broadcasts alerts to mobile phones (via SMS text message), email accounts, web pages, RainedOut Page, facebook and Twitter. Visit RainedOut.com.
Class reunion web pages ClassQuest provides web pages free that include space for profiles, photographs, stories and message boards. Classquest.com
Create your own reunion website. 7 day free trial. Great features and planning tools. Online registration, rsvp, ticket payment, message boards, guest book, quiz, poll, stories, photo albums, no ads, travel information. Call 877-769-3836; www.myevent.com.
To see how it works, hold your phone or mobile device over our QR code and you'll go directly to reunionsmag.com!
REUNION PLANNING WORKSHOPS
List of reunion planning workshops all over the country. Most are free but require advance registration. If you don't find one close to you, contact your convention and visitors bureau and ask when they will be doing one and suggest they register it with Reunions magazine.
FREE Virtual Family Reunion Planning Workshop
11:00 AM CST, bimonthly. You can join by telephone from anywhere. To register, send an e-mail to email@example.com, or call Niko Cook at 847-873-2271. You will receive a FREE family reunion planning toolkit, hear from industry experts, and participate in a "live" question and answer session with a panel of reunion professionals. Limited virtual seats are available.