Reunion Planning Tips
We have gathered tips and tricks from classes that have already held their reunions so that we can help classes get started in planning their reunion.  We hope this step by step guide encourages and assists SuHi alumni form reunion committees and create a reunion to remember for years to come.  The most important thing to know is that the Alumni Association is here to help you along and can be contacted any time with questions and concerns.  Ideally you want to get started at least 12-15 months ahead of time, although some classes have started as much as 3 years earlier to begin looking for classmates.

A special thank you goes out to alumni who have shared advice, ideas, experience and input for this page:  Dave Crow '50, Don Crist '74, Ken Napper '61, Anthony Garcia '90, Alma Sarmiento Graham '74, Margaret Sarmiento Lim '75 and the rest of the class of 1975 reunion committee.

If you would like to share your experience or suggestions for reunion planning, please email your ideas to

Good Luck!
1.  Contact the Alumni Association to see if anyone else has started yet.
2.  Gather volunteers and form a committee. 
3.  Once a committee is formed, contact the Alumni Association for a class list.
4.  Start Fundraising as soon as possible and set up a bank account.. 
5.  Start searching for alumni as soon as possible. 
Click here for more info
6.  Start and carefully maintain a current class roster of your contacts.
7.  Meet, start brainstorming, and assign tasks to get the plans rolling.
8.  Set a date, reserve the hotel and make up flyers, postcards, and/or website.
     ($500 is usually the going rate to reserve a facility)
Forming a Committee
Assign committees and establish deadlines for tasks assigned to each committee.  Start planning early and stay on top of it all.
Whatever titles you give them, you will probably need members willing to do the following types of tasks:
Main Contact Person(s)
Their phone number, address, email etc. will be listed on all flyers, postcards, mailers and website.  They will receive numerous phone calls and be called upon most often.
Fundraising Director
This person must set up, coordinate, and obtain help for any fundraisers.  It is important to start fundraising right away to have money for postage, long distance calls, t-shirts, and down payments.  Its a good idea to have more than one person for this job.
This person will account for all cash flows relating to the committee, report collecting and spending at meetings and open the bank account.  It's a good idea that this person is not the same person in charge of fundraisers so that there is accountability and honesty.  Rule of thumb: 2 signatures on all checks.
Class Roster Coordinator
This person must have a computer to keep ongoing roster of classmates and information.  Find out right away if the computer program can also print labels for you.  Keep the listed updated continuously and bring printouts to the meetings. 
Newsletter Editor
Someone should create and maintain a monthly newsletter to let everyone know what's happening and spot light missing classmates, so classmates might help you seach, show other classmates, or just have something to pass along.  This can be an email newsletter or regular postal mail newsletter or both.
Advertising Chairman
This person should be responsible for contacting media, including free newspapers, outdoor sign companies other advertising opportunities.
To record notes and discussion at each meeting and prepare agendas for future meetings.  This will organize your planning and help you work efficiently.
Corporate Sponsorships
Sell business ads in your memory book/mini-annual
Donations from classmates
Golf tournament
Rummage Sale
Car Washes
Hot Dog/hamburger/icre cream booth at previous year's all class picnic
Oldies Dance
Group Trips to Viejas, Barona or Sycuan
Pricing, Location, Date and Details
Try to set the date around the same weekend as the homecoming football game for the benefit of out-of-towners, and to keep the momentum going.  Or after homecoming so that you can use homecoming to find classmates and get the word out.
Clearly state what the price of the reunion includes (dinner, music, door prize registration, tips, no host bar, etc.)
Try to preview the band or dj ahead of time by attending one of their other events.  That way you can experience their sound system and what they have to offer.
When putting together flyers, postcards or website, you may use clipart from this site if you would like.  CLICK HERE to see all red devil and SuHi clipart.
Class of 1990 did an "Ice Breaker Party" the night before the reunion at the Bonita Store Restaurant.  They had twice as many people got to that because it was cheaper and less intimidating than a formal reunion. 
Collecting Names, Data and Money
Have a signer AND cosigner on the checking account.
Never rely on a promise to show up and pay at the door.  Be sure to get ticket money ahead of time.  You may consider charging more at the door to encourage presale tickets.
Collect info for memory books when you collect the money, if you do have books.  Try to keep them simple since no one ever appreciates all the hard work that goes into creating them.
Make as many personal contacts as possible.  This means phone calls or visits.  Letters and postcards don't always get people's attention, and you'll save on postage.
Start searching for alumni as early as possible and as many people possible working on that task.  A computerized list is important for tracking and printing labels.
Sell tickets and collect money in advance to pay for down payments, supplies, and to be sure you will get the money at all!
As mentioned before, someone should create and maintain an email newsletter to let everyone know what's happening and spot light missing classmates.  This will get classmates involved in the search, especially if you put specifically, "Forward this to any other classmates you know."  If you don't tell them, they won't do it.
Business cards are cheap means of making "flyers"  and you can mail 10 or so to every classmate you find so they can give them to anyone the run into.  They can be as cheap as $0.01 per card for plain black and white with no logos or a little more for something a little more fancier.
At the Reunion
Anticipate congestion at the check-in table.  Late-comers may argue that they shouldn't  have to pay full price, and some may slip in without paying.  (Remember high school?  Yeah, this sometimes happens.)  Have the price more expensive at the door to secure ticket sales in advance.
Try to gain access to the room as early as possible to decorate and still allow time for committee members to go home and get ready. 
If you sell T-shirts it may be a hassle when everyone wants to try them on for size.  It can be hard to keep track and very time consuming.
Only allow a certain person or persons to direct the band, dj, caterer, banquet manager or any other hired help.  Note this in the flyer before hand.  This prevents drunks and rabble rousers from ruining a good time.  Any requests should be directed to that certain person and classmates should know who that is before hand.
Try to get 2-3 volunteers that are not in your class to help out at the reunion with check-in so you will have the opportunity to greet and mingle.  Otherwise you'll miss out on half the reunion just manning the tables and tying up loose ends!
Double, triple and quadruple check the names on any memorium display to be sure the person has passed away.  Believe it or not, a class had listed someone as deceased who showed up to the reunion!!
Make sure the band/dj has a portable microphone that committee members will have access to throughout the evening.  During band breaks you can hand the mic to PRESELECTED classmates to share embarrassing moments and memorable stories.  DO NOT hand the mic to a rambling drunk. 
Raffles can be done, preferrably early on in the evening or post winning numbers on a board somewhere.  50-50 raffles are usually a big hit, but donated prizes are also great.  Some classes have had a bad experience with raffles because its too loud to hear the winning numbers, it doesn't raise that much money and its more trouble than its worth.  Door pizes are usually better, just call winners by name.
Try not to interrupt the festivities more than half way through the evening or later on because it breaks the mood. 
If you are going to do contests, don't do the same ones you did at the last reunion because the same people will probably win again (ie: the person with the oldest kids, or longest married).  Also, a "most changed" is not always a good one because it can be very embarrassing to the nominees.  Here are other ideas:  most grandkids, most distance travelled, "most stayed the same, " shortest marriage, and most embarrassing moment story.
Slides shows are great, everyone loves to see pictures!
Definately, sing the Alma Mater at the end!!  If possible have the band get sheet music from the current band director or have the dj get a recording of it.  This is nicely topped with a high energy dance hit to get everyone out on the dance floor for one huge finale.
Other Suggestions
Volunteer to help the class before you at their reunion.  They will need someone to help the night of the reunion so that they can enjoy themselves.  This will give you lots of ideas for your reunion and you're sure to have fun, too since you went to school with them, too.  You never know, maybe they will hand down their leftover funds as seed money for your group. 
This tradition of passing on seed money has been handed down throughout the 70's classes.  Class of 1973 gave their remaining funds to class of 1974, who eventually passed on funds to class of 1975 who passed on funds to class of 1976.  We certainly hope this tradition lives on.  Afterall, it simply exemplifies the SuHi Family's way of helping each other and keeping in touch!
Be sure to invite your favorite teachers and have the reunion committee sponsor their entrance fees and cost of dinner. 
CLICK HERE to visit's comprehensive reunion planning guide for more in depth information, tips and tools.  The site includes links to create your own impressive reunion announcements/invitations.