Reunion Planning Tips
We can help if you're planning a class reunion. Here are some steps to make the process go smoothly.
- Decide on a date for your event.
- Register your reunion with the Olathe Public Schools Alumni Association and we will post the date(s) and your contact information on our website.
- Decide on whether you will have one or more activities.
- Consider contacting the Olathe Convention and Visitors Bureau, (913) 764-1050, for help with hotel arrangements and pricing, meeting and event sites, and other planning tasks.
Find Your Classmates
- Check with the alumni association. Alumni are encouraged to notify us when they move and we may have a current address for those you are missing.
- Use classmates.com or other websites designed for reunions.
- Use the local phonebook because your classmates' parents may still live in Olathe.
- Ask other classmates for the addresses of their best friends from school.
Ideas for Activities
- Activities that have been successful include a buffet dinner with DJ and dancing, backyard barbecue, or group breakfast.
- Check with other class contacts for ideas.
Choose a Location
- Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm lawn or Heritage Center, 1200 N. Kansas City Road, Olathe
- Lake Olathe shelter houses, 625 Lakeshore Drive, Olathe
- Cedar Lake shelter houses, 15500 S. Lone Elm Road, Olathe
- Olathe Trail Riders, 16680 S. Lackman Road, Olathe
- Classmate's home or rural property
- Olathe Convention and Visitors Bureau website lists other resources, http://www.olathe.org/olathe_cvb/ NOTICE: Please be aware that you are about to leave the Olathe Public Schools website. We do not necessarily endorse this third-party site and are not responsible for its accuracy or current content.
In the area:
- Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, 8909 W. 179th St., Bucyrus
- Kill Creek Park, 11670 Homestead Lane, Olathe
- Shawnee Mission Park, 7900 Renner Road, Shawnee
Other Helpful Hints
- Johnson County Old Settlers weekend is the first weekend after Labor Day. On the positive side, this weekend draws a lot of former residents back to Olathe. Unfortunately, few people want to miss Old Settlers activities.
- Remember your classmates who may still have children in school, and consider dates carefully.
- A holiday weekend may impact the availability of a location.
- Consider how much your event(s) will cost and try to keep expenses down so that those who must travel for the reunion won't have a lot of additional expenditures.
- Consider reserving a block of rooms at a hotel. This step and holding the event at this hotel may allow you to negotiate a better room rate.
- The Olathe Chamber of Commerce can provide contacts at area hotels.
- You can invite teachers to your main event by working through the Olathe Public Schools Alumni Association.
- Consider collecting an extra $1 or $2 to donate to the alumni association to help defray general operating expenses or to contribute to an existing scholarship fund in the name of a special educator. More information about scholarships can be obtained from Cynthia VonFeldt, executive director of the Olathe Public Schools Foundation, (913) 780-8249.
- When updating your class roster, be sure to ask for classmates' email addresses because it's cheaper to communicate via email than through posted mail.
- Remind your classmates to send change of address notifications to the Olathe Public Schools Alumni Association so we can keep their records updated.
- When your reunion is over, email a copy of your updated class roster to Diane Gossage at firstname.lastname@example.org. The alumni association will keep the most recent list on file, update it with any new information, and send it back to you when you begin planning your next reunion.
- The Olathe Public Schools Alumni Association has established a bank account for funds collected by Olathe alumni classes. Class officers interested in putting their reunion money in the account for future reunion use should contact Diane Gossage at (913) 780-8182 or email@example.com. Checks should be made out to the Olathe Public Schools Alumni Association with the school and class year in the memo line (example: ON Class of '61). Designated representatives for the class may request their money later by contacting the Community Development office.
Reunion Myths and Facts
Myth: You should have a class reunion every five years.
Fact: While it's nice to do so, it's not a hard and fast rule. It seems the older you get the more often you want to see the folks from your class.
Myth: Reunions should be for your class only.
Fact: Yes, the point of a class reunion is to gather classmates, but it's also for those who attended but didn't graduate and those who had ties back to elementary school.
Myth: It's customary for class officers to plan reunions.
Fact: It may be customary, but it's not mandatory. Anyone interested in getting their class together can plan a reunion.
Myth: Successful reunions must be planned a year in advance.
Fact: Successful reunions have been planned in as little as a few months. But a short timeframe may lead to problems finding an acceptable venue that isn't already booked.
Myth: Successful reunions require a lot of planners.
Fact: A large group of people might make planning easier, but five to 10 people dedicated to handling the tasks can successfully organize a reunion in six months. Regular meetings with established goals will help you make progress.