I am hosting my family's first family reunion. All the major planning has been completed. The committee has come up with different ways to win prizes (oldest member, youngest member, largest family, etc). However, we cannot come up with ideas for the prizes to give away. Does anyone have any suggestions?
We have a reunion yearly and some gifts have included home-canned salsa, pickles, etc. from a couple with a large garden. Others include little glass containers with M and Ms, Skittles, peanuts, etc. Or if someone is crafty, make ribbons- blue ribbons, red ribbons, etc. Or consider travel size containers of skin lotion, shampoo, small stuffed animals that can sit on computers, just hit a dollar store and look for ideas.
At our family reunions we always give away trophies for the most kids, longest traveled, oldest, and youngest. We also gave away door prizes, that were brought and donated by the people attending. You just set a price maximum. Ours was $10.00. We also have persons in the family that do crafts, who donated the raffle prizes. Like one family member makes and sells "A-Frame Swings", one family member does quilts, another (my mom), did Yard Art.
We sold the tickets for the larger items at $1.00 each. And the door prizes for 4/$1.00. All of which are donated. We would then sell raffle tickets, red for the larger items and blue tickets for the door prize items. Then at a certain time of the reunion we would call out the numbers on the tickets for the prizes (use two part tickets, keep one give one). All of the moneys collected from the raffles went toward the reunion for the following year, like hall rentals, decorations, etc.
Also we always did potluck suppers, we asked each guest to bring their favorite dish enough to feed their own family. Hope this helps you out. I feel like I wrote a book already, but if you need anymore ideas email me.
All of these will help the family remember each other and keep in touch.
Have fun. (01/19/2005)
Ask each family to bring a wrapped gift, let winners pick from gifts piled on a table. Ask for children's and adult gifts. (01/20/2005)
Gift cards in graduated denominations. (01/20/2005)
This isn't a prize idea, just an idea for an activity at a family reunion. We have family auctions at our reunions. Every family is asked to bring an item or two. Some of these items have their own stories that are known to family members. Other items can be quite interesting, funny, and unusual.
All the money that is accumulated goes towards the next reunion since we rent a place, our family is quite large. We have such fun since no one really knows anything about how to run an auction. It gets really crazy, everyone gets involved, it draws both the young and the old. (01/20/2005)
Give gag gifts from the house: light bulbs, fireplace matches, canned beans, etc., very inexpensive and very amusing too. (01/20/2005)
By toni k.
These are all great ideas. I have family with a big sense of humor. Every year we pass on the "Ugly Rock". It is usually given to one of the elders of the family. Every year it is brought back to the reunion and that person passes it on to someone else. It is ugly indeed, it is just a rock with a whole drilled in it to make a necklace. It has "UGLY ROCK" handwritten on it, and an ugly purple ribbon makes up the necklace. Of course, the one passing it makes a speech about passing on the torch to another ugly person of the group. It's all in fun. Maybe I'll be honored to get it one day. (06/23/2005)
I have been involved with family reunions for the past 21 years (we have one every 3 years). Anyway, we ask those "talented and crafty" relatives to create master pieces to use as door prized, we've had afghans, drawings, dolls, toys, clocks, wood carvings, etc. It really means so much more to know a relative took the time to create something. Makes the prize even more special. (07/26/2005)
One of the neatest things we do at our reunion is the Bean Auction. Everyone brings about five gifts (dollar store items) wraps them and puts a clue on them as to what they are. Such as hair ties (clue would be "this gives you a hair raising experience".
Everyone gets 50 beans, my sister is the MC and begins the bidding, and even the laid back get into
yelling "I'll bid 20 beans!". Whoever wins, gets the prize. We do scavenger hunts, but each team has to film their list with their VCR camera. It is so much fun to watch each teams film as they find or do the 20. One was to find a person to help them sing a song. That was great. The winner won a prize, which was at that time, a free ride on the paddle boats. (02/05/2006)
I like having a variety of prizes. I tell people in the beginning of the night that some prizes are much nicer than others so they know what to expect. When you play a game, or give a door prize, the winner picks a number out of a hat and wins the corresponding prize (number all of your prizes). I have some cocky brothers, so it's nice to see when they win and get a prize it ends up being a windshield scraper. That usually shuts 'em up!
This will be our 7th Reunion and the auction is a great thing to do. We started out with beans, pennies, and dollars. We may have to cut back this year, but it is fun. I shop for dollar items at a tool warehouse for the gift bags. Things like small tools, emery boards, key chains, finger light (big hit), and candy. Auction gifts (some wrapped and some not) consisted of clearance items, donated homemade items, and our "Gotch ya gifts". They think they are getting something great until they open it and then it's "Gotch ya".
Last year we did a pie in the face, the person bid on the gift which was a whipped cream pie, trash bag, shower cap and Wet Ones. Then the bidding started again on who would give the person the pie. It was amazing how high the bid went just to put a pie in someone's face. It was all in good fun and no one was hurt. The gifts are always mentioned and told to newcomers every year to beware of the "Gotcha" gifts. I'm thinking of new ideas for this year's reunion. Hope this helps in some fun way. (01/24/2009)
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