Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School
Planning a Reunion
Reunions are wonderful ways to reconnect with old friends but they take careful planning. There are lots of decisions to be made: date, location, type of party, music, food, and, most importantly, how to reach as many classmates as possible. The purpose of this article is to share with you some suggestions from those who have planned reunions in the last year. The information comes from the people on the “Reunions” page on this website. You should e-mail or phone them directly if you have specific questions.
First, some general advice. It is important to start early. Many locations, including hotels and restaurants, are booked early, especially over the holidays, so you need to reserve them well in advance.
Secondly, find ways to communicate with your classmates. Word of mouth is always most effective, but the Internet and social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and the old B-CC directories are also very helpful. You may be able to track down many classmates by calling their parents’ telephone number listed in the old school directories. You could also get help with the class list from the B-CC High School Educational Foundation which keeps an alumni database (firstname.lastname@example.org). Put together a list of e-mail address and phone numbers, keep your classmates informed, and ask them to call other classmates with whom they are in touch.
Do it yourself or hire a commercial company?
You can plan the reunion by yourselves (a committee of 5-10 classmates) or hire a reunion planning company. Doing it yourself saves money but requires you to spend more time and energy. Committee members will need to take responsibility for the different tasks to be accomplished and stay in close touch with each other. Having a class page on Facebook will make it easier for classmates to find you. If a class member has the expertise, setting up your own class website is a great way to help with the planning and registration tasks, as the class of 1983 did for its reunion (www.jdland.com/bcc83).
Hiring a reunion company may be a good choice if your class doesn’t have a nucleus of people willing or able to do the work, or, if few of you are in the Bethesda area to check out possible locations, music, food, and such. You can get some helpful tips at http://www.classreport.org and www.reunionannouncements.com.
Having the reunion at a restaurant may be a good choice if you are short on time and manpower, and if you are unsure about the number of classmates who will be attending. The Class of 1978 had their 25th in a restaurant in Bethesda in 2003, then a gala at Hyatt for their 30th five years later.
You may also want to contact the following classes who had their reunions recently to see what their experiences have been:
The best date is the time when the most people can come. Survey your classmates (by e-mail or a phone tree) to find out when that is. For some alums, including those with young families, Thanksgiving or during the holidays is a good time because they plan to be in the area then visiting family. Other classes have found that a weekend in October or the Memorial Day weekend works well. See the “reunions” list on the Reunion page on this website for the dates different classes have chosen.
Another decision is whether to do a single event in one evening or several events over the course of a weekend. A number of classes have arranged for tours of the newly-renovated B-CC during their reunion. The class of 1973 had a Sunday brunch at the school, combined with tours of the new facility, led by current B-CC parents.
What Other Classes Have Used:
The following is a list of where classes have held their reunions in the last year. To find out more about the facilities and costs, e-mail the B-CC alums who helped organize the class reunions.
Other places to consider:
Town and Community Centers:
Yacht on the Potomac:
Odyssey Cruises, www.odysseycruises.com, (202) 488-6000
The following is a list of area hotels in the B-CC Community Phone Book (please note that this list is provided as a convenience and does not carry any recommendation from the Foundation):
In addition, B-CC alum Daniel Baez ('04) is the account executive for Marriott Hotels in the Bethesda area and can be a resource for alumni classes planning their reunions. He can be reached via email (email@example.com) or by phone (301-512-6640).
At the school:
This is possible but please be advised that no alcohol may be served at the school or on its grounds. Some classes have held a brunch outside on Sunday morning, along with a tour of the renovated school with guides from the B-CC HS Educational Foundation. Room reservations can be made through B-CC HS' business manager, Sherry Swanke, at (240) 497-6315. Please scroll to the bottom of this page for school tour information.
Caterers, Music, etc.
(Please note that the information here is provided as a convenience to alumni and does not carry any recommendations from the Foundation.)
The following is a list of area caterers listed in the B-CC Community Phone Book:
B-CC Parents' List:
A request to the B-CC parents listserv netted the following information:
I can recommend Marty Nau, a very impressive saxophonist, who can put
together any size band for an occasion. He happens to be my son's sax
teacher (at the Washington Conservatory of Music) but I hired him to
bring a 4-piece jazz band to an event that I was in charge of. Was
brilliant! Cost is generally $200 per musician for a "gig" which
generally is a 4-hour period. Again, any size ensemble can be put together
by Marty, and the musicians are of the highest caliber. He has a website: www.MartyNau.com
* “My high school (Western High School) class reunion used Maggiano's and the Odyssey and we had a great time.”
* “I know of a great band in the area, Retrospect”: The band has been in business for 25 years. Its website is www.RetrospectBand.com
* “Chuck Shorter,
the husband of a good friend of mine has just gone full-time into this
business. The following is from Chuck:
Costs will vary according to the number of people coming, the number of reunion events, where they are held, and whether you use a reunion company or not. Additional costs to be considered: invitations, music and food. Invitations can be done on the computer or by a printer. Several classes have recommended that music, whether live or taped, be low rather than loud because loud music can get in the way of what people really want to do: talk to each other. One class had a 3 hour “happy hour” where people could talk, followed by live music to dance to. Food costs vary and may be provided by a caterer or by the location where the event is held.
Other optional costs: a photographer to take photos at the event and “a directory with short bios everyone had been asked to submit” (class of 1953). Some classes include a class gift to the school (see below).
Some classes mark their reunion with a class gift to the school. The gift can be for a specific project or item that the school needs, or it can be unrestricted. Donations can be made through the B-CC High School Educational Foundation and are tax deductible. All donors will be recognized in the Foundation’s Annual Report. In addition, the Foundation has a plaque in the school’s entrance hall honoring its generous supporters for gifts of $2,500 to $5,000 and $5,000 and over. For ideas on a class gift and ways to give, please go to Gift Giving on the Resources page.
Reunions are good times to revisit the school, see the changes, and relive old memories. B-CC underwent a major modernization in 2002. A number of classes have arranged for tours of the newly-renovated B-CC during their reunion weekends. The tours are usually on a Saturday morning and last about 90 minutes. Parents from the B-CC PTSA and the B-CC HS Educational Foundation volunteer as guides during these tours. To arrange for a school tour, please email school secretary Ms. Joan Black, or call her at 240-497-6300, to have the tour date and time put on the school's master calendar. If the school has to be open specifically for the tour (such as during the holidays), there will be a charge for custodian services. Please email Carole Brand or Sing-huen Morgan or phone Carole at 301-657-2547 for more information or to arrange for tour guides.
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Page Last Updated
August 28, 2016