Jim Herron, Carl Gump, Al Mose, Donna DeFife and John DeFife met at Beechies for lunch on Saturday April 5 to discuss ideas for the CHS 50th reunion in 2009.
The following ideas were agreed upon.
- We should consider inviting grade school and middle school classmates that did not graduate with us.
- Reunion date should be last 2 weeks in September or first 2 weeks in October of 2009.
- Activities spanning the entire weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) should be planned.
- Activities in addition to the actual reunion party on Saturday evening might include a picnic or brunch on Sunday; a cocktail hour Friday evening, golf for some. Smaller get-togethers scattered throughout the weekend that might be hosted by some of the local residents or at Southpointe Hilton Garden Inn or elsewhere. The end of September might provide the best weather for outdoor events.
- Donations from classmates to help defray some of the startup costs will be accepted.
- A US Mail letter to the distribution list will serve to “save-the-date”, update e-mail addresses, query for information on lost classmates, discuss venues, ask for volunteers, and inform about the BLOG. Similar information will be sent to the available e-mail addresses
John & Donna will visit the Hilton Garden Inn and Bell Sera to get information.
John will create a business card with pertinent reunion information and mail to selected folks in the Canonsburg area to give to their friends and former classmates. (Possibly include this in the mail-out as a refrigerator magnet.)
John, and anyone else wanting to try, will mount a concerted effort to locate lost classmates.
Donna and John visited and got information on the Hilton and Bella Sera's. After returning home we contacted Rolling Hills Country Club by phone. We also tried tp contact the Southpointe Country Club and have had no response.
What we saw, heard and some thoughts:
At the Hilton Garden Inn at Southpointe, we were offered the Allegheny Room (a plain hotel conference room). It will accommodate 120 at 10 people per round table. Since our reunions have usually attracted 80+ people, it should be possible to fit a dance floor, an entertainment station, and a bar in the room. There is no room charge and meals currently range from $20 for one protein per dish to $30 for two proteins per dish. This includes appetizer, salad, vegetable, dessert and coffee/tea.
Hilton service charge is 21% plus 6% tax
One third of their large ballroom is also available, but the hotel requires a minimum of $8,000 be spent. That would be $80 per person if we could get 100 people to attend.
The hotel should offer a 10% discount on a block of rooms, but we’ve found better rates on the internet using AAA or AARP, etc.
The Hilton is located at Southpointe immediately off I-79. It is surrounded by new buildings and has a very nice view of the surrounding countryside. Being a full functioning hotel, it has an exercise room, bar, restaurant, breakfast area, swimming pool and hot tub, an outside garden and a large sitting area near the front entrance. There is a public spa and salon across the street and two restaurants across the parking lot.
At Bella Sera’s, we would use the upstairs facility. Downstairs holds 400. Upstairs holds 120 at round tables seating 10. The entire floor is tile. We would most likely have the DJ and dance area in the adjacent foyer.
Getting to the upstairs at Bella Sera’s requires using the hallway stairs or the elevator. The place has a very nice appearance inside and out, but the location is a little more isolated. People who are unfamiliar with the area may be uncomfortable driving after dark. It is within a mile or two of the Hilton on Morga
nza Road..the old road to Bridgeville.
Bella Sera’s only has the upstairs and downstairs banquet rooms. No bar or spa or other facilities, but the decor is fancier than Hilton. The food is supposed to be very good. The place has a very nice appearance.
There is no charge for the use of the facility.
Food price is currently in the $39 range for the reunion menu shown on their web-site, www.bellaserabygrecos.com. However, the specific price is very dependent on food selection and subject to change in the coming year. Bella Sera’s customarily serves two meats on each plate. Like chicken and ste
ak. This eliminates the chore of taking and marking specific meal orders.
Bella Sera service charge is 18% plus 6% tax.
Bella Sera’s is willing to cater a picnic for us, possibly at a park.
Rolling Hills was the location of our 40
th reunion so those who attended will be familiar with the place. There are also pictures from the reunion on the Canonsburg Friends Blog. Everyone seemed pleased with it nine years ago, but we have no information regarding its status today. If anyone is a member or has attended a function there recently we would appreciate your input.
There is no facility fee, and food prices currently range from $20 for chicken to $30 for beef. It is located in Peters Township near the Crossroads.
Rolling Hills is 20% service change and 6% tax.
All 3 places will provide a cash bar.
Each facility requires a deposit in the neighborhood of $300 to $500 with the first payment due within two weeks of the booking. We will need to ask for a small donation from those who wish to help raise the money for the deposit. Checks should be sent to Jim Herron.
We asked for possible use of these facilities on one of three Saturdays and all are currently available for the last two weekends in September and the first weekend in Oct.
We believe it is important to lock down the date and therefore the place so that people can make their plans for next year. We believe that a reservation should be made in the next week, so please give us your thoughts. (Please see updated comment below)