t's a different world today," said Ira
Auslander of Farmington Hills. "In
the old days, relatives were more so-
cially and economically dependent
on each other. Now families seem to
drift apart." But many local families
have reached out to touch someone
and are getting acquainted with those
who share their roots.
Wonderful stories about her daughter-in-
law's Southern family reunion in 1987 en-
ticed Helen Cooper Miller of West
Bloomfield to call her sister, Ethel Yollick,
to suggest a reunion of their own. Their
nephew, Judge Steven Cooper of South-
field, enlisted the help of his cousin, Judy
Hocher. Together they spearheaded the
Cooper family reunion of 1988 at Butzel
Conference Center at Camp Tamarack,
which attracted over 100 people from
around the county. It was such a huge suc-
cess, it was repeated in 1993.
"We shared a wonderful feeling of be-
longing," Mrs. Miller said. "Cousins who
didn't know each other have become good
friends." Judge Cooper took on the reunion
planning because "it was important to me
that my kids know about their family and
where they came from."
To get the ball rolling, he and Mrs.
Hocher called a meeting of their Detroit
cousins. "First you find volunteers and
match their talents to fit your needs," Judge
Cooper said. "Have an overall plan but del-
egate the responsibility," Mrs. Hocher
added. "Let people be creative."
Among the first decisions is whom to in-
clude in the reunion. "Our first reunion in-
a family reunion
is a major
but well worth
SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS
cluded the families of the children of Har-
ry and Jenny Cooper, but the second was
expanded to include Jenny's family and
Harry's siblings' children," the judge said.
A reunion questionnaire was drafted to
determine data for other initial decisions
such as dates and numbers. Someone from
each of the five branches was responsible
for listing the people in their group.
"We formed different committees and
our first decisions were to plan a
weekend event and to use a Steve Cooper and
Judy Hocher are
kosher facility," Judge Cooper said. big reunion planners.
Newsletters asked for family photos
for confidential monetary aid so
In addition to covering room
decorate the lodge at Butzel Center
and board, the proposed price fee had to in-
Front money was collected to cover the and for information for the genealogy book-
clude funds for activities, photographs, T-
of the numerous mailings. Reunion let and family tree compiled by Cooper
shirts, genealogy trees, snacks and welcoming
baskets. "We were short of funds after the treasurer Jeffrey Miller suggests asking for cousin Barry Tigay. "I was interested in
first reunion and had to pass the hat," Judge a deposit and keeping good records. "Most tracing the family history so I collected
Cooper recalled. "We readjusted the prices people send their checks in closer to the re- memorabilia and interviewed older rela-
for the second reunion ($180 for adults, a union," he says. "It really helps to use a tives," Mr. Tigay said. "People definitely
„5.t WONDERFUL page C62
sliding rate for children). We also arranged computer."
.iot.7 .? •
.• • •