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Wakefield Minutes

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Wakefield Family Reunion Meeting

January 23 2011 7:00


The telephone conference meeting was called to order and facilitated by the President April Wyatt.


The meeting was open with the devotion and the reading of the scripture Psalms 121: 1-8; read by Leonard Wright, Jr.  The family prayer was recited by Bernstine Hollis in unison with April Wyatt.


The minutes from the last meeting was accepted by Susie Henderson and seconded by Leonard Wright, Jr. with no corrections.




The Treasurer’s report was given by Simeon Wakefield.  The previous balance as of December 11, 2010 was $2860.72. Since that time two deposits have been made in the amounts of $65 and $450- for a total of $515 in deposits.  The current balance is $3, 375.72


Treasury report was accepted by Bernstine Hollis and seconded by Debbie.


Tonya Thomas will record the meetings on behalf of Naomi Thomas’ family for the months of December and January.  February and March meetings would be recorded by the Thomas Wakefield Family; however, via Arrena Boone there is no one available to fulfill the secretary duties for those meetings.  Therefore, February and March meetings may be recorded by the Samuel Wakefield family; however this has not been confirmed at this time.  The following meetings will proceed with Willie Wakefield’s and Mary Minion’s families.  Any changes will be made as needed.


Representatives from Vera Gardner’s Family, Daisy King’s Family, Naomi Thomas’ Family, Mary Minion’s Family, and T.R. Wakefield’s Family were present.



Activity Committee:  Chairperson Terra Bynum stated that ideas has been generated and emailed to the committee members.  Some of the ideas included: Water Balloon Toss, a Spoon-Egg Race, Hoola Hoop contest, Newlywed Game, Relay Race, Bingo (Family or Biblical Trivia), Dance in My Shoes Game, Musical Chairs, Line Dancing, Moon Bounce, Scavenger Hunt game, Watermelon Eating Contest, Career Show/Display, Bible Pictionary, Who Am I Activity, Family Feud, Kick Ball Game, Volley Ball Game, Baseball Game, Kids’ Ice Cream/Pajama Party, and a Kiddie Fishing Game (to be played with a baby pool).  The scheduled for these events are still being developed.


April Wyatt also noted that the draft itinerary was distributed (emailed) along with the meeting agenda.  The meeting agenda is still in draft form; therefore, events are scheduled to change.


Terra Bynum will work with Renee Ludd on the Newlywed Game idea.

If anyone has any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to email Terra Bynum directly.


Public Relations Committee:  No report.


Clean Up/Set Up Committee:  Leonard Wright, Jr. stated and invited everyone to participate in this committee.


Program Committee:  President April Wyatt distributed a mock Church Service program and the committee is working to finalize the program.  April Wyatt also noted that a Wakefield Family handbook will be available for everyone at the reunion.  There are still other openings in the program such as the Master/Mistress of Ceremony, Devotional Service, Welcome, Scripture, Occasion, facilitating the Testimonial Period, Family Charge, and the Altar Prayer.

Josephine Thomas volunteered to do the Welcome during the Family Reunion Church Service.

One correction was noted:  The Sermon will be led by Minister Tiffany Lusane- spelled with a “y” not an “ie” as currently listed on the draft program.


A special presentation is being constructed for the Memorial/Candle Lighting Ceremony.  A representative from each family is needed for this portion of the program.  President April Wyatt also wanted to remind everyone to submit the photos and information for all deceased persons in the family.


Correspondence Committee:  No report.


Food Committee:  Chairperson Arrena Solomon stated that the menu had been sent out via email to everyone for review and feedback; responses were received from Bennie Thomas, Jr.s’ family and Susie Henderson.

Renee Ludd requested clarification on the Saturday menu, which was clarified by April Wyatt.  It was noted that both barbeque and fish would be served and that each person would be entitled to one serving of choice not both.

Rusha requested that the menu be reviewed during the call, which Arrena read as requested.  President April Wyatt opened the discussion to any questions, comments, or concerns regarding the menu.  April Wyatt noted that one email suggestion was to add a green (vegetable) dish be added to the Friday menu, which coleslaw was suggested.  A suggestion to add a bread dish was submitted for the Saturday menu and no other comments/suggestions were made at the time.  Please email April or Erma with any further suggestions.  It was also suggested that a bread dish and alternate vegetable (such as green beans or peas) be added to the Sunday menu.  It was noted that the green beans may be easier and cheaper.  President April Wyatt also noted that for those who wish to receive ham only, they would receive two slices of ham.


Finance Committee:  Report was read earlier in the call by Simeon Wakefield.  President April Wyatt reminded everyone to submit their family reunion assessments.  Receipt information has been established and Susie Henderson, Financial Secretary, will be working in conjunction with Simeon Wakefield.


T-Shirt Committee:  No report. 


Family Directory Committee:  Chairperson Sardelta Black asked that the form that was distributed via email be disregarded.  It was noted that originally the family directory information was collected via form; however, that method can be overwhelming, therefore a website has been developed to assist in gathering this information electronically.  The website is  Please use the site to submit information and review the pedigree chart.  The deadline for updating information is March 31, 2011.  The website also contains other pages to ensure and permit constant communication within the family.  The website is another form of communication in addition to the family newsletter that was developed by Bernstine Hollis.  There is another portion of the site titled “What’s Up Family” that is to be used to post current family events and announcements, which are to be submitted via email until March 31, 2011.  This information will also be forwarded to Bernstine Hollis for inclusion in the family newsletter.  Delta Black noted that the first page is the family directory page and she hopes to upload a family photo on that page so that the family can better identify the page.  This website does not replace the existing history site for the Wakefield family; this site is solely for gathering information for the upcoming family reunion.  The family was asked to reach out to other family members to direct their attention to the new website.  Thusfar two family members have entered information.  Feedback on the website was received from Bernstine Hollis, which she stated looks very good and helpful and will be a good tool to gather information.  Renee Ludd stated that she has already updated her information and thought that the website was awesome.  Shirley Ivory stated that the website was beautiful.  She had already submitted her information to her sister but she will now update her information via the website.  Delta also offered to post/update information for distant family members that wish to directly email her information.  Terra Bynum stated that the website looked really good and inquired about whether or not the information would remain posted after the family reunion.  Sardelta Black responded that the information would be removed after the family reunion and that she would work with Charles to transfer some of the information to the regular family reunion site as it is important that the family maintain representation and input.  Sardelta also noted that the information can be printed from the website and that she can be contacted to make real-time updates.


April Wyatt stated that the Market section of the website is awesome.  This section is for family members to post information about their personal business; therefore, the family can support each other in all of their business endeavors.


April Wyatt also proposed that the family unit contact for each family unit be responsible for ensuring that all information for their families are updated.  Each person can update their information individually but the family unit contact needs to review the updates for accuracy.


Delta also stated that she desires to add information regarding the hotels in the area.  Delta requested that family members in the area submit information regarding hotels to her for inclusion on the website.  Susie Henderson volunteered to check out some hotels and noted that the Holiday Inn name had changed.  April asked that other family members make suggestions as well via the website.  Terra Bynum inquired about whether or not block of rooms would be reserved for the reunion.  Delta has received $100 rates thusfar she is still researching hotel rates.  Terra Bynum noted that hotels tend to be hard to reserve due to other family reunions that are occurring at the same time; therefore, she feels that hotel rooms need to be blocked for those traveling from other locations.  Delta offered to place information on the site to gather a headcount for those that would require a hotel reservation.  Terra Bynum suggested that the family unit contacts reach out to their family members to get a headcount just in case everyone is not checking their emails on a regular basis.  It was noted that in the past Clara Thomas took the initiative to complete this task.  In the meantime, a headcount will be conducted and then someone will proceed with obtaining a block of rooms.  January 31, 2011 will be the cut-off date for the headcount.


President April Wyatt reiterated that this family reunion website is not replacing the original website and will be removed after the family reunion.  Although information was pulled from the original website, this website is strictly for information gathering.


T.R. Wakefield, Sr. Scholarship Committee:  Vivian, on behalf of Erma Jenkins, stated that the writing topic would be announced within the next few weeks.


Wakefield Family Fourth Generation Committee:  Debbie Waller stated that she has compiled and email to be distributed to the family.  The email is being sent to everyone but it is specifically addressed to the fourth generation.  The email acknowledges that the fourth generation’s desire for more involvement in the family reunion planning process.  Debbie is requesting ideas using her direct email or her Facebook account (listed as Debbie Waller).  When presenting ideas please keep in mind that all activities require work, leadership, and participation as no one person is responsible for doing all the work.  All suggestions also need to include any required funding as most of the current family reunion dues are delegated for meals.  Debbie was advised to work with Erma in getting the email distributed to all of the family members on the email distribution list.


Debbie also asked that although this information will be distributed via email and Facebook, the family spread the word about this initiative via word of mouth.  President April Wyatt also suggested that the information gathering website also be used for suggestions and input.


Wakefield Happenings Newsletter:  Bernstine Hollis stated that no additional information has been received at this time.  If the family wishes to continue the newsletter, please submit events and happenings to her yahoo account for inclusion in the newsletter.


Decorations for 2011:  Josephine Thomas stated that a roll of paper had been found for use at the reunion.  Josephine had not spoke with Arrena Boone as she is recovering from another foot surgery but she will reach out to her shortly as her recovery successfully progresses.


ANY FINANCES NEEDED FOR ANY COMMITTEE AT THIS TIME:  At this time no committees have requested finances.


DOCUMENTATION NEEDED FOR THE USE OF ST. MARK’S FACILITY:  Simeon Wakefield stated that the documentation is still being completed.



No ideas were generated for honoring the senior family members during this meeting.



President April Wyatt encouraged everyone to visit the website at  Charles Waller is leading the maintenance of the website which is much appreciated.  Charles and Delta (via email) are working together to support each other’s technological skills.  President April Wyatt encourages that family to utilize their talents as needed; therefore, she invited the family to email her any talents that can be used to assist other committees.  She will then place you in direct contact (although she would like to be kept abreast of all developments) with the committee(s) that will benefit the most from your talents.  Presented April Wyatt also thanked Charles for his work and dedication over the years and noted that at the last reunion he provided a tutorial on how to navigate the website.


Other Old Business:  There was no old business to discuss.



President April Wyatt reminded all family units to submit a head and shoulder photo of all deceased family members to her by the end of January 2011. It can be submitted via mail or email.  This information will be utilized for the Memorial portion of the church service.


Grandaddy’s Head Stone Renovation- Simeon has not had a chance to conduct any further (pricing) research.  President April noted that this topic will be included in the Unfinished Business because it was a subject that was brought to the family’s attention.  This matter may not be resolved by the family reunion but it is something that the family needs to be mindful of.


Family Cemetery Visit During Reunion-President April Wyatt opened up discussions for whether or not this is an activity that the family wanted to include during the reunion.  Bernstine Hollis suggested that Saturday, July 2, 2011 prior to the start of the activities at 10am, perhaps around 9:30, would be a convenient time if the visit could be conducted within 30 minutes.  Simeon stated that most of the graves are within a close proximity to each other and that the cemetery maintenance has improved.  Mary Minion also noted that it is very hot in the summer so the earlier the visit the better.

Debbie suggested that the family meet there at 9:30 (or another designated time) for a joint family prayer then the family be dismissed to visit graves at their leisure.


Shirley Ivory suggested that the cemetery visit be left of the agenda and to conduct a headcount for those that are interested in the cemetery visit.  She stated that she has visited the graves in the past and that it may take more than 30 minutes; therefore, she suggests meeting at 9am.  However, if the headcount is minimal then the 9:30 meeting time may be sufficient.



No suggestions or changes were made to the draft itinerary.  At the last family reunion in Plains it was suggested that the family meeting be held on Saturday morning during the reunion.  The meeting is tentatively scheduled for 11 am on Saturday, July 2, 2010.  Choir rehearsal can also be held at the same time and location if needed.


A prayer for our sick family members was given by Ezekiel Thomas.


The next meeting will be held Sunday, February 27, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.


The closing prayer was given by President April Wyatt


The meeting was adjourned at 8:34 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,


April Wyatt, President

Tonya Thomas, Recording Secretary

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