I’ll start by saying, if you did not attend the reunion in Washington DC & Alexandria VA, you missed out on a great opportunity to meet with some wonderful folks and share some great times... Mack and Rebecca Gaither did a marvelous job as Host, I would like to personally and publicly “Thank Them” for all their time and effort invested to achieve this successful reunion. Our clan began to arrive early, maybe Tuesday or Wednesday at Embassy Suites on Diagonal Road in Alexandria.
The official start date of our Annual Reunion was Thursday May 23, 2013. Registration and Hospitality in Room #441 was the first order of business, collect your “Name Tags”, visit with family members, and purchase Gaither memorabilia.
We all gathered at 5:30 PM near the Hotel Lobby for refreshments prior to departing for a “Three Hour Tour” on the Potomac River. Mack and Rebecca scheduled an evening river cruise & dinner for our group, set sail at 6:30PM and returned around 9:00PM. Our Boat Captain “Mark” and First Mate “Barrett” provided a wonderful tour of the river while Rebecca and some of our Ladies provided an outstanding BBQ Buffett. After the cruise, some met in the Hospitality Room and others retired for the evening.
I’ll add at this point, the Embassy Suites did provide a great breakfast each morning of our stay. Friday morning from 9:00 AM, for about an hour or so, we met in the Mason Room for an Education Session on Society Membership – Past, Present and Future. We all departed in convoy for the Mt. Vernon Tour around 11:00 AM. There were gift shops, food courts, exhibits, Museum and lots to see in the short time we were there. Our clan divided into two groups for a private tour of the grounds and regrouped to visit the Mansion. We returned to the Hotel and continued visitation in the Hospitality Room #441. The Board of Directors held the first meeting in Room #440 at 4:00 PM.
Saturday morning after a great breakfast, we met at 8:30AM in the Mason Room, for two sessions of “Roundtable” Discussions, each lasting about 30 minutes. Steve Beardslee hosted “Genealogy ABC’s” and Mack Gaither hosted “Introduction to the Gaither Website”. All found this time to be well spent and we need to plan more of these at future reunions. We departed the Hotel Lobby at 9:45AM for “Old Town Walking Tour”, some walked, others drove to Gadsby’s Tavern, our starting point. We divided into two groups, our guides Janet and Dee gave their group a very interesting tour of Old Town. We enjoyed lunch and exploring King Street on our own for the remainder of the afternoon. The Hotel provided guest complimentary wine and beer at a casual gathering each evening at 5:30 PM. The Family Dinner was held in the Mason Room from 6:30 to 7:30 PM, truly a Banquet fit for Royalty (that would be us). With our bellies full, we departed the Hotel for a private, guided bus van tour to some of the highlights of Washington DC. Our guide, Lauren kept us all on the edge of our seats with her very interesting and informative tour. We returned to the Hotel after a very full, but fun day.
Sunday morning, many of us took breakfast together and then assembled in the Mason Room for our Annual Business Meeting. The names of the new slate of Officers/Board of Directors will appear elsewhere and in “The Gaither Connection”. I wish to Thank All who took a position/office for the ensuing year and those who have brought us thus far. Steve and Linda Beardslee have agreed to host the 2014 Reunion in the Seattle, Washington area. The second Board of Directors Meeting was held in Room #440 from 10:30 to 11:30 AM. The Reunion Farewell Family Lunch Buffet was held in the Mason Room from 11:30 to 1:00PM. Our Annual gift exchange was conducted by Arleen McGinn. Final remarks were made and a wonderful conclusion to our Reunion.
I sincerely thank Mack and Rebecca Gaither for hosting the 2013 Reunion in our Nation’s Capital area. I believe I speak for all who were present, we had a wonderful reunion.
Johnny D. Gaither, President