Bauer family plans for world record reunion
In two years, the Bauer family will make an attempt at breaking a Guinness world record right here in Hastings. The family is planning a family reunion at the Little Log House Pioneer Village and hopes it will be the biggest one the world has ever seen.
The current world record is held by the Lilly family in Flat Top, W.Va. The family had 2,585 people at its reunion in August 2009.
Back in 2000, the Bauer family got about 1,700 people together for its last big reunion. That event centered around the descendants of Chris and Anna Bauer.
“It was a great success,” said Linda Drellack, one of the organizers for the next reunion. “It was the first (Bauer family) reunion of its kind.”
Since then, the family has been talking about putting together another reunion. In June, a handful of volunteers held a planning kickoff meeting and started a monthly meeting schedule for a 2015 reunion. While doing some initial research online, Drellack came across the Lilly family’s world record and got the idea to make a run for a world record.
“I kind of figured that we’ve grown a bit since then (2000), and we’ve found more family members and more direct lines since then,” she said.
Plus, many of the younger people in the last reunion are married and have children of their own, now, she said. The organizers are hoping to get 2,000 to 3,000 people at the Little Log House Village in 2015.
The 2015 reunion is planned for either one or both days the weekend of Aug. 7 to 9, 2015, depending on families’ availabilities and preferences. It is anchored on the family lines of Leonard and Helena (Weins) Bauer, the parents of Chris Bauer. Leonard is Drellack’s great-great-great-grandfather. Through some genealogy work, organizers have found family lines living all over the country, in Missouri, Texas, Washington state, Iowa, Ohio, Idaho and the upper Midwest, as well as at least one family living in Germany.
Finding and contacting everyone is a challenge, so organizers are tapping into the technological expertise of the younger generations. Information is being distributed largely online through a website, blogs, message boards and Facebook. Drellack has sent so many friend requests through Facebook to family members in a short enough time frame that the site banned her from sending any more. Even registration will be done online, which will greatly help the family track attendance numbers in case they get close to breaking the world record.
“We’re trying to do a lot of more technical things than we did in the past,” Drellack said.
With so many people coming together at the reunion, it’s no surprise that not everyone will know each other. To help with that, families will have color coordinated T-shirts to help everyone identify all the family lines.
Using technology to get the families connected is also a means of keeping costs down. Drellack figured the 2015 event will cost between $3,000 and $5,000. Fundraisers will be held to manage the costs.
With only a few meetings held so far, organizers are looking for more people who want to get involved with the planning process. In fact, communication and getting as many family members involved in planning as possible is currently the planning committee’s main focus.
“We don’t want it to be one family line doing all this,” Drellack said.
Even people who don’t know if they’re part of the Bauer family tree are invited to help plan the event, she said.
The next planning committee meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13, at the Pleasant Hill Library. For more information, call Drellack at 651-438-2950 or email bauer firstname.lastname@example.org. A website is also available: www.bauerfamilyreunion2015 .com.