It is with extreme regret that I announce that your Board of Directors has made the decision to cancel the contract with the Princeton Marriott for our planned first family reunion in August 2014. The decision was not made lightly and resulted from a combination of factors. As president, it was my full intention to run the reunion from beginning to end. However, in October my battle with stage-4 prostate cancer took a turn for the worse, and it is now unlikely that I will be well enough to run the reunion, much less attend it. Unfortunately, your Board was unable to come up with someone else willing to assume that important responsibility.
While 32 members have indicated that they would like to attend, 12 come from my immediate family and may not attend due to my health issues. Additionally, we anticipate that, despite the best of intentions, other members may drop due to health issues or conflicting events that preclude attending our reunion. It is quite possible that our final attendance by August could be fewer than 15 people, hardly the attendance we had anticipated.
Finally, our Family Association would be liable for a percentage of the cost of meals per the contract with the Princeton Marriott. By my rough calculations, this could have been in excess of $1500, which could have wiped out our limited treasury in the event of later cancellation.
Let me assure you, however, that those of you who still wish to go to Princeton on the first weekend of August are still welcome to gather with your cousins who wish to do the same on an informal basis. We will make the list of those who planned to attend the formal reunion available on the Members Only section of the website and you may contact each other freely. Your Board of Directors will do all it can to support such an informal gathering and it may, in fact, work quite satisfactorily. If any of you wishes to coordinate such a gathering, please let me know by email and I will do my best to put you in touch with others of a like mind.
John E Skillman III