History of RAFINO Reunions1048, 4/1/2014
J Claud Wallace provided this history of the Reunions which RAFINO has put on since 1988:
As to the numbers, the following are my observations over the years. The first reunions were held in 1988 and 1990 in Indianapolis. It was centered on the Finance School and the Finance Center. A great happy hour. With a General Officer helping to host, things went well.
Subsequently, the reunions were:
1992 - San Antonio, TX. Led by MG Dude Taylor. A large group of Texans sponsored a great reunion with a super hospitality room, great tours, the River Walk, southern hospitality. A lot of WWII vets (who are no longer alive). I do not have the numbers for that reunion.
1994 - Orlando, Fl. We had underground tours of Disney and lots of things. Great weather. We were all 20 years younger than now. There was a still a good group of WWII vets alive and present.
1996 - Nashville, TN. Grand Ole Opry - good draw and centrally located.
1998 - Columbia, SC. Fort Jackson was the draw. Many old vets did not see going to an Army base. WWII vets dying. The reunion chairman dropped the ball. Thank God for Mo Denny. He picked up the ball and we had a great reunion.
2000 - Washington DC. Many folks did not go because it was Washington. Very few WWII vets. Korean War vets dying. Jim Martens sponsored this one.
2002 - Indianapolis, IN. Centrally located. Large number of people to support the reunion. Dates were before school started for younger still working teachers. Health reasons were cited for many of the cancellations. I am sure that the "down" economy and the registration costs may have been a deterrent. Only one or 2 WWII vets. Losing Korean War vets. Pete Pedersen was the leader on this one.
2004 – Las Vegas -- Fred Hinshaw & Frank Schoen were almost alone on this one
2006 – Williamsburg -- Bob Gordon had a great team here and a great reunion resulted.
2008 – Branson Hosted by Jerry Heard & Russ Dowden.
2010 – Tacoma WA hosted by Bill Tolbert of RAFINCO. Was followed by a cruise to Alaska.
2012 -- San Antonio hosted by Bill Bayliss and Bill Hill
2014 -- Baton Rouge hosted by Bill Tolbert and Harry Miller of RAFINCO
2016 - Las Vegas hosted by Jeff Penick, with assistance from Bill Tolbert and Harry Miller
And I can also brag that I attended every one of these reunions. J. Claud