From: Ruth Spillers, Whitley Collins Descendants
Date:  4-May-2015

I got a call to put some facts (FAQ’s) on line.  Everything is explained in the reunion update post below, but we will try and answer the FAQ's that’s been presented already. These FAQ’s will be updated when we get another call or email to put in the FAQ’s. Frequently asked questions. Family across the u. S. Also helped with the FAQ’s.

Reunions are a lot of responsibly. You will see in the FAQ’s below. Excuse all the mistakes, too many questions. These answers are from experience and are true questions submitted.

Overall we enjoy the Whitley Collins family reunions and they are top of the line reunions, but reunions cost a lot of money these days if you ever dealt with one, you will totally agree.

Questions… These questions and instances actually happened.





What if I don't pay my fee before reunion deadline?


You will not be able to attend the reunion this go around, under any circumstances.

All monies must be paid on time for reunion 2016. We still have 14 months before reunion 2016. Paying a little each month would not be a hardship when deadline date arrives.

Everything is preplanned. How can we serve you with all activities and not knowing whether you will attend the reunion. We work by numbers.


  • All Fees Paid – The deadline for payment of ALL FEES is now April 30, 2016 (April 1, 2016.)
  • Refunds – No refunds after May 1, 2016..


If I don’t hurry and send in my reunion deposit, will I still have a seat at the reunion?

It is a very strong possibility that you will not be attending the reunion. The seats are based on first come first served basis for reunion 2016.


Can I bring a friend?

Yes you may bring a friend, but they will have to meet all the deadlines and requirements as a family member including fees.


Kings and queens of the family reunion are chosen by what guidelines?

Points are added up and the ones with the most points are chosen king and queen.

  1. Financial Assistance – Monetary donation or aid in getting funds for the reunion. Taking the lead in gathering all your immediate family reunion fees and mailing the fees in. 40 Percent
  2. Research assistance for family hi6.story research.  25 Percent
  3. Mail out, alphabetizing files, canvassing for family participation.  35 percent
  4. 30 Percent-Sharing Post – Making approved videos for advertisement of coming reunion, advertisement, selling the family reunion to other family members about participation.
  5. Volunteering for program duties at reunion.  20 percent


Can I invite a friend or another family member to hang out with the family at the hotel and participate in all the games, family conference room, game room, lobby after each event and before the events and during the events?

No, the hotel is rented out to the Whitley/Collins family reunion. The Comfort Inn is where all the fun rooms will be. You will have to have a pass for the game rooms and the lobby, since we have the entire hotel. A picture id and bracelet or special name tag will be required at this building also.


Can I participate on the programs once I arrive at the reunion?


No. Everything is preplanned with time. You will have plenty of opportunities to submit your name on what you planned to participate in at the reunion. Now is the time to volunteer for anything you want to do in the reunion.

Members serve because the reunion fees are never paid on time to hire outside help, in order to hire servers. This reunion we will have paid servers that is not family members, so all the family can enjoy the reunion without working. This is why you need to pay on time.


Why can’t we have a reunion at one of the many casinos on the coast?

We had reunion 2002 at the Imperial Palace (IP) casino. The casinos want their money in advance and a down payment immediately and someone to be responsible personally with their credit card for all rooms, which we had to do. In 2002, we had to pay $5,000 dollars down to hold the banquet room at the casino. I got with 10 people in the family immediately and we paid the initial five thousand dollars. It was nice but they will not let you serve your own food, they have to present the menus for the food. You don’t get carry out plates like we do when it is not at a casino. Some people will not go to the casino, which is another consideration. It is about 11 casinos on the coast, you can go on your own.



Now this is a funny one. Can I have friends or family members that did not pay stop by the reunion center just to holler at me or do a drive by?


No you cannot. They can holler at you outside or do a drive by. In previous years all the hollers and drive by’s ended up with ribs, catfish plate and a soda. They are not planned for. We work on numbers and so does the reunion center and we are charged extra for their appearance as well as making food short for the people that paid.


Can I pay at the door? Can I pay for one day or a half day?


No. The entire fee is spread out for three days. You must –pay the entire fee by deadline dates. How can we prepare for you and don’t know you are coming until you get there.


Do we have a reunion fund

No, never had. We do not have a reunion fund. There is never enough money to have a reunion of the caliber of reunion that you attend. When it all boils down, the Jimmie Spillers family and the Norma Dunbar families are left holding the bag especially the last reunion of 2014. We have donated a tremendous amount since the start of the reunion in 1998. 2014 was our last donation for reunions.

Gale Turner Brown and her daughter Mona Turner donated some of the tabs in previous reunions.


Can I purchase a family history book?

You certainly can. We have not set the price as of today. You saw the books at the reunion and you know they won’t be cheap. We are not trying to make money off the family history books, but the expenses must be paid for the work and copies. I can tell you now that they won’t be under 100 dollars. The copying of the book is more than a hundred. We are not in the business of making money off the books but if you want one, you will have to order in advance at the reunion. The books are copyrighted and it is against the law to copy a Whitley/Collins book.


What happens when you get an insufficient family reunion check?

That only happened to me in 2002 and 2014. I notify the family member and give them time to make the check good. I did not get full cooperation in 2002. I went to the bank 268 miles from the reunion site and the family had closed the account. The check was over five hundred dollars that I had to make good with my money. When I got to that person’s bank, they had closed the account. I then notified them that I would prosecute. What happened, a family got together and gave their money to one person in their family to send in for the entire family, they spent the money they took up from the members and sent me a bouncing check. I did not catch it until after the reunion and everybody was safely at home.

I finally collected the money much later in the year, but I had to make it good in advance with my personal money. This is what I mean by responsibilities. I only got it when I spoke of prosecution. They no longer attend family reunions.


Do I get a refund if I do not attend the family reunion?

A refund deadline is set and after that deadline, you will not get a refund. It is usually 2 months before the reunion that you must notify us.


  • All Fees Paid – The deadline for payment of ALL FEES is now April 30, 2016 (April 1, 2016.)
  • Refunds – No refunds after May 1, 2016..


Why do we have security this reunion?

Family members are always working the entrance doors and not being able to enjoy the reunions and not enough workers to make sure everybody that attends are paid up.

This reunion security will be checking for picture id, name tags and bracelets so that we won’t be charged the 200 dollar fee for turning in incorrect attendance numbers like reunion 2014.

This is why we take no checks a month before the reunion deadline.

The way the world is today, I think security would not be a bad idea anyway.



Why the reunions always held on the Mississippi gulf coast?

All I can say is that nobody volunteer, nobody want to put up the initial funds, and nobody want to be out of $2,000 to $3,000 dollars each reunion using their own money that is never returned. It is a lot of hard work in a reunion and a lot of personalities to deal with. The Spillers only host it to keep the promise from to the older generation, but the promise will broke because after 10 years of putting up personal funds, the party is over. After 2016, reunion 2018 will need a host for the entire events, communication and everything that goes with it. The biggest problem I found in planning family reunions without initial funds, people think they should be free or cheap. They will try and beat the family out of money and give all they can on a personal cruise which ask for their money in advance also. Lol


If I want to help with the reunion, when do I need to come?

About 1 planning trip during the year in between reunions and come at least 2 weeks prior to reunion. That would be good appreciated help.


Can my friends come to the reunion if they don’t eat?

Now, we know better than that.


Why we don’t have alcohol at the reunions?


I don’t know who can hold alcohol and who can’t. With a lot of personalities, we do not need alcohol and besides you have to pay the sheriff department 17.00 dollars and hour extra on the building. You can have a good time without alcohol.

You cannot have alcohol at the Whitley Collins family reunion on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Lol


Can we have shrimp at reunion 2016?

Sure if enough people pay their money on time, we can meet the shrimp boats and get the shrimps cheap. Otherwise shrimps are too expensive. It is up to the family to make this happen.


Who started the first Whitley/Collins reunion?


My now deceased niece, Olivia Diane Norris Pollard, a native of Ferriday, Louisiana, who lived in flint, Michigan asked me in 1998 to have a reunion for the Whitley/Collins family since I am a certified reunion and event planner.

She said she would help. She did not lift a finger to help as I told her she would not, but she cheered me on. Lol. She was a great cheerleader and that meant a lot.