The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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June 6, 2014

Class reunions bring economic boost to community

CLINTON — Whether it’s 10 years, 20 years or even 50 years, celebrating a class reunion is a common trend in the summer time and this year is no different in Clinton.

A number of class reunions are slated for the next few months in the city of Clinton and that means a whole lot of work for Clinton Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Director Carrie Donaire.

Although not everyone planning a class reunion utilizes the resources the CVB has to offer, Donaire says she continually works to get people who grew up in Clinton to return.

“It’s known as heritage tourism,” she explained. “We’re working with these reunion groups whose classmates want to come here to see where they grew up and to see how things have changed. The role of the CVB is to make sure that people are finding what they are looking for.”

Making contact with former Clinton residents who attend the reunions is one of the best tools Donaire can use in her position, and this year she is stepping up those efforts to reach a much wider audience.

“Something new that we’re doing is asking the organizers to share their mailing lists with us,” she said. “That way when we find out about programming in Clinton that they may be interested in, like St. Irenaeus celebrating 150 years for instance, we can let them know about it.”

Donaire’s job is to sell the city of Clinton to people who visit, and what better way, she says, than to target the people who once lived here and encourage them to come back and see how things have changed.

“The end goal is that they enjoy their time in their hometown and to see that Clinton is growing and thriving,” she said. “My hope is that they leave here with a refreshed sense of pride in their community.”

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