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Doolittles of America Reunion

Dearborn, Michigan, August 16-19, 2018

2018 Reunion – Getting to Know Each Other in Michigan
From our President, Phil Doolittle

THE 2018 DOOLITTLE REUNION plans are now complete and it’s time for you to make plans to join us for a great time in Michigan next August!  This reunion is designed to give family members an excellent opportunity to learn of the family history and get to know each other better.  To achieve these goals, the reunion has been extended to three days and great group activities have been planned.  Enjoying them together will give us a chance to really get to know each other, as well as having a great time.
Why come to Michigan?  Michigan is one of America’s true highlights!  It’s a state of beautiful scenery “up north”, no hurricanes, more miles of lake shore than any other state, golf, hiking trails, museums, professional sports, manufacturing, high technology, and so much more.  Even Detroit is making waves as a travel destination.  Lonely Planet, the world’s largest travel guide book publisher, just named Detroit as a Top 10 global city destination.  (Yes, it’s really true.) Detroit was the only continental U.S. city selected for the prestigious list.  Detroit is on National Geographic’s “6 Unexpected Cities for the Food Lover” list!  If you have never been to Michigan, this would be a wonderful time to pay us a visit.  You’ll be glad you did.  To learn more about Michigan visit https://www.michigan.org.
The reunion will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Dearborn/Detroit August 16 – 19, 2018.  The hotel has given us a very attractive rate of $139.00 per room per night (plus taxes, of course), which includes an excellent buffet breakfast for up to two people.  If you have more than 2 in a room, the room rate is the same but there will be an extra $10 per person per day for the additional breakfasts.  Parking is only $4 per night, or $8 if you wish to use the valet parking service.  The DoubleTree also has a free shuttle service from Detroit Metro Airport.  Free shuttle service is also available for incidental local exploration.  If you want to come early or stay late, the reunion room rate is available for up to 3 days before the reunion starts and 3 days after it ends.  Reserve your room now!  The DoubleTree by Hilton, Dearborn/Detroit is at 5801 Southfield Expressway, Detroit, MI  48228.  The telephone there is 313-336-3340 or 1-800-222-TREE.  When you contact them, mention the name of the event is "Doolittle Family Reunion" and the Group Code is "DOO". 
The reunion will begin Thursday evening with a Meet and Greet reception at the hotel featuring 2 hours of light appetizers and conversation.  There will be introductions and announcements to make the rest of your weekend go smoothly and be enjoyable.  You are encouraged to bring an item or two that helps to introduce you to your cousins, things like scrapbooks or photographs, hobby items, professional displays, memorabilia – whatever you want.  There will be display tables for these in the reception room.  This room will be available at various times throughout the weekend.  After the reception, there will be time to meet with the family genealogists.

Friday will begin with the first of two seminars designed to satisfy your interest in your family history.  This one will feature Jonna Doolittle Hoppes, the granddaughter of Jimmy Doolittle, the most well-known member of our family.  His aviation exploits, including the raid on Tokyo early in World War Two, are legendary. 
Jonna has written and will talk about General Doolittle as a very personable grandfather.   After the seminar, we will travel by car pool to “The Henry Ford”, about 4 miles away.  This number one tourist destination in Michigan consists of the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, and Greenfield Village.  Your registration will include admission to the Henry Ford Museum.  If you would prefer to visit Greenfield Village, which has a slightly higher admission fee, you may turn your group ticket in for full credit toward the Village ticket price.  Lunch will be on your own from the selection of restaurants within the Museum or Village, of which there are several.  To find out more about The Henry Ford, and decide which section you wish to explore, visit https://www.thehenryford.org.
Friday evening we will travel by bus to the Detroit River, where we will board The Detroit Princess, a large, three-deck riverboat for dinner and a cruise past the Detroit and Windsor (Canada) skylines, Belle Isle State Park, and passage under the international Ambassador Bridge.

Saturday will begin with the second of our seminars.  This one, given by family genealogist Nancy Redling, will explore the Doolittles of America computerized database.  The seminar will be followed by our own group photo session.  Lunch is your opportunity to explore the nearby restaurant offerings on your own.  After lunch, we will board a tour bus for a guided tour of Detroit which will feature downtown hotspots such as the riverfront and Campus Martius, Belle Isle, Eastern Market, Midtown, Corktown, and Mexicantown.  Note: this tour can only accommodate the first 56 registrants, so if you register too late to be included, you will receive a $35 refund.  Likewise, we must have at least 30 registrants by June 18th to be able to run this tour, so if fewer than that sign up, it will be cancelled and those who have paid will receive a $35 refund.
The tour will return you to the hotel in time to get ready for the evening official Doolittles of America meeting and dinner at the hotel.  There will be a short but necessary meeting, an additional opportunity for introductions including a roll call of the states and provinces represented, followed by a buffet dinner which will include split sirloin of beef with sweet marsala béchamel,  roasted chicken breast with apple sangria, and salmon with maple walnut sauce.  A short presentation will follow, focusing on what is known about how the descendants of Abraham Doolittle got disbursed throughout North America.  YOU may be asked to add any information you may have to that already in the recorded Doolittle history.  We will wrap up the evening with a short concert by acoustic music trio Annie and Rod Capps with Jason Dennie.  (http://maynardmusic.com)

Sunday morning will include another opportunity for cousins to meet with the genealogists to seek individual answers from the Doolittle database.  It will conclude with a meeting of the family board of directors to carry on the business of the organization.  The rest of you may depart or stick around for more days of exploring on your own.  Remember, the attractive hotel room rate is available for 3 more days!  And there is so much to see, like:
The Ford Rouge Factory Tour            https://www.thehenryford.org
The Detroit Institute of Arts                 https://www.dia.org
A Detroit Tiger baseball game            https://www.mlb.com/tigers
Meadowbrook Hall                              http://meadowbrookhall.org
Edsel Ford Estate                               https://www.fordhouse.org/experience
Or take a few days and drive “Up North” to see Michigan’s second most popular destination, Mackinac Island (https://www.mackinacisland.org), or visit beautiful Harbor Springs, taste wines on Old Mission Point near Traverse City (https://www.traversecity.com), explore Michigan’s second largest city Grand Rapids (www.experiencegr.com/‎), see virgin pine forests at Hartwick Pines State Park near Gaylord, or sand dunes at Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore.  Visit https://www.michigan.org.

Three final notes:
1)     Prices, deadlines, and other information are on the Registration Form included in this website. Fill it out, and mail it with a check to Thurman Doolittle, address on the bottom of the form.  The deadline is June 30, but we need a tour count by June 18 so sign up early!  (Canadian cousins please submit US dollars. Thanks.)
2)     Please pass this information on to all descendants of the Doolittle family whom you know.  You will certainly have names and addresses of family members that are not known to the organization.  The success of this reunion is a function of the family members who come.
3)     Some of you may be disappointed that the reunion does not feature site visits with specific Doolittle family connections.  That turned out to be very impractical to do.  The farming area where many Doolittles settled in Michigan in the 1830s is about 100 miles west, not close to much hotel selection or opportunities for group activities.  A few homes and graves can be identified and located.  If any of you wish to tour such sites on your own after the reunion, we can make locations available.

Looking forward to seeing you in Michigan in August!                        Phil Doolittle, President