The first reunion of the family of Wilford and Marie Cole was held at the Bear Paw Golf Course in Havre, Montana and at a camp ground in the Bear Paw Mountains. Organizers of the first reunion were Judy O'Neil and Judy McLain. Great food, dancing, and games entertained all of the attendees. Wilford Cole enjoyed the event by dancing with his Grandchildren. The event was a smashing success and catapulted the family into a tradition of regular reunions since 1976. The 2009 reunion will be the 10th Cole Clan Reunion.
In 1981 the Cole Clan gathered at Lions Campground near Kalispell, Montana. The Stengem family hosted the fun event. Cool evenings and warm days combined to create a perfect recipe for fun in Western Montana. Attendees played softball and other games. Bill Cole successfully slid into home, avoided the tag, and scored a run for his team. Evenings were spent gathered around the camp fire singing camp songs. Adam McLain, a recent Iraq War Veteran spent his first reunion in a stroller pushed by his Mom, Mary.
The Cole Clan Reunion in 1986 was held at the Lion's Camp near Kalispell, Montana. Under the oversight of the McLain family, the clan swam in the lake and spent quality time visiting. Celebrating mass outside was a highlight. The messy and tasty food eating contest had many humor-filled moments. All attendees enjoyed the morning games and scrumptious food.
In 1991 the Cole Clan Reunion began with a rousing game of golf at the Bear Paw Golf Course near Havre, Montana. Golfers didn't get a hole in one, but had a great afternoon enjoying family time on the links. The group adjourned to the Cole Clan Camp in the Bear Paws for a relaxing time swimming in the pool, roasting marshmallows, and singing around the campfire. The songs didn't make the hit parade, but did keep the camp dogs on alert. Kid's games were plentiful. Bill Pimley held a special ceremony where he presented Dorothy Cole with a license plate from Texas and a hat. In honor on the ceremony, Bill wore a floppy hat that Dorothy had given to him the previous reunion.
The Solomon family hosted the 1995 reunion in the Bear Paw Mountains and treated the family members attending to a raucous and exciting rodeo. Pole bending, roping, and barrel racing were rodeo highlights. The Solomon rodeo clowns picked up many dusty and bruised stick horses and family members, carting them off in their trusty rodeo wheel barrow. Throughout the camp days, family enjoyed learning to rope and ride in preparation for the main rodeo. The grand entry featured many colorful bucking horses and talented riders. Kids enjoyed finding money in the straw during morning games. Family members went home with new skills and happy hearts.
Following an exciting game of golf at the Beaver Creek Golf Club near Havre, Montana, the Cole Clan convened at Camp Cole in the Bear Paw Mountains. Hosts for the reunion were the Bill and Dorothy Cole family lead by Dan and Val Cole. Special guests included Max Larson, recently returned from the United Arab Emirates, Max's sister, and Bob and Maxine Cole from Hawaii. It was great to catch up with their family news. The entire clan tested their wits and sleuthing skills with an elaborate scavenger hunt. Linda Fossen's team won the first place prize followed by Tom Cole's team. Tom paid linda $1 as a first place prize. A hat parade was another reunion highlight. Many creative and colorful hats were designed and worn exclusively for the event! Pug dog, Gabby Fossen, even wore a custom designed straw hat for the parade! Card playing, fishing, visiting, and games were also reunion highlights. A great time was had by all.
The Pimleys hosted the 2000 Reunion celebrating the century and the millennium in the Bear Paw Mountains near Havre, Montana. A fashion show featured costumes from each decade of the 1900's. Thelma and John McLain received first prize dressed as Old Mother Hubbard and Old King Cole in honor of the Cole and Hubbard Clans. Linda Fossen produced a commemorative family history video that demonstrated the rich family-centered heritage of the Cole Clan. Maureen Pimley's "Cole Clan Cookbook" was a big hit. It was filled with delicious recipes contributed by clan members and illustrated with Wilford and Marie Cole family pictures. Many fun games were played including the mouse trap game, piñata, toilet paper toss, and money game. The dance contest was won by the McLain family with their awesome "Chicken Dance." The live auction ended the event with many prized, hand-crafted family heirlooms created by the Pimleys taken home by clan members.
Cole Clan Reunion 2003 took the Clan members to Hawaii. Family members dressed in Hawaiian garb enjoyed delicious food and fun at an old fashioned luau. The Tom and Sally Cole family hosted the festive reunion. The limbo dance stretched young and old backs to the limit! Between games and great food, the Clan spent many hours on Bitterroot Lake boating, wading, swimming, and fishing. Old aquaintances were renewed and new freindships made at this awesome reunion in Western Montana.
The 2006 Cole Clan Reunion, hosted by Michale and Kenny Beck and the McLain Clan, was held in the beautiful Bear Paw Mountains near Havre, Montana. The event was kicked off with a golf tournament at Beaver Creek Golf Club. Plentiful mulligans ensured a good time was had by all. Games for all ages were plentiful. Bingo, horse shoes, and three-legged races were competively enjoyed. An afternoon talent show was a smash hit. Softball was played with a new twist--common household utensils and bowls were the gear for the event. Lots of laughs and some good hits were the result. Great food put the campers in a celebatory mood. Visiting time with relatives, fishing, and sunset watching also added to the fun event.
The 2009 Cole Clan Reunion brought the flavor of New Orleans to the Lion's Camp near Kalispell, Montana. The Mardi Gras Parade and dance was led by the Wilford and Marie Cole children and spouses who were crowned the parade kings and queens. The days were filled with horseshoe games, a kickball tournament, relay games, and swimming in the lake. The kickball tournament was capably umped by Barb Little and won by the Kurt Fossen team. Love and laughter filled the campground and was complimented by lots of visiting. The evenings featured singing around the roaring campfire and entertainment options that included bingo, a family feud game won by the Tom Cole family, an auction, and dancing in the plaza. One highlight was a visit by the Dick and Louise Cole family and the Jean and Murray Stengem family. A good time was had by all who attended. Kudos go to Karley Fossen Reason Connolly who chaired the event planning and implementation. Great job, Karley.