unspecifiedBy Molly Brennan and Colbie Cook

As the 2016 conference comes to a close, CONA alumni and staff are busy making plans for an anniversary. The July 2017 conference will be the 50th Conference on National Affairs and the focus now is on alumni outreach.

Suzanne Mabie, a CONA staff member and chairman of the anniversary planning, said alumni will arrive Thursday, the final day of the 2017 conference, and stay until Saturday. The alums will attend part of Plenary and the Closing Fire ceremony. Other preliminary plans include tournaments and tours for families of alumni, meetings regarding donating to the conference and networking among alumni. Other plans may include an alumni bonfire and meals.

Mabie said CONA administrators would like to focus on communication prior to the conference. Five years ago, the conference celebrated an anniversary with alumni, but lack of outreach limited the celebration’s potential. “We had a couple of meetings and had dinner,” Mabie said. “It was about 30 people, so we really didn’t get it out enough, we’re going to start doing that as soon as the conference is over.” Outreach will include social media communication and surveys to determine which activities alumni would like to see.

As the 50th anniversary approaches, CONA staff look both at the future and at the past. “50 is a big milestone number,” said Mabie.

To learn more, go to http://ymcacona.org/50-2/