UPDATE: The First Ever Global Family Reunion–Saturday, June 6, 2015

One World. One Family. One Extraordinary Event to Benefit Alzheimer’s Research:

AJ Jacobs Global Family Reunion Organizer

A. J. Jacobs – Author and GFR Organizer– Photo By New York Times , Brian Harkin

A. J. Jacobs organized the 2015 Global Family Reunion to celebrate the premise that essentially everyone on earth is related. 

MAY 8, 2015

“I called his chief of staff and explained that I was a long-lost cousin,” he said.

It was not exactly a fib. Mr. Jacobs and the 41st president can be found 21 genealogical steps from each other, through marriage, on interlocking family trees, according to data Mr. Jacobs unearthed on genealogy sites likeGeni.com, he said. He used the same “we’re cousins” approach with Ludacris (39 steps) and Daniel Radcliffe (29).

“It’s one of the best icebreakers,” Mr. Jacobs, 47, said. “It’s the new LinkedIn.”

Mr. Jacobs’s relation to these notables, however tangential, was the precise reason he was reaching out: He was inviting them to participate in the Global Family Reunion, a celebrity-dotted, convention-size mega-reunion he is organizing for June 6 in New York in celebration of his family, and your family — in short, everyone’s family… (To read the full article:  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/10/style/aj-jacobs-seeks-the-world-record-for-largest-family-reunion.html)

First Global Family Reunion held at Hall of Science
By Madina Toure, Times Ledger Newspapears - June 11, 2015

More than 3,700 individuals participated in the reunion, held at the museum at 47-01 111th St. in Flushing Meadows Corona Park June 6, featured talks from genealogists, scientists and entertainers covering everything about families, including personal stories, ancestry and DNA.

Several thousand more individuals participated in more than 40 simultaneous parties worldwide.

The reunion also included comedy, games, exhibits, music and genealogy booths. Performers included Tuelo & Her Cousins and Sister Sledge singing “We Are Family.”

Speakers included Morgan Spurlock, director of the “Supersize Me” documentary and D. Joshua Taylor, genealogist and president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. There were also video presentations by actor Daniel Radcliffe, former U.S. President George H.W. Bush and comedian Nick Kroll.

Proceeds from the event will go toward research, training and education for Alzheimer’s disease. The Global Family Reunion is partnering with the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund and the New York chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

About 47 million people worldwide live with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and that number is expected to rise to 76 million by 2030, according to Julie Jacobs, wife of author A.J. Jacobs, the founder of the Global Family Reunion.

“We cannot have that happen to our family tree,” Julie said.

Recordsetter.com said the Global Family Reunion is the Biggest Worldwide Family Reunion and that it set a record for biggest family hug and most people singing “We Are Family” at a family reunion.

Chicago resident Geneva Norman, 67, whose big family has been meeting in Ohio for 95 years, is related to Ronald Bell of Kool and the Gang, actress and singer Dorothy Dandridge, baseball player Jackie Robinson and singer John Legend.

She recently discovered that she has Finnish and Cameroonian roots.

“This just appealed to me automatica­lly,” Norman said.

Jamaica resident Natasha Rupan, a member of the Hall of Science who attended the reunion with her daughter, said she appreciated the reunion’s emphasis on all individuals being related.

“The fact that we all come together and understand that we’re all the same,” Rupan said.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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