The 55th annual Dawson family reunion was held Sept. 7 at Jackson United Methodist Church in East Feliciana Parish.

Attended by about 50 relatives from East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Jefferson, Orleans, St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes, a reunion committee worked year-round organizing reunion activities, games and traditions started by various family members.

“A new tradition this year started by Charlene Netterville includes adding a favorite stamp and name to a circle cloth with the Dawson family tree at its center,” said Beth Dawson, of Jackson, who is married to reunion committee Chairman Scotty Dawson. “Everyone left handprints as the leaves on the branches of the tree last year, but added their own stamp this year.”

Caleb Carter, grandson of Scotty Dawson, welcomed everyone prior to kicking off a brief business meeting. Felix Palmer led the family in prayer and C.C. Hadden led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.

A memorial service planned by Netterville eulogized two members of the Dawson clan: Maxie Dawson, who lived to be 97, and Gladys Dawson, 88. Three friends of the family also were remembered: Carl and Betty Jo Bunch and their daughter Tammy Bunch Schillings.

Following the tribute, Effie Dawson, 94, received a certificate for being the oldest person at the reunion while Brett Roddy won the “youngest Dawson” award.

Heather Roddy and her family, of Harvey, received certificates for traveling the longest distance to attend the family celebration.

Activities included making and flying paper airplanes and competing to see whose flew the longest distance, playing games and sharing a potluck dinner that concluded the reunion.