Centennial reunion to attract more than 600

Most family reunions take place in a backyard or a park. The descendants of John and Elizabeth Rotz of Elk River will need most of Meadowvale Elementary School and the grounds surrounding it for theirs.

More than 600 family members are signed up for the July 21 centennial reunion of the Rotz family, which began putting down roots in Elk River in the spring of 1912.

That’s when Elizabeth Rotz and six children were reunited with John, who had made his way from Adony, Hungary to Canada five years earlier. He worked as a day laborer there until making his move to the United States. He came to Elk River in the fall of 1911.

Elizabeth entered the country through Ellis Island with kids in tow in the spring of 2012. The couple decided they would call Elk River home, and their family tree has been growing outward from there ever since.

Descendants will come from all over the country, including many who remain local. The family will be represented at the reunion by five of the seven generations who have lived here in America, according to Bette Belanger of the Rotz clan. She is one of the organizers of the event and a proud member of the Hungarian family.

“We have 641 RSVPs,” said Belanger, who is also the author of “From Dairy Farms to Gravel Mines,” a book on the Hungarian history in Sherburne County. More history will be created July 21.

The reunion will start at 11 a.m. and will include a catered lunch and program at 4 p.m. Hungarian pastries will be served afterward.

A website has been created for the event. It can be connected to at rotzreunion.org.