Saturday, February 04, 2017

RootsTech Family Discovery Day Article

The following is a section from the Deseret News article "Property Brothers, Cake Boss, BYU's Kalani Sitake, LDS Chuch leaders headline RootsTech 2017".

Saturday, Feb. 11
Perhaps the most attended day of the conference is Saturday because of Family Discovery Day, which has tracks especially for members of the LDS Church. One of the main events will be a devotional with President Russell M. Nelson, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, his wife, Sister Wendy Watson Nelson, and members of their family. There will also be messages delivered by other LDS Church leaders and classes for those with church callings related to temple and family history work.
Other prominent speakers Saturday include Executive Vice President of Deseret Management Corporation and the CEO of Deseret Book Company Sheri L. Dew; former NFL player and Philadelphia broadcaster Vai Sikahema; Sitake; and Hank Smith, a Brigham Young University professor of religion and popular speaker.
Additionally, genetic genealogist CeCe Moore and Valastro, owner of Carlo's Bakery and star of "Cake Boss," will stand on the stage. In connection with Valastro's visit, there will be a cake decorating competition with prizes. For Valastro, a fourth-generation baker, it will be his first trip to Utah.
"I hear it's scenic, has amazing skiing; I'm excited to check it off my list," he said in a telephone interview with his signature New Jersey accent.
The legacy of the Valastro family is sacrifice for family, hard work for family and charity (giving leftover cake to homeless shelters), and Valastro is looking forward to sharing the story of his Italian heritage and how food brings families together. That's especially true in his home where he recently remodeled the kitchen to add more space for the 20 to 30 people that come each Sunday for dinner. He also delights in an occasional family bake-off with his daughter and three sons.
"I would love for people to come out, hear my story; it’s pretty inspiring," Valastro said. "I want to meet some fans, give hugs, take some pictures, hang out and let them know how much they mean to me, because honestly I really love my fans. It will also be a way for me to learn their history as well."
The closing event Saturday evening will include comedic entertainer Jason Hewlett; BYU's Men's a capella chorus, Vocal Point; and Noteworthy, an a cappella women's chorus.
Beyond RootsTech
In addition to the speakers and entertainment, RootsTech attendees can attend classes and breakout sessions, tour a giant expo hall, learn about new technology, tools and products, and engage in interactive displays geared toward helping an individual learn more about his or her family history. Families with teens and younger children can play games such as Family Feud or Twisted Family History.
For those hitting roadblocks in their family research, there will even be a "Coaches' Corner" where people can receive one-on-one help from an expert genealogist.
Those who wish to attend can register at The minimum age to attend is 8. Some events will be streamed live on the same or
Elder Bradley D. Foster, executive director of the LDS Church's Family History Department and FamilySearch, said those attending the conference become a studio audience for those who watch it later because RootsTech is a great opportunity to "build content."
Elder Foster estimates about 20,000 attend the conference; about 180,000 view the conference online while it's happening; but organizers hope to reach millions more by distributing content to family discovery centers worldwide after the conference.
"One of our hopes is that you can go online and find a 20-minute segment of RootsTech that you and your children can enjoy as a family as a Sabbath Day activity," Elder Foster said. "Ultimately, it's a family doing their own RootsTech-oriented activities in the ultimate family discovery center — the home."

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