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President's Letter for March 2017

 | Published on 3/5/2017
Presiding over my 1st General Meeting in February was very rewarding. We certainly have many dedicated members who "behind the scenes" ensure that monthly meetings at the Joyce Beers Hall are enjoyable and informative. This includes setting up tables and chairs, the sound equipment and lectern, checking in members and welcoming guests, arranging appetizers and desserts. The highlight of the meeting was Ellie Elphick's presentation of Vietnam and Cambodia. Her fantastic slides and commentary of the exotic trip held everyone's attention. Lauren Beaudry presented the 1st prize award to Nancy Alongi for her delicious lemon bars. We will continue judging and presenting a prize for the best snack "offering" each month. All of the above mentioned contributors make this NEW president's job "more relaxing." At our February meeting we discussed March as the 40th anniversary of Friendship Force. Some of our members will be hosting small dinner parties in their homes to recruit new members. If you know of anyone who would be interested in the Friendship Force concept of "Faces, Not Places”, please consider the idea. And there is always the opportunity to bring your friends to a general meeting or a Wednesday night out (WEO) dinner.

Those traveling (journeying) to Vietnam in March will be leaving March 14th. This exchange will also include an extension to Cambodia. Six of our members will be accompanied by members of other FF clubs around the United States. Nancy Alongi, ED for Madison, has received all the paper work for this May Wisconsin "journey" (exchange). Five spaces are available as some ambassadors had to drop out. If interested, contact Nancy.

We will continue soliciting members to work on the incoming domestic exchange from Austin, Texas which begins on August 1st and the incoming international exchange from Leuven, Belgium starts on September 25th. Please mark your calendars and be prepared to sign up for planning, hosting, helping, etc. We encourage all our members to volunteer for committees and of course, for exchange responsibilities. Bob Traber gave another presentation on our club's website. It provides more information than you can imagine!

Bob also provided "hard copies" of our 2017 Membership Directory. It was decided to charge members $5.00 for the printing of these as a fund raiser. If you would like to buy one, please e-mail Bob.

Friendship Force International (FFI) has sent us our outgoing and incoming exchanges (journeys) for 2018. Thanks to the efforts of Roger Walsh and Carol Tatum, our club has been assigned Moscow, Russia (suggested month March 2018) for the international exchange and Long Island, New York as the domestic exchange(suggested month September 2018). We will take a poll at our next General Meeting to see how many members are seriously considering Moscow. The international in-coming journey will be Gisborne, New Zealand (suggested date, July 2018). Mark your calendars.

Sandra Williams, our President Elect, has registered for the President's Western Conference in May, in Santa Barbara (since the president will be on the Madison Journey). She will also attend the World Conference in Manchester, England in August. Sandra will share highlights of these events at a General Meeting. The next board meeting will be held at the home of Kathy Velasco, (Monday, March 6th at 1:00 PM). Our next General Meeting will be Saturday, March 18th at Joyce Beers Community Center at 1:30 PM. Our program for this meeting will be "The History of Wine in San Diego County" presented by Richard Carrico. Don't forget a prize presentation for the best appetizer/dessert at this meeting.
Looking forward to seeing you all there.
 Carol Babbitt