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President's message

 | Published on 12/1/2017
This will be my final president’s letter ending a wonderful, fruitful year with this great club. It has been my privilege to serve.  At the Installation Luncheon for new officers on November 18th, I handed over the presidency to Sandra Williams, who behind the scenes has already been hard  at work.  She got a jump start in May by attending the President’s Conference in Santa Barbara, 
and in August, the FF World Conference in Manchester, England, and by providing interesting speakers at the General Meetings.

At this time, I would like to review the accomplishments of this past year and acknowledge those members who willingly gave of their time and energy. First and foremost thanks are given to the Exchange Directors; Brenda Pearson (Vietnam outbound), Nancy Alongi (Madison outbound), Mary Prokup (Austin inbound) and Tom Schulz (Leuven in- bound). I’m sure these EDs in turn are grateful for those who home hosted, day hosted, organized Friendship Dinners, etc. These exchanges would not have been possible without Roger Walsh’s persistent communication with FFI in Atlanta. Along with his assistant, Carol Tatum, we have had top rated clubs to visit in the past years and now looking forward to 2018 and 2019 adventures.

Along with the Board Members who were thanked at the Installation Luncheon, special kudos are necessary for Judy Anderson, who organized the Austin Exchange Farewell Party and the Installation Luncheon. She and Pat Rudner were responsible for setting up refreshment tables and décor for the General Meetings. Besides serving on the board,  Lauren Beaudry keeps the WEOs going monthly, year after year with interesting ethnic restaurant outings. Mike Brown, with his assistant Tom Schulz, keep us well informed with the fabulous monthly newsletter as well as setting up the AV and mikes for the meetings. And the great
accomplishment for our club is the WEBSITE, put in place by Bob Traber. He has spent countless hours in getting every last detail of our club into the electronic format. For up to date news on all these activities, Bob Traber continues to encourage all members to access the club’s website.(Website address: A midyear highlight was the Bunko/Potluck night held at Kathy & Alonzo Velasco’s beautiful home. Kathy & Carol Tatum really know how to host a fun evening.  Finally, I want to mention Colette DeLong, who has continued to serve as secretary of the board, by traveling all the way from Orange County for board meetings, general meetings, etc.

And I must include gratitude to the 2018 Journey Coordinators who volunteered; Bob Stafford/Hal Herritt (Flathead Valley inbound) Mike Boyko (Moscow outbound), Carol Tatum/Kathy Velasco (Gisborne, New Zealand, inbound) and Paula 
Traber, Jackie Portman
(Long Island outbound). It was a successful year because of all these dedicated members.  If I have neglected anyone,

In Friendship.
Carol Babbitt, President