July 2020 Meeting

The July meeting was the annual club picnic, held at the Wildcat Recreation Area of Big Canoe. The pictures at the left are compliments of Mary Ellen Johnson. We appreciate her contribution.

June 2020 Meeting

The June meeting was virtual, held via Zoom. Fourteen cameras participated, some with individual members amd some with couples. The program consisted of an excellent video about recent exchanges, created by Linda Kadechuk. See the first frame of the video at the left, and click here to watch the video.


The March, April, and May meetings were canceled because of Covid-19.

February 2020 Meeting

The February meeting was a three-club retreat, held at Callaway Gardens, near Pine Mountain, Georgia. The Huntsville and Birmingham clubs joined the Big Canoe/North Georgia club for a wonderful three days. A total of 46 people attended all or a part of the retreat.

At the first dinner, the three clubs each invited members of the other two clubs to join them in upcoming journeys.

January 2020 Meeting

A small part of the large crowd.



The January meeting was held at Fuego's Mexican Restaurant in Marble Hill

There was a report on the joint meeting being held in Callaway Gardens February 20 to 22. Everyone planning to attend should make their own room reservations by calling Shawanda at 800-225-5292, option 3. Give her Mary Ellen's name. It is recommended to discuss the stay with other members, to stay in a multi-bedroom cottage. Check-in is after 4:00 on February 20, and check-out is prior to 11:00 on February 22. It is a social/networking event with the Birmingham and Huntsville clubs, with very limited planned program. Everyone is encouraged to attend the group dinners on Thursday and Friday. Payment for the dinners needs to be to Mary Ellen by cash or check, since the restaurant won't prepare individual checks and Mary Ellen can't process credit cards. Alan and Mary Ellen will be in Villa 1531-1534.

There was a report on programs. The February meeting is described above. The March meeting will be March 15. It will consist of attending a play in Cumming, followed by dinner at Ridge Restaurant. Members are welcome to attend only one of the two parts of the meeting. No meetings are planned in April or May, because of other club activities.

The president reminded everyone of the monthly Friendship Force International Flyer, which reports on journeys open to members of any club. To sign up for the newsletter, connect to the FFI web site at www.thefriendshipforce.org, then enter your email address below "Newsletter Receive updates and new listings from Friendship Force".

There was a report on the combined incoming journey from West Alajuela and Des Moines. We expect 14 ambassadors from West Alajuela and nine from Des Moines. Fourteen of the ambassadors are single females, which creates a challenge in arranging hosting. Someone to coordinate food for the journey is needed.

There was a report on the outgoing journey to Trujillo. The optional extension will be prior to the exchange. The journey coordinators on both ends are still working on details. There are 14 slots.

The program was a presentation on the first outgoing journey to Newcastle on Tyne, England.

December 2019 Meeting

Members dining

New President Presiding

Rapt attention at the business meeting.

The December meeting was the annual holiday party.

The new board members were announced.

Information was presented on the get-together with Birmingham and Huntsville on February 20 and 21. This is a Thursday/Friday informal fun gathering in Warm Springs and Callaway Gardens. The cost is $312.00 per couple for two nights in a four-bedroom villa. This replaces the February meeting

It was announced that the January 2020 meeting will be at Fuegos on January 19 at 2:00 p.m. The program will be videos of our recent Journey to Ottawa.

Information was presented about our Journey to Peru October 15, 1010. There was some discussion of altitude sickness.

November 2019 Meeting

Gathering before the meeting

First vice president presiding

Membership chairperson reporting

The November meeting was held at the Village Station in Big Canoe. The First Vice President presided.

The membership chairperson introduced several new and prospective members.

The officers nominated by the nomination committee for 2020 were elected.

Someone announced that the February meeting will be a trip to Calloway Gardens, jointly with the Huntsville and Lake Hartwell clubs. It is scheduled for February 20 to 22.

A team of two journey directors reported on the joint incoming journey April 27 to May 4. We expect 10 ambassadors from Des Moines and 18 ambassadors from Costa Rica. This will require a strong effort to recruit hosts. A committee is being formed, and members are encouraged to volunteer to the journey directors to join the committee.

Someone presented an overview of Friendship Force for the benefit of new and potential members.

Someone presented an overview of the Open World program, which has become an important element of our club. The next Open World event for us will be September, 2020, on the theme of National and State Parks.

Someone reported on upcoming journeys. We have an outgoing journey to Peru in October 2020 and an outgoing journey to Brazil in 2021.

Someone reported that the December meeting will be a Christmas party on December 8 at 2:00 p.m.

October 2019 Meeting

President presiding

Club enjoying dinner

Delegates from Ukraine

The October meeting was held at the swim club at Big Canoe

The meeting was a meet-and-greet with the Open World delegates from Ukraine. The delegates introduced themselves and presented an outstanding report on current life in Ukraine. One of the delegates is involved in management of the national airport, and most of the others are associated with the Kyiv School of Economics. The theme of their visit is Public Policy and Governance.

Someone gave a report on the group's activities while they are here. It is a rich program of presentations on many specialties of the theme of the visit.

Someone introduced several visitors and potential members.

A covered-dish dinner was enjoyed by all.

August 2019 Meeting

Informal Time



The August meeting was held at Windermere Clubhouse in Cumming.

Someone reported that the board had voted to increase the dues for 2020 to $30.00 per person, primarily because of an increase in the dues payable to Friendship Force International. All funds have been paid to Friendship Force International and the host club for the journey to Ottawa. He also reported a current balance of $6574.

Someone reported that all plans are in order for the outgoing journey to Ottawa. He held a meeting today with all ambassadors, to review plans.

Someone reported that he is planning a membership-growth event in November.

Someone reported that the board had decided to merge the incoming journeys from Des Moines, Iowa, and Costa Rica April 27 to May 4, 2020.

Someone reported that planning is well along for the Open World event. She encouraged all members to attend the welcome dinner on October 13. Each person attending should bring a dish to serve eight people.

The program was a wine-tasting.

July 2019 Meeting

Enjoying the Social Time

Jeannette Reporting

The July meeting was held at Garland Mountain in Waleska. President Alan Johnson presided.

Robert Anderson reported on membership. We have several leads on potential new members. He plans a recruiting event in November. He introduced two new members, Martha and Randy Key.

Jeannette Waldrop reported on Cares and Concerns. Both Jim and Jean Goggin are recovering from falls. The memorial service for Jean Ficht will be July 27. Linda Kadechuk was in attendance at the meeting, following her knee replacement surgery.

Barry Kadechuk reported on the outgoing journey to Ottawa, Canada. The FFI fees have all been collected from ambassadors and paid to FFI. We still don't know the amount of the club fees. Hosting arrangements have been completed, but we don't know the results.

Sherry Wileman reported on the Open World event. We expectd to know the names of the delegates in August. Robert Lisle is making some of the arrangements. Sherry requested everyone to sign up for a share of the duties in connection with the event. The delegates will be here October 11 to 19.

Peggy Anderson reported on future meetings. The August meeting will be a wine tasting party in Cumming on August 18 at 4:00 p.m. She asked members to sign up to bring cookies or brownies. There will be no regular meeting in September because of the journey to Ottawa. The October meeting will be a potluck dinner on October 13 in connection with the Open World program. The November meeting will be a membership event on November 10. The December meeting will be a holiday party on December 8.

The program was a presentation on the Friendship Force International strategic plan by Peggy Anderson. Click here for access to the draft plan. She said the plan has three sections: role of the FFI board, role of headquarters staff, and role of clubs. She said the priorites of headquarters staff are communication, resources, and membership. Part of the role of clubs is an objective that 60% of club membership travel on journeys.

Peggy said that, in response to the strategic plan, she plans to form three committees in our club.

Peggy also mentioned that four members of our club are planning to attend the FFI International Meeting in Boulder, Colorado, from which they hope to gain information useful in improving the operation of our club.

Sherry reported on upcoming journeys. The Birmingham and Huntsville clubs are interested in some type of three-way journey with us. The incoming journey from West Alajuela, Costa Rica, will be April 27, 2020. The ambassadors will be visiting the Charlotte, North Carolina, club the week before they come to us. Peggy Anderson is journey director. The outgoing journey to Trujillo, Peru, is October 15, 2020. Sherry is recruiting a journey director. She plans an outgoing journey to Brazil and on outgoing journey to Des Moines, Iowa, in 2021.

Alan reported that the club performed its service project for Habitat for Humanity. Several members worked at the site, and others prepared and served the lunch for workers.

In the business portion of the meeting, the motion was made, seconded, and passed to make a $100.00 donation to the choir of Jean Ficht's church in her memory.

June 2019 Meeting

The spread of food

Enjoying a social time

The June meeting was the annual club picnic.

May 2019 Meeting

Alan Presiding

The club enjoying the meal

The May meeting was held at the Grape Vines Restaurant in Dahlonega. President Alan Johnson presided.

Alan announced that the Habitat for Humanity support has been scheduled for July 13. He asked everyone able to help with this project to sign up.

Alan announced that Sherry Wileman is working on all our future journeys, and at this point nothing has been established.

Barry Kadechuk reported on the journey to Ottawa. Everything is on track, and there have been no recent changes to report.

The program was attendance at the play Mama Mia at the Holly Theater in Dahlonega.









April 2019 Meeting

The beautiful spread of food

Enjoying dinner time

Bob Anderson reporting

The April meeting was held at Village Station in Big Canoe. President Alan Johnson presided.

Bob Anderson reported we now have 51 members. He is planning a recruitment activity sometime in the fall.

There was a report on activities. The May meeting will consist of attending the play Mama Mia at the Holly Theater in Dahlonega, followed by dinner and business meeting at Grapevine Restaurant. The June meeting will be a picnic at the home of Tim and Lenna Anderson in Cumming. The July meeting will be in Canton. The August meeting will be a wine and cheese party in Cumming.

Mary Ellen Johnson reported that she raised $2900 for the Ferst Foundation, and she thanked members of the club who supported her effort.

Alan reported that our support of Habitat for Humanity will probably be in May or June.

There was a report on the journey to Ottawa, scheduled for September 12 to 19, followed by a post-journey cruise from Montreal to Boston. The program has been mostly planned by our hosts.

There was a report on future journeys. We anticipate an outgoing to Brazil and Peru, and an incoming from Costa Rica. Dates have not yet been determined. We anticipate an Open World delegation from Ukraine, with the theme "Public Policy and Governance". We expect reciprocal incoming and outgoing journeys with the Des Moines, Iowa, club.

The program was a game night.








February 2019 Meeting

Members ordering dinner

Alan Presiding

Barry Reporting

Robert Giving Program

The February meeting was held at Butts and Barley Smokehouse. Alan Johnson presided.

It was reported that we now have 44 members. All members were urged to search out friends and members who might like to join the club. A recruitment event is planned for next fall.

It was reported that we will not meet in March, because so many members are going on the Friendship Force Festival at Sea. The April meeting will be April 28. The June meeting will be a picnic at the home of Tim and Lenna Anderson. The August meeting will be a wine tasting in Cumming.

There was report on cares and concerns. Nancy Davis is well enough to appreciate visits, but not for too long. Charlotte Hale is "under the weather". Harry Yarbrough is doing well. Tom Eubanks was hospitalized for a short time because of internal bleeding.

It was announced that we anticipate an Open World event in October, but there are no details yet.

Barry Kadechuk reported that there was a change in the incoming journey director for the journey to Montreal. He reminded everyone to make their reservations for the trip from Ottawa to Montreal, and for the stay in Montreal.

The program was a presentation on Ukraine by club member Robert Lyle. He recommends watching a You Tube video. Click to watch. To see his PowerPoint presentation, click here.

January 2019 Meeting

Half of the lunch group

Half of the lunch group

Alan presiding

Rapt attention to the program

The January meeting was held at the Clubhouse at Lake Sconti in Big Canoe. Most of the members enjoyed brunch at the clubhouse prior to the meeting. Alan Johnson presided.

The treasurer reported that, at this point, we have 39 paid members.

Members were invited to sign up to help with the incoming journey from Ukraine and for helping Habitat for Humanity.

It was announced that Nancy Davis is home and recovering, but she doesn't want any visitors at this time.

There was a report on activities. The incoming journey from Ukraine is scheduled for May 1 to May 8. The February meeting will be February 17 at 2:00 p.m. at Butts and Barley. The June meeting will be June 23 at the home of Tim and Lenna Anderson. The December meeting will be December 8 at the home of Daniel Hunsberger and Sherry Wileman.

There was a report on the outgoing journey to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Nineteen people have signed up for the journey, and 15 plan to go on the post-journey cruise. Everyone going on the cruise should make arrangements for the train trip from Ottawa to Montreal. Everyone was reminded to submit the death form and proof of insurance (the death form is available on this web site).

It was reported that we are considering a pair of journeys from and to Des Moines, Iowa.

The program consisted of a report by Sherry Wileman on the outgoing journey to Republic of Georgia.

December 2018 Meeting

Barry Reporting

Casual Time

Dessert Time

The club met on Dec. 9, 2018 for the annual Christmas party.  Members brought food for the sit-down dinner.  Twenty plus members attended.

There was a short informational meeting for the members attending the Ottawa Journey next Sept.  The after-journey travel will be a cruise.

We were reminded that annual dues are now due.

There is no news from the Kiev group.  They are working on their visas.  We will probably host the exchange even if the number shrinks.

The January meeting will be held at the Big Canoe Clubhouse.  Members may attend the brunch and then come to the meeting at 2:00.  The program will be on the recent Georgia Journey.

November 2018 Meeting

Alan Johnson Presiding

The Bountiful Table

Ches Tredway, June Tredway, and Margie Bowyer

Lenna Anderson and Daniel Hunsberger



Friendship Force Club met at the Canoe Lodge at 1:30 on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 11, 2018. 

We had received a thank-you letter from Friendship Force International for our $1000 scholarship donation for the World Conference next year.  The scholarship was designated for Ketevan Maisashvili, leader of the recent journey in Georgia, to attend the conference.

We were asked about interest in preparing lunches for Habitat in Jasper.  Several members were interested so he will pass this along.

The journey from Kiev is set for May 1 – 8, 2019 with 15 people expected.

There are a large number of Open World opportunities available next year.  There are three that fit our time frame for Oct. 31.

There was a report on the recent trip to the Regional conference in Charleston, SC.  It was a Super East Coast Conference attended not only by the Southeast Region but Florida, Mid-Atlantic, and New England.  New operations program was explained.  Since there is no central, physical office there have been some adjustments.  There are 15 employees with 7 being fulltime. They basically work from their homes. Regional support people have to live in their regions. Explanations were made on how clubs are matched up for journeys.  Failures to accept matches, fill journeys, and cancelling a journey goes against clubs for future matches.

There were a few remarks about the recent journey to Georgia.  The trip to Georgia and Armenia was even more successful than expected.  An added bonus was getting to see 12 of the former Open World candidates that we had hosted.

The nominating committee presented the slate of officers for 2019.

Cares and Concern Chair reported that some of our members have issues.

It was announced that our Christmas party will be on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 9, at 2:00 PM at Sherry’s and Dan’s.  The January 20, 2019 meeting will be at the Big Canoe Clubhouse.  Members can attend the brunch and then attend the regular meeting at 2:00.




September 2018 Meeting

Fred Mullins Serving

Bountiful Table

The September meeting was an Ice Cream Social held at the Big Canoe Swim Club. It was was a feast for the senses, if you could smell the fresh pineapple and strawberries, the nuts, the whipped cream, and of course, the different toppings!  Big Canoe residents Barry and Linda Kadechuk organized the meeting, with help from other club members. 

Guests were also treated to a presentation, with photos of what our Club and Friendship Force International is all about – not just travel, but opportunities to host and create unique friendships around the globe.

We extend a warm welcome to visitors of all ages!  If you would like to join us for a Potluck at Big Canoe Lodge, Sunday, November 11, at 1:30 pm or find out more about our Club, please contact Bob Anderson, Membership Chair, 706 579-1708, bobbyjoega@windstream.net, or Alan Johnson, President, 770-893-9109.  Friendship Force International has clubs and exchanges worldwide that members can participate in. 

Nine Club members will be just returning from visiting the Republic of Georgia and Armenia October 14-31, 2018.  This will be a fabulous trip with some home hosting in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.  In 2017 we hosted a group of young professional delegates in the Open World Program from Georgia, and they invited us to come to their Georgia to visit with them and their families!

2019 Journeys are inbound from Kiev, Ukraine in May, and outbound to Ottawa, Canada (including tour of the Maritime provinces) in September.  Learn more about the Ottawa journey at the Potluck meeting in November.  If you are interested in home hosting people from other countries or the United States, or being home hosted, or meeting new people from around the world, check out Friendship Force!


August 2018 Meeting

The Big Canoe/North GA Friendship Force met on Sunday, August 19, 2018 at Windemere Clubhouse in Cumming for a social/winetasting with 23 members and guests.  Ryan Mullins, son of members Fred and Lorraine Mullins, led the winetasting and shared some interesting information about wine and its long history.  Ryan works for a major wine distributor and is well on his way to becoming a master sommelier.  He has traveled the world for his business and for pleasure.  A buffet luncheon was provided by the club.


July 2018 Meeting

Alan Presiding

Sherry Reporting

The July meeting was held at the Cumming Playhouse (for the program) and Ridge Restaurant in Cumming (for the business meeting and dinner). President Alan Johnson presided.

Alan announced that we have been asked for a commitment for incoming journeys in 2020. The club voted to have one international and one domestic incoming journey, each limited to a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 ambassadors. The club further voted to say no on additional short journeys of three or four days, and to restrict incoming journeys to March, April, May, September, October, and November.

Sherry Wileman reported on outgoing journeys. She recommended everyone subscribe to the Friendship Force International e-flyer. Click here, then scroll to the bottom of the page, to subscribe.

She announced the next international conference will be in Boulder, Colorado, in July, 2019. She also announced the Festival at Sea.

[Editor's note: The Festival at Sea is February 21 to March 9, 2019. It stops at Buenos Aires, Urubuay, Patagonia, Falkland Islands, Tierra del Fuego, and San Antonio, Chile. Click here for more information.]

She reported that everything is in order for the journey to Georgia. Twenty ambassadors are going. She said she has two unexpected openings, in case anyone wants to be added to the list.

Peggy Anderson reported that she is recruiting a journey coordinator for the incoming journey from Ukraine in May 2019. She promised lots of help from other club members to whoever volunteers.

Linda Kadechuk reported on the outgoing journey to Ottowa, Canada. There are lots of openings for additional ambassadors. The plan is for a post-journey trip by motor-coach to Quebec City, Gaspe Peninsula, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia, with the return flight from Halifax.

Alan reminded everyone that the program in August is a wine-tasting in Cumming.

Bob Anderson reminded everyone that we have a membership drive for the September meeting. He asked that everyone think of friends and neighbors who could be invited.

Margie Bowyer recommended everyone read the Friendship Force International annual report. Click here to get access to the report.

The program was a production of Camelot at the Cumming playhouse.

June 2018 Meeting

Alan Johnson presiding

Part of the set-up crew

Members enjoying the meal


The June meeting was the annual club picnic, held at the Wildcat Recreation Area of Big Canoe. President Alan Johnson presided, and did his usual outstanding job of cooking the meat for the picnic.

Alan reminded us that we will have an incoming journey from Kiev, Ukraine, in 2019. Peggy Anderson is recruiting a journey director. Anyone with an interest in considering this role should contact Peggy. Peggy reminded everyone that planning an incoming journey is a group activity for a committee--the director doesn't do it alone.

Jeannette Waldrop reported two new members, Joannetta and John Upchurch.

Bob Anderson, membership chairperson, said we will have a social event in the fall aimed at recruiting new members. He asked everyone to think about friends or neighbors who might have an interest, so they can be invited to the social event.

Bob reported that the incoming journey from Sacramento went well. There was some flexibility required by the weather.

Alan reminded everyone that our program in July is a play at the Cumming Playhouse. He announced that Fred Mullins has granted one more day of grace for making a reservation for the play. He can take reservations until June 25.

As usual for our picnics, there was no program except to enjoy each other's company.

April 2018 Meeting

Alan Johnson presiding

Allison Lindsay reporting

Members chatting

The April meeting was held at the Lake Arrowhead Club House near Waleska, Georgia. President Alan Johnson presided.

Alan read a letter of thanks from Habitat International for our support.

Gary Kadechuk reported on upcoming meetings. There will be no May meeting because of the incoming journey. The June meeting will be at the Wildcat Recreation Area in Big Canoe. The July meeting will be attendance at a play at the Cumming Playhouse. He reminded everyone that $30 per ticket needs to be provided to Fred Mullins by June 15, as tickets will not be held beyond that date without payment.

Mary Ellen Johnson reported that articles are being provided regularly to the local newspapers.

Jeannette Waldrop reported that Charlotte Hale continues to improve.

Bob Anderson reported that plans are complete for the incoming journey from Sacramento. The welcome party will be May 24 at the Wildcat Recreation Area in Big Canoe. Everyone planning to attend should let him know so he has an accurate count. The farewell dinner will be May 29 at the home of Dan Hunsberger and Sherry Wileman in Canton. May 30 the ambassadors are being delivered to the Huntsville Club at the Sticky Fingers Barbecue Restaurant in Chattanooga.

Sherry reported on the outgoing journey to Tbilisi, Georgia. All plans are in place, and deposits from ambassadors have been received. Nine ambassadors from our club and 12 from other clubs are going.

Linda Kadechuk reported on the outgoing journey to Ottowa. It will be September 11 to 18, 2019, with an after-journey trip to Montreal September 18 to 25.

Alan reported that there are some Open World opportunities in 2019, which we are not planning to support at this time.

Peggy Anderson reported on the incoming journey from Ukraine in 2019. She is recruiting a journey director. Anyone willing to consider this opportunity should contact Peggy at 706-579-1708.

Allison Lindsay of Friendship Force International provided the program. Here are some of the highlights of her presentation:

  • Instead of an international conference in 2019, there will be regional conferences in each region. Our regional conference will be November seven to nine in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • In 2020, there will be an international conference in Colorado, with the exact location to be determined.
  • Allison is the Friendship Force International staff member assigned to the United
    States and Canada.
  • Our Regional Representative is Ellen Gragg.

March 2018 Meeting

Alan Presiding

Members Chatting

Jeannette Asking Questions

The March meeting was held at Fuego's Restaurant in Marble Hill. President Alan Johnson presided.

Alan reminded everyone that the April meeting will be in Lake Arrowhead. The speaker will be Allison Lindsey from Friendship Force International.

Barry Kadechuk reported on upcoming meetings. The June meeting will be a picnic at the pavilion in Big Canoe. The July meeting will be the play Camelot at the Cumming Playhouse. The August meeting will be a wine tasting in Cumming.

Barry reported on the incoming journey from the Sacramento club. We expect 18 ambassadors. The arrival party will be at the pavilion at Big Canoe on May 24. The farewell party will be at the home of Daniel Hunsberger and Sherry Wileman in Canton on May 29.

Alan reminded everyone of the outgoing journey to Georgia and Armenia October 15 to 31.

The program consisted of Irish trivia, presented by Jeannette Waldrop.

February 2018 Meeting

President Johnson Prepares

Speaker Jephta Greer

The February meeting was held at the Internatioal House of Pancakes in Canton. President Alan Johnson presided.

Alan announced that our club would be helping Habitat for Humanity on March 10, with a rain date of March 24.

Jeannette Waldrop reported the following people on our cares and concerns list: Jim Goggin is improving; Jean Ficht is having some health issues; Sherry Wileman is dealing with some back issues; Peggy Anderson is healthy again.

Barry Kadechuk reminded everyone that the March meeting would be at Forno's in Marble Hill, with a program of St. Patrick's Day trivia. The April meeting will be at Lake Arrowhead, with a program on Friendship Force International. The June meeting will be a picnic at the Wildcat Pavillion in Big Canoe.

Robert Anderson reported that the committee has been formed for the incoming journey from Sacramento. Twenty ammbassadors are anticipated. The arrival party will be at the Wildcat Pavillion in Big Canoe. The farewell party will be at the home of Daniel Hunsberger and Sherry Wileman in Canton.

Sherry reported on the outgoing journey to Georgia, scheduled for October 14 to 25. Nine ambassadors have signed up from our club, and she has opened it to members of other clubs.

Linda Kadechuk announced that we expect 2019 assignemts this week.

Alan reported that we received a letter of thanks for the donation to Friendship Force International in honor of the Willamette Valley club.

The program was presented by Jephta Greer on the subject of the genesis and early days of Friendship Force.

January 2018 Meeting

Alan Presiding

Sherry Reporting

Delegates Reporting

The January 2018meeting was held at the Clubhouse at Lake Sconti in Big Canoe. President Alan Johnson presided.

Barry Kadechuk reported on meeting plans. The February meeting will be at the International House of Pancakes in Canton. The program will be on the early history of our club. The March meeting will be in Cumming. The program will be trivia, presented by trivia experts Jeannette Waldrop and Peggy Anderson. The July meeting will be attendance at the play Camelot, followed by dinner at the Ridge Restaurant. The June meeting will be a picnic on June 24.

Jeannette Waldrop reported on cares and concerns. Charlotte Hale and Jean Berry are convalescing.

Alan reported on the incoming journey from Sacramento. The planning committee has been formed. The jouney will be May 23 to 30, and we will provide transportation to Nashville, where the Huntsville hosts will meet the ambassadors and take them on their way. Mary Ellen Johnson is host planner, and anyone with a preference for hosting should contact her.

Sherry Wileman reported on the outgoing journey to Tbilisi, with a possible add-on visit to Armenia. Georgia has mountains and seashores. The journey will include 11 nights, of which seven will be home hosted and four will be hotel stays. The best airline to use is Qatar Airways. We will leave Atlanta on October 12.

Alan announced that the new region representative is Ellen Gragg. Her e-mail address is gragg@rocketmail.com.

The program was a presentation by Barry Kadechuk, Phil Waldrop, Jeannette Waldrop, and Linda Kadechuk (shown at left) on the Friendship Force International Conference held in Manchester, United Kingdom.

December 2017 Meeting

The whole group

Presidents passing the baton


The December meeting was held at the home of Dan Hunsberger and Sherry Wileman in Canton. President Linda Kadechuk presided, before passing the baton of office to incoming president Alan Johnson.

Linda announced the new appointed positions:

  • Joe Crawford, historian
  • Barry Kadechuk, activities
  • Mary Ellen Johnson, publicity
  • Bob Anderson, membership

Linda announced that Bob Anderson will be the journey director for the incoming journey from the Sacramento, California, club in May, 2018.

Linda reminded us that Sherry Wileman is the journey director for the outgoing journey to Tbilisi, Georgia October 15, 2018.

Linda reminded us that there will be an outgoing journey to Ottowa, Ontario, in September 2019.

November 2017 Meeting

Linda Presiding

Linda and Sherry Announcing

Sherry Announcing Again

The November meeting was held at the International House of pancakes in Canton. President Linda Kadechuk presided.

Linda announced that the memorial service for member James Wiltse is scheduled for November 24 at 2:30 p.m. at 4000 Village View Drive in Gainesville.

Treasurer Robert Logan made the following announcements:

  • Members are requested to use the reimbursement request form (available on the web site) to request reimbursement from the club.
  • Annual dues should be paid by the end of the year, in the amount of $25.00 per person.
  • The club is now in possession of 10 cases of the book History of Friendship Force by Charlene Terrell. they are available for $10.00 each.

Linda reported on the incoming journey from the Sacramento, California, club. It will be May 18, 2018.

Sherry Wileman reported on the outgoing journey to Tbilisi, Georgia October 15, 2018. The club can accept up to 25 ambassadors.

Linda reported that we will have an outgoing journey to the Ottowa, Ontario, club in September 2019.

Mary Ellen Johnson reported the following nominations by the nominating committee:

  • President: Alan Johnson
  • First vice president/president-elect: Peggy Anderson
  • Second vice president: Sherry Wileman
  • Secretary: Barbara Chatham
  • Treasurer: Robert Logan

The nominees were elected.

Linda made the following announcements:

  • Alan Johnson would appreciate a volunteer to be activities chairperson.
  • Meeting times will be 2:00 p.m. in January, February, and March, because of early darkness.
  • The December meeeting will be at the home of Daniel Hunsberger and Sherry Wileman on December 3 at 3:00 p.m.
  • At the hospital art event during the Willamette Valley exchange, $195.00 was collected as a donation to the hospital art foundation.

September 2017 Meeting

In lieue of a meeting, in September we gathered in several homes for dinner, with new members and potential members invited to learn about Friendship Force and our club. See scenes from some of the dinners at the left.

June 2017 Meeting

1. Pledge was recited by all; led by Tim Anderson. Note: we recited the new pledge.

2. Robert Logan presided over the meeting in the absence of our president and vice presidents.

3. Treasurer’s report showed a balance of $8060.42. Robert stated that when Barry and Linda return, Barry will buy a new speaker system which has been approved by the board not to exceed $300.

4. Journeys – Ukraine – Bob Anderson stated the they will be here Oct 1-7. He will need 7 host homes. We are waiting for the final confirmation that visas have been obtained for the 14 people before making definite plans. A sign-up sheet was passed.

5. Journeys – Willamette Valley – Sherry Wileman noted the dates are Oct. 26- Nov. 1. Some hosts will be needed as well as day and dinner hosts. She stated that some club members have agreed to be in charge of certain days of the journey.

6. Journeys – Georgia – Sherry stated that we have been asked to come in October, 2018.

7. Journeys – New Zealand – we have given a deadline to them (August 1) to determine if they are indeed coming the beginning of May, 2018.

8. Journeys – Japan and Sacramento have expressed interests in visiting with our club in 2018.

9. It was announced by Tom Ficht that our club members have been invited to attend a 60th Anniversary Party for Tom and Jean on September 9 at the Tate United Methodist Church from 1-4:00.

10. Sherry announced activities planned for the rest of the year: August – Tater Patch Players “Man of La Mancha”, dinner to follow; September -anniversary dinner hosting; October – journeys; November -?; December – holiday party at Sherry & Dan’s house.

11. Bob Anderson talked about how important the dinners are in September in regards to getting new members. At each host home, there should be about 4 FF members and 4 prospective members. A sign-up sheet was passed looking for such hosts.

12. FFI Conference will be in Manchester, England, next month. Some of our members will be attending and report back to us.

13. Robert reported that Cecil needs to have an updated birthday list of all members. John agreed to help with that.

May 2017 Meeting

The May meeting was the annual club picnic, held at the Big Canoe Wildcat Recreation Area. President Linda Kadechuk presided.

Barry Kadechuk reported on the outgoing journey to Sacramento and Willamette Valley. He said all plans are complete, and everything is proceeding according to plan. He reminded the ambassadors to bring sweaters or jackets, and closed shoes, for the visit to the two lakes.

Linda asked for volunteers for a committee to work on plans for the incoming New Zealand journey.

Linda asked for club approval for an outgoing journey to Ukraine. The club gave approval.

Sherry Wileman reminded everyone of the Tater Patch play on August 20. She is working on arrangements for dinner after.

Sherry reported that an outgoing journey to Republic of Georgia is planned for October 2018.

Peggy Anderson reported that all club members are invited to the unveiling of the Rotary Peace Pole in Jasper on May 24.

April 2017 Meeting

The April meeting was held at Provino's Restaurant in Cumming. President Linda Kadechuk presided.

Linda announced that we would not have a journey to Ottowa in 2018, because we declined to come in February and they have no other time available. We might try in 2019.

Linda announced that Tom Eubanks was made an honorary member by the board of directors, and that she would notify him of this honor.

Barry Kadechuk reported that all is well with the outgoing journey to Sacramento and Willamette Valley. There may be some increase in fees, because the incoming journey directors are finding unanticipated costs.

Alan Johnson reported that there has been no change in plans for the incoming journey from New Zealand.

Sherry Wileman reported that the August meeting will be to attend the play Man of La Mancha at Tater Patch Players. She is working on the possibility of the club having dinner together after the play.

Sherry announced that the May meeting would be a picnic at the Wildcat Pavillion in Big Canoe, on May 21 at 1:30 p.m.

Sherry announced that she is working on a possible journey to the Republic of Georgia in October 2018.

Sherry reported on the region meeting. There will be a new region representative, Ellen Gragg. She said Allison Lindsey is now our contact person at Friendship Force International. Allison has created a web site for the southeast region.

Bob Anderson reported that we are invited to attend the dedication of the Rotary Club Peace Pole on May 24 at 12:00 p.m. It will take place at Rotary Peace Park, located behind the Boy's and Girl's Club of Jasper, 101 Freedom Way.

The program was a presentation by Phil and Jeannette Waldrop on a cruise of the Dalmation Coast they had taken with Grand Circle Cruises.

February 2017 Meeting

The regular monthly meeting was held at Fuego's. The Pledge was recited and the following visitors were introduced: Diane Brisco, Monique Vinelli, Cheree & Keith Bates, and Kyle Anderson.

Robert Logan gave the financial report. The club has a balance of $6751.02 including membership dues from 49 people - 20 couples and 9 singles.

The delegation from Open World will arrive on March 31 and will attend a welcome party that evening. The time has not been firmed up because we have yet to received notice when our guests will arrive. The whole club has been invited to this party. A sign-up sheet was passed for food items. The club will provide the salmon and pork tenderloin. The whole club has also been invited to the farewell party on April 7th at Fuego's.

President Linda announced that FFI received an award from the Open World Organization.

Mary Ellen discussed that March 11 will be our date to work/provide lunch for Habitat for Humanity. Monique thanked us for taking on this task. Mary Ellen will organize those who will work and those who will provide lunch. This experience and Open World on March 31 will replace our March meeting.

Linda shared the new tag line for FFI: “Experience different views - Discover common ground.” Linda also notified us that "exchanges" are now referred to as "journeys".

The SE Regional Conference is April 20-22 in Huntsville. Linda and Sherry are going; other people interested may carpool with them.

Sherry noted that since our March was filled with 2 responsibilities from our club, we will acknowledge and celebrate the 40th year of FFI in our September meeting. The plan is to have several dinners in our homes (Cumming, Canton & Big Canoe) and invite members and prospective members. She asked us to be thinking of people that may be interested in our journeys. More information will follow.

Linda passed around an information sheet from the Sacramento club in regard to our personal notes and preferences on our journey to that club in June.

We have received our exchanges for 2018. Our club will be going to the club in Ottawa, Canada, in March. An ED/Journey Director will be needed from our membership.

We will be receiving the club from Thames Coromandel, New Zealand, in May 2018. Alan Johnson will be the ED for that journey.

Huw gave a summary of how the France exchange started and Robert presented photos and comments on our club’s exchange with Biarritz, France, last October. The presentation included photos of their trip to the beach as well as group photos. Following the presentation those who participated in the trip posed for a group photo and sang a song they had performed in France.

January 2017 Meeting

Linda Presiding

The Club met at 2:00 PM at the Canoe Lodge in Big Canoe with 23 people present. Linda Kadechuk presided and led the Friendship Force Pledge, following which everyone enjoyed a meal of soup, chili, and fixin’s.

Linda welcomed members, and Sherry introduced her guest, Susan Morris.

Treasurer Robert Logan reported a balance of $6330.11 with several dues coming in today. He also annnounced that one new member, Dan Zackman, has joined.

Robert announced that the charter renewal has been sent to FFI to make us “official” for 2017. He also announced that the board has voted to raise dues in 2018 to $25/person.

Sherry Wileman said that the February program will be a report of the Biarritz Exchange with a slide show presented by Robert Logan. Ambassadors should wear red and white plus their berets to the meeting at Fuego’s at 2:00 PM on Feb. 19.

Barry Kadechuk reported on the Willamette Exchange. Everyone should make their flight arrangements. A shuttle from Big Canoe will be arranged if participants are interested.

Barry also reported that the incoming exchange has been shifted to Oct. 26 – Nov. 1, 2017.

Sherry reported that group dinners will be arranged for celebration of the Friendship Force 40th Anniversary in March. They will be held in three locations: Big Canoe, Cumming, and Canton.

Linda reported hearing from Monique, with Habitat, who will work with us about a date in March. Mary Ellen passed around the sign-up sheet for this event for corrections and additions.

Linda reported that the Manchester World Conference is slated for August. So far, four of our members have signed up.

Barry reported on Open World which is March 31 – April 8, 2017. It is entitled “Georgia/Young Professionals: Entrepreneurship in Small Towns”. He has the host families signed up, but he will need hosts for group dinners during the week.

Jeannette Waldrop led a program on “Travel Trivia”. The Waldrop, Ficht, Logan group won with the Johnsons and Kadechuks coming in second. The Tredways and Schneiders were a very close third. Each person was awarded a very useful (?) prize!

December 2016 Meeting

Three Random Views of the Party

The December meeting was held at the home of Daniel Hunsberger and Sherry Wileman in Canton. President Linda Kadechuk presided.

Linda started by holding a board of directors meeting, at which it was decided to hold the dues for 2017 at the same level as 2016--$20.00 per person, with no famiy discount. The dues should be paid by December 31.

Linda announced that Friendship Force International will be observing its 40th anniversary on March 1.

Barry Kadechuk reported that we are being offered to hold an Open World event in 2017. There would be five delegates from the Republic of Georgia, and probably a coordinator and a translator. The theme of the event is the role of small manufacturing business. Accepting this offer was approved.

Barry reported on the exchange to Sacramento and Willamette Valley in June. Everything is on track. He suggested that we should make travel arrangements in January.

Linda reminded everyone that the next International Meeting will be in Manchester, England.

Linda reminded everyone that we had agreed to support a Habitat for Humanity project at some time, consisting of some of our members helping with construction and others helping with the lunch. She said the date is not yet determined, and we would be hearing from Mary Ellen Johnson when plans firm up. It will probably be in February or March.

Sherry reported that the January meeting would be at the Canoe Lodge in Big Canoe, and she would like members to sign up to bring a dish.

Sherry reported that the February meeting would be at Fuego's Restuarant in Marble Hill, and the program will be on Basque culture.

Jeannette Waldrop reminded everyone that she is acting as the club's "Sunshine Lady", to call members who miss meetings or are known to be ill or incapacitated, to share our concern. She reported that Jim Wiltse had surgery, and Jean Ficht is having a rough time.

The program consisted of a holiday dinner. See the pictures above for people enjoying the dinner.

November 2016 Meeting

Linda Presiding

Head Table

Bobbie Garner Presenting

The November meeting was held at the International House of Pancakes in Canton. President Linda Kadechuk presided.

1. 2018 Exchanges - Linda will submit our club choices to be Quebec, Montreal, Sherbrooke, Ottawa - all clubs in eastern Canada.

2. The club Christmas Party will be held at the home of Daniel Hunsberger and Sherry Wileman on Sunday, December 4 at 3:00 p.m.The time was changed to accommodate members who are interested in going to a Big Canoe concert that evening and because of winter darkness. A sign-up sheet was sent around to the members for food and attendance purposes.

3. The club elected the following officers for next year:

4. Sacramento/Willamette Outgoing Exchange - Barry Kadechuk stated that the Crater Lake trip will be part of the week that we are with the Willamette Club. It will be an overnight trip with additional fees; the ED in Oregon will make the arrangements.

5. The Incoming Exchange with New Zealand will be in April, 2018. Alan will be the ED.

6. Robert Logan and Huw Williams agreed to put together a checklist for outgoing exchanges. This will be more detailed than the one FFI offers.

7. Incoming Exchange with Willamette Valley will be the third week of October, 2017. Sherry will be the ED. The club will also spend time with the Atlanta Club after their visit with us.

8. Habitat for Humanity has contacted Mary Ellen about working on House #17. There has been a delay due to contractors but work should begin on Dec. 3. The club will send a work force and/or provide lunch after that date. More detailed information to follow.

9. A Share & Care Committee will be started to help with communication for members who have an illness, family loss, or cannot make it to meetings. Jeannette Waldrop agreed to chair this committee.

10. Our winter meetings (January, February, and March) will be held at 2:00 to accommodate traveling in the dark.

11. Peggy submitted a contact with Solei in Canton for a recruitment presentation by the membership committee.

12. Jeannette Waldrop supplied information about the FFI meeting in Manchester, UK, next August. This will be FFI's 40th Anniversary Year. Registration opens online in December. There should be pre/post home stays in various European countries should anyone be
interested. Some of our club members have expressed interest in attending as a group. More information will be forthcoming.

13. Sherry stated that any ideas from the group in regards to activities, restaurants, speakers, etc. for next year's meetings would be appreciated.

The program was a presentation on a trip to Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) for the purpose of determing the suitability of forming a Friendship Force club in that country. The group concluded that Myanmar is not ready at this time.

September 2016 Meeting

Linda presiding

Robert Reporting

Half the group enjoying dinner


The September meeting was held at Fuego Italian Restaurant in Marble Hill. Linda Kadechuk presided.

1. Linda announced that Fred Mullins was stepping down as membership chaiman for personal reasons.

2. Financial Report by Robert Logan - club currently has $6,844.80. All fees for the tour/exchange have been paid.

3. Habitat for Humanity - a list was circulated for sign-ups for those interested in volunteering on a Saturday. Sherry Wileman created the circulated list; Mary Ellen Johnson agreed to call the members on the list when we get the information from Habitat.

4. France/Spain Exchange - Robert Logan gave the exchange members some last minute details. He stated that all flights have been set. Our host club will probably think more of themselves as Basques rather than French. We will be meeting the mayor on the first day and a welcome reception; proper attire (Sunday dress) is expected of us. Red and white are the requested colors for the farewell dinner. On Oct. 8 we will fly to Madrid to begin our tour. Most meals have been included in the price; there will be an additional fee for the tenth century Roman aqueducts. Tipping procedures were discussed (never more than 10%; do not put on credit card) We will depart on Oct. 15.

5. Sacramento/Willamette Exchange - Barry Kadechuk talked about the flights on our exchange next June. There will be 3 legs of the trip. The first flight will be to Sacramento, 2nd to Portland, 3rd to Atlanta. The entire flight fee should be around $700-800. The dates are June 4-10 (Sacramento) and June 11-17 (Willamette). The Crater Lake trip will be additional fees and an overnight trip during the latter exchange. Willamette is planning an incoming exchange here in the fall of 2017.

6. New Zealand Exchange - Alan Johnson stated that this incoming exchange will be postponed to Spring of 2018.

7. The African Incoming Exchange that was scheduled for Nov/Dec has been been cancelled in regards to our participation. This decision came on the recommendation from the board. FFI had been handling the exchange; Linda talked to FFI about our reasons including difficulties in getting hosts.

8. Discussion was held in regards to our 2018 outgoing exchange choices. Margie Bowyer made a motion to request the Quebec area clubs first and Ottawa Club second. The motion was seconded by Alan Johnson and approved by the members.

9. A poll was taken on which Sunday to have the Christmas party - the 4th or 11th. It was decided to keep the party on the original date, December 4th.

10. While the program was being set up, a line dancing group was formed to the song "Way Down Yonder on the Chattahoochie". This will be performed by our club at the Farewell dinner in France. We will be wearing bandanas and involve both clubs in the Hokey Pokey.

11. Huw Williams talked about our outgoing exchange to France. He stated that in addition to the International FFI meeting in Manchester next year, there will be international cruise also. The members watched 2 videos showing the Basque region and Madrid area.

12. Next Meeting will be November 3 at IHOP in Canton.

August 2016 Meeting

Linda Kadechuk Presiding

Huw Williams Reporting

Bonnie Evans Offering

The August meeting was held at the Butts and Barley Smokehouse in Canton. President Linda Kadechuk presided.

Monique Dunellen described how the club could participate in a day helping Habitat for Humanity. It would probably be on a Saturday sometime this fall.

Huw Williams reported on the outgoing exchange to France, with an after-exchange tour of Spain. Everything is in order. Huw reminded everyone to be sure to purchase insurance or sign the insurance waiver form. He also requested flight information from everyone. He said he would be telling more about the exchange at the September meeting.

Mary Ellen Johnson reported on the Thames-Coramendale incoming exchange. She said it is quite likely to be postponed into 2018.

Mary Ellen reported that the nominating committee for officers for next year is being formed. Anyone willing to be an officer should speak to Mary Ellen.

Linda reported on the incoming exchange from several clubs in Africa. The ambassadors would arrive from Africa on November 29, and leave for Florida on December 5. Linda is forming an exchange committee, and invited anyone interested in serving on the committee to contact her.

Linda said we had turned in requests for outgoing exchanges to Argentina or Quebec, Canada, in 2018.

Bonnie Evans of the Atlanta club invited our club to join the Atlanta club in an outgoing exchange to Itimba, Tanzania, beginning August 30, 2017. She said the date was chosen so people could attend the Friendship Force International Conference and then go on to the exchange. The exchange is being combined with a photo-safari in the Serengeti National Park. Anyone interested should contact her at kbemje@bellsouth.net. She is holding a meeting at her house in Stone Mountain on Saturday, August 27, to learn more about the exchange, and all Big Canoe/North Georgia members are invited.

July 2016 Meeting

The July meeting was held at the Ridge Restaurant in Cumming. President Linda Kadechuk presided.

Robert Logan reported on the outgoing exchange to France, with an after-exchange tour of Spain. All money had been received from the ambassadors. Hosting assignments have been received. Everything is in order.

Barry Kadechuk reported on the outgoing exchange to Sacramento, California, and Willamette Valley, Oregon. The Sacramento portion is scheduled for June 5 to 9, 2017, and the Willamette Valley portion for June 9 to 16, 2017. He is working with the incoming exchange director to tie down details.

Linda reported that we need to turn in our preferences for 2018 outgoing exchanges by August 15. She passed around ballots for us to indicate our preferences.

Fred Mullins reported on membership activities. He says he is trying to attract millenials to membership.

The program was a presentation by member Tim Anderson (shown in picture) on the subject of his many years of service as a civilian volunteer aiding the Jewish Defense Forces.

June 2016 Meeting

The June meeting was held at the picnic pavillion at Wildcat Recreation Area in Big Canoe. President Linda Kadechuk presided.

1. Robert Logan discussed our outgoing exchange to France/Spain. He needs the fees paid by July 11th - the sooner the better due to difficulties with foreign currency exchanges. He stated that one couple had dropped out of the trip but have been replaced by a couple on the waiting list.

2. Sherry Wileman and Barry Kadechuk discussed the 2017 exchanges to Sacramento/Willamette Valley. They sent around a sign-up sheet checking on individual commitment/interest in these two exchanges and a side trip to Crater Lake.

3. Linda read two thank-you messages from the Senior Center and Habitat For Humanity for our club donations to those organizations. Discussion was held in regard to our club volunteering some time to Habitat. They have an opportunity for our club to help build and provide lunch for all the workers.

4. Sherry outlined the club activities for the remainder of the year. July - meeting in Cumming (Ridge Restaurant - 5:00) program - Tim Anderson on Israel; August - meeting in Canton (Butts & Barley Restaurant - 4:00) program - Traveling with One Suitcase (and how to pack accordingly); September - place TBA program - Marie & Huw on France; No October Meeting; November 6 (note: 1st Sunday) TBA; December 4 - Holiday Party (maybe with the African exchange).

5. Jean Mosshart talked about meeting Norbert, Alex, Maya, Marina, and their families in Serbia and Macedonia. She stated that everyone was very pleased with their exchange to US through Open World and our club.

6. Linda stated that the Incoming Exchange from Africa is still expected to happen at the end of this year. She asked for hands of those who would be willing to host. Our club has committed to the first week in December; a South Florida club will host a second week.

7. A big thank-you went out to our cooks for the excellent food and Sherry for organizing the successful picnic.

May 2016 Meeting

Linda Kadechuk Presiding

Barry Kadechuk Reporting

Phil Waldrop Reporting

The May meeting was held at Fuego's Mexican Grill in Tate. Linda Kadechuk presided.

Sherry Wileman reported on the June meeting--a picnic at Wildcat Recreation Area in Big Canoe. Meat will be provided, but members are asked to bring covered dishes for the rest of the picnic meal.

Barry Kadechuk reported on the outgoing exchange to Sacramento, California and Willamette Valley, Oregon. It is scheduled for June 4 to June 10, 2017 (Sacramento), and June 11 to June 17, 2017 (Willamette Valley). They have asked for a return visit to Big Canoe in October 2017.

Linda reminded us that the World Conference is August 23 to 25 in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Linda read a thank-you letter from Jeremi Snook for our contribution toward the new Friendship Force International web site and data base.

It was moved and seconded that we send a donation of $100.00 to each of the organizations which provided part of the program for the Open World event. The motion was passed.

Peggy Anderson reported that she is investigating the possibility of a "field of honor" that would honor the clubs that have visited our club.

We held a short tribute to Charlene Terrell, long-time member of the club, who died suddenly since our last meeting.

The program consisted of a report by Phil Waldrop on the recent outgoing exchange to Costa Rica.

March 2016 Meeting

(l-r) Charlene Terrell, Jeremi Snook, Linda Kadechuk

Rober Logan Reporting

Part of the large crowd

The March meeting was held at Provino's Restaurant in Cumming. President Linda Kadechuk presided.

Robert Logan reported on the outgoing exchange to France, with a post-exchange tour of Spain. Twenty members have signed up to go, with 18 of those continuing to the post-exchange tour. He said we expect to have the hosts identified in early May.

Barry Kadechuk reported on the Open World hosting. At this point, the program is complete except for one hour. The guests arrive April 1. All club members are invited to join the boat ride on Lake Petit in Big Canoe and the covered-dish dinner in Cousins Hall of Big Canoe Chapel, both on April 3. He said Sherry is still looking for a few day hosts and dinner hosts, and she welcomes volunteeers.

Linda reported that Alan Johnson has agreed to be exchange director for the incoming exchange from New Zealand.

Linda reported that Sherry Wileman has agreed to be the exchange director for the outgoing exchange to Willamette Valley (Oregon).

Linda reported that Barry has agreed to be exchange director for the outgoing exchange to Sacremento.

Fred Mullins reported on a senior expo being held in Forsyth County. Several of our members will staff a booth with the objective of recruiting new members for the club.

The program was presented by Jeremi Snook, the new CEO of Friendship Force International. Here are some of his main points:

  • The new combined data base and web site are a high priority for him. A contract has been signed and the contractor has begun work.
  • He thinks an important area to work on is improved communication to clubs and individual members.
  • It's not mandatory to invite members of other clubs to join an exchange with surplus seats, but he wants the possibility to be considered in every case.
  • Delta Airlines now has a number that club members can use when booking travel, which obtains a small commission for FFI without any penalty to the traveler (the traveler still gets the points he or she would normally get).
  • FFI revenues have been decreasing, because exchange travel has been decreasing, and he would like to reverse that.
  • The board has formed a committee to work on fund development.
  • Headquarters staff has recently moved into new quarters at 260 Peachtree Street in Atlanta. He would like to move the staff to the suburbs to obtain office space at a lower rental cost.
  • He writes a blog at fficeo.blogspot.com, which he recommends eveyone read.