North Carolina Inbound Journey to Oklahoma – April 5-11, 2018

Ambassadors from the Friendship Force club in North Carolina arrived on Thursday, April 5th and that evening, a welcome party was held at Unity Church with several members attending to meet the ambassadors. Florece Rowland is the Journey Coordinator for Oklahoma.

On Friday, April 6th, the group traveled to Bricktown in downtown Oklahoma City and enjoyed touring the Banjo Museum and the banjo music performed for them.

North Carolina Ambassadors

North Carolina Ambassoadors

Geneva and Gray Eagle

Geneva and Gray Eagle

Gray Eagle

Gray Eagle

Gifts

Gray Eagle

Banjo Concert

Banjo Concert

The whole Group

Florece asked Albert Gray Eagle to be there to play and demonstrate the flutes he makes.  His Indian heritage is Cheyenne, Sioux and Pueblo.

Albert Gray Eagle is a U.S. Army Veteran and works with the Oklahoma Arts Council.  He makes the flutes he uses from wood, clay, river cane, bird-wing bone using all traditional material and methods. He teaches the art of making flutes at arts camps, schools, veteran groups, etc.  He also demonstrates and teaches how to play the flute.

His niece, who puts a finish glaze on the outside and decorates the flutes, is Victoria (Tori) Nevarez.

The most wonderful part – he had a drawing and gave away several small flutes he had made.

Florece met Mr. Gray Eagle at the Red Earth Festival.

Journey to Baton Rouge, LA – March 13-20, 2018

Ambassadors from Oklahoma, Grand Junction, Colorado and Las Vegas, NV journeyed to Baton Rouge, LA for one week of home hosting and a great week of planned activities. We met for the welcome party and supper and the next day toured the Old Governor’s mansion, Old State Capitol and State Capitol Museum on “Downtown Day.” The next two days, we traveled to Vermillionville for “Vermillionville Day” and St. Francisville for “Audubon Pilgrimage Day.” Hosts took the ambassadors to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday and enjoyed a “Wish Day” on Sunday.  The journey ended on Monday with a Swamp Tour to see the alligators and Crawfish Boil/Farewell Party that evening. What fun!

Super Regional Conference – April 20-21, 2018

This year, a Super Regional Conference titled “Unlocking the Future of Friendship Force” will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio on April 20-21, 2018 for the clubs in the Great Lakes, Midwest and Southwest Regions. The conference center hotel is located in Covington, KY and the conference will include keynote speakers and leadership discussion as well as some home stay before and after the conference.

Christmas Social – Saturday, December 9th

FFO Christmas Social

The 2017 Oklahoma Friendship Force Christmas Social was held at the Epworth Villa Redbud Room on December 9.  Forty-one people attended and we all enjoyed it very much.  Former members included Joy and Al Ayers, Lula & June Carter and Phyllis Boevers.  Also attending were guests Linda Lofton, , Billie Caron and Bill and Gayle Whitaker.  We are happy that you joined us and hope you will continue to participate.

June Carter entertained us, singing many beautiful songs and inviting everyone to sing along.  Thank you June and Lula for being there.  You made this a happy occasion, putting all in the mood to celebrate the Christmas season.

Our thanks to Liz King for handling the reservations and to Candace Gideo and Chris Stettnisch for setting up the room and arranging lunch for us.  The food was delicious!

Friendship Force Oklahoma’s booth at Peace Festival – Saturday, November 11, 2017

This will be our third year to have a booth at the OKC Peace Festival to be held on Saturday, November 11, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Civic Center. Our display will include our new banner, brochures, pictures of events and members will talk about Friendship Force to recruit new members.

San Francisco Bay Area club visits Oklahoma – September 24-October 1, 2017

On September 24th, 17 ambassadors from the San Francisco Bay Area club participated in a domestic exchange with the Oklahoma club. The Friendship Force Oklahoma members served as hosts and the journey included visits to 14 venues and 7 meals. Additionally, there was a flex day with additional opportunities. Forty-two people attended the welcome reception and 42 people attended the farewell dinner. Thanks to Darlene Browers for stenciling the tote bags that were given to the ambassadors and to the host coordinator, Ken Coy, for developing and printing the programs.

San Francisco club to Oklahoma – September 24, 2017

Just a few more days until the San Francisco club will visit.  The hosts are ready and lots of fun activities are planned.  The first day they will visit the OKC National Memorial and Museum, the Botanical Gardens, tour Bricktown and a wonderful reception will be held that evening at Bob and Ann Byrne’s home, On Tuesday, they will tour the National Weather Center in Norman as well as the Sam Noble Museum and Fred Jones Art Museum. Wednesday is a flex day with their hosts. On Thursday, the group will go to Guthrie to tour the Masonic Temple and tour the Territorial Museum with a trip to Perkins to see the Grey Snow Eagles.On Friday, the National Cowboy and Western Museum, the OKC History Center and Saturday is a trip to see the Buffalo Ranch in Concho and the Express Clydesdales in Yukon, the OKC Museum of Art and a wonderful farewell dinner before they leave the next day.

San Francisco, California to visit Oklahoma – September 24-October 1, 2017

An inbound  journey from the San Francisco, California club will take place on September 24-October 1, 2017 with their club visiting Denver, Colorado after Oklahoma City.  At this time, there are 15 ambassadors.   A list of proposed activities include time in Norman, Oklahoma with tours of the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History, National Weather Center and Fred Jones Art Museum, Oklahoma City with visit to National Bombing Memorial and Museum, Myriad Gardens, OKC Museum of Art, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma History Center and Banjo Museum and Guthrie to tour the Masonic Temple and downtown area.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA CLUB TO OKLAHOMA CITY – MAY 31-JUNE 7, 2017

Eleven ambassadors from the Gold Coast, Australia club visited our club on May 31-June 7, 2017 after visiting the Birmingham, Alabama club.  The welcome dinner was at the home of Art Black and the farewell dinner was held at Cattlemen’s with a good crowd of 43 attending. They especially enjoyed the entertainment. We were able to show them a lot of what Oklahoma has to offer including a tour of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, the National Weather Service in Norman, OK, a hay ride to see the buffalo at the Cheyenne-Arapaho Nation buffalo ranch located in Concho, a canal ride in Bricktown OKC and many other enjoyable activities with the host families.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Oklahoma City – April 18-25, 2017

In the Spring (April) of 2017, OKC hosted eight Ambassadors from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Believe it or not, many of these delightful people were first time visitors to Oklahoma and they were amazed at how green our state was.  They all wanted to go for a horse-back ride (although none had ever ridden a horse) because they

thought “this is what you do when you come to Oklahoma.”  Although the horseback ride was rained out, we all enjoyed spending an hour in a Dragonboat on the Oklahoma River.  We all learned a great deal about the booms and busts  of the Oklahoma economy from Bob Blackburn at the Oklahoma  History Museum.  They received first-hand knowledge of Cowboys and Indians from their visit to the Cowboy Museum with tour guide

 Caroline Cannon and from a tour of the Oklahoma Supreme Court building with former Friendship Force member D. G. Smalling who shared information about the Native American Art.  Visits to the National Weather Center and The National Bombing Memorial were meaningful to all.  And a favorite day was Saturday in Guthrie for the 89er Parade.

 

All in all, in spite of torrential rain and flooding that caused rearranging of schedules, it was a wonderful week.  In addition to delicious meals in FFO member’s homes, the group was treated to Mexican and Barbeque restaurants and even to some food trucks.