Friendship Force Oklahoma will have a booth at the Fall Peace Festival – Saturday, November 12, 2016

Friendship Force Oklahoma will have a booth at the Fall Peace Festival to be held on Saturday, November 12, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  The event will be held at the Downtown Civic Center Hall of Mirrors and is free and open to the public.  Volunteers will pass out information about Friendship Force and contact anyone interested in joining our club.

Oklahoma City’s 30th annual Peace Festival will be held Saturday, Nov. 12th, from 10 am to 4 pm, in the Civic Center Music Hall’s “Hall of Mirrors” in downtown in Oklahoma City, 201 N. Walker.  The event is free and open to the public.

The event is an central Oklahoma tradition, with music, dancing, food, shopping and community organizing for peace and justice always on the program.

More than 60 organizations will be represented. Visitors will find items for sale from three continents, and tables reflecting the face of human service and social justice groups in central Oklahoma.

“Together the Third Thursday” Luncheon – October 20, 2016

We are going to have our “Together the Third Thursday” luncheon on October 20, 2016, at 11:30 a.m., at The Taj Cuisine of India located at 1500 N. W. 23rd, Oklahoma City.  It is located on the south side of 23rd just east of Okla. City University.  Their number is 405-601-1888. This will be our last luncheon for the year so please join us and get to meet our members. Contact Nelda Paden at

“Together the Third Thursday” luncheon on September 15, 2016

What a great attendance we had at our “Together the Third Thursday” luncheon on September 15, 2016 at Mimi’s Restaurant with 15 members and guests getting together for fellowship and fun.  It was great seeing long-time members, Al and Joy Ayers, and their houseguests from New Zealand, Irene and Reg Clothier who were ambassadors when New Zealand visited FFO in 2005.  We look forward to our next luncheon on October 20th.

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Members Darlene Browers and Ruth Green attend Banjo Fest on September 10, 2016

Andy Eastwood!!!   Who’s that you may ask? Everyone who attended the Banjo Fest on Sept. 10 will know. Andy is a phenomenal ukulele banjo player from the UK. He was one of four great banjo sets featured at the first annual Banjo Fest sponsored by the American Banjo Museum.   The audience was treated to bluegrass, jazz, folk and even classical music as they learned just how versatile the banjo is. Cynthia Sayer Gary “Biscuit” Davis, Mark Johnson and Emory Lester kept those strings humming with rousing banjo playing and lots of rib tickling comments along the way.

FFO members will recall enjoying being host to many exchanges that included a visit to the American Banjo Museum in Bricktown Oklahoma City. The banjo museum extended an invitation to FFO members to have a complimentary ticket to attend the final concert of the Banjo Fest.   Darlene Browers and Ruth Green were among those who attended. Their review of the evening can be summed up as “WOW.”   “Never knew a banjo could sound like that” and “never saw a ukulele banjo OR player before.”

Darlene reported that she was lucky enough after the concert to buy the last available CD of Andy Eastwood’s music. It included the showstopper William Tell’s Ukulele. It’s a whole new experience of William Tell’s Overture when you hear it played of the ukulele banjo.

Thanks goes to the American Banjo Museum for thinking of FFO and making it possible to hear that great music. Keep alert for Banjo Fest 2017!  banjo-festWe are told it’s coming.

Submitted by Darlene Browers

Report on General Membership Meeting – Sunday, August 7, 2016

Our Semi-Annual General Membership Meeting was held on Sunday, August 7, 2016 at the UCO International House in Edmond, Oklahoma.  Members brought finger food to share and there was a good attendance.  We had two guests with one joining at the meeting.  The Nominating Committee Chair reported on the selection of officers for 2017 and there were no nominations from the floor, so the following officers will be installed at the January 2017 General Membership meeting:  Geneva Hancock, President; Beth Allen-Eden, Vice President; Bob Byrne, Treasurer and Darlene Browers, Secretary. We discussed ideas for World Friendship Day which will probably take place in March 2017 and upcoming luncheons for the remainder of the year.  A report was given on the recent outbound exchange to Oregon and the clubs in San Francisco, California and Baton Rouge, Louisiana plan to visit our club in 2017.  We also discussed our selections for an outbound international exchange in 2018 that will be submitted to FFI.


Our outbound exchange to Mid-Willamette Valley Oregon club – July 19-25, 2016

If you didn’t join us on our outbound exchange to visit the Mid-Willamette Valley Oregon club, you really missed a good exchange.  Twenty ambassadors traveled by air and car and met at the home of Ted and Rita Powell for the welcome party where we were entertained by two ladies playing the guitar and accordion. We met our hosts and traveled to their home.  The next day, we enjoyed the tour of the Thyme Garden and the special lunch that was prepared for us 6-IMG_1350 5-IMG_1354 3-IMG_1347 2-IMG_1371 1-IMG_1370 1-IMG_1356 1-DSCN1618 1-DSCN1595 1-DSCN1592 1-DSCN1586 1-DSCN1579 1-DSCN1558 1-DSCN1551 1-DSCN1502 1-DSCN1497 1-DSCN1478 1-DSCN1471using many of the herbs and flowers in the garden. Then, we were off to the coast for an overnight stay at the Shilo Inns in Newport, OR.  Jackets were needed for viewing the Yaquina Head lighthouse and we were excited to see the many whales in the area.

Our visit to the Hatfield Marine Center and museum was very enjoyable and our hosts drove us around to see the beautiful scenery in the area. The next day, we visited Talking Water Gardens, where there are many varieties of wetland plants, had lunch and small group dinners were planned for the evening so everyone could get better acquainted.

The next couple of days was spent with our host with some of us traveling to the town of Sisters to see the twin peaks and the lava fields. We also enjoyed seeing covered bridges and Sahalie Falls.

Thanks to the Mid-Williamette Valley Oregon club for a wonderful exchange.

Upcoming Outbound Exchange to Oregon Mid-Willamette Valley – July 19-25, 2016

On July 19, 2016, 10 members from the Friendship Force Oklahoma club will travel to Oregon for an exchange with the Oregon Mid-Willamette Valley club. Also, participating in the exchange will be 4 ambassadors from Montana, 2 from Tennessee, 3 from Colorado and one from Florida.  An overnight stay in Newport, Oregon on the coast is planned as well as a visit to the Hatfield Marine Center and Museum and a visit to Talking Waters.  Small group dinner parties in the evening are also planned. The exchange is over on July 25th and several ambassadors have plans after the exchange.

“Together the Third Tuesday” Luncheons

The Thursday luncheons were moved to Tuesday to see if we could improve on our attendance.  On May 17th, members enjoyed “Let’s Do Greek” and on June 21st, members enjoyed “On the Border” Mexican Restaurant.  Thanks to all of those that participated.  We know summer is a busy time and we only have the luncheons on months there is no activity planned.  So, our next luncheon will be on September 15th, with the place to be announced later.  Our last luncheon for the year will be on October 20th.  Everyone is welcome!  1-DSCN1421-001

“Together the Third Thursday” Luncheon – April 21, 2016

The “Together the Third Thursday” Luncheon was held on April 21, 2016, at Johnnie’s Charcoal on Britton Road. Our guest speaker was Jared Scism from the University of Central Oklahoma who shared his experience while teaching in Japanese schools and talked about other cultural differences in our two countries.

We are changing our luncheons to the Third Tuesday, so the remaining luncheons for the year will be on: May 17th, June 21st, September 20th and October 18th.

Members attend Southwest Regional Conference in Austin, TX – April 1-3, 2016

Several members from the Friendship Force Oklahoma club attended the Southwest Regional Conference in Austin, TX on April 1-3, 2016.  Also attending were members from Friendship Force Baton Rouge, Dallas, Fort Worth, Georgetown Houston, Kansas, New Mexico and San Antonio.  Workshops were held on Saturday and we enjoyed the fellowship and good food.  Entertainment was provided by Southtown, a San Antonio Central Texas band at the dinner on Saturday evening.  The conference gives us the opportunity to discuss Friendship Force going forward and retaining membership, also, who do we vet on exchanges and learn about members experiences traveling to other countries.01-IMG_1315 02-IMG_1316 08-IMG_1322 03-IMG_1317 04-IMG_1318 05-IMG_1319 06-IMG_1320 07-IMG_132109-IMG_1323 10-IMG_1324 11-IMG_1325 12-IMG_1326

World Friendship Day Celebration – March 5, 2016

I told you we were going to celebrate World Friendship Day on March 5th at Ingrid’s Kitchen and we had a great time.  Over 20 members and friends attended.  Food was ordered from the menu and we enjoyed Sahar Aldurobi sharing a fascinating story about her family’s journey from Iraq to America a few years ago. 1-DSCN1390 2-DSCN1391 3-DSCN1392 4-DSCN1393 5-DSCN1394