40th Anniversary Celebration – Art Contest winners announced at Reception

Friendship Force of Oklahoma sponsored an art contest/exhibition in January with the theme “My Dream of Peace” for metro area fifth grade classes. Over 200 students exhibited art works in their schools for preliminary judging with the top 20 finalists displayed in the Governor’s Gallery at the Oklahoma State Capitol on Saturday, March 4th. A reception was held in the Blue Room at the Capitol to announce the winners and to make donations to the participating schools The event was attended by approximately 115 people. Guests included the artists, their parents, grandparents and siblings, plus teachers and other guests.

Winners for the art contest were:

1st place: Amani Gaines; 2nd Place: Isis Navarette both from Stanley Hupfeld Academy and Honorable Mention went to Elijah Kipp from Apollo Elementary.

40th Anniversary Celebration – March 4, 2017

FRIENDSHIP FORCE OKLAHOMA – The Friendship Force Club of Oklahoma in 2017 will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the founding of Friendship Force International (“FFI”), a non-profit organization that has brought together more than 1 million people in homestays since 1977 to share different views and discover common ground, in a quest for global understanding and peace.
Through Friendship Force’s signature program of home hospitality, local families and international visitors share meals, conversation and the routines of daily life, creating a unique cultural encounter and lasting friendships.
Geneva Hancock, President of Friendship Force Oklahoma, announced that the local club will be celebrating FFI’s 40th anniversary in 2017 with an art project to engage youth in artistic expression of the concept that “A World of Friends is a World of Peace” and that each individual can promote peace. Fifth grade students from four schools participated in the event that was recently judged. The artwork was displayed at the school and addressed the theme “My Dream of Peace.” The first and second place winners will compete with other 5th grade students in three other schools. Selected winners (and family) from each school will be invited to a reception in the Blue Room at the State Capitol in celebration of Friendship Force International’s 40th anniversary to be held at 1:00 p.m. on March 4, 2017.
Beth Allen-Eden said the reception will be open to non-members of The Friendship Force who may want to join and take part in international travel or home-hosting with a purpose.
“In these times of international tension and political rhetoric, it is more important than ever for people to reach out to one another to develop bonds of understanding across the barriers that separate us,” commented Jeremi Snook, President and CEO of Friendship Force International. “Our 40th anniversary is a joyous occasion for Friendship Force members, and we want to take this opportunity to extend the offer to people everywhere to join us in this movement for better understanding that can lead to a more peaceful world.”

The host city for the international celebration of Friendship Force’s 40th anniversary will be Manchester, England, in August. For information or to register to attend, please visit Friendship Force International’s website.

ABOUT FRIENDSHIP FORCE INTERNATIONAL
With more than 15,000 members in Friendship Force clubs in 66 countries worldwide, FFI provides opportunities to explore new countries and cultures from the inside by bringing people together at the personal level.
Founded in 1977 by Wayne Smith with support from then-American President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter, Friendship Force has brought together more than 1 million average people in homestay and cultural immersion experiences that have helped to promote global understanding across the barriers that separate people.
To learn more about how Friendship Force International can enrich your life, please visit http://friendshipforce.org/index.php/who_we_are
Friendship Force International (FFI) is the official headquarters office and is located in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, visit:wwwthefriendshipforce.org.

Members and friends gather for Christmas Luncheon on December 10, 2016

The Christmas lunch was attended by 43 people, including members, past members and several guests. The lunch was held in the RedBud Room at Epworth Villa and was made possible by the generous sponsorship of Darry and Edith Carlstone, who live at Epworth Villa.

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

Friendship Force Christmas 2016

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The entertainment was provided by the Two Nice Girls Trio which includes Friendship Force member, Joan Ackley. The selections performed included traditional Christmas songs and an original written by a member of the group. Our thanks to the talented ladies of the Trio for this entertainment.

Food was provided by the professional staff at Epworth. The food was delicious. We thank the staff for their work in making the event so pleasant.

The fellowship was a delight. It was a great time to visit with current and old friends and perhaps soon to be friends.

Friendship Force Oklahoma and Friendship Force International will celebrate their 40th Anniversary in March 2017

In celebration of our 40th anniversary, Friendship Force Oklahoma is excited to announce the following:

The Friendship Force of Oklahoma has decided how we will celebrate our Anniversary.

We are inviting all fifth-grade students in the Oklahoma City metro. area to participate in an art exhibit, My Dream Of Peace.  We hope to have the winning works of art displayed in the State Capitol building.

On March 5, 2017 we will invite winners, their families and many others to a reception where we will present a small donation to their school.  The public will be invited.

We are very excited about the plan and hope it will generate a lot of local news about the Friendship Force as well as new members.

Geneva Hancock, President
FF Oklahoma

Friendship Force participants in the Annual Peace Festival on Saturday, November 12th

Friendship Force participates in the Annual Peace Festival

Saturday November 12th was the annual Peace Festival in downtown Oklahoma City. Friendship Force members Art and Rena Black, Joyce Rulon, Monika Miller, and Nelda Paden had the opportunity to talk with many people about Friendship Force and its mission.

In addition, Friendship Force volunteers learned about other organizations that are also working to make a difference by spreading understanding and friendship.peace-festival2 peace-festival1peace-festival

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 neldapaden@aol.com.

“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