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President's Letter

Hello Friendship Force Dallas,

Firstly, I'd like to say how sad I was to hear about Leo Durst's passing. My condolences go to Martha and her family: I know some of our members are helping as they are able.

Well, this is my first submission of my tenure as president. My thanks to all of you for your vote of confidence. I have some big shoes to fill, but thanks to all the support we give each other, I fully expect the next year to be very enjoyable.

It's certainly going to be busy with two incoming international exchanges from Trujillo, Peru March 1st - 8th with Ray Enstam as ED and Vancouver, Canada with Pat Andeweg at the helm. I'm sure they'll both be seeking assistance with both those exchanges. We also have an outbound exchange to Panama led by Michael Wald and another to Georgia & Azerbaijan led by Zia Shamsy.

Then, of course, the International Conference will be at the end of August. So keep your eye out for registration when that opens up. Talking of International Conferences, in January, Isabella Iverson will relate her experiences at the last International Conference in Auckland, New Zealand.

A big thanks to all of you who volunteered to fill positions for next year - every bit of help is really welcome.

I hope to see you at the meetings next year.

In friendship,



Remembering Leo Durst
by Dale Klosterman

It is with sadness that I announce the passing of Leo Durst, a member of the club since 1998. He and his wife, Martha, have been involved in so many club activities that it would be difficult to mention them all. There are so many memories. My best memory is the night I attempted to help Leo with his computer and was so busy trying to figure out what “technical support” was trying to tell me that I did not realize Martha had gone to bed and Leo had fallen asleep in the chair next to me. I will miss his nice quiet smile.




Date/Time: January 11 - 3 pm
Place: REI Dallas, Large meeting room - 4515 LBJ Fwy (westbound
service road just east of Midway Rd. Dallas, TX 75244
Program: Report on 2014 International Conference in Auckland, NZ - Isabella Iverson
Cost: Free
Food: General meeting, program; there will be no food.
However, a list of suggested restaurants will be available at the meeting should any members wish to go out to eat afterwards.
Reserve: Paula Rose paularose2000@hotmail.com by January 8.



Date/Time: February 8th, 2 pm
Place: Jamaica Cabana, 2010 N. Plano Road (NE corner of Plano and Campbell)
Program: Slide show about a Service Project in Jamaica - Dale Klosterman/edward perez
Food: Jamaican chicken, pasta, veggie buffet
Cost: $15 with reservation / $20 at the door - includes food, tea, tip; not included - Jamaican coffee and soda - $2/3 extra.
Reserve: with a check made to Friendship Force Dallas to Paula Rose paularose2000@hotmail.com by February 1.


Tentative Meeting Schedule for 2015

See full schedule on the Meetings page.



2015 Exchange to Panama

The Exchange to Panama in Jan 2015 is full.


2015 Exchange to Azerbaijan/Georgia

The exchange to Azerbaijan/Georgia is closed with 25 people in the lucky group going and 25 on the waiting list.


2015 Exchange from Vancouver

The same club that is sponsoring the 2015 International Conference in Vancouver from August 28-31 will visit with the Dallas Club in October 2015. This is fortunate because it will give us a chance to meet many of the club members before they arrive in Dallas. The director of the exchange is Pat Andeweg. Since it is almost a year away, details have not been worked out, but for more information or to volunteer contact Pat at pja72@sbcglobal.net.


Exchange from Trujillo, Peru

The sad news was that we lost our inbound from Indonesia in March, 2015.

We were then assigned an inbound exchange from Trujillo, Peru! However, that exchange has also cancelled as people dropped out.

We will make further inquiries to see if we can get another inbound exchange for this year.



Exchange from Vancouver, BC - 2015

We do have an inbound from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada the third week in October of 2015. Since the International Conference of Friendship Force will be in August, 2015, and many of us will be attending that, this inbound is of special significance. Pat Andeweg has been appointed Exchange Director. It looks like a great year coming up!


Exchange from Columbia Cascade/Olympia, Washington

We have an agreement to have a domestic inbound exchange with these clubs in 2016. More about this later.


Exchanges with Other Clubs

Remember that you are welcome to join other clubs on their exchanges if there is room. Please contact clubs well in advance, as an exchange may cancel if the Exchange Director doesn’t know about your interest. Among the many members who have done this were Isabella and Jerry Arens who went with another club to Morocco. And, there was a time in 2005 when only five people signed up for a two-week exchange to Romania but were joined by sixteen members from clubs across the country. See where some clubs are going on the Other Clubs page.


International Conferences

2015 International Conference

UPDATE: FFI now has information and an application for the 2015 World Conference which will be held in Vancouver, Canada August 28-31, 2015.

The application form is now ready on the Friendship Force webside:


2016 International Conference

News just received is that the 2016 International Conference will be held in Marrakech, Morocco. We will have more information about this in the future.


Southwest Conference

Hosted by FF Houston, Texas
March 27 – 29, 2015

Join us at the luxurious South Shore Harbour Resort & Spa on Clear Lake
2500 South Shore Blvd, League City, 77573
Close to Hobby Airport (Shuttle available)

Keynote Speaker Anna Smulski - FFI
Leadership Training, Breakout Sessions

Conference Fees
Fee includes Friday reception, Saturday continental breakfast, coffee breaks and lunch.
Registration fee $150 per person if postmarked on or before February 15, 2015
Registration fee $165 if postmarked after February 15, 2015

Optional Dinner Cruise on Clear Lake on Saturday evening, March 28th
Cost: $80 per person, includes dinner, dancing, cash bar and guest speaker
See a link for SSH’s video promo:
and a link to the cruise boat company: http://www.majesticventures.com/

Room Rate
$99/night - make reservation directly with hotel: Call South Shore Harbor at 800-442-5005 or 281-334-1000.

Optional NASA VIP Tour on Sunday, March 29th (9:30 – 3:00)
Cost: $40 per person, includes admission, bus & picnic lunch

Get a pdf file of the Registration Form.
Get a pdf file of the
Conference Schedule.


Club News

December 2014 Meeting

We met at Chimneyhill Clubhouse on December 14th to celebrate 20 years as a club. Founding members in attendance were Brud Kisner, Jackie Bluhm, and Zia Shamsy. Many long-time familiar faces were seen there to share the memories of our past 20 years. It seemed like yesterday seeing the photos in the presentation given by Mary Williams. Newcomers got an overview of how active our club has been and what we have accomplished.

Paula Rose thanked members of the Board and committee chairs with a card and gift to Heifer, International in their names. She financed five flocks of chickens to help those less fortunate set up farming ventures.

Paula was thanked with a present of gift cards and an FFI mug by the Board, presented by Felicity Sentance, incoming President. Thanks to helpers who set up and took down, and to Mary Latham who arranged decorations and Felicity who ordered the festive cake for the occasion. Mary Williams remarked: "I was struck in researching this presentation at how active our club is and what wide participation and volunteering we have. Love this group!"


   Peggy Benton, Patti Pierce        Dale Klosterman, Michael Wald                Brud Kisner, Jackie Bluhm


Mary Latham, LaNell Naughton,  Ruth Barrow     Ed Stahl, Lee Cowley, Marge and Ed Edgren, Dora Stahl


    Georgia Sigalos, Betty Mayeur          Mary Williams, Zia Shamsy

A pdf file of the presentation is available: Click on 20th Anniversary.

NOTE: A small spoon was left at the Chimneyhill clubhouse on Sunday. Contact Mary Williams to get it back.



Dues are past due! See the Renewal Form for 2015; complete and return it with your check to Patti Pierce.

New Officers

Welcome to new officers:
Felicity Sentance - President
Mary Latham - Vice President
Isabella Iverson - Membership Chair
Ruth Barrow - Secretary
Lou Ann King - Treasurer

Committe chairs:
Programs Coordinator - Paula Rose / Cathy Ignatin
Hospitality/Check-In: Pat Peters
Membership Guest Packets: Membership committee
Membership Records: Bill Pierce
Telephone Tree: Diana Behanessey
Sunshine: Cathy Ignatin
Yearbook: edward perez
Newsletter: Dale Klosterman
Meeting flyers: Mary Williams
Website: Mary Williams
Media and Technology: OPEN
Communications and Publicity: Martha Durst - welcoming a replacement
Speaker's Bureau: Jim Bourn
International Exchange Coordinator: Ray Enstam
Domestic Exchange Coordinator: Patty Niemeyer
Exchange Treasurer: Ray Enstam
Shuttle List Manager: edward perez - welcoming a replacement or helper


Send your news to the Newsletter Editor daleklosterman@sbcglobal.net


Cathy Ignatin has been appointed to the position of Sunshine Chairperson. Let her know who needs a card or a call.

In Remembrance

FFD will make a donation of $50 to UNICEF in memory of Henny Houston.


Shuttle Service

Remember to support our airport shuttle service. The passenger(s) make a donation of $25-30 per ride ($30-40 north of Plano), helping our club. See page 42 in the Yearbook for detailed information or to be a driver. Or, just go to ffdallas-shuttle@googlegroups.com

If you would like to be a shuttle driver, send an email to edward perez (erperez@acm.org) and he'll add you to the list. Take this opportunity to help out your club while meeting and learning about your fellow club members. You are not obligated to handle every request, but please do what you can.


Member News

We are happy to introduce the following new members:

Mona Elia
Mona was born in Egypt and came to the US in the mid-70s after college graduation in Physics and Applied Math. She lived in many states, including Ohio where she graduated with a MS in nuclear physics and a MS in electrical engineering. With these credentials, she then worked at a nuclear plant. She is currently retired and resides with her husband, Sam Elia, in West Plano, TX. She enjoys tennis, scuba diving, horseback riding and traveling. She also, likes the fine arts, classical music and opera. She is proficient in three languages.

Richard & Kathy Jacobs
Kathleen.Jacobs@ childrens.com

Richard and Kathy Jacobs love to meet interesting people and travel and have just discovered Friendship Force (thanks to Isabella and Jacki Kiether). Richard is a novelist and Kathy works for the Children's Medical Center Foundation. They are natives of Missouri, relocated to Dallas in 1978 and live at Lake Ray Hubbard with their gregarious Siberan Husky, Sitka.

Sue Haarala

Sue is thankful to Isabella Iverson for introducing her to Friendship Force. She was attracted to the idea of travel ambassadors and appreciated the trust the Dallas chapter placed in her when she had the pleasure of being a day host for two of our Australian guests. She has been planning her own travel destinations for many years and taught senior classes at Richland Community College and Farmers Branch Senior Center on how to pack, plan and experience travel on the cheap.  She has lived in Dallas since 1970 and is retired. Some of her other interests are walking on nature trails, attending senior classes and participating in a few meet-ups for senior women. Sue says “this chapter of Friendship Force has welcomed me into the fold and I plan to participate further in the coming years.”

Carolyn McMurray
Bio coming next newsletter


Peggy Benton and Ken Walker have a new address in Denton.

We were glad to see Peggy and Ken make the trek from Denton to attend the party. Peggy has celiac disease and COPD and has to be ultra-careful about foods and surroundings.
Peggy says:“We moved to a Twin Home which is what they call a duplex in plain language. It has made a massive difference in my health (COPD) - no carpet, no drapes, no upholstered furniture (all leather), no open bookcases (everything behind glass or in cabinets), no shoes in the house. Clean clean clean - no dust. We also believe there was asbestos in the building material of our former house???
Also of course no University renting students. It gives us a lot of freedom. We can just walk out the door and not worry. So we are going to do a Lot if RVing this year. We went on a 5 week trip in Sept/ October to where I grew up in Kentucky visiting cousins and daughters etc.
So our life has really changed. We are planning to go to Vancouver in August; iffy health remains the same. Also a cruise to Alaska in May since it's the only state we have not visited.
We really love our new home. Peggy”

Nancy and Al Hicks still live in Dallas part of the year, but have sold their Dallas home to their children; they are building a new house in east Richardson. Nancy says getting rid of stuff is so hard - memories of these FF friends are in so many gifts.

Jackie Bluhm can relate to downsizing, as she and Jerry have moved to an independent living apartment. Jerry's health continues to deteriorate and he may need nursing home care soon.

Correct Jackie Wald's email in your yearbook: It should be jwald999@yahoo.com (not gmail).


FFI News

See the FFI page for a message from Joy DiBenedetto regarding the recent Survey sent to club members and leaders.


Contact Information
Postal address: P. O. Box 551151, Dallas, TX 75355
Phone and fax: 214- 699-7574 
Electronic mail
General Information: friendshipforcedallas@yahoo.com
Webmaster: mwilliamstxtravel@yahoo.com