May 2006 Newsletter


Summer luncheon scheduled for Bastille Day!


Mark your calendar for our next social event, the annual summer luncheon for all members. 

July 14, 2006 at noon

Aixois Café, 251 E 55th Street, KC, MO  (at Brookside Blvd and 55th Street)

Cost: $24 includes choice of three entrees plus dessert and wine or soft drink


Reservations, entree choice and pre-payment required.  More details are coming soon.


Annual Meeting Update


Over 55 people participated in the Annual Meeting on April 28.  During the meeting Inez thanked the many volunteers who made La Causerie successful this year and honored teachers who will be leaving us at the end of the year.  Other business included: 


By-laws Revision   Thanks again to Merrill Toms and Susan Gardner for their careful review and recommended changes on our club’s By-Laws. Their suggestions, and some added by the Executive Board, were shared with the membership and approved unanimously at the April 28 Annual Meeting.  Members will get an updated copy of the By-Laws in the Livret in the fall or contact Inez if you’d like one before then.


Election of Officers  The slate of officers presented by the Nominating Committee were elected unanimously.  The office of Secretary remains open, so if you are interested in taking over this role, please talk with any officer. 


President                        Inez Pennington                                    

1st VP                                Linda Rei                                                   

2nd VP                               Veronica Bergonzoni                          

Treasurer                        Linda Lyon

Asst. Treasurer           Mary Lew McCarty


Asst Secretary            Dalene Bradford


Schedule Expansion Plans for 2006-2007 Inez has been working closely with instructors and department chairs to develop and expand classes for next year.  She presented the proposed classes, which emphasize opportunities to practice pronunciation and conversation at each level, reaching back to La Causerie’s origin as place for chit-chat. List of classes to be offered will be available in the Fireside Room or are available by request. The actual schedule (i.e. which classes take place when) is still being worked on.   The website will be updated soon with new classes and schedule.  You will be able to view the class schedule and click on any class name to get a description of the syllabus, prerequisites and text.  You will want to read this carefully, as class “levels” have been redefined to fill in some gaps in our curriculum.


Fee Increase in 2006-07 School Year. The Board has determined the fee increase needed to keep the organization operating in the black.  Fees will be $185 for 2006-2007, with the opportunity to receive a $10 discount by registering early.  With 30 weeks of school, this works out to approximately $6 per week.  If the cost increase represents a hardship for anyone, please talk to a board member to see what can be worked out.   The board does not mean to discourage participation and we are willing to discuss options that make it possible for everyone to take part.


Olé!  Spring Fête


Entertainment provided by the students of C.S. #1 Elementary School followed by Olé! Music and Dance of Spain received a warm response from the 75 people enjoying the Spring Fête at noon, April 28.


The students did four numbers, including a song about Spanish verbs, a story about the donkey doctor treating his ailments and another about trying to balance elephants on a spider web. 


Then Mary Ann Hope and three colleagues from Olé Music and Dance of Spain performed a lively and colorful program of Flamenco and Spanish dance.  Afterwards, everyone fêted with Rosemary Hofmann’s famous punch and a pot-luck lunch.  We all got the chance to chat with prospective members, and Jan Cohen pronounced the Used Book Sale a success.  All this, plus each participant in the day’s events received two free passes to visit Powell Gardens.


Livret Updates


Jan Cohen has a new email address:


We have a new member:


Jennifer Lipari (Italian)  see bulletin board for contact info


La Causerie has its very own phone number:  (816) 361-5300


Tutors…an encore listing


Want to maintain your language proficiency over the summer when La Causerie doesn’t meet?  Here is a list of some tutors who are available to work with you (for a fee, of course).


·              Native speaker (and UMKC Italian professor) Tiziano Cherubini tutors at his Plaza apartment.  Contact him at 816-756-1006.

·              LCF member Dawn Mattera Young offers Italian tutoring at a mutually agreeable place (such as a library).  Reach her at 913-940-8361.



La Causerie Calendar


May 5             Spanish Program  Gloria Guerra, Clinic Manager at the Duchesne Clinic will speak IN SPANISH about this important KCK clinic which serves working but uninsured adults in Wyandotte County.

May 12           Last day of classes. All classes will be held.

July 14            Summer luncheon at Aixois Café.  Details provided above (with more to come).

August 1        Online registration available (target date).

Sept. 8           Enrollment party. Come see your friends, even if you’re enrolled.          

Sept. 22        First day of classes for 2006- 2007 school year.


Sad News


Constanza Freeman who taught at the Causerie until a few years ago, died in Bogota, Columbia on April 23, 2006.  Memorial services were held April 30 at Guardian Angels Church. 


Presidential Photography


Inez Pennington’s photographic art display has been held over at St. Luke's East Hospital through May (I-470 and Douglas Road).  More info at These dramatically large photos were taken when she was an international horse sports photographer.


Other opportunities to practice your language skills


Below are some activities related to the three languages taught by La Causerie.  They are NOT sponsored by La Causerie nor do we handle registrations related to them.  Please read directions carefully and communicate with the appropriate contact points.  If you know of other events, let Dalene Bradford know and we’ll add them to future issues of the newsletter.


Alliance Française


May 7, 5 – 6:30 p.m. Roundtable discussion:  “La France Actualle 2006.”  Rockhill Club.  Moderator Cyprienne Simchowitz-White, specialist in international law.  Discussants:  Professor Mark Boime; M. Bertrand and Professor Hélène Genuyt; Professor Nadine Indyk; Commandant Philippe and MME Amélie de Montenon and Professor Sherrill Mulhern.  There will be a question and answer period.  Discussion continues over dinner. Reservations required by May 2.


New French Conversation Group


A new KC French Club Conversation group begins on Saturday May 20 from 1:30 to 4pm and takes place every Saturday. All meetings are held at Artisan Français Patisserie and Boulangerie in Overland Park: 6759 W. 119th Street, Overland Park, KS 66209. For information call 913-345-1699


Il Circolo Italiano


There is a summer session of Italian Language Classes, held on Sunday afternoons at the Bisceglia Italian Cultural Center at 544 Wabash.  Classes begin June 11 and registration is required by June 3. Learn more: m/italianlessons.pdf . Seven weeks of classes cost $110.  For more information about Italian opportunities in KC, visit




There is a Spanish Meetup group in KC, and our Annette Howard used to be their assistant organizer. Check out their website for more information: