May 2008 Newsletter


Last Day of Classes – May 9th


Another year comes to a close next week with our final day of classes this Friday, May 9th. But registration for 2008-2009 is right around the corner, starting in August. The board hopes to meet these target dates for registration: July 1st for posting updates to classes and schedule, and August 1st for online registration to begin. Look for more information on how and when to sign up for classes coming soon on the website and in upcoming newsletters.


Annual Business Meeting


Our Annual Business Meeting was held on April 18th, with more than fifty La Causerie members attending. Inez Pennington presented the presidentŐs report outlining key accomplishments of the year. Of course, the successful move to Second Presbyterian Church was at the top of the list, along with this yearŐs record-setting enrollment of 209 members. Inez also reported that the Board voted to raise instructor salaries to keep La Causerie competitive in the marketplace. She also noted that the club earned around $500 last year because a small percentage of every order our members make on benefits us. If you link through to Amazon from our website's book page, it does not add any cost to your order, and works for ANY purchase you make from Amazon, even non-books!


Tribute was paid to outgoing President Inez Pennington, who, in her tenure, spearheaded many exciting changes in the organization, including a dramatic increase in membership, and a new venue to accommodate our increased size. New officers were elected to serve 2008-2009 and are listed at the end of this e-newsletter.     


The Used Book Sale was held during the Annual Meeting and Spring Fte. For those of you who still have books or other language materials to sell, another book sale will be held at the Fall Business Meeting.


The Spring Fte was held immediately after the Annual Business meeting. Everyone enjoyed tasty dishes brought by fellow members; Rosemary HoffmannŐs famous punch; the beautiful flower arrangements of pansies, lettuce, and white alyssum arranged by Pam White; and a rousing concert of French, Spanish and Italian songs rendered by renowned accordionist and La Causerie/UMKC Professor Louis Imperiale. Members joined in the singing, with the added encouragement of Nina Mehta-Young on several Italian songs. Nina was singing for two—the new baby will make his/her debut in October. Congratulazioni, Nina!


Summer Luncheon!


EVERYONE is invited to attend this yearŐs Spanish-themed get-together at CarmenŐs CafŽ (6307 Brookside Plaza in Brookside) on Friday, July 18th at 11:30 am. CarmenŐs CafŽ has reserved its private room upstairs, and will offer Sangria, iced tea, tapas, paella (with or without shellfish), flan, and coffee. The price is $27.00 per person. If you plan to attend, send your check, payable to Carol Cowden, to her home address which is listed in Le Livret.


Checks must be received (not postmarked) by July 1st (refunds can be made up until July 10th).


Seeking New Assistant to the Board


Last year La Causerie added its first paid staff member to our team. Patricia Reed ably filled this role during the past year but will not be able to do so again. So we are looking for someone who:


á   Is available to work approximately 8-10 hours a week, from September through May.

á   Is available on Friday mornings.

á   Has some schedule flexibility to carry out some duties.


The job pays $15 an hour and entails these general activities:


1.     Monitoring the La Causerie phone message system and mailbox.

2.     Coordinating La Causerie schedule, needs and activities with the church staff.

3.     Setting up (and taking down) white boards for classrooms each week (set-up can be done Thursday afternoon).

4.     Setting up (and cleaning up) coffee service (can be done Thursday afternoon).

5.     Logistics for noon programs (chair arrangement, AV, things needed by speakers).

6.     Assisting with planning, set-up and clean-up for social events.


The Search for Italian Teachers


We are looking for Italian teachers at all levels and need your help.  We pay instructors $35 an hour.  Send any information to Dalene Bradford. HereŐs how you can help us out: 


Qualifications sought are:


Looking for Program Chairs


Member volunteers help to plan our cultural programs each year. This job, called program chair, fits easily into personal schedules (i.e., it can be done even by someone who works or travels a lot). A program chair identifies six cultural programs in one of our three languages for our members. Programs take place throughout the year, always at noon after classes have ended.


Ivonne Hournou has already stepped forward (thanks, Ivonne) to handle Spanish programs next year. So, we are looking for a French and an Italian program chair. YouŐre not left alone on this task, as we have an extensive network among our members. You donŐt even have to attend all the sessions, although itŐs great if you can. You just need to get them booked, get a short summary of the program written and be sure the speaker knows where to be and when. We pay a $50 honorarium to speakers, so that definitely helps in recruitment.


Contact Dalene Bradford if youŐre willing to be an Italian or French program chair next year.


Spring-Summer Calendar


May 9                     LAST DAY OF CLASSES

July 1                     Last Day for Reservations for Summer Luncheon

July 18                   SUMMER LUNCHEON

August 31              Last Day of Pre-enrollment

September 5          Enrollment Party and Orientation for 2008-2009

September 19        CLASSES BEGIN


Executive Board Members 2008-2009


President                                          Dalene Bradford

1st Vice President (Membership Chair)    Judith Walter

2nd Vice President (Social Chair)            Jeff Piehler (co-chair)  

                                                      Carol Cowden (co-chair)

Secretary                                          Judy Pearlstein

Assistant Secretary (Newsletter)            Paula Kartus

Treasurer                                         Inez Pennington

Assistant Treasurer (Textbook Chair)      Joan Daniels