May 2009 Newsletter


Last Day of Classes – May 8th


Another year comes to a close next week with our final day of classes this Friday, May 8th. But registration for 2009-2010 is right around the corner, starting in August. The board is planning for these target dates for registration: July 1st for posting updates to classes and schedule, and August 1st for opening of 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.


The board of directors voted to keep the membership fee at $195 next year (no increase from this year). However, the club ran at a small net loss this year (see financial report below).  Therefore the board wants to alert members that, should we run at a deficit again next year, a fee increase can be expected in the 2010-2011 year.


Seeking New Assistant to the Board


Congratulations to Alicia Girardeau for the excellent work she has done as assistant to the board of La Causerie this year.  She has accepted a position in her field of social work with Swope Parkway Health Center that will not allow her to continue as our assistant.  We are sorry to see her go, although her schedule will allow her to continue as a Spanish student.


Therefore, we are seeking a replacement for our assistant to the board.  We seek someone who:


Š       Is available to work approximately 8-10 hours a week, from September through May (with some small responsibilities in August).

Š       Is available on Friday mornings.

Š       Has some schedule flexibility to carry out some duties outside these days.


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 and snack 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.


If you know anyone who might be interested in this position, tell Dalene Bradford, Alicia or a board member.


Annual Membership Meeting


Our Annual Business Meeting was held on April 24th, about 45 La Causerie members attending. Dalene Bradford presented the Club Progress Report. We had an enrollment of 195 members for the year. Generous contributions from our members allowed us to give very appreciated holiday bonuses to all our teachers. Among the year’s accomplishments, Dalene noted that the Livret, our club roster, was prepared and distributed early in the year, thanks to the professional job done by 1st Vice President Judy Walter.


Treasurer Inez Pennington presented projections year-end financials. Although we will run a deficit of about $2,000 this year, we have reserves to cover the shortfall.


Second Vice President and Social Co-Chair Carol Cowden presented the plans for the Summer Luncheon on July 10th (see below for details). Tribute was paid to Staff Assistant Alicia Girardeau, whose help this past year has been invaluable to Board members, teachers, and students. We wish her the best in her new position (and she promises to come back as a student in two classes next year). Thanks were also given to outgoing Assistant Secretary Paula Kartus, who is retiring from the Board (our thanks came with a bottle of wine in the person’s “language”).


Officers for the 2009-2010 Board of Directors were elected (see list at bottom). All Board members will serve a second term with the above-mentioned exception: the new Assistant Secretary is Nancy Abdou. We welcome her to the Board and you’ll hear from her in the next e-newsletter.


The Used Book Sale was held before and after the Annual Meeting. Our annual textbook sale will take place at the Orientation Party on September 11th. At this sale, members get the full price of any textbooks they sell.


Everyone enjoyed tasty dishes brought by fellow members and Rosemary Hoffmann’s famous punch both during and after the Membership meeting.


Summer Luncheon!


EVERYONE is invited to attend this year’s Summer Luncheon July 10th at 11:30 a.m. at The Nelson Atkins Museum’s Rozzelle Court Restaurant, followed by a tour of art related to our three languages.


Concerned about the rising costs of hosting a “seated luncheon”, our Social Chairs chose the cafeteria-style setting of the Rozzelle Court Restaurant and a slightly different overall approach this year. We hope it appeals to many of our members.


Here’s the plan:


Š       Members will arrive, go through the Rozzelle Court buffet line and make their own selections (paying on the spot; bring your Nelson Museum member card to get a discount). Lunch (without alcohol) can be purchased for around $8 to $12.


Š       We will sit together and chat at tables that will be reserved for our members.


Š       Following lunch, museum docents will lead a tour of artwork from countries that speak our languages (dividing us into smaller groups as needed).


You can reserve a spot for lunch or the tour or both by contacting Carol. Look for more details about the luncheon in upcoming newsletters and announcements. Potential La Causerie members are welcome to join us.


Shop and Support La Causerie


If you shop by starting with any of our links at, we make some money on your purchase. It doesn’t cost you extra (promise).  It’s just a special arrangement offers to nonprofit organizations. This applies to anything you buy through Amazon, not just books.


Spring-Summer Calendar


May 8                     LAST DAY OF CLASSES

July 10                   SUMMER LUNCHEON at Nelson Atkins Museum of Art

August 1                Online Registration begins

August 31              Last Day of Pre-enrollment

September 11        Enrollment Party and Orientation for 2009-2010

September 25        CLASSES BEGIN


Executive Board Members 2009-2010


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)            Nancy Abdou

Treasurer                                         Inez Pennington

Assistant Treasurer (Textbook Chair)      Joan Daniels