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2013 Annual MeetingNovember 10, 2013
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A record number of members attended this special meeting along with the family members of Pat and Vic Klopfenstein and FFI CEO & President, Joy Di Benedetto. Total of 83 people attended. After the business meeting was conducted the election of new officers was held. The new officers for the 2014-year are: Tressa Youngbear, President, Cheryl & Dale Moore – President Elects Stephanie Schulte...

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Outgoing Central Virginia (Charlottesville, Virginia)October 9-17, 2013
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Thirteen ambassadors boarded a train for their overnight trip to Charlottesville (C’ville.) Some really liked the train trip and others weren’t as pleased. Oct. 9 – The group arrived in Charlottesville in the evening in pouring rain. The evening was spent getting to know hosts. The warm soup tasted wonderful with the chilly rain. Oct. 10 – The CR group just hung out or...

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Incoming Fortaleza, Brazil ExchangeSeptember 21 – 28, 2013
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Fourteen ambassadors traveled from Brazil to spend a fun filled week with us before they had their 2nd week with St. Louis, MO. A charter bus and a member of the Chicago FF Club met our Brazilian ambassadors at the O’Hara Airport and transported them to Cedar Rapids to meet their host families. Sunday – The day was spent getting to know each other...

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Indonesian Global ExchangeApril 17-May 3, 2013
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Eight ambassadors from Cedar Rapids, four ambassadors from India, two ambassadors form Canada and one ambassador from Brazil made up this journey to Indonesia. April 17 – Airline delays made arrival in Jakarta on April 19, and ambassadors were welcomed by humid air and palm trees. All the ambassadors met for breakfast and then went on a guided tour of Jakarta, which was designed...

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Open World, Russian Specialists in Protection of Orphans’ Welfare and RightsApril 12 – April 20, 2013
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Five Delegates, one facilitator, and one interpreter participated in this journey. Friday, April 12 – A welcome potluck was held to meet hosts & other club members to get acquainted and start the friendships. Saturday, April 13 – The group toured going to Dubuque for a guided tour of National Mississippi River Museum and viewed the Mississippi Lock and Dam. On their way home...

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Outgoing Houston ExchangeMarch 6-12, 2013
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Sixteen ambassadors to Houston were disappointed that the 5-day pre-cruise they’d planned was cancelled by the cruise line due to a fire, loss of power, and the inability to get the cruise ship back to port. The good news was the Houston group was ready for their early arrival and the welcome party happened in Galveston as originally booked. Wednesday – Travel to Houston...

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Incoming Exchange with Niagara, CanadaOct 21-28, 2012
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Twenty-one ambassadors from Niagara, Canada joined us for our welcome dinner at the Ced-Rel Supper Club. Hosts and ambassadors got acquainted while enjoying a wonderful meal and learning about plans for the week ahead. Monday: We headed to Dubuque to experience the Mississippi River Museum and Eagle Point Park. On the way home, we stopped in Dyersville for the Field of Dreams and the...

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Incoming Cincinnati ExchangeAugust 10-16th, 2012
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Nine ambassadors met their hosts at an hors d’oeuvres and drink party at the Karal’s home to start this journey off. Monday – Started the day off with a tour of the Grant Wood Studio. Heading west, we went to the Matchstick Marvels in Gladbrook; the Salt & Pepper Gallery in Traer and the JEV Winery outside of Toledo. The day ended with an...

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2012 Weekend Return Exchange to St. Louis, Missouri
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Our group of 19 ambassadors set off early for St. Louis to meet our hosts at the Chandler Hill Vineyards. The afternoon was free with hosts to get the friendships off to a great start. On our second day we visited the Missouri Botanical Gardens – great place to enjoy nature and wonderful artwork. We next traveled to Grant Farm where one of our...

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Mystery Weekend with Northern IllinoisJune 22-25, 2012
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Seven ambassadors from the Northern Illinois club traveled to Cedar Rapids for a Mystery Exchange, but I think it was more of a mystery for our club members then theirs because they were told where they were going a few days early. It was only a weekend but it was full of fun and friendships starting with a tour of Coe College’s art collection...

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Open World Russian PhysiciansMarch 30 – April 7, 2012
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Open World is a government-sponsored event where Russian, and other Eastern European, professionals spend a week in our community continuing their education in their field of work. Saturday – Visited National Mississippi River Museum, Mississippi Lock & Dam at Eagle State Park, Dyersville Basilica, and enjoyed a pot luck dinner and met other club members. Sunday – Various activities with host families – usually...

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