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Skål USA Journeys
Dear Fellow Skålleagues,
Over 40 years ago Mark Twain said “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” My theme this year is “Peace through Tourism.
For well over a decade Skål International USA membership has been in decline. We have fallen from roughly 3,000 members and 62 clubs to 2,200 within 50 clubs. We must reverse this trend and every club member must help with membership development. As an example, new membership development initiatives are being tested in LA, NYC and Philadelphia.
All clubs should send a delegate to the NAASC Congress in Boise from June 9-12. Skålleagues in Boise have worked very hard to make your experience enriching in every way. Club delegates can save $50 by paying registration in full prior to March 31. Please click the “Skål Meeting and Event Information” tab below for more information and to register.
In Boise we will vote on proposed major changes to our By-laws. The changes follow many of the best practices of highly successful Canadian and Australian National organizations. According to our By-laws, representation by clubs is required or may result in a non-participation fee of $1,000. Your involvement is critical.
Our goal is to make Skål USA more vocal, visible and relevant in the promotion of travel and tourism. It is the only way we can build and sustain membership.
Some of the more recent activities include:
- Your board attended the Skål USA Winter Board Meeting, held alongside the 90th ABA Marketplace in Louisville, KY. We want to thank the ABA and SI Louisville for their tremendous support!
- Along with many other travel industry groups, Skål USA signed a thank you letter to Congress for supporting funding for parks and travel promotion
- The board took an official position to actively support the TSA’s Trusted Traveler Program to expedite air travel and customs re-entry and will encourage support at the club level
- Re-engaged with the International Institute for Peace through Tourism “IIPT” which SI has supported for many years
- New Skål USA website enhancements will make the website more user friendly with articles from members and industry executives on trending travel topics
We want to thank everyone who has volunteered help with our committees. We are still welcoming new members and ideas to promote Skål International USA.
Please know your board is working tirelessly to serve you and your clubs.
Warmest regards and Skål!
2016 Skål USA President
What is the Florimond Volckaert Fund?
The Florimond Volckaert fund (FVF) was set up in 1954, in the name of the acknowledged founder of Skål, to provide assistance to Skålleagues and their immediate families who are in serious need of assistance, during times of desperation.
If a Skålleague is in need of help, an application should be sent to either the President of your Club or the Skål USA International Councillor, who will convey the application to the three FVF Trustees. They will assess the request and quickly come to a decision.
As previously advised, all donations to the FVF must be received by Skål USA within the calendar year for which the donation is intended. Donations received after the deadline will be considered and recognized for the succeeding year. We can no longer account for pre-payments or accept payments after the deadline based on when the funds are required to be transferred to Skål International.
The deadline for 2016 FVF contributions is December 1, 2016.
Donations from the clubs help make the FVF viable and able to fulfill its special purpose. We would like to recognize the following for their contributions in 2016:
- SI Atlantic City
- SI Jacksonville
- SI Reno/Tahoe
- SI San Jose
- Contribution by SI Sacramento in memory of Dick Knorpp
- Contribution by Skål USA in memory of Dick Knorpp
Dear Fellow Skålleagues,
Enjoy Idaho Wine Country, minutes away from downtown Boise. From the Basque Block to the Boise River and Greenbelt that meander through town, Boise is rich in culture and outdoor activities. The 2016 NAASC Conference will be hosted by SI Boise on June 9 – 12, 2016. Skål Boise has done a great deal of work to make this a meaningful and fun event.
Your Board has worked with the Boise Club to reduce the registration cost to attend. The new price is $899 per person, based on double occupancy and $1,199 single occupancy. The extra night rate is $119 and the room rate includes breakfast.
- 3 nights’ accommodation at the Riverside Hotel
- Airport/hotel transfers
- Breakfast daily
- 2 lunches
- Welcome reception
- Dine-a-round evening
- Reception and Gala dinner
Take advantage of the Early Bird Discount of $50 per person when you book and pay in full before March 31, 2016. Please click the “Skål Meeting and Event Information” tab below for more information and to register.
Your Skål USA Board meeting will be held on June 9 in the morning and all delegates are invited to arrive in Boise on June 8 to attend.
Remember that the NAASC Congress is our AGM (Annual General Meeting) which is a mandatory meeting for all Skål Clubs. If clubs, choose not to attend they will be assessed a $1,000 fee as outlined in our statutes and voted on by the membership. Our goal is to welcome 100% of the Skål Clubs in the US to participate in this important AGM.
We are looking forward to welcoming you to Boise along with delegates from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Registration is open to all Skål members, not just your club’s Skål USA Rep and President. Club members are welcome to join this wonderful event. Click here to learn more.
Skål USA VP Administration
SI Washington Initiates Effort to Re-establish SI Addis Ababa
Although it was only a supplemental effort to the purpose of a major trip to Addis Ababa for the US-Africa Business Summit, two US delegates, Gail Adams and Steve Richer put some special time into working on the re-establishment of SI Addis Ababa, which has been inactive since a government change in the 1970s.
Originally the idea of SI Washington Skålleague Yohannes Zeleke with the help of SI Washington Skålleague Jim Larsen, who has business in Ethiopia, the effort has taken on new vitality through the direct involvement of Ethiopian Ambassador to the United States Girma Birru; North American Director for Ethiopian Airlines Nigusu Wardorfa, another SI Washington Skålleague; and former Skål USA Regional Vice President Steve Richer.
As a result of all of this support, Solomon Tadesse, who heads the Ethiopian Tourism Organization, and Desale Mitiku Asfaw, a major inbound receptive tour operator, have agreed to do the work to reorganize SI Addis Ababa, which will both spread Skål to another African country and add one more country overall to the ranks of Skål International.
The co-sponsorship efforts to re-establish the club will be led by SI Washington and its new sister club, SI Nairobi. A meeting to discuss how to move ahead on the project and set a schedule for this achievement was held on February 4 at dinner with Asfaw as host.
Attending were Julie Dabaly Scott, Managing Director, Carlson Wagonlit of Nairobi, and President, SI-Kenya; Gail Adams, an SI Washington prospective member; and Steve Richer, past Skål USA Regional Vice President and one of the SI Washington committee members for the Addis Ababa project.
Ambassador Birru, Zeleke, and Richer gave an update on the progress of this effort at the February 24 dinner meeting of SI Washington at the Dupont Circle Hotel. One of the major elements of the re-establishment of the club will be a hosted familiarization tour of Ethiopia for qualified US Skålleague tour operators in September, which will include an organization meeting. Interested Skålleague tour operators should contact Steve Richer at RicherAdvisors@gmail.com.
New Skål USA Member Benefit: Credit Card Processing
Do you accept credit cards for your Club meetings and events? Prepare to get an additional kick back to jump start your fundraising efforts through SIUSA’s new partnership with CBoss/Redstone.
Don’t have a Club website to run event registrations or accept credit card payments? No problem, CBoss/Redstone will customize an online landing page for you to use to accept your payments free of charge.
Take advantage of the lowest merchant rates on credit cards available! And use those percentage points saved to help a good cause, your local Skål Club.
Any questions? Contact Lydia Taylor. She can be reached at (330) 726-0429 ext. 122 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach out to Matt Fleming at (281) 381-8258 or email at MFleming@redstonepaymentsolutions.com
Share your community involvement experience!
Please provide the name, dates, and a brief description of the events/causes/scholarships/services that you are involved in via email to Skål USA@buses.org.
Skål USA Partners with Tourism Cares to Sponsor & Arrange Clean Up Teams at Events
Skål USA has entered into a partnership with Tourism Cares for 2015-2016. Tourism Cares is an excellent way to give back to an industry that has so enriched each of us. It is also an excellent opportunity to increase the visibility and footprint of SIUSA around the United States as these events usually draw significant media coverage.
The new partnership kicked off November 1-2, 2015 at Williams, AZ, and continued at the Chattahoochee River in February 2016. This event was part of the Tourism Cares National Park Service Volunteer Program series. This program will move to the following sites in 2016:
- Mississippi River National Recreation Area / Minneapolis, MN May 20, 2016
- Mount Rainier National Park / WA September 16, 2016
- Ellis Island / Statue of Liberty November 2016
To learn more about Tourism Cares, visit their website at www.tourismcares.org.
If you would like to register, or have questions regarding how Skål USA and your club can be more involved, please contact SIUSA’s liaison with Tourism Cares, Dave Ryan at email@example.com or 916.752.0187.
Skål USA Volunteers with Chattahoochee National Recreation Area Restoration Project as part of Tourism Cares Partnership
The Skål USA partnership with Tourism Cares continues to assist the National Park Service in the clean-up and restoration of our national parks. During an event on February 5, in the Cochran Shoals National Recreation Area along the beautiful Chattahoochee River, over 2,000 pounds of trash and 60 bags of invasive ivy were removed. The area, not far from downtown Atlanta, also contains miles of multi-use trails, which were entirely restored during the work day. In all, the effort saved the National Park Service over $13,000.
Three stalwart members of Skål International participated. They were Harry Huff (current President of SI Atlanta), Ray Hobbs (former President in Atlanta and current member in Myrtle Beach) and Paul Amend (a leader in the Atlanta Young Skål chapter). We worked on the restoration of a trail, digging out a large eroded area and paving the trail with large stones. It was a tough, but rewarding day. See the pictures below.
On Thursday evening before the work day, we joined in the Tourism Cares reception at the Delta Air Lines Museum, on the Atlanta airport. The networking event was in connection with the annual National Tour Association (NTA) meeting held during the week in Atlanta.
Follow-up with prospective new Skål members is under way.
This is the Centennial year of the National Parks System. Skål Clubs in the USA have, or will participate in projects in the Grand Canyon, Atlanta, Seattle, Minneapolis and New York Harbor.
Skål USA Club of the Year Award to be Issued in 2016
The Skål USA Board has elected to bring back the tradition of recognizing at least one Skål USA Club annually as the Skål USA Club of the Year, starting in 2016. The purpose of the award is to honor the Skål USA Club which best exemplifies the spirit of Skål and has achieved the objectives of the Skål Movement, during the Calendar year. This award will be presented at the 2016 NAASC, recognizing the performance of a club in 2015.
- Payment of Club membership fees to Skål USA and Skål International before February 29 deadline.
- Form 2 (update of Club’s Officers) submission to Skål USA and Skål International before April 15 deadline.
- Paying all invoices in a timely manner
- B2B – Doing business with members: Documentation of business transactions within the club’s members and also with Skål members worldwide;
- B2B in the Community – Hosting or participating in local B2B event(s) that are educational or supportive of the travel / hospitality community;
- Holding Charity or Educational Support/Event (s) – Establishment and support of new or ongoing educational or charitable efforts for the good of tourism or the community as a whole;
- Young Skål – Success promoting the initiative of Skål International in growing the Young Skål effort, in either the student or young professional categories.
The winning club will receive a single registration to the NAASC Congress (in the year awarded) or $1,000 to be used for a club event.
The application period for 2016 is now closed. Clubs that wish to be considered for this award in 2017 must submit information supporting the criteria above to the Skål USA Administrators and Skål USA VP of Administration Holly Powers at Skål USA@buses.org and firstname.lastname@example.org by January 1, 2017. Examples of supporting materials for the last three criteria include flyers, agendas, photos, and recaps of community/charity/educational/Young Skål support events/initiatives organized and attended. Early submissions are appreciated.
SIUSA Young Skålleague of the Year Award to be Issued in 2016
Beginning in 2016, Skål USA will issue a Skål USA Young Skålleague of the Year Award. The purpose of this award is to honor a Young Skål Member that best exemplifies the spirit and values of Skål International.
JUDGES: There will be three Judges, to include a current Executive Committee Member whose portfolio includes Young Skål; a Past Skål International President not from the US; and the ISC Vice President in charge of Committee A which is the Committee in ISC that contains the Young Skål portfolio.
TIMETABLE: Applications should be received prior to the April 1 deadline. All applications submitted will include information collected from the previous calendar year. This date allows for the judges to have at least 30 days prior to the NAASC Congress to determine the winner.
AWARD PRESENTATION: The award will be presented at the next NAASC Congress during the Skål USA AGM. The award will include a monetary check to the Young Skålleague of the Year to help offset travel expenses to the NCM in late summer of the same year to attend the Annual North American Young Skål Symposium. Currently, this line item in the 2016 Budget is $700.
- Young Skålleague (YS) has attended 4 local Skål Club meetings in the past year or at least 40% of meetings held.
- YS must have attended at least one North American or International Young Skål Symposium in the past 2/3 years
- YS must bring at least 2 new YS members into their local Club;
- YS must “quantify” in an email essay/bio at least the following:
- Community involvement and volunteer experience including affiliation with other associations, etc.
- Volunteer involvement in the community
- Work or internship experience in hospitality industry
- Where do you want to be in 5/10 years?
- How has Skål USA had an impact on their achieving any of the above?
** This essay/bio should also emphasize what support they expect from Skål USA in their journey up the hospitality ladder.
- YS should submit any additional support information including, but not limited to:
- Letter of recommendation from immediate boss if currently in the hospitality workforce
- Letter from College Professor or mentor if still in college
- Any other information that will give an appropriate overview of their qualities that should present them as a candidate of YS of the Year.
All applicants are required to have a photo and current resume submitted along with the contact information.
November 17, 2015
Presented by Jennifer Ackerson, Nicholle Fearon, Alexandra Pick, and Cynthia Pisco from SI Long Island; Burcin Turkkan from SI Atlanta; and Adrius Valiulis from SI Toronto.
View the Recording!
Finding ways to engage the younger generation is a challenge that nearly all organizations face. As you learned in a previous Skål USA webinar, millennials have different wants, needs, and desires, and organizations must adapt and be responsive in order to remain relevant in the future. Skål International has taken a terrific first step with the formation of Young Skål, but Skål clubs can certainly take it upon themselves to create initiatives that will further incorporate millennials into the membership. Several clubs in the US and Canada have set an excellent example with their efforts to get younger people engaged. Skål USA invited representatives from several clubs to participate in this webinar and share the keys to their success. Click the link above to view the recording and find out the keys to recruiting and empowering Young Skål members!
April 16, 2015
Presented by Ronald Flores, SI Puerto Rico
View the Recording!
This Skål International United States of America (Skål USA) webinar is intended to help equip you with the tools to help you get your message out better. Public relations can be an essential function that Skål USA clubs can harness to help you get new members. Don’t miss out on hearing new ways to connect to your members, the media, prospective members and other clubs!
In Case You Missed It: Skål USA Webinar: Selling to Millennials
June 30, 2015
Presented by Charlie Funk, SI Nashville
View the Recording!
As we continue to bring in the next generation of young professionals into the working ranks as well as the bulk of our customer base, we need to understand their motivation – needs and wants. This emerging group is very unique in their interests, communication methods and reference points. In order to better incorporate them into Skål as well as leverage their increasing buying power, we must first try to understand and relate to their lifestyles and career concepts as well as how to reach them and get them to engage.
The North American Alliance of Skål Clubs (NAASC) is a regionalized meeting of the largest organization of professional tourism leaders (16,200 members) around the world, promoting global tourism and friendship. It is the only international group uniting all branches of the travel and tourism industry. Its members, the industry’s managers and executives, meet at local, national, regional and international levels to discuss and pursue topics of common interest.
The meeting will rotate for 2016 to the United States, and the 55th NAASC Congress will be hosted by Skål International Boise, June 9-12 at the picturesque Riverside Hotel. Click here for more information and to register.
SI Boise is accepting donations for the silent auction, which will be displayed throughout the congress OR a live auction donation to be held at the closing gala event. Click here to view the auction donation form.
SI Boise would also like to invite all Skålleagues to exhibit and showcase your company at the B2B Luncheon on Friday, June 10. Click here for more information and to RSVP.
For 2017, the 56th annual NAASC meeting will be hosted by Skål International Canada.
IPW Reception Planned for Skål Members
Skål International New Orleans announced plans to host all Skål members planning to attend IPW (formerly Pow Wow) for Saturday, evening June 18th from 5 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. CT. Information to register for the reception will be posted soon on the club website at www.skalneworleans.com. IPW convenes in New Orleans June 18-22 and is expected to be one of the largest gathering travel buyers on record featuring over 1,100 exhibit booths. For more information on IPW go to www.ipw.com.
2016 Skål USA National Committee Meeting Site Selected
SI Arkansas has been selected as the host for the 2016 Skål USA National Committee Meeting (NCM). The meeting will take place September 8-11, 2016 at the Wyndham Riverfront in North Little Rock, AR. Registration will open in January 2016. Click here for more information.
Past Skål Meetings & Events
Skål USA Holds Winter Board Meeting Alongside 2016 ABA Marketplace
On October 28, 2015, a few days before the start of last year’s World Congress in Torremolinos, several Skålleagues took an excursion to Gibraltar. The group consisted of Jim Dwyer and Robert Lowell from SI Northern New Jersey, Frank Klare from SI Philadelphia, Holly Powers from SI Boston, Steve Richer from SI Washington, Carlos Banks from SI Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beaches, and Joanne and Mark Skinner from SI Sunshine Coast (Australia). The trip, which is a short 90 minute drive from Torremolinos, was a real treat and a learning experience for all. After a short walk through town and a stop for lunch at a pub, the group was taken up the famous Rock by an expert guide who explained the history of Gibraltar and why it is a British territory. They had great views of Spain to the east and Morocco to the south over the Straits of Gibraltar and the renowned Pillars of Hercules.
It was suggested by some of the group over some good British ale at lunch that they proclaim themselves the unofficial Skål Club of Gibraltar, after which they gave the Skål toast!
A new Facebook page has been created to highlight upcoming meetings in the region and share additional pictures from meetings and events!
SI Albany Invites Skålleagues to attend 30th Anniversary Gala Celebration on April 30
SI Albany has invited all Skål members to attend their 30th Anniversary Gala Celebration. The event will take place on Saturday, April 30th at the Marriott Hotel on Wolf Road in Albany. The cost is $75 per person, and includes: 1 hour open bar with hors d’oeuvres, 5 course dinner, and live music and dancing. The cocktail hour will begin at 6:00 pm. If you would like to attend, please contact Ernie Bruno or Anita Peck at 845-658-3101, 845-594-5700, or 845-594-8388. SI Albany has negotiated a special room rate of $89 at the Marriott for the event. Please call 518-458-8444 and use code SKASKAA to book.
SI Long Island Event Photos
SI Frankfurt (Germany) to Visit Sister City Club SI Philadelphia in July
SI Philadelphia and SI Frankfurt, Germany became twin/sister city clubs in 2009. Christian Becker is the President of SI Frankfurt. As part of a simultaneous joint pairing between the City of Philadelphia and City of Frankfurt, Mr. Becker will be accompanying the official Frankfurt delegation to visit Philadelphia between July 1st and 10th, 2016. It has been proposed by Mr. Becker to conduct a special Skål flag exchange with Skål Philadelphia during the visit, with the hope of having a member of the press available.
Potential dates are between July 5-7. Stay tuned; more information to come.
SI Pittsburgh Member and Franklin Park Mayor Dennis O’Keefe Featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
SI Chicago Remembers Brian Mosey
The SI Chicago Board of Directors presented a memorial tribute for longtime SI Chicago member Brian Mosey to his son, Graham Mosey. The memorial tribute included a memorial card, a special plant, and a bottle of vintage wine to toast to the life of Brian Mosey.
SI Chicago Invites Skålleagues to Free St. Pat’s Party & Membership Meeting
On Monday, March 14, SI Chicago will host a St. Pat’s Party & Membership Meeting. The event will begin with a Board Meeting at Potbelly Sandwich Shop at 4 PM, followed by a Skål Social Hour at Corridor Brewery & Provisions at 6 PM, a 7 PM dinner at Potbelly’s, and optional entertainment at Southport Lanes at 8 PM. There is no cost to attend, and Skålleagues are invited to bring one guest (preferably someone that is interested in Skål membership). Please RSVP to email@example.com by March 10th.
SI New Orleans Hosts Industry Update Member Drive
A sold out crowd of over 150 people attended a Visitor Industry Project and Infrastructure Update hosted by Skål International New Orleans as a way to build awareness for Skål and attract prospective members. The occasion included updates on projects by leaders from the local industry focusing on improvements underway to the airport, convention center and hotel development.
The event attracted a wide range of hospitality professionals and sponsored tables included those by the restaurant association, hotel and lodging association and the local MPI chapter, among others. Mark Latter, owner of Tujagues, the oldest continually operating restaurant in New Orleans, was pinned as the newest member of Skål International New Orleans.
The Stage Door Canteen at the National World War II Museum was the host venue. The museum has the largest membership base of any museum in the country and it the 5th most visited museum in the country.
A new facebook page has been created to highlight upcoming meetings in the region and share additional pictures from meetings and events!
SI San Francisco Unveils New Website and Facebook Page
Keep up with the latest news, events, dinners, and meetings by using the following resources:
SI San Francisco’s new website:
SI San Francisco’s new Facebook page:
SI San Francisco Member Thomas Klein Wins 2016 Peter Goldman Award of Excellence
The Hotel Council of San Francisco Board of Directors is pleased to announce that the 2016 Peter Goldman Award of Excellence recipient is Thomas Klein!
Established in 1989, the Peter Goldman Award of Excellence honors an individual who exemplifies expertise, devotion, and leadership to raise the level of service and perception of San Francisco’s hospitality industry.
Midway through his over 30 year distinguished career as an international hotel executive, Thomas Klein followed his heart to San Francisco. Serving as regional vice president for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in California meant Mr. Klein would oversee a group of high-end hotels in Sonoma, San Jose, Santa Monica, Berkeley (Claremont Hotel & Spa) and Newport Beach. But most important, he would assume command of the brand’s spectacular century-old flagship, The Fairmont San Francisco, recently voted SF Business Times Best Places to Work.
Thomas Klein’s self-styled “total engagement” philosophy — honed at the helm of properties from Australia and South Africa to North and South America — emphasizes daily interaction with staffers at all levels, immersing himself “in the heart of the house” and empowering employees by establishing personal connections that he believes are vital to the bottom line. As an accessible community ambassador, he is equally comfortable manning a podium in black tie as he is donning work clothes to help by volunteering at Project Homeless Connect in San Francisco.
Thomas serves the hotel and tourism industry well as the Hotel Council’s President of our Board of Directors and Vice Chair of the San Francisco Travel Association. He is currently the Chairman of the University of San Francisco’s Hospitality Advisory Board, the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, the St. Francis Hospital Foundation and the California Hotel and Lodging Association. He also served on the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee.
We hope you can join us in honoring Thomas at the Peter Goldman Award of Excellence Luncheon on Friday, June 10th at the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco.
A new facebook page has been created to highlight upcoming meetings in the region and share additional pictures from meetings and events!
SI Ft. Lauderdale & The Palm Beaches Invites Skål Members to Dinner Cruise
SI Ft. Lauderdale & The Palm Beaches would like to invite all Skål members to a dinner cruise on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, during the Seatrade Cruise 2016 Global Convention at the Ft. Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center. Members, spouses, and guests are all welcome for a fee of $75 per person. There will be complementary bus transportation to the cruise port leaving from the Broward County Convention Center.
‘Fun’ Raiser in Puerto Rico
“Fundraisers can be fun,” says Skål International Puerto Rico President Ivan Puig. He proved it by organizing an ice cream afternoon at Maggie Moo’s Ice Cream and Treatery in San Juan with proceeds benefiting needy children.
“It was a ‘Celebrity Scoop Night’ featuring Puerto Rico Skål board members as the celebrity scoopers,” he said. In addition to Ivan, SIPR VP Osvaldo Rivera, Director Maritza Toste, and Secretary Angel Luis Marrero manned the scoops. Among the cheerleaders were former Skål USA rep. Ronald Flores and Director Irene Castillo.
Skål in Puerto Rico “adopted” El Hogar del Pequeno Joshua (The Little Joshua Home) many years ago as one of its community aide programs. The club and individual members have made monetary and other contributions, participated in fundraisers and have canvassed hoteliers in Puerto Rico for contributions of linen and other items. The home is the only facility in Puerto Rico that cares for infants and toddlers born of women who are addicts or infected with HIV, and are homeless or destitute.
“The need is great,” said Clara Alonso, who represented the Hogar during the event. “We have more infants than ever to care for, so every dollar helps—especially to buy disposable diapers. As you can imagine, they are in huge demand!” Skål member Celestino Arias responded quickly by sending a supply to the home.
“Maggie Moo donated 15% of the proceeds that day to the Hogar. We didn’t sell much, but with some matching funds and contributions from our members, we hope to have had helped this wonderful organization,” Puig said.
If you would like to contribute, you can visit the home’s Fundrazer site https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/157K7 or contact Hogar el Pequeño Joshua at 787-282-0012.
SI Los Angeles
On February 17, SI Los Angeles held a dinner meeting, with 35 members in attendance.
SI Tucson, Best Little Skål Club of the Year Two Years in a Row Turns 50!
On behalf of founding member and Past Skål USA and NAASC President Schuyler Lininger, SI Tucson would like to invite all Skål members to join SI Tucson as they celebrate their 50th Anniversary! The event will take place on May 7th, 2016 at 7:00 PM at the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa in Tucson, AZ. The cost is $65 per person, and deluxe accommodations will be provided at the Westin at a special rate of $129.00 per night.
RSVP to Gayle Venner at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 29, 2016.
To place a jewelry order using a credit card, fill out and submit the order form on the Skål USA Shop web page (https://skalusa.org/skalskal-usa-shop/). There will be a link at the bottom of the order confirmation page to pay by credit card rather than receive an invoice. Please click this link and fill out the form, selecting the “Other” box and entering “SIUSA Store” into the text box. You will only be charged once for your order. If you choose to pay by credit card, you will not receive an invoice.
Skål USA Shirts
Skål USA shirts with the official Skål logo are available from Land’s End. To place an order, visit the Skål USA Shop at www.siusa.org/siusa-shop and click the “Shirts” tab. On this page you will find a link with step-by-step ordering instructions as well as the link that will take you to the Land’s End site to make a purchase. If you have problems ordering, please contact Matt Manousoff, Skål USA Administrator at 202-218-7246 or Skål USA@buses.org.
SI Orlando Member Joost Demeyer Visits Sri Lanka Daycare and Orphanages Supported by Joseph T. Neary Memorial Foundation
As the second largest Skål Club in the United States and ranked among the top 10 in the world, Skål International Orlando continues to make global philanthropy a service priority. When Club member Joost DeMeyer and his wife, Iris, planned a trip to New Delhi in October for the Society of Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) Global Conference, they also planned a side trip to Sri Lanka. The intent was to visit to the areas served by The Joseph T. Neary Memorial Foundation established in 1990 during the 51st Annual International Skål Congress in Colombo, Sri Lanka, as a permanent memorial to deceased Skålleague Joe Neary, Past President and International Councilor for Skål USA.
The projects supported by the Foundation include: The Bethlehem Creche daycare center in Colombo at the Carmel Piyuma Convent which supports 80 children a day ages 3 months to 5 years, the Apostolic Carmel School in Maharagama at St. Mary’s Convent which is an all-girls high school with approximately 100 girls attending and half staying at the convent, and orphanages in Akkaraipattu and Trincomalee on the east coast of Sri Lanka and in Nainamadama, just north of Colombo, each with approximately 40 children.
DeMeyer and his wife visited the Bethlehem Creche and presented checks to Sister Florella, while also visiting the orphanage. They were hosted by Noel Fernando, Skål Member, Past President of the Colombo Skål Club and Foundation Trustee, and presented him with banners from the Orlando Skål Club and the New York Skål Club where Joe Neary was Past President, while also receiving two Colombo Skål Club banners in return. “It was a wonderful experience to see how well organized everything is and how happy and well taken care of the children are,” DeMeyer explained. “They even sang and danced for us.”
Managing Trustee of the Joseph T. Foundation is Skål International Orlando Member and Skål International USA Past President Bill Pullen. In the last few years, Pullen and his late wife spent a week visiting the project sites and meeting with representatives of other organizations in the country with potential for providing future assistance.
“I am very excited about Joost and Iris’ visit,” said Pullen. “Not only do they represent Skål Orlando but the entire spirit and support of Skål International. When we started the Foundation at the International Skål Congress in Colombo in 1990, the original intent was to support the children at the Bethlehem Creche daycare center really without any thought to the long range future. So it certainly has gone a lot further than any one of us could have imagined back then. It is very much a source of great pride.”