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Friends of FANA News - Fall 2003

Visit With Mercedes

Maria Van Wie and Laura Capaldini, along with several other DC-area FANA families, traveled to Buffalo, NY for a weekend of FANA events. Mercedes and Arturo Martinez were there, as were Marina and Enrique Tono from FANA. Families of FANA, Western New York sponsored a dinner and silent auction, a family picnic, and a golf tournament to benefit FANA. Mercedes' health continues to be fragile, but she again expressed her gratitude for all the support of Friends of FANA groups around the country. A copy of her annual update on FANA to all the international Friends groups is posted on our website.

Mercedes' daughter Elena and her husband Cesar also attended the Buffalo events. Elena and Cesar are moving back to Bogota later this month. They have been guests several times at our Washington, DC events, and we hope that they will return to visit with us again soon.

Recent Referrals

Referrals of children from FANA to this area have slowed due to changes in the procedures at Bienestar, Colombia's welfare department. We are seeing referrals approximately every 6 to 8 weeks. If you are going to Bogota or you have recently returned from Bogota, please let us know!

Athletic Events for FANA

We've had several inquiries recently about designating Friends of FANA as a recipient of funds raised through athletic events, such as triathalons, marathons, etc. If you are participating in one and wish to raise money for FANA, we are happy to help you collect and acknowledge those contributions. For more information, contact Maria Van Wie, Treasurer, at fanafriends@comcast.net.

Buddy Families for The Barker Foundation

The Barker Foundation is offering "buddy" families to families going through the adoption process in Colombia. These families provide advice and encouragement to new families, either in person or via phone or email. If you are adopting or have adopted through Barker and would like to help a family in process, please contact Colleen McLain at the Barker Foundation (cmclain@barkerfoundation.org).

Latin American Heritage Month Activities

September 15 to October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. Plan an outing with your children to a musical or theater event, an art exhibit, or even just to one of our local Hispanic restaurants. For ideas, check our our hispanic cultural events page at www.fanafriendsdc.org/cultural.htm. The Smithsonian Institution sponsors a wide range of activities (www.SmithsonianEducation.org/Heritage_Month).

Serve on the Board or a Committee!

In November, two new members will be elected to the Board and three are running for re-election. This will bring our Board membership up to nine members. The Board meets three times per year, and is the policy making body for Friends of FANA. Additionally, Board members are expected to provide leadership for an event or a committee for Friends of FANA. Current Board members are: Laura Capaldini, Maria Van Wie, Ricardo Nunez, Valerie Light, Megan Dennis, Karen Lightfield, Jeanette Ryan.

If you are interested in serving on the Board, please contact any of the above Board members or Laura Capaldini at info@fanafriendsdc.org.

Our committees are currently developing plans for 2004. If you would like to help, please contact one of these committee chairs:

Events Planning Committee: Maria Van Wie fanafriends@comcast.net
Fundraising Committee: Laura Capaldini info@fanafriendsdc.org
Communications Committee: Lisa White info@fanafriendsdc.org

Mailing Groups

One of our major administrative tasks is preparing mailings to our members as well as to families interested in supporting FANA. In the fall, we have several small mailings as well as a major fundraising mailing. In order to lighten the work load, we have set up "mailing groups" to help us facilitate the process. If you have time on an occasional basis to help, please send us a note at info@fanafriendsdc.org and we will add you to a group list. The groups are: Maryland (Karen Lightfield, coordinator); Reston and western VA suburbs (Jeanette Ryan, coordinator); and Arlington/DC area (Lisa White/Margie Trone, coordinators).

Contact Us

If you have suggestions, comments, or ideas for Friends of FANA, or want to help in any way, please feel free to contact us! We can be reached at info@fanafriendsdc.org or fanafriends@comcast.net. We look forward to hearing from you.

Friends of FANA is a non-profit membership organization which provides cultural and educational activities for children adopted from Colombia as well as support to FANA, an orphanage located in Bogota, Colombia.