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Friends of FANA News - March 2003

Elena Martinez and Cesar Lopez Visit

On February 23, over 120 Friends of FANA gathered in Reston for our annual Colombian Fiesta. Elena Martinez, daughter of FANA's Mercedes Martinez, and her husband Cesar Lopez were the guests of honor. Their presence made the day more special for many of the families who have known Elena from FANA or from the presentation of their children. This was their third visit with us and we hope for many more.

Great Colombian food and music, Salsa dancing lessons, and the participation of families and children of all ages made for a memorable afternoon. Our silent auction raised almost $600 for FANA. Many thanks to everyone who made the afternoon possible, particularly Maria and Warren, Megan, Jeanette, Valerie and Ricardo, Gerri, Julie, Karen, Jennifer, Linda, and Pilar.

Fundraising Campaign Update

In early March, Friends of FANA sent a check to FANA for $26,700 as a result of our Fall 2002 Fundraising Campaign. Many thanks to everyone who has contributed thus far. Money raised will go to pay for extraordinary medical expenses for children at FANA, including hospitalizations and surgery. In 2002, FANA spent over $66,000 (US) on these out-of-budget costs. It is not too late to help provide for much-needed help for FANA. If you have not yet responded, please do so by sending a contribution to:

Friends of FANA
PMB 256
11654 Plaza America Drive
Reston, VA 20190-4700

Annual Letter from FANA

Mercedes Martinez, Founder and Director of FANA, has recently sent her annual letter update on FANA to all the international Friends groups. She details the great accomplishments of the year 2002 as well as the continuing challenges faced by FANA.

Recent Referrals

The Washington, D.C. area has been receiving approximately one referral of a child for adoption every month. We hope that you have an opportunity to meet these new families at an upcoming event. If you have recently returned from Bogota, please let us know!

Colombia for Kids Postponed

The proposed "Colombia for Kids" educational program at Georgetown University for middle school and high school students has been postponed due to scheduling conflicts. We hope to offer this program in the fall. We also hope to offer an event for the younger children. If you can help with planning either of these programs, please contact Laura Capaldini at info@fanafriendsdc.org.

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).

Interest Survey

Included with this mailing is a survey of your interests in Friends of FANA activities. Please let us know what you'd like to see us undertake. We are only successful if we are meeting the needs of our members!! Take a moment and fill this out and return it to Friends of FANA at the address above, or contact us at info@fanafriendsdc.org with your ideas.

Friends of FANA Logo Contest

We need a new logo!! Until now, we have used the old FANA logo on our Friends of FANA materials. The time has come for something of our own. Enclosed is information on a logo contest for us. Please put on your creative hats and help us design something distinctive and functional. The winner receives a special gift. Entries are due back to Friends of FANA by April 18. Send your design to Friends of FANA at the address above, or e-mail to info@fanafriendsdc.org.

Board Elections and New Committees

At the November 2002 meeting of the Board, new members and officers were elected. The 2003 Board consists of Laura Capaldini, President; Ricardo Nunez, Vice President; Megan Dennis, Secretary; Maria Van Wie, Treasurer; and Board members Valerie Light, Karen Lightfield, and Jeanette Ryan. Alan Moshel continues as our Webmaster.

Lisa White is chairing a new Communications Committee, which welcomes anyone interested in helping with the newsletters, brochures, website content, and other communications activities. If you are interested in helping, she can be reached at info@fanafriendsdc.org.

The Events Planning Committee is currently being led by Maria Van Wie. If you are interested in helping, please contact her at fanafriendsdc@comcast.net. The Fundraising Committee plans our annual fundraising appeal as well as special fundraising activities for FANA. If you are interested in helping, please contact Laura Capaldini at info@fanafriendsdc.org.

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 Fanafriendsdc@comcast.net. Or mail us at:

Friends of FANA
PMB 256
11654 Plaza America Drive
Reston, VA 20190-4700

We look forward to hearing from you.

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