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Attention all UPWC Members

It has been a long weekend with many conversations and emails between the UPWC Board and Chair members discussing how we shall manage through the Corona Virus situation. It is with a great abundance of concern and caution for our membership that we have decided to cancel all UPWC events through the end of April. This includes all social events (e.g. Polo match..), Gadabout events (e.g. Sarasota Ballet...), Special Interest Group gatherings, the April luncheon at the Sarasota Yacht Club, and the April UPWC Board meeting (a decision on an alternative format is being considered).

As you can imagine, there are a lot of logistics and in some cases contracts to deal with, and your Board is working very hard to ensure the best for everyone. We are in the process of issuing refunds to those members who have paid for events.  I would very much appreciate it if you do not contact Janette Gatesy (Treasurer) about any specific refund request unless you do not receive a refund in several weeks; she is quite busy for the next few days.

The one exception is that we are still planning to hold the April 22nd luncheon celebrating those young ladies at JFG who have completed the “The Girl Power” program; however a final decision will be made by the Outreach Leadership in conjunction with the JFG school closer to the event.

This announcement will be published on the club’s web site and I hope that you will continue to monitor the site for any future changes.

I want to especially thank Vicki DiPaolo, Janette Gatesy, and Ginny deBuys who have worked with me over the past few days and all of the other Board and Chairs who are working hard for all of us. The most important thing is to take care of yourself, your family, and your friends. It will be a tough few weeks and maybe months, but I am confident that we shall emerge healthier and stronger.

I hope everyone is and stays well and follows the best health practices.

Beth Bertsch
UPWC President

March, 2020

It seems like everyone is having a busy winter season including doing lots of UPWC activities. We continue to grow and we now have 400 members; positively incredible, we must be doing something right!!!  It is wonderful to have so many new members and I hope that everyone will make time to welcome them and invite them to our events. One of the effects of growth is that many of our social events and SIG events get full almost as quickly as they are announced; therefore, I encourage everyone to regularly check the Upcoming Events page on our website and make sure that you register for those activities that you are interested in –  “you snooze, you lose”. If there are more people who want to participate in a particular SIG but the group is full,  it is always possible to add a second or even third similar group, all you need to do is find someone to lead the new group and then speak with our SIG chair, Alba Foreman, and she can get you started. 

Last month we had a fabulous Fashion Show at Michael’s on East with 231 guests, and as a result of your generosity and the Diamond and Crystal Ball, we have donated over $17,000 to Just for Girls Elementary School. This money will go to support the many projects run by our Outreach team. Kris Higgerson and the Outreach team vetted 12 local charities to determine which one(s) UPWC should support next year. The major criteria for consideration was the ability for our members have the opportunity to volunteer at the charity; that it is a local charity where we can make a real difference; and that it is a safe place for our volunteers to work. The Outreach team presented their findings to the Board in February and once again recommended that we support Just for Girls Elementary School. We discussed why it is important to continue with JFG. Among other things, we have invested years building programs there and working with the school and the girls and we can see the results of what we do on the lives of these young girls. We also agreed to support Mothers Helping Mothers and any member who would like to volunteer there can contact them directly for opportunities. We shall continue to give $1000 to the Manatee Food Bank and we shall be meeting with a member of the UPCC Outreach team to work with them in areas of mutual interest.

I would like to remind everyone, especially our new Florida residents, that there will be 2 sessions discussing Hurricane Preparedness given by our CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) so please look for the details in the UPCC announcements. This is important information and for those of us who have lived through a hurricane in Florida, we know being prepared is the key to a good outcome and possible survival.

It’s March so many of us think of St Patrick’s Day, the day where “everyone is Irish”; and we celebrate with green beer, corned beef, cabbage, soda bread and a myriad of Irish tunes and lore. We celebrate on March 17th which was the day that St Patrick died in 493 AD. He is most famous because he spread Christianity throughout Ireland and his teachings included using the 3-leaf shamrock, NOT the 4-leaf clover, to teach the Holy Trinity.

The Irish have “the gift” so in “their” words:

“May good luck be with you Wherever you go, and your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow.”

“May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been
the foresight to know where you’re going
and the insight to know when you’re going too far”

I hope that as many of you as possible are able to go to the Girl Power Luncheon on March 25th at UPCC. This lunch is the culmination of the Manners, Etiquette and Self-Empowerment class that Beckie Suverkrup is teaching to the3rd graders at Just for Girls Elementary. Please contact Beckie for details.

I look forward to seeing many of you at our April 16th Luncheon at the Sarasota Yacht Club.

Ag iarraidh Máirt Shona duit! (Wishing you a Happy March)

Beth Bertsch

President 2018-2020

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