Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November 2013 Chapter Meeting

November meeting was held on November 10, 3 pm, at the Fingers' condo community room.

Meeting called to order by Archie McKee, President.  Attending - 13:  George and Lucienne, Duane and Jill, Pat A., Lois, Miriam, Colette, Bob, Gail, Larry, Grace

Noted the Sarasota website is

Announced that 2015 National Convention will be held in Atlanta, GA.

Announced that 2014 Washington DC Seminar will be held at Gaudette University’s Kellogg Conference Center April 23-25.

Discussed possibility of hosting Annie Rollins, a PhD candidate studying Chinese shadow puppetry. A committee will get more information.

Briefly discussed events surrounding China’s 3rd Plenum.

Duane and Jill gave report on the recent National Convention in Richmond, VA.  Sarasota had five members present, the largest delegation other than the host chapter:  Archie McKee, Duane Finger, Jill Dye, Dr. Carolyn Bloomer who also made a presentation on Chinese film, and Dr. Doris Ju who attended with her mother and sister.

Lois moved that a supplement be made by the Sarasota Chapter to those attending National Conventions.  After discussion and amendments, it was passed with a cap at $300 per convention.

A Regional Award for outstanding service to US-China relations was presented to George Arvay for his many years and dedicated work towards SOS China by Southern Region board member Archie McKee.  George was largely responsible for introducing SOS to China in the 1980s.  Today SOS serves more than 10,000 Chinese orphans in multiple locations across the country.  You can learn more by visiting

Grace moved that SOS China be adopted as the Sarasota Chapter Charity.  Motion passed.

November program was a great video on the retirement life of Eunice Brock, who returned to China after retiring and lived out her days in Liaocheng City, Shandong Province.  She passed away earlier this year (2013) at the age of 98.  Discussion followed.  Video may be borrowed from Archie if wanted.

Door prizes were given out - Chinese paper cuts.

Next meeting will be December 8 at 3 pm.  Come at 2:30 for some social time.  A short program to be decided, but a holiday celebration including Chinese food and covered dishes provided by members will be the main event.  Plan now to bring a friend.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

October 2013 Chapter Meeting

Minutes from the USCPFA meeting held Sunday, October 13, 2013
Location:  Firehouse #1 on Fourth St. in Sarasota
Members Present:  Archie McKee, Grace McKee, Lolly Baerveldt, Alfonz Lengyel, George Arvay

Meeting called to order at 3:00 PM by President Archie McKee

Agenda items:
General discussion regarding the new meeting date of the 2nd Sunday of the month, with meeting location to vary.  It was agreed the fire station was a good location and would be added to our list of possibilities but we need to provide our own technology to show any DVD's.  Meeting time will be 3 - 5 PM with doors open at 2:30 for visiting beforehand.

Discussion of how to increase membership in the club and to attract younger members also.  Lolly will check into Selby Library to see what is needed to have a "Introduction to USCPFA" meeting in their large meeting room.  Notices would be sent to various groups having an interest in Asian culture, such as Dr. Bloomer's movie audience (she does this, but needs brochures), Ringling Museum Asian Group, New College, RCAD, Chamber of Commerce - a list of businesses doing business in China, and any other groups we can name.  The importance of a current brochure was stressed and Archie mentioned that a new national brochure would be available at the conference in Richmond, so we can use that with local info added.   Lolly also will write a press release type announcement so we do this with little or no expenditures of money.

Archie presented an interesting and informative program on Asian fabrics and textiles with many examples of both.  He also had several books available for viewing.

Archie McKee presenting program on Chinese textiles and fabrics
Lolly listening and adding to the information
George and Alfonz joining in
Grace showing child's hat decoration - warding off evil spirits
Archie's books - Borrow if you wish

The next meeting will be Sunday, November 10th, location to be announced.

Meeting adjourned at 4:15 PM

Minutes recorded by VP Lolly Baerveldt

September 2013 Chapter Meeting

Monday, January 28, 2013

January 27, 2013 Chapter Meeting

The January meeting of the Sarasota chapter of USCPFA was a great success!

Brief announcements were made by President Archie McKee:
  1. DUES ARE DUE!  Individual membership - $25; family membership - $40.  Get your checks to treasurer Duane.
  2. Two reporters from the BEIJING REVIEW visited Sarasota last month.  They met with Sarasota Sister Cities and then with Jill, Duane, Archie and Grace to discuss USCPFA.  We are expecting a great write-up about Sarasota in the BEIJING REVIEW soon.
  3. February 17 meeting at 2 pm.  Tentatively at Carolyn's clubhouse.  Confirmation of the location will come in your email.  A presentation will be made by a young Sarasota lady whom Archie placed in a teaching position in Anhui Province, PRC.
  4. March 17 meeting at 2 pm.  Location:  Jill and Duane's new home or clubhouse.  Annual meeting.  Election of new officers:  Anyone interested in a position for the next two years may contact Archie or Duane.  Details to follow.
Colette requested that our meeting day (third Sunday of each month) be reconsidered.  That will be discussed at the annual meeting once the new officers are in place.

Thank you to Pat for bringing our lovely Mary with her. 

We have one new member who located us on the INTERNET and mailed a check to the national treasurer to join!

We were joined by Jill and Duane's friends, Colette and John Paul from France, Lolly's friend, Pam, and Miriam's husband Stuart.  We had two additional guests who were welcomed and invited to come again.  They are considering joining.

Everyone truly enjoyed Carolyn and Lolly's slides from their trip to China in 2011:  "Flub Dub and Farfetchness:  Lolly and Carolyn in China."  It brought back fond memories for those of us who have been to China and, as Lois put it, some who have not visited China traveled there vicariously. Alfonz expressed the joy he felt from seeing photos of his wife Hong Ying.

Dinner at the Yummy House was so enjoyable. Thank you to the Drs. Lin who arranged for our group to have reservations even though Yummy House is the latest hotspot in Sarasota.  People were lined up at the door before they even opened!  Everyone was allowed to elect to order family style or as individuals.  Delicious food and so affordable!  And a chance for our members to catch up with one another.  Lots of talk and laughter were heard.
Many photos were taken.  (Anytime your photos turn out better, please feel free to send them to Grace.)

It seems our blog is reaching people.  Since it was created two years again, there have been 2,137 pageviews!  WOW!
And if you type "China Sarasota" in the search box on, our photos show up!  Search using "China Sarasota organization" and we are fifth on the list. 

December 2012 Chapter Meeting

USCPFA Dec. 23, 2012 Meeting by Colette Penn

Our December meeting and holiday party beganon Dec. 23, 2012 at 2:30 P.M. in the Alinari condominium gathering room with a feast of specialdishes brought by members.

Our hosts, Jill Dye and Duane Finger, introducedeach of us to our special guest: Mr. Jiang Yingshan, who asked to be called "AJ Rivers" for simplicity. AJ is a representative of The Chinese Peoples Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries ("YOUXIE"). In 2005 he was that association's National Tour Guide for our USCPFA Sarasota Tour to China.

AJ then gave two presentations:

First, he described the structure and purposes of YOUXIE, a vast Chinese non-governmentalassociation affiliated in 115 countries with 364 organizations, including our USCPFA.  One of YOUXIE's many tasks is to coordinate and establish a Sister Cities relationship between Chinese cities and others worldwide.  In his capacity as YOUXIE representative to the U.S., AJ assisted Sarasota in establishing its current Sister City relationship with Xiamen.

Next, as a special treat, AJ showed a film made by YOUXIE to record the gratitude of the Chinese people to the amazing American Volunteer Group(honorifically called "The Flying Tigers") for their service during World War II in training the Chinese Air Force and in fighting with them to destroy invadingJapanese air forces in China.  We who watched the film were deeply moved; and some of us went to the Tigers' official website to learn more about these remarkable men.

We would like to express our thanks to Mr. Jiang Yingshan ("AJ Rivers") for visiting us and for his highly informative and fascinating presentations.

Our meeting concluded in the Alinari theatre with a return gesture to AJ: A screening of "It's a Wonderful Life", the perennially favorite American Christmas film.

Those who stayed to the 9:00 P.M. end of thismarathon meeting left smiling and content.

Thanks to Jill and Duane for your efforts in bringing this event to us.