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40th Anniversary Celebration of The Friendship Force of Greater Des Moines, Iowa, USA

Editor’s Note: FF Greater Des Moines, Iowa, USA, celebrated their 40th Anniversary in October 2017, with many VIPs and guests of honor in attendance, including FFI CEO Jeremi Snook. Thanks to FF Des Moines and especially Adrienne Moen for the story and photos!

The 40th Anniversary Celebration on Sunday, October 29, was a big hit with our members and guests. Chairs Adrienne Moen and Nancy Lundstrom organized a lovely late afternoon party that was attended by current and past members, potential members, friends, and leaders from other Midwest clubs, incoming Midwest Regional Rep Dale Moore, and FFI President CEO, Jeremi Snook. Mike Pace, a well-recognized TV and radio personality, served as Master of Ceremonies for the event.

FF Greater Des Moines Past President and outgoing Regional Field Representative Adrienne Moen with FFI CEO Jeremi Snook
Past President and Regional Field Rep Adrienne Moen with Jeremi Snook

Mike did a superb job of setting the historic tone of the evening by reading a letter from former Governor Robert Ray who founded The Friendship Force in Iowa. Irish step dancers from Ames and The Mariachi band from W. Des Moines book-ended the entertainment as a tribute to our first (1977) and most recent (2017) international Journeys. Beautiful tri-fold displays of many Journeys were created by several Journey Coordinators, and the large silent auction, which benefited the FFGDM Scholarship Fund, exceeded our expectations. Thanks to Shelley Bain, our President, for organizing the latter.

For many, one of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the Wayne Smith Medal to Past President and outgoing Regional Field Representative Adrienne Moen. Earlier this fall, the local Board of Directors, for the first time in its 40-year club history, voted to honor Adrienne for her undaunted promotion of Friendship Force in our community. Adrienne joined the club at a time when her leadership was greatly needed; when she pushed the Board and members to better the club—she led by example. Thank you, Adrienne, for your successful years of service to FFGDM.

We all were so pleased and grateful to have Jeremi Snook, our FFI President/CEO, join us on this historical occasion. Jeremi was our keynote speaker who challenged the audience with his focus on diverse thinking and analogies which was an inspiration to all. We are reminded of the “big picture” as we navigate through life and cross many unexpected paths. Since Des Moines was the first club in 1977 to conduct a Journey after Atlanta with England, it was so appropriate that our CEO join us; so a huge thank you to Jeremi Snook for traveling to our city.

A heartfelt thank you also to all members and community sponsors for support in our efforts to promote The Friendship Force before, during, and after the event with dollars, time, and media promotion. We are also excited to welcome several new members who look forward to spreading the mission of breaking down the barriers that separate people.

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