The Grapevine

December 2018
Shake, Rattle & Roll 50s Themed Polish Pottery Bunko

**Members Only Luncheon

Jan. 16, 2019

Cost: $25

Join us as we are back on post this month at the Golden Lion Conference Center.
Calling All Bunko Babes
Whether you spell Bunko with a –C or a –K, are a seasoned professional, or have never played but wonder what all the hype is about--the January luncheon is THE place to be. Come join us back at the Golden Lion Conference Center on January 16, 2019 at 10:30 a.m . as we kick off 2019 with an action packed luncheon extravaganza. 

For our first get together in a new year, we’ll head back to the 50’s for a Bunko diner event. The menu will be hamburger & cheeseburger sliders, fries or onion rings, side salad and root beer floats for dessert. Feel free to wear a poodle skirt, bobbie socks or an initial sweater if you dare. 

Be prepared to roll the dice fast as we switch tables to meet lots of new and old members. Maybe the jukebox will play you a winning tune and you’ll take home one of our fabulous Polish pottery prizes . Ladies, this day will determine who goes home the Bunko Boss.

See ya there!
Revised Constitutuion & By-laws Approved
“Grazie!”  to everyone who participated in the November vote on the revised 2018-2020 VCC Constitution. The revised constitution passed by an overwhelming majority, with 91% of the participating members voting “yes,” and a quorum having been established.

The VCC board was thrilled to have the chance to present the revised constitution in person to the fifty-six VCC members present at the general membership meeting and luncheon at Villa delle Rose in Vicenza on the morning the voting opened. The board was also happy to find that VCC Members who were not able to attend the luncheon seized the opportunity to weigh in on the revised constitution through email question, clicking through to examine the proposed constitution, and casting their vote via SurveyMonkey. Whether our members learned about the proposed revisions online or in person, all votes were cast electronically so that each member’s voice was heard equally. We appreciate everyone’s participation in the process.

Our revised Constitution is the result of many hours of reading, listening, and researching. It represents a collaboration. In particular, the sections of our constitution regarding Membership and Finances have been updated to clarify and confirm that the VCC is operating in accordance with current Army, USAREUR, and DoD regulations, and that we are mirroring the best practices of other similar community clubs operating under SOFA guidelines. 

The review committee relied on regulatory resources, Robert's Rules of Order, the input of VCC Advisors and the PO Office, and reviews of the constitution and by-laws of multiple similar community clubs (who have communities made of SOFA and non-SOFA status members) to inform the revised document. We are confident that this now approved constitution ensures our compliance with our approving authority and the laws and regulations under which we operate, establishes checks and balances that ensure the smooth operation of the club, and facilitates better understanding of the basic social and financial obligations of the club and each of its member categories.

After the Constitution passed, the Board began additional work to similarly update and approve revised by-laws that reflect the content and language of the constitutional revisions . The updated 2018-2019 By-laws were approved with a unanimous vote of a quorum board meeting and went into effect on December 4, 2018.

Both the new documents are available for review in PDF format on our website.

Grazie Mille!” to the committee members who invested their time and energy to craft these durable revisions. Hearty thanks to each of you who gave your time and attention to being informed voters. Our members truly are the best!
Holiday Dough Bowl Auction Huge Success
The Vicenza Community Club would like to thank all of our amazing Holiday Dough Bowl sponsors this year. Everyone went above and beyond and we could not have had such a successful event without you.

Twenty local private organizations, units, schools and groups sponsored the beautiful bowls displayed at the Dec. 6 Garrison Tree Lighting Ceremony and thanks to them we were able to raise over $2000 to put into our Community Enrichment and Scholarship funds .

Thank you as well to  Vicenza Family and MWR  for letting VCC be a part of your festive event!!

Did You Know?
Dough bowls were used daily throughout history for making bread. The dough was rolled out, left to rise, and later bread or biscuits were baked.  A good cook always left a handful of starter dough for the next day in the bowl and it was stored there overnight. The bowls the VCC had up for auction and opportunity on Dec 6 can indeed still be used in traditional ways – but are also beautiful as decorative tabletop displays or for storage to hold magazines, rolled towels, washcloths, or other odds and ends.
Recent Olive Harvest Tour Fun & Educational
Nothing defines life in Italy more than a stroll through ancient family olive orchards in the fall. VCC members recently enjoyed a tour of Frantoio Salvagno in Verona where they learned how olives are harvested, and watched the extraction, bottling and production process from start to finish in this family owned olive farm. With trees as old as 400 years and an almost 100 year tradition of fine olive oil making, the highlight of the trip was experiencing a coveted taste of the freshly harvested unfiltered olive oil at a private tasting on site. After the tour, both groups enjoyed lunch at a local restaurant.
The Price is Right Fun For All
During November’s luncheon, VCC club members competed against one another in six “Price is Right,” prize showcases and it was “Game-On!” The roof was definitely raised at the Villa delle Rose with our loud enthusiasm for the game.

There were lots of winners throughout the luncheon and the grand prize winner walked away with an adorable pink Barbie car! That’s how the last showcase of the game ends on TV ends, right? Yes, a car was won.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Angel Tree, as the monthly philanthropy. VCC members donated toys and cash which is going to Army Community Services. The board later voted to up the donation total to $500 and the lucky “Price is Right” showcase winner even donated their new, pink, Barbie car to ACS to go under the Christmas tree for a special child this year.

A bit of business was taken care of at the luncheon with the membership being invited to the electronic vote on an updated version of the VCC Constitution as well as the 2018-2019 VCC Budget.
Sub-Club & Activity Leaders Needed
We know that everyone has different schedules and we want to offer activities on a variety of dates and times. From fun social groups to build friendships and skills to cultural experiences and exploration, we want to plan the best activities and trips for our members.

We still need folks to lead our various sub-club groups:

  • Wonderful Wednesday
  • Cooking (need a leader)
  • Antiquing
  • Bowling (need a leader)
  • Exploring with Littles (need a leader)
  • Scotch & Cigars (need a leader)
  • Hiking Club (need a leader)
  • Wine liaison
  • Couples Dinner Club
  • Photography
  • Crafting Club
  • Lunch Bunch 
  • Book Club liaison (need a leader)
  • International Group (need a leader)

If you would be interested, please contact Lynette Pfaff via email at

Join our new VCC Sub-Clubs & Activities Group on Facebook. The group is closed and for VCC members only. All of our fun events like Crafting, Antiquing, Couples Dinner Club, Wonderful Wednesdays, Photography, Casual Gourmet, Lunch Bunch and more will all be in one easy to find place online.

*Note this year we have chosen to partner with existing VMC groups for book clubs and wine tastings and tours. This helps consolidate our resources and is a smart way to engage with the community around us.
We All Win When We Work Together
Upcoming Community Enrichment Request Submission Deadlines:

28 December 2018
31 January 2019
28 February 2019
29 March 2019
30 April 2019

**Look for updates and announcements for our 2019 scholarship process in January.
Providing funding for Community Enrichment is a key element of the VCC’s mission. The club happily supports Survivors Outreach Services, units, FRGs, our local schools, military support organizations and many other local groups who share our passion for improving the Vicenza Military Community. We consider requests the end of each month for the following month.

In addition, we choose monthly philanthropy projects to support. For November we donated to the Angel Tree and for December we helped support the USO and Garrison Tree Lighting Ceremony by donating hot chocolate mix, marshmallows and 14 dozen cookies. We had 10 members who also volunteer at the event to help serve our families and community members.

Look soon on our Facebook page for some polls to share your favorite philanthropy ideas for 2019.
2019 CIAO Conference Planning Underway
Welcome to Lynn Dansereau, CIAO 2019 Committee Chair ! We are so excited for Lynn's leadership and experience for this annual event.

The first planning meetings went well and we are thrilled to announce that CIAO 2019 will be extended to a three day event, March 6-8. Discussions on the overall theme, session tracks and topics, presenters and marketing will continue at our next meeting January 10 at 12 p.m. at a TBD location.

VCC is still in the process of building the planning committee for the Combined Italian American Outreach conference. Volunteering is always more fun with a friend. We encourage you to look left and right and bring a friend to the meeting! All are welcome.

Meet Your 2018-2019 Executive Board
Arlene Baptiste,

Arlene was born and raised on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, and has been a military spouse for over 30 years. She believes in the importance of education and loves to learn, travel and meet new people. She has a passion for military families. Currently, enjoying la dolce vita of Italia. Arlene holds a Masters of Science in both Counseling Psychology and Human Relations, with a Bachelor of Science Education - Special Education. She has been a longtime member of VCC and a volunteer in the VMC community.

Bevin Landrum,
1st Vice President

Bevin grew up in Georgia, but has lived around the world over the last 25 years as a military spouse. She brings with her decades of experience in nonprofit management, community engagement, event planning and marketing. Bevin enjoys exploring life in Italia and Europe with her husband and friends. She is taking language classes to improve her immersion experience and loves traveling, learning about fine wine, cooking and curling up with a good book. She holds a Master of Arts in Public Relations and earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee.

Mandi Love, 2nd Vice President

Mandi is a native of Idaho but grew up in Pennsylvania. She is an Army Spouse of 22 years and the mother of 3 boys (ages 19, 16 and 6). This is her family’s 3rd tour in Europe. She is a strong supporter of student athletics and scouting with many years of volunteer support to various teams and troops. She has years of experience working with Private and Volunteer organizations. Mandi is a former DoD civilian employee and spent 5 years working for the Joint Staff. Mandi has a B.A. in Political Science and a Post-Graduate degree in Strategic Intelligence.

Tish Campbell,

Tish was born in Virginia, but calls the Army home. She's been a lifelong member of the Army family as both her parents were in the Army. She grew up moving from post to post until her father retired. She is an Army wife who has supported her husband through his career while raising their children. They've lived throughout the U.S. and overseas in Germany, Korea, and Italy. She volunteers and enjoys serving in the community wherever she lives and is very active in her church, as well. She enjoys reading, traveling, baking, learning new skills, and creating things. Tish now holds a Masters from raising eight wonderful children and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Grandmothering..

Karin Martinez,

Karin is a native of northern New York, and has been around the Army her entire life. She is an Army Brat who, after college, joined the Army herself and served for six years as a public affairs specialist/Army journalist. She also married a soldier who is now retired, and she has been an Army civilian for more than 15 years -- currently employed as the Command Information Officer with the USAG Italy Public Affairs Office. A self-proclaimed lifelong learner, she loves traveling, reading, writing, movies and wine. Karin holds a Master of Science in Teaching and a Bachelor of Arts in English/Broadcast Journalism with a German minor.
Kate Gukeisen,

Kate is a librarian who has a passion for people, a love a learning, and an aversion to quiet. A military spouse for over 25 years, she has moved often and taken opportunities where they’ve come, learning amazing lessons and meeting interesting people along the way. Kate most recently worked as a high school librarian and district library contact. She brings with her years of experience centered around building positive community connections. Kate holds a Master of Library and Information Science from Syracuse University and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of South Dakota.

Volunteer Spots Available
Join the fun, give back, help plan and direct our amazing organization when you join the general board in one of the following positions.

Capture photographic memories for VCC and save them for the future. Compile photos of VCC events to be displayed and coordinate with Newsletter Editor, Publicity and IT chairperson to digitally share photographs. Monitor Facebook pages for good photographs that could be used in membership materials.

Volunteer Coordinator
Maintain monthly VMIS reports and ensure all club information/contact information/, work w/publicity, Newsletter Editor, Social Media, Membership, Executive Board and advisors, approve volunteer hours, submit “Volunteer of the Month/Quarter/Year” nominations

Property Manager
Maintain a physical property inventory with semi-annual reviews, key control manager, liaison for all maintenance or issues with VCC and Thrift Store spaces.
Dec 21
BOSS Christmas Party

Jan 16
Shake, Rattle & Roll Polish Pottery BUNKO
*member only event

Feb 13
Single Soldier Valentine's Social

Feb 20
Milan Meets Thrift Shop Fashion Runway 

Mar 6-8
CIAO Conference

Apr 17
Make it, Bake it, Fake it!
Spring Wreaths & Planters Luncheon

May 15
Picture Perfect Endings
& Board Installation

Family Appreciation BBQ

Date TBD
Casino Royale Gala & Auction
*open to the public

We are so excited to flip the calendar to a new year. There are many more fun events in the works for our VCC members and the Vicenza Military Community. These are just a few of the activities you don't want to miss.
Buon Natale!
Vicenza Community Club  |  Unit 31401, Box 61, APO, AE 09630