Twin Cities Slovenians

Minutes of Membership Meeting

October 17, 2009, 9:30 am, Nectary


There were about 31 present.  Norm Setnicker (President) called the meeting to order with an introduction of new members, Rick Pisa and John Skubitz.  He introduced a couple guests, Elizabeth who will be moving to Slovenia for 2 years, and Yul’s sister from Florida.


Mary Ann Palmer presented the language lesson and led the group in the singing of Pojdem na Štajersko.


Al Siftar gave a geography lesson on the valley area, Dolenjska and Bela Krajina.  Family origins will be added to a map; Al will provide detail about those areas and place it in a notebook.  Mary Medved will include such information in the book she has been organizing.


Bob Grahek showed slides of his trip to the Dolenjska and Bela Krajina areas of Slovenia.  They ate only national foods.  Steve Kapsch arranged the trip and Bob would recommend it.  The compactness and variety, cleanliness, and the people of Slovenia impressed the travelers.  Bob answered questions from the group.


Norm mentioned that our November meeting will include a presentation from John Zakelj about his trip to Slovenia, and Jan Hahn will tell about their grapes that they sell to Morgan Creek wines.  There will be a variety of Morgan Creek wines that will be available through a drawing.  Our December meeting will include a presentation from the children, organized by Mary Bernard.


Jeff Martinka hosted the first meeting for the 2010 Festival of Nation’s, the theme is “Folklore”.  He spoke about the components of the next exhibit and about the multiple approaches that were successful in the past.  At the initial meeting, the committee decided on 4 main folkloric characters; The Zlatorog – a golden horned mountain goat offering the potential of great wealth; Martin Krpan – the might Slovene salt smuggler who impressed the Austrian emperor; The Ljubljana dragon/zmaj – central to the myth of Jason and the Argonauts, mascot of Ljubljana; and the Kurenti – the sheepskin-clad, cowbell and big red tongue wearing characters central to Mardi Gras like festivities in the Ptuj area of Slovenia.  They are said to chase away winter and welcome spring each year.  Jeff asked anyone interested in being involved to sign-up to be included in future emails.


Sue Rademacher updated us on possible locations to hold dance lessons; she said the Moundsview community center is available on Tuesday & Thursday evenings for $30/hour. She spoke with Donald LaCoruse (spl?) from an ethnic dance group in the Twin Cities, who is willing to teach our group traditional Slovenian dance for $50/hour and says it is helpful if you know how to Waltz and Polka.  Sue encouraged members to sign-up. 


Yvonne McComber gave a Treasurer’s report; we have a balance of $1775.92.


Norm talked about the Board agreeing that the purchase of a digital projector was a good idea.  We have been able to borrow projectors in the past if available.  With it becoming more common and upcoming events like future Festival of Nation’s and the 2010 Regional Convention, it would be best to have our own.


Karl Grahek (Membership Chair) reported that we have 63 members.  He talked about the SWUA’s membership drive and that first year dues are only $10 for new members.  He talked about the Zarja magazine which is included with membership and that the branch to recruit the most new members will receive 3 Rocky Mountain Potica.


MaryAlice Schwanke (Webmaster) handed out a survey asking questions about the current TCS website.  The survey will be used to improve the website by providing content of interest to members.  Also, there have been a number of requests for a ‘Member Directory’, Yvonne McComber brought it up at a Board meeting and MaryAlice offered to take that project on.  The directory would only be distributed to current members and include basic contact information and brief genealogical data.  Members will be able to ‘Opt Out’ of a portion or their entire entry. (We would like at minimum to include their names)  More information about this project will be included in next month mailing and will be available at the November meeting.


Norm gave a Zarja Indexing project update – The National office is trying to index all issues; we are assigned the years 1946-1959; Norm explained the problems & costs of going to the IHRC to index the issues; The National office will be sending 5 years worth of issues for us to index; We will then hold an indexing party.


Mary Ann Palmer spoke about the SWUA’s Wreath Fundraiser.  She handed out information and order forms and the ordering deadline is October 31st.  Members asked how we could contribute to the renovation fund without ordering items.  Norm suggested sending a note and check to Carol Ryba that your donations are to go specifically to the renovation fund.


Norm mentioned that our branch will be hosting the 2010 Regional convention for all Minnesota SWUA branches next fall.  We may be able to get St Bernard’s Church in St Paul for the venue; St Bernard’s has ties to Slovenia and Slovenians.


Yul Yost showed a picture of a chair that was made in Slovenia and available at a store near his home for $95.00.  He handed out business cards to those who were interested in the chair.


Norm spoke about the book “Slovenia Attracts”; cost of the book is $40.00 and needs to be ordered from Slovenia.


The meeting was adjourned before noon


Submitted by:  MaryAlice Schwanke