As we approach the end of what has been a difficult year for everyone , I look back with great pride at what the Board and our Members have been able to achieve.
The Board understood that the Members needed us and made a concerted effort to maintain contact , even if we couldn’t meet. We wanted everyone to know that we were thinking of them . We divided names between us and each of us contacted a set list of members. We kept in touch through all the means at our disposal – phone calls, what’s app, zoom meetings and of course our website.
As we couldn’t offer any of our normal Xmas events of Special Xmas coffee morning, Charity Raffle and party ; we decided to use the money saved from not having coffee mornings , to give each member a Xmas gift and Xmas card, to be hand delivered by Board members or sent by courier . Fiamma designed the card and we decided on 3 types of gift Chocolate Santa Claus, Prosecco and Panettone – all sourced from Charities. The type of gift you received was decided by picking names from a hat , on Zoom. Present The President, Vice President and Barbara De Savorgnani as independent adjudicator. We were also able to hold 2 free raffles , one at the 3rd December Coffee Morning and one at the 10th December Coffee Morning . Members were “gifted” a ticket . Draws were done at each of the 2 December CMs.
Coffee Mornings at the Sporting Club were possible in September, October (2), May (1) and in June .
Marisa RivaBonaventura , our Special Activities Director, was able to organise walks, a trip to Milan Monumental Cemetary (together with our sister Club from Milan), 2 walks around historical Monza with Ester De Giuli, the second in conjunction with our sister club in Arese and cookery lessons,when meeting was possible .
During lockdowns we held (via Zoom) a fantastic variery of events - cookery lessons with Daniela Di Gioia, Irmi Sieber and Anne Stubley; quizzes and 2 Murder Mysteries with Anne Stubley; a slide show and talk on Africa with Rosslyn Power; a morning talk on organizing our homes with Sabrina Crippa ; Elena Lebedeva organised a course on Aromatherapy for us; Aliya Salahuddin organised a session on Friendships that Changed Our Lives; Rachael Martin organised a morning on Haute Couture and La Dolce Vita; in March Ivana Menegardo-Develter enthralled us with her Theatre evening , a One Woman Show about Peggy Guggenheim and our dear Janu organised yoga lessons from January till June
For International Women’s Day , our Equal Oppurtunites Committee of Giovanna Casati, Zizeth Maroun, Fiamma Pucci, Hana da Ros and Kate Icke , in collaboration with the Comune of Monza, organised a very special video which was available on the website, our Facebook page and our You Tube channel . This video showed just how truly International our Club is . The greeting of “Happy International Women’s Day” in all the languages of the countries we have represented in Benvenuto International Club of Monza . Thank you to all the ladies who took part and to Kim de Rouck and Fiamma Pucci for their tecnical skills.
At Easter we held an Easter Egg decorating competition for all Members and their families.
Sonja Fritz, our Newcomers Director, despite the lockdown, continued to sign up and care for new Members . She organised lunches and aperitif evenings when possible and zoom meetings at different times during the lockdowns. She also arranged for a personal trainer to give us occasional workout classes.
In March our iconic member , Barbara De Savorgnani , sadly passed away. As we were receiving so many messages and photographs of her from Members , Patricia Macnamara, our Vice President, offered to compile a Condolences Book, a copy of which was sent to her family and to all of you .
In April our AGM was held via Zoom with digital voting .
We held a “referendum “ to decide how to spend the money saved on not having Coffee Mornings in the months January – April and you overwhelmingly voted for giving it to Charity.
Please see the report from our Charity Committe on how we dispersed these funds.
We maintained a constant contact with the Sporting Club and it was agreed , for this year only, that we paid half of our dues and for the coffee morning on a “pay as you go” basis.
As we were unable to hold events and had very low costs , we end the Year with an “overhealthy” bank account .
Thanks to Technology , without you we would have been lost .
Thanks to all the Board who were innovative, flexible and used a lot of ingenuity to help us all get through. Thank you all, Patricia, Alessandra , Marisa, Sonja, Fiamma, Petra, Ginevra and Kim.
Thank you to all, the Members, who got into the Spirit and supported each other and us, the Board , in so many ways.
We wish the New Board for 2021-2022, good luck and the hope that their year will have some normality.