President’s End-of-Year Message

Dear American Society members and supporters,
As the year comes to a close, I’d like to thank you for your participation in 2017 events, and to give you a recap of our activities in 2017, starting with highlights of our Thanksgiving dinner and Centennial Celebration.
Tickets for the Thanksgiving dinner were in high demand. We reached our limit of 170 guests and had to turn away many who requested reservations at the last minute. Guests took full advantage of the scrumptious food at the Thanksgiving buffet. They also enjoyed catching up with old friends, making new ones, sipping on wine, listening to American jazz singer Alma Thomas, and learning about the history of the American Society of Rio.
Visit to see pictures of guests and watch a pictorial history of the American Society of Rio from 1917 to 2017. Among our Facebook posts you’ll find the event program, which also includes the names of Board members and of the Committee that helped plan this very successful event, as well as the names of our event and raffle sponsors. Thanks everyone.
The raffle draw at the Centennial event resulted in lots of happy winners of fabulous prizes; those who were disappointed can take comfort in knowing that we raised about R$8000 in net raffle proceeds, most of which went to the three charities we currently support, with the rest going to build up our capital base. Thanks for all your support and thanks to all those who donated raffle prizes.
The Ralph Greenberg award was also given out at the event. First given in 1977, the award honors the outstanding achievements of a Rio de Janeiro resident who has contributed his or her time and effort unselfishly for the good of the Rio de Janeiro community. Anna Whyte received this year’s award for her tireless work in supporting local charities. Other nominees were Julia Michaels and Michael Yoder. Congratulations to all three and thanks for your contributions.
Our 2017 kicked off with Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day parties and was followed by happy hours, jazz evenings, pancake breakfasts at OLM, a revived and expanded speaker series, a Pakistani brunch, a benefit dinner at the home of the US Consul General, our America’s Day picnic, two art exhibitions, an architectural tour and the Thanksgiving dinner. We also raised over R$28,000 for local charities in 2017. A chronological listing of 2017 events follows:
Feb 5: Super Bowl party
Feb 14: Valentine’s Day party
Mar 23, 24, 26 and Apr 1 and 2: March Madness happy hours at Blue Agave
Mar 25: Jazz evening with Alma Thomas at TribOz
Apr 1: Pancake Breakfast
Apr 27: Happy Hour at Ginger Mamut Bistro
May 4: Speaker Harold West
May 6: Swig ‘n Swine charity dinner
May 18: Speaker Sean O’Neill
May 20: America’s Day at the American School in Gavea
Jun 4: Pakistani brunch
Jun 8: Speaker Inez de Mello e Souza
Jun 18: Jazz evening at TribOz
Aug 3: Happy Hour/Art Show in Black and White
Aug 17: Panel Discussion by foreign journalists based in Rio
Sep 14: Happy Hour at the Rio Yacht Club
Sep 21: Speaker Binka Le Breton
Oct 21: Pancake Breakfast
Oct 26: Art Exhibition by Peter Palashevsky at Argentine Consulate
Oct 28: Architectural Tour by Architect Barbara Iseli
Nov 9: Speaker Michael Kepp
Nov 23: Thanksgiving dinner and Centennial Celebration at JW Marriott
Dec 7: Speaker Lilian Scheinkman
I’d like to thank all those who participated in our events and particularly all those who made them possible: the Executive Committee and our active Board members, all of whom are volunteers. I’d also like to thank Inez de Mello e Souza for organizing our popular speaker series, and our office manager Marilia Sarkis for promptly responding to all our demands. Big thanks are also due US Consul General Jimmy Story and his wife Susan, who generously donated their home and their time to organizing a successful charity dinner that raised over R$20,000 for a local charity. Finally I’d like to thank our annual and event sponsors for their contributions in kind or in cash. Their contributions allow us to host events at reasonable prices while also allowing us to build up our capital base.
We hope you’ve enjoyed your year with us; we welcome feedback.  If you have time, we can always use help organizing events or providing ideas for new events.  We urge you to attend our monthly Board meetings, held at 7 pm on the second Monday of every month at the JW Marriott in Copacabana.
If you have enjoyed our events, do consider becoming an AmSoc member or renewing your membership. This will give you discounts to many events and preferential access to those of our events with restricted capacity. For the sixth straight year, we have kept our annual dues unchanged:

Family: R$150
Individual: R$100

Teacher, Consulate or Military Family: R$100

Teacher, Consulate or Military Individual: R$75

Family with one Senior 65 or over: R$100

Senior Individual or Family with two Seniors: R$75
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! I look forward to seeing you at one of our many events in 2018.
Best wishes,
Mateen Thobani



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