The AWC Berlin Newsletter

The Bear FactsDecember 2018


Dear {Contact_First_Name},

It's hard to believe that this is my last President's message. AWC Berlin has been my life, my love, my soul for the past 3 years - since its relaunch in June of 2015.

It has been an honor to serve as your President for these 3 years, during which time we have seen our numbers grow exponentially to a current high of 270 members. Our membership comes from 30 different countries, but we all embrace the "American Spirit", the can-do attitude, and the will to make a difference and to bring harmony to our shared surroundings. 

I am so proud of our generous volunteer team of women who offer up their limited time and ample talents, our varied and robust calendar of activities, and our impactful philanthropic efforts that serve the community, both locally and internationally through FAWCO. I am so thankful for YOU - my "tribe" - for friends who have become family, for the community who supports each other, and for the moments and laughter we have shared.

AWC Berlin has a long history. We don't exactly know when the club was founded, but it definitely existed prior to 1931, when it was one of the 7 founding clubs of FAWCO: the Federation of American Clubs Overseas. AWC Berlin President Mildred Harnack was murdered for her role in the resistance during WWII, and for that she is honored in the Resistance Museum and mentioned in Erik Larson's book In the Garden of Beasts. As featured in the photo below, AWC members used to meet at the Harnack House.

Given our long history, I am particularly happy to pass the gavel to my (nominated) successor Janel Schermerhorn, who I know will honor the AWC's legacies while bringing forth new energy and ideas. I've had the pleasure of working with Janel this year and am always impressed with her leadership, her resolve, and her warmth.

I look forward to your joining me at the Annual General Meeting & Holiday Party on December 10th - reception 6pm - where you will be electing Janel and her new board. This is our most important event of the year!

It is with sadness that I say farewell to you as President, but you will not rid of me just yet. I plan to be very much involved still - supporting the Programs and the Web teams. So I continue to serve ...

with love and gratitude,


My-Linh Kunst
President, The American Women's Club of Berlin

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Annual General Meeting & Holiday Party

Please attend our Annual General Meeting to hear club reports, plans for 2019, and to vote on the new Board of Directors and our charity beneficiary for 2019-2020.

Afterwards, you are invited to stay for a festive holiday dinner, subsidized by the club, at a cost of 25 per member. Consider bringing along a friend who might be interested in joining the AWC. The guest price is 35. Entry fee covers drinks (Glühwein, wine, non-alcoholic) and a Christmas goose dinner (vegetarian option also available).

In keeping with this year's philanthropic focus, our chosen venue is the beautiful Festsaal at the Berliner Stadtmission. Bring a pair of gloves or mittens, or a scarf or winter cap to decorate our “Mitten Tree” which will be gifted directly to those in need, right there at the Stadtmission.

As our last fundraiser of the year, we will also have a raffle to support the FAWCO Target Project, Hope Beyond Displacement, in Jordan. If you have items to donate to the raffle, please let Stephanie know at

Click here to see the program for this event.

When: Monday, December 10th, 2018, 6:00pm-9:00pm 

Where: Festsaal at Berliner Stadtmission, Lehrter Strasse 68, Berlin 10557  

RSVP: to your Evite by Dec 3, and let us know if you will NOT be staying for dinner and also the number of guests you'll be bringing 


FAWCO Update

January 27, 2019 is the Deadline to submit Education Award applications. There are 9 awards for $5,000 each. Members and their children or grandchildren are eligible to apply. Two recommendations must accompany each application. If you are interested, we encourage you to indicate your interest to Karen ( immediately, and start writing your (limit to 200 word) essays now.                       

Upcoming Conference Opportunities

FAWCO Biennial conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, March 21-24, 2019. This is an opportunity to network and create an impact in the world in FAWCO's 4 areas of focus: Health, Education, Human rights, and Environment (HEHE), all of which tie into the UN Sustainable Development Goals (numbers 3,4,5 and 13). 

You are also invited to represent FAWCO as a delegate at the United Nations Commission of the Status of Women 63, March 11-22, 2019, in New York City. Participants do not have to be present the full 2 weeks, but must register online and be approved by the FAWCO United Nations Liaison, Laurie Richardson.  Preference is given to first-time delegates who register by December 31st.  Registration closes in late January. The conference is free to attend, but each attendee is responsible for her own travel expenses.  

Newsy News Heidelberg was the site of the Region 5 FAWCO meeting November 9-11. Karen Castellon represented AWC Berlin and learned more about the programs of FAWCO and how our collective efforts and energy are impacting the world. Amanda Lane, director of Hope Beyond Displacement, the target project supporting refugees in Jordan, was a featured speaker. Also, past Education Award and Development Award grantees explained how these awards have affected their careers and projects. Our own Angelika McLaren led 2 sessions on Scottish dancing in preparation for the March Biennial conference.  AWC Berlin shared the video produced by the FAWCO Youth from their week of supporting non-profits here in the German capital in June 2018. FAWCO used this to encourage other clubs to create programs in their own cities for FAWCO youth.  

Your FAWCO representative,

Karen Castellon

Welcome to our New Members

Sally Alexandroff

Stephanie Bansal

Linda Juang

Katja Malinowski

Maria O'Brien de Lacy

Siobhan Riley Morgenroth

Danielle Sander

Ulrike Uhrig

Debra Weiner

Lois Woestman

We look forward to seeing you at one of the events below!

Member Announcements

New Renewal Process: Many of you have an AWC membership renewal date of January 1, 2019. As we have moved to a new membership database system, the renewal process will be a little different this year.  Here is the renewal timeline for members with a January 1 renewal:

December 1 - 1st automated email reminder to renew membership with instructions on how to pay dues

December 15 - 2nd automated email reminder (if dues have not yet been paid)

January 1 - 3rd automated email reminder (if dues have not yet been paid)

January 10 - grace period automated email reminder (if dues have not yet been paid)

January 21 - if dues have not yet been paid and you do not wish to renew your membership, you will received an automated email informing you that your membership has lapsed

If you have any questions about the renewal process, please contact Ali Siegert & Karen Castellon, membership co-chairs, at


Congratulations to:
Adrianne Oldham on joining the English department at Nelson Mandela Secondary School as a full-time substitute teaching grades 7 through Abitur. 

Amber Rhinehart on her new position at Lincoln Community School in Accra, Ghana starting in August 2019.  

We want to celebrate YOU! If there is something similar you would like to share with the membership, please email and we will happily include it in the next newsletter!

AWC Berlin FACEBOOK Private Group

If you are not already a member of our private members only Facebook group, please click here and join AWC Berlin Members Only PRIVATE.

The AWC Berlin Members Only PRIVATE is open to current members only and is a casual, respectful and friendly forum for member announcements (for example, babies! weddings!, etc.), discussion, information and questions regarding AWC-related topics and/or life in Berlin. 

    • Please do not create "FB EVENTS" in this FB group. Refer to the calendar on our website for all events.

    • Please do not post charity donation requests or political items not related to the AWC Berlin.

    • You are invited to let us know about your business endeavors, but please limit commercial, self-promotional posts to Mondays and be sure to preface your post with MARKETING MONDAY. No comments are allowed on these posts. Marketing for a non-member is not allowed.

    • When in doubt, please contact My-Linh at         

                                    Thank you for your cooperation!

    AWC Berlin Facebook Page | AWCB Website


    Join the AWC Berlin

    We are a vibrant group of women of all ages and our members come from not only the USA but from other countries around the world. Please spread the word and invite your friends to join!


    December 2018
    Calendar of Events

     Daytime Activities

    Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market 

    Wednesday, Dec 5th
    12:00pm - 2:00pm
    Location: Meet us at the corner of Jägerstrasse and Charlottenstrase, 10117
    (or be at the restaurant at 1:00pm)

    Gendarmenmarkt's celebrated Weinachtmarkt site, among the German Cathedral, the French Cathedral and the Concert Hall is filled this time of year with glassblowers, candle makers, jewelers, and many more creators of high-quality goods. The sophisticated stage program features renowned artists who amplify the festive spirit. 

    Besides the many wintry delights at the market stalls, Michelin-starred chefs offer their haute cuisine in heated tents. We have a table reserved for ten people at Lutter & Wegner at the market.  Please let us know in your RSVP if you will join us for lunch so we may adjust the reservation as needed

    For more information click here to see this event in the AWC calendar.

    Christmas Cookie Exchange

    Wednesday, Dec 12th

    Location: Stephanie's home in Berlin 10117


    Bring two dozen of your favorite homemade cookies to exchange. We’ll share wonderful treats, carols, and a whole lot of holiday cheer. Looking forward to seeing you there!  

    See event here in AWC calendar.

    Travel Bug Forum

    Friday, Dec 14th

    Location: Goldhahn & Sampson at Wilmersdorfer Straße 102/103 
    Charlottenburg, BERLIN 10629 Germany


    Our Travel Group meets monthly to share their passion for seeing the world!  This month globetrotters are gathering in Charlottenburg, at lovely Goldhahn & Sampson and our theme will be "Weekends Away & Daytrips". Join us.

    See event here in AWC calendar.

    Recurring Daytime Activities

    Tennis - Beginner to Advanced

    Mondays and Thursdays, from 10:00am - 12:00pm 
    LocationSteglitz Blue/Gold Club(Leonorenstraße 37-39 
    Berlin, 12247)

    RSVP: by emailing

    All levels are welcome to join our weekly group! Price is 700€ for the Winter season, lessons for Beginners would be at extra cost. 

    Click here to learn more about this event in the AWC calendar. 
    German Conversation

    Mondays, December 3rd, 10th, and 17th
    10:00am - 12:00pm
    Location: Wiener Conditorei at Truman Plaza at Clayallee 175 in Ziehlendorf
    RSVP: by emailing:

    Come join us for weekly German conversation over coffee in a safe and judgement-free environment. We always have a good time! Usually we are joined by AWC Berlin members who are native German speakers. Please check the AWC Facebook page or email before heading over, to make sure that someone will be there.  

    Click here to learn more about this event in the AWC calendar. 

    Creative Writing Practice €80

    Tuesdays, Dec 4th, 11th, and 18th
    10:00am - 12:30pm
    Cost: 8 wks/€80
    RSVP: to

    Join this diverse group of writers, whether you're a novice or a seasoned professional. No previous experience necessary!! 

    At our weekly gatherings, we apply various writing prompts as springboards to unlock and unleash our authentic voices, and share these writings in an atmosphere of trust and deep listening. Uncover the building blocks of good storytelling and discover the seeds of fuller, more developed pieces - from memoir to fiction. If you've never taken the class before, your first one is free. No classes during school holidays, 

    See event here in AWC calendar.

    Kaffee Klatsch Ost

    Thursday, Dec 6th

    Location: The Store Berlin at Torstraße 1,  in Mitte 10119

    RSVP: to Jennifer at

    Kaffee Klatsch Ost is our eastside “Coffee Chat” from 10:30 to 12:00.

    Stop by to connect, catch up with old friends or make new ones. RSVP appreciated but not mandatory. There is sure to be someone there for a nice chat!

    Click here to see this event in the AWC calendar.

    Kaffee Klatsch West

    Friday, Dec 7th

    Location: centrally located Park Cafe, Fehrbelliner Pl. 8, 10707 Berlin (at U7/U3 stop)
    Kaffee Klatsch is our monthly “Coffee Chat” from 10:30 to 12:00.

    Stop by to connect, catch up with old friends or make new ones. No RSVP needed, just show up. There will always be someone there, with whom to chat.

    Click here to see this event in the AWC calendar.

    No RSVP needed, just show up.

    Morning Book Club

    Thursday, Dec 20th

    Location: Emi's in Zehlendorf

    We'll be discussing Mama Day by Gloria Naylor.
    Please bring along something light to share, Emi will have something baked, and beverages.

    Open to AWC Berlin members only, except non-members may attend once prior to joining. 

    You can get Emi's address in your members directory copy, or ask for it when RSVPing. 

    Click here to see this event in the AWC calendar.

     Evening Activities

    Annual General Meeting & Holiday Dinner 25

    Monday, December 10th

    Location: Festsaal in Berliner Stadtmission at Lehrter Strasse 68 Berlin, 10557
    RSVP: to your Evites by Dec 3

    See Featured Event above. 

    For more information click here to see this event in the AWC calendar. 

    Recurring Evening Activities

    Literature Book Club

    Tuesday, Dec 4th
    Location: Claudia Tessier's at Märkisches Ufer
    RSVP: by emailing

    We’re sure to be laughing as we discuss A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving!

    Please bring a light snack to share. Claudia will provide wine and water.

    Open to AWC Berlin members only, except nonmembers may attend once prior to joining.

    You can get Claudia's address in your members directory copy, or when RSVPing. 

    Click here to see this event in the AWC calendar.

    Ronald McDonald House

    Thursday, December 13th

    Location: Ronald McDonald House, Seestrasse 28 
    Berlin 13353

    Every quarter, we cook dinner for the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House Berlin (RMDH). The house provides housing for out-of-town parents of patients at the nearby Charité hospital. We go grocery shopping, cook and serve for sometimes up to 50 people. We look forward to seeing you there for this fun and worthwhile community service event.

    Volunteers should arrive around 6 and we will need some to stay until cleanup around 10. Thank you for bringing smiles to these families. 

    For more information click here to see this event in the AWC calendar. 


    View the AWC December Calendar


    Did you know that the Club has a blog? Our Berlin Americana Blog is a space for members to share their creative writing, reflections on personal or club experiences, or thoughts on global and local issues. If you have thoughts swirling around in your head that you'd like to share, then write a poem, a paragraph, or a short essay and submit them to Musings can take any format - short or long, serious, tough, funny or anything in between. In keeping with our non-partisan status, please no political pieces. Check out our blog here:


    Forward this newsletter to your friends in Berlin! 

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