February/March 2024 Newsletter

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Greetings from your President

Greetings American Family!

If we can’t be with our family back home, at least we have each other. We are a unique family of expats embracing life in Scotland with uncommon grace. Our diverse backgrounds converge with a shared pursuit: finding happiness in our overseas journey. Amidst the challenges of the post Covid era, I hope life has treated you kindly. As we gradually emerge from Winter, let us embrace the pretence of Spring, whatever that may look or feel like. Have you taken moments to nurture your own happiness? I sincerely hope so.

How was your holiday? Whatever you were celebrating or if you were just relaxing, I hope it was a lovely time! The club has already resumed our gatherings—from a cozy coffee morning to a boisterous birthday bash! January was an exciting month and we started off with a bang. We met at the Colessio Hotel in Stirling for our annual Presidents Tea. Organised and Ran by our Events team (Nancy and Beth). Amanda Drollinger Program Chair and FAWCO Youth Co-Chair, took time out to join us and gave us in-depth information about the Cultural Exchange which is being held in Scotland this summer. We still need volunteers so if you have the time and the will, please get in touch with Amanda. If you have children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, they are eligible to be a part of the program through you.

Spring beckons, we anticipate a plethora of exciting events on the horizon. Keep a close watch on our website for updates. We have friends in family, activities and meetups in the Edinburgh, Glasgow, Central Scotland, Dundee, St Andrews, Ayr and many other areas. Get in touch if you want to sponsor a coffee morning or birthday bash in your area. We will come to you! Looking ahead, our upcoming FAWCO conference in Portugal fills me with anticipation. It’s an opportunity to forge new connections and strengthen bonds within our global network. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go this year but I hope some of you can. Additionally, mark your calendars for the AGM in the next few months, hosted at the consulate. Space is limited, so be sure to register promptly.

As for me, as most of you will know, as I always toot my own horn, I have been on BBC radio on Friday mornings between 10:15 and 11:15 on the Mornings with Stephen Jardine . Chef John Quigley and I have been going head-to-head with Spice Up Your Staples. We offer up our own version of a dish and talk about how we made or changed it to ‘spice it up’. A little Friday fun. The segment will end the second week in February, but it was so much winter fun. Also coming up is the Stirling Regency Ball www.stirlingregencyball.com. Whether you want to help or just participate please come and join us on the 28th, 29th and 30th of June.

A heartfelt thank you to each of you for your unwavering support and contributions to our family and culture. If you want our support, please let us know, we are here for you. I eagerly anticipate our future encounters, whether in casual gatherings or structured activities. Until then, stay well, stay connected, and keep embracing the spirit of our vibrant community.

Remember this, when you want to do something, you find a way! When you don’t, you find an excuse. Do what you want and be bold about it!


Cynthia Holden


Upcoming Events

Save The Date
International Women’s Day – Thursday March 7th

Save the evening Thursday March 7 and be watching for the International Women’s Day event announcement. Ceceley Chambers and Nancy Lynner are planning an International Women’s Day 2024 Party at Ceceley’s BOWLERS REST pub. This event may include a quiz, prizes and perhaps a lesson in How to Throw Darts. Everyone buys their own food and drink, just as we do at Birthday Bash.  Ceceley may invent an International Women’s Day Cocktail.

We will launch the event email invitation soon, once a few more details are in place. This event will be our March Birthday Bash

Recent Events

January Birthday Bash – Peacock Alley, Caledonian Waldorf Astoria

15 members gathered for our January Birthday Bash at the very glamorous Peacock Ally in the Caldonian Hotel.

Club Announcements

University of Wisconsin Experience Scotland Program

Are you an Ambassador for Scotland?

By Nancy Lynner

Years ago the University of Wisconsin started a study abroad program in Scotland, and several AWCCS members were buddies to students, having them in their home, or meeting them for outings around Edinburgh.  This program ended abruptly with Covid-19.

The new program is different, and the administration of the University of Wisconsin River Falls calls their new version of study abroad “Experience Scotland”.  The local campus they use for both the Autumn and Spring terms is Newbattle Abbey College.

Cynthia and I met with administrators when they reached out to us to see how AWCCS might give a small amount of support to their program.  Here is what their plan involves:

The 2024 Spring term is January 18- mid May, and round about mid-April the students will benefit from hearing stories of how other Americans have carved out lives in Scotland.  As their term in Scotland draws to a close, many will begin to wonder if they’ll ever get back to Europe or the United Kingdom.

The Experience Scotland Spring 2024 team would like 3 or 4 members to come to Newbattle Abbey College on Tuesday 16 April for a 2:00 PM – 3:00 session involving

  • A short (5 minutes) speeches to the 18 students on how you came to be living in Scotland from the USA
  • Questions and Answers
  • Tea and biscuits
  • A Student-led tour of Newbattle Abbey College campus

Reply to Nancy Lynner nlynner@gmail.com and the first who reply will be the AWCCS representatives for this opportunity.  Should this prove successful, there may be many future opportunities so that all members who are interested can get a chance to volunteer in this small but important way.

Charity Selection Announcement

Food Train

We are excited to announce the club’s selected charity is Food Train, located in Glasgow. Food Train is an organization that makes life easier for older people who may struggle to manage on their own due to advanced age, ill health, or disability. Through hundreds of grocery deliveries each week, Food Train ensures that those in need have access to fresh food, improving their quality of life and overall well-being. We are excited about the opportunity to support Food Train’s mission and make a positive difference in the lives of others. 

Your generous donations at both the Glasgow and Edinburgh Thanksgiving events are very much appreciated and we are grateful for your continued support. The club raised £1087 via the silent auctions and these funds will be split between our chosen charity, Food Train and the FAWCO Target Project, Awesome Blossoms. We are so grateful for your generosity and support.

Thank you for being such a committed community of amazing people.  

Member News


Colette Abissi
Robin Facer Taylor



Roseline Marshall
Beth Tope
Tara Scott

Welcome New Members

Lauren Mackey

Page Munro

Teneisha Ellis

Cyril Langston

Cat Conner

Alison Bruce

Lisa Mason

Rebecca Nelson

Elizabeth Durst

Dawn Slusher

Glasgow Events


                   Thurs 1st Feb  7:15 to 9:00

                   Thurs 29 Feb 7:15 to 9:00

                   Thurs 28 March 7:15 to 9:00

                   Thurs 25 April 7:15 to 9:00

Feb 2024

Movie night out date tbd/1st or 2nd week of feb (awaiting poll results!)

Meal out – venue to be determined: Monday 12 Feb

Blether and More at Mary Jo’s Sunday 18 Feb 2pm

Ayrshire Visit – date to be determined (coordinate with Ellie)

March 2024

Coffee and Blether – Friday 15 March – eusebis deli

Glasgow Chilli Bake off – Sunday 24 March

April 2024 – Save the Date 

Stirling Walking tour Wednesday 17 April – start time: 10:30ish with lunch following


 Thanks, Shannon and Mary Jo.  

Edinburgh Book Group

Contact: dka.finlayson@gmail.com

Friday, 16 February

The Wild Silence

by Raynor Winn

Home of Jenny Gibb


Start time:


Friday, 15 March

Chances Are

by Richard Russo

Location TBC

Start time:


Note that this will be the second Friday

rather than the usual third

Friday, 17 November

We will meet again at Marily’s

Book to be decided


FAWCO Youth Cultural Volunteers Program 2024 will take place in Scotland June 28 – July 7, 2024

AWC Central Scotland is the host Club and Amanda Drollinger is program chair. Applications for youth will open February 1, 2024 and close on March 1, 2024. Email fawcoyouth@fawco.org to receive the application. Click here for PROGRAM DESCRIPTION.


As AWCCS club members we would love for you to volunteer to support the program.Would you like to host two of the youth in your home? Help with airport transfer and be on the Welcome team? Attend the events on the program description? Plan and support the Welcome dinner or Farewell dinner? Please email Amanda at amandaawccs@gmail.com


April 15 will be here soon!

American citizens, as we all know, must file an annual tax return because they are “US persons”, wherever in the world they may live. So now is the time to start gathering the information you will need to fill in your return.


Democrats Abroad are sponsoring a Tax Webinar Series every Wednesday in February.

DA are asking for a donation to attend each event. The Feb 21 webinar will be limited to 50 live participants, but “recording only” tickets may be purchased for a smaller donation. This option is available also if you are unable to attend at the time of any broadcast. Proceeds go to Democrats Abroad. All webinars will take place on an online Zoom webinar.

Click on the webinar titles above for information on and to purchase tickets for each event. Or you can contact me for more information (dka.finlayson@gmail.com).


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