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Dear Square Dance Friends, The year 2009 marked several milestones for your friends here at Grand Square International. In trying times for the activity as a whole, Grand Square reached a decade of operation. Ten years! Along the way, we could look back and chart some success, many smiles and hundreds of memorable dances. And bringing that decade to a close, we were both surprised and honored when the venerable Square Dance New England Foundation called on GSI to collect our decade of efforts, formally inviting us to catalog our first decade for inclusion in the National Archives. We couldn't have found a more memorable way to celebrate turning ten. So we set out to highlight our efforts in a single volume—10: The First Decade, which is now on display at the Square Dance New England Foundation Archives. In 400 pages we had the opportunity to look back at good ideas, humbling struggles, and, quite a bit that we are really, really proud of—all represented in the GSI Archive. Did we get it all in the archive? Hardly. But stopping to gather the info and create 10: The First Decade was an educational experience that came hand-in-hand with the honor of being called upon to place it in the SDNEF National Archives. We hope you will have a look, and possibly join us in some of the programs and events you'll find inside. And please, feel free to contact us about any items of interest, including ways we might work together with you and your organization to further our cause of preserving and protecting the great tradition of square dancing. Our Report for 2010-2011 Stranger things have happened. In the most foreboding world economic environment in many decades, working across economic, social, linguistic and cultural lines—we have some great news to report in this addendum of our own experiences of the past year (mid 2010-mid 2011). Stretching out, reaching out and using every resource we could call on, we have enlarged our circle of square dance participants—something we knew to be essential— is working. Well. In America, the square dance population, over the past several decades, has appeared to grow smaller. Older. And in small towns—even formerly active regions—even the most spirited efforts have shown decline. This genuine need is/was, in-fact, what spurred the original and small staff of Grand Square to gather as an entity and join in the fight. As the world grows smaller, connection with groups of like-minded dancers and those committed to preserving this exceptional communal art-form has CONNECTED all of us. Our group has once again an opportunity to recount its numbers, and some very, very encouraging developments seem to be at-hand.

By the same token, social media, which also hurdles easily over traditional boundaries has become a part of our efforts. Please, take a moment to befriend us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter. Let's reciprocate and generate a tremendous, connected group. It was tragedy that made our ties, bonds and communications seem more important than we might have ever imagined. Dancers from around the world came immediately to the aid of those suffering from the effects of the Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011. This swift and dedicated action follows the plausible response after Hurricane Katrina in the US, and promises to improve on our efforts to afford help to those afflicted by similar causes in the future. Square dancing, and square dancers have much to rejoice about, much to be proud of, and much to look forward to in the years ahead. We look forward to your review of our work in 2010-2011—please let us know how we are doing, and join us when and where you can! HIGHLIGHTS SHOWCASED IN THIS ANNUAL EDITION Launched NEW GSI Worldwide Website GSI Website Updated with Multilingual Translation Capabilities and Documents with plans for more GSI Named Member of JSDA Japan Relief Program Raised Over $60,000 in Relief Funds Established Crisis Support Program for Proactive Worldwide Relief Established GSI Slovakia Established GSI Czech Republic Established GSI Taiwan GSI Organized and Named Worldwide Leaders Across the Globe GSI Attended and Supported Two National Conventions and Caller Schools Caller Education Fundraising Program (Development Initiated) Caller School LIbrary on GSI Website (First Foundation Begun) Caller Training Program Online (Launched Ideas Forum/Exploration and Development for 2012) GSI Caller Training Master Syllabus Online/Additional Training Programs Online


WORLDWIDE EFFORTS FOR JAPAN RELIEF BEGIN HERE IN CHARLOTTE Charlotte, North Carolina - 3/22/2011 - Charlotte-based Grand Square International, a worldwide square dance organization, is finding early success in raising funds for the program Japan Relief. Immediately following the news of the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, GSI established the Square Dancers for Japan Fund and launched the website In one week, GSI established the fund, created logos, developed literature, and built and launched the website—then reached out to fellow square dancers in virtually all areas of the globe to spread the word. Within a few days the generosity of square dance organizations, clubs, callers and individuals from around the world accounted for donations of $10,000—which is being passed on to Japanese citizens who need it right now. And next week, fundraisers hope to be able to do it again. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, square dancers from the United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Sweden and Germany came together to offer assistance, ultimately raising $113,646.89 through the website—also setup by Grand Square International. One of the first donations which came in to support the victims in the Gulf Coast was from dancers in Japan. The Japanese Dancer Association and the Japanese Caller Association gave some of the largest donations recorded. The goal of all organizations and individuals working together for Japan Relief is to get this message to any and everyone possible. Donations need not come only from square dancers, but from anyone who is able and willing to assist our Japanese friends in this epic time of crisis.

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Grand Square, Inc. is a US IRS 501 (c) (3) USA non-profit foundation solely dedicated to promoting and preserving square dancing. Over the years GSI has been at the forefront in putting their time, energy and money to do just that. Through generous donations, GSI has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars worldwide to help promote square dancing. Grand Square International 501 (c) 3 Non-Profit Corporation 2520 Sardis Road North, Charlotte, NC 28227 704-377-5554 Fax 704-375-7373 For interviews or inquiries: Tony Oxendine, 803-840-0746 Tony Oxendine is a square dance caller who has called at dances and conventions around the world. He has developed a close relationship with the Japanese callers and clubs over many years. For photos, graphics and supporting information for news features: Randy Stimpson, 704-345-3914 Attached find a single document which consists of: Cover Image Art for Japan Relief Outreach Letter from Tony Oxendine (3-15-2011) Square Dancing Today NEWS feature on Japan (2010) Square Dancing Today Magazine feature on Japan (2009) Square Dancing Today Magazine feature on (2006) ###

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Who is Grand Square International? Grand Square International is a worldwide square dance organization. GSI is a United States federally-approved 501 (c) 3 non-profit foundation. This certification is very difficult to achieve and as recipients of this status we are required by law to uphold our mission. Our headquarters is located in Charlotte, North Carolina and we have teams of volunteers in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, Japan and are now proud to announce, also in Taiwan.

Meet The Folks Behind Grand Square International GSI was started by the Curlee family in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dedicated square dancers, Everett and Virginia Curlee and their daughter Kim became very concerned about what was happening within the Square Dance activity and decided to try a new approach to increasing the popularity of Square Dancing. Each of our teams of volunteers has a leader or leaders who are responsible for all the GSI activities in one country. Walt Burr is our overall European Representative. Sweden’s leaders are Hanna Tenenbaum & Lars Olafsson, in the United Kingdom, Simon & Trudy Fielding, from Japan we have Masaharu Hiraga and Mac Ojima and now as our representative in Taiwan, Jennie Wang. We are currently working to establish teams in the Netherlands, Czech Republic, and Russia. We are always looking for volunteers to lead or be part of a GSI team.

Join Us In Our Mission The GSI mission is formally stated: “To Preserve and Protect Our Great Heritage of Square Dancing” To achieve that goal, we charge ourselves with the following: 1) To enhance the general public perception of square dancing. 2) To keep the square dance population and general public informed of all newsworthy square dance issues and events. 3) To promote the health benefits of square dancing to both the general public and to the square dance population. 4) To be a communication vehicle for all square dancers. 5) To increase the popularity of square dancing worldwide. 6) To promote caller education.

A Timeline of Grand Square International’s Success:

(Items listed are only part of what GSI has done since its inception in 1999) In 1999 Grand Square, Inc. (GSI) applied-for and was granted 501 (c) 3 nonprofit US tax-exempt status. GSI established through CALLERLAB at $10,000 scholarship fund to be dispersed for use by callers and dancers worldwide for education. GSI has been the recipient of the CALLERLAB Foundation’s Director’s Award. GSI launched Square Dancing Today magazine, a glossy, full-color magazine which featured square dance information from around the world. Highlights of the publication’s visibility include interviews with Dolly Parton, Louise Mandrell and a Presidential Commendation by President Jimmy Carter. GSI sponsored the “Passing of the Torch” afterparty at the 2003 National Square Dance Convention in Oklahoma City, USA which was attended by more than 3,000 dancers. GSI sponsors and funds a free caller’s school in Europe each year—bringing in Accredited Caller Coaches from Germany, the US and Great Britain. GSI held the First Annual World Square Dance in Dachau, Germany in 2003 with a free caller’s school and returned to Dachau, Germany again in 2004 and 2006 for two more free caller schools and dances. GSI sponsored the first GSI Caller’s School in Sweden in 2005. Similar schools took place in the US in 2006, England in 2007 and 2009 and our first school took place in Japan in 2011. GSI purchased and provides a portable dance floor for square dance organizations to use which is capable of creating a space sufficient for 100 squares. GSI sponsored a “New Concept Dance” in Las Vegas, NV that integrated current dancers and non-dancers in a “fun” atmosphere giving he non-dancers a very positive view of square dancing. GSI has donated funds to help purchase radio advertisements in several states to be used to promote square dancing. GSI helped conduct a seven week “Introduction to Square Dancing” at Sharon Elementary in Charlotte, NC. GSI has plans in place to host dance leadership conferences worldwide. GSI has developed logos and graphics for many dances in the US and abroad. GSI sponsored lessons for a new club “Hip to Be Square” square dance club in Charlotte, NC. This club is to be the prototype for new entry-level square dance clubs.

GSI hosted a city BBQ for the city of Charlotte, bringing in local business leaders and exposing them to the activity of square dancing. GSI publishes Square Dancing Today NEWS Worldwide, a full-color newsletter that is available in print and as a digital edition via email, on a PC/Mac, tablet or smart phone. GSI hosts the website, which is updated daily with information from around the square dance world, features flyers for all future events, and contains current and past editions of Square Dancing Today NEWS Worldwide as well as archival editions of and features from Square Dancing Today Magazine. GSI was recently honored by an invitation to include archives of its work in the venerable Square Dance New England Foundation National Archives. The Square Dance New England Foundation is one of the oldest foundations in the US, dating back to the early dates of American history. GSI produced a 400 page volume entitled 10: The First Decade, which included copies of dance flyers, brochures, invitations, mailings, photographs and copies of Square Dancing Today Magazine and Square Dancing Today NEWS Worldwide. Visitors to the SDNEF Museum will find the volume available for perusal. GSI works in conjunction with the Charlotte YMCA presenting square dancing to local youth and their parents. GSI is currently working to establish a non-profit foundation in Europe to be used for dancers and caller education. GSI sponsors dance weekends throughout the year in various locations throughout the USA and overseas. All profits from these events are used to further promote the square dance activity and caller education.

Grand Square International ANNUAL Archive 2010-2011  

Progress on the square dancing front...