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UpBeat The official publication of the

Up with People International Alumni Association


Up with People’s historic visit to Cuba


Register now and be entered to win two day passes to Disney World

Winter 2014


Stories from the TAD and the Swiss and German Assemblies

Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015 AUGUST 2015


Swan & Dolphin Orlando, Florida USA

Visit for all the event details or register now at




Features 3 - 8 UWP IN CUBA This collection of stories will celebrate the historic arrival of Cast B 2014 in Cuba. 8 CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF THE COLWELL BROTHERS AND HERB ALLEN Your invitation to spend an evening with Paul, Steve, Ralph and Herbie in Denver this January. 14 SURVIVING DISNEY Alumni Leigh Pechillo, B93, offers seven tips for maximizing your time at Disney World. 19 SWISS GERMAN GENERAL ASSEMBLY The Swiss and German alumni join together in Nüremburg.


Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015 20 TAD CELEBRATION Alumni gathered on the beautiful Swedish island of Sandhamn for the fifth annual Triangle Alumni Date. 22 2015 EAM MUNICH The German Alumni Association prepares to host the 2015 EAM in May Munich. 23 “EVERYBODY PUT A LITTLE BIT IN” Alumni from across the globe are asked to reflect on the diverse ways their time in UWP influenced them. 24 REACH OUT ALUMNI ASSISTANCE NETWORK The story of alumni helping fellow alumni in need. Can you help?

8 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE Tis the season of giving and we’ve created a gift catalog to make it easy for you to give, and receive.

11 THE CONTINUING JOURNEY Learn about an amazing exhibit planed for C50R15 and see if you can help.

9 HOTEL UPDATE Reunion registrations are surging and we’ve outgrown the Swan & Dolphin. Learn about the expansion hotels you can choose from.

12 EVENT SCHEDULE The reunion will be filled with fun activities! Here is the schedule to help you plan your time.

Alumni updates REGIONAL 16 EUROPE 16 ASIA 17 OCEANIA ERA 16-17

Join the conversation


pBeat is your publication. Let us hear your VOICES! Do you have story ideas or photos relevant to our international family that you would like to share? We want to hear from you. Email us at communications@ and start the conversation. Submission deadline for the next edition of UpBeat is March 1, 2015. If you are not online, you can write to us at: UpBeat, PO Box 46102, Plymouth, MN 55446

Thanks to the Communications Committee for their efforts in creating this publication: Stephanie McCollister Cox, B81, USA; Barry Marlow, C83, USA; Cori Jones, C76, USA; Christina Noël, A90, USA; Zan Diener, E91, USA. Cover photo  Stephanie McCollister Cox

UWPIAA Board of Governors

Musings from the UWPIAA President

Officers President President Elect Vice President Secretary Treasurer

by Keith Frohreich, C66, USA, UWPIAA President


erry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. Pam and I will be with our daughter and her husband in France where we will welcome our first grandchild, a boy, right around Christmas. It has been a busy couple of months, beginning with a trip to the combined German and Swiss Alumni Association gathering in Munich. Over 225 attended, including families. Dale Penny was a featured guest. Both associations have a very active alumni community and lead the way in how to organize ourselves. In early November, the UWPIAA Board of Governors and the Up with People Board of Directors held their fall meetings on the same weekend and in the same place – the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort. Both boards dined together, attended the alumni reception and were jointly briefed by our Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015 leadership and given a facilities tour. This was a first in our joint history outside the hectic schedules of reunions. In between these two activities, there was a historic trip to Cuba, stories of which you will find is this issue of UpBeat. Please check them out, especially the report by John Gonzales, C68. Pam and I were blessed to be a part of this people-to-people initiative, along with the cast, 60 others, and Blanton and Betty Belk. This trip was in the finest tradition of our history of breaking down borders. Alumni can be very proud of Cast B2014, both for their performances and for their interaction with the Cubans, especially the youth of Cuba. This was Up with People at its best. Special thanks go to Jose Lever and Paul Whitaker. Jose works for the University of Arizona in Mexico City. It was his friendship with a Cuban official in the Ministry of Culture that kick-started this venture. Paul Whitaker was in Cuba so often that he almost needed an apartment. Overall it took nearly three years to come to fruition. Many others stepped into overdrive leading up to the tour and during it. Our thanks to Anne Gallagher, Tim Lane, Isabel Belliard, Veronika Westermark, and Up with People board member Louisa Davis. Future tours of Cuba look promising, as does Cuban students traveling with Up with People. Our mission continues.

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Keith Frohreich, C66, USA Cynthia Cochran, D79 , USA Fred Heismeyer, A75, USA Barry Marlow, C83, USA Christian Walton, C69, Belgium

Committee Chairpersons Alumni-in-Action Alumni Products CareerConnect Communications Development Information Systems Recruitment Reunions Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015

Jay Gerring, D87, USA John VanZanten, D78, USA Christina NoĂŤl, A90, USA Stephanie McCollister Cox, B81, USA Bill Holmes, C75, USA Rosy Gallegos, B92, Mexico Suzanne Duryee-Hinton, E80, USA Gwenn McGill, D79, USA Terry McCreary, B68, USA Vickie Henthorn Law, B66, USA

Regional Reps Europe/Mideast/Africa Latin America Asia Oceania-Southern Hemisphere

Marie Tobler, D93, Switzerland Edwin Aponte, B77, Puerto Rico Shinichi Miyawaki, 86A, Japan Torrin Tyler, A09, New Zealand

Era Reps 1965-1970 1971-1975 1976-1980 1981-1985 1986-1990 1991-1995 1996-2000 2001-2015

Walter Golding, B68, USA Willie Knowles, B71, USA Ruthie Shimabukuro, B77, USA Lynda Sullivan Hamadi, C83, USA An Van Den Eede, A90, Belgium Anne-Catherine Boes, B92, Belgium Nina Hanhinen, C96, Finland Beth Clay, A08, USA

BOG Recruitment update

by Suzanne Duryee-Hinton, E80, USA, UWPIAA Recruitment Chair


ncoming IAA President Cynthia Cochran, D79, USA, will start her term on April 1, 2015. Her executive committee slate was presented at the Orlando board meeting and a vote of the board was held via email. The new executive team will be Vice President Beth Clay, A08, USA; Treasurer Christian Walton, C69, Belgium; and Secretary Barry Marlow, C83, USA. Congratulations and thank you to each of you for your commitment to the alumni association. We have begun recruiting for an era rep to replace Beth when she steps into the role of vice president. Due to term limits, we will have a few positions open later in 2015. Please consider running for one of these positions: era rep 65-70 replacing Walter Golding, era rep 71-75 replacing Willie Knowles, Latin America representative replacing Edwin Aponte, and European/Middle East/Africa representative replacing Marie Tobler. If you are interested in any of these positions, contact me at recruitment@uwpiaa. org or the person currently holding the position. We will be happy to help.



? a b u C o t o g o t You want

We’ll go to Cuba!

UWP founder recalls his front-row experience on UWP’s first-ever trip to Cuba by Blanton Belk, Up with People Founder


rom June to October 2014, Up with People did an extraordinary thing by traveling and performing in Israel and Cuba. Both countries have long-range implications for the future of Up with People. It is always people who open the door! In Cuba, it was Jose Lever. He is the representative of the University of Arizona in Mexico City, and he introduced us to his friend, Cuban Vice Minister of Culture, Fernando Rojas.

wall, the famous Malecon, sending sheets of salt water across the streets. Paul Whitaker, who had done a superb job in preparing Cuba, gave his positive prediction that the storm would cease, and at 8:00 pm the rain stopped and Paul was applauded. The crowd came out of nowhere and filled the field. We were seated in a balcony bar overlooking the whole field. From the opening moment when the cast rushed onto the stage, the whole audience stood

“I hope someone will tell your Cast that they have done an extraordinary thing tonight. Never before has Cuba experienced 15 nations, including Americans, performing together!” When Manuel Arango, an honorary lifetime Up with People board member, heard of the trip, he telephoned to invite Betty and me to fly with him in his plane to Havana. He brought four of his close friends and his special assistant, Nancy Pearson. So there we were in Havana, feeling we were back in another age with all the 1950s automobiles shined and still running on the street. We were preparing to go to the show scheduled in a soccer stadium. However, during the night, a big storm had come in from the Caribbean. Rain and heavy winds were crashing against the sea


as one and became part of the celebration. The young Cubans never sat down. They were eager to participate! At one point one of Manuel’s friends was gesturing to all of us saying, “Come here and look down at the audience! There is another show going on there. They are all singing and dancing in the aisles.” It was a happening! After the show, the US Minister to the Mission in Cuba congratulated us saying “I hope someone will tell your Cast that they have done an extraordinary thing tonight. Never before has Cuba experienced 15 nations, including Americans, performing together!”

It was very special for all of us to have Paul and Ralph Colwell and their sons, Jeb and Clayton, to perform the song written for Cuba, “Cuba Vive Siempre En Mi Corazon.” Later, Manuel sent a message saying “Up with People continues to be a unique experience that with proper support can and should grow to improve relations among different nations.” The 62 guests that accompanied the cast were treated to a very special time under the leadership of a superb UWP team, Anne Gallagher, Tim Lane, Isabel Belliard, and Louisa Crockett Davis. Also, the fact that Dale Penny, President and CEO of UWP and his wife Mindy, and Keith Frohreich, head of the International Alumni Association and his wife Pam were there gave us the opportunity for the building of long-term friendships. One of the guests wrote, “to say it was the opportunity of a life time was really accurate. Not only did we have the incredible experience of a week in Havana with all the richness and learning, but also our time with the cast was really memorable. Thank you again for including us as a part of Viva Cuba.” We are working hard to have Cuba and Israel and many, many countries included for our celebration of the first 50 years of Up with People and planning for the future!  Winter 2014 


! a b

u C a v i ¡V

One alum’s reflections on UWP’s life-changing visit to Cuba

by John Gonzalez, C68, USA Images on this page, clockwise from left: local youth outside Jose Marti Arts Brigade; view from Iberostar Parque Central hotel with the capitol building in the distance: a local troupe of musicians who entertained us during a meal.


ll of us who traveled with Up with People are on a journey shaped by our experiences on the road and the memories of castmates and host families around the world. For the 62 fortunate alumni who accompanied Cast B2014 on Up with People’s first visit to Cuba, that journey now includes the realization of a seemingly impossible dream. Long ago, Mr. Blanton Belk promised, “We’re going to go to Cuba!” In October 2014, his promise was upheld. We met in Miami for a briefing session, and early the next morning took the very quick flight to Havana. The distance may only be a couple hundred miles, but in the short time we were in the air we came as close to time travel as is humanly possible. We quickly learned how the island of Cuba has been hermetically sealed, as if wrapped in the late ‘50s by a giant Cryovac machine. Because of the unfortunate political realities, the buildings, cars and society are mostly untouched. But while the infrastructure may

UpBeat Winter 2014

be crumbling, the warmth and vigor of the Cuban people is more vibrant than ever. For Cuban-Americans who were forced to leave everything behind more than fifty years ago, any travel to Cuba is controversial. But Cast B’s visit was about face-to-face bridge building rather than an analysis of the past. From government officials to vendors in the markets to people on the street, we received only warm smiles of gratitude and a heartfelt invitation to return. We quickly discovered that side-by-side economies exist in Cuba that allow visitors with foreign funds to enjoy a 5-star experience that sadly is not available to the general public. Communism has provided the basics of free education and medicine, but the U.S.-led embargo, or blockade as Cubans refer to it, coupled with the collapse of the Soviet support system, has stripped the island of development. Nonetheless, during our week there we enjoyed


Photos John Gonzalez

the perfect cultural immersion in the food, history and texture of Havana. We also appreciated the cultural exchange between Cast B and their hosts at the Jose Marti Arts Brigade, or academy. We met these talented students who were chosen from grade school to develop their musical skills, and were twice treated to their impressive performances. The highlight of the week, however, was watching the wide-eyed fascination of the Cuban youth during the cast’s performance of “Voices,” one of the most impactful and well-presented Up with People shows I have ever seen. My UWP lifetime journey will now feature delightful memories of Cuban food. Pumpkin soup, ropa vieja beef and succulent lobster represent the rich Cuban culinary tradition that hopefully will soon be accessible to us all. And I will forever remember the talents of a new generation of Colwells who traveled with us. Paul and Ralph were joined by their sons Jeb and Clayton, who were


instrumental in writing and performing a song, “Cuba Vive Siempre En Mi Corazon,” which gives voice to the fact that the strength and spirit of the Cuban people will forever live in our hearts. And one can’t forget the cars. I expected to see a few antiques, but never imagined the sheer volume of vehicles from the 1950s. Every street corner featured an endless parade of vintage Buicks, Pontiacs, Chevys and the occasional Cadillac or Studebaker with fins flaring and exhaust pipes belching. I often imagined we were on a movie set. Those who impeccably organized this UWP guest program receive our deepest gratitude for allowing our individual journeys to continue in such an enriching fashion. Each of us returned a different person as we reflect on our own life experiences as they contrast to the 11 million amazingly resilient citizens of the island. The bond formed between Up with People and Cuba will truly live forever in our hearts. 

Images on this page, clockwise from upper right: Participants of the Viva Cuba Program and Cast B2014 enjoyed a lovely evening together at Club Havana; the streets of Cuba are filled with vintage cars; a young child in the market.

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Cuban alumni rejoice at the cast’s visit to the island by Pedro Pablo Cruz Echevarria, A13, Cuba dream come true. That is what to surprise the Cuban public, the October 15 arrival in Cuba but even so, the visit of Up with of Up with People Cast B2014 People signified interaction with was for me. My castmate Lisbeth nearly 2.000 admirers in Cuban Ruiz Sánchez and I had waited theatres, schools, parks and sites in for this moment since last year. It the open air. was expected that our cast, Cast During their almost two weeks A2013 would end its journey with a here, their activities were similar to historical visit to the island but that those carried out by UWP when did not happen. Now Cast B2014 visiting other countries. In Cuba, was in Cuba and we had the honor of they were involved in dynamic integrating the project. community projects with an When we saw young people emphasis on social transformation from over 15 countries presenting through the arts, while others with vehemence and joy the “Voices” related to productive actions and show on the mythical stage of the training. Salón Rosado de la Tropical, the venue Moreover, there were meetings known as the most musical of Latin with representatives from the America and where emblematic Ministry of Foreign Relations and orchestras of the country are usually young members of the Jose Marti presented, and felt the emotion of the Arts Brigade. This time it was audience, I was proud to be a part of not possible for cast members to this dream come true. share their daily living with Cuban Up with People’s past and families, so they were housed in present came together in Santa Clara Pedro (at right) with Fernando de la Mora, a very dormitories, but perhaps next time and Havana with the members of the important tenor from Mexico. they will enjoy that rich cultural current cast, in the faces and good opportunity. energies of so many people that have defined the history of the I was happy to hear the song written to honor this visit, organization during these 50 years. It was quite an event for the “Cuba Vive Siempre En Mi Corazon." It brought together several Cuban public. The fact that we are on an island placed in the generations on stage, including some of the authors of classic middle of the sea, kept away from any neighbor by such inlet, Up with People songs, as well as the current cast and Cuban has always marked our character. Welcoming those that come by artists. The performance of Mexican tenor Fernando de la Mora sea, taking what they bring and showing them what grows here at Miramar Theater was quite a surprise. Together we sang a is our lifestyle. It is how we invent ourselves again and again Cuban classic, ¨La Guantanamera." under the fire of centuries. It was a real pleasure to meet Paul Colwell because of what The bitter relationship between Cuba and the United States he represents to the organization. He quietly told me that after has put up a wall that makes it difficult, though not impossible, hearing it form many years and by many performers, he was to clear the way between both shores. For that reason, the arrival very moved by my version of ¨El Puente." of this organization based in Denver, CO and a crew of young After all these days we spent together, I should say that Cuba people from 15 different countries carrying music and world and Up with People is a story just beginning, with many more dance was quite an event. chapters yet to come. See you again, soon!  People in Cuba are demanding. They are aware of their legacy and they carry on with a rich and vital culture. Cubans have provided the world with music and dance extensively. The Revolution educated the taste of its people since the Images on the opposite page are courtesy of Diane very beginning, creating possibilities and opportunities to Goldsmith, USA, the current show manager and vocal be instructed and to receive specialized formation, generally instructor and Bram Serpieters, Belgium, who is currently speaking, for the development of intellect and spirituality. traveling as a stage technician. Thank you for sharing your Besides, we annually welcome important groups and artists experience through pictures. from different tendencies and talents. Therefore, it is not easy


UpBeat Winter 2014



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One-of-a-kind concert in Denver to feature Colwell Brothers and Herb Allen by Bruce Erley, B73, USA t all started with an auction bid at the 2014 reunion in Tucson this past summer. A group of alumni banded together to bid on a special private performance donated by the Steve, Paul and Ralph Colwell to raise funds for the UWPIAA’s Legacy Scholarship program for the children of alumni.


UpBeat Winter 2014

After fulfilling the original auction bid of $2,500 to the UWPIAA Legacy Scholarship, this group of alumni and friends has decided to raise even more money by making the private performance public and donating the proceeds to the Up with People Global Scholarship Fund. Because the fundraising performance will be near Denver, CO, our group goes by the name Cast 5280, a nod to the city’s mile-high altitude. With great pleasure, we invite you to “Celebrating 50 Years of the Colwell Brothers and Herb Allen” on Friday, January 23, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. in the intimate Broomfield Auditorium located in Broomfield, Colorado. Thanks to the generous donation of time and talent by the Colwell Brothers and Herb Allen, along with special guests including Pat Murphy, Bob Huff, and Glenn Johnson, you have the opportunity to experience 50 years of music and musings by the men whose songs and lyrics launched Up with

People in 1965 and continue to inspire millions today. The two-hour performance will feature original music from past Up with People shows, such as popular favorites “Colorado,” “What Color Is God’s Skin,” and “Up with People,” along with other Colwell/Allen iconic tunes. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $15 for children, students & members of Cast A2015. If you purchase a premium $100 VIP ticket, you receive admission to a pre-concert reception with the performers and best-in-the-house upfront seating, plus the satisfaction of knowing that $75 of your purchase is a tax-deductible direct gift to the UWP Global Scholarship Fund. With only 302 seats in the venue, the concert is expected to sell out quickly. If you want to be part of this historic event, don’t delay. Tickets are on sale now at ColwellBrothersShow. If you are interested in joining the Cast 5280 host committee or wish to make a special contribution to this project, contact Bruce Erley at blerley@ We look forwarding to seeing you in the Mile High City. 



Important update: More hotel rooms available for Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015 by Terry “T” McCreary, B68, USA Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015 Co-Chair fter an amazing registration surge in September which led to a room wait list, the Swan & Dolphin hotels have cleared over 80% of that list. Now they are currently sold out for new room reservations at the Swan & Dolphin during Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015. When I say sold out, I mean we have filled 90% of both hotels with just Up with People alumni. Good news! We have now contracted with Disney for more rooms. The additional rooms are at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, a four-minute walk to the Swan & Dolphin, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, a seven-minute bus ride. The price for the rooms at these properties is $171 plus taxes (no fees). This works out to the same price as the current rate as the Swan & Dolphin because there is a $12 resort fee added to the $159 rate for a $171 total. Remember, YOU MUST BE REGISTERED FOR THE REUNION to take advantage of this room block and these special rates. After completing reunion registration, you will receive a confirmation email which will include the web address for the Swan & Dolphin or a separate one for the Disney properties to make your room reservations. RECOMMENDATION: For all those registering from now until the event registration fee goes up on April 1st, we recommend that you first reserve at the Swan & Dolphin to be put on their waiting list. As rooms become available, the Swan & Dolphin team will continue to assign those rooms to those next on the wait list. Then we recommend that you reserve a room at one of our two other Disney properties. If you are given space at the Swan & Dolphin, please release your reservations at the other Disney property. Also, if you find that you have rooms reserved that you do not need, please release them so that others waiting can be placed. We have quite a few rooms available at this point, however, we recommend you register soon and then reserve your room. For those staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, we will run a continuous shuttle from there to the Dolphin. Click Here to register now! Any questions, send an email to NOTE: For those who are registered and were on the Swan & Dolphin waiting list, before you ask for the Disney link, please check your status with the Swan & Dolphin reservation office. 


Congratulations 81-85 era

by Vickie Henthorn Law, B66, USA, Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015 Co-Chair rompted by a competitive era initiative, registrations sky rocketed in the last days of September. We filled our room block at the Swan & Dolphin and have arranged for two nearby Disney properties to match the block rate. The September registration incentive included a free registration to Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015 to any era that registered more than 85 new alumni. Six eras met this goal including ‘65-70, headed by Wally Golding, ‘71-75 led by Willie Knowles, ‘76-80 supported by Ruthie Shimabukuro, ‘81-85 guided by Lynda Hamadi, ‘86-90 supported by An Van Den Eede, and ‘91-95 led by AnneCatherine Boes. In addition, the top prize of the use of a hospitality suite during Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015 went to the casts of ‘81-85. Congratulations Lynda and all the alumni in that era. With this healthy influx of registrants, we are about half way to our registration goals. 



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Check out the IAA holiday gift catalog D

oes your family exchange holiday gift lists? If so, ask your family to get you the gift of celebrating 50 years of UWP with your fellow alumni! If you exchange lists, direct them to our Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015 holiday catalog on the Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015 website (click here) and have your family give you one of five gifts for the reunion. Options include a $50 gift certificate, two entries to the golf tournament, lunch with UWP songwriters, and an evening dinner honoring our founders. Or, if you have not yet registered, maybe that special family member will give you the gift of an early bird registration. 

UWP and UWPIAA boards meet together in Orlando and tour Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015 venue


he November UWPIAA Board of Governors meeting was held at the Swan & Dolphin in Orlando at the same time the Up with People Board of Directors were holding their fall meeting. While we didn’t hold our meetings together, both boards were given an extensive tour of the reunion facility and an update on the status of the plans for Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015. The size and scope of this reunion is a little overwhelming! The Hemispheres ballroom, where the big production number will be held, can be expanded to almost five times the size of the ballrooms we usually use in Tucson. We saw firsthand how easy it is to get to the event venues in the Dolphin from the Swan which is only a short walk away. In addition, we learned that the Swan & Dolphin are in a group of hotels called the Epcot complex. Our newly added block of rooms at the Boardwalk are also in this complex. From our location, it’s just a short boat ride to the back entrance of Epcot and there are also free and frequent buses to all the other parks from the hotels. Both boards enjoyed the opportunity to gather with more than 50 area alumni at a Friday night reception. Dale Penny shared with the alumni his new vision for taking Up with People in the future and thanked everyone for their continued engagement and passion for the program. On Saturday night, the boards came together once again for a magnificent dinner at Mingos in Orlando. Mingos is owned by Up with People Board of Director member and alumnus Angel Cortes, D81. It was a wonderful night with a gracious host. 

UpBeat Winter 2014

Register for Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015 before December 31 and you may win two Disney World Day Passes! Have you been good this year? This holiday season give yourself or someone you love the gift of joining more than 2,000 fellow alumni in Orlando, Florida next summer for the party of the year. Register now for Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015! As a special incentive, each registration made between November 19, 2014 and December 31, 2014 will automatically be entered to win two one-day passes to any Walt Disney World park, a total value of $200. Don’t delay, register today! A random winner will be drawn on January 15, 2015 and contacted by email. The winner will be announced to all alumni through social media.

Happy Holidays from UWPIAA! 10

The Continuing Journey – The Alumni’s Path Through History

We need your help! By John Gonzalez, C68, USA


ur Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015 in Orlando will be all about memories. Powerful production events will unite us and allow us to re-live the individual experiences we had traveling with Up with People. But deep in the heart of the reunion there will be a singular location that promises to carry us away on a collective wave of learning and nostalgia. Plans are underway for all of us to create The Continuing Journey – The Alumni’s Path Through History, a multi-media, immersive trip through the remarkable legacy of Up with People through the eyes of its alumni. An enormous ballroom will be filled with the sights and sounds of casts on the road, as well as a chronological tour of Up with People’s history, showing how the organization was born, has grown and adapted to change. The path will be filled with memorabilia, pictures, videos and costumes from every era. We need help in organizing this ambitious undertaking because each of us is on this journey. Take a moment to review the working draft of the exhibition above. To transform it into reality we are going to need help. Lots of it. We need someone


from each era to step forward and coordinate the memorabilia from those years. We can also use technical support and set-up and strike crews for the exhibit itself. We need people to serve on committees to organize individual exhibits like the Evolution of Choreography, Costumes, the story of our Super Bowl halftime shows, and many more. We need technical help in setting up audio, video and lighting early in the week before the reunion. At the end of the path will be a to a quiet space for reflection, and a chance to consider your own place on the continuing journey and to ask, “What’s next?” Up with People President and CEO Dale Penny has said that he believes the mission of Up with People has never been more relevant than it is today. As you leave the journey you’ll be asked to reflect on “What is my Piece of the Peace?” To be part of this exciting project contact your era representative for more information. 

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Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015 Event Highlights

TUESDAY–AUGUST 4, 2015 All day 5:30 pm 7:30 pm

Registration Era receptions* Cast T orientation Cast K party Founders Dinner Ticketed event ($150) Join us for a special dinner to honor Up with People founders Blanton and Betty Belk. Singer, actor and author Tom Sullivan, long time friend of Up with People and the Belks, will be on hand to regale the audience. Plus, expect a few surprises as we host this wonderful evening of recognition and entertainment. The Founders Dinner will start at 7:30 pm immediately following the era receptions.

THURSDAY–AUGUST 6, 2015 All day 11:45 am

WEDNESDAY–AUGUST 5, 2015 7:30 am 9:00 am

Buffet Breakfast* Atlantic Hall B and C Opening Ceremony Hemispheres Ballroom The powerful opening ceremony will kick off the celebration in Orlando, featuring the important international aspects of Up with People. Honoring 50 years of impact in the world and spanning the globe from Tucson to Tanzania, Cleveland to China, we will highlight the many faces and many places of Up with People. The production will impress and inspire with a grand opening of music and spectacle. Our story will be told through song and dance, video highlights of iconic Up With People moments, and video greetings from around the world. We will also hear from the president of the UWPIAA, Cynthia Cochran; the president and CEO of Up With People, Dale Penny; and Up With People’s founder, J. Blanton Belk.

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5:30 pm 7:00 pm

Forums – rotating schedule Community Involvement Project with UWP Cast B2015 Songwriters’ Hall of Fame Lunch Ticketed event ($85) Be present as the fourth group of songwriters is inducted into the Up with People Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. This Thursday luncheon will feature the musical contributions of the 2015 class of songwriters. Join us for a fun event full of music and the stories behind the writing. This is an opportunity to follow the magical trail from Mackinac Island to the 50th Anniversary Show. If you just cannot get enough of UWP music or its songwriters, this is the special event for you. Photo opportunities will be available. Annual Alumni Recognition Dinner* Pacific Hall UWP 50th Anniversary Celebration Hemispheres Ballroom A special birthday celebration commemorating the first UWP show on August 6, 1965. Featuring special guests from the longest-running UWP production in history, the cast of “A Common Beat Japan,” and highlights from the original casts, the Bicentennial casts, “People are the Energy,” “Beat of the Future,” “Encore,” “Face to Face,” “The Festival,” “A Common Beat,” and “A Song for the World.” The evening will also welcome alumni of Camp UWP, and will be a chance to celebrate our shared history while enjoying show highlights from ‘65, ‘70, ‘75, ‘80, ‘85, ‘90, ‘95, 2000, 2005 and 2010. This evening will also include some special awards given out annually by UWPIAA.


FRIDAY–AUGUST 7, 2015 All day 8:30 am

7:00 pm


Forums – rotating schedule Community Involvement Project with UWP Cast B2015 Golf Tournament Ticketed event ($100) Play the Disney course the professionals play, Disney’s Magnolia. Named for its majestic magnolia trees, this course features elevated tees, spacious greens and challenging water hazards. Wide fairways invite you to hit the ball and hit it long, but beware—11 of the 18 holes boast water hazards and 97 bunkers dot the landscape. Rated 4 stars by Golf Digest, Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course represents a thrilling challenge for players at all levels. Only 144 slots open for a shotgun start. Price includes green fees, electric cart, shoes, transportation to course and water. Clubs are available for rent. Tournament format and prizes to be announced. Time for the Music Hemispheres Ballroom Share the musical highlights and songs selected by the international alumni community as the favorite fifty songs from hundreds in the UWP catalog of music. This production will be a multidimensional and fun evening celebration of the music that has been the unique vehicle for Up with People to touch the world, reaching more than fifty million people over five decades.

5:00 pm 7:30 pm

9:45 pm

Cook-out* Dolphin Poolside UWP Anniversary Show Hemispheres Ballroom An evening of inspiration, energy, music and message featuring the brand new Cast B2015 performing the UWP 50th show! The show will feature historical highlights from throughout Up with People's existence from the 1960s to the new millennium. Each era will include short pop medleys and international songs and dances tied to world events and historical Up with People highlights over the past 50 years. Original UWP songs will introduce timeless topical themes and include messages of hope, movement, peace, and an overriding sense of motivation to get on board. As the ancient Chinese saying states, 'The journey of one thousand miles begins with a single step.” So goes the journey toward world peace and understanding started 50 years ago by Up with People. It's time to take the next step. The Future Finalé The Dolphin Lagoon The Future Finalé will launch Up with People into the future with the preview of the new Up with People Show. At the conclusion of the performance, the UWP cast, alumni and their children will perform a special closing ceremony with a spectacular ending.

We have been working hard to fill in the details of the schedule for Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015. Reservations can now be made for the additional ticketed events by logging into your Eventinterface account and adding the items to your cart. We have full descriptions of the events here but would like to encourage you to check on the Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015 website often. This schedule is current as of today but the most current information can always be found on the website, * Indicates food that is included in the registration fee. All other meals are on your own.


Winter 2014 


7 tips

to maximize the Walt Disney World magic

by Leigh Pechillo. B93, USA Photo  The Pechillo family


ome of the best experiences I had during my year traveling in UWP were the result of finding ways to see things differently. If you plan to visit Disney World before, during or after Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015 and are feeling overwhelmed by how much there is to see and do there, I have some great tips that can help you make the most of your time while enjoying that one-of-a-kind Disney magic. I recently returned from a family vacation in Disney World and I can promise you that with some advance planning and flexibility, you can have an experience like no other. Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015 will be here before we know it, so it’s definitely not too early to start planning. As Mickey himself would say, see you real soon!


Research, strategize & prioritize.

Buy a travel book, talk with friends and family who have traveled there, find Disney blogs online, connect with a Disney Vacation Planner and/or utilize the park’s official site,, which can be viewed in six languages. In UWP, it was necessary a lot of the time to just go where others told us, but I don’t advise you do that for this trip. Do your research. Take time to familiarize yourself with the parks, figure out what you are hoping to do and design a strategy. There are so many options, you really must prioritize what is most important for you and your family to see and do.


Make friends with FASTPASS.


Photo  Stephanie McCollister Cox

FASTPASS is the key to enjoying more of your favorite Disney World attractions and spending less time standing in line. This system allows you to secure admission to an attraction within a specified one-hour window. Disney Resort Hotel guests can secure a FASTPASS up to 60 days prior to the date you will be in the park; other visitors can reserve them up to 30 days in advance. There are also FASTPASS kiosks around the parks. Visitors can make up to three FASTPASS reservations per day. If you or yours have their heart set on seeing Anna and Elsa from “Frozen” or enjoying as many of the popular attractions as possible, FASTPASS is definitely your friend.

Photo  Stephanie McCollister Cox

Hurry up and wait? It can be worth it.

Just as in Up with People, a trip to Disney World Resort will require a fair amount of “hurry up and wait.” Standing in line is a given here, so be patient. It will only add to the enjoyment of this special time. Also, there are amazing parades, fireworks and other shows throughout the parks, and if you are willing to give up a couple hours, you can stake out a viewing spot in a prime location. Otherwise, be happy for a less-than-ideal view on your way to your next attraction.

UpBeat Winter 2014

Photo  The Pechillo family

Allie and Robby Pechillo in a Disney Magic Shot with Lumière from Beauty and the Beast.



Enjoy special perks as a Disney Resort Hotel guest.

If you stay at any of the Disney resorts, you will get free transportation to the four parks and to the restaurants, shops and entertainment in Downtown Disney. Resort guests can also access the parks during Extra Magic Hours, and enjoy special reservation privileges for FASTPASS and restaurants.


Dine with character(s).

If you are traveling with children eager to meet Mickey and friends, I highly recommend Character Dining. There are many great restaurants Photo  The Pechillo family throughout the parks Robby and Allie Pechillo meet Minnie Mouse. and hotels that feature interaction with beloved Disney characters. It’s a great way to relax, have a meal and meet multiple characters without waiting in lines. You can book your reservations up to 180 days ahead of your visit.


Photo  The Pechillo family

The Pechillo family in front of the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.

Pack the app and power up.

Be sure to download the My Disney Experience mobile app for your smart phone or iPad before you leave home and familiarize yourself with it. This app provides you with access to attraction wait times at all four parks, as well as lots of other great information. Oh, and be sure to carry an extra power block. Using the app and taking pictures can easily drain your power quickly and you won’t want to miss that perfect photo!


Free things to do? At Disney World? It’s possible!

There’s no arguing that a visit to Disney World Resort can be plenty expensive. But with some research, you’ll also find many activities that are actually free! For example, beyond a refreshing swim in one of the many beautiful pools, you can access resort-wide activities such as guided tours, musical entertainment, hula lessons and a wide variety of prime viewing locations for fireworks. Photo  Stephanie McCollister Cox


Winter 2014 


Era and regional representative reports EUROPE


Marie Tobler, D93, Switzerland, Regional Representative/ Europe/Mideast/Africa


he German and Swiss alumni had their annual general assemblies in September in Nüremberg, Germany. All together there were about 200 attendees, 25 to 30 from Switzerland and the rest from Germany. There were a lot of kids and it was a lot of fun. Lots of talking and laughing, beer and sausages, sharing and dancing. The German alumni are very good at organizing so it was a great event. Thanks again to them. The two official meetings went smoothly. Most of the members of the Swiss board were re-elected and there is enthusiastic energy for the future. During the business parts of the event, I was able to make a presentation to the group along with presentations from Up with People President and CEO Dale Penny, IAA President Keith Frohreich, European Tour Manager Gert-Jan Orie, and UWP European Admissions Kristina T’Seyen. It was nice and efficient, and we

had good feedback from the alumni. I represented the IAA at the Triangle Alumni Date (TAD) on the island of Standhamn near Stockholm, Sweden. The TAD is an annual meeting shared between Finland, Sweden and Estonia. A different country hosts each year. We were between 20 or 30 depending on the moment. It was a great meeting with lots of new faces including some who were involved a lot in the past and who are still involved with Up with People. The location is just amazing and Up with People BOD member Robert Cygnaeus honored us by inviting us on Sunday to his vacation house. He talked about his project, sponsorship for a nonborn Swedish UWP student, and his work on the board. Please consider attending next year’s TAD in Tampere, Finland on October 10, 2015. Cast B14 will end up its tour in Soleure, Switzerland and I am looking forward to spending some time with the cast. 

Shinichi Miyawaki, A86, Japan Regional Representative/Asia his is my first report as the Asia Representative. I had a meeting with Ted Agatsuma and Keisuke Nakayama on Wednesday, October 8 in Tokyo. I have taken over Ted’s job as the Asia Rep. We discussed the future of Japan Alumni Association. Ted, who had been proposing the re-establishment of JAA, suggested that as the next step we should gather alumni and hold a year-end party within this year on this occasion. Currently in Japan there are about 450 alumni, and we will send the related information to some of them who may cooperate in the launch of JAA. We have scheduled a meeting of the Japanese alumni and will invite them using email and Facebook notices.  When: Sunday, December 28 6:00 pm-8:30 pm Where: Cantina Siciliana 4-13-3 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo Prefecture 104-0061, Japan Fee: ¥4,500







Walter Golding, B68, USA

Willie Knowles, B71, USA

Ruthie Shimabukuro, B77, USA

Lynda Sullivan Hamadi, C83, USA

We have 850 members on our Facebook page, and it’s amazing to see new pictures of our Uppie days being posted and the stories that go with them. Yes, “Keep Young At Heart” is our theme song. Jeff Peterson has created a web page for our era devoted to all things 50th, and the 50th is a major element in the ongoing conversation within our group. My final term as era rep is expiring in 2015 and we are going to need a new era rep. Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about the position.

Alum Marc Beeson, B71, was recently honored in Nashville by ASCAP for writing Billy Covington’s #1 hit “We Are Tonight.” This was Marc’s first number one hit but his initial success as a songwriter came with Restless Heart’s “When She Cries,” a Top 10 hit in 1992, which won him Country Song of the Year and Pop Song of the Year awards. Along with alum Kurt Howell, C76, who was a member of the group Southern Pacific, Marc was founding member of Burnin’ Daylight who were nominated for a CMA Award in 1997 for Best New Artists and the song “Love Worth Fighting For.”

1976-1980 era registrations of cast members for Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015 as of November 20, 2014 is at 203, according to the reunion website “Who’s Coming” list. This number does not include spouses, or other family members/ registrants who have also registered. I am also excited to invite Sing Out Maui and Sing Out Hilo to Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015. It is a very long trip from Hawaii to Orlando, Florida but it will be worth it!

As the ‘81-85 era rep, I am excited to report how well our era has done with the Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015 registration competition. The ‘81-85 era won the free party suite for Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015. We also won one free registration and were only seven registrations shy of winning another. I recently created photo albums for each year on Facebook, so join the UWP ‘81-85 group and then post your pictures! UWPAlums1981to1985/photos/

UpBeat Winter 2014


Sharing alumni news from across the world and through the ages OCEANIA Torrin Tyler, A09, New Zealand, Regional Representative/Oceania funds are so small that this possibility from UWPIAA than any other board ow does the “global perspective” has become very slim. member, so help me end this loneliness apply to Oceania? Will the I am counting on the UWP spirit and let’s book some shows in Oceania. UWPIAA evolve into something to bring back the vibrant ideas from The alumni of Oceania stands ready universal beyond America and Europe as far back as 1974, when the Colwell to turn your good ideas into action. after the 50th anniversary? Brothers were invited to perform for Just refer to our new Oceania Facebook The IAA board members have the Maori king of New Zealand, my group and I think you will be excited to traveled to yet another meeting from the birth country. I find myself further away discover where we have been so far.  four corners of the earth last November. For me, coming from Oceania, it means leaving the hot summer time of Australia and traveling to a different season in the northern hemisphere. I try to imagine what we need to do to stimulate the people to have the power to recruit southern hemisphere participants in next year’s UWP cast. I also wonder how to better schedule performances down under for UWP in the years to come. Oceania has been close to scheduling UWP shows which would help recruit new cast members, however the populations of South Pacific countries and their access to Torrin at work at Wild About Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre in Kilmore, Australia






An Van Den Eede, A90, BE

Anne-Catherine Boes, B92, BE

Nina Hanhinen, C96, FI

Beth Clay, A08, USA

How exciting! I just returned from my first BOG meeting and it was wonderful to meet everyone. Danilo and I have had several Skype calls to work on the transition so that I can hear first hand how he worked and what I can do to continue his job from now on. Each call we worked on different topics and in between calls I worked on those topics one by one. We worked hard on the registration competition and I do have the feeling it helps to keep sharing. Please contact me if there is any way I can be of service to help out.

Congratulations Cast B95! You have won one free registration to Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015 in Orlando. Keep the registrations going, era 1991-1995! The fun and magic you will be experiencing will be exceptional!

The fall has gone by very fast ever since I took over the position of era rep in September. For some reason, many in our era are still considering whether to join the Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015. Those who registered at the last minute before October 1st had some issues with the room reservations. However, as I delivered all the tiny pieces of information as soon as there were any, the alumni in our era are very satisfied. So on their behalf, thank you Reunion Team!

I’m optimistic that we will have many alumni from this era join us for Celebrate 50! Reunion 2015 next summer. On a personal note, UWP came to my hometown, Laconia, New Hampshire the first week of September. It was the first return to NH in over 15 years and came with two sold out shows, thousands (yes! thousands!) of supporters (2133 tickets sold!), 39 student interviews and a courageous community involvement crew facilitating workshops in the local prison. There is a lot of conversation happening about the 50th, about future tours of UWP, about re-engaging with the IAA and other alums, and most importantly about the necessity of UWP in current culture.


Winter 2014 



Alumni activities throughout Europe

Marie Tobler, D93, Switzerland, Regional Representative/Europe/Mideast/Africa

European Alumni Association contacts

European Alumni Group contacts



Paula Eronen, A92, President or Timo Sarojärvi, A82, International Contact Facebook: FUWPAA–Finnish Up with People Alumni Association

Germany Annette Gerling, E96, International Contact Facebook: Alumni Vereinigung Up with People Deutschland e.V. | AVUWPD e.V.

Sweden Mimmi Hogland Blomkvist, C84, President Facebook: SUWPAA Swedish Up With People Alumni Association

An Van Den Eede, A90

Estonia Argo Saul, E94 or Merle Zimmer, D96 or Chamber of Goodwill Facebook: Goodwill Estonia

Netherlands Gaby Mock, E98 Facebook: AlumNet Netherlands

Switzerland Vicky Kahl-Milde, A00, International Contact Facebook: UWPSAA–Up with People Swiss Alumni Association

Upcoming events Swiss Snow Weekend March 6-8, 2015 - Seegüetli, Toggenburg, Switzerland

Swedish General Assembly March 14, 2015 - Location TBA

European Alumni Meeting (EAM) and German General Assembly May 14-17, 2015 - Munich, Germany

Triangle Alumni Date (TAD) October 10, 2015 - Tampere, Finland Theme: Celebrating UWP 50 years: the Nordic alumni after party!

Swiss General Assemblie October 23-25, 2015 TBA

European Alumni Meeting (EAM) 2016 Spring 2016 - Rome, Italy

UpBeat Winter 2014


European alumni enjoy sweetness of friendship, service and “luck” at General Assembly by Isabelle Gruchow, A00, Switzerland


n the sign of the castle” was the theme of the General Assembly held in October where the German and the Swiss Alumni Associations celebrated together in Nüremberg. The board of directors did not hesitate to make this colorful theme a reality by wearing ancient clothes which knights might have used throughout the assembly. After 14 years as an alumna, I finally managed to join a General Assembly and I must admit that it was real fun to connect with old friends, make new, interesting acquaintanceships and enjoy the UWP spirit once again.

UWPSAA supports social projects Alongside the official agenda points, social projects were also presented. An important aspect of the Up with People Swiss Alumni Assembly is to support interesting and smaller social projects around the world in which one of the alumni is personally involved. That’s how you can be sure that your money is being used well and efficiently. Three projects were presented and at the end the audience voted to literally “flush the money down the toilet in Uganda” to build a rest room facility for a school with around 200 students and no toilet at all. All three projects listed below are definitely worth a closer look and maybe you want to support one of them on your own.

The directors honored the theme of knights and castles with their costumes.

Professional leisure programme in the afternoon In the afternoon, we had free time and could choose from a variety of leisure events. I took part in an interesting stroll through the old town where the focus was on the Nazi time in Nüremberg. At different stations the guide explained why Nüremberg is called the deutscheste aller Städte, why Hitler liked it so much and what an influence he had on the town.

evening. The Swiss Assembly celebrated their 25th jubilee this year and our German colleagues sang for us and gave each one of us a small gugelhupf cake with the message, “luck may also be a small thing.“ Thank you very much, that was literally so sweet! Not only the Swiss alumni had a jubilee to celebrate, but also the UWP Survival Band, the “band that never plays” had their 20th anniversary. The German colleagues prepared a slide show with pictures, a small performance and a song. The Munich team presented the great EAM movie 2015 and then everyone was ready to party with the band. They played all kinds of UWP songs where everybody could sing along. Hence, no surprise that UWP CEO Dale Penny and Keith Frohreich, president of the UWPIAA who came straight from LA., said they were touched and liked it very much, too. Thank you for that wonderful day! 

Party time in the evening and many jubilees It was quite a ride by bus to reach the party location for the evening outside of Nüremberg. However, many lovely surprises were waiting for us during the

The Swiss alumni gave everyone a small “gugelhupf ” cake.

Social projects from the General Assembly Light School, Ghana, No website available Contact Tamara Kiener at Stichting Mukwano Oeganda Mukwano Uganda Foundation Adina Stiftelsen, Adina Foundation Norway Contact Hilde Sandnes at

The group of alums enjoying a tour of Nüremberg.


Winter 2014 


Triple the fun at a celebration of Swedish Alumni Association and the Triangle Alumni Date by Hanna-Mari Tuovinen, A92, Finland round 25 participants recently traveled to the beautiful Swedish island of Sandhamn to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Swedish Alumni Association and the fifth Triangle Alumni Date. The organizing team had selected Sandhamn, a small island in the outer archipelago of Sweden for several good reasons! It has the highest percentage of the alumni in Sweden–really an Uppie island! Second, although a bit hard to reach, the place was absolutely beautiful! It was THE place to focus on and to meet with friends in the middle of our busy lives. Participants came not only from the TAD countries but also from Switzerland, Belgium and Germany. I had not participated in any alumni meetings in more than ten years. Luckily, I was tempted to participate by my castmate Paula Eronen, A92, Finland–a real alumni expert who I haven’t seen for years. Also, two other cast members from Sweden, Annsie Kumlin and Maria Bertilsson participated in the meeting. So much fun and the same giggling as over 20 years ago! On the first day, we had an interesting walking tour around the island and, of course, lots of time to catch up with others. On the second day, what better way to end the meeting than with an overview of the current status of UWP by the board member, Robert Cygnaeus, C78, Sweden,


UpBeat Winter 2014

who kindly invited us to his villa for fika med bulla or, coffee with buns. So, all in all, this was a triangle-plus trip for me: a gorgeous and unique place, fantastic old friends and the ability to meet great new acquaintances. Thanks to everyone for organizing! 

Triangle Alumni Dates are rotated between Tallinn, Stockholm and Helsinki with the purpose to encourage alumni from these countries to meet each other. Alumni from other countries are welcome to join! Next TAD meeting will be in Tampere, Finland on October 10, 2015.

Photo  Jonas Granbom

Photo  Paula Eronen

Photo  Paula Eronen


Photo Anki Lenksjö

Opposite page, images clockwise from top: European Rep Marie Tobler, D93, Switzerland, listens to UWP Board member Robert Cygnaeus, C78, Sweden. Alumni enjoy fika med bulla on the terrace. This page, back row from left: Annsie Kumlin, Ulrika Eriksson, Maria Bertilsson, Hanna-Mari Tuovinen, Chris T´Seyen, Paula Eronen, Marie Tobler, Anki Lenksjö, Eva Torsson, Magnus Torsson Front row from left: Berit-Janice Härle, Kristina T´Seyen, Jonas Granbom, Mimmi Hogland Blomqvist, Thomas Blomqvist. Far right: the Seglar Hotel in Sandhamn, Sweden.

Photo  Paula,Eronen Photo  Stephanie McCollister Cox

Photo  Jonas Granbom


Winter 2014 


The EAM 2015 in Munich is just a heartbeat away European Alumni Meeting, May 14-17, 2015

by Annette Gerling, E96, Germany, on behalf of the EAM team


t’s time for a European Reunion! 2015 will be a special reunion as it is not only the 50th anniversary of Up with People, but also the 25th anniversary of the European Alumni Meeting. For 25 years the heartbeat of the annual meeting is YOU! You, the alumni from all of Europe and the world gathering for a weekend to celebrate universal friendship, sharing the unique bond we have, laughing, exploring, talking much and sleeping less. And just for YOU we have put together a multi-faceted program to enjoy an extraordinary weekend in one of the most beautiful cities of the world. To foster new traditions, we will also offer a Pre-EAM tour: a three-day hiking tour through the Bavarian Alps from Monday to Wednesday, as well as a one-day hiking tour for the less ambitious on Thursday. Due to a public holiday in many European countries, we will start off the EAM on Thursday night. Take the chance of a long weekend to explore Munich

together! If you are looking for Alpine clichés, we will not disappoint you, but there is much more to the Bavarian capital than lederhosen-clad thigh-slappers and dirndl dresses. We will enjoy art galleries and museums, such as Germany’s biggest science museum, and tour the Allianz Arena, the home of the famous Bayern München soccer club. Take a trip down history lane with us and learn more about the Munich Olympics in 1972 and how the cast of Up with People has helped to bring some happiness back into the athlete’s life after the terrorist attack. Hear from our European Representative Marie Tobler and our international guests about how the alumni and UWP are shaping the world today. Learn how to bake pretzels (brezn) or take part in a brewery tour at the famous Paulaner brewery. Explore together with the international keynote speaker and Munich resident Jolly Kunjappu on why “Life is a Rhythm.” Party with the one and only Up with

People Survival Band, and take the chance to see the UWP cast perform the brand new show. And last but not least, feel what makes our heart beat faster, the joy of meeting old and new friends. Munich is awaiting you and we are looking forward to welcoming you. Registration will be online soon. Please check If you are still missing a beat – click here – to see the video invitation by the incredibly dedicated (and talented ) local Team in Munich. 

Wanted: Munich Olympics Cast Did you travel in Cast B72 and plan to attend the EAM? Please email me at

Best EAM Picture: Please email your favourite picture from the past 24 EAMs to

The German and the Swiss Alumni Associations celebrating together in Nüremberg. Photos  Conny/

UpBeat Winter 2014


“Everybody put a little bit in.” by Stephanie McCollister Cox, B81, USA, UWPIAA Communications Chair early every Up with People show had a song with lyrics personality? Your career? Your world view? “Let’s shine the light” celebrating the theme of “we are.” The most recent show, on who we are by sharing our stories with our fellow alumni. “Voices,” had a stunningly beautiful song that says, “We are the In this issue of UpBeat, we introduce a recurring column in music, let the music play. We are the voices that sing in harmony, which alumni can reflect on the diverse ways UWP influenced let the music play.” The words remind us that as alumni and who they are. Kune Kier Nielsen, A00, Denmark, and Michael as citizens of the world we are a part of something bigger than Geoghegan, A92 Ireland, get the ball rolling and we hope you ourselves. Much bigger. As we build toward the alumni family will be the next to tell your tale. So that we can feature as many reunion next summer, it only makes sense to talk about who we as possible per issue, we ask that stories not exceed 200 words. A are as a group by exploring who we are as individuals. photo, either from your UWP days or from the present, would “Our faces tell the story of the places we have been.” What also be appreciated. Contact us at communications@uwpiaa. is your story? Whether you toured one year ago or 50 years org with your stories. Tell us about yourself because, “when tomorrow comes, together, we’ll be there.”  ago, how has your Up with People experience colored your


by Rune Kier Nielsen, A00, Denmark n 2000, I traveled the United States with Cast A performing in our show, “A Common Beat.” But before I traveled, I was shaped and split during staging in Denver. Our show, “A Common Beat,” was a show about the meeting of cultures – the initial superstition, the conflicts and the belief that we can all get along – and it featured a narrator called the Conductor who verbally tied together the show’s elements of dance and song. During staging, I had the pleasure of training for


the Conductor role with the late Broadway legend Marc Thomas while immersing myself in the meeting of cultures both on stage, back stage and everything around stage. It shaped me and it split me between culture and performance. When I returned home I earned a master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology. I lived for five months among black movement militants in Brazil and wrote about their work on racism, equality and human rights. Afterward, I worked for the Danish Refugee Council on the humanitarian crisis in Sudan, and later for Copenhagen City in preventing radicalization, extremism and xenophobia. But the performing side of me had remained silent until I started writing

by Michael Geoghegan, A92, Ireland am who I am today in part due to my year on the road with Cast A92. I’m Irish born and married to a French woman, our first child was born in Boston and the second one here in France. Our travel wallet is packed with ID cards and passports. The boys have three nationalities and they speak two languages. Although it should all feel bizarre, to us it’s perfectly normal. I run an Irish pub and Bed and Breakfast place in a small village on the side of a hill in the heart of the French countryside. On Facebook it’s “la legende Irlandaise” and our website is I am very actively involved in local associations, most importantly the village music school and association, ARMUSIC, which has the idea to expose people from a rural



speeches. I was home again. It was performance, and it was the spirit of Marc Thomas, and it was on stage. I wrote about inclusion, diversity, and later, climate change for the Danish government. It all related to “A Common Beat” because it was about taking responsibility for humanity and being a leader. I felt that what had been shaped and split during staging had finally come full circle. This April, I won two international Cicero Speechwriting Awards for a speech about the consequences of climate change on one woman’s pregnancy, “Climate Change and the Story of Sarah.” The first common beat is “the beating of the heart,” and for me, the true awareness of that all started in Up with People.

backgrounds to art, music and culture. We have nearly 100 kids doing music classes, and learning to play various instruments. I value my involvement in local and regional cultural affairs, and enjoy being actively involved in all aspects of the community around us. The year on the road taught me that anything is possible, and to never see barriers but instead to see possibilities. In my work, I frequently deal with people of all nationalities and the ease at which I do that, even with language barriers, comes primarily from my time on the road. If you are ever in the southwest of France, come visit us. We would love to meet y’all. à bientôt! Winter 2014 


I am overwhelmed, relieved, grateful. I don’t have the words to express myself and this feeling I have today. Thank you all so much for this assistance. It means more to me and my daughter than you could ever imagine.
 What means most to me is I actually had a place to go to for help. I’ve been able to support myself since I was 16 and this was the first time I found myself unable to pull a rabbit out of my hat. Up with People has done so much for me in my life that it will always run through my blood.

I look forward to the day in the near future when I can pay this forward and assist Reach Out in helping other alumni. I know that day is right around the corner and I am excited to be a part of it. –Anonymous alum



had everything they and their family owned. They were at risk of losing the unit and all their possessions if donors just like you had not come to their rescue. Help us help UWP alumni in need.

REACH4OUT Alumni Assistance Network • *Stock photography used because we protect privacy.

Reach Out Alumni Action Alerts help two of our alumni

Can you help alumni in need?

by Zan Diener, E91, USA, President of Reach Out Alumni Assistance Network (Reach Out/ROAAN)


hank you to all the alumni who stepped forward in response to receiving a Reach Out Alumni Action Alert. Because of your generous spirits, we were able to help two of our alumni family. The outpouring of offers to help from the two recent alerts was truly heartwarming. To follow our community of alumni helping other alumni, please join our Reach Out Facebook page at ReachOutROAAN/. What is a Reach Out Alumni Action Alert? As part of our partnership with the UWPIAA, Reach Out is able to utilize the alumni database to send an email containing a call for support to the alumni living near the alum in need. This Alumni Action Alert may include details about goods or services that can be helpful to the alumni that go beyond a financial “leg up.”

What do I do if I get an Action Alert? Contact us at We will respond with additional details on the alum in need and the type of assistance they require. It could be something as simple as driving them to a Our alumni need your help. doctor’s appointment, cooking them a meal, or stopping by for There are many ways you can a visit. Even if you can’t help directly, you might know someone help us help in your area or a fellow alum thatour can alumni. help. Scan this code for information on how

to donate to helpthe UWP alumnidirectly in need: but I still What if I am unable to help alum want to help? Consider financially supporting Reach Out so we can support more alumni in need in 2015! Your US tax- deductible contribution to Reach Out during our December “Empty Stocking Fund” can help us reach our goal of raising $3000 for Helpinformation us help UWP alumni in need. use in 2015. For more or to give today, go to www. Any amount you can give will UT be appreciated andAlumni will goAssistance directly to helping alumni in need. Network


C an you help alumni in need?

Help us help

Start helping alumni today, join our FacebookUWP Group!alumni in need.

Our alumni need your help. There are many ways you can help us help our alumni.

REACH4OUT Alumni Assistance Network

Start helping alumni today, join our Facebook Group!

UpBeat Winter 2014


Everybody knows someone who is perfect for Up with People

Up with People alumni can award unlimited Golden Passports each year to students they actively recruit to travel with UWP. Future student can only receive one Golden Passport scholarship toward his or her program fee. All students can apply for additional scholarships through the General Scholarship Fund. Go to to download a printable version of the Golden Passport.

Winter 2014 UpBeat  

The official publication for the Up with People International Alumni Association

Winter 2014 UpBeat  

The official publication for the Up with People International Alumni Association