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2016 SWC Convention: The Welcome Party

The SayWhatClub convention in Boise, Idaho was held at the Riverside Hotel from August 3-6th; our theme Basque-ing in Boise!  Boise has the largest Basque population in the United States and one of the planned tours was to the Basque Block.

The convention started off with a bang Wednesday evening with the Welcome Party. Many thanks to the hard work by the convention hospitality crew which was made even more special thanks to Cochlear America sponsoring the event. Below is the Cochlear America team who came to our convention.


A lot of thought and preparation went into this event.  One of the things we are particularly proud to feature at our Welcome Part was our program book which went full color this year. SWC member Michele Linder put a lot of research and careful consideration each page. We were proud to display SWC member Joyce Conser’s artwork on the front cover depicting the Boise Capitol Building. A new addition to our program book is the SWC Love page.  As a fundraiser members sent in short messages to printed, similar to yearbooks.  The Okonite Company generously printed the program for us. The whole program is available on the SWC webpages.

The program book came with the traditional SWC tote bag. Many members came together the day before to stuff the bags which featured Idaho Spud candy bars in each! Lots of Boise area information was available inside each bag among other things.

Erica Penn (chair of the convention hospitality committee, pictured below) opened the Welcome Party thanking Cochlear America, sharing convention information and inviting everyone to join the fun. Notice the red beret? In keeping with our theme, those who were a part of the convention committee wore a red, Basque styled beret that night to single them out. People were invited to ask the committee members questions about the con. CART services were provided during any speaking parts of the welcome party thanks to Gayl Hardeman who is very much a part of SWC. There was a nice layout of food including the area specialty, finger steaks.


Then the fun began.

There was a hula hoop contest and were we ever surprised at who stepped up to show off their hooping abilities.

Props were available for taking pictures too which left us with more good memories.

Erica shared her favorite picture from the Welcome Party with her story: One of our long-time members, Maurice posing with a first-time SWC convention attendee, Debbie. They knew each other outside SWC but re-connected in Boise at the Welcome Party! Lovely Maurice is wearing one of the red berets, signifying her as a volunteer for the convention.

Erica 1
Maurice and Debbie

The fun didn’t end with the welcome party. People gathered in the lobby to chat and catch up or got together in rooms. SWCers aren’t the early to bed types, even if workshops started early the next morning.

More convention posts to follow.

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