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Community Grapevine

All fluff; giving thanks; young entrepreneurs

Three powdered and perfumed ladies fluttered into our office last month to promote Letenka do raja (Airticket to Paradise), a new autobiography written by Kamila Strelka-Kanková, a former Czechoslovak Radio employee who emigrated to the US after 1968. Kay, as she prefers to be called, characterized her book as an inspirational, pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps-and-never-stop-smiling tale of her glamorous success - condo in Florida included - in America.

Not bad self-promotion, but Strelka-Kanková had more to add along the lines that her novel, which is to be translated into English sometime next year, has been received so warmly here that a sequel is already in the works. We should all be so lucky.

Then again, who says money can't buy happiness? Not the American Chamber of Commerce, which on November 24, donated 100,000 Sk to "A Smile as a Gift," an association of Slovak Children's homes.

The present was a symbol of the spirit of the American Thanksgiving holiday. It was also the result of a one-month fundraising drive among members, the AmCham announced at a recent press conference highlighting the donation.

That press conference served as the prelude to the AmCham's gala Thanksgiving dinner at Reduta, complete with a turkey on every table and dancing. President Michal Kováč and his wife were among the dignitaries to show; but apparently Parliamentary Chairman Ivan Gašpárovič found the pumpkin pie sweeter somewhere else.

Hopeless romantics: don't miss the Banská Bystrica British Council's showing of "A Room With a View" on January 9. We're giving you lots of time to clear your calendar for this James Bond classic; stay posted for Film Society schedules for 1996.

Here's another heads up: don't stand out on Hviezdoslavovo nám. in the cold waiting for someone to yell, "On On!" That's because the Bratislava Hash House Harriers won't be setting any more runs until after New Year's; the hash will start again on Saturday, January 7, at 1 p.m. We'll all need a little jogging by then.

Those in the media biz will join us in saying farewell to Michael Tritter, press officer for the local office of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Liz Pavlakis will be taking his place - Šťastnú cestu!

Hats off, or rather T-shirts off for the students at the SPŠ J. Murgaša secondary school in Banská Bystrica who are running their own company selling T-shirts thanks to a program sponsored by Pepsi Cola and Tatra Banka amoung others for Baťa Junior Achievement. In the program, trained teachers give students hands on experience in the workings of a free market economy. Many Slovk businesses give their time to share with the kids their expertise.

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