Grußworte der Präsidenten
The hot days of summer have arrived in Belleville but the weather was great for Art on the Square.
We welcomed Paderborn artist, Christine Steuernagel who participated in the art show, as well as her husband, Nothelm. Jim and Adrienne Villotti hosted our new friends and many members attending the show, stopped by Christine’s booth to meet both her and her husband.
Our membership appreciation dinner was held on June 5th and was well attended. Thanks to Chairman, Marie Reichling and her committee for making it a success.
As you all know, we lost a dear member, Kathy Bielke, wife of Dennis Bielke in May. Kathy and Dennis were always quick to open their home for a reception or event many times over the years. And more recently, Helmut Thomalla, husband of Maria Thomalla (vice president of Paderborn DAFK) has passed on.
Our sincerest condolences go to Dennis, Maria and their families. Both will be missed by many.
The Belleville youth, a group of 14 students and 2 chaperones, left on Friday, July 11th for Paderborn. Dr. Allendorf confirmed that all arrived safely. An adult delegation of 22 will be leaving on July 24th . Both groups will attend the Libori Fest and gather for the 20th anniversary celebration of Paderborn’s DAFK. We are excited that Belleville Mayor Eckert and his family will accompany us for the celebration. We will return on Aug. 6th .
This is also a busy time as we gear up for the policemen exchange in September, the Belleville Oktoberfest on Sept 26th & 27th , followed by the Taste of Germany on Sunday, October 26th . This year’s dinner will feature Musikapelle Röthenbach Brass band from Röthenbach, Germany located in Bavaria. So buy your tickets early and plan to attend and support all these worthwhile events and help us welcome the Paderborn policemen.
Ron Fritz, President
News from Paderborn
Dear Friends in Belleville and Around:
By the time this newsletter is published the delegation that visited Paderborn has just arrived at home. The youth group is back home, so are the three exchange students. We hope that all of them are full of great memories of their stay in the sister city and their travelling around Germany and Europe.
On July 13th DAFK-President Bernd Broer and some members of the board welcomed 14 young people from Belleville (and around) and their chaperons Horst Driesner and Fay Buchmiller. They’ll stay thru August 1st and will have an exciting program, arranged by the youth department of the City, with chaperon Norman Hansmeyer. During their visit they’ll go to Dresden for three days, also going into Poland for several hours. On their way back they’ll stop in Weimar, the city of Goethe. On another 4-day trip they’ll experience the vitality of our capital, Berlin. Cologne is another destination for a one-day trip by train. Buergermeister Paus will receive them at the Rathaus.
Last not least they’ll meet with Mayor Mark Eckert and the delegation from Belleville on a farewell evening in the “Gastliche Dorf” near Paderborn on July 28th .
On July 25th we’ll welcome the delegation of 23 friends from Belleville, headed by Mayor Mark Eckert and President Ron Fritz. They’ll be part of the opening ceremony of the Libori Festival that starts on July 26th and will attend the “20th Anniversary of Deutsch-Amerikanischer Freundeskreis Paderborn-Belleville” reception on July 28th . It’s like a fairy tale in that the “prince”, late Mayor Rich Brauer, searched for a sister city in Germany in the 1980’s and found the “princess” Ellen (Rost then 75 who died in 2000) who was eager to renew a historical relationship going back to the 19th century when emigrants living around Paderborn went to their new homeland in the US, “the low German prairie”, around Belleville, Illinois. We’ll celebrate the founding of that friendship society in 1988. Two years later the official documents were signed by the mayors of both cities in Paderborn and in 1991 the ceremony was repeated in Belleville. Ellen Rost became honorary citizen of Belleville.
Since then there has been a youth exchange every year and many visits of adults from both sides of the Atlantic. Just now two students of the high school exchange are here in Paderborn. Abigail Ernst (Belleville West) is staying with Caro Sale, and Kyle Pointer (Belleville East) is staying with Nils Sifrin. Luke Eckert will follow soon.. It’s interesting what comments Kyle is writing in his blog about his experiences in Germany: e.g. 21st of June.
“Speaking of news… I’ve noticed one thing about the German news that is particularly interesting. They have stories about stuff that happens in the US (among other countries). There’s a story almost every night about Missouri and it’s little flooding problem. I don’t think we’ve ever had any news about Germany…”
For more see: http://fluffyarmada.wordpress.com
Now six students from Paderborn are looking forward to their 3-month stay in Belleville, starting August 15th . Attending Belleville West will be Lea Mischendahl (staying with Family Davis), Daniel Schmidt (Nick Stauder), Christian Stemberg (Ms. Dronen); attending Belleville East will be Maren Ruerup (Amanda Reichling), Eva Wallaschek (Victoria Francis), Simon Potthast (Jonathan Crawford). Both sister city organisations — BSC and DAFK — have many reasons to be proud of what they have achieved in these 20 years. But as we always have, we’ll continue to carry on with enthusiasm.
Dr. Otmar Allendorf