Grußworte der Präsidenten
This past winter has been cold, snowy and unpredictable. Now that spring is here, the flowers and trees have blossomed and summer is right around the corner.
So far, we have a pretty busy schedule as we get ready for all our upcoming events this year.
May 16-18 brings Art on the Square and during that time we will welcome Christine Steuernagel, an artist, from our Sister City Paderborn. She will have a booth and display her works at the show. Adrienne and Jim Villotti will host Christine during her visit. Take some time to stop by her booth, and welcome her to Belleville.
As you all know, we lost one of our dear members, Chuck Oelrich in March. Chuck was a life member and had many friends and enjoyed traveling. He will be missed by many. Our sincere condolences go to his wife, Marie and his family.
Best wishes to Gary Hopfinger, director of Belleville Parks and Recreation Dept. upon his retirement. Gary served as president of BSC during 2000 - 2001 and as editor of the newsletter for many years. We are thankful for his dedicated service to our organization and wish him well. Happy retirement in sunny Florida!
The membership appreciation dinner is scheduled on Thursday, June 12th (the second Thurs-day of the month) at the St. Luke's Parish Center in Belleville. Call Hilda Koluch by June 5th to sign up for the dinner.
The stammtisch are growing in attendance thanks to Steve & Hilda. We appreciate their hard work in getting all details put together to make this fun get-together happen. So make plans to attend and don’t miss any of our monthly stammtisch.
The Youth Exchange plans are complete for the 14 students that are traveling to Paderborn on July 11th of this year. Many thanks go to Doris Roach and Katie McDowell for their dedication to make this program work. Also, your support of the 90 day program is important to the youth of our high schools and the community.
The International Sister City Convention is scheduled for July 16-19 in Kansas City, MO. On July 24th, a delegation of 20 Belleville Sister Cities members will be traveling to Paderborn to visit our friends and celebrate their 20th anniversary of the founding of the DAFK society. The adult group will be in Paderborn at the same time our students are there. We are looking forward to our trip with enthusiasm and excitement as Fran Colter is putting plans together for members mak- ing this trip.
Our next general meeting is scheduled for May 15 at Fischer’s Restaurant, 5:30 dinner, 7:00 meeting. Plan to attend.
Ron Fritz, President
News from Paderborn
At last spring is approaching. We have had a lot of cold nights and rainy days this April.
We are looking forward to exciting events. On May 21st the third volume of “Auf nach Amerika!” will be presented to the public in the Rathaus of Paderborn. The editors for DAFK are Bernd Broer, Wolfgang Stueken, Heinz Marxkors and Otmar Allendorf. While O. Allendorf has reviewed the history of DAFK 1988-2008, W. Stueken has done wonderful research on Gustav Koerner, the Latin Settlement in Belleville and other topics. H. Marxkors presents the names of many emigrants from the Paderborn region to the US. His sources were the lists of passengers on the boats crossing the Atlantic. There are more articles on emigrants to the US. by Willi Boekamp, Margit Naarmann, Friedel Schuette (on Pauline von Mallinckrodt) and Juergen Brautmeier.
On July 25th we’ll welcome a delegation from Belleville, headed by Mayor Eckert and President Ron Fritz. We are proud to have a group of 20 as of now. This is the time of the Libori-Fest, but DAFK will celebrate its 20th anniversary on July 28th in the Paderborn Rathaus. The day after the Libori Sunday has been chosen as we had the same day 1998 when we celebrated our 10th anniversary. On that occasion the American Ambassador, The Honorable John Kornblum, honoured the late Ellen Rost, the first president of DAFK, in a special meeting.
This year we will also welcome the youth group from Belleville, answering last year’s visit of a Pader- born group. Three high school students, Luke Eckert, Abigail Ernst and Kayle Pointer, will stay in Pader- born in June/July. Last year three Paderborn students stayed at their families. It is wonderful that this high school exchange program will be continued in August. Six students from Paderborn will attend classes at Belleville East and West for nearly 90 days. We are very grateful to the principals of both schools and also to BSC’s youth committee headed by Doris Roach.
These activities show that we have to rely on our young people in order to form the future relationship of our countries.
In June, Kathy Ashby, teacher at O’Fallon Township High School, will again visit Paderborn. She was first here in 2006 on a teacher exchange that BSC and DAFK had organized.
Last but not least, a Paderborn artist, partly sponsored by the City of Paderborn, will present her works of art at this year’s “Art on the Square,” Christine Steuernagel. BSC and Patty Gregory have been active to make this happen. Many thanks to them. Christine’s homepage: www.cst-aesthetica.de. We wish her many visitors to come to her stand. Best wishes to this great Belleville event.
We hope that we can receive more visitors from Belleville in the course of this year.
Best wishes to our friends in Belleville and around..
Dr. Otmar Allendorf