There are always lots of things in the works with your organization.
The Illinois State Sister Cities Convention was held at Our Lady of Snows Shrine on April 21 & 22. It was the first time the convention has been held south of Springfield. Our group jointly hosted with all the So. Illinois SCIs; Carbondale, Columbia, Millstadt and Waterloo. State Board member Josephine Wittenauer from Columbia chaired the convention committee, and put in a tremendous amount of effort to make sure everything went smoothly. The presidents of the five organizations met several times and were in constant communication during the planning period. The workshops, entertainment, food, and accommodations all were well done. The number of people in attendance was a bit disappointing. Very late publication of the final convention program contributed to the low numbers.
Belleville SCI was honored by being awarded First Place on their Display Table. Congratulations to Doris Roach, Theresa Fritz and Sally Berkel for a great job. Thanks also go to the many people who helped in lots of ways at the convention. One of our duties was the hospitality room, and it was well received. Fritz Distributing, Fran Colter, Marie Reichling, Theresa Fritz donated or baked. We are also grateful to Bob Arndt who prepared a CD slide show that played at the convention to showcase some of our groups past activities.
The Paderborn youths will visit here in June, and we thank Youth Chair-man Doris Roach who has done a lot of prep work finding host families and planning activities. The fourteen German youths will bring a lot of new experiences and excitement into our hosting youths lives.
We are anxiously looking forward to welcoming a delegation of twelve DAFK visitors from Paderborn who will arrive on October 11th and will be guests here for four days. Six of these guests will be first time visitors. We hope that some of you who have never hosted in the past will take this opportunity to enjoy the experience. There will be four single women and four single men in the group, so it will make it easy to host just one person. Group activities will be planned during their visit. If you are interested, please contact Ruth Fritz 566-2388 or Rose Ann Renneker 476-1052.
Plans are underway for our 2008 group trip to Paderborn, where they will have a celebration commemorating the 20th anniversary of our Sister City Partnership. The two week guided tour is tentatively being planned for the first part of September 2008, visiting Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. I know it seems like a long way away, but if you think you may have an interest in going, please contact me or Ron Fritz.
Mayor Eckert and I had a meeting with Police Chief Bill Clay, Deputy Chief Scott Lanton and Fire Chief Dave Martinson concerning a future police and fireman’s exchange with Paderborn. We hope an ex-change can begin in 2008. There is a lot we can learn from each other in all faces of life.
There is a reminder included in the news letter about your 2007 dues in case you forgot to pay them. Membership Chairman Larry Schaltenbrand races to the mailbox each week, and is disappointed if he does not hear from you. On the same sheet is the invitation to the Membership Appreciation party to be held at the Moose Lodge Pavilion in Swansea. We thank Marie Reichling who will be in charge of this year’s event. If you would like to help her, or suggest entertainment, please call her 234-2831.
Another big thank you goes to Marie Reichling and Bill Jacobus for handling the mailing of the news-letters. Lots of good people in our group!
Will we see you at the meeting and membership party?
News from Paderborn
We hope that the Illinois Sister Cities Convention held at the Shrine Conference Center in Belleville has given new ideas and energy to those involved in this important activity. We can imagine how much work it must have been to organize such an event. But building bridges between nations is as important now as it was when this wonderful idea was started by President Eisenhower.
Here in Paderborn we are looking forward to the visit Pat Hasenstab and Allan Alfrink, teachers from O’Fallon High School. They will stay here from May 29th thru June 8th continuing the teacher ex-change with the Paderborn Goerdeler Gymnasium (high school).
Last year, three teachers from Paderborn, Gabriele Lambrechts, Almut Ulama and Nadia Weber, returned from Belleville with wonderful experiences. Kathy Ashby from OTHS started the exchange and came to Paderborn in June 2006. It would be great if other high schools in Belleville and the region would follow their example. Here Joerg Erdmann from DAFK is project coordinator and would be pleased to be con-
tacted via BSC.
Fourteen young people and their chaperons, Norman Hansmeyer and Martina Franke, are getting excited about their forthcoming stay in Belleville and around from June 21st thru July 7th. This youth ex-change between our cities and regions started in 1990! The people on both sides of the Atlantic who have been working for this project can be proud of this achievement. The board of the German-American Friendship Society Paderborn-Belleville (DAFK) wants to extend its great thanks to BSC and the host families and everybody else involved in this year’s exchange.
It’s wonderful that four high school students from Paderborn will have the chance of attending high schools in Belleville starting with the term in August. We are grateful to the principals of Belleville East, Mr. Kniekamp, and Belleville West, Mr. Dahm, for their cooperation. We also thank the board of BSC, the teachers involved Katie McDowell and Linda Driesner and Doris Roach for BSC’s youth committee.
We are happy to confirm that a group of 12 people from DAFK will visit Belleville from October 12th thru 16th. The Paderborn County Board Chairman, Manfred Mueller, will be in the group. This will be his first visit to Belleville. For some it will also be the first visit to Paderborn’s sister city. All of us are looking forward to meeting with our friends.
Here in Paderborn (and all over Germany) the temperatures in April were higher than on many days during a normal summer, we saw on TV that in Belleville temperatures on many days were lower than normal…
So let’s hope that there won’t be too many surprises in the forthcoming months.
Dr. Otmar Allendorf