Grußworte der Präsidenten
I have just returned from the 2006 International Sister Cities Convention in Washington D. C. July 13-l5 where the entire focus of the conference was the importance of Sister City Partnerships on the global community.
There were over 400 foreign delegates among the 1,200 attending the conference. A great number of US and Foreign leaders spoke during the three days and each ex-pressed gratitude for what the partnerships have accomplished. Gestures of friendship, through assistance and exchange programs, have brought a face to the people in both countries, and valuable relationships have resulted. The SCI program accomplishes what no amount of money can. Be proud that you are associated with such a worthwhile program.
The convention marked the 50th year since President Eisenhower initiated the People to People program on September 11, 1956. Mary Jane Eisenhower, his granddaughter heads up the program now, spoke to the conference about how grateful she was for the success of the program.
While there are organization like ours, who have partnerships that carry out very pleasant exchange programs between youths and adults, there are also very many who are partnered with less developed countries who they work very hard to support, financing clinics, schools, roads, sewers, self help programs, etc. Partnerships with Islamic countries were strongly encouraged, to acquaint them with the western culture, better accomplished by friendship than by war.
The summer has seen lots of exchange visits between our sister cities. Paderborn artist Andreas Kopp took part in the Art on the Square in May. He was overwhelmed by the friendliness of our members and Belleville residents, by the amount of volunteerism at the festival, and grateful to Patty Gregory and her board for inviting him to take part. His medium was painting on metal. Norma Bergkoetter and Ruth Fritz were hosts during his week-long stay, and several other members graciously showed him around the area.
Our three long term students departed in June for a six week visit with the family of the Paderborn student they hosted last fall, attending three weeks of classes there. Eleven youths and chaperones went on the biannual three-week visit in July. Kathy Ashby was our first teacher exchange, and will be hosting her Paderborn cohort for this fall. We hope it is the beginning of a long-term educational project. Hearing the exchange reports will be a highlight at the August meeting.
While there was not an official adult exchange, several members have visited friends in Paderborn. Rich and Sally Berkel made the trip to be present at the happy occasion of the wedding of Otmar and Helga Allendorf’s daughter Danielle in July. Wolfgang and Renate Stueken spent several days with the Bob and Ruth Fritz.
Our exchange youths rode on the back of a decorated pickup in the Shriner’s Parade in June. V.P. Ron Fritz and I rode in a convertible, following our proud banner and carriers.
We were pleased with the cooperation of the exchange youths and parents in our food booth at the Deutchfest, to benefit their program. It was a good way to get to know each other, not necessarily a good way to get rich! Our stand was lucky to have survived strong wind and rain on Saturday, while several other booths did not. Probably not a project we will repeat.
A heavy storm also affected the June Membership Party, held at the Depot in Mascoutah Scheve Park. About 50 people came out in spite of threatening storms. Outside activities were curtained, but guests enjoyed visiting inside. We thank Bob and Ruth Fritz for making location arrangements, ordering chicken and providing the drinks for the affair.
Before our next general meeting, our two biggest fundraisers will take place, important because they are source of our funding for the youth exchange program. We will be selling our German food at the Octoberfest on September 21-22, and needing lots of assistance during the two long days. Rich Berkel and committee are busy working on the Taste of Germany ad booklets. Each of us should try to sell an ad at a place of business we patronize. Invite a friend and attend the TOG dinner. The success of the programs depends on each of us.
Hope to see you at our August l7th meeting.
Norma Bergkoetter, President
News from Paderborn
Dear Friends in Belleville and Around:
A heat wave has struck the US and Europe during July. Paderborn is looking forward to the opening of the exhibition “Canossa 1077” (www.canossa2006.de) by our President Horst Koehler on July 21st. This exhibition will cover about 50 years around 1100, the conflict between the Pope Gregor VII. and the Emperor Henry IV. about who had the say in Europe. But also the art and culture of this period of the Middle Ages will be covered in the exhibition. Paderborn will expect more than 150.000 visitors until November 5th.
On July 14th the youth group from Belleville arrived, just in time to be here during the Libori Festival starting July 22nd thru July 30th. Mayor Paus will receive them at the City Hall on July 21st. There are 11 participants in this exchange. Chaperons are Katie McDowell and Jamie Stephens. Katie is accompanied by her husband Ryan. Besides the stay with the host families there will be two 4-day excursions to Berlin and Stralsund. This is the historic city in East Germany situated by the Baltic Sea that President Bush has visited recently (www.stralsund.de). Their stay will end on August 3rd.
Another wonderful youth exchange has just come to its end: On July 19th Lisa Lang, Allison Schaeffer and Jon Laux will be back in Belleville, they stayed here for six weeks answering a 90-day exchange of four Paderborn students to Belleville in 2005. The host families did a wonderful job to organize trips with their hosts to different parts of Germany.
We are sure that the young people have got new and interesting insights into German life and traditions. We hope that they will take home an objective and realistic image of their host country. This is the basic idea of an exchange that lasts longer than just two or three weeks.
Our thanks go to the host families, to Linda Driesner who has done a wonderful job organizing the trip in Belleville and to Jay Erdmann here in Paderborn.
On July 16th there was a get-together for both groups sponsored by DAFK where Rich and Sally Berkel who happened to be in Paderborn (having attended Daniela Allendorf’s wedding) could extend the greetings and best wishes from President Norma Bergkoetter.
For one week in July Robert Berns’ family hosted three soccer fans from the US attending some of the plays of the World Cup, one was Alan, soccer coach from Belleville West.
At the beginning of June Kathleen Ashby, teacher at O’Fallon High School and a member of BSC, had come to Paderborn for a week starting the teacher exchange that will be continued in autumn with the visit of three Paderborn teachers to Belleville. This is a great project that Linda Driesner has got going in Belleville.
Andreas Kopp returned from Bellville were he showed his works of art during “Art on the Square” in May. Although he didn’t sell any of his paintings on metal he talked enthusiastically about Belleville, his hosts, about the art fair and his meetings with visitors. (See report with pictures by Wolfgang Stueken who (with his wife) also stayed in Belleville during Art on the Square (see www.belleville.net link to)
Well, these lines show how many successful activities have taken place during the last weeks. They will contribute to a better understanding of people in our regions. That is what BSC and DAFK are working for!
Dr. Otmar Allendorf