Grußworte der Präsidenten
I hope everyone is enjoying the nice weather we have had this past month. We have gotten a bit spoiled with the cool days, just hope Au- gust isn’t a scorcher.
The membership dinner was held in Paderborn at St. Michael’s parish center and although I had to be out of town for business, I heard there was a good turnout and those who attended had a good time. Thanks to Theresa and her committee that put it all together.
Norma Bergkoetter planned a day trip to St. Louis on June 25th for members and guests to visit the Holocaust Museum, churches and have lunch at St. Louis Gasthaus. From the comments I heard, the trip was a huge success. Thanks to Norma for a job well done.
The Paderborn exchange students arrived in Belleville on July 3 to spend two weeks with their host families and explore the City of
Belleville and the surrounding area. While here, the students met with Mayor Eckert at City Hall for the 20th anniversary of the youth exchange program between Belleville and Pader- born, Germany. Plaques and letters of accomplishment were presented to Belleville Sister Cities from Lansing Hecker, Honorary Consul General and Josephine Wittenauer, Illinois State Coordinator, recognizing the 20 years of promoting friendship and cultural student ex- changes. A metal plaque commemorating the anniversary will be placed outside in front of the Sister City sign at City Hall. Thanks to all past and present chairpersons, chaperones and host families who have made the youth exchange a success. May our success continue to flour- ish.
A new and much larger Sister City sign with our logo was recently installed near the foun- tain by the north entrance to Belleville on North Illinois St. The new sign looks great and is much more visible thanks to Rich Berkel and the Parks and Recreation Dept’s. efforts.
Oktoberfest is coming up Sept. 25 & 26th. Larry Schaltenbrand has already sent out sign- up sheets to volunteer your help. Following Oktoberfest is our Taste of Germany on Oct. 4th. Chairman, Rich Berkel has his committee working hard on the ad book. If you would like to help, call Rich at 234-2331. These are our biggest fund raisers of the year. Money raised goes to funding our youth exchange program. I encourage all of our membership to participate in these two events by volunteering their time or by attending. Invite your family and friends to these activities.
News from Paderborn
Dear Friends in Belleville and Around
As we do every year we are celebrating the Libori festival at the end of July. This July has been full of activities due to the youth exchanges between our two cities and regions. The group chaperoned by Norman Hansmeyer, Eva Reike and Andrea Her- mes returned on July 26th from a three weeks’ stay in the US, two weeks in Belleville and one week in the area of Boston. They are back with wonderful memories of their time in Belleville and around. They experienced hospitality coming from the heart of the hosts they stayed with.
On behalf of the German-American Friendship Society Paderborn-Belleville (DAFK) we want to express our deeply felt gratitude to the host families, to the Belleville chaperones Doris Roach, Andy Gaa and Katie McDowell and to BSC for what they did to make this year’s youth exchange a very successful one. We also thank Mayor Eckert for the reception at the City Hall and the tour of the city he gave to the group.
This year marked the 20th time that Paderborn has participated in a youth exchange program with Belleville. Who would have thought that such a continuity could become real when in 1990 a group of Belleville youths headed for Paderborn, Germany. On July 6th , Mayor Mark Eckert gave a reception at the City Hall for the youths, representatives of BSC and former chaperones from Belleville. To mark the occasion, Lansing Hecker, honorary consul of the Federal Re- public of Germany to the US from St. Louis, presented a plaque to the Mayor recognizing 20 years of exchanges. Also present was Josephine Wittenauer of Illinois Sister Cities. DAFK has invited both to come to Paderborn. Amelie Reichling and Jonathan Crawford from Belleville are here just now for a counter visit. They hosted Paderborn students last year for three months. Luke Eckert and a friend will accompany Jan Schulze when he returns to Germany after a great time in Belleville. In July the grandchildren of former Mayor Lueke of Pader- born, Moritz and Pauline, stayed with the Eckert family on a private basis.
On August 15th , five high school students will arrive in Belleville for a three months stay: Laureen Gertzen (hosted by Crystal Zimmermann), Amelie Kroeger (Jackie Bassler), Philipp Dueker (Family Youmanns), Michael Wilmsmann (Christopher Crawford) and Lukas Zimmermann (Kevin Schaefer). It will be a great experi- ence for them to attend an American high school. We are grateful to everybody involved. Again, these recent exchanges have been wonderful.
Looking back over 20 years, both cities as well as the BSC and DAFK can be proud of the achievement. Let’s hope that this wonderful project of building bridges over the Atlantic and especially between our two cities and regions will go on. We are indebted to everybody involved over the years. Many of them are named in a recently compiled history of our the sister city relationship (in English) from 1987 thru today. It can be found on our website, Geschichte DAFK, www.dafk-paderborn.de/geschichte_dafk
Dr. Otmar Allendorf