Grußworte der Präsidenten
It’s awfully cold lately but that didn't stop members from attending our Christmas party at the Roemer Topf Restaurant on Dec. 18th in Mascoutah.
We had a nice crowd in spite of the weather and even had a couple of new members join us. Renate and her staff prepared a tasty dinner. Hilda and Theresa had a nice selection of attendance prizes and Doris arranged the entertainment. I think everyone had a great time.
2008 was an exciting year for Belleville Sister Cities and its membership with the many events that took place. Thanks to all that made this possible. We accomplished quite a lot with our students and an adult delegation visiting Paderborn, a police exchange in September, and our fundraisers - the Oktoberfest and Taste of Germany. But 2009 is a new year and we need to get busy. This summer in July, Belleville Sister Cities will host the Paderborn students and chaperones. A committee is already making plans for the student's two week stay. Always keep in mind that we need everyone's help to make our projects successful. Volunteers are welcome.
Congratulations are in order for the Deutsch-Amerikanischer Freundeskreis which received the Ambassa- dor’s Certificate of Appreciation by former US Ambassador William Timken, Jr. The award was given for its commitment to promoting relations between Germany and the US via means of the Paderborn-Belleville Sister City partnership. Secretary Dr. Otmar Allendorf traveled to Duesseldorf to receive the certificate on behalf of the DAFK.
We were sorry to hear of the passing of Ludwig Schmidt. He was a long time member of the DAFK and will be fondly remembered by many. Our sincerest condolences go to Bruni and Ludwig’s family.
The 2009 Illinois State Convention will be held in April in Schaumburg, IL. More information from the host committee of the conference will be coming out soon.
A membership annual dues notice was in the last newsletter. Please submit your dues now so that our new membership chairman, Herm Schoener does not need to send a reminder. Please check with Herm to confirm your current address, phone number and e-mail address so our roster will be up-to-date.
Our next general membership meeting is on Feb.19th at Fischer’s Restaurant with dinner at 5:30pm and meeting at 7:00pm. We look forward to seeing you there.
News from Paderborn
In January 2008 we began our part to the newsletter with: “This year has begun with increased turbulence on the American and International Money Market. Let's hope that the situation will calm down….” We all know that this hasn't been the case, even worse: a financial and economic crisis is affecting the whole world. Nevertheless, let's hope that there will come better times…
Nearly everybody here watched TV when President Obama was inaugurated some days ago.
At present there is cold winter weather in your area, and even here in Paderborn we have had a January with much snow and temperatures below zero Celsius throughout the month that we haven't experienced for a long time.
Our Thanksgiving “all you can eat dinner” was a great event; about 160 people attended. The chef had to cook 18 turkeys that were enjoyed by everybody. Again the desert buffet was wonderful. The members are asked to bring their favourite desserts. This year Kate Eckert, the Mayor’s daughter, who happened to attend since she was on a University course in Regensburg, had made two pumpkin pies, real American style. They were a hit!
At a January 14, 2009 reception at his residence in Duesseldorf, US-Consul General Matt Boyse honoured representatives from 23 sister-city partnerships, 16 German-American organizations, and 9 individuals in- volved in the bilateral relationship from across North Rhine-Westphalia. The event was an occasion to present Certificates of Appreciation signed by former Ambassador Timken and the Consul General, to in- tensify the cooperation between the Consulate and partner organizations, as well as foster communication and exchange between the organizations themselves and their leaders. This event also launched a series of workshops that will involve all institutions active in promoting German-American relations, to be held at regular intervals in order to support their activities and generate synergies.
Dr. Otmar Allendorf, Secretary of German-American Friendship Society Paderborn-Belleville, travelled to Duesseldorf to receive the document.
We think that this also is a recognition of the activities of Belleville Sister Cities. So both organizations can be proud of this “Certificate of Appreciation”.
On January 29th Dr. Peter Freese, a retired professor of American studies from Paderborn University and member of DAFK, gave a lecture on the American South. He presented a lot of historical facts and showed pictures of the places of historical interest. On our homepage www.dafk-paderborn.de we will publish a list of books he used for his talk (in English).
As we have heard from Doris Roach, she has contacted Belleville West and East High Schools to find host families interested in the three month-exchange, starting in August. We hope that she will be successful. In June we’ll welcome the students from Belleville who hosted last year.
Norman Hansmeyer has started to organize this year’s youth exchange in July. As every second year we will send about 14 young people in their summer break to visit Belleville and around. Last July 14 Belle- ville youths and their chaperons had a good time here..
Welcome to Paderborn.!
Best wishes for 2009 to our friends in Belleville and around.
Dr. Otmar Allendorf