3rd Annual Coulee Hoolie Ceili Links Charities in Wisconsin and Ireland

La Crosse Wisconsin
The La Crosse Bantry Friendship Association works to build a bridge between two charities on opposite sides of the Atlantic next week, with a fundraising night of traditional Irish music and dance. The 3rd Annual Coulee Hoolie Ceili will benefit Sacred Grounds, a group that aids homeless and vulnerable people in the Wisconsin city of La Crosse, and Cork ARC, a support service for those in Bantry, Ireland, with family members needing medical care.A ‘hoolie’ is a gathering or party, and ‘Ceili’ refers to traditional Irish music, dance, and singing, all of which ...

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Birmingham Ushers in the Year of the Dog

Birmingham and Chao Yang District Lunar New Year Celebration
Record crowds flocked to an auditorium in downtown Birmingham, Alabama, last month to celebrate the Lunar New Year, in an event featuring performances by dancers of all ages, and even a Beijing Opera singer. The city’s 12th Annual Chinese New Year Festival drew more than 4,000 people, not including performers from Birmingham’s sister city Chao Yang District (in the Chinese capital city of Beijing) and Chinese-Americans and others from the Birmingham area. The festival is just one of the many international events sponsored or founded by the Birmingham Sister ...

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The City of Auburn Goes to the Olympics

A delegation from the City of Auburn, Washington will touch down in South Korea this week to attend the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics. They come at the invitation of host city PyeongChang, who counts Auburn as its only American sister city. Seven delegates, including Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus and others involved with the sister city program, will join delegations from PyeongChang’s sister cities in Japan, China, and Mongolia for the opening ceremony. The cities of Auburn and PyeongChang entered into talks to become sister cities nearly a decade ago. ...

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Virtual Classroom Links Schools in Highland Park and Puerto Vallarta and Modena through Poetry

A virtual classroom project launched this month, connecting Elm Place Middle School in Highland Park, Illinois, to Los Volcanes School in Highland Park’s sister city Puerto Vallarta, in Mexico. The joint effort of the Highland Park Sister Cities Foundation (HPSCF) and the Puerto Vallarta Sister Cities Committee connects the classes of Elm Place teacher Lori Wyatt and Los Volcanes teacher Raul Gibran through the study of poetry. Using a virtual platform called Edmodo, students will explore the values we share with people in other countries. The project also enables ...

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Legislators Bring the World to Annapolis

Legislators and officials in Annapolis welcomed delegations from Maryland’s 20 sister state relationships late last month to showcase their programs’ achievements over the past year at the annual Sister States Legislative Reception. The event also fosters greater cultural awareness in the Maryland community through special food, drinks, and items characteristic of each of Maryland’s sister states (in 17 countries total) set up at tables in an exhibit hall. This year’s reception, which was held January 30, also featured cultural performances by Chinese Taiji ...

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“The Sultan and the Saint”: Building Bridges Through Film

panel on stage
Stories move us.  Films are one of the most effective forms of storytelling and one that can be used to great advantage by Sister Cities, as the Baltimore Luxor Alexandria (Egypt) Sister City Committee did in recent months. A nonprofit film production company, Unity Productions Foundation uncovered an incredible, virtually unknown aspect of a meeting between two men – St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan al Malik of Egypt -  in 1219, during the height of the Crusades on the battlefield in Damietta, Egypt. Their meeting inspired the Sultan to make an incredible humanitar...

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Silver and Gold: Seattle Celebrates 25 Years of Bergen’s Oleana and 50 Years of Sister City Friendship

Contributed by Lori Ann Reinhall of Seattle Bergen Sister CitiesThe Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association has long had a reputation for its parties and galas, and when the opportunity came up to celebrate the silver jubilee of Bergen and Norway’s premier textile company Oleana together with our own golden jubilee in 2017, it was an opportunity too good to pass up. As president of the association, I reached out to Oleana’s representative in the Pacific Northwest, Laura Almaas of Chalet in the Woods in Gig Harbor, 50-some miles south of Seattle. Not before long, we put ...

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Kusakabe Taro: the Samurai Connecting New Brunswick and Fukui

Paying Respect to Kusakabe Taro
 From October 4th through the 7th New Brunswick, New Jersey hosted a delegation from Fukui, Japan to celebrate 35 years of friendship. The two cities formed their sister city relationship in 1982, committing to exchanging ideas and culture in order to promote peace and grow together. Their partnership has led to the growth of student exchange programs, cultural ambassador programs, and more. The Fukui delegation consisted of over 40 people including the Vice Mayor and members of the City Council; members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce; and members of the Fukui ...

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Seattle Commemorates Fifty Years of Friendship with Bergen with Gift of Northwest Coastal Tribal Art

Contributed by Lori Ann Reinhall, President, Seattle-Bergen Sister City AssociationOn Thursday, September 7, 2017, a Seattle delegation of eight from the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association visited local representatives at Bergen City Hall to present Mayor Marte Mjøs-Persen and the people of Bergen, Norway, with a gift to commemorate fifty years of friendship between the two sister cities.The following is a translation of president Lori Ann Reinhall’s speech, given in Norwegian, that accompanied the presentation of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association’s gift ...

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Leipzig Helps Sister City Houston with Charity Concert

Saint Thomas Church
After the winds and torrents of Hurricane Harvey blew through southeastern Texas and beyond, residents of multiple cities have been left with the formidable task of rescuing and rebuilding their communities. Thankfully, countless organizations are making efforts to help these cities in any way they can, from food donations to emergency health kits—even from over 5,300 miles away. Houston’s sister city partners in Leipzig, Germany extended a helping hand by hosting a charity concert where all proceeds went to the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Leipzig, ...

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