"The 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Kettering Sister Cities Committee was kicked off at a recent Kettering City Council meeting. Mayor Don Patterson issued a Proclamation congratulating Kettering Sister Cities for 50 years of promoting cultural understanding with our Sister Cities abroad. It was accepted by Dr.Darrell Apt, a member of the first Sister City Committee in 1967 and by Emily Zimmer, Chair of the 2017 Sister Cities Committee. It was an honor to have a member of the original committee with us on this special occasion. .
Also at the meeting, the beautiful award received from Sister Cities International was presented to Mayor Patterson This award was for the Best Overall Program for cities of Kettering's size. This is the sixth time Kettering has won this prestigious award.
Mayor Patterson then welcomed 14 students from Steyr, Austria to Kettering. The chaperones from Steyr brought greetings from Mayor Hackl. This was the 41st Student Exchange between Kettering and Steyr. The host families were thanked for opening their homes to the students, which is how people-to-people relationships are built.
A Gala Celebration was held at Polen Farm, an historic farm house in Kettering that is used by the community for special events. As guests arrived they saw that the large room in the barn had been transformed into a beautiful dining room. The Sister Cities Committee had invited members who were involved in the early years and they were greeted enthusiastically by current members. Excitement was in the air and the room was filled with conversation and laughter. More than a hundred guests of all ages enjoyed the festivities, including a fabulous buffet of delicious food and beverages.
The Committee was honored that all five mayors who have been supportive of Kettering Sister Cities through the years were present. They were Mayors Charles Horn, Gerald Busch, Richard Hartmann, Marilou Smith and Don Patterson.
During the program, tribute was paid to those who have been loyal members of the Kettering Sister Cities Association for 40 continuous years.They initiated programs that sparked interest in the community for the Sister Cities program.
Recognition was also given to those who were Committee Chairs over the years. Their dedicated leadership continued the tradition of excellence of the Kettering Sister Cities as well as creating new ideas for the program.
The Steyr guests, dressed in Austrian attire, presented an entertaining slide show of their activities. The youth from Kettering and the youth from Steyr had become good friends as they shared common interests and activities. It showed that the mission of Sister Cities International to promote peace begins at the local level, one person at a time."
Contributted by Joyce Conner of Kettering Sister Cities