2015 in Review

by Dorothy Kittaka, President of Fort Wayne Sister Cities International, Inc 

Fort Wayne Sister Cities International board of directors has a fantastic energy and purpose which extends beyond our city walls allowing us to send students to our Sister Cities and extending the program to other segments of our city.  Let me tell you what we have been doing for the past year.  Our programs are primarily aimed at student exchanges to open the world of friendship, one person at a time, also to educate our community about the cultures of our Sister Cities.  Also see that we do many other projects to bring people together in friendship.

JAN. 2015
Takaoka students from Japan, sponsored by the Koshimae Program visited Bishop Leurs H. S. for the student exchange program

FEB. 2015
FWSCII GALA AT MIRRO CENTER FOR THE FIRST TIME

MARCH 2015
Artwork from Takaoka was sent to FAME, Foundation for Art and Music in Education for an exchange of student art.

APRIL 2015
2 Representatives from FW Chinese Ping Pong club went to Taizhou China where Ping Pong is the language that is popular and is the language people understand around the world. They were treated like celebrities and Ned Lee; one of the players is now on our board.

MAY 2015
Cherry Blossom Festival 10,000 people (May 15, 2016 ACPL) - Collaboration with JAAI and FWSCII. This year will be its 10th year.

JUNE 2015              
Gera, Germany Police exchange has been going on for 15 years.  Now the Fire departments want to also connect to Fort Wayne.

JUNE 2015              
Fort Wayne Students travel to Takaoka for the Student Exchange – gave report to the FWSCII board in Oct.  86 applications were submitted and 6 students were selected to go to Takaoka, Japan.

JULY 2015
First Time FWSCII Float was built and entered into the Three Rivers Festival parade. With more visibility, all of our sister cities represented in full native dress on the float educated the public of our diversity.

Six Delegates from Płock and 41 members of Wisła Dance and Music Ensemble from Plock came to FW to celebrate our 25h anniversary. Wisła marched in the parade and gave a public performance at Foellinger Outdoor Theatre.

JULY 2015
Four FWSCII attended for the first time, the Sister Cities International Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Learned that we were keeping up with the nation in our Sister City programs.

AUGUST 2015
A business company owner from Taizhou came to Fort Wayne to search for business opportunities.

SEPTEMBER 2015
FWSCII Board Retreat at Fox Island to focus on what our board will accomplish in the future.  We are excited that we voted to hire a part time assistant to bring our volunteer board to the next level of maturity.

OCTOBER 2015     
Mazurka” performed to Chopin’s music with Choreography by Jose Limon performed by the Fort Wayne Ballet to honor Plock Poland. This was sponsored in part by FWSCII  with collaboration with FW Ballet.  In the future we hope to send this ballet to Plock

OCTOBER 2015       
 Two Physicians, a Pharmacist & a nurse from Takaoka spent 5 days with Parkview Doctors to exchange procedures in cancer treatment. This is the second time doctors from Takaoka have come to Fort Wayne. Parkview doctor team plans to Takaoka in the fall of 2016.

OCTOBER 2015
Two Sister Cities delegates attended the Chinese US Conf. in Chicago. They made many connections.

DECEMBER 2015  
Six Delegates from Taizhou came to FW to sign the highest level of Sister City relationship. An invitation was accepted for the Taizhou Opera to come to Fort Wayne in 2017 for the 5-year anniversary of the city agreement.  We will collaborate with FAME to bring them to our schools in Ft. Wayne.

 

More projects:

IPFW and their culinary arts and hotel management students highlighted Gera Germany by preparing and serving delicious German food every Tuesday night to the public for a whole semester at the Holiday Inn on Coliseum.  The Gera Haus was a great success. Plock, Poland was featured last year as the Plock Bistro.  This was also a big success as a collaborative effort between FWSCII and IPFW.   Delicious!!!

The Kiosk built by 80/20 Inc. with donations by Barrett & McNagny for FWSCII at the FW Airport. This touch screen informational center will educate the travelers about Fort Wayne sister Cities and the magnificent public sculpture Flights of Freedom Weaving Cultures by George Morrison

Look for our newly installed Signposts of Sister Cities at Science Central and Parkview Field.  They will tell you how far they are from Fort Wayne and show you the direction to the cities.

FWSCII will be sending two groups of students to Plock Poland and Taizhou China this summer. We thank The Chapman Foundation for funding their travel.

Friendship City Agreement to be signed by Mayor Henry in Fort Wayne on Monday, January 25, 2015 and in Myanmar on February 4, 2015.   Delegation of ten FWSCII board members and community people including Eric Olsen of 21 TV Alive will travel with the group to document the trip leaving on Jan. 31, 2016.  

The FWSCII Board is a vibrant and active group of passionate individuals who are providing opportunities for youth in our city to expand their knowledge of our ever-shrinking world.  We are making Friendships one Person at a time, which we hope will bring more peace in our world. .

 

The Fort Wayne Sister Cities sign at Science Central.

The Fort Wayne Sister Cities sign at Science Central.

Exchange students from Fort Wayne with their class in Takaoka, Japan.

Exchange students from Fort Wayne with their class in Takaoka, Japan.

The Takaoka exchange students return to Fort Wayne.

The Takaoka exchange students return to Fort Wayne.

The 2015 Cherry Blossom Festival drew record crowds.

The 2015 Cherry Blossom Festival drew record crowds.

The Wisła Dancers from Płock, Poland performing at the Foellinger Theatre.

The Wisła Dancers from Płock, Poland performing at the Foellinger Theatre.