Grußworte der Präsidenten
As this year comes to an end, so does my two year term as President of Belleville Sister Cities.
How time flies. When I took on this position, I was eager to keep all programs going. It has been quite an experience, easy at times, but also very frustrating at others. I have learned quite a bit, but all in all, I was proud and happy to have served as President. Norma Bergkoetter will take over as of January 1, 2006. I know she will do her best, so please give her the same help, support and good advice I have had from you during this time. At our November 17th General Meeting we will have the lection of officers. If you are interested in serving on the board, as either Secretary, Trustee or Membership chairperson, please let me know, or call Sally Berkel at 234-2331. If so, please try to come to the meeting. We would like for all members to get involved in SC.
This past July, a small group from our BSC went to Paderborn to participate in their annual St. Libory Fest. I’m sure all of us had a great time, except for the weather. At first it was a relief to come from our hot temperatures to a cooler climate, but we could have done without the rain. But visiting with all our friends made up for the bad weather. .
Also this year we had 14 students and 2 chaperones from Paderborn staying here with us. After 2 weeks they continued their trip to New York before returning back home. On behalf of BSC I want to thank all the host families and all the people that helped to organize everything. Next year it is our turn to send the students over there for a 3 week stay.
This year is also the first time that we are hosting 4 exchange students from Paderborn for 3 month. Two are going to Belleville West, one to Belleville East and one to Mascoutah HS. They are staying with host families as well. The News Democrat had interviewed all four and the American host students as well. Hope you saw the article in the paper. I have talked to all of them recently, and it seems as they are enjoying their stay more and more. It is an experience to stay in a different country for a length of time. Even though many of us are of German heritage, it is still a different culture and way of living. Let’s hope that they enjoy the rest of their stay and go home with good memories and enriched by new impressions.
As you know Belleville Sister Cities is awarding a $ 1,000.00 (two $ 500.00) to the „Dottie and Rich Brauer Scholarship Fund“ to two recipients at SWIC. I had the pleasure meeting with both of them. They are taking German and both eventually want to teach the language. I believe that both are worthy of the award. We made it through the Oktoberfest with plenty of sunshine. Our profit I believe exceeded last year’s. As always, the food was delicious, and a very special „THANKS“ to the ladies from St. Libory for making the potato salad again this year. It is definitely a big seller. Quite a few mentioned that they were looking forward for a good German meal at a reasonable price. Thanks to ALL that helped at the Oktoberfest.
Here is a chance for YOU to get involved. This year, SC will participate in the annual Santa Claus parade, held on November 25th, the day after Thanksgiving. We have a flatbed and also a place to store and decorate it. All we need now is your help and talent. The theme is „German Christmas“. Unfortunately we are not allowed to have a German St. Nick. There is only one Santa Claus allowed in the parade. If you would like to help, please call me at 234-3633. We need to start working on it „As Soon As Possible“ . But if you can’t help, please come and cheer when we walk past you.
Our „Taste of Germany“ dinner was a great success. I have talked to quite a few people, and all were raving about the good food. Thanks to Kenny Fischer and his staff for preparing it. And a special thanks to all that helped make the Rouladen. We are all little experts at it now. Seems as they are getting better each year. A lot of work went into that event as well. Thanks to all!
Since this will be my last „President’s Message“ , I will from now on relax and read Norma’s.
Last but not least „CONGRATULATIONS“ are in order. As you know SC presents each year the „Herman and the „Belleville Sister Cities“ award to two of our members that have done a great job for our organization. The Herman Award went to the business of Larry Schaltenbrand , „Schaltenbrand and Schaltenbrand“. Larry has been very active and supportive in SC. Besides being in charge of the Oktoberfest Beer Booth, his company has been very generous in supporting us. The Belleville Sister Award went to our Treasurer Jim Sheridan. Jim has been a treasurer for several years and since we are not in the red yet, he must have done a great job. It takes a lot of time and effort to keep the books straight with an organization as big as ours. Again „Thanks“ to both of them for have done an out standing job. And as for myself, I would like to thank all of you again for working with me and all your help these past two years.
Norma,“ good luck“ to you as you take on this position.
Viele Gruesse an unsere Freunde in Paderborn
News from Paderborn
Dear Friends in Belleville and Around!
It’s hurricane season. During the last weeks the people of Paderborn (and around the world) have been watching television as to the weather conk tions in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico and the consequences of „Katrina“ , „Rita“ and „Wilma“…
The people of Paderborn have been in thoughts with those afflicted by the catastrophes. Let’s hope that man’s better understanding of environmental reasons for these extreme outbreaks of nature will help reduce the dangers – but this will be a long way.
We are getting lively and enthusiastic reports from our four high school students who presently are attending high schools in Belleville and Mascoutah for 90 days. These extended stays contribute to a better understanding of people. We are grateful to those who have made this experience possible, the principals of the schools, the host families, Belleville Sister Cities with President Doris Roach and Linda Driesner who have been very active to organize details of the stay. It would be wonderful if this project could be continued.
We look forward to welcoming the Belleville students for their stay in Paderborn next June.
In August, Ken and Rose Ann Renneker visited Paderborn where they stayed with different host families. We arranged a special „stammtisch“ for them on August 22nd. Memories were exchanged with quite a few members who attended this evening event. And again we had another chance of remembering: This time with Bob and Ruth Fritz who had come to Europe for a trip. On September 26th we had a special „stammtisch“ for them and for Jiu and Sue Wennemann of St. Li bory who had been to Paderborn twice as participants of former group visits. It was interesting to learn that Bob and Ruth could visit relatives in Germany who had been „rediscovered“ only a few years ago. Friedel Schuette, godfather and a honorary member of our society, has just published a new book. He portrayed 40 men and women from Westphalia who immigrated to the US in the 19th century and who became famous US citizens. On November 11th he’ll give a lecture on his book for the Paderborn public. In the next „Newsletter we’ll give more details.
We have learned that BSC’s „Taste of Germany Dinner“ had a good attendance, we are sure that the „rouladens“ – among other things – were a hit again…
We are preparing for our Thanksgiving Dinner on November 24th. We are proud that on Belleville’s newly created homepage www.bellevillechamber.org „Sister Cities“ are mentioned on the front page and that there is a link to our homepage, too. Another homepage operated by St. Clair County Historical Society is in the process of creation: www.gustavekoerner.org. With great interest we are reading the individual entries.
We are proud of our member Wolfgang Stueken who has been contributing on various items. Wolfgang will give a lecture on „Koerner“ for our members at the end of January 2006:
Best wishes to all of you for the next weeks.
Dr. Otmar Allendorf