Note from the President
Hello fellow Citizen Diplomats. Sister Cities programs around the State of Illinois are truly amazing. The Award Committee and the Board were again both awed and appreciative of the great relationships and programs around our state. The applicants for Illinois Sister Cities of the Year Award and ISCA Champion of Youth Award shared amazing exchanges and programs between Illinois Cities and several cities around the world. After much review and discussion our Winner for Illinois Sister Cities of the Year Award is Palatine, Illinois. The Palatine relationship with Fontenay-le-Comte was founded in 1995 and has consistently been an example of a strong relationship between two cities. There have been both adult and youth exchanges. In 2015 the Rugby Exchange was a creative endeavor bringing the local Fontenay-le-Compte Rugby team to Palatine. The monthly French night brings together local Palatine residents to understand Sister Cities and Fontenay. Palatine has culinary, horticulture, sports and art events and they host the Palatine Farmers Market in Palatine. The depth and longevity of your relationship is commendable.
The Springfield Sister Cities program was chosen for the ISCA Champion of Youth Award. The Springfield Sister Cities organization is an example of exemplary work in developing and maintaining a Sister Cities Youth program with Ashikaga, Japan and San Pedro de las Colonias, Mexico. Their cultural and educational exchanges are models to be held in esteem for their attention to organizing stays, sightseeing, meals, meetings and events. Springfield’s attention to and consistent maintenance over time of their relationships engaging their local community in the process are a great example of collaboration between a variety of organizations to achieve great exchanges.
Several other cities applied for the awards and had great offerings in their programs. The creativity and depth of Illinois Sister Cities relationships is truly awe inspiring and we encourage all programs to apply for the awards next year.
We are looking forward to Decatur as our host for the ISCA Annual conference in April 2016. Information to follow. We are still looking for a 2017 and 2018 host. Please contact me if you are interested.
Have a great Holiday Season.