Jessica Ventimiglia - Rest in Peace

Jessica Ventimiglia & Terry Neuss
Jessica was a devoted member of Sarasota Sister Cities.

If you have been involved with Selby Gardens for many years or have been a member of the Associates, you probably met Jessica Ventimiglia at some point. In addition to serving as Finance Director and Education Director, Jessica was interim CEO of the Gardens for more than a year in 2007 and 2008. Jessica was known for being cheerful, kind, and caring to everyone she encountered, in addition to having boundless energy and enthusiasm. She loved, and was a wonderful proponent and supporter of, Selby Gardens.

Sad news – Jessica passed away October 22 after a valiant struggle with cancer. Her family has arranged a service in her memory at 10 am on November 3rd at The Living Lord Lutheran Church located at 11107 Palmbrush Terrace Bradenton Florida, near the intersection of SR 70 and Lakewood Ranch Blvd.

Selby Gardens has created a Jessica Ventimiglia Memorial Fund. If you would like to make a gift in Jessica’s memory, you may do so on our website or send your donation to the following address:

Jessica Ventimiglia Memorial
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
811 S. Palm Ave.
Sarasota, FL 34236



Dunfermline City Director Pauline Mitchell, a 40-year connoisseur of Scotland is organizing a visit to majestic Dunfermline, the Scottish Sister City of Sarasota and a city of four Scottish Kings, a Saint, and The Star Spangled Scotsman, Andrew Carnegie who, born from humble beginnings came to rise to a Tycoon who gave away $350,000,000 of his fortune. 

Our organized 12 day Tour will also take you to where CASTLES tell stories, LOCHS have deep secrets and BATTLEFIELDS whisper of Victory and Defeat. 

A show like no other, the famous ROYAL EDINBURGH 
MILITARY TATTOO is an unforgettable experience and is in our program.

Early August 2016, come along with your friends of Sister Cities Association of Sarasota to enjoy the unique opportunity to visit “The Best of Scotland” and be part of this Official Delegation.

A memorable journey with an exciting 12-day itinerary ready for you now!





For information and details, as well as the next TRIP SOCIAL, please contact

Pauline at or phone (941) 485 5199.

Scotland - High Tea Saturday- Pauline Mitchell


Don’t just make a trip….

Traveling to destinations where CASTLES tell stories,

LOCHS have deep secrets and 

BATTLEFIELDS whisper of Victory and Defeat. 

a Showstopper of all times, is just one of the many memorable visits you will enjoy.

Dunfermline City Director 

Pauline Mitchell offers you a unique opportunity to join the official Sister Cities Association delegation to majestic DUNFERMLINE, OUR HISTORIC SISTER CITY, TO FIFE, AND TO OTHER ENCHANTING PARTS OF SCOTLAND.

Hear all about it!

Join Pauline and John Mitchell, a native Scot, for an informative High Tea at their home on: 

Saturday, October 24 from 3:00 – 5:30 pm.

328 Sorrento Street, Venice (on the island)

Please RSVP attendance by October 18. 

Any other info call:

Tel. (941) 485 5199 or email

Sarasota Sunsets

More Sunset Photos on 

If you have a sunset photo you would like to share please email it to and we will put it on the blog.

Essential Oils and Perfumes of the World - An Olfactory Experience - 4:00 pm October 21, 2015

Sarasota Sister Cities Association
Second Fall Presentation

Essential Oils and Perfumes of the World - An Olfactory Experience

Professor Ray Young

Sarasota Sister Cities Association
Second Fall Presentation

Essential Oils and Perfumes of the World - An Olfactory Experience

Raymond A. Young
Board Member, Sarasota Sister Cities Association

Ray will start with a brief overview of the long time use of Essential Oils and Perfumes throughout history followed by an introduction to the origin and production of Essential Oils from a broad array of plant sources, from Flower Blossoms to Woody Materials.  The audience will be provided essence samples throughout the presentation to compare and contrast the varied sources.  

The concepts involved in Perfume Formulation will then be described from the perfume "Brief" to the selection of the essential oils as top, middle and base notes. The "Families" or Accords of perfumes will be presented along with the progression of the styles of perfumes to recent years.

Perfume fragrances for both men and women will be provided to the audience for their assessment and enjoyment.  Connecting the scents that evoke a positive feeling in you will help you find your personal "perfect scent" and enjoy the sensual wonders and allure of perfumes!
4:00 pm
October 21, 2015
 Herald-Tribune Community Room
Herald-Tribune Bldg
1741 Main St, Sarasota

A suggested small donation of $5.00 to SCAS would be appreciated. Our monthly Sister City Meet & Greet will follow - details below:

For further Information, Contact:
Ray Young, Sarasota Sister Cities Assn

Meet and Greet on Oct. 21

The Presentation will be followed by a

Meet and Greet at:

Yume Sushi

1532 Main Street

Downtown Sarasota

Happy Hour Specials

Ronald Gossett : August 26, 1933 - October 9, 2015 | Muskegon, MI

It is with a great deal of sadness that I announce the passing of Ron Gossett, Board member and Vice President for Culture, Sarasota Sister Cities. 

Ron has been a great contributor to Sarasota Sister Cities through his time and efforts as well as financial contributions. He was recently involved in our student cultural exchange with Florida Studio Theater's Young Playwrights Competition. This project won the 2015 Cultural Innovations Award from Sister Cities International. Ron was just reelected to the Board of Directors of Sister Cities International.

Ron's obituary is below. 

Beth Ruyle-Hullinger
President Sarasota Sister Cities

Mr. Ronald R. Gossett, age 82, died Friday, October 9, 2015 after a brief illness. He was born in Detroit, Michigan on August 26, 1933 to Charles & Lydia (Culver) Gossett and married the former Shirley Campbell on July 1, 1954. Mr. Gossett served his country in the US Navy and was a graduate of Wayne State University where he received his BA & MA in Business Administration. Ron worked for the Federal Reserve Bank in Detroit, City National Bank, First Midland Bank before coming to Muskegon where he was the president of FMB-Lumberman's Bank until retiring in 1995. Ron was a tireless supporter of the Muskegon Community. 

He served on countless boards and committees including Summer Celebration, Muskegon Air Fair, United Way, and the West Shore Symphony. He was involved with the restoration of the Frauenthal Theater, USS Silversides and the LST 393. Ron supported Rotary Student Exchange and Sister Cities Student Exchange, Harbor Hospice and many other causes. He was also a supporter of Florida Studio Theater, Circus Sarasota, board member of ALSO in Sarasota, FL and a member of Temple United Methodist Church in Muskegon.
Wife of 61 years, Shirley; son, Richard (Susan) Gossett of Roseville, MI; 2 daughters, Debra Gossett of Canton, MI, Ellen (Gregg) Berens of Hamilton, MI; 6 grandchildren, Douglas Newberry, Jessica Newberry, Stephen Gossett, Patricia Gossett, Brandon Berens and Kristin Berens; great-grandchild Caitlyn. He was preceded in death by a brother Charles "Bud" Gossett.
Celebration of Life
A Celebration of Ron's Life will be held on Monday, October 19, 2015 at 1:00 PM at Temple United Methodist Church, with Visitation one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in Sarasota National Cemetery. MEMORIAL; The Ronald and Shirley Gossett Fund at the Community Foundation for Muskegon County.

Daily Life During China's Cultural Revolution

New College of Florida’s International Studies Program
Invites you to an Evening of Film and Discussion
Daily Life During China’s Cultural Revolution
MONDAY 26 October 2015 at 7:00 pm
Sainer Auditorium
5313 Bay Shore Rd. (Caples Campus), New College of Florida
Featuring a Screening of
“Once upon a time in China…and I was there, too”
(Italia/Cina 2012, 32′, in Italian w/ English subtitles)
Followed by a Discussion with Director Nino Azzarello
A documentary on the daily life of Chinese society during the years of the Cultural Revolution, observed by an Italian who lived two years during this crucial period of the history of the People’s Republic. In recent years, the director returned to the most loved places of this extraordinary country in search of testimonies from Chinese people who lived during the same period. Thanks to the spontaneity and amateur nature of the documentary, it remains free and non-judgmental.

From 1970-1972, Mr. Nino Azzarello worked in Beijing with the Italian Trade Commission.

Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland

Rapperswil-Jona Castle

The Swiss-American Club of Sarasota has proposed that Sarasota and the City of Rapperswil-Jona enter into a Sister Cities agreement. The two cities share a number of things. They are both attractive communities located on water. They both attract a large number of tourists. They are both economically successful. They both have quality educational facilities. They both have a circus heritage and a lively cultural life.

Sarasota Sister Cities President Beth Ruyle Hullinger and Craig Hullinger while travelling stopped off at Rapperswil-Jona to tour the community and meet with officials. We had lunch with Rapperswil-Jona City Manager Hansjoerge Goldener and Rene Faessler of the Swiss-American Club. We also met with Rene, his wife Anna, and other supporters of a twinned relationship between the cities. Rene prepared an outstanding Swiss dinner for us at his lovely home overlooking Lake Zurich

Rapperswil-Jona is a very nice community. The strong support for a Sister City relationship from the Swiss-American Sarasota Club helps to make this relationship attractive.

More information about Rapperswil-Jona at

From Left To Right

Craig Hullinger, Sarasota Sister Cities President Beth Ruyle Hullinger, Rene Faessler Swiss-American Club, Rapperswil-Jona City Manager Hansjoerge Goldener

Dinner hosted by Rene Faessler of the Swiss-American Club

Beth Ruyle Hullinger and Michael Steiner Touring The Town

Rapperwil-Jona Tourism Information

Rapperswil-Jona Castle

Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland

Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland is a very nice town on the lake south of Zurich.

Appenzell - A very pleasant town close to Rapperswil-Jona.

Appenzell, Switzerland

Video -Evening on Lake Zurich in Rapperswil-Jona

Note People on the Wall, Overlooking Lake Zurich in Rapperswil-Jona

Sculpture Shoe in Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland, part of the circus heritage of the community, which is the Headquarters of the Swiss National Circus.

This is a metal sculpture about 6 feet long. Kids crawl into the top. It is in front of our hotel facing Lake Zurich and commemorates the circus tradition of the community.

Video of Swiss Cows and their bells.

Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland on Lake Zurich

Cute Little Car in the Rapperswil Center

The historic town