Saturday, October 29, 2016

INFO @ SARASOTA SISTER CITIES October 29, 2016, #12


October 29, 2016,    #12

All the news that’s fit to print as the weather cools and the birds begin to fly back…….
And please don’t miss the last story of this issue about Tatyana from Vladimir, Russia, who was a winner in last year’s FST Playwriting Contest but who couldn’t come to Sarasota because of family difficulties (it’s a tear jerker)……

---November 9 – 4pm, LECTURE SERIES:  War & Peace by Craig Hullinger, Beth Ruyle, Troy Scott & Ray Young.  Co-sponsored with the Military Officers Assn. (Community Room, Herald-Tribune Bldg., 1741 Main St.)

---November 9 – 5pm, MEET & GREET:  Vineyard Wine Bar, 1528 Main St.

---November 16 – LUNCHEON:  The Joys of Traveling & Bagpiping in Dunfermline and Beyond, by Pauline Mitchell (11:30am, University Park Country Club)

---November 17 – BAGPIPE PERFORMANCE BY DANIEL FERRY, a Dunfermline, Scotland, student with the Riverview High School Kilty Band (7pm Riverview High School)

          Sister Cities’ longtime member and Selby volunteer, Nathalie McCulloch, has just given one of the largest financial gifts that Selby Botanical Gardens has received in its 40-year history.

          “Nat” volunteers in the administrative office, taking care of the mail and answering the phone.

          Her gift will be used generously around Selby’s 15-acre site, but one of the prime uses will be to develop a master site plan.

          Many of us go to Selby frequently.  The Orchid House is never the same two weeks in a row.  Selby generously donates space for the Orchid Club and its library—and is generous to the community in many ways. 

          A gigantic THANK YOU, NATHALIE McCULLOCH  !

          We currently need thoughtful and energetic people—just like you!!—to fill the following positions:

---Secretary (take Board of Directors’ Minutes and distribute them via email)

---Vice President of Events (coordinate our meeting dates and liaison with coordinators of our luncheons and meet & greets)

---Webmaster (to locally administer or website)

---Hosts for luncheons and Meet & Greets (check off people as they arrive for these events.  This is a great way to meet our members.  One time or multi-time volunteers needed)

     Come on, now!  Let’s hear from you.  Contact me (below) or any board member.

          Sister Cities enjoyed its largest crowds ever at the last two speakers in our lectures series.  Last month our own Eladio Amores spoke on Cuba both before and after Castro, and last week Nelly Camardo (acting City Director for RJ) and Charlotte Hull (acting assistant CD fors RJ) spoke about Rapperswil-Jona and reviewed its history and beauty as the “City of Roses” on Lake Zurich.

          Both talks were well received with over 70 attendees each and were following by an enthusiastic crowd for the Meet & Greets afterwards, yesterday’s celebrating also Beth Ruyle-Hullinger’s birthday. 

          Thanks Eladio, Nelly, and Charlotte!  Fantastic job!

           Recently we were pleased to have Alex Simeon, Vice Dean of the Technical University of RJ.  He was on an exploratory trip to visit The Ringling College of Art & Design, USF-SM, New College and other places in hopes of establishing student and faculty exchanges between his institution and ours here.

          He attended our luncheon meeting at Bird Key Yacht Club and heard Michael Fehily’s talk on Mérida, Mexico.

          Mr. Simeon was a knowledgeable and affable fellow.  Hopefully we will see more of him in the future.
SWISS MUSIC FEST 2016, 7pmNovember 4, Riverview High School Auditorium (doors open at 6:15pm)

          Some of our most energetic and enthusiastic members are the Swiss who proposed Rapperswil-Jona as a new Sister City for us.  Although the Swiss Music Fest is not a SCAS activity, our Swiss members deserve our support for their hard work, especially Nelly Camardo and Primo Bader.

          The Swiss Music Fest will feature among notable Swiss musicians:

---Marianne Cathomen, winner of the International Grandprix of Folk Music in Europe.

---Lisa Stoll plays the alphorn, that “looong” horn with a curve on the end that sits on the ground—pardon my adolescent description--with the richness of a brass instrument and the softness of a woodwind.

          Along with other Swiss musicians, the Sarasota Concert Band will provide musical support.

          Tickets:  $30.  A check may be sent to
Swiss Music Fest – Sepp Gmuender
99 Sunset Drive, Box 301
Sarasota, FL 34236

And tickets will be mailed to your address.

     (Just in case you didn’t know……)  Although Sarasota Sister Cities is run by our fine coterie of volunteers, we are officially an organization of city government.  Each year we present a report to the City Commissioners and they renew our relationship. 

     Each of our twin cities is created initially by signing an agreement between the mayors of Sarasota and our twins.  In many foreign countries, the head of Sister Cities is a municipal employee and operates from City Hall.  In the US, Sister Cities are generally run by volunteers. 

     And….drum roll please!...our agreement has been renewed again—for over 50 years.

          Tatyana is a talented, mature, seventeen year-old student from Vladimir, Russia, one of our Sister Cities.  For the last four years she has participated in FST’s Write A Play contest. 

          With much hard work and time, SHE WON last May.
          Tatyana was beyond enthusiastic when she realized her dream and learned that she was invited to travel to Sarasota to accept her award and see her play performed.

          Sadly, ten days before leaving for Sarasota, financial hardship struck her family of six.  They could not afford to use their savings toward her trip. Tatyana was extremely disappointed but mature about the hardship.

          FST has kindly invited Tatyana to attend the ceremony this year.  (Maybe we can even get FST to perform Tatyana’s play for her!!!)  An informal group of Sister Cities members has taken it upon themselves to create an emergency fund which will purchase an airline ticket for Tatyana to visit Sarasota.

          Will you help this well deserving student playwright realize her dream?

Email Olga Pliner, City Director for Vladimir (

or Nancy Tsekou, Vice City Director for Vladimir ( offer your help.

Dat’s all, Folks!  Direct questions and comments to your editor……..
Dave Harralson