Sister Cities Association of Sarasota

Citizen Diplomats—Carving a Path toward Peace since 1963


Sister Cities International


Save the date for the 2017 Inaugural Gala

WHATIn advance of Inauguration Day, join Sister Cities International at the 2017 Inaugural Gala for an exciting gathering of diplomats, members of congress, municipal officials, and community and citizen leaders in celebration of the inauguration of our Honorary Chairperson, the President of the United States. a53dc919-5950-442f-b337-009780b2d166.jpgWHENTuesday, January 17, 20177:00 PM — 11:00 PMWHEREThe Organization of American States200 17th Street NWWashington, DC 20006
Click here to book a hotel room at our special rate of $229/night at the Washington Marriott Hotel at Metro Center.
e925320d-6556-44fd-859e-9595201946e4.jpgTICKETSGala Ticket: $250Gala Ticket — Young Professional Rate: $150

View sponsorship opportunities here.

For more information, visit

Join us for the 2017 Inaugural Gala
The latest from #SisterCitySunday
#SisterCitySunday is an online campaign hosted by Sister Cities International and the Delegation for the European Union in the US, featuring dynamic content from each EU member state each Sunday, highlighting the importance of people-to-people relationships in global peace-building.

Follow along each week at and join the conversation using #SisterCitySunday on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. 

Click here to download a digital toolkit with ways for you to help spread the word.

Innsbruck & New Orleans: A Model Transatlantic Partnership, Embassy of Austria, 2 October 2016  Read more…
Texas Aggies and “the most American city outside of North America,” Embassy of Belgium, 9 October 2016 Read more…
Join us for #SisterCitySunday

Update: Locations added for the Young Artists and Authors Showcase nationwide tour

bde8c3fd-33fd-47de-b093-f5a2fd251efc.jpgYoung Artists and Authors Showcase (YAAS) finalist and grand prize winning artwork, writing, and photography pieces are currently touring throughout the U.S.!YAAS will be traveling to the following communities in 2016-2017:

Tour Dates Tour Locations
September 17-18, 2016    Naperville, IL
Annual Naperville Riverwalk Fine Art Fair 
October 18-27, 2016 Fort Wayne, IN
The University of Saint Francis, Rolland Art Center
November 15-22, 2016 Milwaukee, WI
Holiday Folk Fair International — Wisconsin State Fair Park
December 5-23, 2016 Durham, NC
To be announced
January 2-23, 2017 Lakeland, FL
Harrison Center for the Visual and Performing Arts
February 2017 Santa Fe, NM
To be announced
March 1-31, 2017 Santa Clarita, CA
Valencia Public Library
April 2017 Chandler, AZ
To be announced
May 1-31, 2017 Delray Beach, FL
To be announced

To learn more about YAAS and the 2016 winners, visit Questions? Email

Learn more

Scholarships available for U.S. high school students to study abroad

State_Department.jpgAttention sister city youth programs! Applications are now being accepted for scholarships for the following Department of State sponsored study abroad programs for U.S. high school students for 2017-18.

The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) offers merit-based scholarships to study one of seven critical foreign languages: Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian, and Turkish. The NSLI-Y program is designed to immerse participants in the cultural life of the host country, provide formal and informal language practice, and spark a lifetime interest in foreign languages and cultures. The application deadline for summer 2017 and academic year 2017-2018 programs is October 27, 2016Visit for more information. 

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad Program offers merit-based scholarships to study for an academic year in countries that may include Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Macedonia, Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines, Senegal, Thailand, and Turkey. This program increases understanding between people in the United States and people in countries with significant Muslim populations. Students live with host families, attend local high schools, do community service, and complete a capstone project. Applications for academic year 2017-18 programs are due December 1, 2016Visit for more information.

The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) offers merit-based scholarships to study for an academic year in Germany. The program was established in 1983 to celebrate German-American friendship based on common values of democracy. Students live with host families, attend local schools, and participate in community life in Germany. For more information and application deadlines, visit the organization in charge of recruitment for your state

For more information on exchanges sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, visit To receive printed brochures about our study abroad opportunities, send an email with your request

Learn more

Oct 19, 2016 Luncheon Our Delightful Sister City Merida - Cultural Program, Mike Fehilly


Oct 19, 2016 Luncheon 
11:00 am, Lunch at 12:00  
301 Bird Key Drive, Sarasota 
Bird Key Yacht Club
Cost $26.00

Program - Our Delightful Sister City Merida, Mexico — Cultural Program, Mike Fehilly 

The cost is $26 per person with a choice of entree and a vegetarian menu. Drink tickets will be available for cash purchase.  There will be a table for display in addition to the registration table.  

Below is the menu. Guests should arrive at 11 with lunch served at 12. Drink tickets will be purchased with cash at the sign in table only prior to lunch being served. No drink tickets may be purchased once the meal is in progress. The cost is Beer $6.00, Wine $9.00, Mixed drinks $10.00. Prices include gratuity. No charge for Coffee, Iced Tea, or Soda. Reservations due no later than Friday, Oct. 14th.

Choice of Entree:

Option A: Chicken and Mushroom Crepes, Broccoli and Julienne Carrots, Supreme Sauce

Option B: Garlic Shrimp Skewer over Greek Salad

Option C: Vegetarian Greek Salad
Dessert: Chocolate Caramel Cream Brulee

You can pay by check or credit card


SCAS or Sister Cities Association of Sarasota
C/O SCAS Treasurer Werner Knoop
7115 Kensington Court
University Park, FL 34201

Or go to, payment link is in the left column


Click for Google Map Directions

Click For Photos of the Last Luncheon


October 2016 Social Media Report

We use social marketing to inform our membership. Our principle addresses are:




Our blog is our online newsletter. We keep a calendar events at the top, and amplify the information with photos on older posts,

We email our members several times each month with notices of events. We use two email addresses - and
You can post information and photos and interact with others on the addresses below. All of our members and friends are encouraged to join us. These systems work best if we have a number of our members posting.

We continue our efforts with our Facebook page. If you use Facebook please check out our page, and contribute thoughts, ideas, and events

If you use Twitter please join us. It is easy to create an account and post directly yourself. And prove to everyone that you are up to date.

We also continue our efforts on LinkedIn and Pinterest.


And of course our Web Site. We use a consultant to update the site and we change it infrequently. It does pick up info from the blog automatically and has links to our social media.

We maintain our membership records on

From this site you can update your own records and membership records.  Membership VP Dave Harralson maintains this site and can help you get access:

I maintain a blog that has spreadsheets showing Board contact info and Members Contacts. 
The Board is open — you have to ask me for access to obtain access to all our membership. 
We have many photos on line. You can see them on our Pinterest page or see them from the left column of the blog. Or Click Here.

Google has provided us a domain email for free, since we are a non profit.  We will create an email address as Board Members request.  The address will be your title or name, followed by
The system is similar to gmail. It also provides a way to share documents and photographs.  A little confusing but you can figure it out.
Using the domain email is of course voluntary.  If you do use the email it might make it simpler to use it with a separate web browser - perhaps use the Microsoft browser for your regular email and use Chrome or Firefox for you Sister City email.  That way you won’t have to log in and out of the two email systems. Or you can choose to forward the Sister City email to your regular account.
A few of the new emails have started in the Estonian!! language. We don’t know why. Great for internationalism but not so good for comprehension. If this happens give me a call at 309 634 5557 and I will help you get it back to English. 
If any of you would like to help improve our social marketing systems give me a call or send me an email or just jump in and start posting to our Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Twitter addresses. And if you know anyone who can help with this effort please put me in contact with me.

I continue to post news releases with little success. It is easy to write a news release on the Tampa Bay News Wire and theoretically the papers will pick this up. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

News Release

If you have articles or photos to share, please send them to us and we will post them to the blog and social media.

Sister City Blogs
We have established a blog for each of our Sister Cities. We encourage the City Directors to post photos and notices on their blog. Use of these blogs is of course optional for eachC City Director.

Our Social Networking report:

Sarasota Sister Cities Social Marketing Plan

Sarasota Sister Cites Plan

Sunsets Sarasota

Calendar of Coming Events

Sep 14, 2016 Luncheon 11:30 am Bird Key Yacht Club — Using Facebook, Blogs, LinkedIn etc for your Organization, Family, or Business, Craig Hullinger and Olga Pliner

Sep 7-30 “And Then There Was Quiet — New York After 9/11” Photographic Exhibit, by David Gordon

Sep 20-21 — 12:00 pm to 12:00 pm Gifts made by credit card through the Giving Challenge Web site between noon on Sept 20 and noon on Sept 21 will be matched.

Sept 29, 2016 Cuba AC/BC – After Castro/Before Castro, Eladio Amores
4:00 pm, Selby Library (Free Event) 1331 First St, Sarasota
5:00 Meet & Greet: Louie’s Modern Restaurant, 1289 N. Palm Ave

Oct 19, 2016 Luncheon 11:30 am Bird Key Yacht Club - Our Delightful Sister City Merida — Cultural Program, Mike Fehilly

Oct 26, 2016 Friendship City, Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland: History & Culture,
Primo Bader, Nelly Carmardo, Charlotte Hull & Candace Wehbe
4:00 pm, Herald-Tribune Community Room,
Herald-Tribune Bldg, 1741 Main St, Sarasota;
5:00 pm Meet and Greet Location TBD

Nov 16, 2016 Luncheon 11:30 am University Park Country Club “The Joys of Traveling & Bagpiping in Dunfermline and Beyond.”, Pauline Mitchell.

Nov — Date to be determined, 2016 War & Peace, Ray Young, Craig Hullinger, Beth Ruyle, Troy Scott Co-Sponsored w/ Military Officers Association
4:00 pm, Community Foundation of Sarasota 2635 Fruitville Rd, Sarasota
5:00 pm Meet and Greet Location TBD

Dec 13, 2016 Holidays in Our Sister Cities – Unique Festivities, Sister City Directors
5:00 pm, Vineyard Wine Bar 1528 Main St, Sarasota

Jan 11, 2017 Luncheon 11:30 am Bird Key Yacht Club, Xiamen, China, Dr. Carolyn Bloomer and Dr. Hongying Liu

Feb Date to be determined, 2017 Luncheon 11:30 am Bird Key Yacht Club, Carnevale in Traviso, Anna Madaschi and Isabel Eidet

Mar 15, 2017 Luncheon 11:30 am Bird Key Yacht Club. Honor Our Mayors, Hope Byrnes, Kenney DeCamp, Dave Harralson

Apr 12, 2017 Luncheon 11:30 am Bird Key Yacht Club, Annual Membership Meeting and Elections, Marianna Janz-Wecke 
Scroll down for more info on each event:
All the Scoop that is fit to print and some that is not:
Blog (This is our online newsletter)Web          sarasotasistercities.orgPinterest
You can Post Directly to the sites below:

News Release

Our Email

Sister Cities International

60th anniversary celebration and 2016 Diplomatic Leadership Awards

 Thank you to all who helped us celebrate our official 60th anniversary on the day of our founding while honoring Robert J. Dole, former U.S. Senator; Timothy Chorba, former U.S. Ambassador to Singapore; Connie Morella, former U.S. Congresswoman and U.S. Ambassador to OECD; andJerry Abramson, Deputy Assistant to President Barrack Obama and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, White House, at the 2016 Diplomatic Leadership Awards Reception on Monday, September 12.

The event was hosted by the reception’s Honorary Chair, Ambassador Kirsti Kauppi at the beautiful Embassy of Finland in Washington, DC.

Jerry Abramson, Timothy Chorba, Ambassador Kauppi, Mary Kane, Ambassador Aldona Wos, Connie Morella, Tim Quigley, Ron Nirenberg
Connie Morella, Mary Kane, Tim Quigley, Ambassador Wos, Bob Dole
Timothy Chorba
Mary Kane, Jerry Abramson, Tim Quigley
Learn more

Live video discussion for Global Collaboration Day this Friday, September 16

 00159923-5456-4b4d-a4a7-eb90f65d735f.jpgWe’re excited to join Design Squad Global for a live video discussion this Friday, September 16 at 12pm ET in honor of Global Collaboration Day.

We will discuss how we’re collaborating with other organizations to enhance sister city programs and our best practices for supporting global collaboration and the future of youth engagement in order to support their futures as involved citizens, capable leaders, and successful problem solvers of the 21st century.

Watch live at

Watch live

Host the 2016 Young Artists & Authors Showcase winners and finalists in your community 

717d030e-30a7-4613-a1fa-c998f12657a1.jpgAre you interested in hosting the grand prize winners and finalists’ artwork, writing, and photography from the 2016 Young Artists and Authors Showcase (YAAS) in your community? We are seeking YAAS hosts for February, March, and May 2017. 

Host communities will host the tour for 1-1 ½ months. This time commitment depends on the city, as some cities plan receptions around the tour while others display the art at local art galleries, libraries, or city halls.

Note: Hosts do not need to be YAAS participants or finalists, but do need to be dues-paying members of Sister Cities International. 

If you’re interested in hosting the tour, please email Alyssa Fox, membership manager for youth programs, at

Host the YAAS tour

Deadline approaching: High School Homestay spring 2017 applications

b075e008-e383-4d95-9acf-5f4b7ffd8148.jpeHelp foster cultural exchange in your community by hosting a high school student from your sister city! Applications for students to participate in the spring 2017 semester are due October 1, 2016.

Through the High School Homestay Program, U.S. sister city programs can select high school students from their international partners to take part in a year-long or semester-long exchange. SCI is a U.S. State Department-designated sponsoring organization and can process the J-1 secondary school student visa.

Click here to download a flyer with more information, including eligibility, costs, and deadlines. Visit or email Alyssa Fox at to learn more. 

Learn more
The latest from the Sister Cities Exchange
Sewing Group Changes Lives of Young Women in Africa

af5c9f61-3b0a-4efb-b0af-86084207b68d.pngCity of SeattleWatch how a special project from the Seattle Limbe Sister City Association & Sarah Allen Sisterhood Saturday Sewing Sisters is changing lives. Learn more…

Tell your sister city’s story! Did your sister city program’s ambassadors go on an interesting exchange or host an exciting cultural event? Tell us about your organization’s past or present experiences through a blog post for The Sister Cities Exchange.

Click here to download blog guidelines. Check out the blog here.

Please direct all questions and blog submissions to

Read the Sister Cities Exchange

September 20 and 21 - Noon To Noon - Giving Partner Challenge


 Once again Sarasota Sister Cities participates in the
2016 Giving Challengewith Matching Support from The Patterson Foundation
For each contribution to Sister Cities from new donors — up to $100 apiece —The Patterson Foundation will provide an AMAZING 2 to 1 MATCH! 

And that’s not all, folks — contributions from returning donors – up to $100 each – will be matched 1 to 1! 

Minimum contribution is $25.

Be the one to make a difference during the 2016 Giving Challenge!

Mark your calendar for: September 20 & 21 from noon to noon!

To have your gifts be eligible for a match they must be made by credit card through the Giving Challenge Web site between noon on Sept 20 and noon on Sept 21.

Join us in our mission of international person-to-person diplomacy!

You can go directly to the site below to donate

Or visit and search for Sister Cities.


Sponsoring Organizations






INFO @ SARASOTA SISTER CITIES September 2, 2016 #11

All the news that´s fit to print—Some newspaper ought to adopt this as its motto….
And Then There Was Quiet — New York After 9/11” Photographic Exhibit by David Gordon.  Sponsored by Sarasota Sister Cities September 7at 6 om — Opening Reception, Artist’s Talk at the Manatee County Public Library at 1301 Barcarrota Ave, Bradenton.  These photographs chronicle the horror in NYC of 15 years ago.  The exhibit will run through September 30.
SEPTEMBER LUNCHEON at the Bird Key Yacht Club, Sept. 14
           Olga Pliner and Craig Hullinger will speak on Using Facebook, Blogs, Linkedin and other social media for your Organization, Family, or Business.  Register to attend online at You can RSVP by email to  
          Sister Cities member Eladio Amores will provide an insiders look at Cuba before and after Castro.  This promises to be a fascinating talk……..
                    September 29, 4pm, Selby Library
After Eladio´s talk, we will  adjourn to Louie´s Modern on Palm Avenue for our Meet & Greet at 5pm.  If you can´t get there for Eladio´s talk, just come to the Meet &
Greet.  We’ll be glad to see you.
          What is it?  New member Daniel Jittu knows all about it and would like for Sister Cities folk to get to know it as well.
          On November 5-19, and November 4-18, 2017, The City of Sarasota will be holding the US Lawn Bowling Open.  The 2017 Open marks the Club’s 90th anniversary in Sarasota.  Few clubs have been in our community as long as the bowling club. 
          The Club is located just north of the Memorial Auditorium.
          Bowls or lawn bowls is a sport in which the objective is to roll biased balls so that they stop close to a smaller ball called a “jack” or “kitty”. It is played on a bowling green which may be flat or convex or uneven. It is normally played outdoors and the outdoor surface is either natural grass or artificial turf.  Today the sport is played in over 40 countries with more than 50 member national authorities. The home of the modern game is still Scotland with the World Bowls center in Edinborough.
          We are exploring ways to help the Sarasota Lawn Bowling Club with its US Open.
          For more information:

—How to play the game:

—How lawn bowling balls are made:

—Bowls England:
Olga Pliner, City Director for Vladimir
          Olga was born in Moscow and took her degree at Moscow Sate Pedagogical University in Special Education.  She soon moved to Germany where she earned an MBA at Hagen University where she majored in Marketing.  She worked in companies managing sales, customer care, acquisitions, and account management.
          In May, 2012, she moved to the US and founded P&P Media Partners in Venice.  This trilingual lady is the publisher and manager of the German-language newspaper in Florida.  Pick up a copy at Geier’s and other fine stores.  Welcome Olga!
Isabelle Eidet, Assistant City Director for Treviso Province
          Isabelle grew up in Seattle, WA, and was employed by the State Department and the US Agency for International Development. She worked overseas for more than 30 years. She was also an Executive Director with R.H. Macy & Co.  She has lived and worked in Manila, Nairobi, New Delhi, Jakarta, Rome, Geneva, Vienna and has had several stints in Washington, DC in between foreign assignments. She has also served as a Board member with several NGO’s overseas.  Isabelle has lived in Rome for five years and traveled extensively throughout Italy.
          Isabelle moved to Sarasota with her husband Gary from Vienna, Austria, in 2011. They have 3 children and 2 grandchildren.  Welcome Isabelle¡


Share This Page

Subscribe to News