On an evening that was both a nod to the past and a step towards the future, the Sister Cities Association of Sarasota (SCAS) unveiled its latest achievement—a book chronicling 60 years of fostering international relationships and cultural exchange. The event, held on January 25th in a venue steeped in history, not only celebrated the launch but also demonstrated the vibrant spirit and commitment of the SCAS community.
A Night to Remember
The room buzzed with anticipation and soon filled beyond capacity, a testament to the strong support for SCAS’s mission. The highlight of the evening was the complete sell-out of the newly launched book, with all proceeds benefiting Sister Cities Association of Sarasota. This achievement underscored the collective effort of current and former members and officers who have shaped SCAS’s legacy through numerous successful programs and events.
The event was graced by the presence of former SCAS Presidents Hope Byrnes, Linda Rosenbluth, and Beth Ruyle along with many of its dedicated officers and members. Their contributions, both past and present, have been instrumental in SCAS’s journey, and their engagement during the event exemplified the deep-rooted community spirit that drives the organization.
Historical Significance and Insightful Speeches
Adding to the evening’s charm was the revelation shared by the restaurant owner about the venue’s historical significance—it was once the office of John Ringling of Circus Fame. The attendees were captivated by tales of a secret passage to the Opera House and a self-portrait by Ringling, reminders of Sarasota’s rich cultural heritage.
The event featured enlightening talks by SSC President Coleman, and authors Ray Young and Craig Hullinger. They delved into the organization of the book and extended heartfelt thanks to all members for their contributions. Their speeches highlighted the collaborative spirit that has been a hallmark of SCAS’s success.
Feedback, Future Directions, and Joining the Journey
Feedback from attendees, especially former members, reflected a renewed interest in SCAS’s activities and a desire for greater involvement. This enthusiasm aligns with SCAS’s goal to expand its membership and engagement, furthering its mission of international friendship and cooperation.
The event not only celebrated the past but also set the stage for future initiatives. With SCAS holding the copyright to the book and its electronic file, there is potential for future updates, ensuring the story of Sarasota Sister Cities continues to evolve. The book, available on Amazon, serves not only as a fundraiser but also as a gift to sister cities, city commissioners, and guest speakers, furthering SCAS’s mission of cultural exchange and international understanding.
As we reflect on a successful event, we look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead. The SCAS community is more vibrant and committed than ever, ready to build on our achievements and continue our mission of fostering global friendships. We invite you to be part of our journey, to engage with our programs, and to contribute to our shared goals. Together, we can make a difference, one connection at a time.