was reached March 11, at an International Festival Committee
already created worldwide disruption to travel, tourism,
conventions, schools, sporting events, and other special events.
The common denominator in these postponements or cancellations
is public safety. Experts encourage people to avoid events with
large crowds. So, the International Festival Committee decided
it was in the best interest of everyone involved if we postponed
our event,” said Rogene Kohler, chair, TSCI Festival
TSCI’s first dealings with the Coronavirus. In December of
2019, the two TSCI organizations that represent sister cities in
Qinhuangdao & Nanchong, China asked for donations to purchase
masks and gowns to combat the deadly virus.
“We put out a
call to help our sister cities in China and our community
responded raising $10,000 for each city,” said Hartung. “Rather
than purchase $20,000 in masks and gowns in the U.S. and then
deal with the logistical nightmare of trying to ship them to
China, we simply forwarded the donated money to our sister city
organizations in Qinhuangdao & Nanchong, allowing them to
purchase the needed supplies.”
effort to help Qinhuangdao & Nanchong was honored with a
Toledo City Council Resolution in February sponsored by
Councilman Gary Johnson.
When held in
April, the Toledo Sister Cities International Festival holds the
distinction of being the first festival of the season in
Northwest Ohio. Participating countries include: Spain,
China, Hungary, Poland, Japan, Tanzania, Germany, Lebanon,
Pakistan, and India.
and September, festival organizers will continue to look for
corporate sponsors and volunteers for the event which attracts
over 2,000 people each year.
International Festival has authentic ethnic food available from
several participating countries, as well as world
beers. Vendors will be on-hand to offer crafts and other goods.
Merchandise representing many other countries will be
available. All Sister City clubs and committees and other local
organizations with an international interest will have
information and activities. There will also be an opportunity to
learn a bit of a different language every half-hour.
festival will include recognizing the Toyohashi, Japan
Committee and their 20th anniversary as part of
Toledo Sister Cities International. TSCI will also begin
promoting for 2021 the 90th Anniversary of the
signing between Toledo, Ohio and Toledo, Spain which is the
first “sister city” relationship anywhere.
Cities International has been at the forefront of building
international relationships between municipalities since
1931. In 1956, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower continued to
foster Sister Cities agreements on a mayor-to-mayor basis.
In 1993, TSCI
incorporated as a 501 (c) (3) organization and in 2020 will
celebrate 27 years of service. TSCI has established agreements
with Coimbatore (India); Coburg (Germany); Hyderabad (Pakistan);
Poznan (Poland); Qinhuangdao & Nanchong (China); Szeged
(Hungary); Tanga (Tanzania); Toledo (Spain); and Toyohashi
(Japan). A regional agreement is in place with Bekaa Valley
TSCI runs the
International Youth Academy which brings youth from all
over the world to Toledo for a two-week period during the summer
months. Part of TSCI mission is to assist in the facilitation
of area economic development ventures by providing cultural,
educational, language and other key services.
information on the Eleventh Annual Toledo Sister Cities
International Festival or to become a member of TSCI, visit
www.toledosistercities.org. Information on TSCI is also
available on Toledo Sister Cities International Facebook page
and by email at email@example.com.
interested in volunteering should e-mail Ms. Kohler at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Those interested in becoming a corporate
sponsor or making a tax deductible donation should contact
John Glaza, treasurer, TSCI Board of Trustees, / e-Mail: email@example.com
or at 419-704-2284.