Organization is looking for new members

Published: Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 12:14 p.m. CDT

My name, Hospes, is the Latin word that means both “host” and “guest.” I thought it was an appropriate nom de plume, since OPEN — Organization Promoting Everlasting Neighbors — serves as both a host to our neighbors from around the world, and also frequently as a guest to our friends in other nations.

My purpose is to serve as the “spokesperson” for Newton’s OPEN organization, to “open the window,” so to speak for the community on the organization’s activities. From time to time, I’ll talk about what OPEN is up to. I’ll also talk with former OPEN exchange students to see “where they are now.”

But enough about me. Let’s talk about OPEN.

The OPEN Board holds its meetings at 7 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month in the east meeting room at Emerson Hough. The meetings usually run about an hour in length.

We’re always looking for new people who are interested in joining, particularly younger members of the community who have an interest in developing international ties for Newton and the surrounding area. If you’re interested, contact OPEN president Jane Ann Cotton.

Recently, we welcomed our newest exchange student to Newton, Jason, who comes to us from Taiwan. You may have read about him in a recent story in the Daily News.

He’s already become quite involved in local activities, including a “fall ball” baseball team, as well as landing a role in the upcoming Newton Senior High School drama performance. OPEN Board member Jeff Price took him to the University of Iowa-Northern Illinois University football game a few weeks ago in Iowa City.

Jason also took part in this week’s NHS homecoming festivities, riding in the parade alongside the school’s other exchange students.

If you happen to meet Jason, or any of our international guests, please be sure to extend a warm Newton welcome. We would greatly appeciate it.

Marvin Shawver

This week, we were saddened to learn of the passing of Marvin Shawver, a long-time member of the OPEN Board. Jane Ann Cotton and John McNeer had this to say about his impact on the organization:

“Marv was involved from the beginning of OPEN.  He was a member of the Newton City Council which passed the resolution supporting the organization of the group.  He served OPEN as chair for many years with dedication.”

Marv had a severe stroke several years ago and been living at a nursing facility in eastern Iowa since then. Funeral services were held in Bettendorf, but burial was at the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Newton. Several members, past and present, of OPEN attended.

• • •

Until next time — Amicitiae nostrae memoriam spero sempiternam fore

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