The Annual Meeting of Newton’s sister city group, Organization Promoting Everlasting Neighbors (OPEN) will be held at 7 a.m. Nov. 6 at the EJH Beard Administration Center, 1302 First Ave. W. As required by our by-laws, this is an official invitation to the meeting. Newton has sister cities in Smila, Ukraine and WuChi area, Taiwan. The board’s regular monthly meeting will follow the Annual Meeting.
On behalf of OPEN’s Board of Directors, we thank Newton and Jasper County for the strong support we have experienced for 28 years. We want to thank the many citizens that have been involved with our student program. Forty-four students from our sister city areas in Ukraine and Taiwan have spent an academic year at Newton High School and several Jasper County high schools and all have been privileged to have had host families that unselfishly shared their families’ lives with them. Sofiia Mischenko is being hosted by the Matt and Debbie Muckler family. Without this kind of support, our student program would not be possible. We are very appreciative of the dedication of the 44 students’ host families and we are very proud to have offered the students the opportunity to spend academic time in our area schools.
We communicate our sister city activities through articles and photos in the Newton Daily News and Facebook (OPEN Newton Iowa). In September several representatives of the City of Newton, Jody Rhone and Brian Dunkelberger, along with Josh McNeer, John McNeer and Jane Ann Cotton traveled to Smila, Ukraine for one week of historical activities. Our annual Pasta Supper was held Thursday, Oct. 24. Our sincere thanks to all who have supported this annual endeavor. We are very grateful for the support.
Our Board of Directors meet monthly to conduct the necessary business for our organization. Current Board members are: Sheri Benson, Bob Callaghan, Warren Erickson, Steve Farver, Stephen Gehling, Jane Johnson, Debbie Knopf, Mary Beth Lawson, John McNeer, Sveta Miller, Jeff Price, David Raymond, Tori Reynolds, Joan Tyler, Jody Rhone, Brian Dunkelberger and Josh McNeer.
Jane Ann Cotton, Chair