AUGUST 2011
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City Updates 


Reggio Emilia, Italy

  • Reggio Emilia committee thanks all the families for hosting 17 participants during the ILA program. Mark your calendars to attend our joint meeting with Mbabane and Toluca, enjoy a glass of wine and hear what is planned for NEXT year.
  • The Sept. exchange to Reggio Emilia final travel orientation is Sept. 8th at 6:00 p.m. at The Gardens Restaurant.
  • Farewell and thanks to Reggio intern Eleonora Simonazzi as she concludes her summer internship.Thank you Eleonora for your contributions and friendship.

Trier, Germany

  • The Trier committee is meeting this month after a summer break to plan for a special musical exchange in October. Get all the details and see how you can volunteer at this month's meeting.

Nagaoka, Japan

  • Domo to the host families who welcomed the Japanese students during ILA. We appreciate your hospitality.
  • The committee will welcome Mr. Hara and Mr. Takano to Fort Worth August 10-12. Plan to attend the Harashin 20th anniversary dinner August 11th.

Bandung, Indonesia

  • Many thanks to the host families who opened their homes to Indonesian students for ILA. You provided a true Texas experience for them.

Budapest, Hungary

  • A big thank you to the volunteers who hosted our student and teacher from Budapest for ILA.
  • Many activities are being planned for the Mayor Tarlos delegation August 21-25. Please see calendar for details and be sure to RSVP.

Toluca, Mexico

  • Join the Toluca group this month at our joint meeting with Reggio Emilia and Mbabane to hear about the exchanges we are planning.
  • A service adventure to Mexico is being planned for March with limited space so stay tuned.
  • Gracias to all the families for hosting 33 students and teachers from Toluca last month.

Mbabane, Swaziland

  • Participants on the Mbabane Service Adventure exchange this summer will present a photo show at the August meeting. Another service exchange is being planned for next summer so get the details now. Space will be limited.
  • Thanks to wonderful host families for welcoming the Mbabane youth and teachers during ILA.
  • Thank you also to BELA for providing scholarships for the students and to LINKS for hosting the museum day.

Fort Worth Youth International

  • Thanks to all FYI members who helped set up TCU dorm rooms for over 100 ILA students.
  • Shelby Roberts, President, and newly elected youth board officers, are planning an August board retreat and brainstorming session for 2011-2012. Youth members are invited to share ideas for future programs. Email suggestions to Irene by August 22.

Emerging Leaders Network (The NET)

  • Thank you to the NET members who volunteered during ILA. The students enjoyed a great "celebrating our global leaders" event.
  • We sadly say adios and arreviderce to Chary and Eleonora, interns from Toluca and Reggio Emilia. They did an awesome job and will be missed.
  • Goodbye also and thank you to our other office interns. Bravo! Interns are a vital part of our programming.


Contact Us

Mae Ferguson, President/CEO  


Joseph Ramirez, Vice President/COO  


Irene Chase, Vice President    


Beth Weibel, Senior Program Manager   817.632-7105

Eva Rodriguez, Executive Assistant  



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1,000th Facebook Friend Recognized  


Congratulations Carla Clark for being Sister Cities' 1,000th Facebook fan and for showing your support. Carla is an assistant booking coordinator at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth. Carla was presented a year's membership along with Sister Cities gear and books about Fort Worth and the citizen diplomatic movement by President/CEO Mae Ferguson. If you aren't a fan yet, check us out on Facebook. Fans hear about future plans and events, see exclusive pictures and get updates as they happen. It's also a great way to converse with our international friends online. For even more updates and photos follow us on Twitter. Thank you again Carla!  

Mike Hyatt Honored as

Director Emeritus 

At the July board of directors meeting, Directors Emeriti Mary Palko and Elaine Yamagata were recognized and thanked for their many years of commitment and dedication to the mission of Sister Cities, as well as their on-going guidance and support. Directors Emeriti Mayor Bob Bolen and Tim Sear were unable to attend and will be recognized at a later time. The group present were also on hand to welcome new Director Emeritus, Mike Hyatt. 

Mike Hyatt became a member of Fort Worth Sister Cities in 1990. Since then he has served in almost every leadership position including Chairman of the Board. He is currently Chair of the Government Relations committee and an integral part of the viability of Sister Cities for over twenty years. Mike was the first recipient of the Bob Bolen Award for Outstanding Board Leadership presented in 2000.

Mike is also involved on a national level. He was elected to the Sister Cities International board of directors in 2004 and remains an active member currently serving as Chair Emeritus. He has served as the board treasurer and as Chairman of the Board from 2008-2010. One of his major accomplishments while serving as Chairman of the Board was the acquisition of a $7.1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help alleviate poverty in Africa.

Congratulations Mike and thank you Mayor Bolen, Mary, Tim and Elaine. Sister Cities has been fortunate to have each of you as founders and supporters throughout our twenty-six year history. 

Budapest Mayor Istvan Tarlos 

to visit Fort Worth


Budapest's newly elected Mayor Istvan Tarlos and four others will visit Fort Worth for the first time August 21-25. Traveling with Mayor Tarlos are Dr. Istvan György, Deputy Mayor; Dr. SzeneczeyBalazs, Head of the Mayor's office; Dr. Andrea Kenderes, Director of the International Center; and Municipal Advisor, Szandra Szentkiralyi. Mayor Tarlos succeeded Mayor Demzsky who served as mayor for 20 years. The delegation will have a full itinerary including meetings with Mayor Betsy Price, City Manager Tom Higgins, representatives from the Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, and key city departments such as waste management, transportation, and homelessness.

All members of Sister Cities are invited to the welcome reception August 22 at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and a farewell dinner at Joe T. Garcia's on August 24. See calendar for details.

Fort Worth Sister Cities is looking forward to meeting our new Hungarian friends and planning future programs and exchanges for the youth and adults of both cities.  Thank you to Budapest Chair Nan Dearen Gluntz and her group for planning an educational yet fun visit for the delegation. 

Harashin Scholars

20th Anniversary Celebration


Since 1990, The Harashin Company, Ltd. in Nagaoka, has demonstrated their commitment to international cultural enrichment by establishing the Harashin Scholarship Program. They have generously provided scholarships for eight students and two teachers each year, impacting our youth with life changing experiences and establishing special friendships over the years.  

Mr. Kazuhiko Hara, president of the Harashin Company, will be honored August 11th during a special dinner including the Consul General of Japan, Fort Worth city officials, board members, Mrs. Elaine Yamagata, Chair of the Harashin program and alumni of the Harashin exchange since 1991. A gift of music will be presented by the Texas Boys Choir.  



A special salute to the 2011 Harashin Scholars who are in Nagaoka from July 27 to August 5:Claudia Carranza, Julia King, Allison Meade, Francesca Roberts, Courtney Server, Zack Kurima Blough, Shelby Roberts accompanied by delegation leaders Pam Lea and Dr. Staussa Ervin. 




 August 2011 Calendar



Reggio September Exchange final payment due.




Monday - Tuesday

Nagaoka Harashin Scholars Exchange to Nagaoka.





Harashin Scholarship program 20th anniversary celebration dinner, First United Methodist Church, Fellowship Hall, 800 West 5th street (76102), 7:00 p.m. Cost is $10.00 per person if RSVP by Friday, August 5th. $15.00 if RSVP later. RSVP to Eva at 817-632-7106 or Eva.



Harashin Program farewell potluck dinner, home of Elaine Yamagata, 1116 Shady Oaks Lane (76107), 4:30 p.m. Host families: bring your favorite dish. RSVP to Beth at 817-632-7105 or Beth.




Trier committee meeting, Chadra Mezza Grill, 1622 Park Place Ave. (76110), 6:00 p.m.




Executive committee meeting, Murphy Mahon Keffler Farrier LLP, Tindall Square Building No. 2, 505 Pecan Street, Suite 101 (76102), 12 noon. RSVP by August 10th.


Sunday - Thursday


Budapest newly elected Mayor Istvan Tarlos and delegation in Fort Worth for official visit.




Welcome reception for Mayor Tarlos, FW Museum of Science and History, 1600 Gendy Street (76107), 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. $10.00 pay at the door. RSVP by Monday, Augurst 15th to Eva at 817-632-7106 or Eva.



Farewell dinner for Mayor Tarlos, Joe T. Garcia's La Puertita, 2201 North Commerce (76164), 6:30 - 8:30 p. m. $25.00 per person, RSVP by Monday, August 15th to Eva at 817-632-7106 or Eva.





Fort Worth Youth International board planning session, UNT Health Science Center Atrium, 3500 Camp Bowie (76107), turn off Clifton street to Parking Lot A, enter most southwest door by flagpole to atrium, 10:00 a.m - 3:00 p.m.






Mbabane, Toluca, Reggio Emilia meeting - Photo sharing of The Art of Peace Mural in Swaziland and service adventure exchange, UNT Health Science Center Atrium, 3500 Camp Bowie (76107), turn off Clifton street to Parking Lot A, enter most southwest door by flagpole to atrium, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

To sign-up for any of the listed events above, please email RSVP and

on the subject line enter RSVP with event name or call 817.632.7100. You may also fax to 817.632.7110.Thank you!