Oct 23, 2014 02:08PM
● By Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan
Joel Rosenberg, music director for the American West Symphony of Sandy.
As with hundreds of other cities across the United States, Sandy City has found great value in developing sister city relationships, with benefits that can be cultural, economic or humanitarian. These sister city relationship can be formal arrangements with regularly scheduled events or be simply informal exchanges of students or business leaders. Whatever the arrangements, cities universally report the relationship is valuable to learn more about each other, develop meaningful exchanges and contribute to the diversity of a community.
We have experienced similar benefits with our two sister cities: Riesa, Germany as a cultural exchange and Piedras Negras, Mexico as a humanitarian exchange. Both officially began in 2002 and have resulted in several exchanges including a visiting delegation from Germany during the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake and medical supplies being donated, with the help of Rotarians, to Mexico after they experienced devastating floods and a tornado.
Most recently, our Fire department was able to make a true difference in Piedras Negras by donating expired and obsolete equipment and supplies. Rather than discard the items, they chose to donate them to our sister city knowing that Mexico is not bound by similar regulations. With the help of the Sandy City Rotary Club, the supplies were shipped and greatly appreciated. It is hard to imagine an entire city having to reuse C-collars (commonly used for neck injuries), washing them after each use. Our donation of approximately 300 collars means they no longer have to wash and reuse, greatly increasing both availability and hygiene.
We were honored to participate in a music conductor exchange with Riesa, Germany. Germany graciously hosted Joel Rosenberg, the music director for the American West Symphony of Sandy in October. This cultural exchange allowed Joel to lead the esteemed Elbland Philharmonie Sachsen for their American Music tradition. We will be pleased to welcome the Riesa delegation to Sandy in the fall of 2015 and have their director, Christian Voss, guest conduct the American West Symphony.
Our sister cities program develops lifelong friendships, truly impacts lives and creates valuable citizen diplomacy. Sister Cities International , originally founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, exists to allow people of different cultures to celebrate and appreciate their differences while building partnerships. Our twelve years has proven to be as rewarding to Sandy as President Eisenhower hoped it would be.