By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Long-running Sister Cities program canceled this summer
Placeholder Image

Warren County residents have an opportunity to help friends in Japan. During the month of May, donations can be made at any Security Federal Saving Bank location.
Members of the Warren County and McMinnville Sister Cities Committee have set up a Sister Cities Relief Fund for friends in Mikawa, Japan, and invite everyone to participate by donating.
Those wishing to donate can go to any branch of Security Federal in May to make a contribution.  Monetary donations will enable members of the Sister Cities committee in Mikawa to best distribute help that will come from people in Warren County.
Sister Cities is a student exchange program. Since 1993, students have alternately traveled to Japan or to McMinnville for a 10-day visit and experience with host families.
Sister Cities Committee chairperson Beverly Crouch has met with the committee here and has been in communication with officials in Mikawa most recently. The decision has been made to postpone the student exchange for the summer of 2012.
“We do not want to infringe in any way upon the resources that may be required to aid the refugees from neighboring towns and cities,” said Crouch.
Although Mikawa, the sister city of McMinnville, is on the northwest coast of Japan and was not directly affected by the recent earthquake, tsunami, and threat of nuclear fallout, it has become a refugee center for those who have been driven out of their homes.
Mikawa, in the Yamagata Prefecture, will resort to its own resources to provide for the influx of people coming into the town. Many students from affected areas will begin attending the public schools in Mikawa and surrounding towns.
The Sister Cities relationship has been promoted by both city and county governments. Mayor Norman Rone heartily endorses this approach to send aid to our friends in Japan.
“Over the years, since Yorozu and Bridgestone have been in our community, they have not only provided employment for countless Warren County citizens, but have been more than generous in their support of all worthwhile projects in our area,” Rone said. “Long-lasting friendships have been established between students of both countries and Japan-oriented careers have been inspired by the Sister Cities program.”
Rone says local residents now have the opportunity to support our sister city directly by sending financial aid for their humanitarian work.
“Let us open our hearts and pocketbooks,” Rone said.
Warren County Executive John Pelham says business, community, and private support of the Sister Cities program not only promotes educational opportunities for local students, but confirms the important role of our Japanese associates within the Warren County business community.  
Lending a helping hand and prayers are needed at this time, says Pelham.
Both local Japanese companies, Bridgestone and Yorozu, have supported the Sister Cities exchange program since its founding in 1993. According to Yorozu Tennessee corporate accounting manager Yoshitake Takahashi, Yorozu has recently shipped batteries and other supplies to the Yamagata Prefecture for distribution.
Wesley Hillis, a visitor to Japan in 2003, has kept in close contact with her host buddy, Yumi Shida, since the earthquake. She, along with her friends from church and her family, have made a shipment of water, blankets, batteries and socks.
Monetary donations can be made at any Security Federal branch during regular banking hours and in any amount.