Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sister Cities Program Hits All Right Notes

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sister Cities Program Hits All Right Notes

Article excerpt

Byline: Judy Wells

Sister Cities International began 50 years and a Cold War ago on the concept that friends don't bomb friends. Cities in America "twinned" with cities abroad, exchanging delegations, students, culture, mayors and doctors in a volunteer person-to-person diplomacy effort.

Jacksonville, an early participant, was one of the first five cities to twin with a Russian city -- Murmansk.

Now, with 2,500 communities and 126 countries involved and no Cold War, 50 or so members and supporters celebrated the five decades of relationship-building by gathering at the Haskell Building on April 27 to consider refocusing some programs and enhancing others.

It wasn't all serious, thanks to wine, food and a mini concert by Quatuor Liger, a string quartet from our sister city Nantes, France.

Quartet members certainly spread the talent during their stay, holding master classes at the University of North Florida and performing at a lumber yard, a nod to a planned economic deal between sibs.

NICE MEMENTO

Caroline and Will Morris of Augusta, Ga., have good reason to love the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens. Their first date was at the Cummer Ball 10 years ago, thanks to matchmakers Heather and Frank Surface. Heather was a co-chair of this year's ball and talked the couple into coming back to celebrate their anniversary at the event on April 29.

Caroline left with a very special memento: Hers was the ticket drawn to win the $16,500 Anthony Nak necklace.

BOOKED

Maggie Waked, the Library Foundation's director of development, has been working for a year to help organize Saturday's Much Ado About Books. But don't look for her there. She'll be busy with a wedding -- her own.

Don't forget that the daylong gathering of writers and readers will be at a new location, the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront Hotel.

PARTIAL WINNER

We hear that Sally Fox, former Jacksonville resident, morning anchor on WTLV TV-12 and a founder of the nonprofit Angelwood, recently walked away from I Want to Be a Millionaire with $50,000.

Pssst! Did you hear about . . .? You did? Call and tell me about it. Call, too, if you've seen, planned or are about to do something smashing, if you stuck around after your last meeting to hear all the good stuff that gets hashed over in the parking lot, or if you've encountered a hidden facet to one of our area's notables. The tip line is (904) 359-4155, and I'm interested in all the interesting waves in society's currents, from St. Augustine to St. Simons.

MAKING PLANS

Tuesday

GETTING ALONG: Honor Michael Matuson, rabbi at Temple Ahavath Chesed; architect Ted Pappas and Councilwoman Gwen Yates; plus Bishop John J. Snyder, bishop emeritus of the Diocese of St. Augustine and recipient of the Gold Medallion for lifetime achievements, at the Humanitarian Awards Dinner hosted by the Northeast Florida Center for Community & Justice, 6 p.m. reception, 6:45 p.m. dinner, Prime Osborn Convention Center, $200 per person, (904) 306-6225.

Thursday

GOOD HEARTS: Join "Go Red for Women," honoring those who contribute $1,000 or more to the American Heart Association, for seminars and lunch, 9:30 a.m. registration, 10 a.m. Love Your Heart sessions, 11:30 a.m. luncheon, Garden Club of Jacksonville, 1005 Riverside Ave., $100 per person, $1,000 Circle of Red, (904) 739-0197.

RIVER SIGHTINGS: Be among the first to see "The St. Johns River: Captured Through the Lens" at a special Cummer Cafe Night, 6-9 p.m., Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens. 829 Riverside Ave., members free, others $8 museum admission, (904) 356-6857.

JUDGED ART: Meet the artists and see whose work wins awards at the artists' reception for the inaugural Northeast Florida Juried Show, 6-8 p. …

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