Sebastopol World Friends Hosts Successful 2021 Sister City Friendship Dinner

The Sebastopol World Friends (SWF) Board of Directors hosted a community dinner with their community and global supporters. They released this statement and summary of their event in order to share with the Sister Cities International community and others who might be interested.

See below to find out about what this organization did and what they achieved! Thank you to Sebastopol World Friends for their contribution to citizen diplomacy!

Thank you for helping make our 2021 Sister City Friendship Dinner another success!

The Sebastopol World Friends (SWF) Board of Directors would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the community of Sebastopol and our global supporters for their help in making the 2021 Sister City Friendship Dinner such a successful event on January 23, 2021.

About 100 people attended the event, which was held online for the first time due to the pandemic.

Guests of the the 2021 Sister Cities Friendship Dinner.

Among the guests were Consul General Toru Maeda of Japanese Consulate in San Francisco, Consul General Dmytro Kushneruk of Ukrainian Consulate in San Francisco, and Kevin O’Donnell of Sister Cities International.  From the Sebastopol City Council, the SWF liaison Patrick Slayter, Vice Mayor Sarah Gurney, Councilmembers Neysa Hinton and Diana Rich joined the gathering.

The theme of this annual event was to celebrate Sebastopol’s sister city relationships with Takeo, Japan and Chyhyryn, Ukraine as in the past.  In this particularly challenging year, we also aimed at bringing the community together both locally and globally as we go through the pandemic.  We were thrilled to finally welcome our friends from Ukraine and Japan to join us all at the same time!  It was wonderful to see many new and familiar faces. The guests enjoyed socializing and participating in the activities during the event.

Friendship Dinner activity: Word Cloud curated by guests.

In the spirit of the ever-popular food theme tradition “Where Sushi Meets Borsch”, we partnered with two local restaurants Sushi Tozai and Hole in the Wall, who prepared special take-out dinner sets of sushi and borsch respectively.  We were very happy to be able to give back to these long-time supporters by partially subsidizing the cost.  And the generous gratuities provided by our community were noted and appreciated.

In addition to the cultural entertainment of Zoloti Maky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, Bandura Ensemble of Northern California, and Sonoma County Taiko, we were pleased to present an exclusive interview of Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, and proud Analy graduate, Steven Pifer.

This year’s Honorary Membership was given to Darryl Yagi and Julene Leach of Enmanji Buddhist Temple in recognition of their long-time support of SWF.

This get-together powerfully showcased the importance of people-to-people connection during this difficult time, both globally across the ocean and locally at home.  Once again, thank you for your support of Sebastopol World Friends. We look forward to continuing working with you for World Peace, One Friend at a Time.