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Publisher promotes cultural awareness

October 15, 1997

By RICHARD F. BELISLE

Staff Writer, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - If you want to know when Renovation Day is held in Gabon, when the Danes celebrate Hans Christian Anderson Day, when Uruguay notes the Landing of the "33," or when it's Guy Fawkes Day in England, look it up on Patrick Fischetti's Cultural & Festival Day of the World 1998, a poster-size chart.

The diagram lists the dates and names of national, civic and religious holidays for 120 countries.

The best place to see one of Fischetti's posters is on the wall in many American public schools.

Fischetti, 66, who lives on Longwood Drive in Waynesboro when he's not living in his apartment in Washington, D.C., or wintering in Naples, Fla., is founder and president of Educational Extension Systems, a publishing business he started in 1982.

A Scranton, Pa., native, he earned a bachelor's and two master's degrees in education and history and spent his working life traveling the globe for American companies. His expertise was in designing and running business training programs.

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"I was on a plane going somewhere just about every week," he said.

In 1972 he resigned as international vice president for the education and training group of the Singer Co. to start his own publishing business. Ten years later he closed his own consulting company to create his publishing business.

"I had years of experience in world cultures and I always wanted to write, so I combined them," Fischetti said.

It's a part-time business. "I'm having a lot of fun and the money is good," he said. His business helpmate is his wife, Joan, an artist.

The poster is one of six publications Fischetti does. Several are updated each year.

Two of his most popular are calendars. Fischetti's World Calendar is printed in six languages, including English. Like his poster, it lists cultural events from around the world focusing on people and their lives. Each month features a photo of people playing, praying or working. The January photo depicts a young Belgian girl making lace in her country's time-honored way. The one for February shows Maori children at a wedding in New Zealand.

Fischetti also designed the Ethnic Cultures of America Calendar. It's printed only in English. Its photos show Americans of all cultural and religious backgrounds showing off their ethnicity at work and play.

Tens of thousands of Fishectti's posters and calendars are bought by public schools, businesses dealing in international trade and government agencies. He sells only by direct mail, sending out more than 100,000 advertising fliers a year.

Calendars sell for $16 and posters for $11.

His latest publication is a 300-page reference source for teachers, librarians and administrators called "The Ethnic Cultures of America." It came out in May and compiles information on Americans from more than 100 ethnic backgrounds, their cultures, traditions and religions.

Fischetti also publishes a yearbook aimed at world business travelers.

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