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Chambersburg to host visitors from sister city

June 22, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The mayor of Gotemba, Japan, will be leading a delegation of 29 people from that city to its sister city of Chambersburg next month.

Mayor Kaizou Osada, City Council Chairman Kazuko Kurosawa and Kazuko Morioka, president of the Gotemba International Association, will be among those participating in the July 14-17 visit, according to Bob Harrison, a member of Gotemba Friends, the group sponsoring the visit.

The sister city relationship with Gotemba, a city of about 84,000 people at the foot of Mount Fuji, began with the first visit by a Gotemba delegation in 1960, Harrison said.

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"The whole thing was started by a lady who went to Penn Hall, which was then a school, and also Wilson College" before World War II, Harrison said.

The late Tsuna Negami saw the sister city relationship as a way to build bonds of friendship after the war, he said.

Negami's son, Sinichi Negami, and daughter, Masako Amano, are making this trip, Harrison said. The Japanese visitors range in age from 30 to 72 and include farmers, city workers, a museum curator and people from other walks of life.

Five years later, a group from Chambersburg visited Gotemba, with the cities alternating visits every five years. Harrison said he was in the group that visited Gotemba in 2000.

The visitors will be housed at the Four Points Sheraton or with host families, according to Harrison. While in Chambersburg, their lodging, meals, transportation and entertainment is paid for by the Gotemba Friends.

The visitors will tour Summit Health, Chambersburg Borough Hall, the Chambersburg YMCA, the Heritage Center, the old Franklin County Jail and Wilson College and attend a musical performance at Shippensburg (Pa.) University, Harrison said.

The public is invited to attend three events during the visit:

- A welcome dinner at the Chambersburg Country Club at 5:30 p.m. on July 14. Dress is casual and the cost is $30.

- A pig roast at the Penn National Pavilion at 5:45 p.m. on July 15, featuring Chris Woodward's Country and Western Band. Dress is casual and the cost is $25.

- A farewell dinner at 6 p.m. on July 16 at The Orchards Restaurant with magician R.G. Smith. The event is "semi-dressy" and the cost is $30.

Reservations can be made by calling Gotemba Friends Chairman Charlie Schlichter at 717-264-2012, or by sending a note regarding the specific event along with a check payable to Gotemba Friends to P.O. Box 514, Chambersburg, PA 17201. The deadline for reservations is July 6.

The committee is financing the visit through the sale of $100 50-50 tickets, of which members have sold more than 160 so far, he said. The Chambersburg Rotary Club donated $5,000, he said.

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