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Kathleen Woods Masalski: Thanks to all those those who helped with Kanegasaki visit

To the editor:

Thanks to the Gazette and Bulletin, readers know that Amherst recently welcomed delegates from Kanegasaki, our sister city in Japan. The Kanegasaki Sister City Committee organized four days of activities, and State Sen. Stan Rosenberg provided a tour of and lunch at the State House in Boston.

The success of the visit is attributed to town governmental bodies, businesses, organizations and individuals. The town manager and assistant manager, the Select Board, the Regional School Committee, and the Trustees of the Jones Library showed enthusiastic support, as did individuals who formerly served on those bodies or in roles related to the sister-city. Anniversaries were celebrated: nearly twenty-five years of middle-school exchanges, twenty as sister cities, and ten as sister libraries. The schools, towns, and libraries renewed their international agreements.

The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce gave advice and financial support, and members of the Chamber — Applewood, Ginger Garden, Black Sheep Deli, Amherst Wines and Spirits, and Johnny’s Tavern — provided sustenance.

The Amherst Club, Amherst Garden Club, and Amherst League of Women Voters hosted our guests. Others conducted tours: Amherst Historical Society and Museum, Emily Dickinson Museum, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst Brewing Company, Atkins Farms and Country Market, and Swartz Family Farm.

UMass and Amherst College contributed to the Welcome Reception and Farewell Dinner, respectively, and the Five College Center for East Asian Studies and the Lions Club backed additional aspects of the exchange.

Kendrick Park vendors and local shops greeted the delegates. The BID provided trolley transportation, and Amherst Media documented proceedings. The ARHS Chorale performed at the Farewell Dinner, which was courtesy of the Trustees of the Jones Library.

All contributions benefited the Committee’s exchange efforts. The committee thanks everyone who participated — including our volunteer interpreters — and invites readers to join us by submitting a citizen activity form (www.amherstma.gov) to the Select Board.

Kathleen Woods Masalski

Amherst

The writer is chairwoman of the Kanegasaki Sister City Committee.

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