Saturday, October 18, 2003

Montgomery event honors its international residents

By Perry Schaible
Enquirer contributor

MONTGOMERY - This Cincinnati suburb will honor its international residents with a tasty celebration of their cultures Sunday.

The Montgomery Sister Cities Commission will sponsor an international reception from 4-6 p.m. at Terwilliger Lodge in Dulle Park, 10530 Deerfield Road.

International residents who live in the Sycamore School District are invited to bring a dish from their native country to share.

"It's just to show how rich our community is and to get people to know each other," said Teresa Pierce, a member of the Sister Cities Commission and event chairwoman.

Pierce is a French native.

"It's an outreach to the community," said Gerri Harbison, Montgomery vice mayor and council/commission liaison.

Close to 60 people from countries as diverse as Japan, France, Italy, Brazil, Argentina and India attended last year's reception, but officials don't know what to expect this year.

Nilma Ottoni of Brazil has been a guest at the event for the last several years. "It brings people together and it's a good way to know there are a lot of foreigners here in town," Ottoni said. "It helps people get acquainted."

Attendees also can bring artifacts, costumes, songs or anything unique to their country to share.

The Montgomery Sister Cities program was established in 1987 to promote togetherness by connecting with an international city. The founding board chose Neuilly-Plaisance, France, as its sister city because it is 15 miles from Paris - the same distance Montgomery is from Cincinnati.

There have since been several exchanges made between the two - artisans from France traveled to Montgomery, government officials have been to Neuilly-Plaisance, and school children and teachers from Montgomery also traveled to France.

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