Our History

.: 1996

January, 1996
In his first official act as Mayor of Newton, David Aldridge proclaims January "Sister City Awareness Month" at City Hall on January 2. The Smila Medical project begins. A second official delegation arrives from Smila, including Yuri Malovichko (Director of Department of Agriculture for Smila County), Anatoliy Ratai (Director of AgroSupply Company of Smila), Oleksandr Boldirev (Director of Prominvestbank of Smila), Mayor Oleksandr Kotkalo of Smila, and Semyen Yatsenko (a judge for Smila County).

February, 1996
John McNeer and Marvin Campbell receive the Greater Newton Chamber of Commerce's KEY Award for the "OPEN Cares" project.

May, 1996
The Smila Medical project is completed as $250,000 supplies and equipment were shipped to Smila from Newton. OPEN welcomes to Newton an official delegation from Cherkassy Oblast. The visit to Iowa was to sign an agreement between Iowa and Cherkassy Oblast, Ukraine to recognize a sister state relationship. Included among the dignitaries was the Honorable Vasil Tsybenko, Head of the Cherkassy Oblast State Administration.

August, 1996
Sandra Haines, Dr. Patrick Edwards, Carol Wacha, Carolyn Sullivan, and Vicki Gunsaulus go to Smila to meet with representatives of a Smila hospital about the medical assistance program. Three students from Ukraine--Inna Trykiz, Tatiana Nagorna and Mikhail Bondarenko--arrive in Newton to study the school year in Newton, Colfax-Mingo and Sully, respectively.

November, 1996
The fifth annual meeting for OPEN is held. Yuri Pavlov, Ukraine Consul General Office, Chicago Illinois and Simon Sung, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago, brought greetings from both of their governments.

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