Our History

.: 2004

January, 2004
Mayor Chaz Allen attended the January meeting to Proclaim and Commemorate as Sister City Awareness Month. Tori Reynolds made a report on her trip to Smela, Ukraine, where she taught with Tonya Yarmish the subject of English at the Lyceum.

February, 2004
Marvin Campbell reported he had secured funding for the Jazz Musician He will arrive from Smela, Ukraine. His name is Sergey Krasheninnikov and he will appear at several venues while in America. OPEN assisted IRIS in the placement of Interns.

March, 2004
The selection of the 2004-2005 students is underway. Russian interns from Ryazin will arrive in Iowa and OPEN will find home stays. Web pages changes were under way under the guidance of Vladimir Bassis.

April, 2004
It was reported the Marina and Ruslana were doing well at Newton Community High School. Harriet Smith, former OPEN Secretary has agreed to maintain the historical records of OPEN. Dr. Nodar Eloishvili notifies David Pits of his intent to arrive in Iowa in May. Dr. Eloishvili is from the country of Georgia.

May, 2004
Arrangements have been made to transport the two (2) students to Chicago O’Hare International Air Port for their journey home to Ukraine. We are having a problem with SCI and AYUSA. The problem is the 10 fold increase in the rakes for making application request for visas of the students.

June, 2004
Webmaster Vladimir Bassis demonstrated the newly redesigned OPEN website. One of two host families has been identified for next year’s students. Paul Bell reported than Hank Liu will be returning to Taiwan. We hope the replacement is as good as was Hank. We are awaiting the receipt of the new person’s name.

July, 2004
Many contributors continue to support OPEN and our programs. Jane Ann Cotton contact ed “Open World Leadership Program” to see if we could participate in their program. The Executive committee met with last years student host families.

August, 2004
The students have received their visas and should arrive in Des Moines, Iowa on August 16th.

September, 2004
OPEN has conducted an orientation of the student host families. A fundraising task force was formed. Several strategies were discussed. The task force will make their presentation  to the full board for comment and approval.

October, 2004
The Board is planning a “Retreat” at Berg Middle school. Fund raising plan will be finalized and discussed. Other items included identifying a student to go to Smela, Ukraine. The need to expand the Board was discussed. We need to work to improve gender balance. This was our first exposure to the “Younkers” packets where we sell the packet for $5 and give to packet to the purchaser who takes the packet to Younkers and gets a $5 discount on anything they buy.

November, 2004
We mailed 289 invitations to the OPEN Annual Meeting scheduled for November 14, 2004. The consul personnel were invited from their Chicago offices. The contributors letter was rewritten. We are trying to obtain a sign for both entries to the Newton Community. Linda Miller representing “Cyberwise” made a presentation at the monthly board meeting.

December, 2004
David Pitz reported on the possibility of partnering with the League Of Women Voters” (LWV) on an Open World project. Marvin Campbell was scheduled to make a report on the election he observed in Ukraine, however, since a re-election was scheduled he was not available.