SISTER CITIES OF JASPER ACTIVITIES
Jasper High School (JHS) students hosted 20 students from Staufen Gymnasium for 4 weeks in October. The visit was a formal student exchange program and marks the ninth group from Staufen to visit JHS since the inception of this program in April, 1986.
Deutscher Verein Strassenfest Food Booth
- The highlight of the year focused on the celebration of 15 years of partnership with Jasper's Sister City of Pfaffenweiler, Germany. The event was celebrated in Pfaffenweiler with the arrival of 65 people from the USA on 13 June 2000. The visit included a grand celebration in the Pfaffenweiler Community Center on Friday night, June 16th. Gifts were exchanged between the two communities including a handmade quilt from Jasper to Pfaffenweiler depicting the "Indiana puzzle" design (aka snail trail), bottles of a special label Pfaffenweiler wine for the Jasper visitors, framed momentous of the quilt for the Pfaffenweiler host families, an incredible performance by the Pfaffenweiler community brass band, a VHS tape by Patti Goepfrich of greetings from Jasper residents unable to make the trip, and a poem (in English) by a local artist to the people of Pfaffenweiler expressing the warmth of the many individual friendships formed through this partnership. The two Mayors also formally signed a proclamation attesting to our continuing commitment to maintain and strengthen our partnership.
- The annual Pfaffenweiler 'Steibickfest' at the Stone Quarry on Sunday, June 18, was also focused on the 15 year partnership with Jasper and included the celebration of an outdoor Mass in the forest at the 'Kapelle' (chapel) in the hills above Pfaffenweiler.
- The State of Indiana has actively identified the Jasper/Pfaffenweiler partnership as a truly successful partnership and unique by virtue of our ancestral ties. This recognition translated into financial support for several projects this year. Several projects were proposed and funded in part by mini-grants from the Germany-IN-US program and sponsored by a grant from the Lilly Foundation to the Indiana Arts Commission. Projects funded with grants totaling approximately $6000 were:
a.) $1000 for writing and printing 1000 copies of a book detailing various events in our 15 year
b.) $1000 for provision of extensive media coverage of the 15th anniversary celebration to Martha
Rasche from the Dubois County Herald. Several articles appeared in the Herald detailing the events
and/or local customs of the Pfaffenweiler people. Two live interviews on the local Jasper radio
station were conducted and broadcast from Pfaffenweiler per telephone during the week and a third
interview was broadcast after the group's return to Jasper.
c.) $ 1000 for expenses associated with planning and organizing the 15th anniversary trip and events
with the appropriate officials in Jasper and Pfaffenweiler, Germany.
d.) $ 250 for development of a slide show detailing JHS student experiences in the local high school
German Student Exchange program. This presentation has already been made to organizations such
as the Kiwanis and Optimist Clubs. It was also shown in the Hoosier Business Machines window
showcase during the Jasper Strassenfest last August.
e.) $ 1000 to develop a website detailing the Jasper Deutscher Verein activities.
f.) $ 1000 for the mayor's assistant to become more familiar with the Pfaffenweiler city government
g.) $ 500 for groundwork to begin a calendar project depicting scenes from both Jasper and
h.) $ 500 for development of a summer German language program for preschool and grade school
children. Tara Deppert, JHS German teacher, initiated the three week long program last summer
targeting 4-7 year old and 8-11 year old students.
- Andreas and Martina (Kiefer) Waldkirch visited with Jasper Asst Fire Chief, Tom Kiefer, in October. Andreas is the Pfaffenweiler Fire Chief and many ideas were exchanged between the two representatives. An invitation was extended to the Pfaffenweiler firemen to attend the annual Jasper Fire School on 10-11 March, 2001 where over 200 firemen from throughout southern Indiana will be trained in various fire safety techniques.
- A monthly Stammtisch, started in Jasper in 1998, was continued. People who are interested in practicing their German language skills congregate at the Schnitzelbank Restaurant at 7:00 PM on the last Tuesday of each month. This idea is now being extended to a monthly Kaffeeklatsch focusing on preparation of authentic German dishes and crafts. Several women gather each month to learn by doing - that is, a recipe is followed to prepare an authentic German dish or a craft is demonstrated. Marie Hendry is leading this monthly activity.
- The second annual Jasper German Heritage award was presented to Claude and Martina Eckert on German-American Day (October 6th) in recognition of their many years of leadership in establishing Sister Cities of Jasper, Inc. and their work promoting the local German heritage. Guest speaker for this event was Dave Buehler and he addressed the value of his German heritage to his personal and business success. The event was well attended and was videotaped by Patti Goepfrich.
- The Pfaffenweiler Room was officially established in the basement of Jasper City Hall in the Fall of 2000. The area was carpeted and tables, chairs and cabinets were installed. The intent is to use this area for various civic meetings and to also provide a central storage area for the increasing number of pictures, momentous, gifts, and documentation, e.g. the video taping efforts of Patti Goepfrich detailing various events and celebrations in our evolving Jasper/Pfaffenweiler partnership.
- Jasper resident, Matthias Hilger (a native of Pfaffenweiler), continues to receive email copies of the weekly Pfaffenweiler newsletter. Matthias also continues to write articles of general interest and publishes these bi-weekly in our local newspaper, The Herald. He also receives articles from his father, Franz Hilger, which Matthias translates into English.
- The JPC approached our local newspaper, The Herald, in 1997 about providing copies of our daily newspaper to a representative of the people of Pfaffenweiler. The newspaper continues to send copies (aggregated on a weekly basis) of each issue of the paper to the City Hall in Pfaffenweiler. This action helps to keep the people of Pfaffenweiler apprized of daily events in the lives of Jasper's citizens.