Friday, July 1, 2011

Sister-city student exchange opens doors

Tegernsee and Ketchum share cultures


By SABINA DANA PLASSE
Express Staff Writer

Tegernsee, Germany, is the sister city to Ketchum, which hosts an exchange program of students and adults from the Wood River Valley and from Tegernsee. Courtesy photo

For 32 years, Ketchum has been sister city to Tegernsee, an intimate village in Bavaria, Germany. Warm Springs resident Lisa Vierling has been raising money for the past seven years from her annual Bavarian Christmas Market at Croney Cove, west of Ketchum, to send Wood River Valley students to Tegernsee.

Vierling said money earned through a raffle at the market helps send a child to Tegernsee for a couple of weeks in the summer at the end of July. Vierling chooses the students for the exchange program.

"I pick those kids who show that they have an interest in going," she said. "This summer, Julia Donovan will go."

Donovan will spend time with teenagers her age, as her trip, from July 24 through Aug. 10, will fall while the students in Tegernsee are finishing school for the year.

"It's the last week of school," Vierling said. "She will also take trips with host families."

For 32 years, Ketchum has been sister city to Tegernsee, an intimate village in Bavaria, Germany. Warm Springs resident Lisa Vierling has been raising money for the past seven years from her annual Bavarian Christmas Market at Croney Cove, west of Ketchum, to send Wood River Valley students to Tegernsee. Vierling said money earned through a raffle at the market helps send a child to Tegernsee for a couple of weeks in the summer at the end of July. Vierling chooses the students for the exchange program. “I pick those kids who show that they have an interest in going,” she said. “This summer, Julia Donovan will go.” Donovan will spend time with teenagers her age, as her trip, from July 24 through Aug. 10, will fall while the students in Tegernsee are finishing school for the year. “It’s the last week of school,” Vierling said. “She will also take trips with host families.” The sister program was started in the late 1970s by Don Henry. Vierling’s introduction to Tegernsee was due to her brother Jake Vierling to scatter his ashes. He died on Baldy in December 1980. He was on ski patrol and was working. Donovan said she wants to be a photojournalist. “I don’t know German, but I’m getting ready,” she said. Donovan, 15, is a Wood River High School student who was chosen to go to Tegernsee last year but there was not enough money to buy a plane ticket. Donovan will have an opportunity to learn about the town, the region’s history, the food, the architecture and the language. She will also have a chance to experience the Seefest, a celebration similar to the Fourth of July in the U.S. “It’s always really good for everyone to experience and know people and politics everywhere,” Vierling said. “Everyone is basically the same, just living different lifestyles, such as in Bavaria. “I’m overjoyed to select Julia. It’s an opportunity for her to learn about the world and open doors.” Donovan is still raising funds for her trip. She works at Chapter One Bookstore and Despos in Ketchum, and will have a garage sale on Saturday, July 16. For details, email jdonovan4373@yahoo.com. An adult exchange will take place in October. For details, call 726-2683. Sabina Dana Plasse: splasse@mtexpress.com The sister program was started in the late 1970s by Don Henry. Vierling's introduction to Tegernsee was due to her brother Jake Vierling to scatter his ashes. He died on Baldy in December 1980. He was on ski patrol and was working.

Donovan said she wants to be a photojournalist.

"I don't know German, but I'm getting ready," she said.

Donovan, 15, is a Wood River High School student who was chosen to go to Tegernsee last year but there was not enough money to buy a plane ticket.

Donovan will have an opportunity to learn about the town, the region's history, the food, the architecture and the language. She will also have a chance to experience the Seefest, a celebration similar to the Fourth of July in the U.S.

"It's always really good for everyone to experience and know people and politics everywhere," Vierling said. "Everyone is basically the same, just living different lifestyles, such as in Bavaria.

"I'm overjoyed to select Julia. It's an opportunity for her to learn about the world and open doors."

Donovan is still raising funds for her trip. She works at Chapter One Bookstore and Despos in Ketchum, and will have a garage sale on Saturday, July 16. For details, email jdonovan4373@yahoo.com.

An adult exchange will take place in October. For details, call 726-2683.

Sabina Dana Plasse: splasse@mtexpress.com




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