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What is the future of sister-city relationship between Prince's Town and Fredericksburg?
"If we can make personal connections back to the continent, it would be difficult to ignore the plight of most Africans," says local Sister-City Association President Paula Royster.
FRANK DELANO/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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"This obviously is not a middle class-to-middle class relationship, as is the case for most other sister cities. This is a long-term partnership and as we mature out of this infancy stage, so will the opportunities for a more robust exchange."STRENGTHENING TIES
Twenty-seven years of robust exchanges and activities have marked Fredericksburg's sister-city relationship with Frejus, a city of 50,000 between Cannes and St. Tropez on the French Riviera.
A.C. Whitley, president of the Fredericksburg Sister City Association Inc., said "hundreds of people" from Fredericksburg and Frejus have visited each other's cities since the bond was created in 1980.
This summer, 14 teenagers from the Fredericksburg area visited families in Frejus. Next summer, French teenagers will come to Fredericksburg.
The student exchanges have been going on for years, along with scholarships, work-study and cultural programs.
The Fredericksburg-Frejus group has an annual budget of about $16,000, including a yearly contribution from City Council of $4,000. The balance comes from a variety of fundraising activities such as French classes, auctions and product sales.
Royster said the Fredericksburg Princes Town Sister City Association also plans to fund its future activities "via philanthropists, corporate donors, grants and fundraising activities and events, including membership drives."
"All sister-city relationships are designed with the underpinnings of learning about other cultures, to share our culture with others and advance peace throughout the world," Royster said.
"Fredericksburg will get out of it what Fredericksburg puts into it. Prince's Town will get out of it what Prince's Town puts into it," she said.Fredericksburg-Princes Town Sister City Association: fredericksburgsister city.org/index.html Fredericksburg-Frejus Sister City Association: http://fsca.community point.org/index.html The Joseph Project: thejoseph project.com/ More on sister-city relationships: sister-cities.org Frank Delano: 804/333-3834