WITC, Rotary celebrate a centuryIn 1912, the state’s first Rotary Club was formed in Superior. That same year, the Evening Vocational School — precursor to Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College — opened.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
In 1912, the state’s first Rotary Club was formed in Superior. That same year, the Evening Vocational School — precursor to Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College — opened.
Non-resident tuition was 50 cents per week; the first teacher worked for $2 per night.
Both WITC and the Superior Rotary Club will mark their centennials next week. One will turn100 with flowers and music; the other with a lawn party and time capsule.
WITC invites the public to a free Community Lawn Party 4-7 p.m. Tuesday at 600 N. 21st St. The event features free cupcakes, coffee, lemonade and Italian ices, tours of the building and music selections spanning the last 100 years provided by Sounds Unlimited. Children’s entertainment will include a moonwalk, face painting, balloon animals and games.
At 4:30 p.m., Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen and Douglas County Board of Supervisors Chairman Doug Finn issue proclamations declaring July 10 WITC Centennial Celebration Day.
At 5:30 p.m., Dave Minor, chairman of the WITC board of directors, talks about WITC and its impact, followed by statements from state and local representatives.
At 6:30 p.m. Wisconsin Technical College President Dan Clancy and WITC President Bob Meyer plan to be on hand for the opening of the 1987 time capsule. It was filled the year “Dirty Dancing,” “Fatal Attraction” and “Three Men and a Baby” were released, and the radio station was awash with tunes from U2, Bon Jovi, Michael Jackson and Madonna.
At 7 p.m., WITC-Superior Campus Administrator Diane Vertin delivers closing remarks.
In 1912, Superior became the second city in Wisconsin to establish a vocational school, with Racine being the first. Based on college estimates, more than 65,000 students have become WITC graduates.
Everyone is invited to join in the fun, said Allison Iacone, marketing and public relations associate with WITC.
Superior Rotary Club members Wednesday dedicate the Friendship Garden in Billings Park. As part of their centennial year celebration, the club paid for phase two of the garden, which represents the international friendship between Superior and its Japanese Sister City, Ami-machi, Japan. Why support the garden?
“It’s the relationship Rotary has always had with Billings Park,” said member Warren Bender. He said in past years, the club built a zoo and supported flower planting in the park.
Their new additions to the garden include a granite moon bridge, stepping-stone path to a St. Louis River overlook and Asian style benches, features often found in Japanese gardens. The one-acre section of Billings Park is designed to be a passive use site meant to evoke a feeling of serenity, according to Superior Parks and Recreation Administrator Mary Morgan.
“I think we may see some requests for small weddings there,” she said. This spring, Morgan saw a group of youth dressed in prom finery taking pictures at the site. With phase two done, the Friendship Garden is complete, Morgan said. It has been a joint project between the city, Rotary and Sister City Commission.
The dedication ceremony begins with a cappella music beginning at 5 p.m. and dedication speakers at 5:45 p.m.
The Rotary hosts a picnic 6-7 p.m. with hot dogs, chips and drinks and the evening is capped off with a Bayside Sounds performance by Sha-Boom at 7 p.m.
Superior’s Sister City relationship with Ami-machi began in 1997 and was renewed in 2010. The goal of the bond is to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation, one individual, one community at a time.
Since 1997, more than 300 Japanese delegates — students and adults — have visited Superior. They have left behind friends, formed bonds. In the same vein, students and adults have traveled to Ami-Machi to live with host families, participate in the city’s festival and learn more about their culture.
When the tsunami struck Japan last year, members of the Sister City Commission got in touch with their friends in Ami to ensure they were safe. Later, they gave a donation to the Ami International Exchange Association for tsunami relief. Brenda Blomfelt’s class at Cathedral School made cards to send to students in Ami.
A dozen student delegates and six adult delegates are now packing their bags. They will travel to Ami from Aug. 1-8 as part of the continued exchanges between the cities. Superior families will host a delegation from Ami next year.