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Students work to raise money for trip

A delegation of Superior students and adults are about to embark on a trip to Japan. The delegation is heading to Superior’s Sister City, Ami-machi, about 1½ hours from Tokyo, on the shore of the second largest lake in Japan.

Students participating in the delegation bill be at the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center, 305 Harbor View Parkway, during the center’s open house 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 4 to highlight a new display that arose from the Sister City relationship. The students host a bake sale to help raise money for this year’s trip.

Since the Sister City relationship began in 1997, nearly 200 individuals have participated in delegation exchanges between Superior and Ami-machi. These exchanges take a lot of work on the part of the Sister City Commission volunteers and delegation participants. Since travel overseas to Japan is expensive, students and their families must do a lot of fundraising.

Since the relationship began, Japanese Sister City friends reached out with kind words and a donation to local firefighters during the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, and the Sister City Commission reciprocated when the large-magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck eastern Japan in March 2011. When Superior was hit with severe flooding in June 2012, the people of Ami-machi raised more than $3,000 to help with the recovery effort here.

The mission of the Sister City program is to “promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation — one individual, one community at a time.”

The Commission also helps maintain a Japanese garden in Billings Park, which has become a popular spot for weddings and graduation photos. Most recently, the Commission has worked with the Bong Center to install a display that shares the story of Ami-machi’s link to the use of kamikaze in World War II.