Gala Celebrates Sister Cities

Sister Cities Gala 2022. Photo courtesy of Erika Plunkett.

You may have heard Grand Rapids has a smattering of “Sister Cities” peppered around the globe. What’s a Sister City? 

City of Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss attends the 2022 Sister Cities event. Photo courtesy of Erika Plunkett.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower created the Sister Cities program more than 50 years ago as a way for communities in the U.S. to exchange cultural ideas, share traditions, and establish relationships with people in foreign countries. Grand Rapids Sister Cities International is a nonprofit organization with a mission to build relationships with its sister cities by promoting understanding and mutual respect through exchanges in culture, art, education, and community and economic development. 

The organization holds a signature event each year, the GRSCI Gala, featuring food and drinks inspired by Grand Rapids’ Sister Cities located in Bielsko-Biała, Poland; Ga District, Ghana; Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea; Omihachiman, Japan; Perugia, Italy; and Zapopan, Mexico.

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss and City Manager Mark Washington will take part in the program.

“This event really showcases our welcoming city as demonstrated by the inclusive message of the Sister Cities mission,” Leonardo Tombelli, president of Grand Rapids Sister Cities International, said. “We invite all Grand Rapidians to join us for this night of international fellowship as we celebrate our six Sister City partnerships and we look forward to announcing a new friendship city.”

GRSCI invites the community to enjoy an enriching night of culture, collaboration and celebration. The annual Gala takes place Wednesday, June 7 at the J.W. Marriott and starts at 6 p.m. Tickets to the event are $75 each, plus fee. Purchase tickets for the upcoming event HERE. 


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