LANSING, MI -- The Lansing Regional Sister Cities Commission announced its 2019 Global Impact Awards. They will be presented at its 25th Anniversary Celebration of Global Diversity during an evening gala on September 7, 2019 at 6:00 pm at the Lansing Center located at 333 East Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933.
Those who attend the Celebration of Global Diversity will find entertainment, cuisine and artifacts from all over the world. The Chinese Silk Road Orchestra will bring the orient to the Lansing Center. Japanese Taiko drums, and drums from Ghana and Tanzania will fill the room with global rhythms and a Korean Choir will belt out sounds like you’ve never heard before. Be prepared to swoon with music from an Italian tenor. That is just a sample of what to expect in entertainment. Not to mention tasting food representative of all of our sister cities in Ghana, Italy, Japan, China, Korea, Tanzania and Mexico.
Join the celebration with a big appetite and a heart full of excitement, as you view artifacts from our sister cities and countries. Some items will be to view. Others will be to buy. There will be exhibits and demonstrations like Japanese flower making and calligraphy.
A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of LRSCC’s Global Impact Awards. Recipients will be Lansing School District superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul, and noted heart surgeon and philanthropist Dr. Seong H. Chi. Honorable Joan Baur will accept an award posthumously on behalf of her husband and former LRSCC Commissioner and Rotarian Douglas Langham. Glanbia, Pc will represent economic development with a Foreign Direct Investment Award. Finally, the commission is establishing a new award in honor of its president for over twenty years. The Barbara Roberts Mason Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented for the first time. And, it will be presented to its namesake, as the inaugural award.
The Lansing Regional Sister Cities program links Lansing to the world by creating special relationships with our Sister and Friendship cities in China, Ghana, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and Tanzania. The program focuses on promoting economic ties while strengthening cultural understanding.
At the heart of our Sister City program is an agreement signed by the mayors of each city and the LRSCC president confirming their commitment, and their successors, to the program. Each Sister City agrees to send and receive delegations of political and business leaders, arts and cultural representatives, educators, technical experts and students. By building friendships between the residents and governments of our Sister Cities, we 1) promote a positive image of Lansing and the U.S., 2) educate our citizens about the world and its diversity, 3) promote cross-cultural understanding, 4) strengthen our economies through business alliances, and 4) promote democracy and nation-building through government-to-government exchanges.
The Evening of Global Diversity is a way to raise funds, while having a great time in a global setting. The funds are used to help LRSCC promote citizen diplomacy and expose our children, youth and adult citizens to the world in which we all live.
Yvonne Caamal Canul, superintendent of the Lansing School District, has demonstrated her passionate, dedicated leadership and commitment to globalizing students. She once distinguished herself as principal of The Center for Language, Culture and Communication Arts. The school's mission, Canul explained, was "to create a unique global learning environment based on the premise that diversity enriches the lives of everyone." In Lansing, she has used her vision and ability to transform the district by implementing The Pathway Promise, ensuring student success through choosing from three pathways using diverse educational models. Caamal Canul has dedicated her entire life to public service. After serving in many local, regional and state level positions, including 12 years as Lansing’s superintendent, she plans to enter retirement on January 1, 2020.
Global Impact Through Humanitarian Service
Dr. Seong H. Chi was one of two surgeons who teamed up in 1966 to perform the first open-heart surgery in mid-Michigan at McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital. He was one half of a dynamic husband and wife duo at McLaren from 1965-95. The John W. Chi Memorial Medical Library dedicated in 1976 now echoes both the hospital and the Chi family's example of excellence in offering many new resources and concepts at consumer's fingertips. In 2005, Ingham Regional Medical Center built a new heart and surgery center, and its new patient tower was named the Chi Heart & Surgery Center in recognition of Dr. Chi's legacy of advancing the health and well-being of the mid-Michigan community and beyond. Dr. Chi is also known for his humanitarian efforts in the city of Holt and the Holt School District, as well as his financial support and enthusiasm for the Lansing Regional Sister Cities Asan student exchange program, even traveling with a student group to Asan. The creative and generous contributions of both Dr. Seong H. Chi and the late Dr. Ki Whan Oh Chi have left their mark on the Greater Lansing region, the nation and the world.
Global Impact Through Foreign Direct Investment
Glanbia, Plc is global nutrition group based in Kilkenny, Ireland, with operations in 32 countries. As Ireland’s fifth largest company, Glanbia is the #1 producer of American-style cheddar cheese in the world. Additionally, Glanbia has leading market positions in sports nutrition, dairy ingredients, specialty non-dairy ingredients and vitamin and mineral premixes. In fall of 2018, Glanbia and its joint venture partners, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and Select Milk Producers, began construction on a $470,000,000 project to build cheese and whey protein processing facilities in St. Johns, Michigan. When the 24/7/365 dairy processing campus is complete in fall of 2020, 8 million pounds of milk will be processed each day, over 20 percent of all Michigan milk produced.
Global Impact In Memoriam
Doug Langham served as administrator of the Vocational Rehabilitation Division in the Department of Labor where he was a tireless advocate for injured workers. He was deeply involved in local, national, and international volunteer activities and was a dedicated member of the East Lansing Rotary, where as president he was instrumental in the club’s decision to build the Playground in the Park at Patriarch Park, which has been enjoyed by countless children ever since. He was active at the district level, serving as an assistant governor for Rotary District 6360. Always committed to citizen diplomacy, Doug was an active member of the Lansing Regional Sister Cities Commission, twice visiting Saint Petersburg, Russia as a member of its delegation. As part of a Rotary Humanitarian Aid Mission, Doug helped organize and deliver a busload of medical supplies from Lansing to Nicaragua. In 1992 Doug married the love of his life, Joan Bauer. He exuded peace, kindness and loyalty and understood the motto of sister cities, “Connect Globally. Thrive Locally”. Doug’s widow former State Representative Joan Bauer will accept the award on behalf of Doug Langham.
Global Impact Through Lifetime Achievement
Barbara Roberts Mason, is being honored for her 22 years of distinguished leadership as president of the Lansing Regional Sister Cities Commission. The commission is establishing the Barbara Roberts Mason Lifetime Achievement Award.
This inaugural award is being presented to Ms. Mason, as she ends her reign as president, and will serve as a future reminder of her commitment and dedication to opening ‘the windows of the world’ to citizens of the Lansing region and beyond.
Tickets are $50.00. Go to https://lrscc25.eventbrite.com. To pay for tickets, ads or sponsorships by check, please mail your check to LRSCC, 500 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, MI 48912.