Dinner to celebrate sister city pioneers
by Sam Matthews
Feb 22, 2013 | 1461 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Tracy Sister City Association will cap off its first Cherry Blossom Dinner March 9 by honoring Ken and Harriet Yasui, two of its founders.

The dinner, featuring Japanese food and entertainment, will be served in Tracy Community Center, said Carol Minner, president of the association.

The married couple is being honored with the Sister Cities Ambassadors Goodwill Award “for their many years of promoting cultural appreciation and understanding,” Minner said.

In 1988, Mayor Richard Hastie contacted the Yasuis when he began researching the possibility of establishing a sister city for Tracy.

Contact was made with officials in Memuro, Japan, who responded that their city on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido would take part.

On Aug. 5, 1989, the Sisters Cities Agreement between Tracy and Memuro was signed at the Tracy Bean Festival by mayors of the two cities.

Ken Yasui was the first coordinator of the sister city program in Tracy, and his wife, Harriet, worked with him to make arrangements for exchanges that are continuing 24 years later.

The Yasuis have remained active in the organization, which in 1995 added Velas, Sao Jorge, in the Azores, as a second sister city.

“We can thank Harriet and Ken for their many hours spent arranging for these cultural exchanges, preparing students and families and enriching our community,” Minner said.

Dinner tickets are $25 per person and can be bought from Tracy Sister City Association members or by calling Clyde Higaki, 310-598-0444, or Lynette Holtz, 612-9056.
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