Monday, May 19, 2008

Founder's Day helps Benicia sister city

Founder's Day helps Benicia sister city
By ANDREA WOLF/Times-Herald staff writer
Article Launched: 05/18/2008

Benicians celebrated the city's Hispanic heritage on Saturday and commemorated the 161 years since Benicia was purchased from Mariano Vallejo.

The second annual Founder's Day celebration, held at the historic Clocktower, also raised proceeds to fund the Benicia sister-city program with Tula, Mexico.

"The purpose of this group is to develop personal relationships with people in other countries," said John Ebersole, one of the directors of the Benicia/Tula Sister City Association.

Ebersole said the group is excited to be donating a medical van to help doctors in Mexico bring aid to less developed areas around Tula.

Sister city association members will drive the medi-van to Loredo, Mexico, sometime in June, where they will meet with officials from Tula who will take it the rest of the way, Ebersole said.

Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson said the sister city program provides a wonderful way for Benicia residents to learn about their historic ties to Mexico.

"This program is hugely beneficial to Benicians," Patterson said. "It allows us to connect to a whole different culture and at the same times gives us a chance to discover who and what we are."

Patterson said city officials have been discussing partnering with a second sister city in Portugal to connect with the strong ties Benicia has with that country.

Saturday's event also commemorated the 23rd anniversary since the Benicia Historical Museum was founded

The museum and the Benicia /Tula Sister City Association jointly organized the Founder's Day celebration.

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