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The Scoop

ASCI Digital Newsletter
Look for The Scoop in your inbox on the 7th of each month.
(You know, since we have seven sister cities!)
Be sure to follow ASCI on Facebook and Instagram! 

Greetings from Your President

2023 is set to be an exciting year for Asheville Sister Cities. I'm pleaseed to announce we will have a new home office on the campus of UNC-Asheville starting this month! The momentum from our 30th Anniversary celebrations in 2022 will carry us into the new year as we kick it off with our Annual Robert Burns Night Supper coming up in a little over two weeks.
In February I'll be traveling to South Africa to the Sister Cities International Africa Summit where we will hopefully be joined by members of our Osogbo, Nigeria Committee! The Summit will support best practice learning, provide training plus networking, develop business opportunities, and help create tourism opportunities with US and African sister cities.
This year we also plan to welcome delegates to Asheville from Mexico as well as send delegates to our sister city of Karpenisi in Greece! This June we will once again partner with the Center for Honeybee Research to showcase honeys from around the world and as sister cities month nears in October we will bring back an old favorite—the young artist showcase!
That's just a taste of what is already planned. Be sure to check the monthly newsletter for details on other announcements, meetups, events, activities and ways to volunteer and give back!
If you haven't already (since October), please be sure to renew your membership for the 2023 year.

Thank you for your support,
Jessica Coffield
President of Asheville Sister Cities
Sister Cities International Board of Directors

2023 Robert Burns Night Supper

Dunkeld and Birnam, Scotland Committee
Purchase Tickets
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Country Club of Asheville


This is the primary fundraiser for the Dunkeld and Birnam Committee and is not to be missed! Please join us for a lovely evening, while also supporting the projects and collaborations with our Scottish sister city. 
Click HERE to download a PDF with the below information that you can share with friends!
Asheville Sister Cities with sister cities of Dunkeld and Birnam, Scotland present a celebration of the 264th birthday of Robert Burns at the Country Club of Asheville.  Admission includes a Three Course Dinner, Robert Burns Night Ceremony with live Scottish Music and Poems, Charity Raffle & Live Auction, and optional $50 Guided Scotch Whisky Tasting.
All net proceeds will benefit Asheville Sister Cities Inc., a 501c3 organization.
Registration and Dinner:  Admission is $125 per individual.  Please purchase your tickets early as numbers are limited.  It is anticipated to sell out and ticket sales will be closed sometime before the event.  There is a $25 discount for ASCI members.  ASCI membership is $25 and you can join online.  You may also purchase tickets and optional whisky tasting by mailing a check (payable to Asheville Sister Cities, Inc.) to Cary Findlay, Burns Supper, 994 Clovertop Lane, Arden, NC 28704.  Please include meal selection (see below), table seating preferences with others you may know to be attending, and any comments or clarifications with your check.  Admission includes a three course dinner of potato leek soup, choice of grilled salmon, chicken piccata, or vegetarian risotto entrée, and apple crisp desert by Chef Bruce McIntosh.  Optionally, haggis will be served as a side dish.  A full bar is available for drink purchases.
Burns Night Ceremony: The ceremonies will feature live bagpiping by Connell Sanderson and Scottish harp and small pipes by the Reel Sisters along with toasts, poems, and songs from Asheville.  We will be co-hosted live from Scotland by Fiona Ritchie, of NPR’s Thistle and Shamrock, to fiddle playing by Pete Clark, the Address to the Haggis, and Immortal Memory.
Raffle & Auction:  Besides several bundled raffle items, the Charity Raffle & Live Auction will have 3 Auction items including: a bespoke kilt from Braw Kilts of Edinburgh, an at home award winning chocolates and select whisky pairing experience from TasteTalk of Dunkeld, and a golf outing for 4 at the Country Club of Asheville.
Whisky Tasting:  Pioneering local craft brewer, Oscar Wong, of Highland Brewing, will conduct a Guided Scotch Whisky Tasting with a quick background on the five recognized whisky regions of Scotland followed by a sample from each region.  Tasting notes on each take you on a journey that will whet your appetite for the wide range of Scotch whisky flavors.  The cost for this optional tasting will be $50 and is limited to 15 participants.
Charity Benefit: All proceeds benefit Asheville Sister Cities, Inc, a 501c3 organization.  Funds are being raised to support a to-be-determined project of our sister cities in Scotland.  Past years donations have been used for the Robert Burns Birthpalce Museum, Niel Gow Memorial, and Birnam Arts.
Photo Credits: Hand colored ‘Ellisland’ engraved by Thomas Jeavons from a drawing by David Octavius Hill in The Land of Burns written by John Wilson and Robert Chambers published 1840 by Blackie and son, Glasgow.  Thanks to the Ellisland Museum & Farm, Dumfries, Scotland for making this digital copy available.  Burns Night Ceremony: Michael Oppenheim, Haggis: Michael Oppenheim, Robert Burns Portrait: unknown public domain, Reel Sister: Don Stewart, Fiona Richie: Roy Summers - Scottish Field from WUNC North Carolina Public Radio, NPR and Thistle and Shamrock logos registered trademarks.  Pete Clark: unkown, Braw Kilts: unknown, TasteTalk: unknown, CCofA: unknown, Oscar Wong: unknown from, Scotch Bottles: Tom Good.  Burns Cottage: unknown public domain, Gow Memorial: unkown from DC Thomson Co Ltd, Birnam Arts: unknown from Birnam Arts
Featured Callout from

We're pleased to announce the launch of Mountain Term, a program for lifelong learners! Mountain Term is a series of week-long adult courses that run May-June on campus, as well as a traveling course to Scotland in 2023. Registration for the Scotland course is now open, and seats are beginning to fill! The priority registration deadline is February 1st. The trip will run from May 28-June 9. It's led by Phil Jamison, nationally known as a dance caller, old-time musician, flatfoot dancer, and scholar of traditional Appalachian music and dance. In Scotland, radio broadcaster and writer Fiona Ritchie (from NPR’s "The Thistle & Shamrock") will join to help travelers discover the delights of the Scottish Highlands. Learn more by clicking here!

News from the Valladolid Committee
Valladolid, Mexico ASCI Committee

As chairperson of the Valladolid Committee, I am looking forward to welcoming some new members to our committee and planning for fundraising events in 2023. The Valladolid Committee plans to meet on the 4th Thursday of each month at our new conference room and office space at the University of North Carolina Asheville. Details will follow. If you are interested in joining our committee please send your email to me at:

Our first meeting this year will be January 26th at 6:30 PM. I hope to continue the extraordinary work of Gwen Hughes in creating friendships and developing projects of mutual interests with members of the SCI Committee in Valladolid. These include the School Fan Project, School Art Exchange and Exhibit along with the Mayan Melipona Bee Sanctuary Project.
Left to Right: Carl Cheznik, Honeybee Research Center; Rebecca Robertson, Mayan Melipona Bee Sanctuary Project; Julie Adams, Leslie Shaw, and Trish Hord-Heatherly, San Cristobal co-chair.
Rebecca Robertson at the 30th Annual Meeting in front of our table display with pictures from our two recent delegations June and October 2022.

Renew Your ASCI Membership!

Good for One Year (January – December)
Click to Join or Renew
It's time renew your membership with ASCI!. Please visit our website and fill out the membership form. You can even pay online, too! 

Is your business a Corporate Member of Asheville Sister Cities? Sign up today as a Corporate Member and get promoted on our website, social media and digital newsletter that reaches over 750 subscribers! 
If you prefer the paper version please email us and we will send you a form to print at home and mail back.

Delegates Going to Karpenisi

Karpenisi, Greece Committee
Be on the lookout for an email informing you of a meeting sometime in the next few weeks for the travelers. By the time of this meeting we should be more clear on who is still committed. The meeting will serve as a reminder and collection opportunity for payments. And we should be able to answer any left over questions about the trip in May and the finalized dates. 

San Cristóbal Committee Meeting

San Cristóbal, Mexico Committee
Chairs Ann and Trish Hord-Heatherley will host their January Committee meeting on January 12th at 6:30pm in the United Way building first floor conference room. Please reach out to Trish or Ann with any questions. 

Saumur Committee Meeting

Saumur, France Committee
Chair Allison Weems will host the January Committee meeting on January 23rd at 5:30pm Urban Orchard West. Please reach out to Allison with any questions. 
Committee Meetings:
  1. Dunkeld and Birnam Committee Meeting – Committee Chairs Rick Lutovsky and Doug Orr
  2. Karpenisi Committee — Contact Committee Chairs Andrew Craig and Sophie Mills
  3. Osogbo Committee — Contact Committee Chair Joe Johnson
  4. San Cristóbal Committee Meeting — January 12th at 6:30. United Way, Chairs Ann and Trish Hord-Heatherley
  5. Saumur Committee Meeting — Contact Committee Chair Allison Weems 
  6. Valladolid Committee — Contact Committee Chair Cathy Peerless
  7. Vladikavkaz Committee  – Contact Committee Chair Constance Richards

Your ASCI Board

President—Jessica Coffield
Vice President—Ken Nelson
Secretary— Cassie Pressley
Treasurer—Chris Thompson
Membership—Marjorie McGuirk
Publicity—Lisa Almaraz
Giving Society—(vacant)
Fundraising—Julie Adams
Special Projects—Ken Richards & Gwen Hughes
Dunkeld and Birnam, Scotland—Rick Lutovsky & Doug Orr
Karpenisi, Greece—Andrew Craig
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico—Gwen Hughes
Saumur, France—Allison Weems
Osogbo, Nigeria—Joe Johnson
Valladolid, Mexico—Cathy Peerless 
Vladikavkaz, Russia—Constance Richards
Valladolid Special Project: The Melipona Bee—Rebecca Robertson

Thank you to our Corporate Members!

ASCI was named Sister Cities International Best Overall Program for a city with a population of 50,000–100,000 in 2019!

ASCI continues to blaze a path forward for citizen diplomacy and friendships worldwide. 

If you would like to discuss ways to help bring awareness to ASCI and/or become a community partner for our organization please reach out to 
Copyright © 2023 Asheville Sister Cities, Inc., All rights reserved.

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