News Release - Rochester Delegation to Travel to Sister City Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

City of Rochester

News Release

(Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010) – A delegation of community volunteers will depart from Rochester on Saturday, Nov. 6, for a week-long visit to Rochester’s sister city, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. The group will assess opportunities for activities that benefit both communities and ways to build relationships. The delegation will include representatives of Dominican Hope Foundation of Lima, New York, the Rochester Fire Department, business, education and cultural and medical institutions.

“I am very proud of how these volunteers from all over the Greater Rochester region have worked so creatively to ensure that our relationship with Puerto Plata is successful economically and culturally in a world of international commerce and exchange,” said Rochester Mayor Robert J. Duffy. “Our community’s future relies on the work of volunteers in all sectors of our community life.”

“This trip builds on more than 12 years of relationships with Puerto Plata established by community volunteers and a 2008 visit by Mayor Walter Musa and his delegation,” said Relton Roland, MSW, Chairman of the Puerto Plata Rochester Sister Cities Committee and member of the Northwest Rochester Chapter of Rotary International. “We hope to establish new partnerships and bring new life to existing ones.”

“We plan to work with Conani, the organization that operates a local preschool, to expand its classroom space so it can meet the needs of more children in the community,” said Carl Luft, Mayor of Lima, New York and founder of Dominican Hope Foundation, Inc. “My wife Chris and I have worked for several years bringing school and sports supplies and clothing to children in Puerto Plata. Local supporters of Dominican Hope are excited about this opportunity to move our project along.”

Rochester Fire Department Captain John Schreiber and Lt. Willie Jackson will assess training and equipment needs of the fire departments in Puerto Plata and in Boca Chica, a coastal community near the capital city, Santo Domingo.

“We met leaders of the Boca Chica department this summer and showed them the Rochester training facilities and our equipment maintenance facilities. We hope that we can help these communities acquire surplus City equipment that will meet their local needs.”

“We will meet with local businessmen and hope to identify opportunities for investments and trade,” said Frank Cornier, President & CEO, NCS Community Development Corp. Cornier will be joined by Rafael Díaz, owner of Rochester’s El Jibarito Restaurant, and attorney Jere Fletcher, a member of the Rochester Hispanic Business Association and board member Borinquen Dance Theatre in this effort.

Other committee members will seek opportunities in education, sports, culture and other areas of interest that can broaden and strengthen the sister cities relationship.

“Rochester’s sister cities program, established in 1958 and now involving 12 cities worldwide, has brought a wealth of opportunities that enrich our community life,” said Lee Johnson, past president of International Sister Cities of Rochester. “The volunteers that carry out and finance our program have done wonders with limited cash and boundless personal efforts and dedication.” Lee and his wife, Maurine, who is the current chair of the Hamamatsu (Japan)-Rochester Sister Cities Committee, were both members of the Rochester delegation that traveled to Puerto Plata in 1997 to establish the sister cities relationship.

Additional members of the delegation include Lynn Pigage, retired Spanish teacher and member of The Rochester Committee on Latin America; Jeanne Pigage, pediatric nurse at Strong Memorial Hospital; Barbara Hoffman, business woman and advocate for historic properties renovation; and Daniel Hoffman, retired Xerox mechanical engineer.

For information about the activities of the Rochester-Puerto Plata delegation, contact Relton Roland at 585-473-5346. For information about Rochester’s sister cities program, contact Michael Leach at 585-428-7319.


News Media: For information about the activities of the Rochester-Puerto Plata delegation, please call Relton Roland at 473-5346. For information about Rochester’s sister cities program, please call Michael Leach at 428-7319.