Sebastopol World Friends hosts or takes part in a number of events that take place throughout the year, some of which are open to the public and some to our membership. Below are listed a few of our upcoming activities. Please get in touch to find out additional information; we welcome your involvement.
Thank you so much for joining us at the Sebastopol World Friends Friendship Celebration – Where Sushi Meets Borsch on Sunday, April 23 at St. Stephen’s Church in Sebastopol. Approximately 150 guests enjoyed the program and the harmony of sushi and borsch, SWF’s signature menu.
The highlight of this year’s event was the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Sebastopol’s sister city relationship with Chyhyryn, Ukraine. Mr. Dmytro Kushneruk, Consul General of Ukraine in San Francisco and Mr. Kevin O’Donnell of Sister Cities International joined us to celebrate the special anniversary, as did Sebastopol Vice Mayor, Diana Rich, Councilmember Jill McLewis, and former mayors Patrick Slayter and Sarah Gurney.
The representatives from Sonoma County Cranes for Ukraine, a project of Sonoma County Japanese American Citizens League presented a bundle of beautifully assembled 1,000 origami cranes to the people in Chyhyryn. The cranes were made by community members at various fold-in events that Sonoma County Cranes for Ukraine organized in partnership with SWF.
We also presented “Sebastopol World Friends’ Best Friends Award” to four honorees to thank them for their contribution to our efforts to support the people of Ukraine.
Patricia Deignan, SWF’s Chyhyryn Committee Chair expressed her gratitude to the community for the outpouring of support that we have received since the beginning of full scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. We also showed a moving video message from Friends of Chyhyryn expressing their appreciation for the funds we raised for them.
The cultural entertainment by Zoloti Maky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble and Tenten Taiko and Friends added excitement to the program.
Thank you attendees, volunteers, entertainers, presenters, honorees, donors and supporters for your continuing support of our motto “World Peace, One Friend at a Time”!
Please join us at our Sebastopol Word Friend Friendship Celebration – Where Sushi Meets Borsch Outdoors on April 23 from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 500 Robinson Road, Sebastopol.
After a three-year break, we are excited to bring this popular event back to the community. This is our annual tradition where friends and supporters can gather and celebrate our community, our sister cities and their cultures, and our work for world peace.
We will showcase food from Ukraine and Japan, where Sebastopol has our two sister cities: Takeo, Japan, and Chyhyryn, Ukraine. Also featured will be cultural entertainment by Zoloti Maky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble and a local Japanese taiko drumming group Tenten Taiko.
The highlight of this year’s event is to celebrate the 30th anniversary of our sister city relationship with Chyhyryn, Ukraine. We would like to recognize the outpouring of support we have received from the community and to reaffirm our collective commitment to continuing to support our friends in Ukraine.
Pre-registration is required as space is limited. Suggested donation amounts are $25 for adults and $15 for children and seniors. Click on the link below to register today!
For more information about the Friendship Celebration and Sebastopol World Friends, visit www.sebastopolwf.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The war in Ukraine continues and we must not forget those who have shown such courageous spirit in the face of such horrendous conditions. What better way to connect than with a yoga class dedicated to the indomitable strength shown by our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. On the anniversary of the initial attack by Russia, we will gather together and send our collective positive energy and compassion across the world, a reminder that we are all connected. Yoga for Peace is the culmination of efforts by Vickie Morse and Brenda Flynn, as they felt the need to do more to connect our community with our sister community of Chyhyryn.
Join us on February 24 2023 at 6:00 PM at Wischemann Hall, 465 Morris Street, Sebastopol or live on Zoom.
The carefully chosen yoga instructors that will guide us on this journey are:
Hediyeh Bell has been teaching yoga since 2008, and later added pilates and personal training to her repertoire. Her genuine spirit and unique style engages everyone she teaches. As in instructor, her intention is to help guide you into a strong body as well as into your own heart! She finds great joy in guiding others into the gift of a healthy body, mind and spirit.
Monica Bravo is not only a yoga instructor but Shamanic Reiki Master and Transformational Coach, sharing her love for yoga and breathwork around the world for 18+ years. She is the founder of Rapid ManifestationToday podcast and youtube where she shares meditations and yoga each week.
Vickie Morse has been practicing yoga for over 40 years, and teaching for 17+ years in the community. What started as something to do with her equestrian friends has expanded to an amazing community of dedicated students who have been playing and practicing yoga for many years together (Sova Yoga Sangha). Vickie recently has expanded her teachings with certifications in Yoga for Osteoporosis, Senior & Chair Yoga, Fusion Fitness, and is a Matter of Balance Coach. The vision for this event started with Vickie, who reached out to the community to help create this unique event.
Our Meditation Guide is Kerry Vyner Brooks. Kerry Vyner-Brooks is an experienced coach, and instructor with a background in Qigong, Yoga, Transpersonal Psychology, and the performing, visual and healing arts. She is a lifelong student; curious, about surrendering to the Divine Feminine; finding Inner peace. Karen enjoys the gift of movement, fellowship, and laughter.
Prior yoga experience is suggested. Please bring a mat and any props you may require. Space is limited, but we are also offering the live zoom option. Please, no small children. Young adults with yoga experience are welcome. Doors opening at 5:30 PM.
There are three ticket (donation) options available, please choose the level of support that you can manage. Additional cash/check donations may be made at the event, or on the Sebastopol World Friends website. This is a donation event, no cancellation or refunds.
Your donation is critical in meeting the needs of our friends in Chyhyryn. While no donation is too small, we challenge you to challenge yourself and think big. If you were displaced from your home, how much would you want your friends to pledge to keep your family warm, clothed, and fed, and to ensure that you could communicate with them? Please donate at whatever level you can manage.
This event is made possible with support from:
Redwood Rainbows Square Dance Club, Inc.
Radiate Yoga Studio
Brenda Flynn and the rest of the Sova Yoga Gang
The 2021 Sister City Friendship Dinner was unlike anything we have ever done before. And it was a huge success because of all of you who joined us on Zoom. We were thrilled to finally welcome our friends from Ukraine and Japan to join us all at the same time! It was wonderful to see many new and familiar faces. The guests enjoyed socializing and participating in the activities during the event.
Also because it was virtual, we were able to record it for prosperity. So now you can watch, or rewatch, in the comfort of your own home with a bowl of borsch or platter of futomaki: Japanese and Ukrainian music and dance; an exclusive interview of Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine and proud Analy graduate, Steven Pifer; or the whole shebang, depending on your mood and schedule.
I HAVE… an hour and a half, and I want to experience (or relive) the fun of the 2021 Friendship Dinner.
…a half hour, and I’m in the mood to clap my hands!
While we missed being able to participate in the entertainment, it was comforting to see some of our favorite entertainers from the past. This video of Zoloti Maky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble was taken at last year’s Friendship Dinner. The Bandura Ensemble of Northern California, based in Sacramento, plays a classic dance piece on the traditional Ukrainian folk instrument.
Our long-time partner, Sonoma County Taiko is shown here performing their last live pre-pandemic performance in January 2020. And finally, the City of Chyhyryn, Department of Culture, Leisure and Sports extends Ukrainian holiday greetings.
… 20 minutes, and I am curious about U.S. diplomacy with Ukraine.
Sebastopol World Friend’s Board member Abigail Evans interviews former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Steven Pifer, about his Sebastopol roots and his thoughts on citizen diplomacy, among other topics.
Thank you to our special guests:
Consul General Toru Maeda of Japanese Consulate in San Francisco
Consul General Dmytro Kushneruk of Ukrainian Consulate in San Francisco Kevin O’Donnell of Sister Cities International
Sebastopol City Councilmember and SWF liaison Patrick Slayter
Sebastopol Vice Mayor Sarah Gurney
Sebastopol Councilmember Neysa Hinton
Sebastopol Councilmember Diana Rich
Congratulations to Our 2021 Honorary Membership Recipients:
Darryl Yagi and Julene Leach of Enmanji Buddhist Temple in recognition of their long-time support of SWF.
We would also like to Recognize and Thank our MC Tim Forslund and the following people who worked hard behind the scene:
Even during the pandemic, our commitment to our motto “World Peace One Friend At a Time” remains strong! We are happy to bring the community together over inspiring cultural programs, entertainment, and good food again this year.
Some of our sister city friends will be featured in the cultural presentations. For entertainment, the Zoloti Maky (formerly Burevisnyky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble) and Sonoma County Taiko are back by popular demand.
In order to keep the tradition of the ever-popular food theme “Where Sushi Meets Borsch”, we are partnering with two local restaurants that will prepare a dinner-to-go special menu for the attendees. The Sushi Dinner will be provided by Sushi Tozai and the Borsch Dinner will be provided by Hole in the Wall. We are thrilled about this collaboration because it is our way of showing our gratitude to our local partners for their past support, especially during the difficult times. If you are interested in making your own food, we will share our recipes on our website, so please check it out.
Featured presentation of the program is an exclusive interview of Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Steven Pifer. He served as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs with responsibilities for Russia and Ukraine (2001-2004), ambassador to Ukraine (1998-2000), and special assistant to the president and senior director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia on the National Security Council (1996-1997). Currently, he is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center on the United States and Europe. A Sebastopol native, Ambassador Pifer visited Chyhyryn with a SWF’s delegation in 1996.
Registration is free. The dinners are optional and $13 per serving. Since it is a special menu with a special price, dinner orders need to be placed with the registration by January 17. Pre-registration is required with or without food orders.
Sister City Friendship Dinner & Celebration on November 5, 2016
Sebastopol World Friends Fundraiser for Project C.U.R.E.
Sebastopol, California – Sebastopol World Friends (SWF) will host a Sister City Friendship Dinner and Celebration on Saturday, November 5. It will be held at the Enmanji Buddhist Temple Memorial Hall (1200 Gravenstein Highway South, Sebastopol). Door opens at 6:00 and the program will begin once the dinner is served at 6:30.
All you can eat buffet-style dinner will showcase food from Ukraine and Japan, where Sebastopol has its two sister cities. There will also be related cultural entertainment. Suggested donation amounts are $15 for adults and $5 for children.
This year, a silent auction featuring many local goods and services will help raise money for Project C.U.R.E. It is a nationally acclaimed non-profit organization that collects medical donations and equipment on a massive scale to send to health clinics and hospitals in the developing world. SWF has formed a partnership with Project C.U.R.E. to benefit our sister city, Chyhyryn, Ukraine.
Sebastopol World Friends Chairperson Abigail Evans encourages anyone in the community with an interest to come to the Friendship Dinner and find out about our sister city programs. “Come enjoy Japanese sushi and Ukrainian borsht and dumplings with us and learn more about the World Friends as well as Chyhyryn and Takeo. We also ask you to join us in our effort to raise money for Project C.U.R.E. It is important for our community to come together to support our friends in Chyhyryn and to continue to develop the bonds between our communities since we are currently unable to take part in our regular exchange programs with students there.”
SWF was organized as a Sebastopol City Commission in 1985. Since then, it has been active with its two sister cities, Chyhyryn in Ukraine, and Takeo in Japan. SWF’s goal is to work toward “World Peace, One Friend at a Time,” by bringing sister city citizens together through youth and adult citizens’ homestay exchange programs. Hundreds of Sebastopol youth and adult citizens have participated in the program as grass-roots diplomacy ambassadors. In 2014, SWF received the Best Overall Program award from Sister Cities International.
For more information about the Friendship Dinner and the Sebastopol World Friends, contact Abigail Evans at email@example.com
Discover the World of International Exchange
Sebastopol World Friends invites 7th and 8th grade students to learn about the Sebastopol’s sister city exchange program with Takeo City, Japan.
7th and 8th grade students who are attending a middle school in Sebastopol or living in Sebastopol are invited to an informational meeting where the application process and the hosting and travel process will be presented.
Information and Questions:
Meg Mizutani firstname.lastname@example.org 707-484-0245
Information meetings will be posted soon. Please check back soon
Come out and support the Analy Arts Department as well as Project C.U.R.E for Ukraine
Tickets are $12 and only sold at the door
SEBASTOPOL WORLD FRIENDS is organizing a Project C.U.R.E. Fundraiser for our Sister City, Chyhyryn, Ukraine.
- Medical supplies and equipment for the hospital
- Project C.U.R.E. conducts assessment of needs before shipment
- AND follow-up training with hospital staff
OUR GOAL IS $25,000 — EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS
Project C.U.R.E. is a nationally acclaimed non-profit organization that collects donated medical supplies and equipment and distributes them to hospitals and clinics in over 130 developing nations. Our goal of $25,000 will allow us to arrange for the shipment of one entire cargo container of supplies for the hospital.
Sebastopol World Friends is a non-profit 501c(3) organization.
Speakers for the 2015-16 Adult and Student Delegations will share their experiences on Tuesday, April 19th at 6pm at City Hall, Sebastopol; you are invited to come hear what they have to say!
Want more information?
Have questions about the any of our programs, Please get in touch. We’ll be happy to help.