The board of directors of the Lewiston Porter Community Ambassador Program announced earlier this year that, after 56 years in existence, the Community Ambassador Program has been discontinued.
At its March 22 meeting, the board unanimously decided to conclude the program and donate the balance of its funds to the International Studies Program at Lewiston-Porter Senior High School, reported LPCAP chair Sandra H. Olsen. In doing so, the LPCAP board envisions the International Studies Program to further LPCAP's mission and commitment to "foster intercultural understanding, tolerance, and friendship."
Commenting on the funding, Olsen points out, "The generous support we received from all of our supporters helped send Shannon McDonald, (then) a junior at Lewiston-Porter Senior High School, to Turkey for six weeks in 2010 as our last ambassador. And for more than half a century, so many community organizations and businesses had continued to support this important program."
She says the LPCAP board invites all the members of the Lewiston-Porter School District community to a free "Final Reception and Celebration of the Community Ambassador Program" on Saturday, May 28, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the First Presbyterian Church, 100 Church St., in Youngstown. There the board will ceremoniously pass the funds onto the senior high school's International Studies Program and wish success for the program to support international travel for students in the Lew Port community.
"It will be a celebration of the 56 years of the only community-supported program in the nation to support student participation with The Experiment for International Living," says Olsen.
"After 56 years of requesting donations in cash and auction items for our annual reception and auction, it is time that we say one last 'thank you' to the community and invite you all to this free celebration to say 'thank you,' " Olsen adds. "The entire community is invited to say 'goodbye' and meet past board members and ambassadors 'who have grown up and exhibit that special spirit of global understanding.' "
In addition to serving the traditional Community Ambassador punch (and the non-alcoholic punch), board members will bake desserts for the attendees. McDonald will attend and offer a few words on the Community Ambassador Program's contributions, as will past friends of the program over the years, including local dignitaries. Officials from the high school's International Studies Program will also be on hand, as will Milly Reeves, a dedicated volunteer who unselfishly has given 56 years of her life to this program, right from the start.
"Milly will bring her scrap books from all those years on the program for the attendees to browse through, as well as say a few parting words to all," says Olsen.
Area residents are invited to attend the celebration, she adds.