Pancakes pave the way for visit to Superior’s sister city – Superior Telegram

SUPERIOR — Student delegates with their sights set on Japan will hold a pancake breakfast fundraiser from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 19, at United Presbyterian Church, 229 N. 28th St.

The event includes a bake sale and silent auction. For $5 per person or $20 per family, visitors can enjoy pancakes, sausage, coffee, juice or milk, and support 10 students preparing to travel to Superior’s sister city, Ami-machi, Japan, in August.

Superior High School junior Ben Flint has been looking forward to the trip for two years. The pandemic put a halt to the visits in 2020, the first year he would have been eligible.

“I hope, myself, to gain new personal experiences and learn about other cultures in the world, so I can better understand the rest of the world,” Flint said.

He encouraged the public to come for the food and to learn more about the program.

“One, it’s pancakes, who doesn’t love pancakes?” he said. “And two, you’re supporting a great cause of educating our youth and helping us build relationships with another country.”

The protocol agreement between the two cities dates back to 1997. Student and adult delegates are exchanged on a biennial basis, with Ami-machi sending delegations in odd years and Superior sending delegations in even years. Kim Habig, chairwoman of the Superior Sister City Commission Board, said the exchange offers a new perspective.

“It gives folks that chance to see that we share a lot of things in common, even though our cultures are so different,” she said.

The student delegates will stay with host families during the trip. Kari Dresback said her two children, ages 14 and 15, are looking forward to that everyday glimpse of Japan, from meeting their host families to seeing what their furniture, clothing, kitchens and bathrooms look like.

“All of that is an unknown. So just the simple daily life is exciting,” Dresback said.

The students have gathered a list of auction items, ranging from mint condition John Deere collectibles to Botox treatments. Bake sale items will include fudge, cookies, muffins and bread.

The partnership between the two cities has grown gardens, sparked interests and returned World War II artifacts to a Japanese soldier’s family.

Ami-machi representatives reached out with kind words and a donation to local firefighters following the 9/11 attacks; the Superior Sister City Commission reciprocated when a large-magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck eastern Japan in 2011. The Ami-machi community raised $3,000 and sent it back with Superior delegates to help the city recover from the June 2012 flood.

The pandemic has impacted both communities.

“So I think it will be very interesting to learn how our friends in Ami have dealt with it. We’ve all shared a common experience in that,” Habig said.

COVID-19 could still derail the exchange. Entry into Japan is

extremely limited right now

, and even those who can enter are required to quarantine for seven days, Habig said. The delegation is only planning to spend about seven days in Ami-machi. While there, they will take part in the city’s annual festival and tour schools and other sites in the community.

There have been signs that Japan will loosen border restrictions, according to recent online articles in Kyodo News, Japan Today and Bloomberg. And the group is hopeful the exchange will take place.

Information on the program will also be available at the event, as well as applications. While the student spots are closed, there is still time for adults to join the delegation. Visit the

Superior Sister City Commission website


Facebook page

, email

[email protected]

or call 715-395-7212 for more information.


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