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Vallarta's Sister City, Highland Park, Wins Int'l Award

June 19, 2015

Highland Park and Puerto Vallarta have been sister cities for 13 years. As sister cities, citizens and organizations are involved in the exchanging of ideas, cultures and people.

Washington D.C. - Highland Park Sister Cities Foundation (HPSCF) has won Sister Cities International's 2015 Best Overall Program Award for a city with a population between 25,001 and 50,000.

The 2015 Sister Cities International Best Overall Program Award recognizes sister city programs that demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in 2014 in advancing the goals and mission of the sister cities movement.

HPSCF's 2014 goals were to provide a platform to empower and highlight the Hispanic community in Highland Park, focus on exchanges in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), continue their efforts to help victims of domestic violence, and to begin a relationship with their newest sister city, Yerucham, Israel.

In addition to Yerucham, Israel, Highland Park is a Sister City to Modena, Italy, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

To fulfill their goals, HPSCF successfully implemented several programs throughout the year. These programs included a sponsored Jazz Festival in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico featuring high school and college bands from throughout the U.S.; a reception honoring the sister city relationships between Illinois' sister cities in Mexico; a Youth Soccer Tournament; seminars on domestic violence in Puerto Vallarta; donations of musical instruments to youth orchestras in Puerto Vallarta; and a sponsored Robotics Exchange with Yerucham, Israel, in which the participating high school students collaborated over the internet to build their robot and won the FIRST Tech Challenge Regional Tournament.

Sister Cities International's Annual Awards are awarded in several categories including Best Overall, Innovation (Arts & Culture, Economic Development, Humanitarian Assistance, and Youth & Education), Volunteer of the Year, and Youth Leadership. Award winners will be honored at a special ceremony on Saturday, July 18 during Sister Cities International's 59th Annual Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Sister Cities International 59th Annual Conference will bring together elected and municipal officials, engaged citizens, diplomats, and business leaders to Minneapolis, Minnesota to discuss, "Building Generations for Peace."

Conference sessions will provide attendees with opportunities to learn about strengthening their sister city programs through informative sessions led by experts and industry leaders. Click HERE or more information on the 2015 Sister Cities International Annual Conference.

About Sister Cities International

Founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, Sister Cities International is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit which serves as the national membership organization for individual sister cities, counties, and states across the U.S. This network unites tens of thousands of citizen diplomats and volunteers in 545 communities with over 2,100 partnerships in 145 countries on six continents. For more info, visit