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We hope you enjoy this abbreviated version of the

Frankenmuth News

Serving Frankenmuth Since 1906

Vol. 117 No. 36 - In our 117th year!

Wednesday, March 15, 2023


Sister City Committee planning for future exchanges, activities

  The Frankenmuth Sister City Committee met last month, to set its officers, committee members and plan for future travel and exchanges with Gunzenhausen. Germany.

  The City of Frankenmuth and Gunzenhausen have been sister cities since 1962 and last year marked the 60th anniversary of the partnership with a pair of exchanges, including a Gunzenhausen delegation visiting during the annual Bavarian Festival in June.

  The committee chose to retain its current executive committee, with Dan Haubenstricker the chair, Jordan Maurer the vice chair, Bridget Smith the secretary and Beth Bernthal Reindel the treasurer. At the meeting, the committee welcomed Frankenmuth School District Board of Education member Zak McClellan as the district’s representative and Kennedy Sutherland as the committee’s new FHS liaison.

  Other committee members include Gary Pickelmann, Yvonne Frysh, Joanmarie Weiss, Eva Horner, Melissa Rau, Mark Schutte, Baerbel Stuermer, Ryan Buchinger and Steve Pickelmann.

  The committee has been busy planning several activities for 2023 and beyond.

  Sutherland, reporting for FHS, noted high school German students met for German Day at the University of Michigan on March 10, the German AP test will be taken May 12 and the German Student Luncheon is returning to the Bavarian Inn Lodge on Tuesday, March 21, following a brief hiatus. The Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce and its German Heritage Committee is planning this event.

  The luncheon is open to the public as well as FHS and St. Lorenz Lutheran School students. It is a fundraiser for the German Heritage Fund. Contact Ann Curtis at the Chamber of Commerce to reserve at ticket at 989-652-8771 or by email,

  The next inbound student exchange from Gunzenhausen will take place Monday, April 10, through Wednesday, April 19. Bernthal Reindel noted that she and the teachers are having virtual chats weekly in advance of the visit. Frankenmuth Day is scheduled for Wednesday, April 12.

  Bernthal Reindel also reviewed the potential Outbound Sister City Youth Exchange set for mid-June, which would be the reciprocal counterpart to the inbound Gunzenhausen group set to visit next month. To be deemed successful, at least eight FHS students would need to participate.

  Maurer said he will be in contact with FHS German teacher Jennifer Fruendt regarding the student application and airfare scholarships.

  The Kleinlangheim Group Tour of 8 will visit Frankenmuth on Sunday, June 18. Kleinlangheim, Germany is the home town of Frankenmuth’s founding pastor, August Craemer, when the community was settled in August 1845. Volunteers will be used to give guided tours to the group of St. Lorenz Lutheran Church, log house, bells, museum and more.

  Schutte also told the committee that the Gunzenhausen Scouts (Pfadfinder) may visit here in August 2024, staying for about one week. The last time this group visited, in 2010, they brought approximately 24 visitors.

  The committee also took time to review past activities. Among them was the Schnitzel Demonstration-Dinner held October 26 at the Frankenmuth Farmers Market, conducted in coordination with the city’s Heart and Soul program. The event was well received, with about 25 people in attendance.

 Buchinger also discussed the 2022 inbound cultural exchange, which saw Gunzenhausen residents Maarit Asang and Emil Sumser work at the Rummel Agency and Frankenmuth Credit Union, respectively.

  The fall 2022 inbound student exchange from Gunzenhausen brought 13 students and two teachers, Weiss pointed out.

  The Frankenmuth Sister City Committee meets on a quarterly basis, the fourth Monday at 6:30pm. The next meeting is set for Monday, April 24.


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