The Solvang Rotary Club is pleased to announce that they have recently partnered with two Rotary clubs in two different countries as their Sister Club. The premise behind a Sister Rotary Club is that you establish a partnership with another club to further international and cultural understanding and to foster goodwill through long standing fellowship and international service and relationships.  Both partnerships were confirmed in November of 2020. 
Solvang Rotary is pleased to confirm Aalborg City Rotary Club of Denmark as our Sister Club because of the long standing relationship with the city of Aalborg. The City of Solvang established a Sister City relationship with Aalborg, Denmark, on May 13, 1976.  This relationship was cemented between Solvang and Aalborg because of the many Danish immigrants and the Danish heritage brought to our area. 
Members of the Royal Family of Denmark have visited Solvang on 3 different occasions. The most recent visit was by Prince Henrik, the husband of Queen Margrethe of  Denmark when he visited Solvang  in 2011 for Solvang’s  Centennial celebrations. The Prince Consort stayed in Solvang for several days of festivities and was presented a black Stetson hat as a gift which he coveted.  There were additional Centennial festivities all year long that a committee consisting of the Solvang Conference and Visitors Bureau, the Solvang Chamber, the Elverhoj Museum, Visit SYV and City staff all coordinated on for over a year. 
One of the last Centennial activities arranged was a 12 day trip to Denmark organized by Linda Johansen with 50 dignitaries and Solvang residents. They were escorted throughout Denmark on tour meeting many  Danish dignitaries and visiting the Queen and Prince Consort’s private palace in Copenhagen for a wine reception featuring the Prince Consorts own wine. We were also given free reign in the Castle to explore and were ushered to the Castle rooftop for the most amazing vistas of Copenhagen.  We were also taken to the garage to examine the Royal fleet of cars.  It was the most amazing experience even though the Queen and Prince Consort were not in residence at the time, because visitors are rarely invited to this royal residence and palace in Copenhagen.
In Aalborg the entire group was also initiated into the Christian Guild which is a philanthropic organization much like our local Vikings. This organization played an important role in World War II hiding Jewish citizens in their wine cellars.  Today this important organization deals with issues concerning women and children.  After quite an elaborate induction ceremony, all new members were given the key to the wine cellar in Aalborg.  I proudly wear that key which I had made into a beautiful necklace with Danish Krone coins as a reminder of my Danish heritage and our magical trip to Denmark.
The Solvang Rotary Club is extremely proud to have partnered with the Aalborg City Rotary Club and looks forward to establishing a relationship that will be beneficial to all our mutual Rotary members in regard to world peace, world health, personal and business relationships, possible joint projects and cultural exchanges as well as building lasting friendships. 
The Solvang Rotary Club currently has 53 members and the Aalborg City Rotary has just under 20 members that will conduct their first joint Rotary meeting via Zoom on January 26, 2021, at  7:30AM California time.  Linda Johansen, a past President of the Solvang Rotary Club, and current International Chair has been negotiating the Sister Club partnership with Aalborg City Rotary members Carsten Helmuth Pedersen, the Aalborg City Rotary past President and current International Chair and Marlene Brogaard Petersen who is the current President of the Aalborg City Rotary.  Both clubs are committed to this cultural exchange and relationship.
The Solvang Rotary Club has also taken the Nicaraguan barrio of Ciudad Sandino as our 2nd  Rotary Sister Club.  The Solvang Rotary has a long standing relationship with Nicaragua as Linda Johansen organized two medical trips in 2014 and 2015 respectively to work with Jubilee House Community at the Ciudad Sandino Medical Clinic. Both trips there were a total of 18 people, including a Dentist, Cardiologist, Optometrist, and General Practitioner to help service almost 1000 people during the week in Ciudad Sandino which is the poorest barrio outside of Managua.  The Solvang Rotary Club has supported the Ciudad Sandino Medical clinic with medical equipment, medical supplies and medicines as well as manual work at the clinic from many Rotary volunteers.  During the recent Covid pandemic the Solvang Rotary Club has also sent money for food and supplies as well as $1270 to help restore the bean farmers crops that were devastated with the two recent hurricanes that hit Nicaragua back to back.  The bean farmer gets $45 to pay for beans to plant and that crop is realized in 90 days and will yield 700-1200 pounds of beans. Each farmer must contribute 100 pounds of beans back to the Village, some used to replant helping to make the food supply sustainable.  
Many members of the Solvang Rotary Club have worked side by side with the 12 members of the Ciudad Sandino Rotary Club.  They are extraordinary in all they get done and have partnered with many Rotary Clubs for Global Grants for water purification and food and nutritional programs. We have an excellent existing working and personal relationship with this club and the need is great in Nicaragua. 
The Solvang Rotary Club looks forward to a very successful and productive long term relationship with the Rotary Club of Ciudad Sandino  Nicaragua and the Aalborg City Rotary Club of Denmark.