The benefits are numerous, he said.
"I think the general public would be interested in knowing that it connects one town to another in a global economy," he said. Typically, communication is greater between Sister Cities, including women's groups, religious and even sporting groups.
"We will participate in more exchanges of students, and even private citizens who want to do home exchanges for vacations," Reigelman said.
The committee has held meetings for the last two years, inviting community members to talk about their ideas for specific countries and cities. It also has been seriously considering invitations to be a sister to communities in different areas of the world.
"If finding the right Sister City is a kind of courtship, we're now looking at an engagement," Reigelman said.
Reigelman said during the recent political troubles in Northern Ireland, Carrickfergus became a bedroom community for people working in Belfast because if its long tradition of inclusiveness and safety. Recent urban renewal has turned the once decayed historic town center into a thriving district featuring a marina, restaurants and condominiums.
Town has brass band
The town even has a brass brand, Reigelman said, as well as a diversified economy, golf and bowling, parks and gardens, and a museum and civic center.
It's also progressive in many areas, such as recycling, environmental and infrastructure issues, so there's potential that Danville could learn from Carrickfergus.
"And they can learn from us," he said.
The Lexington Sister Cities coordinator, Kay Sargent, told the committee last summer how impressed she was with Carrickfergus, and Reigelman had the opportunity to visit the area in September.
"I came away very excited," he said, adding that he had never been treated more kindly.
He said the town is rich in culture and history and would appeal to the many history buffs and those interested in genealogy in Danville.
"For example, Andrew Jackson's family came from Carrickfergus," Reigelman pointed out.
Mayor of Carrickfergus gets invitation
The committee has invited David Hilditch, the mayor of Carrickfergus, to visit Danville.
"We just learned that Mayor Hilditch and two council members will visit us for a few days during the last half of March," Reigelman said.
In return, members of the Danville committee will visit Carrickfergus in early summer. "At our own expense, of course. I'm sure the expense had crossed your minds," Reigelman said.
The pairing of the Sister Cities would be a citizen effort, Reigelman said, or "a super pen pal, if you will. It's a situation where all kinds of things can happen."
The Danville committee consists of Kay Berggren, former Mayor John Bowling, Ambrose Braunecker, Mayor Hugh Coomer, Bill Grimes, Jody Lassiter, Vince Pennington, King Pruitt, Rachel White, Tim Napier and Reigelman.
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So You Know?
* Lexington is a Sister City to four cities around the world, including one in Ireland.
* To find out more about the Sister Cities International programs, log onto www.sister-cities.org.