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Fire of friendship still burning after 25 years

THE Deputy Mayor of Phoenix, Arizona, will lead a delegation of almost 100 people to Ennis next week to participate in a comprehensive programme of events marking the 25th anniversary of the twinning link between the county and Arizona State capitals.

Michael Johnson will be joined by Phoenix City Council representatives and executives, business leaders and Phoenix Sister City personnel.

During their week-long visit to the Banner County, the Phoenix delegation will meet Clare business and tourism interests on the business opportunities that the region offers, participate in the St Patrick’s Day Parade and receive a guided historic tour of Ennis as well as visit some of Clare’s best-known tourism attractions.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Mayor of Ennis, Councillor Peter Considine stated “It is very important that we celebrate the real and enduring association between Ennis and Phoenix. We all benefit from this association in terms of culture, education and business.”

TJ Waters, chairperson of Ennis Phoenix Twinning Board explained, “Since the formation of the twinning relationship in 1988, civic and community leaders from both sides of the Atlantic have visited each other on exchanges and have developed strong ties and personal friendships. Phoenix Week 2013 is an opportunity for all of us to celebrate the very special relationship that has been established”. He added, “The twinning arrangement has presented tremendous opportunities for the residents of both Ennis and Phoenix, for example, political and business leaders, arts and cultural representatives, technical experts, teachers and students from each location have participated in regular exchanges. We look forward to welcoming our friends to Ennis next week.”

Another highlight of Phoenix Week 2013 is the Cliffs of Moher 5 Miler at 11am on Saturday, March 16. The fundraising event will commemorate the short life of baby Nicholas Stokes of Phoenix, who passed away at the Cliffs in 2006.  His parents were so touched by the support they received at the time of the tragedy that they have raised over $80,000 to supply emergency equipment and emergency response training for personnel at the Cliffs of Moher First Aid Centre, now known as Nicholas Room.

The funds raised by the run will go to the Nicholas Room and the Neonatal Unit in St Munchin’s Hospital. Preparations are underway to cater for 500 participants in the 5-Miler and almost 50 runners from Phoenix plan to take part. Those intending to run or walk the route can register on www.runireland.com  or at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Center beforehand.

Meanwhile, Ennis Phoenix Twinning Board will host a breakfast forum for visiting Phoenix business people and officials. The forum on March 15, which is supported by Ennis Town Council and Ennis Chamber, will concentrate on opportunities for employment in the region as well as showcasing the tourism opportunities. Topics covered will include transport infrastructure, links to third level research projects and opportunities for global business.

Log on to www.ennisphoenix.com or the Facebook page for more information.


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