Grand Junction, Colorado Wins Sister Cities International’s Innovation Award for Professional and Technical Assistance

WASHINGTON, DC – Grand Junction, Colorado has won the Sister Cities International 2019 Innovation Award for Professional and Technical Assistance for a city with a population of 25,001-100,000. The awards competition, which is open to over 500 sister city programs nationwide, recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding individuals and community sister city programs that are promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation.

Animal health is directly related to human health, especially when animals are free to roam, as they are in Grand Junction’s Sister City; El Espino, El Salvador. By spaying and neutering dogs and cats, and simultaneously administering critical vaccines, we improve the health of the animals improves, their propensity to stray far from home in search of a mate decreases, which limits the transmission of illness from animal to animal—and in turn, animal to human. This focus on limiting zoonosis is a critical piece of the long-term benefits to the overall health of the community.

Grand Junction Sister Cities’ first annual spay/neuter campaign was carried out in the summer of 2018, spaying and neutering 305 animals in just three days with the participation of 12 veterinary students, which resulted in the prevention of thousands of births in the first year. In 2019, we expect to operate on 500 animals in three days and train more than 25 veterinary students and veterinary assistants. Additionally, the US-based volunteers participated in cultural activities around the country. Many of those volunteers are returning for the second year and have become involved in the FCE at the board level.

“We all stand to learn from these superstar Sister City programs as they impact their communities across a broad range of sectors that include business entrepreneurship, youth leadership, and arts and culture,” said Roger-Mark De Souza, Sister Cities International’s President & CEO. “These individuals and local organizations inspire us to be better citizens as their work exemplifies President Eisenhower’s vision of engaged international citizen diplomats. They create beneficial connections and lasting relationships which will help their communities today and for years to come.”

Sister Cities International Annual Awards recognize excellence in overall programming and highlight key innovations in arts and culture; business and trade; humanitarian assistance; youth and education; and professional and technical exchange categories. We also honor a Volunteer of the Year and our Youth Leadership who demonstrate exceptional efforts to advance peace through citizen diplomacy. This year we will honor all our award winners during SCI’s 2019 Annual Conference from July 17-19 in Houston, Texas.

The conference will bring together hundreds of the most influential citizen diplomats and global leaders in diplomacy, foreign affairs, policy, business, and innovation to discuss, share examples, and network. This year’s theme, Cities Mean Business, will focus on smart and resilient cities, leadership development, and entrepreneurship as key building blocks of President Eisenhower’s vision of creating a more peaceful world through citizen engagement and international cooperation between cities.

Founded as a Presidential Initiative by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, Sister Cities International serves as the national membership organization for 500 member communities with over 2,000 partnerships in more than 140 countries on six continents. The sister city network unites tens of thousands of citizen diplomats and volunteers who work tirelessly to promote the organizations’ mission of creating world peace and understanding through programs and projects focusing on arts and culture, youth and education, business and trade, and community development.

About Grand Junction Sister Cities 

Contact: Anna Stout ([email protected])