Kansas City Officials Announce “Marathon Exchange Program” with Xi’an, China

KANSAS CITY, September, 2013 – From Arusha, Tanzania, to Xi’an, China, 13 sister-city relationships serve an integral role in Kansas City’s cultural and economic advancement. Spanning the globe, each affiliation presents a distinct opportunity for exchanging awareness and interest in many areas, even in the world of sport.

In the spirit of building upon Kansas City’s relationship with Xi’an, the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation is pleased to announce a “marathon exchange program” between the Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon with Ivy Funds and the Xi’an City Wall International Marathon. A cooperative agreement beginning this year, the top local male and female finishers at the Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon with Ivy Funds will earn a chance to compete in the Xi’an City Wall International Marathon in the following year. The same arrangement applies to the top local finishers at the Xi’an event this November, with their top male and female runners invited to compete in Kansas City.

“We’re confident this is a top local prize unlike any other in the United States,” said Kathy Nelson, President and CEO, Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation. “For two area runners, it’s not only a rare chance to experience an overseas marathon; it also represents an opportunity to immerse oneself in a whole new culture.”

This unique undertaking is the result of collaborative discussions among the City of Kansas City, Missouri; the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation; Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. and Ivy Funds; the Kansas City-Xi’an Sister Committee; and the Society for Friendship with China.

“As with our other sister cities, Kansas City greatly values its relationship with Xi’an,” said Scott Wagner, Councilman, City of Kansas City, Missouri. “Effectively nurturing this dynamic relationship requires exploring innovative and engaging mutual pursuits, which we feel we’ve accomplished here.”

Now in its ninth year, the Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon with Ivy Funds has enjoyed exponential growth as one of the premier running events in the Midwestern region. As the race looks to broaden its community reach, this joint running venture with Xi’an is a fitting step.

“What an extraordinary means for extending Kansas City goodwill well beyond our city limits,” said Tom Butch, President of Waddell & Reed, Inc. and Ivy Funds Distributor, Inc./Chairman of the Board, Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation. “As title sponsor for the marathon, we are deeply privileged to be a part of something so profoundly special.”

Despite being half a world apart, with population densities of equally disparate proportions, Kansas City and Xi’an do share common ground as communities that strongly support economic and cultural growth.

“We have much we can learn from one another, and this program represents one more tremendous way for sharing and understanding our mutual interests,” said Bob Chien, President of the Kansas City-Xi’an Sister City Committee.

To learn more about the Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon with Ivy Funds, visit www.kcmarathon.org. To learn more about the Xi’an City Wall International Marathon, visit www.xianmarathon.com.

Xi'an City Wall International Marathon – Here we Come!

Xi'an City Wall International Marathon is one of China's most famous international races with more than 30,000 participants from more than 50 countries, notably for its start at the best-preserved city wall of China. Held annually at the first Saturday of every November, the Xi'an City Wall International Marathon offers a chance to experience Xian's golden fall and combines views of the ancient Chinese capital among a modern landscape. The Xi'an City Wall International Marathon provides a spacious, smooth competitive route, with mild autumn climate and a high-level of organization and management and the passion of local Chinese runners.

Xi’an Sport bureau invite 10 delegates from Kansas City to join this year’s race.

Kansas City delegation will lead by City Councilman Scott Wagner and Four Marathon runners of 2012 KC Marathon winner to Xi’an this November 2, 2013. Other member of this delegation’s member is from our sponsor Waddell and Reed, Kansas City Sport authority and our Xi’an Sister City Committee.

Chinese Firefighter Completed Visiting Kansas City


On July 19, 2013, the Chinese Firefighter Delegation from Wuhan, Hubei, has successfully completed visiting Kansas City, MO, South Platte County Fire District, Overland Park Fire Department, and Olathe Fire Department.

The Chinese Firefighter Delegation was invited over by Mr. Michael Newburger, director for South Platte County fire district with the help from the Society for Friendship with China. Our international Committee Chairperson Carol Wei implemented many details for the visit. The Chinese Firefighter Delegation was headed by brigadier Mao Hanbin, the President of the Fire Protection Association of Hubei Province of China. More than two hundreds of fire fighters from Kansas City, MO fire department, South Platte County fire district, Overland Park fire department, and Olathe fire department participated in various activities that lasted for a week. The local firefighters demonstrated their skills in a live fire drill for the Chinese guests, and showed them the special equipment they use in fire rescue and their dedication to save peoples’ lives in very dangerous conditions.

Scott Wagner and John Sharp, Councilmen for KCMO welcomed the Chinese firefighters along with KCMO Fire Chief Berardi and Chief Neeley. Olathe Mayor Michael Copeland also met the Chinese delegation and exchanged gifts. This international exchange deeply enhanced the ties and friendship between Greater Kansas City area firefighters and the firefighters from Wuhan China.

Chinese Firefighter Exchange with Kansas City

  Request from Mr. Michael Newburger to have a Chinese Firefighter exchange with Kansas City, Missouri.

Committee Chairperson Carol Wei help us invite the Fire Protection Association of Hubei Province is coming to Kansas City on July 14. They will be here for a week visiting Great Kansas City.

Chinese Firefighter Delegation headed by the President of the Fire Protection Association of Hubei Province.
Mr. Michael Newburger is Kansas City’ host, City Councilmen Scott Wagner and John Sharp with Fire Chief Berardi and Chief Neeley as co-host in Kansas City.

The Society is appreciated for the service of Carol Wei on Wuhan project right after the Xian’s puppeteer’s visit.

Puppeteers from Xi’an, China

A group of five puppeteers from Xi’an, China, performed for the Families Blessed with the World’s Children on June 9 and for children at Children’s Mercy Hospital on June 10. They were accompanied by Teresa Chien and Carol Wei of the Society for Friendship with China, Inc. Selections of Chinese folktales, such as “Iron-Fan Princess,” “Butterfly Lovers,” and “Meeting at the Flower Pagoda,” were performed for the Chinese children adopted by American families to help them understand Chinese traditions and culture. Jun Liang, one of the puppeteers, took the dual role of being both the narrator and a performer. Changzheng Tan, an alumnus of Qing Hua University, interpreted for the performance.

The performance at Children’s Mercy Hospital was also very well received. Children patients, accompanied by nurses or their parents, watched the shadow puppet show with great interest. The audience burst into hearty applause after each program. The representative of the Children’s Mercy Hospital gave the thumbs up to the performance afterwards. He praised Chinese art, recognized the accurate translation by Changzheng Tan, and thanked the artists and the organizer of the charity activity, the Society for Friendship with China, Inc.

Photo by Dan Gilbert

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