Palatine Sister Cities awards second French scholarship

Palatine Mayor Jim Schwantz, Sister Cities President Nghi Loi Pappas and scholarship director Mona Yaghmour presented a $4,000 scholarship to Mayra Cortezano at the Palatine Farmers Market on July 9.

The Dr. Elizabeth Hull Memorial Scholarship, named in honor of a dedicated community leader, supports Mayra's study of French culture at Dominican University and includes an immersion trip to Fontenay-le-Comte, France, next summer.

Mayra is the second scholarship recipient, following Gleny Witzel, who recently returned from three weeks in France, and will be relating her experiences at the Palatine Sister Cities Bastille Day celebration, where Mayra will be introduced to the membership.

"The purpose of Sister Cities is to promote international peace through understanding, and I don't know a better way to do that than through education and travel, language and culture. We're never too old to learn," Yaghmour said.

The Sister Cities Association of Palatine manages the Palatine Farmers Market and sells raffle tickets each week for a "Taste of the Market" basket. The proceeds from the raffle fund the scholarship.

"We thank our loyal customers for their generous support of the market, inspiring us to maintain the highest quality market and allowing us to contribute to local and international needs, Pappas said.

"In addition to the scholarships, the raffle proceeds have helped to rebuild areas devastated by storms in the U.S. and Japan, to install four granite tables in the market area, and recently to provide humanitarian relief in Ukraine."

The Palatine Ukrainian Church is selling pierogies and potato pancakes at the market the second Saturday each month to aid their countrymen.

For information on the Sister Cities Association of Palatine and the farmers market, visit

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