The 30th Anniversary year, 2008, was kicked off with a January annual party. The core members and friends of the Japanese Sister City Commission came with many memories of planning, hosting, fund-raising and special events. Upon reflecting these activities many people came to mind. They thought of present and past members located in both Independence, MO and in Higashimurayama, Japan. At the party the JSCC presented a slide show in memory of Bill Anderson; a generous and hard working supporter from the beginning. The JSCC also recognized John and Kathy Killip for their unselfish support, their personal volunteering and magnanimous hosting. Although they don’t actually live in the City of Independence they have graciously opened their home to Japanese youths and adults as well as holding the special and well-liked “Thanksgiving” dinner and pool party for JSCC and Japanese guests. They have built a tea house on their property and have decorated their pool house in Japanese décor which adds a special touch to the party atmosphere.
|Altruistic in nature, John and Kathy also used their artistic abilities to make distinctive gifts for honoring the City of Higashimurayama and the Higashimurayama International Friendship Association (HIFA) upon the mark of the five year anniversaries. When sharing their home with the Japanese guest they opened what seemed to be an American museum of artwork, which they have both made and collected. Besides going to Japan themselves, they have sent their children as American ambassadors to Higashimurayama on the exchange program. Their support to the commission in friendship and attendance at functions have benefited the members more than they know and it has taken place over more years than people can recall.|
It was decided that at the 30th anniversary party the 2008 president of JSCC, Joe Gall, would give John and Kathy an inscribed plaque to put amongst their beautiful décor stating the appreciation that everyone feels towards them. This is an excellent reminder that being on the commission isn't the only way to give to the JSCC. Founding JSCC lady, Lana White, felt this was a good time to give recognition to John and Kathy. Lana said, "They have been so good to so many! We should tell them that the members and friends of JSCC want to expresses their gratitude." Many memories have been made in their home for both Americans and Japanese.