World Services of La Crosse, Inc.

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World Services Spring Newsletter 2015

Building Peace
Citizen Diplomacy Celebration
brings together like minds

World Services of La Crosse honored four Wisconsin residents at its annual Citizen Diplomacy Celebration last month. 

The annual event celebrates the work of area citizens in shaping international relations and honors outstanding efforts of individuals. This year’s honorees included 

  • Sondra LeGrand, community volunteer, as World Services Citizen Ambassador of the Year;
  • Gary Kirking, Juneau County University of Wisconsin-Extension Community Resource Development Agent, as World Services Citizen Diplomat of the Year; and
  • Matt Squire, Onalaska High School senior, as World Services Student Ambassador of the Year.

World Services also presented a special Legacy Award to Michael Garrity, MD, a retired family physician from Gundersen Health System in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.

The celebration builds awareness of the many global exchanges and partnerships occurring in the region and recognizes the individual friendships that result, said World Services President and CEO Sandra McCormick. “As governments continue work to improve international relations, personal ties can move the work forward even when official channels falter.”

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Connecting Communities
World Services earns national honor

The Open World Leadership Center based in Washington DC has named World Services of La Crosse, Inc., as its 2015 National Grantee of Merit Award recipient

The Open World Leadership Center is a congressional agency working to increase U.S.-Eurasian understanding and partnerships. In announcing the award, Open World wrote that over the years World Services “has brought us expertise in public health issues, sustainable community development, and helping delegates set post-program goals. They have consistently shown strength in advocating for sister cities in the U.S…”

 World Services hosted 35 Open World delegations in 2014 with 31 partner cities in 17 states. These exchanges provide warm, professional hospitality and excellent programming while developing long-term friendships with lasting ties. Another 20 delegations are scheduled for 2015; World Services’ partner cities will host Open World delegations from Russia, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Kosovo, and Serbia.


Save the Date

Global Initiatives Week returns to La Crosse this November 6-13. The week is designed to increase awareness of the region’s global connections and inspire action. Watch for more information at

Point of Protocol

Kazakhs are hospitable people who enjoy hosting dinners in their homes. Even if you aren’t invited to a meal, you will be served tea and bread. The bread is a sign of respect as Kazakhs consider it to be sacred. And when served tea, your cup will often only be filled halfway. To fill the cup would mean that your host wanted you to leave.  (Source: Kwintessential)