Faces of Dryden: The world comes to Dryden


In a unique community collaboration, the Dryden Rotary Club will host the 31 students currently visiting in the Central New York region of Rotary’s District 7170 from around the world at a weekend-long orientation, Feb. 9 and 10. The 21 students from District 1710 preparing to launch out on their “lifetime in a year” international student exchange will also come to Dryden for the weekend of training and preparation.

Along with the district’s Youth Exchange Committee, students will arrive at the United Methodist Church for a day of sessions, games, and challenges designed to make their exchange year be the best it can be. For the students heading out from New York, that means sharing a presentation with the group in the language of your host country, taking a language test, acting out scenarios that might be potential problems, and much more.

Students for whom Central New York is their new home away from home will review some of the foundational Rotary principles, discuss the legacy they’d like to leave in their host communities, discuss reverse culture shock and act as mentors to their American peers.

Rotary Clubs in Tompkins and Cortland Counties will provide lunches for the team so they can stay fueled for their training time. Delegations of students, students here from another county and going to another country, will spend the night with local families for even more practice in adjusting to new places. The Village Hall and Community Café will be the site of Sunday’s sessions.
Clara from Spain whose exchange year is based in Cooperstown, said, “I am super excited for the orientations. They are the best thing ever!”

The Dryden Rotary Club has been hosting international exchange students for more than a dozen years now. High school students come for one school year from countries such as Thailand, Poland, Mexico, India, and France. February’s event will have 17 countries represented, and Dryden has exchanged with most of them. Students stay with three different host families, for approximately three and a half months each. They participate in family life, school clubs and activities, Rotary Club, and keep a piece of Dryden in their hearts forever. Rotary believes that youth exchange creates world peace, one student at a time.

To make the youth exchange year possible, the club raises funds in a variety of ways. One of those ways is the annual Mystery Dinner Theater. Held this year on Saturday, Feb. 2, the audience becomes part of the action in this laugh-filled drama created and staged by the Acme Mystery Company based out of Syracuse. Every table will help to collect clues and solve this year’s mystery, “The Y Files: Where are the Cows?”

The evening starts at 6 p.m. for clue finding and mingling and the start of the show. Dinner is served at 7:30 p.m. The buffet of roast beef or chicken dinner includes beverages and homemade desserts. Before and during dinner, Acme’s actors interact with the guests. The Acme actors explain, “Our shows play on two levels: they are extremely funny and fun to watch but there also is a very real mystery which each audience member gets the chance to solve. At every seat is a program telling you where you are, when you are, and who you are. It also tells you about the characters you will be meeting. Additionally, each table is given a Clue and encouraged to exchange this information with other tables in an effort to put together the most comprehensive list so as to better solve the mystery.”

Coordinator Chris Sanford said, “Everyone that comes has a really good time. Something new this year, guests are invited to bring a gently loved or new book for the Family Reading Partnership Bright Red Book Shelf.”
Tickets, $45 each, are available through a local Rotarian, on the club’s website RotaryClubofDryden.org, or at Dedrick’s Farm Market, Dryden Barbershop, Fingerlakes Electric Supply or Shear Vision. Each ticket will be entered to win a door prize and raffle tickets will be available at the door.

In Brief

Red Kettle thanks
Some 25 local businesses, along with many individual community members participated to make this year’s Dryden Service Unit Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign the best yet. According to local coordinator Charlie Hart, bell-ringers and generous donors raised $6,847, over $6,000 of which will provide for needs right here in the Dryden community. From Boy Scouts, bankers and basketball players to churches, cheerleaders, and construction workers, over 116 hours were logged in the winter weather, ringing the bell to bring hope and help.

Café annual meeting
The Dryden Community Center Café, a volunteer-run bakery, coffee and sandwich shop, and favorite meeting place at the four corners in the Village, will host its annual meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 21. The agenda includes business challenges and changes, volunteer opportunities, and board member elections. All are welcome.

Science of Small at the library
The Southworth Library, 24 West Main St, Dryden, is thrilled to welcome the Cornell Center for Materials Research to share “Nanotechnology: The Science of Small” at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19. This Families Learning Science Together program will be full of hands-on discoveries and stories. Thanks to a generous grant from the Rosen Library Fund of the Community Foundation, every family will receive a free book to take home. Recommended for children ages 5 and up.

Coffee with the Superintendent
Drop in to say hello to Superintendent of Dryden Central School District, Joshua Bacigalupi, on Monday, Feb. 4 at the Southworth Library between 5 and 7 p.m. Share your thoughts on how we can continue to move our school district forward.


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