Valerie Mackie anxious to begin her People to People adventure.
Valerie Mackie of Soldotna has been selected to represent the Kenai Peninsula and Alaska as a People to People ambassador in Europe this summer. Now in its 50th year, the People to People International (PTPI) program was founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956. “I still like Ike and am grateful for this tremendous opportunity,” Mackie recently told the Soldotna Rotary Club. According to Mackie the purpose of the program is to enhance international understanding and friendships through educational, cultural, and humanitarian activities involving the exchange of ideas and experiences directly among peoples of different countries and diverse cultures. “Since its inception, nine U.S. Presidents have served as PTPI's Honorary Chairman including our current President George W. Bush. The organization has reaped benefits from the talents of countless individuals who have supported the ideals set forth by President Eisenhower. Among the early leaders working with President Eisenhower were J. C. Hall, the founder of Hallmark Cards, Walt Disney, Bob Hope and approximately 100 other remarkable individuals from industry, academia, and the arts,” reported Mackie.
Soldotna Rotary President Mike Bookout congratulates Valerie Mackie for being selected to represent Alaska in the People to People program.
Mackie says that being a PTPI ambassador is a lot of work, with many meetings to attend, required current event research, journal assignments prior to and during the trip, and fund raising to the tune of $6,000. An auction held at the Soldotna Rotary luncheon yielded more than $2,000 to help Valerie reach that goal, “This is what Rotary does. The People to People program is totally aligned with what Rotary International practices throughout the world that we are happy to be able to help Valerie have this experience,” said Soldotna Rotary president Mike Bookout.
Anyone interested in seeing Mackie’s PTPI presentation or donating to her adventure can contact her at Gotta Fish-Charters at 262-9256. "I have long believed, as have many before me, that peaceful relations between nations requires understanding and mutual respect between individuals." President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Founder of People to People International
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