City of Harrison Mayor Bill Neyer was presented the International Cooperation Gold Medal from the German Firefighting Association Sept. 9 during a Sister City celebration.
The surprise recognition was presented to Neyer after he signed an official Sister City agreement with the Mayor of Meckesheim, Germany, Maik Brandt. Meckesheim Fire Brigade Commander Rene Faul presented the medal, noting Harrison’s $45,000 donation to the Brigade in May 2022. The funds helped the Brigade replace a vehicle wrecked while transporting Ukrainian refugees to Germany. Through the Harrison Mayor’s Community Fund, Neyer led a fundraising effort with contributions from Harrison residents and businesses.
Neyer and Brandt concluded the Sister City celebration by tapping a keg of "Schwester Festbier," a beer created jointly by Schumi's MeckseBrau brewery in Meckesheim, Germany and Northern Row Brewery in Cincinnati. Awards were presented to members of the Ohio Valley Region Porsche Club of America. State Representative (Ohio) Cindy Abrams and Honorary Consul from Germany Martin Wilhelmy also spoke during the event. Wilhelmy noted Ohio has 28 German Sister Cities, more than any other state.
The celebration took place during Harrison’s Fall Food Truck Rally, an event that draws thousands to the City’s historic downtown district. It was also the culmination of a relationship that began in 2019 and was delayed during COVID as both cities focused on other priorities. Harrison residents Kurt and Kim Wolfert have been instrumental in forging the link between the cities.
Leading up to the celebration, the Meckesheim delegation toured local businesses including JTM Food Group, Stop Stick and several shops and restaurants. Drees Homes honored the group with the unveiling of “Meckesheim Trail” inside the new Trailhead neighborhood. The group also visited schools and City buildings while learning about local culture and processes.
Located in Hamilton County, Ohio, Harrison is home to about 13,000 people and officially became a City in 1981. The Harrison Mayor’s Community Fund is a charitable organization that assists local residents in need. During the holidays, the Fund works with local churches and schools to provide food, clothing, winter coats and toys to hundreds of local families.
Meckesheim has a population of 5,200 and celebrated its 1,200th anniversary in 2022. The City is located in southwestern Germany in the state of Baden-Württemberg.
Pictured: Mayor of Meckesheim, Germany, Maik Brandt, Harrison Mayor Bill Neyer, Meckesheim Fire Brigade Commander Rene Faul and Deputy Commander Alexander Ries.