Jeanne Ferber visited to bring the Club more information on the "Bench of Friendship", a gift from Russia craftsmen to the U.S. commemorating 200 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Craig Claus and members of the Alton Centennial Rotary Club welcomed Jeannie Ferber, co-founder of Access to Ideas, to their January 15th meeting to show a film of the making of the "Bench of Friendship". The bench was handmade by blacksmiths in the Ural Mountains of Russia in honor of 200 years of diplomatic relations between our nations. The decision was made by the Russian side to give the bench to the Lakes Region out of gratitude to the work of Access to Ideas in Russia and also because the Lakes Region is an historic place of friendship. The bench's actual home will be Alton thanks to the efforts of the Alton Rotary Club. In addition to showing the film "Iron Prayer," Ferber presented the club with the first "piece" of the bench to arrive in America! The small nut has the Master blacksmith's logo forged into it. The 440 pound bench is now complete and waiting to be shipped. It has earned considerable publicity in Russia as well as winning the silver medal at the Eurasia Landscape Exhibition.