Published January 15, 2002
Volume 10, Number 1

Pleasanton-Blairgowrie-Fergus Sister City Group Celebrates 7th Annual Burns Supper

For a wee bit of bonnie Scotland right here in Pleasanton, you can enjoy the sounds of the Alameda Pipe Band, the flair of Scottish highland dancers, and a salute to poet Robert Burns at the Seventh Annual Burns Supper, sponsored by the Pleasanton-Blairgowrie- Fergus Sister City Organization. 

The festive event, which includes dinner and dancing to fiddle music, will be held on January 26 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 11950 Dublin Canyon Road, Pleasanton. Tickets are $55 and a table for ten is $500. The no-host bar is at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. 

The energetic members of the Peninsula Fiddle Society will play at the no-host bar, dignitaries will be piped in to have dinner, there will be an address to the haggis, and the poem "The Immortal Memory," remembering Burns and loved ones who have passed away, will be presented. 

The 99-member organization provides a groundswell of support, activities and goodwill that link Pleasanton with the Scottish cities of Blairgowrie and Fergus. The organization was launched in 1994 as a venture between Pleasanton and Blairgowrie; Fergus was added in 2001. Members have visited the two cities and visitors from Scotland have been hosted in Pleasanton. 

Educational and cultural exchanges are very important to the organization's members. Last year, school children came from Blairgowrie to visit Pleasanton. "That got us started on what we are trying to establish now, something we have wanted to do for awhile, and that is sponsoring Amador Valley and Foothill High School students to go to Scotland as exchange students," says Kathleen Tollworthy, the group's membership director. Money is being raised and Tollworthy says that PBFSCO is encouraging and inviting corporate sponsorships for the education project. 

The group has linked up with other organizations including the City of Pleasanton as co-sponsors of the senior luncheon at the Senior Center before the Scottish Games in August. The group has established a connection with Brae, Ireland, Dublin's sister city, to do a pub night each year at Pleasanton's Hop Yard. 

The PBFSCO has special meaning to Tollworthy, who is a longtime member. She was born near Glasgow in a city called Gourock, a shipbuilding town that built the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, and the QE2. She visited the United States at age 15 and never returned home. 

She has been in the sister city organization since she attended the Caledonian Scottish Games at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in 1994. "I joined and then was asked to join the board and have been active ever since." This year she will present the Haggis at the dinner.

The popular dinner sold out all 220 tickets last year. Entree choices are salmon, prime rib, and vegetarian. Crowne Plaza rooms are available at a special Burns Supper rate of $69 per room. 

Membership in PBFSCO is open to everyone and is $15 for a single, $20 for a family and $50 for a corporate membership. If you would like more information about the dinner or corporate sponsorship, call Tollworthy at (925) 462-6378.


Also in this issue ...