“We already have so much in common; coastal communities with breathtaking sunrises, luxury resorts with an emphasis on quality service, culturally rich programs for both residents and visitors alike and a place where visitors can feel at home in a community” says Elena Baronoff, the International Ambassador of Sunny Isles Beach who is responsible for bringing these two cities together and making this union possible. She was delighted that after all of her planning, the ‘wedding day’ was finally here and like a proud mother, she was glowing!
Before the official signing, a string quartet played both the United States National Anthem as well as that of Italy. The Sunny Isles Beach delegation was very moved by their performance. A preamble from the Taormina President Reneri supported the twinning and approved the documents to be signed. With his approval to move forward on behalf of Taormina, both Mayor Passalaqua of Taormina and Mayor Edelcup of Sunny Isles Beach expressed their desire to twin with each other. The emphasis for both was focused on the youth and cultural exchanges. As Mayor Edelcup stated, “we look forward to exploring economic and educational opportunities with Taormina. We look to future generations to learn and share and cultivate this relationship.” He went on to say that “there are so many ways we can both benefit from this union. We will share in tourism and cultural events, concerts and performances, economics and education.” During the Ceremony, both Elena Baronoff and Dino Papale, the two responsible for this “marriage” as they like to refer to it, had an opportunity to express what a labor of love it has been getting to this day. In Italian, Dino shared his visit to Sunny Isles Beach with the council, confirming that this is a good union. Elena, in English with Commissioner Isaac Aelion translating for her, told everyone about the similarities in our communities and why she chose to pursue Taormina as a Sister for Sunny Isles Beach. Everyone agreed, the Taormina Council voted unanimously, and the agreements were signed
Following the ceremony, the Sunny Isles Beach delegation and the Italian delegation shared ideas for future growth over dinner wherein language was not a barrier. Everyone understands the significance of this union and now there is much work to be done.
If you would like more information about our Sister City Taormina, Italy, please visit our website at www.sibfl.net.