The Harrison Mayor’s Community Fund has initiated a special fund to assist its Sister City, Meckesheim, Germany. The Mayor (Bürgermeister) of Meckesheim, Maik Brandt and other residents of Meckesheim drove to eastern Poland this week to assist refugees out of war-torn Ukraine. While transporting several dozen Ukrainians through Poland and back to Meckesheim, one of the transport vans was involved in a traffic accident, resulting in a total loss of the vehicle. Fortunately, none of the passengers in the vehicle were injured.
In communication with Mayor Brandt, Harrison Mayor Bill Neyer expressed our community’s desire to assist Meckesheim with the relocation of the several dozen Ukrainian refugees, and those that may still be coming to the German city in the future. Meckesheim’s Mayor Brandt said that the residents of his community have stepped up greatly to provide financial support, housing, food, clothing, and jobs for their new neighbors and that no financial assistance for those items is needed. However, he also mentioned that Meckesheim would only receive a very small insurance settlement for the city’s ‘Fire Brigade Mannschaftswagen’ that was destroyed during the refugee transportation.
Mayor Neyer has announced that the Harrison Community Fund has set a goal of raising $50,000 to assist with replacing the Meckesheim Fire Department (Feuerwehr) van and purchasing damaged emergency equipment.
“Our goal is to raise $50,000 toward the replacement of the Meckesheim Fire Department (Feuerwehr) van and damaged emergency equipment,” said Mayor Neyer. “Although we would not be providing direct support to the Ukrainian refugees, we would be assisting Meckesheim in its time of need by helping with ongoing community safety, and the possible transport of additional Ukrainian refugees to Meckesheim in the future.”
Mayor Neyer is paying his own way to Meckesheim this May and hopes to present a check to Mayor Brandt for $50,000 to cover the amount of the van replacement which is not covered by insurance. If that target is met, a few thousand dollars would also to be left for medical equipment and supplies. Just since the announcement of the campaign on March 11, Crown Plastics has pledged $10,000 in the name of its employees; F&M Mafco has pledged $2,000; and the Greater Harrison Rotary Club is donating $1,000.
Neyer said that the residents, businesses, and organizations in Harrison coming together for a cause like this truly exemplifies the meaning of the "Sister City" philosophy.
“Our Sister City relationship with Meckesheim was established in 2019 for the sharing of cultural, commercial, and social attributes between our communities,” Neyer said. “Mayor Brandt was here for our Halloween festivities that year and we initiated formal agreements between our communities at that time. Unfortunately, COVID-19 put a damper on the process, and I could not travel to Meckesheim as planned in 2020. I think we now have an opportunity to demonstrate our renewed commitment to the relationship and support of our German friends at this critical time in world history.”
Mayor Neyer continued, “This is a way the entire community of Harrison can assist the residents of Meckesheim and further their assistance to the Ukrainian refugees at the same time,” Neyer said.
Meckesheim is a small city of about 5,200 residents in southwestern Germany, located between Heidelberg and Sinsheim in the Rhein-Neckar district in the state of Baden-Württemberg.
Donations for the fund to replace the Meckesheim ‘Fire Brigade van’ can be sent via check to: Mayor's Fund, PO Box 471, Harrison, OH 45030. In the memo line, checks should be noted “Fire Brigade van.”
The City of Harrison in northwestern Hamilton County, Ohio has approximately 13,000 residents. The Harrison Mayor's Community Fund is a charitable organization dedicated to helping those in need of financial assistance in the greater Harrison community. The Fund is typically focused on serving local citizens with grocery vouchers, food pantry items, Duke Energy bill assistance and occasional rent payments. During the holiday season, the Mayor's Fund, together with the various local churches and schools, aids in the form of food, clothing, winter coats and toys to hundreds of families.
The Meckesheim Fire Brigade van was a total loss after a wreck on a Polish highway during the transport of Ukrainian refugees.
Mayor Neyer (right) presented a proclamation to Mayor Brandt in 2019 to initiate Harrison’s Sister City Relationship with Meckesheim, Germany.