Katz noted that Cooperstown Middle/High School Music Teacher Timothy Iversen went on a youth exchange to Australia, Chris Grady of Stagecoach Coffee went on an exchange to Peru and Mary Livermore, who became involved with rotary as an adult, went on an exchange to Japan.
Katz's middle son, Robbie, went on an exchange in Brazil from August 2011 to May 2012.
“He had a phenomenal year,” said Katz. “It really does become a massive growth experience.”
Whether or not there is a Cooperstown reunion, Geertgens said that the goal of the anniversary is to reconnect people who have been involved District 7170's youth exchange program over its half-century of existence.
“Whatever comes from that point on, that'll be gravy,” said Geertgens.
Geertgens says that he has been involved with the youth exchange program for about 10 years, although neither he nor Katz participated in rotary in their youths.
“I've just enjoyed the opportunity to continue to have the contact with the students and to see the wonderful things that they do,” said Geertgens, a former principal of Cooperstown Elementary School.
He also said that the program is a bonding experience for those who go on the exchanges.
“It's a family. It's just no question, it's a family,” said Geertgens.