About the club:
The Friendship Force Club of Greater Cincinnati was chartered July 12, 1988. We include members from the states of Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. We currently have over 40 members. As is true for so many of the clubs in America, most of our members are retired but enjoy active lives. The best time to visit us is April through October as our winters can be rather cold and grey.
About the region:
Cincinnati was established in the late 18th century from several settlements on the banks of the Ohio River between the points where the Little Miami, the Great Miami and the Licking Rivers flow into the Ohio. In 1790, the name of the central settlement was changed to “Cincinnati” in honor of Cincinnatus, the Roman general and ruler who saved the city of Rome from destruction and then quietly retired to his farm. Due to its favorable location on the Ohio River, Cincinnati grew rapidly in the 19th century and was referred to by the poet Longfellow as the ?Queen of the West?. Another name for Cincinnati was ?Porkopolis? due to the growth of the hog processing industry in the city during the 1800?s. Echoes of this industry are with us still in the form of the international headquarters of Proctor and Gamble, which built its original soap business on the availability of hog renderings. The region is currently headquarters for ten Fortune 500 firms including Kroger Foods, Procter & Gamble and Macy’s in Cincinnati as well as Ashland Chemical and General Cable in Northern Kentucky. The city of Cincinnati has a population of about 300,000 people, and there are over 1.5 million people living in its surrounding metropolitan region. For a small city, Cincinnati has an amazing number of high quality organizations in the arts, culture, education and entertainment. The Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras are highly respected internationally and perform regularly in the city?s Music Hall. This venue also hosts the Cincinnati Opera in the summer and the Cincinnati Ballet in winter. The Cincinnati Art Museum, the Contemporary Arts Center and the Taft Museum house impressive collections with a particular emphasis on great American art. Our region also contains first-rate theater including Tony-winning Playhouse in the Park. The Greater Cincinnati region has many venues for popular music including rock, jazz, country and blue grass. The Ohio River banks are a magnet for much of this entertainment, hosting a variety of restaurants, night spots and craft breweries as well as the professional sports stadiums. The river also offers opportunities for walking in the beautiful park on the Cincinnati side or through the Southern-flavor neighborhood in Covington on the Kentucky side. The two sides are connected by the Roebling Bridge, built under the direction of John Roebling and serving as a prototype for his famous Brooklyn Bridge in New York. The region?s parks and zoo are enjoyable year around. Cincinnatians support the Cincinnati Reds in baseball during the summer, follow the Bengals in football during fall and enjoy horse-racing and NASCAR competition at nearby tracks. Finally, the region hosts a number of Universities and Colleges including The University of Cincinnati, Xavier University and Northern Kentucky University, all of which offer further opportunities to enjoy theater, music and college sports. While Cincinnati is known as a major manufacturing and business center, one hour’s drive from its center in any direction will take you into farm country or down into the bluegrass region of Kentucky. Cincinnati is located within easy driving or bus travel from Chicago, Indianapolis, Columbus and Cleveland.
About the exchange:
The best time to visit us is April through October. When we host an exchange, we generally greet our ambassadors at the Cincinnati International Airport (CVG), and provide free transportation for them in our personal automobiles to our home, usually within 45 minutes of the airport. We have a welcoming party, a farewell party and several group activities in the middle of the Exchange. All of our members are invited to attend these activities. Activities for our ambassadors revolve around the many historical and natural sites that are available in our region. Specific activities could include visits to our Art Museum, Natural History Museum, Contemporary Art Center, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, or one of the smaller special interest museums such as the new American Sign Museum. A tour of Cincinnati emphasizing its rich history and diverse architecture or a riverboat cruise on the Ohio River could be a part of the program. During the spring and summer, we might take in a Reds baseball game or visit one of the horse-racing tracks in Cincinnati or Kentucky. An exchange in September could include a visit to Cincinnati?s famous Oktoberfest while coming to our region during the spring would enable ambassadors to attend May Festival concerts, part of the oldest continuous series of choral concerts in the United States. During the summer months, we could take in a jazz or bluegrass concert in the newly renovated Washington Park. Recent exchanges have involved visits to sights where ambassadors learned about the pre-Civil War Underground Railroad movement in which our region played a major role. Another site that we have visited with ambassadors is the ?Over-the-Rhine? area of the city that was the home of the many immigrants from Germany in the 19th century. This area has been revitalized with restaurants, entertainment, the thriving Findley Market and beautiful Washington Park at its center. It also contains some hidden wonders such as the underground lagering chambers where beer was stored when Cincinnati was the ?German Brewing Capital? of the United States. Of course, families, neighbors and friends are always a part of the exchange. As ever, our primary emphasis is on making friends, including as many of our members as possible and providing the ambassadors with an understanding of America that is generally not seen in the news or in modern media..