The Dutch American Heritage Day Celebration in Winchester  in cooperation with Temecula Sister City (for Leidschendam/Voorburg )was a great success. People from all over SoCal were drawn to a Dutch little town. The organization expected 150+. The plus turned out to be more than 1500 visitors. Young and old were interested to see what this miniature Holland had to offer. This was in November of 2009.

Event – 11/18/2009

On November 7, Rabobank, N.A. sponsored a Dutch festival in celebration of the ninth annual Dutch American Heritage Day in Winchester. Belinda (Linda) Welboren, a Rabobank employee, and Jeff Keasberry event manager, were the event coordinators and made this festival very successful.

Since 2005, Linda, an Senior Administrative Assistant with the Government Banking Treasury Department, has volunteered with the Temecula Sister City Association and this was the third Dutch festival she has organized. The Temecula Sister City Association is a non-profit organization with a sister city in the Netherlands – Leidschendam-Voorburg. Once every two years the cities sponsor an exchange program where high school students are sent to the Netherlands to learn and experience Dutch culture. They also arrange exchange programs with fire and police personnel.

For the third year Rabobank, N.A. has been a sponsor of this event with the participation of the Hemet and Murrieta branches. Keith Goff, Regional President for Coachella Valley, provided a brief introduction and overview of the Rabobank organization, which was already very familiar for most of the visitors. Most of the Dutch that were attending were amazingly surprised and didn’t know Rabobank had branches in the area.

Other Rabobanker coming out for the celebration to help market Rabobank, included, Kim Page, Branch Manager in Murrieta, Michael Renteria, Customer Service Manager in Murrieta, Bobbie Christie, Branch Manager in Hemet, and Barbara Rickett, Financial Services Officer in Hemet, were there to meet and greet the many attendees at this fun-filled event.

Winchester, located in Riverside County, is a historical Dutch location. In the 1970s, the Van Gaale family built this Dutch village with canal houses, a windmill and an antique store. It was a typical Dutch setting with Dutch and Indonesian food, (Indonesia used to be a colony of the Netherlands), a fashion show with Indonesian traditional costumes, tulips, arts & crafts for the children, original Dutch organs, wooden shoes, live entertainment with Dutch performers, and much more. This year’s theme was “The Land of Windmills and Green Energy.” Children built their own windmill, made hats from recycled paper, painted their own Van Gogh painting and decorated tote bags from natural canvas.

Rabobankers got involved with the children and their parents, awarding a prize to each child as they finished their projects and asking their parents to complete a questionnaire at the Rabobank booth.

Other main sponsors of the event were Heineken & Dutch Mill Trading, antique gift shop.