Kelheim Kids Back in Effingham County


Published on September 12 2019 2:24 pm
Last Updated on September 13 2019 12:05 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The 2019 visit by students from Kelheim, Germany to Effingham County is in full swing.

Kelheim Kids

The exchange program is in its 20th year, the brainchild of Ralph Ruppel, an Indiana man who knew of Effingham County's German heritage and thought the exchange with an agricultural area of Germany would benefit young people from both areas. Ruppel worked with then-Mayor Bob Utz and others to bring the exchange to fruition.

It is a classic exchange; one year, Kelheim kids come to Effingham County, the following year, Effingham County kids head to Kelheim. Many have developed family-like relationships since the visiting kids stay with host families during their visits. Often, the families of kids who travel one year will serve as hosts the following year.

This year's exchange is nearing an end; the Kelheim kids head home on Monday.