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Meet Valhalla Exchange Students at VIF Dinner

VALHALLA, N.Y. – Guests at the Valhalla International Fund’s Friendship Dinner Saturday evening at Valhalla High School will be able to meet the two exchange students VIF brought to Valhalla High School this year.

Iris Kempenaars, from the Netherlands, and Lena Ruppelt, from Germany, are living with host families in Valhalla and attending Valhalla High School.

Both girls are participating in athletics at Valhalla, something they weren't able to do in their home countries, which don’t offer team sports for high school girls. Iris plans on joining the Valhalla track team this spring while Lena has played volleyball and basketball and plans on playing softball in the spring.

They both said they've enjoyed the hospitality of their host families and the camaraderie of Valhalla High School students.

“The families are really nice, I learn something new every day and enjoy the new foods,” Lena said.

“It’s easy to interact and make new friends.” Iris said. “I enjoy meeting new people and seeing how they live. It will have a good impact on my life.”

The girls are in the senior class and will receive honorary diplomas and participate in the graduation ceremony in June.

Both will return home after graduation. Iris plans on attending Florjin College in the Netherlands in the fall.

The Friendship Dinner is open to the public and will be at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Valhalla High School, 300 Columbus Ave. Tickets are $10, $8 for students and seniors, available at the door.

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