Akron German Family Society

Akron German Family Society

Monday, November 25, 2013

Weihnachts Christmas Program Sunday December 8, 2013

The Akron German Family Society Weihnachts Christmas Program will begin at 2 pm on Sunday December 8th. This event is for GFS club members and their families.
The Kindergruppe and Junior Youth Groups promise to make this year's event very special. Reservations are not required, and entrance is free, however it is wise to come early as this program is one that many attend.

Liz Miller, Katrina Marmaduke, and Marie Powell lead the Kindergruppe. The Kindergruppe has a current total of approximately 40 children, ages 3 to 8 years old. They meet for practice at the club most every week throughout the year. The show they have prepared will involve dances, German singing, as well as stories in German. These children truly touch the heart during this show!
The Junior Youth Group, led by Carolyn Langenfeld and Lisa Blaser, will also be performing with songs, instrumentals, as well as dances. This show, inclusive of performances by these two groups, will surely be a wonderful combination. 

Homemade cookies, brought by countless members of Akron GFS, will be enjoyed on platters at each table. 
Santa will also be joining our Weihnachts program with gifts for each child! This is a great time for pictures.....
Come and enjoy fellowship with club members, meet new people, and enjoy the festivities of the Weihnacht Christmas Program!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Celebrate "New Year's Eve" with Akron German Family Society

Join us at our New Year's Eve celebration at the Akron German Family Society.

Our club, and it's members, invite you to share special memories of 2013 and together bring in 2014 in Akron GFS style! The evening will begin with delicious hors d'oeuvre's at 6:30 and a homemade German dinner beginning at 7..... Let's not forget a champagne toast at midnight with your friends!
This year's event will be even more special as we invite the youth to join in the fun!
We have made it easy for families, with children 8 years old and older, to enjoy this special evening. We believe "families" together, sharing in this event, will create many years of wonderful memories. A special area and room in the club will be decorated for the youth to enjoy movies, games, and activities. The kids will have their fun and you will as well!
Parental supervision of children is required. No babysitting services will be provided.
Entertainment and dancing throughout the night, into 2014, will be with Spaß Band. 
Yes, our president Rudy Stagl, and his band promises to create some "Fun" for everyone to enjoy dancing to their favorite German and New Years songs!

Come and be with us as this is a night to join among friends to wish continued health, prosperity, and continued love for our families and each other.
Reservations are to be made in advance of December 23rd. Tickets for adults are $25 each and children ages 8 to 12 will be $10. Also, Junior Youth and Junior Group members will have a special reduced price of $10 each. Tickets may be purchased early at our upcoming GFS Christmas program on Sunday Dec. 8th.
Please, call to make your reservations with Fred Leipold at 330-923-7947.

Monday, November 11, 2013

German American Day..... at Akron German Family Society

 German American Day, as to tradition, is a day to celebrate the joining of two cultures and their traditions into one special event. The Akron German Family Society celebrated this event on Saturday October 19th with a large crowd. Many people came from surrounding cities including Cleveland. The evening began with a night, like no exception, with a delicious meal prepared by the kitchen staffed with many volunteers. During dinner Rudy Stagl, our club President, welcomed the attendees with a very meaningful description of our clubs history with regard to our German American heritage and culture. He spoke of the optimism that so many feel with our clubs future as we look at the growing numbers of our dance groups and the year's successful events including the Old European Fest and Oktoberfest. Entertainment was exceptional this night with Rudy Stagl's band, Spaß.

I had the pleasure in this evenings celebration by sharing what the Akron German Family Society means to me and my family. I have included my words below. 

Thank you Rudy for inviting me to speak and share my story. I'm happy to tell what this club means to me and my family.  

German American Day

A day to share two cultures, German and American, including language, customs, food and lives with each other. We respect and continue to follow traditions brought from Germany to those of America. Our families, representing this club tonight ofGerman descent to those of many throughout the world. 

I, as I am sure you, have been to events and festivals at many different clubs. We enjoy receptions, celebrations and events but can we say why those clubs are different than ours??? 

What makes our club different??

How many clubs have a Potato Queen?
How many clubs have such authentic and delicious food?

As I think about those questions, the answers are so very easy and for so many reasons. 

Over 12 years ago, my wife Terry and I attended our first club event, the Old European Fest with at that time our daughter Catherine 2 months old, ....in a front carrier, near my chest.  We walked around and explored the club and came to the edelweiss Haus. We ordered various foods including a sausage sandwich. It tasted fantastic!.... 
As I turned around to look for Terry I saw her give me a look like "I really can't believe you just did that or I can't take you anywhere." 
Looking down, I now understood the reason for the look..... Catherine's white bonnet, just 6 inches or so from my chin had a large mustard spot. I couldn't believe it. instinctively, I wiped the mustard with a napkin but that simply spread it. What was I thinking? 

As I talked with Terry about our first time coming to the Old European Fest, she brought up a great point....

"she asked me, can you imagine that so many years ago, in the crowds with all the people we must have glanced or walked by while exploring, would now have become such close friends,..... here in this club!!" That hit home, she was so right. 

As Rudy mentioned earlier of the 57 million Americans that can trace their heritage back to Germany, I can as well and especially Terry, my wife. The connection to this club is so very special as her grandparents came from Germany to be one of the founding members of the German Sports Club in Ft. Wayne, Ind.  Their club is based on Sports, primarily soccer. Marty and his team has played there many times. Terry has mentioned that her grandfather Gustav and her grandmother Rose Wiedemann were connected personally to the club. (In this club, we are as well) 
This relationship, so very special, that my wife and her grandmother had, has created a desire in Terry as well as I, to become a part of this club and her ad our heritage. I recall meeting Rose and her sharing the experience of traveling to America on a ship, traveling many days, in her early teens. Rose passed away nearly 8 years ago. Truly, a special and kind woman. A perfect grandmother that was so very caring of of others. 

In this club I see many people that mirror these qualities. We each can think of several people around us that fit these qualities. 
We would be fortunate to be described in this way,...... as we age. 
As I mentioned earlier, the welcome and kindness of our members tend to create in others the "want" to be a part of what we have and experience at our club. 
I recall a great memory near 10 years ago, that exemplifies and stands for  the character of our members. While beginning in the Tanzegruppe,  many of us in the dance group met on a Sunday in our kitchen. We came together to learn how to make a German meal. I'm sure you all may know who this kind woman is who was so generous with her time, Anna Konig. Anna shared with us her skills in preparing this authentic meal. This was a big deal for me as well as the others. Anna has shared with me many times that she is more than willing to offer to do this again. Something, I want to be a part of.....
What we have is a rich pride in German American heritage that places others first, places our culture in a position of respect in who we are and what we do...., and that most importantly helps our youth to share in this.

I recall talking with a member a year or so ago about our clubs New Year's party and she shared memories of her family, being together in this yearly event.
It was not only a custom to be together as a family but it was one in which, as the years progressed, was something that was instilled in their children's families. How can you not want to be a part of that? It's so important that we are each genuinely involved in our club's activities, as well as to promote this to others. 

Rudy mentioned a few moments ago, about our Kindergruppe to the Youth dance groups, and their abundance of children joining. I agree with Rudy, as well as the parents involvement, to help this to happen.  

There is a great responsibility that begins with the consistency of the parents, and then as the children grow, to pass the responsibility and "want" to the children, to come out as they age to continue to be involved.

I have a great sense of pride in seeing my children grow and becoming more involved in our club activities. They began in the Kindergruppe, then the junior Youth, and soon the Youth group. I am very hopeful, as their lives progress, that they have a want and a desire to remain connected in this club through the many ways that are possible, I look at them with pride. I think we all do as our children are a part of our lives. Several members, through the past years have told me that this club has allowing their children to develop and have genuine "life-long friends". I believe this to be true. Look around us......I see this in the adults and their friends, that were not too long ago considered in the "youth of our club".

I know many of us, including myself, would describe our children and youth of this club to be " Our Future ".  We think of our children often as who they are and what they might become. I heard the other day a different perspective and love it!!...... 

"Our children are our Present.....Here and Now"....... Our children are our present....
That truly hit me as I can understand now what he meant. We watch our children perform and praise them, we see our children volunteer at the wedding reception events that we provide here, we see our children volunteer in the game tables, pretzel, and making lemon aid as well as many other areas. 
I believe, with encouragement, and listening to our youth in their views and ideas they will personally become involved for the same reasons their parents and we are eager to do what we do at this club. 
Our youth, and us all, will ensure for the present and future success of our club. The success of our "German American culture". For our youth to believe and want to be a part of what we do is an accomplishment that is so very valuable. To dance with each other, to remain connected with their friends as they age and want to continue to meet new dancers and friends is admirable. To work side by side with their parents and see their enjoyment in countless hours of labor for sharing their German American culture, with pride, is a life accomplishment.!!!!
"THIS is what makes me want to become a part of the rich history of our club. 

There is a pride in our club that is seen in the involvement of so many committed volunteers. This is evident in the countless hours so many commit to in their work in the kitchen and their teaching of the younger generation. The team that prepares the grounds, parks the cars, greets the guests. All volunteers! I have been told that our club, is one of, if not the only German club that is solely ran by volunteers. This is something to admire and be proud!
Is it to anyone's surprise to see why it is a real honor to be a part of this club and to be included as a volunteer. Over this past year, and years prior, I have learned so much of our rich culture with people's stories and experiences of life in Germany, their customs of preparing foods such as Sarma, schnitzl, and sausage, smoking meats and making wine. It's my goals to learn each of these....
I enjoy sharing these stories of our clubs events in the Germania paper articles.

I count myself blessed, to be immersed and welcomed into what we all share at this club. 
My family, and each and every one of us here, are connected with such rich heritage and customs. In this room tonight, as I look at your faces, I see those that are related to each other in many ways. To be welcomed into these traditions of food, service to others during events, as well as within dancing, is one that I place a high value to be a part of.
I, as I'm sure many here tonight, find a connection with each other.  We care for and respect how each of our families are connected and very importantly how we invite and welcome new friends and families to share in this club. 

I hope to continue the welcoming of others to our club, as was shown to me and my family.
Thank you!

Rich Reikowski

Traubenfest at Akron German Family Society Nov 9, 2013

The Akron German Family Society celebrated the Traubenfest or "Grape Fest" on November 9th, with a crowd coming to have a great time. The wine tasting area, fully decorated, as if you were in a wine region, as well as the accompanying appetizers area of various cheeses, crackers, and chocolates was a special touch. There we many new faces and friends to meet last night that came to share in this event. Hank Haller Band provided the audience with outstanding dance music. The food was outstanding from pork loin, baked chicken, potatoes, salad, and delicious desserts.
The night became much more exciting when it came to the part when the children and adults attempt to steal from the hanging gifts from the lattice, suspended from the ceiling. This is time in the night that many look forward to! It's a must to try not to get caught by the surrounding youth group dance members that are watching for those that steel. If caught, you are taken to the jail, and if you're lucky, someone will come and bail you out. This is a lot of fun! Our club continues to witness our members creating memories that will last years. New generations of youth are rising to the responsibility of carrying on such fun and meaningful events such as the one we celebrated tonight the Traubenfest!
Mark your calendar for 2014, to attend this GFS!!
Children truly find the Traubenfest one of the most fun, inside events at the club!
Jail was a place for sharing in what was just taken and looking over the items! Sometimes you weren't sure what might be in the brown bag that was pulled from the ceiling lattice. Always a fun surprise!

Fun in the jail.....Well, at least for many. :)

Anne and John were having fun on the dance floor!

Terry and I love this event!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Honorary President Joseph Geiser

 This blog is shared with such an honor, to announce Jospeh Geiser, as Honorary (Ehren) President of the Akron German Family Society. The Akron GFS Board met on Sunday, November 3, as a special request by Rudy Stagl, VP (Interim President) to propose this nomination. The board unanimously approved this nomination and honor.
I am pleased to share this nomination with our readers. In addition, it is with pleasure to congratulate Rudy Stagl as President. 
Please, share your words and thoughts of these two special announcements.

Rudy Stagl, VP( Interim President)
German Family Society
Subject: Proposal to nominate and accept Joseph Geiser as Honorary ( Ehren ) President.

As per our constitution, I am submitting in writing this letter to request that our current President, Joseph Geiser be nominated to Honorary ( Ehren) President status.
Joe has been involved as a board member for over 40 years and has spent the last 22 years as president. Under his leadership, the German Family Society has seen exponential growth. Joe has given so much of his life towards the success of our club, his dedication and hard work can be measured by the success of our organization today.
Joe has decided that due to his illness he can no longer maintain his position as President and will no longer seek the office for 2014.
I hope we can nominate and accept him as our next Ehren President.


Rudy Stagl, VP

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Spaß = Fun..... at Akron German Family Society

The Akron German Family Society has close roots to one of the best German bands in the region, 
Spaß Band,  or Spass Band meaning "Fun".
Our very own club's president, Rudy Stagl, is one of the four members of the Spass Band. 

The band, joining in July 2012, has had a year filled with many events and performances including the cities of Toledo, Detroit, Cleveland, and Akron to name a few. 
Rudy, and his three band members, have entertained at our club events and most recently at our Oktoberfest and German American Day. This year's Oktoberfest set record numbers of people enjoying this truly genuine event celebrating our heritage of authentic and homemade food, German beer, and dancing, and well, just about everything you would ever want in an Oktoberfest. 
The Spass Band had the crowds cheering and dancing throughout the Oktoberfest and at our German American Day celebration.

Prior to joining Spass Band, Rudy played bass guitar with "Die Kavaliere" for 15 years from the very early 70's until 1984. He also played for several years, in the 80's, with the Edelweiss Band with Guenter Moellmann at the German American Club. 

Let me share a little with you about the other Spass Band members. Their talents, having many years of experience playing in German bands throughout the Ohio and surrounding areas, certainly show on stage and in their music and singing. Herb Teubl, plays guitar and is the band leader. Herb is a member of the Donauschwaben Club at Lenau Park and played with The Goldene Sterne Band from the late 70's and 80's. John Ordosch, plays the accordion, keyboard, as well as sax. Erhardt Bell,  is the band's drummer. Both John and Erhardt are  from the Sachenheim Club in Cleveland. John played with Starlight Band, also a German Band from the 80's. Erhardt Bell's was a long time member of the music program, his father ran the Sachenheim Music program, headed up the Cuyahoga County Oktoberfest and the Hofbrauhaus in Cleveland.
We are pleased to have Spaß Band perform for our New Year's Celebration at our club this year. 

We are looking forward to our upcoming Traubenfest, at the Akron German Family Society on Saturday, November 9th at 6pm. The event will celebrate the grape festival with the hall decorated in a winery atmosphere and areas to enjoy wine tastings. Especially, the kids and adults will have fun on the dance floor in search of prizes  and gifts hanging among the grapes vines.... Come and enjoy!!!

Please, share your thoughts on our blogs.