Akron German Family Society

Akron German Family Society

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Choose Akron German Family Society for your special event.... Hall Rental

What better place to have your special event than the Akron German Family Society. I had a nice conversation with Alison Ganz, one of the Banquet managers whom shared a great deal of her involvement in events.
What makes the Akron GFS a place to come for your event?
The German Family Society offers an inviting venue with welcoming and attentive volunteers to make your event special. We customize each event with adornments, menu and times to suit each individual who decides to hold their special banquet here.

What is the most memorable event that you worked?
All events are so very different. Each one stands out in our memory as something special, whether it is large, small, inside or a wedding ceremony in the biergarten or pavilion. All events are a joy to plan and execute.

                                                                               What is your role at the events?
The Banquet Managers book each event, help plan the details including time schedule, decorations, and menu. We decorate the hall several days before; and the day of each event, we ensure the wedding or event is a flawless day to remember. We light candles if they are part of the centerpieces, release tables to enjoy the buffet dinner, clear tables after guests have eaten, with the help of members of our youth group, cut the cake and clean the up the decorations at the close of the event.

What was the largest event you remember?
The largest event in recent memory was a wedding in October 2013 with approximately 300 guests. The reception kept us so busy that the evening just flew. The bride was a board member of our club, so there were many members in attendance. It was fun to serve friends and they were so helpful throughout the event.

Tell me about the variation of the foods we offer and a little about our ladies in the kitchen?
The ladies in the German Family Society kitchen are simply amazing. The entire club is run by volunteers and the kitchen is no exception. A small group of women prepare food on Friday, such as cold hors' d oeuvres or cleaning chicken. Approximately six to eight ladies arrive at noon on Saturday (the day of the event) to begin cooking. Selections range from house salad to homemade German potato salad; rigatoni to homemade sarma (cabbage rolls); baked chicken to schnitzel or homemade German sausage. We can't forget house potatoes or spaetzle (German dumplings).

Is there anything else you think would be interesting to mention?
The banquet hall holds up to 325 people comfortably. We offer the option of an outdoor wedding ceremony site. The German Family Society is perfect for receptions, banquets, class reunions, anniversary parties, and fund-raisers.

Please feel free to contact Alison Ganz at 216-903-9921,aganz@germanfamilysociety.com or Janice Schwarzinger at 330-606-1924,jschwarzinger@germanfamilysociety.com.
Also, feel free to browse our website at germanfamilysociety.com as well as see our "Hall Rental" link in the lower right and middle for additional details.

Thank you for all you and Janice Schwarzinger do to help in this area! The countless others working in the kitchen, bar, and dining room are greatly appreciated!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Remembering Evening in Vienna 2013 and highlighting 2014 Wiener Abend!

Wiener Abend / Evening In Vienna
Saturday, January 25 at 6:00pm  with entertainment by the Fred Ziwich Band with 
special performance by the "GFS Youth Group".
This is a members only event and we request that reservations be made prior to January 20th.
Please, Call Renate: 330-633-3949 or Eva: 330-335-8985

We have had many new members and families join our club over this past year. I, as well as our GFS family, wish to invite you to this years Evening in Vienna!! Many new faces will be performing this year in the Youth Group.

Our 2013 Wiener Abend (Evening in Vienna) pictures and article is below.

The Akron German Family Society truly celebrated, in true regal and majesty Wiener Abend (Evening in Vienna) Saturday, January 26th.  It is said that more famous composers have lived in Vienna than in any other city. The club’s members and guests joined together with celebration of Viennese Waltzes and formal pageantry of the Youth Group dancers.  The Fred Ziwich Band played the many Waltzes and traditional polkas that the club has come to enjoy. The members truly enjoy this band, especially how they chose songs to accompany the Vienna Night event.
I had a most memorable talk with Mary Richert, one of the founder’s members of the Akron GFS who shared her love of Vienna. Mary recalled many years ago suggesting that our club have a Vienna Night. She recanted many memories of her youth in Germany, and many moves to various regions and countries due to strife and conflict during several decades. She recalled the Vienna Night celebrations in Vienna and aspired that the dance and event should certainly be celebrated and held with such respect and tradition with the Akron GFS. Mary also told me about when she would watch Vienna Dancers in Vienna in her younger years. The girls in beautiful dresses and men in tuxedoes were witnesses when she was in the audience at a performing hall. She felt that our youth group dancers conveyed the dance in the most genuine sense. The style, class, and dress of our dancers, she stated, took her back to those wonderful memories.
As I looked around the club throughout the evening, I observed people, family, and friends that were thrilled to be there and share in the history of this event. The food was, as always, prepared wonderfully by the dedicated volunteer staff. The kitchen workers and cooks prepared a meal that accompanied the Vienna Night perfectly. I highly recommend the readers to join the Akron GFS for this yearly event as well as the multiple events at the club. The GFS members have great pride in welcoming visitors and those that truly wish to share in their rich heritage.  The next scheduled event will be the Schlactfest on March 16th, with the Peter Karsti Band. We welcome you to “like” our Akron German Family Society Face Book page.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Inside look at our Junior Youth Group"...........Akron German Family Society

I had a moment to chat with the Leaders of the German Family Society Junior Youth Group and their 2013 season. Carolyn Langenfeld and Lisa Blaser were happy to share their thoughts as they truly convey a leadership and genuine care of the kids in their group.

When did you start with the group as leaders?
Carolyn said, I started in 2007 with Carri Sensius as co-leader.  My oldest, Alexa, was still in Kindergroup at the time, but Dave and Silvana Sensius had BOTH the Youth and Jr Youth groups, and needed someone to take over one of the groups. I was really nervous at first, but am so glad that I was given the opportunity.

Lisa shared that she is entering her third year, with the Junior Youth group, as co-leader with Carolyn. She is proud of her strong family background in continuing the teaching of the children with her Mom, Betty Leipold. Not to mention, her father Fred is always available to provide the music with his accordion during special programs.

How many kids are in your group and their ages?
We currently have about 30 members as 10 just moved up to youth group.  The age range of our group is 8-14 years old, although, the 14 year olds all just moved up to Youth group.

What do you feel the kids learn from singing and dancing with the other kids?
They are learning about their ethnic heritage with their friends in a fun, hands-on way.  They are exposed to, and learn to appreciate, music and dancing that is outside of the popular culture, which is always enriching. Dancing is a great exercise...the kids are getting at least 30 minutes of cardio, and also sharpening motor skills. Plus, how great is it to know how to dance in a formal situation?
It is also always nice to have a group of friends outside of one's school.

How might their GFS experience help them now and later in life?
The kids gain self-confidence performing in front of hundreds of people.  Anything that exposes them to new skills, be it language skills or motor skills, is an asset. I think that learning about and participating in the traditions of their heritage, makes the children in turn, more respectful and appreciative of other cultures.

What are your goals for 2014?
Our main goal is to keep the kids engaged and having fun!  With the exit of 12 older kids over this past year, we will be changing who is in the "older" and "younger" sub-groups. We will continue to work on refining technique...that is a constant...even in the adult dance group we must do that!!  We have some new and some re-worked dances for the both groups of kids to learn so it will stay fun.  Last year we learned the Maipole dance...quite a challenge... which we will expand on this year. We are looking forward to a group trip this summer, and a Labor Day trip and performance in Milwaukee at the LandesJungendtreffen in addition to our usual club performances.

And to end, I would like to share a comment from Lisa on her reasons for doing what she does..... (I bet Carolyn would say the same!)
" If the kids have half as good of memories and long lasting friendships as I have from growing up at the club, it will be all worth it."

I, as well as I'm sure our entire club, thank you both for all you do!!!


Monday, January 6, 2014

Akron GFS New Year's Celebration.... Welcome 2014!

This year's New Year's Eve party was very well attended. The joining of youth, ages 8 and up, was a huge success. Watching the adults and the youth mingling and sharing the dance floor was so nice to see. The youth had a back room all set for fun with Foosball, large screen TV/videos, as well as tables for games and cards. Not to mention snacks....:) To credit the integrity and dedication of the youth at Akron GFS, they even helped with cleaning the tables of dishes after dinner. (See pictures below). A very big thank you to Lisa, Natalie, and Nicole Blaser, as well as Betty Leipold in setting up the youth party room.

Also, thank you to all those that volunteered to prepare the delicious appetizers, meal, and desserts. Even at midnight, the Ladies Group President, Helga Hippich, fulfilled a special kitchen request as she presented a sausage sandwich to Steve Sensius. (See picture)

Those that worked serving drinks and ticket sales are also very much appreciated.
Our club truly conveys a unity in supporting one another in all we do from this celebration as well as the many that occur throughout the year. What better way to end one year and start another, than to be with friends.
Rudy Stagl not only welcomed everyone with a speech but he and his band, SpaƟ entertained throughout the night. They played an outstanding set of German Polka songs, and an extensive mix of other many favorites from swing to rock. Many commented how much they enjoyed the music! 
Its going to be a great new year at Akron GFS!