Akron German Family Society

Akron German Family Society

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween in Germany and a few other facts....... Akron German Family Society

Is Halloween celebrated in Germany?

Yes, in fact, Halloween is just trailing Christmas and Easter in popularity. The customs of Halloween and wearing costumes in Germany has been increasing over the last few decades. We often may think that this holiday is specific to America.

Trick or Treating or better known in Germany as Süßes oder Saures, is not as common, as here in America. A thought, as to why trick or treating is less common in Germany, is because Halloween is celebrated eleven days prior to the celebration of St. Martinstag or St. Martin's Day.
Celebrating St. Martinstag involves the youth going from house to house carrying lanterns while singing songs. This is very similar to caroling in America. In Germany the children  are given gifts of bakery and sweet things. Sort of like, Halloween and Thanksgiving rolled into one...

Saint Martin was the Bishop of Tours in the fourth century and is one of the most revered European saints. The best-known legend connected with Saint Martin is the dividing of the cloak (die Mantelteilung), when Martin, then a soldier in the Roman army, tore his cloak in two to share it with a freezing beggar at Amiens. (See bottom image)

I enjoyed reading about Halloween in Germany, it's customs, as well as a bit of St. Martin.....
Rich Reikowski

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Passive Annual Membership "CORRECTION" Akron German Family Society

For those that have received the recently mailed annual membership renewal invoice, there is a correction to note.
****The Passive Membership renewal fee was incorrectly listed as $10.00; the correct amount is $30.00 ****

We will be sending a corrected mailing to those with passive membership. Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.

Monday, October 13, 2014

German American Day...A tribute to our German American heritage

German American Day was celebrated at the Akron German Family Society on Saturday, October 4th. The evening began with president Rudy Stagl thanking everyone for joining in this special evening and sharing of the meaning and history of the German American Day. Rudy shared how the importance of German Immigration was to the forming and growth of our great nation, the United States of America. German immigrants include, the brilliant mind of Albert Einstein, as well as specific and valuable contributions to the space program by Werner Von Braun. In fact, our very own club founding members made this journey throughout the 1950's and 60's. Rudy recalled fondly his own Grandparents, accompanied by their small children. It took a great deal of courage, and overcoming fears, to make this journey. Rudy expressed heartfelt sentiment for the honor to serve as Akron GFS first American born President.

In special recognition of members that have given many years of exceptional work and involvement at the Akron GFS, there were 5 pins presented to us by the Landesverband, our National Donauschwaben Board. A committee comprised of Helga Hippich, Theresa Koberlein, and Rudy Stagl discussed at length and discerned who would be the five recipients of this award honor.
Specifically, this award is based on service on either the main Board, the Frauengruppe, or the Frauengruppe Board and their dedication to our club.,
This year's recipients are Helga Hippich, Liz Miller, Hilda Rasnick, Frank Ganz, Annaliese Gloekler, and Rudy Stagl. The Akron German Family Society is enriched by the dedication and years of service by these members! 

The Pete Karsti Band entertained the crowd with their favorite polka's. The dance floor was filled throughout the evening. Helga Hippich and her kitchen team made event even better with a deliciously prepared meal of jagershnitzel, roasted chicken, house potatoes, servietten knoedel (rolled dumplings), bayerische kraut (from Southern German region), green beans, salad, rolls.....as well as delicious desserts. Between band breaks, the Junior Youth Group began the evening's live dance performances, followed by the Youth Group, as well as Tanzgruppe. People approached me later in the evening commenting on how proud they are of our dance groups, their smiles, as well as energy in performing the dances.

Maddie VonStein was our special speaker for the evening. She expressed the love that she has for our club and it's members through her words as well as with a wonderful video.
Maddie's special presentation (See video link below) of how the youth group is so important to her, as well as to the Akron GFS.

Akron GFS Youth Group (German Day 2014) By Maddie VonStein

For those of you that may have missed seeing an earlier blog article on the German American Day event, please see the link below of  what Maddie had to say....


Rich Reikowski

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Deadline for ordering sausage "Sunday Oct 12th"....... Akron German Family Society

It's homemade, delicious, and "ready for ordering"!
In fact, the deadline for placing your order is Sunday October 12th.
There's no messing around when it comes to "sausage making" at the Akron German Family Society.

I wanted to include a few words from the leaders of the Youth Group, Carri and Steve Sensius, who will be directing and personally making the sausage with the entire Youth Group.

Carri shared, "First, this is the major fundraiser for the Youth Group.  We make it twice a year, usually in March and again in October.  As a fundraiser, it is essential that our Youth Group members come together in making the sausage. It's a great time and most of them really look forward to it.
This is how it works.....
Friday, we begin around 5:30.  We mix, press, hang, cut paper, weigh, etc.  Many hands are needed from the Youth Group members as well as some parents join in the fun to help.
Saturday, we begin at 8am to weigh and package all the sausage, made the day prior.
Sunday, is the time for the sausage to be picked up at the club between 4-7pm.

***We are hoping to make over 3000 pounds....so please order your sausage!!  Our goal is for each of the Youth Group dancers to sell 100 pounds or more!"
Carri Sensius

Thank you Carri and Steve for not only leading the kids, in these very important sausage making fundraisers, but also for teaching and guiding in their dancing.
Please, see the information below for the history of our Akron GFS Youth Group sausage making.....
Rich Reikowski

Die wurst ist lecker!!!.....The sausage is delicious!

Sausage making at the Akron German Family Society is a true feat of mastery, skill, dedication, and love of the reason at which it's made. The Jugendgruppe (Youth Group) in our club has a long history, spanning several decades, making homemade sausage. The Youth Group comes together several times a year to mix, add spices, and stuff thousands of pounds of sausage. They make the best homemade German sausage in the area! Raising funds for such vital and important needs of the youth members becomes fun when you see laughter, smiles, and great lifelong friendships being built.
(See pictures below)

Beginning with Barbara Tonhaeuser, then Henry and Sylvia Tonhaeuser, Dave and Silvana Sensius, and to our current Youth Group leaders, Steve and Carri Sensius, they head up the sausage making from beginning to end. By the time the pork is delivered, to the time the sausage is precisely weighed and packaged in freezer paper, Steve and Carri are "hands-on"and in charge of an outstanding team.
Since it's inception, the sausage making process has been handed down year after year, remaining consistent with it's recipe. Initially, sausage making involved near 800 lbs of sausage to the current amount of near 3000 lbs. People, near and far, have recognized this sausage to have a delicious and authentic taste and flavor. Over the last few years, in addition to making regular sausage, a recipe of a "hot" sausage option has been requested and is now encompassing nearly 20% of the entire orders. Also, you may now purchase the homemade regular or hot sausage in "bulk" or without the casing. Carri Sensius, said that she as well as many use the bulk sausage in replacement of ground beef in their cooking such as in spaghetti sauce, lasagna etc. The sausage is made entirely of fresh pork and spices without preservatives. People have also enjoyed smoking and drying the sausage in the casing.

For those of you that know one of GFS Youth Group members, please order your sausage from them. If not, please call and place your order with Steve or Carri Sensius at 330-899-9848. See the below image of the order sheet as well for more information.
Orders are being taken until Sunday October 12th and asked to be picked up at the German Family Society on Sunday October 26th between 4-7pm. The regular or hot sausage is sold in 3 lb packages of either linked casing or bulk. The cost is $4.50/lb or $13.50 per package.

Each Youth Group member earns, from the sale of this sausage, points toward events, traveling to performances, and activities. In your purchase of sausage, you can be fully confident that 100% of the proceeds benefit the Youth Group and their expenses. This also allows for people in the NE Ohio, US, as well as Europe to enjoy the dances of the Akron German Family Society's Youth!
 I have had the opportunity to help when the youth come together and make sausage. You witness a team of kids that work together, share stories, and most importantly are truly welcoming to new members in having fun. Steve and Carri are leaders that  foster just that!
(Special Thanks to Hannah Sensius and Aaron Engelhart for sharing some picture included in this article)

Rich Reikowski