German American club to hand out collected funds
For all the beer, brats and excitement Oktoberfest provides to revelers and those of Germanic ancestry alike, the event pays off in more ways than one.
The German American Social Club of Cape Coral will donate proceeds from its long-standing Cape tradition to numerous charitable organizations at a special ceremony Saturday.
Though the exact figure is unknown, GASC President Gerhard Veith estimated that between $27,000 and $28,000 will make its way into the hands of needy groups such as Hope Hospice and the Mayor’s Scholarship Fund.
While not the most successful Oktoberfest, Veith said this year’s celebration ranked somewhere “in the top five,” with 2004’s festival sitting comfortably at number one.
“I think it was right after Hurricane Charley,” Veith said. “The hurricane came through Aug. 13, and everybody was wrapped up and they needed something to celebrate.”
Though Oktoberfest is the club’s big-time moneymaker, it uses funds collected year-round from dances and dinners to help make up the bulk of charity donations at the end of the year.
Essentially, the donations are made up of the “surplus” funds from the Oktoberfest and those other events, according to Veith. The cost of running the Oktoberfest is especially high, with electric bills running in the thousands.
“Not all the bills have been paid,” he said.
Veith has been a member of the GASC for a decade, and has served the first year of a two-year presidential term.
During his time as a member, he said a quarter of a million dollars has been doled out to local organizations. During this time, Veith has seen a considerable amount of money donated to local charities.
“Since I have been a member for the last 10 years, we’ve donated somewhere in the neighborhood of quarter of million,” he said.
Saturday’s event is open to the public. Representatives from the various organizations will be on hand to accept the donations, and the GASC will also inaugurate its new officers.
Organizations to receive donations include the Mayor’s Scholarship Fund, Hope Hospice, Cape Coral Historical Society, The Power Squadron, Cape Coral Police Explorers, The Salvation Army, Society for Down Syndrome, an unnamed animal shelter and Make-A-Wish Foundation.
For more information, contact the GASC at 283-1400. The club is located at 2101 S.W. Pine island Road.