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Annual Oktoberfest in March event gets help from local man

By Staff | Mar 4, 2009

If you see a man walking down Del Prado Boulevard today wearing lederhosen and playing an accordion, do not be alarmed — that is just Don Ostrowsky.
Ostrowsky is raising awareness for the Oktoberfest in March celebration this weekend at the Shell Factory by trekking 13 miles from Cape Coral to Fort Myers.
According to Ostrowsky, Oktoberfest has been a major fund-raiser, helping to stock the shelves of the Cape Caring Center and Community Cooperative Ministries with food for the needy.
“We’ve given $50,000 back to the community to feed the poor, and the more people we have at Oktoberfest, the more we can give back,” he said of his daylong walk.
Starting at 8:30 a.m. at Christ Lutheren Church on Del Prado, Ostrowsky will head west across the Midpoint Bridge to Edison Mall, where he will hold court with his accordion.
After the mall, he is walking north along U.S. 41 to downtown Fort Myers, performing on the steps of the Old Lee County Courthouse for commissioners, before ending his sojourn at the Shell Factory.
Coming along on the journey is Cape resident Deborah Flynn, a long walk enthusiast who spent part of last year walking from the Cape to Oprah Winfrey’s show in Chicago, Ill.
Having been featured on Oprah’s radio show for her efforts, Ostrowsky invited Flynn along to share some her secrets of staying healthy on the long walk. Thirteen miles is the longest distance Oslowsky has ever attempted.
“The reason I got Deborah was to council me on long walks,” he said. “She told me there’s a thing that happens in about eight miles of walking where your skin starts to break down … she has really counseled on what to do.”
Ostrowsky said the duo will not actually walk across the two bridges, as it is against the law. He did say that he thought of doing it just to be arrested, hopefully drawing more attention to the festival.
While incarceration is out of the picture for now, Ostrowsky did say he would make one minor change from last year’s trek — he will not carry his accordion for the entire journey.
Instead, the instrument will be stashed inside an RV, which will follow Oslowsky and Flynn for the duration of their journey, providing support and advertising help.
“I made one little mistake last year which was carrying my accordion the entire way,” he said. “Let’s just say it bothered me quite a bit.”
Oktoberfest in March runs March 13-15 at the Shell Factory, 2787 N Tamiami Trial, in North Fort Myers. Traditional German food and beer will be served.
Admission is $4 per person, or $3 with available coupons.