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DANK Chapter Milwaukee has a busy spring

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Accompanied by spring-like weather, DANK Chapter Milwaukee participated in the third annual, well-attended “Germany Under Glass” on Saturday, March 7 at Milwaukee County’s Mitchell Park Domes. Sponsored by the German American Societies of the Greater Milwaukee Area and the Milwaukee County Parks, “Germany Under Glass” is a mini-German Fest and derives its name from the three glass domes that enclose the horticultural conservatory of the Milwaukee County Park system.

The day started with a local TV station broadcasting live from the Domes. This year DANK Milwaukee was invited to participate in a preview of what visitors would experience at the Domes. DANK Milwaukee members were present to display the club dirndl during the torte presentation and tasting. Later, three couples of the DANK Milwaukee Folk Dancers danced to Schneewalzer for TV viewers.

“Germany Under Glass” showcased customs from Germany, Austria, and other German-speaking communities. Booths lined the walkways with German clubs sharing their interests and recruiting members to continue the German culture. Vendors displayed their wares and finery.

Visitors strolled through the beauty of the conservatories while listening to German choral performances and musicians playing zither, button box, accordion, and organ grinder music. Multiple German music and dance groups performed throughout the day. Presentations on German trivia, Germany‘s peaceful revolution and re-unification, and German pioneers of brewing were just a few of the activities in the Education Center. There were also interactive activities such as paper folding to make stars, learning counting in German, and German script writing. A Biergarten served German Bier, Bretzeln and Landjäger. Rollbraten, bratwurst, and German potato salad were part of the lunch menu, and the Konditorei sold authentic tortes made by a local Austrian baker.

Germany Under Glass table top display with DANK representatives Vice-President Edwin Günther, members Kathleen Kabitzke and Brigita Roth, President Ron Kabitzke, and Vice-President William Bessa.

In the main lobby of the Domes, DANK Milwaukee’s Chor performed a selection of traditional songs, directed by Dr. James Norden. The DANK Milwaukee Folk Dancers, directed by Doris Mueller, performed several dances, including the Bändertanz. All of the dances were performed around the Bändertanz ribbon pole. Ed Mueller provided introductions to the dances.

The DANK Milwaukee display booth in the main lobby provided information on membership and recruited volunteers to work at the DANK booths at Milwaukee’s German Fest. The DANK booth‘s bookmarks and cards, with how to count and name body parts in German, were eagerly received by visitors.

The booth was situated at the entrance to the Domes, and during the day interesting interactions occurred with visitors. One couple arrived and asked about the DANK members being on TV in the morning. The couple had been wondering what to do on Saturday, and after watching the TV promotion that morning, decided to come to Germany Under Glass. Another family made the trek to the Domes from Chicago after reading about it in the DANK Journal! Wow, a little advertising goes a long way!

On May 9, DANK Chapter Milwaukee will hold its fundraising event with a Mai Tanz at the Schwabenhof. The Steve Meisner polka band will provide dance music. Food and raffles will be available for purchase. As it is Mother’s Day weekend, there will also be door prizes for some fortunate mothers. The event proceeds go toward German Language education programs. Past recipients of funds include local German schools and program support for German language teachers in Wisconsin.

The DANK Chapter Milwaukee Chor will host the annual Kommers German Chor singing competition on Saturday, June 20, 2015 at Hart Park, Wauwatosa, WI. The competitors are made up of the eight southeast Wisconsin German choruses. The following day is Father’s Day, and the choruses who traveled to Milwaukee are invited to the Father’s Day celebration at the Schwabenhof.

With summer arriving, DANK Chapter Milwaukee will hold its annual picnic on Saturday, June 28 at Sacred Heart Parish in Milwaukee. This is a time to celebrate our volunteers throughout the year.

DANK Chapter Milwaukee is on Facebook! See photos and chapter news. “Like” us at www.facebook.com/dankmilwaukee.

Submitted by DANK Milwaukee member Jane Nacker.

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