St. Valentine comes to the Donauschwaben
For the almost 300 guests in attendance, this was an evening that will be remembered for some time.
It started with Ulli Jeschke – the radio host from CHIN 100.7 FM – and the distribution of "Canine Cash" lottery tickets. In order to win one of them he asked for some very unusual items that people might have on them. Flashlight, Subway Token, expired Credit Card, Toilet Paper, Picture of a Mother-in-law, Pantyhose, Red Briefs or Boxer shorts, Red Brassiere (Yes, Anna Gubasta came up with one – Lord knows where she got it), Foreign Currency, broken Pencil, Banana, Orange or other fruit, a Mouth Organ – and believe it or not, some one had one, and played "Amazing Grace" for the guests – plus many other items, not normally found at an event of this nature.
Five ladies, from the audience, were asked to volunteer in an interesting experiment. Their husbands were led outside of the hall and the ladies were seated in front of the stage. Then the husbands were led into the hall – blindfolded, of course – one at the time, to see if they could recognize their own wives just by feeling their legs up to the knees. To make this experiment really interesting, Mrs. Schwemlein had suggested including a man into this parade of legs. His pant legs were rolled up and a silk stocking was procured to dress his leg with it. Needless to say it was almost impossible for the blindfolded husbands to determine which wife was his. Of the five husbands that tried, two actually picked their own wives and another one of them was strongly convinced that the male contestant was his wife! It was one of the most hilarious scenes ever staged at the club. This proves that all it takes is a little imagination to turn an ordinary dance event into an affair to remember.
I overheard one of the guests saying, "This was really great, I wonder what they will come up with next".
Two years ago Ulli Jeschke entertained at this event as "Lupercus" – complete with Roman toga – and explained the origin of Valentine’s Day, from its beginning in ancient Rome as "Lupercalia" and later as St. Valentine’s Day, named after a martyred Christian monk. It was in the past intended to celebrate the beginning of spring. But that was a thousand years ago. Now it is celebrated on February 14th, each year. Spring starts on the 21st of March!
Why the association with love and lovers is celebrated – or
how it got started - is still not quite clear. It remains one of the oldest
and most mystifying holidays worldwide.
"Kindermaskenball" at the Donauschwaben
This is always an eagerly awaited event – by the member’s children and grandchildren – and is hosted at the club by the club’s Youth Group.
Of course the idea behind this event is to acquaint these youngsters with the club and to instill appreciation for its existence and everything it has to offer. It is a kind of planting the seeds for membership in the club. It is hoped that some of the youngsters will later join the Youth Group and become members. This would ensure the continued existence of the club in the future. It also familiarizes the kids with their roots, ethnic background and culture.
About 35 costumed children, and their escorts – parents & grandparents – attended this function. As they trickled into the hall there were immediately greeted by Carrie Turman to make them feel welcome. Games and entertainments were also provided to keep them busy until the official part of the afternoon’s event started. There were lots of costumed helpers available to keep the kids occupied: A Fairy Godmother – complete with wings (Elisé Scully), a juggling Clown (Samuel Scully), the Princess & "Miss Danube 2005" (Rachel Seilern), a Scuba Diver – looking for Nemo – (Annie Scully), a Witch (Michelle Vincent), a Gypsy, (Megan Adams) Natasha Szauter as a Snowflake, plus many, many more costumed helpers from the club’s Youth Group, and helpers from the Donauschwaben Club.
Rosie Kelman, the Youth Group’s president, Lina Forstner, president of the Frauengruppe (Ladies Auxiliary) and Klara Rotter also contributed with assistance that helped to keep the event flowing smoothly throughout the afternoon.
Making their entrance
After marching into the hall, the youngsters settled down in a circle in front of the stage, Rachel Seilern interviewed each one of the participants and had them explain what they, or their costumes, represented. That also assured many amusing moments for the participants and the audience when the children tried to explain their different attires.
Interview with Rachel
Afterwards, DJ Mike Nemeth who had been providing the background music now provided the dance music for the whole animated group.
Hot Dogs, Doughnuts and Lemonade provided fuel for the inner child. The self-service buffet provided Wiener Schnitzel or Cabbage Rolls for the numerous hungry guests.
Kudos are due to the Youth Group and all the other participants that made this event successful. Kudos are also due to the parents who created those many ingenious and innovative costumes for the children.
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