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Festival gives boost to local charities

January 09, 1998

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

Three $1,000 checks were given to local charities Friday thanks to the success of last year's Augustoberfest, a city official said.

The Maryland Symphony Orchestra, the Maryland Theatre and the sister-city affiliation with Wesel, Germany, each received a check, said Karen Giffin, public information manager.

The proceeds were from the sale of tickets, refreshments and beer steins with the event's logo and Aug. 16, 1997, date, Giffin said.

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The theater's check probably will go toward the purchase of a $1,300 amplifier to replace a blown one, said Patricia Wolford, acting director and board president. Board members will have to OK the use of the money.

The amplifier is used for symphony concerts, Wolford said.

The sister-city affiliation helps the local foreign exchange student program for high school students and funds promotional activities for the sister-city relationship, Giffin said.

With the extremely hot weather during last year's Augustoberfest, Giffin said it was remarkable the event raised $3,000 for charities. Attendance grew in one year from about 540 people to 1,600 people.

This year's third annual Augustoberfest will become its own charitable foundation by running all food vending so hopefully more proceeds will be available for charity, said Charles Sekula, Augustoberfest chairman and owner of Schmankerl Stube restaurant.

Donations from this year's event will go to the sister-city affiliation and two charities still to be determined, Sekula said.

Any nonprofit group that wants to receive proceeds from the event must provide volunteers during the event in the North Potomac Street parking lot, he said.

Giffin said the city appreciated help from the volunteers, who helped make the event a success.

Sekula said he hopes to eventually expand the Augustoberfest to a three-day event in the first block of South Potomac Street, which the city is trying to turn into an arts and entertainment district.

The Web site for this year's Augustoberfest on Aug. 15 is available at (http://www.augustoberfest.com).

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