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Event raises $12,000 for Augustoberfest

April 14, 2003|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

While it's still four months away, preparations for the annual Augustoberfest were in full swing Saturday in downtown Hagerstown.

More than 250 people filled a tent set up on South Potomac Street to drink and eat, socialize and listen to German music - all part of a fund-raising event for Augustoberfest.

City spokeswoman Karen Giffin said the event raised $12,000 for the August festival, which celebrates Hagerstown's German heritage and affiliation with its sister city, Wesel, Germany.

The fund-raiser was sponsored by the Augustoberfest Charitable Foundation. Augustoberfest is part of Hagers-town's Sister City Weekend.

"60s Under the Stars" will kick off the Sister City Weekend on Aug. 15, followed by Augustoberfest on Aug. 16.

The fund-raiser also honored festival chairman Charles Sekula, whose downtown Bavarian restaurant, Schmankerl Stube, is celebrating its 15th year in business.

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Sekula, a Munich native, said there was skepticism about whether his restaurant would survive downtown when it opened in 1988, but its success has proved the critics wrong.

"We're grateful that Hagers-town and the citizens of Hagerstown welcomes me with arms open," Sekula said.

He also said Augustoberfest continues to be a positive event for the city.

"It shows people that there is something worth going to in downtown Hagerstown," Sekula said.

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