German American Club
of the Northern Catskills



Flag Day



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The German American Club of the Northern Catskills was founded  by Erwin Hildenhagen after a discussion with guests at a social gathering in the summer of 1999.

On September 5, 1999, the first exploratory meeting was held. Erwin was elected the club's first president for a 2-year term. The club was then incorporated under the not-for-profit laws of the State of New York.

The first affair of the club was a Christmas party that was held at the Hideaway Restaurant in Prattsville, NY. Some 40 members and guests attended to celebrate the Christmas season, and the creation of our new club to keep our German traditions and heritage alive.

As word of the club's existence circulated, the membership grew quickly. Those that joined were looking for the same thing - a circle of friends with similar interests, backgrounds, and the chance to put a little "Gemütlichkeit" into their lives. Encouraged by the growing membership, the club started planning various social events, as well as our first fundraiser, the "Oktoberfest". This has now become an annual event.

The first "Oktoberfest" was held in the lower lodge at Belleayre Mountain Ski Area, with more than 800 guests attending, and successfully raised substantial donations to local institutions and needy families.

Club membership continued to grow, and our 2nd Oktoberfest in 2001 was attended by more than 1200 people.

As the club continued its success, the members voted to have a club flag created. A Flag Committee was formed under the leadership of Marianne Gohrig to design a flag representing the area and our membership. On the Heimat (home) side of the flag, a huge Catskill deer (buck) is pictured with the surrounding motto, "Unsere Herkunft ist unsere Stärke" (Our origin is our strength).

In 2002 the club initiated two local scholarships to graduating high school students. For that year, one of the scholarships was presented to honor the memory of the late Franz Luettger, the first Chairperson of the Scholarship Committee.

The club has many functions throughout the year for its members. It also supports other clubs and organizations in the local and downstate areas. The club has participated in the last three Steuben Day Parades held annually in New York City.

Due to the dedication and efforts of our membership, we have been able to support area institutions and programs helping the local community. To date we have donated more than $13,000 locally, and plan to continue our efforts in this direction.



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German American Club of the Northern Catskills