ALA Receives Generous Donation from Gemishtechor Chorus

OXFORD—The American Legion Auxiliary Unit 376 recently held a Bavarian style Oktoberfest dinner. They called an Oxtoberfest.

It was almost like taking a virtual trip to Munich, Germany, as there was music, blue and white decorations, bratwurst, beer, and servers in costumes. Adding to the festivities, there were three lucky raffle winners, and singing by a German-American chorus. Much to the Auxiliary’s surprise, the chorus also made a generous donation to the ALA’s two fundraising causes.

For everyone’s enjoyment, the German-American Club’s award winning chorus, Gemishtechor, came from Binghamton and, under the direction of Randy Messing, sang a few festive selections during the dinner. The Gemishtechor chorus members who came were Ruth Levonchuk, Ghislaine Stewart, Helga Vest, Chania Stymacks, Helen Harendza, Fitzroy Stewart, Dick Gorr, Rolf Eschke, and Herb Haake.

The Oxtoberfest dinner was a fundraiser for the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project, a nonprofit organization that provides relief items for U.S. military members injured in the Middle East. The other worthy cause was a Soldier’s Wish. Soldier’s Wish grants wishes to soldiers, veterans, and families as a way to honor them for their bravery and sacrifice to our country. At the end of the dinner, Randy Messing and the other chorus members donated $200 toward the two ALA benefits. Messing explained that giving back to soldiers was important to him because his son is currently serving as a Navy Seal overseas.

Two large raffle baskets filled with wonderful German related items such as souvenirs, food and beverages. One basket was won by Ruth Levonchuk and the other was won by Ray Wakefield. Connie Rowlison won the 50-50 that made her dinner on-the-house. The “Gemütlichkeit!” was certainly in the air. (That’s German for a warm feeling or good fellowship!)

Proceeds go to the Finch Education Fund which provides revenue for books for the Oxford Academy Primary School students. The historic Fort Hill Post #376 is located at 17 S. Washington Avenue. For inquiries, contact Jeanie Petersen, at 843-2121;, or call the American Legion at 843-8166.

For more info on the ALA, visit

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