Pull on your lederhosen and grab your stein, it’s time for Oktoberfest!
Next weekend, the Lacombe Knights of Columbus will host their annual Oktoberfest event fundraiser at the Lacombe Memorial Centre.
Knights of Columbus (K of C) member Jim Maloney said the event is the organization’s key fundraiser for the year and a fun evening of entertainment for the community.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Maloney. “It’s a community event that supports our community, so it’s a worthy cause.”
Maloney said K of C supports a wide variety of community projects.
In the past, the organization has donated to the Lacombe Skateboard Park, the Lacombe Athletic Park, the Red Deer Women’s Shelter and many others.
Maloney said they decide which projects to support based on feedback from the community and what the Knights themselves feel are worthwhile causes.
“We just feel they are worthy projects.”
Not only does Lacombe K of C support local and regional projects, the group also sponsors annual scholarships.
Maloney said the Lacombe Composite High School AAA Scholarship is funded by the Knights.
Each year, the Knights give $1,000 to a deserving student who has, “Achieved against adversity.” Maloney said this is where the scholarship gets its name from.
This adversity can take many forms, said Maloney. From difficult family situations to physical disabilities or special needs concerns, all challenges a prospective recipient might face are considered.
“We like to reward students like that.”
Maloney added academic achievement is not the only consideration given for the scholarship either.
“It has to be someone who has achieved in a lot of ways,” said Maloney. He added the Knights look for individuals who are active socially and do things like volunteering in the community as well as work hard in school.
Many of the causes that the Knights support are quite closely connected with youth in the community.
Maloney said it is the philosophy of the Knights to aid younger generations as much as possible, as the community is only as strong as the youngest members.
“You want to help out as much as you can,” said Maloney. “People coming (to Oktoberfest) should know that their money is going to causes like these.”
He went on to say that the Knights have not yet decided what the money raised from this year’s Oktoberfest will go towards.
Instead, the Knights will see how much funding they receive from the event and then make a decision. He added the Knights often split up the money and donate to a number of different causes.
For the last eight or so years, the Knights of Columbus has been holding an Oktoberfest event as their main fundraiser for the year.
He said that they have seen consistent turnouts and a little growth over the years.
Maloney said the Knights used to do a number of other fundraisers, like collecting, cutting and delivering firewood.
He said that the Knights started looking at other ideas as the amount of money brought in wasn’t really worth the considerable effort.
While Oktoberfest takes months of organizing, Maloney said that there is less labour involved which is easier on the members and there is more money brought in.
In past years, the Knights have partnered with other service clubs in the community to run the Oktoberfest event.
This year, the Lions are helping out.
For the first few years, the Lacombe Oktoberfest celebration barely had 300 people attending. Maloney said that now, it is quite usual to see over 400.
He said that the catered meal for the Oktoberfest event will be German-themed as is appropriate for the occasion.
The meal will feature such tasty selections including bratwurst and other iconic German cuisine.
After the supper, the world-renowned music group The Emeralds will once again be playing for the dance.
The Lacombe Knights of Columbus Oktoberfest celebration will take place on Oct. 18th. Doors open at 6 p.m. with meal at 7 p.m. Dance to follow.
Tickets are $45 and are available at the Culinary and Gift Shoppe or by calling Tim at 403-782-7974 or Ron at 403-782-5576.