Oktoberfest in the community
The following mission statement was adopted to serve as a foundation guide: “The Oktoberfest USA Gemütlichkeit Foundation Inc. mission is to encourage greater local pride and enhance the quality of life for the entire community.
Contributions from businesses, society, Convention and Visitors Bureau, foundations, estates, individuals, and others will be used to:
- Promote and develop an environment that will benefit future generations.
- Provide grants and scholarships for youth.
- Preserve and celebrate diverse heritages.
The Foundation will keep the Gemütlichkeit “Spirit of Friendship” alive in the greater La Crosse area throughout the entire year.
Additional Gemütlichkeit Projects/Achievements include:
- A “History of Oktoberfest” video
- A study guide / activities book
- Annual Gemütlichkeit Foundation Forks and Corks fundraiser event to support High School student scholarships
- Publishing of “The Fest of Times” hardcover book
- A chicken-Q that raised over $6,000 to aid the building fund of the Coulee Region Humane Society
- A Miss La Crosse/Oktoberfest scholarship
- Improved school visitation program to help elementary students better understand the heritage values of Oktoberfest
- Architectural drawings to illustrate potential expansion of the Oktoberfest grounds
The affairs of the foundation are managed by a board of directors, composed of past festmasters, and wives (frauen) of deceased festmasters. The board consists of seven festmasters, four of which must be past Festmasters.
The first board, elected by all the trustees, included Duane Taebel, Nettie Mooney, Al Becker, Al Skover, Bob Mullally, Duane Moore, and Gail Cleary. Al Skover was elected president.
Term limits and a planned rotation of foundation board members were installed to ensure an influx of new ideas and improvements.
Your support of the Foundation is welcomed and encouraged. Please reach out to us at [email protected] or 608.784.3378 to learn more.
In 2014 Oktoberfest was part of three studies that looked at both the economic impact of the festival on the local economy, and patron attitudes towards various festival events. We are proud to share the findings of these studies and feel they reflect positively on both Oktoberfest and the greater La Crosse Community.