President’s Message

“Wón njeje tu – Wón žiwy je!” “He is not here – He is alive!” We wish you a blessed Easter season.

After an extremely short winter season – temperature-wise – spring is in full swing and we are busy hosting tour groups and visitors. In addition, numerous other activities are also keeping us busy.

In late January, we held our third annual to-go meal scholarship fundraiser that raised $2,591 for the fund. Everyone agrees that Chris Becker has perfected his recipe for Wendish Wedding Soup, which was a welcome part of the meal that day thanks to a cold front that blew in during the preceding night, bringing with it drastically lowered temperature and 40 mile-per-hour winds that continued throughout the morning. Heartfelt thanks go to Red Arldt, Chris and Connie Becker, and volunteers from St. Paul Lutheran Church LAF and LYF for cooking the food and packaging the meals that morning. Others who helped in various ways include George Boerger and his daughter Amelie, Rodney and Susie Zoch, Mary Watts, Bettie Bendewald, and Apryle Kappler and her father Wayne – who sold $1250 worth of meal tickets. In short, we are grateful for all the volunteers who helped sell tickets, cook, serve, and wash dishes that weekend, and for all those who supported us financially by purchasing meal tickets or giving donations.

During March, we received a $2,500 grant from the Union Pacific Foundation. Funds are earmarked for museum operations. Dan Harbeke, Director of Public Affairs and Corporate Relations for Union Pacific Railroad, visited the museum to present the grant. We are grateful to Mr. Harbeke and Union Pacific for this support.

Union Pacific Grant Photo

L-R: Dan Harbeke – Union Pacific, with TWHS officers Jan Slack, Raymond Arldt and Chris Becker

We were also notified recently that we were selected to receive a grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) totaling $18,000 for repairs to the St. Paul Building and the sidewalks around the museum complex. The grant will be presented to TWHS in April.

Sunday, March 26 marked our first semi-annual Membership Day at the museum. By all accounts, the event was a success, with 86 in attendance. We also gained two new members. We enjoyed homemade coffee cake, a sausage-noodles-green beans-and-sauerkraut noon meal cooked by Red Arldt, Kermit Schautschick, and Chris and Connie Becker, and time for visiting and playing dominoes and bingo. Richard Gruetzner topped off the day with a special presentation about the story of his immigrant ancestor, Johann Gruetzner. The next Membership Day is scheduled for October 29, the meal will include barbecue chicken, and we hope you will join us!

The committee charged with planning the 2017-18 Texas Wendish Heritage Scholarship program guidelines completed their work, and applications are now available at the museum and online via our website. Deadline for submission of applications is July 21. Read more about it inside this issue.

Other upcoming events include the Serbin Picnic on May 28, the 46th annual Folklife Festival during June 9-11, and the 29th annual Wendish Fest on September 24. Read more about these events inside this issue.

I hope to see you soon, perhaps at the Serbin Picnic, or at the Folklife Festival in San Antonio, or simply visiting the museum. Boźemje!