BAUMHOLDER, Germany — Perhaps it’s the isolation, part of what comes with being stuck out in the sticks.

But each spring, about a month before graduation, virtually the entire Baumholder community gathers for a shared purpose.

Officers and enlisted soldiers. Civilian workers and even some German nationals. Children and teenagers. They all pitch in and help students graduating from Baumholder American High School. Each year, the “Buc Night” fundraiser generates thousands of dollars to help seniors with the expense of going to college.

Many will tell you that Buc Night is Baumholder’s signature event, which in some ways defines life in the close military community.

“I think the big thing is it pulls together the whole community,” said principal Danny Robinson. “It’s a small-town feel. Maybe because we’re somewhat isolated, you get the feeling people thrive on being together. We need each other in this community.”

This year, about $27,000 was raised for graduates going on to college.

Senior DeQuinton McCoy, hanging out with friends at the May 4 event, said that in addition to the tangible monetary impact of Buc Night, the program also teaches students the importance of civic involvement.

“It’s something that the younger generation sees and learns from,” said McCoy, who will be attending Lamar University in Texas.

The money is raised in a variety of ways, from local Baumholder merchants pitching in with cash donations to the auctioning of big-ticket items. This year, a trip to Ireland was among the items auctioned off.

Parents, teachers and students spend months preparing for the event.

Students can use the money to help with all kinds of college expenses such as textbooks or laptop computers.

Calculating how to distribute the money is based on applications that take into account student need, school attendance records, grade point averages and service work.

“There’s a formula based on points. There’s an outside committee that reviews the applications. It’s totally objective,” Robinson said.

In the past, students have received anywhere from $500 to $1,800.

For many Baumholder Buccaneers, Buc Night is the culmination of a high school career.

Streams of people turned out for this year’s event, where visitors filled up on barbecue, played various amusement games and bid on prizes.

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John covers U.S. military activities across Europe and Africa. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, he previously worked for newspapers in New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.

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