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BAUMHOLDER, Germany — While Munich has its Oktoberfest and Bad Dürkheim has its wine festival, Baumholder has its own tradition, and it’s a must for Americans who want to see how vital and creative an Army community can be, says Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Matt Woodbery, U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder.

Friday night will be the 16th annual “Buc Night” fund-raiser for Baumholder American High School’s Buccaneers. Money from the party goes to help graduating seniors start their college educations.

It’s also a chance to find out what the community has dreamed up over the intervening year, with “over the top” seeming to be the common theme for auction “baskets.”

“I wouldn’t say ‘over the top,’” said LeAnne MacAllister, a spouse with 2nd Brigade, 6th Infantry Regiment. “I’d say the approach is more to figure out what people are going to spend their money on because we want to raise money for these high school kids.

“You go for something you think that audience will bid on.”

Last year, with Helen Williams as Family Readiness Group leader, the 2-6 put together a “basket” that included an elaborate painted baby crib and even shelving.

“We put in every baby supply under the sun, from diapers to baby wipes to clothing to blankets,” MacAllister said, with the effort yielding a final bid of $800. One family donated a “Margaritaville Night Basket,” which included a fully staffed Mexican dinner for six “even including the designated driver,” Woodbery said.

The 2005 effort raised $24,000, which was donated to at least half of last year’s 30-student graduating class, according to Dom Calabria, Baumholder’s former principal.

This year’s event will have 20 auction “baskets” and other raffle items. It also will feature kids’ rides and cake walks. MacAllister said her FRG is working on a Tuscany/Italian theme basket that includes a bistro table, chairs and a wine hutch.

“The whole shebang,” she said.

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