STUTTGART, Germany — Each year, the members of the German American Women’s Club collect the clothes, gather up the donations and hold an auction to raise money for local charities and programs that serve both the Stuttgart community and the American military based here.

In all, the 40-year-old tradition has doled out the equivalent of 3 million euro to various organizations.

And on Tuesday, the women’s club continued the tradition during a ceremony at Stuttgart’s city hall, where 92,000 euro was divided up between German and American organizations. The chance to make a difference, "it brings people back year after year," said Ann Welton, who serves as the American president of the women’s club, which raised the funds during its annual bazaar held in October.

Vice Adm. Richard Gallagher, deputy commander of U.S. European Command, was on hand at Stuttgart’s city hall, where he talked about the group’s contributions.

"It’s an unstoppable force in the Stuttgart community," Gallagher said.

"What it’s about is bringing the German and American community together."

For the American military community, the funding helps subsidize numerous youth programs. From new outdoor gear for the local Boy Scout troop and support for school clubs such as JROTC to the American Red Cross and Army Community Service projects, about 20 organizations in the Stuttgart military community received donations this year.

Founded in 1947, the German American Women’s Club was established to promote a sense of understanding and friendship.

"They do outstanding work for the community" Gallagher said.

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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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