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Click here for this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.

As the holidays approach, so does the season of giving. Norm Raynal gave his best effort to raise money for the Landstuhl Fisher Houses by walking seven marathon Volksmarches in five countries this summer.

He raised $10,000, but in spite of his exceptional efforts on the trails, he remains a long way from his target of $20,000. Norm asked us to send his thanks to all who have contributed, as well as a reminder that he is still accepting contributions. He sends a special thanks to Jutta Raynal and Karin Hand, who helped him throughout the year.

To make a contribution, please visit Norm’s Web site: www.sponsormywalk.info. Please show your support by making a contribution. No amount is too small.

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The Grafenwöhr Garrison Commander, Col. Brian T. Boyle, invites all Volksmarchers to attend this weekend’s walk in Grafenwöhr. Conveniently located near military communities, this popular Volksmarch is in a beautiful area and is always well-organized. The start location again is in the Jugendheim, near the church, on Kolpingstrasse. The start times for the 5, 10 and 20 kilometer trails are 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and 7 to 11 a.m. Sunday. Saturday’s finish time is 5 p.m.; Sunday’s is 3 p.m. The award is a 30-centimeter decorative pumpkin figure.

Join your fellow American and German Volksmarchers this weekend in beautiful Grafenwöhr and enjoy the trails as well as the superb hospitality of the club members!

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Mark you calendars for the Ramstein Roadrunner’s Annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot on Nov. 23. The prize is a 30- centimeter-tall nutcracker figure. Get there early because quantities are limited.

The walk starts between 7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., and you can choose either 5 or 10 kilometers. Here is a chance to launch a pre-emptive strike on the stuffed feeling following the Thanksgiving meal by getting in a good, vigorous workout and raising your metabolism before you attack the turkey and stuffing.

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The two walks in Belgium this weekend are close together. You can do both on Saturday or split them up. Note that the Battice walk is Saturday only. Battice is the home of one of the forts that ring the city of Liege. The Battice fort was built between 1934 and 1937 and withstood a 12-day siege by the Germans in May 1940. After the fall of the fort, it was used as a testing ground for new German weapons. The fort is gradually being restored and has several kilometers of underground corridors that connect turrets and bunkers. The motor and machinery of one of the cannon turrets has been restored and can be raised out of the bunker and revolved. Visit the fort’s Web site at: http://www.welcome.to/fort-battice.

For the past couple of years, the walk has not been held on the one weekend per month that the fort is open to the public, but once the route of the walk took walkers into one of the main entrances, through the corridors, and out a side exit. Let’s hope they resume this practice soon.

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In our mail bag last week, we received a farewell note from Jan and Phil Schneider as they prepared to move to a new post. We wish them a belated farewell and continued success as they look for more Volksmarch opportunities at their new assignment. Their frequent contributions to the column will be missed.

On a brighter note, the return addresses included the name of a new contributor, Jose Valdez. It is always great to hear from a new walker. As the weather turns colder, the walks become fewer in number, and holidays approach, we are afraid the number of fliers coming in might drop off. When attending your next walk or two, please stop at the “Werber” table, pick up extra fliers and send them to the Volksmarch address. Your fellow walkers will appreciate the extra effort as more marches will be included in the column.

Also keep an eye out for the 2007 DVV Terminliste (annual German Volksmarching schedule). If it has not already hit the streets, it is due to do so any time now. While this book is a great source of scheduled German Volksmarches for the coming year, clubs do still make occasional changes. You should always check the DVV Web site at www.dvv-wandern.de to make certain you have the most up-to- date listings.

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Notes about this week’s Volksmarches:

¶ The start for the walk in Wiesbaden-Klarenthal is at the Geschwister-Scholl- Grundschule, which appears to be near Klarenthaler Strasse to the west of downtown Wiesbaden.

¶ The big print on the flier says Geretsried, but the start hall is in nearby Gelting, Germany. Located between Munich and Bad Tölz, the prize is a silver hiking shoe on a key chain.

¶ As we mentioned last week, this Saturday, starting between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., there is a Fackelwanderung (torch walk) at Marktbreit am Main. Don’t miss the Roman museum in the town.

¶ The Wanderfreunde Huckepack Allenbach e.V., Germany, awards the next in the club’s onyx animal series. This year it’s an elephant with upturned tusk for good luck. This walk is near the Baumholder and Kaiserslautern military communities, and is close to the Eifel Community. Start the 5k and 10k Saturday and Sunday between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., and the 20k from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Finish both days by 5 p.m.

¶ Walk in Heidelberg, Germany, this weekend and visit the castle and other sights of this fabulous city. The Heidelberg-Emmertsgrund march affords folks the chance to walk 5, 10 or 20 kilometers on Saturday or Sunday.

Clark Soeldner offers this info on Volksmarches in Italy:

¶ The prize for the walk in Orti di Bonavigo is a half pound of tortellini and a half pound of tagliatelle.

¶ The start for the Padova walk is at Impianti Sportivi del Plebiscito via Geremia 2/2. The map on the flier shows this as being north of Piazzale Stanga.

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