Volksmarch column for the September 3, 2009 edition
There are only two more weeks until the Sept. 19-20 volksmarch sponsored by the Heidelberg International Wandering Club. That’s plenty of time to make arrangements to do the walk and volunteer to help. Rob and Cath Floyd have sent the following information about volunteering:
"A lot of hard work and effort goes into planning and organizing this event, and scores of volunteers are needed to help make it happen. ... Help is needed in all areas: setting up and breaking down benches and tables in the start hall; marking and monitoring the trail throughout the march; operating checkpoints; stamping cards; preparing and selling food; selling drinks; distributing supplies and equipment; directing parking and monitoring traffic flow; making and selling coffee and cakes; selling boutique items; working at the start card tables and handing out prizes; cleaning the start hall after the event.
"There are many benefits to volunteering for this event: You get to be part of a great organization, you help operate a German/American community event, meet new people and experience new challenges, receive a free volunteer T-shirt, free food and drink coupons and, last but not least, you get your beer mug before they are sold out."
Veteran volunteers will be on hand to assist new ones. For more information, contact the Floyds by calling 06227-841226 or e-mailing the club at firstname.lastname@example.org. See the club’s Web site, www.hiwc.de, for more information.
For those in Stuttgart who want to attend the Heidelberg walk, the Stuttgart German-American Wandering Club is sponsoring a bus for the event on Sept. 20. E-mail email@example.com for more information.
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Back to the HIWC: We recently had the pleasure of meeting a busload of Heidelberg wanderers at the walk in Eben-Emael, Belgium. The weather that afternoon was perfect — clear skies and the temperature in the upper 70s. The route took us across the outside of the town’s World War II fortress and we saw the old gun casemates and observation points. A prior commitment prevented us from joining the HIWC members the next day as they took the indoor guided tour of the fort. We’re sure they enjoyed the miles of underground corridors and the many steps that separate the three levels of the fort. The volunteers who run the fort are restoring it to return it to its 1940 condition. They are looking for volunteer laborers to help. The next repair day is Saturday, Oct. 10. Here is a chance to contribute to their efforts to preserve history.
At one of the control points at the walk, we saw HIWC member Tina Kracke, who now lives in Maastricht, Netherlands. She not only rode her bike to the start hall in Eben-Emael, but also brought three Norwegian friends along for their first volksmarch.
A pat on the back goes to Bob and Helen Lewis for organizing and leading the trip.
Finally, good luck to the HIWC on its bus trip this weekend to the volksmarch in Versailles, France.
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Notes about this week’s events:
• Saturday evening is the last time Heidelberg Castle will be illuminated this year. This is a big fireworks display and it’s worth fighting the crowds to see. After attending the volksmarch in nearby Neckarsteinach, head to Heidelberg to see the show.
• If you are in the Stuttgart area, the Friday evening walk in Schorndorf is convenient. You can start between 2 and 5:30 p.m. and finish by 9 p.m. The prize is a B-medal.
• You can walk in the Kaisers-lautern area this weekend at St. Julian. Organizers are offering a B-medal beer mug for the reduced rate of 3 euros.
• The start for the Kitzingen walk is in a new location, the Sportzentrum Sickergrund.
• If you are in northern Germany, the walk in Glücksburg is northeast of Flensburg, close to the Danish border.
• Don’t forget next Sunday’s walk in Aviano, Italy. For more information, or to volunteer, contact Sandra.Buna@aviano.af.mil.
• The start for the Vigasio, Italy, walk is two kilometers from the center of Vigasio in the direction of Verona.
• The Montegrotto Terme, Italy, walk is in the Parco dei Colli Euganei, so expect hills on the longer trails.