Christmas Tea at the Karlsburg in Durlach
Christmas is coming ...

... but once a year, and this year as always the last official event of the IWC was held at the Karlsburg in Durlach with around 100 Club members and guests, who took the opportunity of escaping the pre-Christmas stress in spirited surroundings.

The American Exchange students as well as five Karlsruhe welfare organizations benefitted from the second 2012 Pfennigbasar funds donation of the year.

Guests joined in singing international Christmas carols, listened to a Christmas story by Berthold Brecht and enjoyed the lively get-together.

IWC President Barbara Rominger-Hess rounded the afternoon off by wishing everybody a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

 alle jahre wieder weihnachtsbaum   jingle  bells

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German-American Day in Neuss
A Wonderful Celebration of German-American Freindship

This year's German-American Day was celebrated in the town of Neuss under the auspices of the Federation of German-American Clubs. Patrons of the event were the Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Ms. Hannelore Kraft, and His Excellency, the Ambassador of the United States of America, Mr. Philip D. Murphy. Our Club was represented by the President, the Vice President as well as other members.

The high point of the festivities was the award of the 2012 Lucius-D.-Clay medal to H.E. Ambassador Murphy. In his laudation, CDU General Secretary Hermann Gröhe pointed out the special ties of the laureate and his family with Germany. In his acceptance speech, Ambassador Murphy emphasized the importance of the German-American Student Exchange Program and said that "it is essential that our young people know and also feel in their hearts that there is more than what the popular media tells them about how Germans and Americans think and feel".

This awesome ceremony was rounded off with a champagne reception and buffet and the opportunity of socializing and meeting and greeting old and new friends.

 US Ambassador Philip D. Murphy    

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A Trip to Durbach
A village steeped in wine and art

Two outstanding tidbits were offered during a visit to Durbach on October 11: top-class guided tours through the Hurrle Durlach collection as well as the CoBrA exhibition, followed by a visit to the Castle Staufenberg wine estate.

Curator Professor Axel Heil from the Art Academy Karlsruhe insisted on elucidating and interpreting the exhibited works, ably assisted by art historian brothers Lukas Baden, FGAC alumnus 2004/5, and Sebastian Baden.

Intellectual nourishment was closely followed by a wine tasting with delicious wines and tasty "Flammkuchen". Vineyard manager Achim Kirchner outlined the history and winegrowing tradition of the castle, and due to the fine weather he was able to extend the wine tasting from the cellars into the vineyard with views across the surrounding idyllic countryside.

 Museum Hurrle  Members of COBRA Group  The participants

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Jubilee Fall Tea
Start into the new season

 The end of summer means Fall Tea time, and a large number of our Club Members were looking forward to the reunion. There was so much to talk about.

In this, our 55th Jubilee year, Honorary Member Frau Dr. Heimann took the occasion of reviewing the traditional Fall Tea, and spanned the years between 1957 to this day (link).

It was a great pleasure to meet our new exchange students who will study at the University and the Educational College of Karlsruhe during 2012/2013. Our returning students from the US also accepted our invitation and related their experiences in the US.

Then the special Jubilee cake, baked by the Hardtstiftung, was cut and the 55th Fall Tea was rounded off by happy exchanges over tea, coffee and cake.

Jubilee Cake The american student and her woman in support are enjoying the afternoon There is a lot to talk about

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65th Annual Convention of the FGAC
The IWC hosted this year's Convention of the Federation of German-American Clubs

Margret Mergen, 1st Mayor of the town of Karlsruhe, opened the three-day convention and then invited all participants to an official reception. On Saturday morning delegates from participating clubs throughout Germany met for their meetings at the Novotel Karlsruhe. Federation, club themes as well as elections for a new Federation Board were on the agenda for the day.

An interesting and varied social program was offered to those guests, alumni, students and young people who were neither delegates nor observers at the Convention.

A festive gala dinner took place at the ZKM (Center for art and media technology museum) in Karlsruhe. The American Counsel from the Frankfurt Consulate, representatives of the town of Karlsruhe, alumni, American and German exchange students, and young people were among the many guests in the packed hall, which was decorated by a light installation comprising of a multitude of seemingly floating, lit globes by the artist Rainer Kehres. Musical artists Jaleh Perego and Arto Satukangas rounded off this unforgettable evening.

A Federation Board Meeting comprising of the newly elected Board on Sunday ended this year's annual Convention. 

Festive Event at ZKM  

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Funds Presentation
Festive evening at the Karlsburg Palace in Durlach

The new lifeboat of the DLRG (German Life-Saving Organisation) Durlach, partly financed by donation from this year's Pfennigbasar, was parked outside the palace and duly admired. The sensation indoors proved to be Gunzi Heil, entertainer, comedian and avowed Pfennigbasar fan from Karlsruhe.

The cause for this wonderful evening was the Funds Presentation where donations of around 160,000 Euros from the proceeds of the 45th Pfennigbasar were presented to the Student and Youth Exchange of the Federation of German-American Clubs, as well as to welfare organizations from Karlsruhe.

Lively exchanges during the subsequent reception rounded off the evening.

Presenting Funds Fun with Gunzi Heil

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Line Dance Evening
Dancing the American Way

17 ladies of the IWC Karlsruhe as well as five brave husbands met on a wintry Saturday night for a Line Dance evening with great music and zippy rhythms.

While it was bitter cold outside, it warmed up very quickly indoors. The coordination of head, legs and hand clapping was practised under the professional guidance of Dance Teacher Frau Eppinger, and after a short while all dancers had great fun dancing through the hall in an almost professional manner. Interspersed with drink and food breaks, the evening proved to be a great success, and all participants went back into the cold night hoping to repeat this social occasion.

Our thanks go to Hildegard Wittber and Heidi Talbott for the instigation and organization of this event

Linedance fun Linedance fun

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45th Pfennigbasar in January 2012
"The" Cult Event of Karlsruhe

As always there was a somewhat apprehensive mood at the beginning of the collection days of this year's Pfennigbasar. Would the Karlsruhe citizens donate their goods as generously as during the previous 44 years? Our expectations were not disappointed and we collected and sorted at breakneck speed. For two and a half days the Schwarzwald hall had turned into an enormous department store, and on January 26 the big moment had arrived.

Guests and helpers were greeted by IWC President Barbara Rominger-Hess and FGAC President Gary Bautell, and finally Karlsruhe First Mayor Margaret Mergen opened the 45th Pfennigbasar.

All helpers - 200 Club members and more than 400 guest helpers - were invited to the Thank-you Reception on February 1st to hear how much money had been made this year. Marion Wenzel, who had organized her 10th Pfennigbasar, disclosed a result which surpassed all expectations: This year around 190,000 Euros will go towards the Student Exchange and the Youth Program of the FGAC, as well as to various charitable organizations in Karlsruhe.

Our great thanks go to all volunteers for their help and commitment.

Thousends of books Pretentious kitsch  Crowd in front of Schwarzwaldhalle 

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