With a band of brass and schuhplattlers galore, Supervisor Anthony J. Santino is kicking off the Town of Hempstead’s first ever German American Celebration. The event is dedicated to recognizing exceptional German-American residents who have made a positive difference in their communities while embracing and promoting German heritage and culture.
“As the largest township in America, Hempstead Town boasts quite a diverse population,” stated Santino. “We’re taking the opportunity to celebrate many unique cultures of our community. German heritage has been apparent on Long Island for many generations; as such we would like to honor some truly outstanding German Americans.”
This year’s honorees include: Geraldine Brand of Floral Park, a dedicated Steuben Day Parade volunteer and insurance fraud investigator; Steve Haller of East Meadow, a local businessman with a heart of gold; Walt Itgen, proprietor of the famous Itgen’s Ice Cream Parlour in Valley Stream; John Louthan of Lynbrook, firefighter and Vice President of the FDNY Steuben Association; Erik Mahler, Co-President of the Baldwin Chamber of Commerce and community leader; and Alex & Gerhard Schmitt, a married couple from Roosevelt that embody the American dream with their furniture building business.
“Grab a pretzel and some bratwurst and join us for a night of German appreciation and festivities,” said Santino. “There’s no better time than October to celebrate the immense German culture that is present in the Town of Hempstead.”
Helga Minderjahn, Chairwoman for the Plattduetsche Volksfest Vereen, will be the distinguished keynote speaker. Entertainment will be provided by the Foehrer Musik Freunde Brass Band, Bremervoerder Chorus, and Schuhplattler V v Enzian Dancers. Delicious German delicacies will be offered from Ugly Gourmet Mobile.
“I would like to thank our honorees, our keynote speaker Helga, our entertainment and Ugly Gourmet Mobile for their assistance in celebrating German culture and making this event truly ‘wunderbar.’” concluded Santino. “Also, I want to extend a hearty ‘vielendank’ to Matthew Buck, General Manager of the Plattduetsche Volksfest Vereen in Franklin Square for his invaluable assistance in making this event possible.”