Women’s club looks for new members

Christine June and Petra Lessoing
Kaiserslautern American

***image1******image2***The German-American and International Women’s Club Kaiserslautern will
celebrate its 50th anniversary in the club year 2005/2006.

Members and friends officially open the new club year at 6 p.m. today at the Pfalzgalerie museum.
The club, originally called the German-American Women’s Club, was
founded in 1956. Its goal is to reinforce and improve the understanding
and relations between Germans, Americans and other nationalities. It
also wants to promote tolerance within cultures and foster friendship
within all communities. A few years ago, the club opened to all
nationalities and its name was changed to reflect multinational roster
of members.

GAIWC is managed by a board of directors consisting of president, vice
president, corresponding secretary, recording secretary and treasurer,
who all function on a voluntary basis.

“Currently, we have 140 German and 25 American members of which some
are living in the states,” said Mrs. Helga Bäcker, the German club

“We are interested in finding more American club members,” said Mrs. Cathy Daiga, the American club president.

“Mostly, I’m doing it by word of mouth, because I think you can hand
100 people a piece of paper, and they will just throw it away.”

The club will have a couple of information fests at Ramstein and one in
Vogelweh. It is also going to put new flyers in the newcomers’ packets
for both Air Force and Army.

The club’s biggest fundraiser each year is the traditional Pfennig
Bazaar, which is a big a flea market where donated items are being sold
at decent prices. All profits will be given to German, American and
international charities.

“We donate a remarkable amount to social projects, youth projects, the
university and schools for their student exchange programs,” said Mrs.

The GAIWC doesn’t have traditional monthly meetings. Once a month,
there is a “Stammtisch” meeting where members have dinner together and
get to know each other.

“Our opening meeting is today, and then we have a few things
sporadically throughout the year to include a Christmas party and
Thanksgiving dinner,” said Mrs. Daiga.

The women’s club is also responsible for the care of 451 American kindergraves on the Kaiserslautern cemetery.

“Once a year the club, in a ceremony, together with military and civic
leadership as well as the German community, honors the  children
of U.S. military members, who died here between 1952 and 1971,” said
Mrs. Bäcker.

The club has different interest groups which give the chance for a
cultural exchange. In the conversation groups, members can test and
improve their language skills; in the gourmet kitchen group, they learn
about typical food specialties; and the arts club is designed for
creative club members.

“I think it’s important to have positive relations with one another,
and the only way that we can break down all the problems of the world
is to work together,” said Mrs. Daiga.

For more information on the club and its activities, visit www.gaiwc.com or e-mail helga.bac@t-online.de..