Monday, July 21, 2008

Youth Booth coming to Casper

Reaching out to future generations to help preserve German-Russian heritage has been an important part of the Germans from Russia Heritage Society gatherings for many years. And their GRHS Youth Booth will be open for business during the 2008 International Convention of Germans from Russia in Casper, Wyoming.

The joint convention of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR) and the Germans from Russia Heritage Society (GRHS) runs July 28 – August 3 at the Parkway Plaza Hotel and Convention Center.

The Youth Booth will be set up near the coat check area of the Parkway Plaza’s “Mallway.” It’ll be staffed at all times except during meals, opening ceremony, the symposium and any occasion when people are expected to be present at other functions. There’ll be plenty of literature available to those interested in sharing the good news about the Youth Essay Contest, according to Vera Hoff of Rapid City, South Dakota, who co-chairs the event with Leah Rennell of Gillette, Wyoming.

The Youth Booth has become a special place for people to gather during conventions. There’ll be items for sale from Ukraine, Germany, and elsewhere. All sale proceeds go toward the Youth Scholarship Fund. GRHS has been awarding $1000 in scholarships each year -- $750 to the highest scoring university undergraduate and $250 to the highest scoring high school senior. They’ll also be selling raffle tickets for the beautiful American Flag afghan made by Debbie Kilwien.
Youth activities not only contribute to a continued appreciation of our German-Russian heritage – they can help strengthen our organizations for years to come. Persons volunteering at the Youth Booth will be able to answer questions and encourage participation in the Youth Essay Contest. Please note that the essay contest is open to all… the story of the Germans from Russia is becoming known far and wide. Most of our 2008 entries told us that they were encouraged by parents and grandparents to enter the contest...and that some special family bonding took place as the essay was written!

Winners of the GRHS Youth Essay Contest and the AHSGR Storytelling Contest will be recognized during the Folklore Symposium scheduled for Friday morning (8:30-11:15), August 1st, in the Parkway Plaza Hotel Ballroom.

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