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Davis, California

Friday, April 12, 2024

Beers and bratwurst for the better


Local Rotary Club hosts Oktoberfest fundraiser

While many UC Davis students enjoyed oversized pretzels and beers abroad at Munich’s annual Oktoberfest, Davis community members enjoyed their own version of the German folk festival in Central Park at the Davis Sunrise Rotary’s Oktoberfest on Saturday, Sept. 30.

The event was hosted by the local Rotary chapter as the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year, according to Meaghan Likes, the communications and public relations director for the Davis Sunrise Rotary. Tickets for the event sold for $35 per person and included dinner, beer and a customized beer mug.

“We’ve been doing this for many years,” said Tim Daleiden, the Rotary’s director of fundraising. “We enjoy it, and it seems like the people who attend it enjoy it also. I thought the event was a big success for both the club, the participants, as well the community organizations that will gain support as a result of our fundraising events.”

This year, the Oktoberfest event gained notable popularity, as evidenced by many at-the-door ticket purchases and the dwindling supply of beer mugs. Guests indulged in a selection of beers from local vendors, including Sudwerk Brewing Co. and Three Mile Brewing Co., to accompany the evening’s main entree: bratwurst with a side of sauerkraut. Keeping in line with Bavarian tradition, Davis Rotarians wore lederhosen and dirndls for the event. The night culminated with the occasional intrusion by the Grand Isle Fire Brigade Street Band, which danced around guests and chanted Oktoberfest-style jeers as further encouragement to top off that final beer.

While the festival itself served as an evening of entertainment for locals, the event will also act as a source of generosity for the greater Davis community. Last year, the Davis Sunrise Rotary Oktoberfest raised over $23,000. This money, along with funds from other Rotary fundraisers, supports local projects and organizations, such as the building of school garden boxes and maintenance work for Empower Yolo’s women’s shelter. The local Rotary chapter also helps finance international projects, including the Zimbabwe Water Project, the Nepal Public Health School and the Tanzania Children’s Hospital.

Davis Sunrise Rotarians provided event guests with the opportunity to express their opinions regarding the allocation of funds to community projects. Tucked inside the customized beer mug, a flyer reminded guests of  the Oktoberfest event’s philanthropic purpose. On the back of the flyer, space was provided for participants to write down local nonprofits in need of funding. Daleiden stated that the surveys will be reviewed and tallied to help make decisions regarding future Rotarian donations.

“I had a really good time at the event,” said Stephan Zharkov, a fourth-year computer science major at UC Davis. “I think it’s inspiring to see the level of the community brought up by these events. We need more of that in every community.”

Like many other Oktoberfest attendees, Zharkov sees the value of the fundraiser, but also admitted his true delight in experiencing the evening’s delicious beer and bratwurst.


Written by: Eliana Sisneros — city@theaggie.org


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