Shepard graduate, Grace Spindler, 25, of Palos Heights, was proud to be a part of Shepard's A Little Bit of Germany. (Photos by Kelly White)
Shepard brings back A Little Bit of Germany
By Kelly White
The celebration of German culture was back once again at Shepard High School with the return of A Little Bit of Germany.
“It’s nice to see everyone out celebrating something that they love,” Juleaya Smith, 16, of Alsip, said.
The food, music and fun festival took place on February 11 at the school, 13049 S. Ridgeland Avenue in Palos Heights, after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year the event was proudly back in full swing and welcomed in students, faculty, alumni and local community members.
“I think A Little Bit of Germany is a great experience where people can get a taste of what the German culture is truly like,” Danielle Schabes, 18, of Worth, said. “I really enjoyed attending with my family and friends my freshman year, and I’m looking forward to it again this year for my last year at Shepard.”
Taking place annually, prior to the pandemic, since 2009, A Little Bit of Germany is a fundraising event benefiting the school’s German EF (Educational) Tour Trips and tied together German heritage, culture and cuisine.
The event is led by Shepard alum and German Instructor at the high school, Jennifer Fischer, who said she loves every minute of it, especially because she lived in Germany from 1993-1997 near Bamberg.
“I love to see everyone come together and have so much fun during so at A Little Bit of Germany,” Fischer said.
Fischer said the program is so successful due to the help of her students.
“It’s all about the community support of the German program,” Fischer said. “Former students and families come back to enjoy it. It’s a really fun event and something fun to do during February when things are pretty slow with the weather, etc.”
The cost to attend was $15 per adult and $5 per child with a hope to raise $3,500. A total of $3,900 was raised in 2020. All of the monies raised at the fundraising event went directly into stipend accounts for students who will be traveling to Germany, Austria and Switzerland with Fischer and Erin Quinlan, Shepard Culinary Arts Teacher and NHS sponsor, in the summer of 2024.
All 250 attendees enjoyed brats and sauerkraut from Jack & Pat’s Old Fashioned Butcher Shop in Chicago Ridge; rye bread and butter from the Breadsmith in Palos Heights; German potato salad, German Cider, coffee and water.
There was also soda, root beer, baked goods, raffles pretzels and T-shirts available for sale.
The 40 students who volunteered at the event from the district’s German Club and food classes worked in various food stations, ticket sales, and entertainment under the guidance of Quinlan, Dan Solski, Shepard Culinary Arts Teacher; and Rob Staudacher, Richards Culinary Arts Teacher.
Some alumni and parents even stepped in to lend a hand.
“A Little Bit of Germany is always a fun event,” Amber Wysocki, 17, of Crestwood, said. “I was really looking forward to it this year.”
Musical entertainment was provided by the band, Paloma, a well-known German band in the Chicagoland area that filled the air with German music for attendees to sing and dance along.
Fischer said her German class enrollment numbers have unfortunately dropped significantly since the pandemic, but she hopes this event will help to turn things around.
“I love to see people come together to celebrate German food and culture,” she said. “We also held this event to spread awareness that German is still being taught at Shepard.”
Fine, community service for woman who killed man in fatal accident
Spread the loveVictim’s family outraged over outcome By Steve Metsch Six months after the car she was driving hit and killed Murod Kurdi, Leanne Cusack had her day in court. On Tuesday, she was found guilty of failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident – the only charge against her – for the fatal…
Neighbors lighting the way to Christmas season
Spread the love. By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 517-7796 . It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere me and Oliver go! Thank you, neighbors. The blocks around my home are simply beautiful with the displays. To get yourselves more in…
Hanukkah, a holiday of happiness and peace
Spread the love. By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 . Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate the rededication of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in 165 B.C. and the miracle of the temple lights lasting eight days with just one day’s supply of oil. Hanukkah is…
Palos Heights celebrates holiday season at Kris Kringle Market
Spread the loveBy Kelly White The Palos Heights community welcomed in the Christmas season by showcasing its small-town charm and holiday cheer this past weekend. Residents from Palos Heights, along with those from surrounding communities, came out to celebrate the Holidays in the Heights at the city’s Kris Kringle Market on December 1 and December…
College Report | SXU football falls in quarterfinals
Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer For three quarters, Saint Xavier went nearly toe-to-toe with the No. 1-ranked football team in the nation. Justin Pringle had returned a kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown to bring the Cougars to within three points of Northwestern (Iowa), the top-seeded team in the NAIA playoffs and the…
Area Sports Roundup | Richards grad Sean Lewis ready to air it out in San Diego
Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The rollercoaster ride continues for Sean Lewis. The Richards alum went from being the head coach at Kent State to the offensive coordinator at Colorado, one of the most talked about college football programs in the country this season because of Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders. He was…
Girls Hoops | Sandburg and Oak Lawn to host holiday tournaments
Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The field has been finalized for the third Sandburg Holiday Classic, which is the only girls basketball holiday tournament in the area to feature 16 teams. The host Eagles will be joined in the event, to be held Dec. 27-29, by area teams Oak Lawn, Richards, Argo and…
Get ready to tighten those belts
Spread the love. By Rich Miller . The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget released a revised state revenue and spending forecast last month for the current fiscal year and it’s pretty good. Its projections for next fiscal year, however, were not nearly as strong. Projected Fiscal Year 2024 revenues have been revised upward by…
Unique, cheerful, local crafts at Hale Park
Spread the love. By Tim Hadac Editor Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound . I’ve never been one to decorate for Christmas, just for the sake of decorating. And I’m not a fan of many of the things we see these days. I’ll take a pass on Christmas decorations that involve images of celebrities, pro sports logos,…
Keeping fighters flying
Spread the love Garfield Ridge native Brandon Tapia recently graduated from U.S. Air Force Basic Military Training with honors – a recognition earned by only the top 10% of each class. After Air Force BMT, airmen begin technical training to learn the technical skills needed to perform in their career field specialties. The field Tapia…
Dolly Parton Imagination Library officially launches statewide in Illinois
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois email@example.com SPRINGFIELD – Illinois families with infants and toddlers now have access to free children’s books that can be sent directly to their home, regardless of their income. Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday announced the official launch of the state’s partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a program founded…
What to know about Illinois’ assault weapons ban
By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois firstname.lastname@example.org Gun owners face a Jan. 1 deadline to register their assault weapons with the state under Illinois’ assault weapons law. But between lawsuits and ongoing policymaking, the exact guns, accessories and ammunition covered under the Protect Illinois Communities Act remain unclear to many gun rights advocates, who point…
Capitol Cast: Filing Day for 2024 primary brings frigid temps and election themes to Springfield
Capitol News Illinois Broadcast Director Jennifer Fuller talks with Editor-in-Chief Jerry Nowicki about the 2023 petition filing deadline for Illinois’ 2024 primary election. Capitol News Illinois · Capitol Cast: Filing Day for 2024 primary brings frigid temps and election themes to Springfield
Supreme Court rules teen bicyclist is covered by father’s auto insurance policy
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois email@example.com SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that automobile insurance policies must cover people against uninsured motorists and hit-and-run accidents, even if the person covered by the policy is not in a vehicle at the time of the accident. The case involved a 14-year-old Chicago boy, Cristopher…
State high court finds medical personnel exemption to biometric information privacy law
By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois firstname.lastname@example.org The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday ruled the state’s strongest-in-the-nation biometric information privacy law does have an exemption: health care workers who use fingerprints or similar scans to access things like medication, materials or patient health information. In a unanimous opinion, the justices ruled against a pair of…
Illinois Supreme Court: FOID records exempt from public disclosure
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois email@example.com SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that people may obtain records about their own Firearm Owners Identification cards, but they may not use the state’s Freedom of Information Act to do so. In a 7-0 ruling, the court said the Illinois State Police acted properly when…
Temporary staffing agencies seek to block new state labor law
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois firstname.lastname@example.org SPRINGFIELD – A group of temporary staffing agencies and their trade associations are asking a federal court to block enforcement of a new state law that governs how day laborers and temp workers are managed and paid. The lawsuit, filed earlier this month in Chicago, challenges several changes…
Former GOP senator, third-party governor candidate to represent himself in corruption trial
By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois email@example.com SPRINGFIELD – Monday was supposed to have been the first day in the weeklong federal corruption trial of former Republican state Sen. Sam McCann, who allegedly misused more than $200,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses. A pull-down projector screen in the Springfield courtroom of U.S. District Judge…
Candidates for 2024 primary brave cold for potential ballot advantage
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois firstname.lastname@example.org SPRINGFIELD – Monday marked the kickoff for the 2024 election cycle, with hundreds of candidates filing their petitions at the Illinois State Board of Elections. Those in line by 8 a.m. Monday at the ISBE building in Springfield will be entered into a lottery to be the first…
State high court to hear case against staffing agencies accused of suppressing wages
By HANNAH MEISEL & DILPREET RAJU Capitol News Illinois email@example.com The Illinois Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear arguments from three staffing agencies that say their industry is exempt from state antitrust laws in a case claiming the firms conspired to hold down wages for their workers. The Chicagoland-based companies have already lost twice in…