German Village had a mixed year with a number of high profile events occurring inside its boundaries, including the departure of a longtime community leader and a visit by a presidential hopeful.

German Village had a mixed year with a number of high profile events occurring inside its boundaries, including the departure of a longtime community leader and a visit by a presidential hopeful.

In July, former German Village Society executive director Katharine Moore, who had been with the society for 13 years, announced she was leaving the nonprofit for a position at The Jefferson Center for Learning and the Arts.

It took months for the society to find a suitable replacement for a position that has some of the highest visibility in the area.

Yet, within the past two weeks -- ahead of schedule -- the society announced it is hiring German Village resident Erin O'Donnell for the position.

O'Donnell, who has experience with fundraising and communications, starts Jan. 1.

The same month Moore announced that she was leaving, Sen. John McCain made an unannounced stop at Schmidt's Sausage Haus. At the same time, McCain's then-rival, President-elect Barak Obama, was giving a heavily publicized address in Berlin, Germany.

"About eight secret service agents showed up and said you are going to have a special guy for lunch," said Geoff Schmidt, the restaurant's fifth-generation proprietor.

Schmidt was notified about 20 minutes before McCain stepped off the "Straight Talk Express" bus.

"The first thing he said was he wanted a creampuff to go," Schmidt said about one of the restaurants more well-known items.

Still, there a number of events that had a significant effect on the area, one of which will carry over into the upcoming year.

The Oktoberfest, one of the society's two biggest fundraisers, under performed. The event, slated to raise $86,000 for the nonprofit, broke even. The society will now have to dip into its nest egg to keep afloat.

Society trustee Bill Curlis, chair of the event, said previously that much of the problems with this year's event stemmed from poor weather.

The society has focused on softening its dependency on weather related events, and now predicts a vastly different Oktoberfest for the upcoming year.

"Because of cycles, because of all the other variables -- the economy particularly -- we can't rely on the Oktoberfest for a significant portion of operations," Curlis said at the time. "We are probably not going to be able to do Oktoberfest in downtown Columbus anymore. The city has basically priced us out."

One way the society can be less reliant on the event is making sure there are funds available in case the Oktoberfest does not meet revenue expectations.

Roy Bieber, the society's treasurer, said the nonprofit needs a fund in case of poor weather. He said the society needed $200,000 to protect itself from two rainy days, or another disaster, for two years in a row.

"When we talk about making a rainy day fund -- literally -- for the Oktoberfest, when we get that money there, then we can begin to rely more on it as an operating revenue," Curlis said.

Among the changes that will occur to the Oktoberfest is that it will move from its traditional September date to early October. No location has been announced.

In September, German Village, along with the rest of central Ohio, was battered by hurricane-force winds.

The remnants of Hurricane Ike brought 75-mph-wind gusts to the area and succeeded in damaging numerous locations, among them both Schiller and Frank Fetch parks.

The intersection of City Park Avenue and Frankfort Street was particularly bad as what appeared to be two trees were knocked down and a power line stood cracked and leaning.

The day after the storm, the intersection was impassable and nearby residents were busy snapping photos and discussing their disbelief at the event.

Resident Sharon Battaglini, who lives next to the intersection, sat on her front porch reading the newspaper because her power was out.

She said she was working at her computer when one of the trees fell. "I just thought it was a little snap and saw (the tree) weaving back and forth," she said.

Terri Leist, a spokeswoman for the department, said Schiller Park, one of the most heavily damaged green spaces, sustained enough damage that eight trees needed to be removed. Another 13 trees needed to be significantly pruned.

Resident Jerry Glick offered anecdotal evidence to the damage that occurred at Frank Fetch Park.

"We had people here all morning," Glick said at the time. "There was nothing but leaves and branches on the ground. There was crap everywhere."

Nonetheless, the storm went a long way toward proving the generosity and kindness of neighbors.

With power knocked out, one of the most sought-after items became ice to keep food from spoiling.

Susan Gall, owner of the Hey Hey Bar & Grill, 361 E. Whittier St., opened her business' doors.

Gall said if residents brought their own containers they could have as much ice as they needed.

"We had people that came in, brought their coolers, and loaded them up," Gall said, noting that 10 came in to use her restaurant's icemaker.

Resident Leanne Bly said the stormed knocked out power to her house for several days and that neighbor. Julie Nusken opened her home.

"German Village is a jewel of a community and we are lucky to have each other," Bly said. "People really came to the rescue."

Another weather-related event struck the area in June, just before the German Village Society's annual Haus und Garten Tour.

A thunderstorm brought between 2- and 3-inches of rain within an hour, hail that measured an inch in some areas and wind gusts up to 70 mph.

Here is how resident Carolyn McCall, who lives on Mohawk Avenue, described the storm: "There was this torrential rain for 45 minutes and the most incredible lightning -- it really did look like the end of the world."

"The water rushing down Sycamore (Avenue) looked like a raging river. I saw some cars crossing and some just stopping unsure of what to do."

Among the hardest hit places was Third Street, which at one point had water reaching vehicles' door handles. Along Sycamore Avenue, traffic was slowed to a crawl because of high, rushing water.

Several homes in the area flooded as a result of the storm.

Kevin Lohr, who rents a home along Third Street, was out of town during the storm, but got a phone call informing him there were 4 to 6 inches of water on his first floor.

"Since I'm renting, the person who owns the house had already rallied the troops to pump out the basements and rip out the carpet...It's still pretty horrific to walk into a place you call your home and find it such a mess," Lohr said.Rick Tilton, assistant director of the Columbus Department of Public Utilities, said there was little the city could have done to prevent the flooding

"It was simply a case of an enormous amount of rain in short period of time," Tilton said. "No sewer system could have taken that much water and not had flooding. The catch basins are only so big and the sewers are only so large."