German Village Gazette

Elderfest event is seeking to raise money for Village Connections

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ERIC GEORGE/THISWEEKNEWS
Ed and Barb Elberfeld ride through German Village in lederhosen and dirndl, Saturday, Aug. 23. The Elberfelds are selling tickets for Elderfest which is planned for Sept. 13.
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When it comes to marketing, Ed Elberfeld is from the old school.

And, in this case, it's entirely fitting.

In recent weeks, Elberfeld has donned traditional German garb and gone door-to-door selling tickets for Elderfest, an Oktoberfest-style fundraiser for Village Connections, an aging-in-place program located in the neighborhood.

"I'm pretty much committed to making this work and if that means riding around in my lederhosen, I'm willing to do that," said Elberfeld, Village Connections board chairman.

Elderfest will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 13 in Elberfeld's residence, 259 E. Beck St.

Tickets are $100 each and include food catered by Schmidt's, beer from Columbus Brewing Co., music by the Alpine Horns and a "Wurst of the World" bar, featuring homemade and specialty sausages.

Even those who have no personal affiliation with Village Connections are invited.

Tickets must be purchased in advance through villageconnectionscolumbus.org or by calling 614-226-6567.

The hope is to sell 100 tickets but if that number is exceeded, accommodations will be made, Elberfeld said.

All proceeds benefit the nonprofit organization, which provides basic services to seniors who otherwise can't complete the tasks themselves.

Katie White, executive director of Village Connections, said Elberfeld has been a tireless worker in behalf of the organization and likes the sound of Elderfest.

"I think it's hilarious," she said. "I think it's going to be a fun way for people to show their support for Village Connections."

White said the organization will have to make up some of its budget because a one-time $30,000 startup grant from the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging won't be renewed.

"We knew this grant was a one-time thing," White said.

"We're trying to maintain our sustainability without relying on grants because some day we might not be able to get those."

Founded Jan. 20, Village Connections' current operating budget of $100,000 receives about half from donations and the other half from membership dues, she said.

White said Connections will hold two major fundraisers a year to strengthen the budget.

Currently, the group has 42 members, which is a good sign, White said.

"Statistics show we've almost doubled what the average villages have in their first year," she said.

"Based on the national average, we should have gotten 24 in our first year."

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