Letters To The Editor

 Will you miss it when it's gone?

Dear Editor,

    Will you miss it when it’s gone?
    This year marks the first year in 50 that there will be no Germantown Spassfest.  The Spassfest committee has put together a one day celebration of German heritage but has dropped the Spassfest name altogether. The question I have in my mind, if this change does not succeed is; Will the people of Germantown miss it when it is gone?
    This is not to lambast or blame all of the citizens of Germantown, the Spassfest committee, nor the many citizens who for decades did their part to help promote and make the yearly event a success.  This is to question what has happened to the small town pull the sleeves up and get it done work ethic that has made not only Germantown but the entire Clinton County region great.
    The Spassfest is not the first of its kind to suffer the possible consequences of a project, or organization, that has gone under.  Who else remembers the Breese Sommerfest, the Albers Hootenanny, or any of the many projects that were put on by the various area Jaycee chapters?  All, if not most, of these and others are a distant memory or just a version of their former selves.
    Some say it is because the culture is different, “people don’t drink like they used to,” and that a picnic is not the thing younger folks want to do.  Or maybe there is too much competition with businesses like wineries and breweries that are taking away that special occasion that was a picnic.  If the first two were true the businesses in the third reason would not survive and those churches and organizations that still make their annual events a success would not still be here.  I say that the reason for the demise of these is twofold.
    Leaders of the organizations not willing to give up their posts, nor search for replacements when the inevitable burnout happens (which is the demise of many family owned businesses as well)  and the fact that those that are in a position to take over have never thought about life without these things.  The “they have always been there and will always be there” mentality leads those who should step forward to stay right where they are.  The next thing you know the things that we used to hold dear are gone.
    This phenomenon does not just hold true to summer picnics, but churches, organizations and parks that are supported by a volunteer force that once was the backbone of this county.  Who remembers the welcome to Breese sign with so many organizations listed on the bottom that there was no room for another one without making the sign bigger?  Are they all still here?  Do we care?
    So I leave you with my initial question, what is your favorite thing about Clinton County and will you miss it when it’s gone?  Or are you willing to step forward to make sure that doesn’t happen?
    Mike Huelsmann, Breese

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