Oktoberfest at UIS to donate proceeds to 12 U.S. charities

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Photographs courtesy of Mounika Bayavarapu

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UIS was brimming with cheer and German beer Oct. 25 during the State and University Employees Combined Appeal (SECA)’s annual Oktoberfest celebrations.

Tickets cost $10 per person, and included German food and beer. Attendees had the option of eating German soft pretzels, grilled bratwurst, and German potato salad. And, true to the German spirit, there was Riesling wine and an array of German beers.

All funds will be donated to 12 charities, including the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the Special Olympics, and the United Negro College Fund.

Erica Michael, Assistant to the Chancellor, says that the donations have made a big difference to some of these organizations in the past.

“Most of the time, we don’t have directly interact with these federations,” said Michael. “But Sojourn Shelter and Services once came to the campus and talked about how donations helped them.”

SECA was established in 1983 as a workplace fundraising campaign for “nearly 2,000 charities at local, state, national, and international levels.” Over $77 million has been contributed by state employees since the program’s inception. 

Elizabeth Ribarsky, associate professor in the communication department and a donor of the event, said that she was inspired to attend by her “lovely library friends who came here last year and had a wonderful time.”

“It is a great opportunity to donate to charity while also having an enjoyable time at work with friends.”