Recently, Chairman William Hetzler and the Board of Trustees of the German-American Hall of Fame (GAMHOF) hosted a reception for 150 leaders of the German-American community at the magnificent Park Avenue showroom of Mercedes-Benz/Manhattan.
The proceedings were most enjoyable and conveyed the importance of the GAMHOF project.
Former NYC Commissioner Herb Stupp was the emcee, offering his own remarks before introducing Chairman William Hetzler to speak, as well as NYC Records Commissioner Brian Andersson, and Ralph Fisher, the Vice President of Mercedes-Benz Manhattan. The German Consul General of New York presented his enthusiastic remarks to roaring applause. As attendees sipped German riesling and beer while snacking on shrimp, cheeses and German cold cuts, GAMHOF Trustees Ralf Bahr, Olivia Hetzler, Esq. Bill O’Brien, Esq. and Klaus Peter-Statz were introduced. Trustees Dr. Horst Saalbach and Dr. Ron Docksai were not able to come to NYC for the event.
William Hetzler announced the plans for the GAMHOF, including the first Hall of Fame inductions expected later in 2007, and introduced many of the leaders of business, civic organizations and cultural programs who were present. Commissioner Andersson noted the contributions of German immigrants over the centuries, including NYC’s initial Mayor, Peter Stuyvesant Former Commissioner Stupp noted that Americans of German ancestry are the largest ethnic group in 24 of the 50 U.S. states, and in 28 of New York state’s 62 counties. He concluded the reception’s program by directing everyone to the www.gamhof.org website, and by encouraging donations for GAMHOF. Stupp noted that, importantly for donors, no salaries are being drawn for this project, and for the immediate future, the German-American Hall of Fame will be an informational website, not a “white elephant” building.
The executives, journalists, organization leaders and other guests departed with the impressive sense that GAMHOF will finally bring important and overdue recognition to the most distinguished of the 70 million Americans of Germany ancestry, and those who came before us.
At reception at Mercedes-Benz dealership on Park Ave, New York City – launching German-American Hall of Fame
(l to r) Brian Andersson, city commissioner of Department of Records & Information Services; Dr. Hans-Jurgen Heimsoeth, German consul general; Ralph Fisher, general manager of dealership, and William Hetzler, chiarman and founder of the hall of fame