Ardmore Rotary Club members and guests gathered to wine and dine in the name of giving back at the annual Ardmore Rotary Club Oktoberfest last night.
Around 200 guests attended the party, which included raffles, a photo booth, dinner and a band. The event raises money to buy Christmas gifts and winter clothing for students in need at Jefferson Elementary School as well as supporting other local scholarships and projects.
Rotary club president Deana Evans said this year marked the 10th Oktoberfest celebration.
“All of the proceeds go back to the community,” Evans said.
Evans said the fest has always supported community causes, but became primarily for Jefferson about five or six years ago when Jefferson staff members asked the Rotary Club for help with their fundraising for the gift drive. Rotary typically donates between $5,000 and $6,000 to the school each winter.
“It’s usually scarves, hats or mittens because it gets so cold, in addition to gift purchases made by Jefferson staff for the student Christmas gift bags,” Evans said. “We also provide scholarships for high school students at Plainview and Ardmore. That all comes out of the same funds provided by Oktoberfest.”  
Rocky and the Bullwinkles, a band out of Denison,Texas, has played at Oktoberfest for the last several years. They took the stage after people had a chance to sit down and have dinner.
Guests could also peruse a table of raffle prizes ranging from gift certificates to a flatscreen TV.
“It’s small things like a birthday party, all the way up to the floating atrium out on Lake Murray,” Evans said. “It’s a good range of things. Some things, we get the same thing every year, sometimes we branch out and ask other people. It just depends on the season.”
Former Rotary president Brent Holland said he’s been helping with the annual fundraiser for the last four years or so.
 “It’s all volunteer-based and a lot of people have to give their time up, especially the week before,” Holland said. “To bring everything together, the food, the beer, the wine, the band, all of it… We’re just pitching in as much as we can.”