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PHOTO CAPTION:  Outreach-KONTAKT Ansbach holds its next Stammtisch Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Rezatstuben (ESV) at Adalbert-Pilipp-Str. 42 in Ansbach-Eyb. To learn more, call 09811-83-7786 or DSN 468-7786.

September 5, 2013
By Mr. Stephen Baack (IMCOM)
Ms. Bianca Sowders (IMCOM)

ANSBACH, Germany (Sept. 5, 2013) -- Americans, Germans and anyone else wishing to meet new people and connect with a different culture have an opportunity to do just that now that the Outreach-KONTAKT Ansbach Club has taken off and is hosting regular Stammtisch events.

Those wishing to meet locals, those who have enjoyed the hospitality of Stadt Ansbach and have wanted to delve further into the community, those who have wanted to expand their international circle of friends and have wanted to expand their vocabulary can pursue their goals through the Outreach-KONTAKT Ansbach Club. The next Stammtisch is scheduled for Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. The event will be at the Rezatstuben (ESV) located at Adalbert-Pilipp-Str. 42.

An Outreach-KONTAKT club is a German-American friendship club that brings Germans, Americans and others from all walks of life together for the express purpose of meeting and socializing. It is U.S. Army Europe's only regulatory outreach community relations program and connects the Army populace to the local populace in current, enduring and former USAREUR communities.

Bryan Gatchell, a Department of the Army civilian with the USAG Ansbach Public Affairs Office, attended his first Outreach-KONTAKT Ansbach Club meeting during the Aug. 7 Stammtisch at Gasthaus Weinberg, which served as the group's first regular Stammtisch.

"The meeting was a chance to see the club take its first steps," Gatchell said. "Being with the club now and for the coming years will be an opportunity to see as well as nurture the growth of a new thing. If someday I move, I can look back proudly and say I was part of what that organization has become."

The Outreach-KONTAKT program gives American Soldiers, Family members and civilians an opportunity to learn about Germany and understand its culture alongside Germans and citizens of other countries. It serves as a bridge to overcome cultural differences. Outreach-KONTAKT club members are goodwill ambassadors for both the United States and Germany.

"I was looking to meet new people and to immerse myself more fully into the Ansbach community," Gatchell said. "In joining the meeting, I met several fascinating people, including one who worked in a similar field as me."

The Outreach-KONTAKT Ansbach Club held its inaugural meeting July 2 at 6:30 p.m. at Zum Mohren -- Pfarrstrasse 9 -- in Ansbach. For those in attendance, this was a chance to found a club. Joining the club at this early stage is a chance to design and shape the club from the ground up. Attendees at this initial meeting are encouraged to bring their ideas and enthusiasm.

Members can plan events and outings such as monthly Stammtisches, trips to nearby sights, bowling nights, cooking classes, Volksmarches, book clubs, Fasching/Halloween parties, Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas parties and more.

"Initially, we'll be doing a lot of Stammtisches, which are a lot of fun," he said. "It will be fun when eventually the group begins doing more events-based meets, such as attending local sporting activities.

"Not only did I have a lot of fun at the last meeting, but I hope to revisit and talk with the people I have already met and acquaint myself with anyone new to the club," Gatchell added.

Those who can't make the Sept. 11 Stammtisch should not be discouraged. More meetings and Stammtisch events will be announced online at www.facebook.com/OutreachKONTAKTAnsbach.

"Everyone is welcome," Gatchell said. "It's fun, it's relaxed, it's worthwhile."

To learn more, call 09811-83-7786 or DSN 468-7786.