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Oktoberfest pays tribute, raises funds
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Forsyth County News

Linda Conyers says everybody's been affected by cancer in one way or another.

The disease has changed her life in many ways. She lost her husband and her mother to cancer. Her sister-in-law is currently battling it. Conyers herself is a cancer survivor.

Conyers is the chairwoman for Forsyth Fights Cancer, a local organization that raises money for the American Cancer Society. The group is holding its second annual Oktoberfest on Saturday at Reid's Barn on Majors Road.

The evening will feature traditional German food and music as well as a Wall of Hope, where participants can post tributes, photos and messages in honor of someone who has survived cancer or in memory of someone who has lost the battle.

"It's to remind people why they're at the event," Conyers said. "Last year, people would stand in front of that wall with tears in their eyes. It helps bring the idea home."

Conyers said her organization used to do golf tournaments "until everybody else started doing golf tournaments and it just got to be too competitive."

German natives Herman and Heidi Eisele give Oktoberfest a special culinary touch by cooking up brats, knockwurst, sauerkraut and German potato salad.

"The food is great," Conyers said. "We're hoping for good things this year. I'm expecting we'll have at least the number of people we had last year."

The 2007 Oktoberfest drew about 200 people, including Forsyth County resident Laura Millisor.

"It's just a festive, good time," Millisor said. "The weather was perfect last year, and it was a beautiful night."

The festival also will feature German music, silent and live auctions and prizes.

"It's definitely fun," Conyers said. "When people hear it's in a barn, they're like, 'Huh'? But it's a very nice barn."