Today’s Meet Me on Monday interview is with DSC donor and volunteer, Eric Robeson. Eric is known within the DSC community for his involvement with C-U Oktoberfest, as he has been the CO-Chair of the event since its inception and he is especially known for his expertise in music. His family initially became connected with the agency through Tree of Hope, one of DSC’s longest running fundraising events.
“When we were looking to bring an event like C-U Oktoberfest to the Champaign area, and wanted to partner with a not-for-profit, we thought of DSC. It seemed like a natural fit because of my family’s experiences with Tree of Hope, the quality reputation DSC has in the community, and the passion of the staff.”
C-U Oktoberfest has just completed its 6th event and with each surpassing year, the German-inspired festival, continues to grow, now reaching upwards of 5,000 people in attendance. “It requires over 200 volunteers, sponsors and community involvement. That’s also what makes the event unique. It’s not just about me, or DSC. It’s a community event. That’s actually part of the spirit of a true Oktoberfest.”
C-U Oktoberfest committee members attribute the event’s success to the commitment from the Champaign-Urbana community. “It’s contagious. People love it. You ask for portable toilets, sponsors, or volunteers and businesses show up to be a part of it. It’s very supported by the community and DSC,“ said Robeson.
The Robeson family has a rich heritage in the Central Illinois area, as the founders of the historic Robeson’s Department Store and are well-known for their community impact. “I grew up with certificates and plaques on our walls. Giving back and volunteering was just something my sister and I were raised to do. What I enjoy about being involved specifically with C-U Oktoberfest, is that it allows me to marry my family’s legacy of philanthropy in the community with my love for music.”