GAFA (German-American Fellowship Association) began it’s existence in 1961 as the local chapter of DANK
(“Deutsch-Amerikanische National Kongress”, or German-American National Congress). DANK is a nation wide German American
organization based in Chicago.  In 1972, the Board of Directors decided to continue the organization as an independent entity and
renamed the organization “German-American Fellowship Association”.

In the early years of the organization, many of the members were German born individuals who came to America after WWII.

Many became American citizens but were interested in maintaining contact with other people in similar situations and also contact,
to some degree, with their homeland, Germany.

During recent years, the number of German born members has decreased with age and health taking its toll. However, the membership has grown to about 110, with the typical member
being American born with German born ancestors. This new category of member is typically middle aged and older and now interested in
learning about their heritage. For this reason, many of the programs are on German and German-American history.