Area resident Pat Gramelt has had a few close calls, but always managed to keep her streak alive.

Area resident Pat Gramelt has had a few close calls, but always managed to keep her streak alive.

This weekend will mark the 49th straight time Gramelt has volunteered for German Village's annual Haus und Garten Tour. For those keeping track, it means Gramelt was there in the beginning and is still going strong.

"There have been times when I thought, right at the last minute, I wouldn't be able to do it," Gramelt said. "One year I had surgery and I thought I wasn't going to be able to do it, but I worked it out."

She said she first started volunteering to help the event get off the ground.

"I wanted to make it work," Gramelt said. "That's the purpose of volunteering -- to make things work."

Since then she has stuck around for a number of reasons.

"You meet a lot of new people; you meet a lot of your old friend you may have went to school with, or different friends that used to live in the neighborhood," she said.

Whatever her reasons for returning, event organizers credit volunteers as an integral part of the two-day affair, which starts this weekend.

Katharine Moore, the society executive director, estimated it takes 300 volunteers to help the event run smoothly.

The number of jobs out there are nearly limitless, and range from the fairly large ones such as hosting a home as Gramelt has done routinely, to things people may not think about.

"It's taken a lot of years to get as good as we are at it," Moore said, noting that there's a volunteer who measures floor mats for the homes on the tour.

In fact, Moore said it took a volunteer working five days a week, just to organize where all the help needed to be.

"You wouldn't believe," said Bob Jackson, who scheduled volunteer shifts. "It's been a real challenge."

Society trustee Chris Hune is in charge of organizing house captains for the event and knows how important volunteers are.

"The success of the event depends on the volunteers," Hune said. "They are the ones making sure everyone sees all the features. They are people who just do it year after year after year; and do it graciously; it's just such an asset to the German Village community."

One of those assets appears to be Gramelt.

"I'm planning on (volunteering) if I'm around," Gramelt said about next year's tour.

The tour takes place 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 29. Tickets are $20 the day of the event and be purchased at the society's Web site germanvillage.org.

dcross@thisweeknews.com