The German Village Society is, without question, committed to historic preservation. The society was established in order to preserve the "old world charm" of the old German section of the South End. The society's founder, Frank Fetch, served on the German Village Commission for more than a few three-year terms. And one of the society's standing committees is the historic preservation committee.

The German Village Society is, without question, committed to historic preservation. The society was established in order to preserve the "old world charm" of the old German section of the South End. The society's founder, Frank Fetch, served on the German Village Commission for more than a few three-year terms. And one of the society's standing committees is the historic preservation committee.

The German Village Society is not an historical society, or a genealogical group, or a German social club. It is a civic association with members that are "dedicated to retaining the character and distinction of the past while creating a thriving and contemporary community" in German Village. (But certainly among our interests are individual histories and just about anything social.)

We are a Preserve America neighborhood and have worked over the last year to strengthen our relationship with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the American Planning Association. We have solid relationships with the German Village Commission, the Columbus Historic Preservation office, the Ohio Historic Preservation Office and countless other cultural organizations throughout the Midwest and beyond.

We work extremely hard to honor the past while living in the present. We appreciate all those who have gone before us and the good work they've done, and we try to plan for the future and consider the wants and needs of both current and future villagers.

If I could use only one word to celebrate what the German Village Society does, it would be celebrate. We celebrate our members, neighbors and friends. We celebrate successes, good efforts, team players and individuals. We celebrate the earliest immigrants, our smallest neighbors at St. Mary and Stewart schools, the oldest houses, the newest trends and our inspiring houses and gardens.

We celebrate our reddish-orangeish-brownish bricks, our gray slate, our windows with wavy glass, our limestone stoops with visible fossils, our alleys, our views of the skyline, our blue-collar history and our postage-stamp-sized backyards.

We celebrate the fact that we are committee- and volunteer-driven. We celebrate our visitors each day while we keep track of how many feet cross the threshold of the Meeting Haus. We celebrate good preservation work with the "Caretakers of a Legacy" awards and we celebrate the cold winter months with chili suppers, "Casseroles and Carols" and a spectacular tree lighting.

We have celebrated the society's anniversary every January, German-American Day every October, a birthday for the Meeting Haus each August and the birthdays of our visitors center volunteers. We have celebrated births and honored deaths with celebrations of life. We celebrate the ties that bind with our "family portrait" under the Schiller statue. We celebrate the outdoors in our parks, large and small, celebrate local talent with Third Sunday concerts and Actors' Theatre of Columbus and celebrate independent and local business owners with the German Village Business Community.

In one month, the society will manage to celebrate the old in yet another new way. A garden party is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 27, and the event proceeds will benefit a new designated fund for historic preservation at the German Village Society.

The event will be held at the German Village Guest House at 748 Jaeger St. Tea, wine, hors d'oeuvres and pastries will be served, and the afternoon will include live musical entertainment, a silent auction, a best-hat contest and photos with surprise celebrity guests. Festive garden party attire is requested. Tickets are $50 for society members and $60 for others. They will be available germanvillage.com or the German Village Society Meeting Haus.

How can we not celebrate while we have so much to be proud of, so much to recognize, such big dreams we hope to see realized? Join us in honoring historic preservation and advocating for our present and future. Join us in the celebration!

Jody Graichen is director of historic preservation programs for the German Village Society.