Tour volunteers' immense efforts should not be overlooked
Oh, how I wish I had coined the phrase, "It takes a village."
What else can you say about a two-day, volunteer-driven event that draws an estimated 6,000 paying guests and raises about half of the German Village Society's annual operating budget?
As co-chairmen of the 2012 German Village Haus und Garten Tour, Jan and I have been, perhaps, the most visible components of a yearlong effort to produce the neighborhood's premier annual event.
But, of course, it has taken the time and talents -- and indeed, treasure -- of hundreds of you to make the 53rd annual tour such a success.
I'm not especially fond of "thank you" columns, because there's always the unintended omission.
But to ignore the contributions of so many would be wrong.
So, I've decided to take a different approach.
Directors, chairmen and board members make headlines. Here are just a few of the volunteers whose work might not get the attention they deserve.
* Jason Krauss. For the past several years, Jason has designed the artwork that defines the Haus und Garten Tour "brand."
Although he and partner Chris Bradley are now raising two beautiful children in Worthington, he retains a deep affection for the couple's former neighborhood.
We are fortunate to have been the recipients of Jason's enormous talent.
* Jim Ressa. As a professional event-planner for the Columbus Dispatch, this former German Village resident knows better than just about anybody else how to entertain a crowd.
If you were among the hundreds of guests at our Party On the Platz Saturday night, you got a good sense of Jim's enormous talents.
* Don Thibaut. When this Mohawk Street resident gets behind a cause, you know it.
Each December, during Village Lights, he invites hundreds of passers-by into his home to sip a warm drink and enjoy his 20-foot Christmas tree.
We knew Don would be just as enthusiastic about holding his first-ever PreTour dinner. His Kentucky-themed evening was one for the ages.
* Carol Savage. Although she has a job, and has been devoting countless hours to helping with her daughter's wedding, Carol agreed to sell ad space for the Tour book, map and web.
It's an important and time-consuming role.
And although businesses have been somewhat reluctant to invest in additional advertising this year, Carol's efforts still netted more than $11,000 toward the tour's bottom line.
* Tim Morbitzer. Although he might be best-known for helping run the family-owned ABC Gas Repair business, Tim is a talented, self-taught photographer.
His portraiture photos for the tour booklet helped bring the neighborhood's success story to life for thousands of visitors.
Jan and I will treasure his photo of the Clark family for the rest of our lives.
I could easily fill this entire newspaper with similar stories.
To tell of the 23 individual Party On the Platz sponsors and the 33 Villagers who hosted private dinners would take at least a column.
And that's still leaving out the biggest contributors of all -- the owners who graciously lent us their homes and gardens for the weekend.
By mentioning these few individuals, I hope I have given you a sense of the efforts -- big and small -- it takes to produce this amazing event.
To all of you who made the 2012 Haus und Garten Tour a success, we sincerely thank you.
John Clark, the 2012 German Village Society Haus und Garten Tour co-chairman, submitted the Village Notebook column to the ThisWeek German Village Gazette.