German Village Gazette

Village notebook

Passion, energy of Society members, volunteers remarkable

By BILL CASE
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I am now in my second year as the president of the German Village Society.

The longer I serve in this post, the more I marvel at the energy and passion constantly demonstrated by our members and volunteers.

To paraphrase a movie title of a few years ago, the German Village Society is indeed a "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (and Ladies)."

Tangible evidence of this commitment is visible throughout German Village.

Our Long-Range Planning Committee spawned "Village Connections," which is close to a point where it will be providing services that will help our senior citizens stay longer in The Village's friendly confines.

That committee also helped give birth to the "Southside STAY" organization comprised of young area parents tasked with convincing Columbus City Schools to allow their children to attend the neighborhood Stewart School. It appears that this effort is very likely to succeed.

Working in tandem, our Streetscape and Civic Relations Committees, just achieved an important Society goal of obtaining city funding for the necessary engineering to study how to provide needed infrastructure improvements to Third Street -- German Village's "Main Street."

The Historic Preservation Committee instituted many programs this year designed to elevate German Village's profile, both locally and nationally, as a citadel of historic preservation.

New projects commenced by that committee in the last year include the collection and preservation of oral histories, workshops and hosting a national preservation group meeting.

Our remarkable Parks and Public Spaces group amazes me. The "Ode to Joy" celebration featuring the lighting of the Schiller statue was an evening to make every Villager proud.

The unstinting efforts of the "Friends of Schiller" resulted in a never-to-be-forgotten event. Our wonderful volunteer gardeners forever keep beautiful the fabulous flowers and landscaping in our parks.

We have a coterie of dedicated Visitor Center volunteers who show the face of German Village and the Society to the world.

If you have occasion to visit the Meeting Haus during business hours, make it a point to turn left after you enter and say hello.

The greeting you receive in return will be warm as cookies just out of the oven.

Our tour guides playfully added a "Ghost Tour" to their repertoire of architecture, history and filed trip outings in 2012.

I am proud of the many Villagers who make time to tutor elementary school students at Stewart School. Is there any activity that is more valuable to our society?

Our Maintenance Committee (again with the assistance of volunteer efforts of professionals who are also our members) has presided over two major renovations in our Meeting House during my tenure.

All who attended the combination art exhibit-reopening of the Brent Warner Fest Hall March 10 were delighted with the fresh new look.

The Membership Committee's hard work has expanded membership.

The Society's Board of Trustees and Development Committee are embarking on major fundraising.

The "Tea 43206" Committee for the second year, pulled off a major event last August, which had the dual virtues of being fun as well as a successful fundraiser.

Our revitalized Go Green Committee is back in action and thinking outside the box on new ways to reduce our carbon footprint and further beautify The Village.

During my tenure, the Technology Committee assisted with implementing the new mobile site that enables cell phone users to identify the sites to visit as well as the various businesses and services available here.

If you are looking for some folks who are really extraordinary, what about the members of our Haus und Garten Tour Committee.

They are responsible for our highest-profile event and largest fundraising venture? They already have the infrastructure in place for this year's signature event.

And don't let me forget the tireless organizers and volunteers responsible for Village Lights, Monster Bash, Village Valuables, Art Crawl, Village Singers, Police Luncheons and German Village Farm.

These are all major productions showcasing our energy and vitality to residents and visitors alike.

These varied activities require careful budgeting, and I have been mightily impressed with the focus and perseverance of our vigilant Finance Committee.

We have a wonderful relationship with the German Village Business Committee.

The small-business owners that comprise this group are always willing to take time out of their busy schedules to make contributions that make this a better place to live.

I became president at the same time Shiloh Todorov became the German Village Society director. There is no question that the Society is doing more and doing it better since she arrived.

Every day she builds new bridges and makes new connections that make the Society better and more relevant.

So, maybe now, you can comprehend my admiration for this "league of extraordinary gentlemen and ladies."

If you are contemplating joining the Society, don't hesitate -- do it!

I promise that you will not be disappointed. You will meet new people, have fun and be infused with a deep passion for this special place we love.

German Village Society Board of Trustees President Bill Case submitted the Village Notebook column.

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