Tea 4 2: Two Hundred for Tea was another rousing success, raising a record $20,000 for historic preservation in German Village.
The third annual event, held Aug. 17 at the German Village Guest House, drew 240 people, who donned reserved and zany hats, supped on hors d'oeuvres and bid on thousands of dollars' worth of merchandise in a silent auction.
"It's amazing to watch how this event has grown that much over three years," said Shiloh Todorov, director of the German Village Society.
So far, Tea 4 2 has raised $45,000 -- $10,000 its first year and $15,500 the year after that -- all of which is designated for historical preservation activities.
A steering committee helps guide how the money is spent.
Todorov said a total of $6,000 has been spent on Art Walk signs and modified computer software that combines member and donor tracking and digitizes society archives. Next up is a comprehensive sign plan that will include way-finding, storytelling and street signs, as well as house and historical markers.
A request for proposals, to be sent out this fall, will address the number, locations, supporting text and design, Todorov said.
"We believe signs serve very mission-centric purposes beyond answering the age-old question, 'Where's Schmidt's?' " Todorov said, referring to visitors seeking Schmidt's Sausage Haus und Restaurant.
"Signs help visitors know they're in a special place," she said.
"But perhaps more importantly, signs help residents know that there's always work to do to preserve this special place, and to understand what made it special in the first place," Todorov said.
"As a bonus, preservation researchers contend that signage and markers add value to homes in a historic district."
The party was held by Darci Congrove, a member of the German Village Society, and her husband John Pribble, both of whom own the German Village Guest House.
"The best thing about this event from my perspective is that people from the village just call me and volunteer to donate all manner of things, from silent auction items to photography skills to volunteer time as a bartender," Congrove said.
"The historic preservation focus seems to really strike a chord with everyone," she said.
"From the beginning, we have been absolutely thrilled with the community support."