German Village Gazette

TEA 43206 brews up record fundraising effort

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TEA 43206 was another rousing success, setting another record by raising nearly $29,000 for historic preservation.

The fourth annual event, held Aug. 16 at the German Village Guest House, entertained 220 people, who drank gallons of sangria donated by Via Vecchia, nine cases of wine, 12 cups of tea, ate 2,500 hors d'oeuvres and endured 30 minutes of a light rain.

Admission income accounted for $7,870. A pleasant surprise: another $6,750 came from sponsorship income, said Darci Congrove, who held the party with her husband, John Pribble. Residents ponied up sponsorships in $250, $500, $750 and $1,000 increments, Congrove said.

It shows that patrons like the historic preservation plans, she said.

"There are excited about what we're doing with the money, the direction we're going and that is good," Congrove said.

There were 58 donations to the silent auction, which total $15,651 in value, while the auction itself raised $12,165.

Also among the highlights, the raffle of 20 bottles of wine netted $910 and donations in lieu of attendance brought in $1,075.

Chris Hune and Norm Hall raised $1,800 by selling a pool party -- to be held on two separate occasions -- at Hune's house.

Every year, receipts have increased for TEA, formerly known as Tea 4 2: Two Hundred for Tea.

Launched in 2011, when it raised $10,000, the take had increased by $5,000 per year until this year, when it raised $28,700 -- exceeding the goal by nearly $4,000.

All money raised goes into the German Village Society's fund for historic preservation. The fund also accepts donations from other sources.

"Tea has become its very own brand of 'party with a purpose' in German Village," said Shiloh Todorov, executive director of the German Village Society.

"And, everyone wants to be part of success story -- so that helps sell tickets, attract sponsors and silent auction items and put together a little better event each year."

Of the $74,000 raised so far, about $5,000 has been spent, Congrove said.

For example, the Society has digitized its historical archives. But starting this summer, the society will begin planning on a major sign, and by all accounts expensive, initiative that will help tell the neighborhood's story.

"We held two targeted focus groups of people -- both residents and businesses -- who told us they have an interest in signage," Todorov said.

"We expect to have the concept this fall, and part of pulling that final report together may include a chance for the public to experience the ideas," she said.

"That means taking a piece of the final proposal ... and putting it out in the neighborhood to let people see and react."

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