Westerville News & Public Opinion

Tapestry tour weaves history, help for housing

The July 27 tour benefits Habitat for Humanity


With its annual Tapestry of a Town historical tour July 27, the Westerville Habitat Partnership aims to raise funds for the future by showcasing the past.

The tour, focused on Westerville's historic sites, raises money for Habitat for Humanity. After raising about $4,000 in $10 tickets its first year in 2013, organizers are hoping for even more funds this year to benefit potential families.

"We're optimistic because we printed up 700 tickets this year," tour organizer John Cameron said with a laugh. "That might be overly optimistic, but given that last year was our first year, we're hoping that word of mouth and the fact that we were so successful the first time out will give us a leg up, and we'll hopefully sell more tickets and make more for Habitat."

While the connection between Habitat for Humanity and history might seem a far leap for some, Cameron said the two concepts may be more related than most think.

"It has to do with people in the community of Westerville getting a chance to learn more about their home community," he said. "They learn about the history which involves the educational scene ... there's Otterbein, all the public schools, parks and recreation.

"We tie it in with other people who would want to be a part of the community, but perhaps can't afford to."

As the tour shifts toward including private homes -- there are two this year -- Cameron said making the connection between old and new homes is easier.

"The more we have homes involved, maybe that tie-in with Habitat will seem a little more clear and natural to folks," he said.

Attendees can visit the tour's 12 sites in any order with their tour booklet and map that acts as a ticket.

"We think it's a good thing for Westerville," he said. "Many businesses get a really good highlight, and last year we had approximately 400 people touring through all these sites. So it's great exposure for businesses and they feel good about helping us support Habitat."

Between Habitat for Humanity families, the community and the visitors, Cameron said the event benefits all involved.

"We've gotten wonderful feedback," he said. "Ultimately all of this goes to help families who cannot on their own afford decent housing. It seems like everyone comes out ahead with this tour."

The Tapestry of a Town Tour takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. July 27.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Westerville Visitors Bureau, 20 W. Main St., or at Central College Presbyterian Church, Church of the Messiah United Methodist, Church of the Master United Methodist, First Presbyterian Church or Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church between Sunday services.