As I write this, we are 53.5 hours from kickoff to PreTour's Cocktail Party presented by Coldwell Banker King Thompson at Schiller Park, which is itself marking 150 years as a city park in 2017.
So, while you'll read this well after the 58th Haus und Garten Tour is in the books, a few things are already very clear and very exciting about the event.
First, there are 384 souls who volunteered to make this year's event a success. That is a remarkable number of people all doing their part to put on the tour. For so many people to agree on an outcome for a neighborhood doesn't happen every single day, and the generosity shown in that number is a gift.
Those 384 folks are orchestrated by one amazing woman, Bonnie Mitchell. She's been our events coordinator for years and is critical to the operation.
Speaking of operations, Scott Burns led that trash/programs/water/rug-hauling crew for his fourth year and Sarah Irvin-Clark put her PR skills to work to garner oodles of media coverage.
Dan Pullen and Mel Bennett managed golf carts while Larry Drake measured all those rugs.
John Clark, Tim Morbitzer and Ed Gately played volunteer photographer and Tyler Durbin helped us up our social media game.
Brittany Gibson single-handedly published our weekend's printed program. Katharine Moore led Friends of Schiller through a series of celebratory moments to mark the 150th.
Ziad Shaheen and Angie Steinhauser hosted our tour homes at Orphans Brunch on Sunday, and Bryan & Sarah Martin hosted them earlier in June. Square One Salon & Spa hosted our PreTour hosts.
All of this was headed up by a core crew of people who started to work together back in September.
Susan Salt and Linda Gorsuch rounded up our 12 tour homes, along with Bert Stevens. Tracie & Brad Stamm found 25 different PreTour dinner locations with 35 hosts. Joshua Zimmerman both created and managed the cocktail party, and served as board liaison and overall glue and leader to the event. And he's coming back in that role next year.
So with 53.5 hours to go, I can't tell you how we did on net revenue. But with 50 percent of our annual income at stake on this annual event, I can share with you some of the numbers going into the event.
There were 711 people holding PreTour tickets as of this writing. That allowed us to shatter our budget of $74,000 in PreTour income at $83,150.
How? Many more neighbors decided to increase their PreTour gift, and took advantage of corporate table and patron ticket opportunities compared to years past.
And as trustee Darci Congrove pointed out at our June board meeting -- thanks to partner food and drink vendors, the German Village Society has zero expenses for food and drink throughout the week.
That is a significant outlier for most Columbus nonprofits. The society should be proud of this accomplishment because it is another strategy for organizational sustainability.
Here's another big number -- our businesses, led by the presenting sponsor Vutech & Ruff -- gave $45,739 to this event this year compared to $35,395 last year.
That is just $10,000 worth of weather-proof support of this most mission-centric event; and I hope it means you'll read our program carefully and patronize the businesses that gave those gifts.
All of that sponsorship and advertising work is made to happen by Mark Weiss with significant support from new staff member Chelsey Craig.
And at the core of our mission, making the preservation projects continue to happen through event season, I am so grateful to Historic Preservation Advocate Nancy Kotting.
The work she leads is the reason for event season in the first place -- preserving this national treasure called German Village.
However you were part of it last weekend, you have my thanks for making it a success.
German Village Society Executive Director Shiloh Todorov submitted the Village Notebook column.