Think for a moment about a PreTour you've attended. Great, big, huge fun, right?

Think for a moment about a PreTour you've attended. Great, big, huge fun, right?

There's the sneak peek at the Haus und Garten Tour homes (often in places no one on Sunday gets to see) with no lines and no waiting.

Then there's that fabulous community reunion we call the Cocktail Party on Willow Street. Followed, of course, by some of the most imaginative theme dinners you've ever attended.

All in all, it's probably one of the best galas a Columbus nonprofit organization has to offer. Because, while PreTour is certainly a great party it is -- first and foremost -- our biggest fundraiser of the year.

Thanks to the generosity of our in-home hosts and in-kind sponsors, the Society has virtually no expenses on PreTour night and therefore virtually every penny of your ticket goes to fund our programs.

It is, in fact, one of the most generous ways people choose to give to German Village Society.

Now think about your other favorite charity fundraisers. We love them, too.

And whether it is the LifeCare Alliance Big Wheels, YWCA Women of Achievement, Recreation Unlimited's Flavors of the Vine, The American Heart Association Go Red for Women or some other you know, PreTour stands out as a special approach to gala-making.

I'm telling you all of this for two reasons.

We are raising the ticket price in 2014. Members will pay $150 and nonmembers $175; or $25 more per ticket.

We haven't raised ticket prices, according to my research of some VERY good Society record-keeping, since 2008.

As you have probably already figured out, I am all about benchmarking.

I love to see where we fit in our market. So as I compare PreTour against other Columbus gala fundraisers, it is clear we are offering A LOT of experience for the ticket price.

Our seven-hour experience is a Saturday night dinner. In order as listed above, LifeCare's event is $200 for three courses and dancing; YWCA is a weekday luncheon for $150; Recreation Unlimited's tickets are $100 for wine and hors d'oeuvres; Go Red is a luncheon at $150/ticket.

One other reason to talk PreTour in January, it is that time of year where we are looking for those creative folks to host a dinner party and help us create the magic of PreTour.

We have a bang-up committee in the persons of Michele McFadden, Angela Petro and Ronni Van Lighten, plus Board liaison and uber-PreTour-host Darci Congrove.

Angela has agreed to put her professional catering skills to work and host a "How To Throw A PreTour Party Without Headache and on a Budget" event in February.

If you've EVER thought about hosting a PreTour dinner, but aren't sure how to get started, please call or email me (221-8888 or and I will share details of the how-to event. We want you there.

PreTour is, was, and shall always be Tour night for our own family.

It is in that spirit that I ask you to mark your calendars now for June 29, 2014, and make your donation go a little farther toward our good work together. Look for details on tickets coming in April.

German Village Society Executive Director Shiloh Todorov submitted the Village Notebook column.