Westerville Habitat Partnership is offering a walking tour of historic Westerville locations for people to enjoy at their leisure in what is being touted as Tapestry of a Town's Greatest Hits.

Kay Hedges, co-chairman of Tapestry of a Town, along with John Cameron, said the annual fundraiser held on the last Sunday in July for four hours at $15 a ticket had to be canceled as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

But she said the need continues, as does the group's mission to "work in partnership with all of God's people to strengthen communities by building, renovating and repairing homes and by advocating the value of need for affordable and sustainable housing."

"My thought over the last three months as my husband and I strolled around Westerville, we saw so many people out around Uptown," Hedges said. "I thought what if they had something they could pull up on their phone."

So the idea for "Tapestry of a Town's Greatest Hits" was born.

The greatest hits include many fan-favorite Uptown locations from the past seven tours.

Because the full tour can't be offered as in previous years, it's free to participants.

Hedges said the need for affordable housing for families continues, and those houses still need built, so donations are welcome in place of purchasing a ticket.

Donations may be made, and the Greatest Hits site list can be found at westervillehabitat.org/tapestry-of-a-town/.

"The idea of Tapestry is because it weaves the thread that makes Westerville interesting -- schools, history, anti-saloon (movement), the Underground Railroad," Hedges said. "That's why we came up with Tapestry, to point out the rich heritage of what is in the town. We think that is a win for residents. The businesses get some exposure, and we also raise money for the building projects of Habitat."

Uptown Eye Care, 114 N. State St., is one feature of this year's Greatest Hits tour.

Building owner Misty Bauder said the structure was on the tour before she purchased it from Dr. John Parrish in August 2016.

She said the tour was set shortly before the transition, so she was present at the event and was impressed with the turnout.

"Even though I wasn't the owner yet at the time, it was an honor to have the building chosen," Bauder said. "It is such a beautiful historic home and very unique that it has been transitioned into an optometry practice."

She said a lot of cosmetic changes have been made to the office since the tour in July 2016, and she would love to showcase the office again in the future.

"Although we have modernized the space, we still have original/older flooring, windows, moldings and kitchen cabinetry to keep the historic charm that we cherish," she said.

Bauder said the Tapestry of a Town tour is a great fundraiser for the Westerville Habitat Partnership, which changes lives every day.

"Having a virtual tour is such a great idea to allow people to drive around and externally view the architecture safely at their convenience and still allow donations to come through to such a great cause," she said.

The Westerville Habitat Partnership has provided a tour of businesses and private residences to the Westerville community since 2013.

"The Delaware affiliate builds between two and four homes a year," Hedges said. "It has been a wonderful experience to partner with families."

She said the families who buy the Habitat houses put in sweat equity, and they have to apply to buy the houses.

"Their needs go on even though we can't have our fundraiser," Hedges said.

The Westerville Habitat Partnership includes Central College Presbyterian Church, Church of the Messiah United Methodist, Church of the Master United Methodist, First Presbyterian Church, Grace Lutheran Church, Columbus Academy in Gahanna and Habitat for Humanity of Delaware and Union counties.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla